Captain William Watson (otherwise known as Soapy) - Ships Nostalgia
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Captain William Watson (otherwise known as Soapy)

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  #1  
Old 2nd November 2016, 13:48
ian keyl ian keyl is offline  
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Captain William Watson (otherwise known as Soapy)

Through a good friend of mine ex BL he is looking for info on Captain Watson for a third party .
I know he was a certain charmer for the ladies and had a colourful married life ,the last I remember he was married to wealthy lady in Belgium who chased him for whatever when it came to divorce to the extent he was unable to transit Belgium as he was wanted for failing to sign a certain paper.
( this all has traces of modern world politics holding people to ransom for not signing a piece of paper. ) If anyone remembers him and may have sailed with him any info would be grateful except runs up the road !!!.
I will pass them on . I know a friend was second mate on the Arty and Soapy came down on deck to talk to him and asked are you married ?,yes was the reply do you have a joint bank account? yes was the reply , to which Soapy said you need your brain testing , so he must have had bitter feelings to the married women then.
I found him a full of spirits man easy to talk to and liked a ships party,I only knew him from two coasts and a couple of times in the HQ.

Rgds Ian.
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  #2  
Old 2nd November 2016, 21:49
forthbridge forthbridge is offline  
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My only encounter with him was in the early 1960s when he was Chief Officer on Benvorlich. Captain Pryde who was Master at the time had to be taken off to hospital in a far east port (I think Penang) and Soapy was promoted to Master , I am not sure if that was a permanent promotion but it was certainly until the end of the trip. I never met him again. I suspect this is not the type of information your friend needs.
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  #3  
Old 3rd November 2016, 16:25
ian keyl ian keyl is offline  
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Thank you very much Mr Toshack,
long time no speak we did quite a few coasts together in the good old days ,I still wonder what happened to Wallie Coutts, Malcolm (with beard) from Fife ,Keith Pearson,. I visited Mike Hudson at his home in Duns and had a cuppa and dram with him , quite sad as he was lonely having lost his wife a few years ago. I used to call on him and Davy Drummond and go for a pint in Inverkeithing .

Well Davy back to the subject in question, Yes that is the kind of info required as they are trying to put a time line together on Soapy. Thanks again for that, I was having a cuppa with Peter Murphy this morning at his home in Horseforth Leeds and he felt sure Soapy remained a master from that date.
Cheers more Beers and keep her steady. Rgds Ian
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  #4  
Old 3rd November 2016, 20:10
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Never sailed with Soapy but I know that he and the late Henry Galloway Cat/Off had a few friendly arguments.One was about changing clocks.Henry reckoned that they shouldn,t be changed hourly or half hourly but by minutes. Soapy decided Henry was right and had the watchkeepers changing them sometimes by 24 minutes or by 18 minutes,depending the ships position.I only met Soapy off Kuwait when he relieved the Bennevis master. Alan Burnet. Danny Hawkins was 1st trip master on a HK ship and we met up at the anchorage at Shatt al Arab. I took Dannys store order over to Kuwait for the chandler,so the Nevis could take stores back to the HK ship. I informed Soapy when he joined what was going on. When I mentioned it was for Danny.he broke into all stories about when Danny was 3rd mate on the Wyvis. I couldn,t get away from him.
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  #5  
Old 4th November 2016, 09:03
ian keyl ian keyl is offline  
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Morning John,
What period is this meeting you are talking about ,do you refer to the Nevis ex Hogarths which we had between 77/81 and if so then Wyvis must be old Pando vessel ?.
Take care and Thanks Ian.
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  #6  
Old 4th November 2016, 12:16
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Hi Ian. It was the ex Baron Dunmore in 81 I think and the Wyvis would have been the ex Pando boat. On the Nevis we loaded in Wallaroo in Australia for Basrah but we were at anchor weeks on end before we got relieved in Kuwait.Sneaked across at night as no ship was supposed to leave the anchorage but other ships kept a radio watch for each other.It was the year Be Nevis won the Grand National at 40-1 and none of us could have got a bet on
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  #7  
Old 7th November 2016, 17:58
forthbridge forthbridge is offline  
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Hi Ian, a little more information on that trip to tie the time line down. We signed on on 3rd June 1961 in London and paid off in Antwerp on 26th October 1961 so it would be between those dates that he became master
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  #8  
Old 11th November 2016, 17:19
WildBill WildBill is offline  
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William (Soapy) Watson

