Chief Carpenter’s Mate Richard Deacon served aboard HMS Rocket on the Pacific Station from 1874 to 1878. Afterwards he transferred to HMS Shah, flag ship of the Pacific Station. “Shah” was scheduled be replaced by HMS Triumph at the end of 1878. All time expired men, and invalids, from “Shah” and “Rocket” would return to England on the “Shah.” Others from HMS Rocket included Chief Engine Room Artificer John Fillmore and Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph Oates. After arriving at St. Helena the “Shah’s” Captain learned of the loss at Isandlwana, and changed his own orders and sailed to Durban where he put ashore 16 officers and 378 men for the Naval Brigade. Richard Deacon remained onboard “Shah” during the war, and was entitled to the South Africa Medal without clasp. HMS Shah finally reached England on 8 October 1879.
From Dix Noonan Webb, 16 Oct ’96: “Richard Deacon was born in Stoke Damerel, Devonport on 9 November 1834. He first entered the service as Carpenter's Crew aboard H.M.S. ST JEAN D'ACRE on 9 February 1859, was advanced to Carpenter's Mate on 1 July 1861 prior to being paid off two months later. Served subsequently aboard H.M. Ships SANS PAREIL (1861-63) and ACHILLES (1864-68). Joined H.M.S. FLY on 1 January 1869 as Chief Carpenter's Mate for a commission until July 1873, and then joined H.M.S. ROCKET (1874-78), during which time he earned the L.S. & G.C. medal for 16 years service on 21 August 1875, whilst serving as a Chief Carpenter's Mate. Later he joined SHAH as a Chief Carpenter's Mate (July 1878 to October 1879). Was a Shipwright aboard INDUS from 9 January 1882 until he died aboard her on 25 September 1890 after 30 years service.”
Petty Officer Tom