DJR Davies, Master

Waighty
6th September 2010, 10:41
I sailed with DJR Davies on Marabank in 1971 when I was 2nd Mate. At the time he was just an elderly Master with a quirky outlook on the decimilisation of charts (we carried a full set of metric for us and imperial for him!). He also had an impressive array of medal strips on his uniform.

However, I was recently reading a book by Dave Sowden about Admiralty Salvage Ships 1943 to 1993. In this it mentioned a young CO (Master) called Acting Lt Cdr DJR Davies on one of the vessels. Apparently he did great things in harour clearance at the latter end of WWII and post WWII, to the extent that he was cited for a medal. Obviously i'm wondering if the two DJRs are one in the same. Does anyone know DJRs history?

david harrod
8th September 2010, 11:11
I sailed with DJR Davies on Marabank in 1971 when I was 2nd Mate. At the time he was just an elderly Master with a quirky outlook on the decimilisation of charts (we carried a full set of metric for us and imperial for him!). He also had an impressive array of medal strips on his uniform.

However, I was recently reading a book by Dave Sowden about Admiralty Salvage Ships 1943 to 1993. In this it mentioned a young CO (Master) called Acting Lt Cdr DJR Davies on one of the vessels. Apparently he did great things in harour clearance at the latter end of WWII and post WWII, to the extent that he was cited for a medal. Obviously i'm wondering if the two DJRs are one in the same. Does anyone know DJRs history?

He was master of my first ship, Testbank in '64; he and my Dad signed my articles. As the lowest form of life aboard I did not have a great deal to do with him until the day I was persuaded to go to his cabin and, on the grounds that it was my 18th birthday, ask for a case of beer...a welshman with a strong sense of chapel, I think...at least that's what I made of the furious, repeated oaths to the almighty at the temerity of such a request! Needless to say, I didn't get the beer, but the engineers came good with a bottle of scotch, so honours were even...A good Master I think...I won't go into the time we apprentices were sprung in a bar in Tanga... a lot more biblical language and stoppage of shore leave...great days!

Waighty
9th September 2010, 11:37
He was master of my first ship, Testbank in '64; he and my Dad signed my articles. As the lowest form of life aboard I did not have a great deal to do with him until the day I was persuaded to go to his cabin and, on the grounds that it was my 18th birthday, ask for a case of beer...a welshman with a strong sense of chapel, I think...at least that's what I made of the furious, repeated oaths to the almighty at the temerity of such a request! Needless to say, I didn't get the beer, but the engineers came good with a bottle of scotch, so honours were even...A good Master I think...I won't go into the time we apprentices were sprung in a bar in Tanga... a lot more biblical language and stoppage of shore leave...great days!

You were right about the chapel bit. He also had an interesting way of communicating with French pilots. If you belong to the Bank Line Association I wrote a piece for the newssheet about the Marabank trip a couple of years back including our attempt to get into Marseilles.

He had a son who was also in Bank Line; I believe he had a sad ending to his young life.

johnb42
13th September 2010, 11:09
Waighty,
I sailed with DJR as second mate on the Beaverbank and was in fact Mate on the Marabank with you in 1971. Lurch was the 3rd Mate, right? I remember the Marseilles pilot incident well - the Pilot Book hadn't been corrected and Dai was waiting in the wrong place. That didn't cut any ice with Dai though - thick French pilots. If I remember correctly we were there with a load of sugar from Santo Domingo. I had my wife and small son Michael on board and had Michael christened in Marseilles. I also remember at the end of discharge the stevedore saying that I had conned him into repairing a lot of old damage but never mind I had given him a lot of stamps. Stamp collecting/trading etc seemed to be big in Marseilles at the time.
Wasn't the Engine Room serang arrested and jailed for smuggling weed while we were there?
I always liked DJR. I was second mate with him on the Beaverbank when I first joined the Bank Line, and can remember a very gruff facade but a good man behind it. His response when I asked if we could have a party when we were in Sydney was a simple "I don't want to hear any effing noise after midnight".
I don't know the full story but I believe that his younger son who was 2nd mate in the Bankline was killed in a car crash.
Best regards
John (Brooks)

Waighty
14th September 2010, 12:40
Waighty,
I sailed with DJR as second mate on the Beaverbank and was in fact Mate on the Marabank with you in 1971. Lurch was the 3rd Mate, right? I remember the Marseilles pilot incident well - the Pilot Book hadn't been corrected and Dai was waiting in the wrong place. That didn't cut any ice with Dai though - thick French pilots. If I remember correctly we were there with a load of sugar from Santo Domingo. I had my wife and small son Michael on board and had Michael christened in Marseilles. I also remember at the end of discharge the stevedore saying that I had conned him into repairing a lot of old damage but never mind I had given him a lot of stamps. Stamp collecting/trading etc seemed to be big in Marseilles at the time.
Wasn't the Engine Room serang arrested and jailed for smuggling weed while we were there?
I always liked DJR. I was second mate with him on the Beaverbank when I first joined the Bank Line, and can remember a very gruff facade but a good man behind it. His response when I asked if we could have a party when we were in Sydney was a simple "I don't want to hear any effing noise after midnight".
I don't know the full story but I believe that his younger son who was 2nd mate in the Bankline was killed in a car crash.
Best regards
John (Brooks)

Hullo John. Yes I remember you well and your wife and son. Lurch was the 3rd mate, he's a postman these days on permanent nights and loving it (strange) and married with two grown up daughters. I'm also married with one son in his 30s and "conquering the world" as they climb the greasy pole of life.

Yes I always thought DJR was a good master - fair in all things except French pilots! His son, whose name escapes me, started 1st mates in London as I was leaving college. I heard that he committed suicide while at home with his folks and his fiance. His fiance was previously engaged to the 3rd mate who died on the Royston Grange (we were on MAR together). I don't know what became of her.

You were right about the engine serang being arrested - as I recall the customs guys came on first in hippie dress and then came back later in uniform to nab him. Also recall heading back across the Atlantic and experiencing the loudest thunderstorm and most torrential rain in my life whilst on 12 to 4 in mid ocean. Certainly woke DJR because he came up to the bridge. Happy days.

I went on to become Mate and then took redundancy in 1983. Joined the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service as Master later that year on a wide variety of ships and very varied tasks, nothing like the Merch. Ended up specialising in mooring work and navigation buoyage (the MOD had a lot of both). Eventually Marine Super then left to work for Forth Ports as Asst Harbour Master and VTS Manager. Finally ended up as editor of Sailing Directions (the pilot books) at the UKHO. Retired last year.

Best regards John,

Mike Waight

hillbilly
12th October 2010, 10:37
When I joined the Northbank as apprentice in Venice in July 1964 he was the master. From what I can remember he was a fine master who always had time to exchange a word of wisdom or two with the 3 apprentices. (*))