I sailed with Soapy Watson on the Benarty in the mid-1970s, I was Second Engineer. Soapy and I got along very well and we even went for runs ashore together. I could relate a hundred tales about Soapy, he was such a character as well as probably being the best skipper I ever sailed with, in any shipping company. He had a brother, David, who was awarded the OBE for some reason which Iíve forgotten. I last heard of him living in the Dundee area but that was nearly forty years ago. Any news of Soapy Watson would be most welcome.
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  #9  
Old 16th December 2016, 10:14
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Eltel Eltel is offline  
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Coast on the steam 'Cruachan before the scrapper. I was 2/O. There were 5 deck cadets, including 2 first trippers and a second tripper, so we pulled the church service prank on them. Unfortunately one of the other cadets conned the second tripper to go round with a crew list to make sure everybody knew - and he included Soapy. At 1055 Soapy burst into the mate's cabin, where we were having smoko, wearing full uniform with steaming bonnet under one arm and bible under the other, and announced "Right you b*****s, it's time for church service!"

At the end of the coast I went to see him with my watchkeeping certificate. "I suppose you want me to tell a load of lies" he said. "Why", I asked, "Are you going to give me a bad one?" "You asked for it", he said. Needless to say he gave me an excellent one.
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  #10  
Old 11th February 2017, 23:15
ian keyl ian keyl is offline  
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Good evening to one and all,
I was talking to Archie Watters the other day about Captain Watson and he remembers him talking about his time as a POW when he was in prison as a cadet.

This i had not heard but I was just a raw junior and maybe not privileged to some of his life stories. what I would like to know if anyone has to hand book Ben Line Fleet at war or the BL history which I think both have in the final pages details of vessels sunk captured and names of crew lost or captured on those vessels. Archie could not remember which vessel but if I remember there were thee possible vessels, Benalbanach sunk in Med, Benavon, Benarty in Indian ocean by Atlantis and crew were taken to Italian held Somalia , If anyone can find this inf and find Captain Watson as a cadet on any of these vessels I would be very grateful for the assistance , I have the books somewhere underground in a man shed which needs a miners lamp and ferret to find them.I also found out that Capt Watson was cremated in Dundee which year we do not know may be local BL people may be able to find out. Thanks again Ian
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  #11  
Old 14th February 2017, 02:10
forthbridge forthbridge is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ian keyl View Post
Good evening to one and all,
I was talking to Archie Watters the other day about Captain Watson and he remembers him talking about his time as a POW when he was in prison as a cadet.

This i had not heard but I was just a raw junior and maybe not privileged to some of his life stories. what I would like to know if anyone has to hand book Ben Line Fleet at war or the BL history which I think both have in the final pages details of vessels sunk captured and names of crew lost or captured on those vessels. Archie could not remember which vessel but if I remember there were thee possible vessels, Benalbanach sunk in Med, Benavon, Benarty in Indian ocean by Atlantis and crew were taken to Italian held Somalia , If anyone can find this inf and find Captain Watson as a cadet on any of these vessels I would be very grateful for the assistance , I have the books somewhere underground in a man shed which needs a miners lamp and ferret to find them.I also found out that Capt Watson was cremated in Dundee which year we do not know may be local BL people may be able to find out. Thanks again Ian
I think I have both of these books somewhere, I will look tomorrow
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  #12  
Old 15th February 2017, 21:40
forthbridge forthbridge is offline  
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I have found the 1955 book and realise it will take longer to find this information than I thought.
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  #13  
Old 30th August 2017, 00:24
ian keyl ian keyl is offline  
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Captain Watson , Soapy .

These pictures were taken for the Ben Line Bulletin and Indonesian press , Pictures are of Capt, Watson is showing the Indonesian table tennis team the RFD life raft they could have needed one in the London docks as they are all standing outside the railings on the boat deck awnings very near the edge and a fall., the team who were visiting the UK visited the Benvalla and had lunch on board.
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Last edited by ian keyl; 30th August 2017 at 00:27..
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