Family's 'day of emotion' to collect OBE in Captain's memory

The family of an RFA Captain collected his OBE after his untimely death in 2020

The family of an RFA Captain collected his OBE after his untimely death in 2020 - Credit: UK MOD CROWN COPYRIGHT 2019/Royal Navy

The family of a Royal Navy captain recognised for his role supporting communities devastated by a hurricane have collected his OBE in his memory. 

It has been more than two years since Royal Fleet Auxillary Captain Rob Anders was awarded the honour after his role as commanding officer of RFA Mounts Bay, which was first on the scene in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian battered the islands with winds up to 185mph.

The hurricane caused the worst natural disaster in the area in living memory back in September 2019.

In the days which followed, more than 6,000 people were helped by the ship’s team – RFA, Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Engineers and Royal Logistics Corps and Fleet Air Arm – in some of the worst hit areas of Great Abaco Island and surrounding region.

Investitures were put on hold due to the pandemic and sadly the captain died shortly before Christmas 2020 due to a brain tumour.

He had served in the RFA for more than 30 years, and was commander aboard a string of ships between 2015 and his death.

Commanding Officers PortraitAn in situ portrait of RFA Mounts Bay's Commanding Officer Captain R

Commanding Officers Portrait An in situ portrait of RFA Mounts Bay's Commanding Officer Captain Robert Anders RFA - Credit: UK MOD CROWN COPYRIGHT 2019

His widow Phillipa, and teenage children Nell, 17, and Will, 16, who live near Woodbridge, went to Buckingham Palace along with Rob's parents to collect Capt Anders' medal.

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Mrs Anders said: "We were incredibly honoured to be able to pick Rob's OBE up for him.

"The day was full of emotion and pride and we couldn't have been treated more kindly and generously.

"Because of the situation, it was agreed all three of us should go up to accept the OBE, giving us all the chance to talk with Prince William."

Captain Anders' family, widow Phillipa, and children Nell and Will

Captain Anders' family, widow Phillipa, and children Nell and Will - Credit: Royal Navy

Originally from Warrington and a keen supporter of the town’s Rugby League side, Cpt Anders joined the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in 1989.