Blue Funnel Captain - Walter Francis Dark

Geoff Plunkett
4th December 2007, 01:55
I have posted this message in other fora (so I apologise in advance if you have seen it too many times) but I have received no responses thus far. I might have to advertise in a UK paper, maybe someone can make a recommendation as to the best one to use or point to other pathways I can take. Best Geoff.

I am a researcher based in Sydney, Australia. I am trying to locate any surviving relatives or people who knew WALTER FRANCIS DARK. The belief is he was the individual born September 1890 in Barnstaple. He was certainly born around this date. He was an Alfred Holt (Blue Funnel) Ships Captain and his ships included the Titan which was sunk by Gunther Prien (U47) on 4 September 1940. Dark was then master of the Ixion which was sunk by U94 on 7 May 1941. He was also involved in a number of sea dramas during the war including rescuing the master of the German vessel, the Kormoran which battled with the RAN light cruiser Sydney off Western Australia on 19th November 1941. He was at this stage in charge of the Centaur (another Blue funnel-converted to a Hospital ship which was later sunk). In January 1943 Master Dark (probably at age 53) brought the Idomeneus (again Blue Funnel) to Melbourne and Sydney. We know Walter was married to Phyllis. Together the Darks ran a small hotel in Torquay. Subsequently the Darks moved up North and settled in Eastham on the Wirral. They had two children Phyllis and Victor. Phyllis worked for the Mobil Company in Birkenhead but has passed on. Victor went to university - his fate is unknown but if alive would be in his eighties. It is believed he never married and finished up in Cornwall (possibly farming). After Phyllis died it is believed Mrs Dark went to live with Victor. Walter was 510, 180 lbs with a tattoo (' brigg'?) on the right forearm.

Bill Davies
4th December 2007, 16:28

Recall the name (not common) being mentioned by some of the 'old timers' but he probably retired (judging by his birth date) around the time I was a 15 year old Deck Boy in 55.
Wish you success in your search. In the short time I have been on this sight I never cease to be amazed at the knowledge out there and I'm sure some old hand will pop up in the near future.


Bill Davies

4th December 2007, 17:18
Walter Francis Dark comes up in as born Barnstable, Devon in 1890. I am a a lapsed subscriber so unable to track further.