On Shore and Afloat - Volume 3 – No. 12 – Apr/May 1977

29th July 2016, 10:53
Dear All,

Hope some of the names below bring back memories.

On Shore and Afloat - Volume 3 – No. 12 – Apr/May 1977

It was announced in the 1977 New Year Honours List that Mr. John Norman Laverack, Chief Engineer of Hero had been made an MBE. He joined Ellerman’s Wilson Line in January 1947 as a Junior Engineer of Bassano engaged in the New York transatlantic trade. He was appointed Chief Engineer of Gitano in November 1951.

Capt. TT (Tommy) Bates officially retired on 31 March 1977. He joined E&P’s Algerian as an Apprentice on 01 March 1927. During his apprenticeship he also served on Egyptian, Maronian, Fabian and Darino. He completed his apprenticeship in September 1931. He obtained his 2nd Mate’s Certificate in March 1932 and found himself unemployed. Eventaually Ellermans fitted out City of Oxford and Egyptian for the purpose of employing ex Apprentices. City of Oxford in fact actually sailed on a few voyages completely manned by Officers and Apprentices other than those in the Catering Department and the Radio Officer. Capt. Hilditch commanded City of Oxford and Capt. Harnden Egyptian. He joined City of Oxford March 1932 and with other Ellerman Apprentices served intermittently on this ship as well as Egyptian, Lisbon and Destro. On 02 February 1935 whilst serving as AB on City of Oxford he was promoted to 3/O of Oporto and served in a similar capacity on Palmella, Dido and Estrellano until 01 September 1937. He obtained his Mate’s Certificate very shortly afterwards and on 15 November 1937 joined Lisbon on 15 November 1937 still as 3/O continuing in this capacity until 10 August 1938 when he was promoted to 2/O on the same ship then subsequently on Destro until he obtained his Master’s certificate in April 1940. Again he found himself frustrated due to heavy war casualties in the fleet and he was employed in the Marine Department at Alexandra Dock, Liverpool for some months before joining Macclesfield on 17 November 1941. This vessel was managed by Ellerman’s Wilson Line on coastal voyages between Liverpool, Bristol Channel ports, Plymouth, Fowey and Falmouth – a very lively trade so far as enemy aircraft were concerned. He left Macclesfied on 25 May 1942 and had a further spell of coastal relief work intermingled with office duties in the Marine Department until 26 August 1943 when he and other Ellerman Masters and Officers found themselves in Canada assuming the management of three Park ships. He was appointed 2/O of Mount Revelstoke Park and subsequently Chief Officer of that vessel in May 1944. She was on the Canada / India service. He returned to the UK in March 1945 and after only a week’s leave he was engaged in port relief work once more. He eventually joined City of Lancaster on 11 May 1945 remaining there until 13 August 1945. The following month he was appointed Chief Officer of Ben H. Miller which later became City of Shrewsbury. He spent over 10 months on her and left on 26 July 1946 to stand by HMS Algerian at Wallsend-on-Tyne where she was being re-converted to Algerian. He remained with Algerian until 25 Feb 1948 when, after leave and without notice, flown out to Lisbon to relieve the Chief Officer of Mercian who had been promoted to command. This was 12 March 1948 and Mercian’s maiden voyage. He left Mercian on her return to Liverpool on 30 March 1948 to come ashore to the Liverpool Marine Department on a temporary basis. In March 1949 he joined Ionian as Chief Officer and remained there until 14 February 1950 when he was appointed Chief Officer of Darinian to undertake six voyages in and out of Liverpool to enable him to sit his Mersey Pilot’s Licence for vessels of not more than 21 feet in draft. He obtained the Licence on 13 September 1950 and was then appointed Master of Darinian. He remained there until September 1955. He was then one year on Anglian and then it was the brand new Florian from February 1956 until March 1961 when he became Assistant Marine Superintendent at Liverpool. On the death of Capt. W. Shepherd in September 1963 when he became E&P Marine Superintendent.

WG Brown, Purser, resigned 31 March 1977 to emigrate to South Africa. He joined Ellermans in January 1971 and was promoted to Purser in May 1974.

DA (Derek) Hudson, Purser, has also resigned to emigrate to Australia. He joined in April 1966 and was promoted to Purser in February 1974.

Capt AG Freeman retired in 1961. His last command was City of York. He joined Hall Line as 3/O of Croxteth Hall in July 1917 on her maiden voyage to India. She was mined and sank off Bombay with the loss of 9 lives. On 02 March 1942 he joined the oil burning City of Singapore. The C/O was A. Fry; 2/O was George Greenhow; 3/O was A. Cucksey, Cadet was Whieldon and the C/E was Maloy. They sailed from London a few days later and were carrying 20 tons of TNT, NAAFI stores and general cargo for the 8th Army in North Africa. The convoy of 28 ships reached a latitude somewhat south of Biscay when they were attacked by a pack of U-boats. 10 ships were sunk and the remainder were ordered to scatter. They arrived in Freetown where a new convoy was formed comprising of 16 ships escorted by a corvette and 4 armed trawlers. Once the escorts left the convoy dispersed. They then headed for Cape Town then Lourenco Marques, Port Sudan, Suez and finally Port Said. They were then sent to Abadan. They then sailed for the west coast of India loading a general cargo for UK. All went well round the Cape to Takoradi where they joined a convoy of 16 ships. On 01 May 1943 when within 120 miles of Freetown the convoy was attacked by U-Boats and 7 ships were lost. The last ship being C/o Singapore. Two naval ships arrived the following afternoon and picked up about 400 men from the 7 vessels. She was the 7th ship to be sunk while Capt. Freeman was aboard.

RM Carney was promoted to Master on 02 February 1977 and assumed command of City of Florence on 09 February 1977. He joined the Company in June 1960 as 2/O and was promoted to Chief Officer in December 1963.

IC Dorse was promoted to Master on 22 February 1977. He joined the Company in 1954 as a Cadet and was promoted to 2/O in June 1960 and to Chief Officer in July 1966.

Mr. TC Mitchell, a former Chief Engineer with E&B and ECL retired on 30 November 1976 at the retiring age of 62.

Mr. Harold Wright, former ship’s Carpenter, retired 31 March 1977 following his 65th birthday on 28 March 1977. He joined Ellermans in 1950 and served on City of Durban for almost 12 years.

Engineer Commodore WD (Willie) Watson died 15 February 1977 following a heart attack at the age of 64. He joined the Company as 4th Engineer in February 1935 and was promoted to Chief Engineer in June 1952. In November 1970 he was promoted to Commodore Chief Engineer. He retired on 01 June 1976.

Mr. James Grant died 13 March 1977 aged 73. He joined Ellerman’s Wilson Line as Chief Engineer in April 1947 on Spero. His last vessel was Volo. He retired in January 1969.

Mr. SR Blackburne died 01 December 1976 at the age of 78. A former Purser with E&B he retired in July 1956.

Mr. W. Howitson died 13 December 1976 aged 73. A former Quartermaster with E&B he retired on 14 April 1968.

Mr. WJ Langton died 23 January 1977 after a long illness at his home in Herne Bay at the age of 57. “Snowy” Langton joined Ellermans in January 1948 and served as ship’s Carpenter on many of the larger vessels including the Big 4.

Capt. DW (Dudley) Penberthy died 03 April 1977 aged 67. He joined E&B as an Apprentice in 1925. He came ashore to New York in 1942, returning to London as Loading Superintendent in the Royal Albert Docks for E&B’s South African service in 1946. He retired on 31 December 1972. His father, Capt. FW Penberthy was a former Master with E&B.