Cruising unties the knots

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We sail from Sydney at 4.00 pm on Sunday (5th Feb) for a thirteen night cruise to New Zealand – land of the long white cloud.

We will visit,

Bay of Islands
Auckland
Tauranga
Napier
Wellington
Akaroa
Dunedin
We will then sail around the southern tip of New Zealand to cruise the Fiordland National Park on the south west coastal area, after which we sail back to Sydney.

Tonnage 77,441
Passengers – 1998
Crew – 924

 

The last time I sailed around the New Zealand coast was as 3rd Mate in the Bankura about 1966. We were on the Calcutta, Australian eastern ports, NZ coast run. Each voyage Calcutta to Calcutta would take around three months.

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Tonnage – 6,793 gt
Passengers – zero
Crew – perhaps sixty, if that  . . . . .I can’t remember.

The cruise in the Dawn Princess will add three new ports for me – Bay of Islands, Tauranga and Akaroa.
Bankura used to call at Lyttelton, which would allow us time to visit Christchurch, but since the earthquakes cruise ships no longer call at Lyttelton, but Akaroa, which is further away from Christchurch, but even so, we’ll visit Christchurch by road.
The only port that I will not see again is Timaru, which is between Akaroa and Dunedin.

These three new ports will take my city count to 486, fourteen short of my target.

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Do pictures lie?

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Shakespeare in Paris – I loved browsing in this shop, they have a large selection of books in English.
My wife and I and another couple decided to do a self-catering holiday in Europe staying in Paris, Barcelona, Madrid & Lisbon. We wanted to travel between each place by train, but between Madrid and Lisbon we had to fly – we didn’t want the night train and flying was more economical.
In Paris I was looking for a two-bedroom mid-priced apartment, not too far from a metro station, and within walking distance of some of the main attractions.
I found what looked like the right place, and after we’ve all seen the web site photographs and read the accompanying blurb I booked this apartment for four nights.

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The above photographs are from the web site of the agency renting this property.

The above two pictures are of the living / dining room. The problem was that on the left-hand side of the mirrored cupboard was a very large damp patch that we could smell before seeing the area. Below the damp area was an electrical plug, which was lose. I found this out when trying to plug in a recharger for my camera. The plug came out of the wall and was damp. Fortunately I did not receive an electric shock.

entryway-1500The hallway was close to the actual hallway. Again taken from the web site.

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This was our bedroom with the en-suite to the left of the wardrobe. The wardrobe door was a struggle to open, and I was always concerned that if I pulled too hard the whole thing would fall on me.
The toilet in the en-suite was an ‘electric’ toilet, which I’d never heard of, and my wife & I were always concerned that it wouldn’t flush properly after making some very strange noises as it built up power so as to actually flush.

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 The next bedroom was used by our friends.

When researching for the right accommodation I wanted to make sure that we had access to a washing machine, but the web site never mentioned that the washing machine was in the cupboard of our friend’s bedroom. It can just be seen in what I thought was their wardrobe.

All the remaining photographs are mine.

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 This one is of the entrance to the apartment, through the green doors.

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We could have done with a miner’s helmet each, as we fumbled our way through the alleyway, after entering through the green door.

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Climbing the stairs to the apartment’s front door was OK, to a point, but try carrying heavy suitcases up the narrow stair way.
Let’s just say our Paris accommodation was a great disappointment.

I did like the dinky toy parked outside of our entrance.

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And it seems that you can park dinky toys where every you like in Paris . .

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Regardless of our accommodation we did enjoy our time in Paris and shopping for our own food.

 

A look around Pacific Jewel for peace & quiet . . .

The Atrium, shown below, which was located at the centre of the ship over three decks.

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dsc07336rWe often sat on the top floor of the atrium, because it had a small bar called Mixes, and we were as far as possible away from any loud music.
Around 5.00 pm on the bottom deck of the atrium a piano player and a young lady playing the flute could be heard as the music gently floated upwards – all very civilized. The background music would allow us to chat with our neighbours, without shouting.

There were several other bars, but for one main reason we would always return to The Mixes Bar, the reason being the lack of noise, not just the wine.

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The atrium was popular for afternoon trivia, which was often quite funny.

