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The Invergordon Archive

Invergordon - Balblair Ferry
The Invergordon Archive
Invergordon - Balblair Ferry

On the right is Munro Fraser, coxwain of the Invergordon/Balblair ferry. On the left is Davy Ross who rescued the crew of a capsized whaler. Little more is known about this picture, especially when it was taken.
Picture added on 17 April 2004
This picture is in the following groups
Invergordon Ferries
Davy was a prisoner of war (WWII) for a long time. He appreciated the help that the Red Cross gave the prisoners and on his return, did his utmost to help others (and still does).
Added by Jet Robb & Lilian Boon (nee Andrews) on 15 August 2004
This picture was taken for the papers (by John Duguid Ross) following the capsizing of a naval whaler in heavy seas in the Cromarty Firth in August 1946.

While travelling from Balblair to Invergordon, Munro noticed the whaler heel over and its sails go into the water near seaplane mooring buoys so pulled alongside the vessel. He and Davie rescued five men who clung to the gunwale. An RAF launch, a motor torpedo boat and a naval pinnace came on the scene. No other survivors were found.
Of the crew of nine, five were rescued by Munro (coxswain) and Davie (a passenger - Jean came from the Black Isle). Another member of the crew was rescued by an RAF pinnace, but died on being put ashore. The three others were missing.
An inscribed watch and £1 were presented to Munro (and presumably Davie) by the National Lifeboat Institution.
Anonymous comment added on 18 September 2006
My name is John McVeigh and I have been searching for information on a naval accident in which my brother Andrew was drowned. I have obtained a copy of the Ross & Cromarty paper of that period, August 1946; it stated 5 seamen were rescued by the Invergordon Ferry. I wondered if perhaps you kept a log of some kind or had any information of the incident. There were 4 killed - unfortunately my brother's body was never found; he was serving on HMS Fieldfare at the time. Any help or comments will be gratefully appreciated.
Added by John McVeigh on 23 November 2006
I am so grateful to you and your site for this information. I would personally wish to thank Mr Ross and Fraser, God Bless them both on behalf of my deceased parents for their efforts. Unfortunately my brother was the only one never found, is it possible any of the survivors keep in touch? I intend visiting your area in June this coming year and would welcome the opportunity of thanking them in person
Sincerely John McVeigh
Added by John McVeigh on 30 November 2006
There are two lifebelts in Invergordon Museum marked "Udale Inverness". Does anyone know anything about this boat? I wondered whether it might have been one incarnation of the Balblair ferry. Any information gratefully received. I'll post the same question on the Cromarty image library.
Added by Estelle Quick on 16 March 2007
Possible "Udale" INVERNESS is ref to the old Harbour launch which has recently being sold by the CFPA. When I as a youngster covering for crew relief (1980) treated them all to "coffee mate" in their coffee and found out it was an outfall sample; didn't realise coffee mate was a powder at the time.
Added by Mark McLaren on 17 March 2007
The lifebelts may have come off the vessel owned until last year by the Cromarty Firth Port Authority. I cannot recall having heard of any other vessel named Udale. Inverness is the port of registration for vessels based in Easter Ross.
Added by Ronald Stewart on 18 March 2007
Munro Fraser was in my class and left to join the Merchant Navy about the same time as I left to join the RAF in 1947. He served for many years with the Ben Line carrying freight to the Far East. He retired as their Senior Bosun. He ran the Balblair Ferry for Dougal Mackintosh for quite a few years before he left school, once before and once after school. The fare was sixpence (but that may have been return!). His father died when Munro was very young. Mrs Fraser, Munro and his older brother, Jackie, lived on the High Street directly opposite the Station Road.
Added by George Sutherland (Sud) on 16 October 2007
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Invergordon Ferries

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