All pictures are copyright Ⓒ their owners

Budge Amphora

Roman amphora Neck & lid of Roman Amphora, + handle fragment found by Don Budge in 1956 at Waddi Tobruk in 20ft of water.
Courtesy Don Budge and The British Museum

Hi Don,
I found your web site a few days ago and found it most interesting as I was a marine engineer on a R.A.S.C army Vosper launch. I arrived in Tobruk Jan 1956 and left in Feb 1958. I spent quite a lot of time swimming around the harbour, at that time nobody had masks or fins. I ask the NAAFI in the garison if they could get some. A few week later I had a diving mask and fins made in Italy made by cressi. I found in the waddi [opposite Tobruk town] parts of a Roman Amphora, the neck and a lid. They are now in the British Museum on show, the amphora was a type they had not in the museum.

Don Budge
Ps I live in the south of France.

Nice to hear from you Don,
I should like your permission to publish your email which is very interesting (you may have seen the Belgammel Ram page) so if you can provide any more details it would be useful, especially if you have a photo of the parts you found or a reference to the BM.
I also used, to dive opposite Tobruk harbour, we were by then affiliated to the British Sub Aqua Club and had masks, flippers, two large cylinders each with Cousteau demand valves. No wet suit, shorts and jumper were the dress.
I look forward to hearing from you
Don [S.]

Thanks for your mail, I will be sending you a photo of the Amphora parts soon. In this mail is one of my first underwater photo of a 500 pound German bomb !!!!
Quite close to our launch moorings in Tobruk harbour. I made up an underwater camera with an old Kodak's box camera fitted in wooden box that I made water proof, for the glass I used a old Italian gas mask, in my time these masks were all over the place.

When I left the army I worked for Seamens & Edison's testing large telephone cables all over U.K., I got fed up living in digs mostly pubs.

In 1959 I got a job of a lifetime, on a millionaire's yacht in the Med. the boat was an ex R.N. 110ft motor gun boat. The boss was a very keen aqualung diver, so when l told him that I had passed an exam in Spain that I took run by an English couple, they where British Sub Aqua Club bods, I got the job, and a week later I had a first-class rail ticket for Cannes in France.
I remained with the boss for 20 years.
Regards Don [Budge]

Dear Don
Please find inclosed the Amphora photo, I have just phoned Dr Ross Thomas at the British Museum and it ok for you to add my find on your web.
He is in charge of greek & Roman sec of B.M. if you need anything on the amphora on display do get in touch.
Kindest Regards
Don Budge

Registration Detail, The British Museum.

2017,5002.1: Roman Amphora for wine, type Dressel 1B. Neck, shoulder and handles only. Traces of pitch lining.

2017,5002.2: Matching stopper probably belongs.

Production Place: Cosa, Grosseto Province, Tuscany, Italy.

2017,5002.3: Roman Amphora for wine(?), type Dressel 1. Handle fragment

Production Place: Campania, Italy.

Production Date: 120 BC - 10 BC

Period Culture: Roman Republican.

[Don S.]

Don Sargent underwaterMy pal Don Sargent,
who photographed the Amphora for me.
500lb Bomb500lb Bomb.


In 1956 our launch was given the job of helping El Adem when 3 or 4 Sunderlands landed in Tobruk harbour for refuelling, they where on their way to the far East ( Hongkong & Singapore ).
The refuelling was done with the help of the Royal Engineers, and R.A.S.C. petroleum road tanker on a R. E. Z--CRAFT.
The plane's came about every 4 weeks or so, on the last one I asked the RAF w/officer about a plane that I had booked for a month's holiday back home, he took my air ticket and the next day he fixed me up for a free flight home, so I only had to pay my flight back!!!

I decided then to take the Amphora parts with me, as I wouldn't have been able when my time was up, one kit-bag and a small suitcase only was allowed.

A few day's later I was in a Comet, the take off was with a very fast climb, when we reached our cruising height the captain came on the speaker and gave all the flight plan and he said that the stewardess will be serving a light meal and drinks.
A airmen arrived unshaven with a fag in his mouth dished out a mug of tea and corned beef sandwich.
The plane landed in Lynham.
Don Budge

Sunderland Flying Boat, Tobruk HarbourSunderland Flying Boat, Tobruk Harbour.