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We did try The Orient Bar, shown above, but this bar had loud music that killed even the thought of conversation, which managed to drive us away – we never returned, which was a shame, because they had Fat Yak beer on tap, but I valued my ears more than a pint.

Next door was the Connexions Bar, and I did enjoy their music, and the musicians were entertaining, but once again after a short time the loudness drove us away.

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On one of the higher decks we visited The Dome. dome_aria

I don’t think the Dome was a popular place – the above picture of the Dome is from P & O web site.
After visiting it for the first time I overheard someone refer to it as the ‘geriatric ward’ of the ship, because it was miserable.
Later in the cruise Maureen and I returned to the Dome to watch our granddaughters dance on the small dance floor. The members of the children’s club had been taught a routine by the club guides.
While I waited for them to start I picked up the wine menu and asked for a pino gris – We’ve run out Sir, – so I chose another wine, which was sauvignon blanc –
Sorry we don’t have that either – I then picked a chardonnay, –
Sorry we don’t have that one . .
What do you have? I asked, feeling exasperated.
We have this one, which was a chardonnay, and my least favourite out of a full page of white wines. . . . . now I knew why the place was miserable.

All the children were very good and they were a credit to the staff who ran the children’s club.  We didn’t return to this bar after the dances had finished.

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This place was called ‘The Café’, and it was on the pool deck, just inside the air-conditioned accommodation. It was quiet, and gave good service. The Cafe concentrated on chocolate and coffee drinks, with cakes etc, but they also had a range of wines & bottled beers. It was a very good place to sit while the grandchildren, supervised by their parents, wore themselves out in the pool. The Café had very faint background music, which could be heard in the bar area. The music was just loud enough to be recognizable, yet did not intrude on ones conversation. Very convenient for the pool and a pleasant place to sit and read.

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Pool bar outside was always popular from 10.00 am onwards.

From the pool bar or the surrounding area, you could watch a film with the soundtrack booming out over the screams of the children in the pool. I wasn’t interested in watching the films. I knew that the ship was 25 years old, but I was surprised to see that one of the films was older than the ship – and me!

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Most daylight films were animated children’s films, except for the one above, which I can not remember the name.

If I hadn’t already cruised with Princess Line and Azamara Line I think this recent cruise with P & O Australia would have put me off cruising in the future.

Sail Away

dsc07088rSail Away

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It gave me a very nice feeling to sail under the Red Duster once more, even if I was only a passenger. I took the picture of the ensign when we were in Noumea.

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The P & O ship ‘Pacific Jewel’ is registered in London. She was launched in 1989 for Princess Line and in 2006 passed to P & O. She recently underwent a major restoration.

Having experienced cruise checking in at Venice, Sydney (Circular Quay) and Singapore I was disappointed with the check-in at White Bay. People wondered in to the terminal and then realised that they didn’t have the required government document to complete before they could check-in for the cruise. They then exited the building in the hope of finding someone who had the required forms.

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While in the building we couldn’t understand the loud speakers, and only picked up the occasional word and had to work out whether the announcement was meant for us or not.
Eventually we found our way to the processing line and joined the queue to check-in. On reaching the front we were checked in and issued with a piece of paper stating that we were in group 12 to board, after emigration and customs.

As in the other cruise boarding terminals, we waited for our boarding number to be called, but there wasn’t any indication as to the number currently being processed. In Venice they had an electronic board showing the boarding number so you could plan your movements. The Venice system was similar to a railways station indicator board – all very efficient.
Eventually we managed to find out that the ‘system’ was processing group number 10. A guard at the gate had a small card with ‘10’ written on the card, so we waited and watched a few people passing through to customs. The number was quite small and we could see the short line in front of the emigration desk, so we just wondered passed the guard, who didn’t ask for our number, and passed through the system . . .

At security (the walk through scanner) I mentioned my pacemaker and flashed my notification card. I was taken aside for a physical security check. The person who did the checking (a male) made several comments that I had to give him permission to touch me – he was very insistent that I was aware each time he was going to touch me.
It appears that we have become a society that we cannot just accept that we have to be touched for a security search, without the person doing the search to be frightened of the repercussions of touching someone.

Once onboard we dropped our hand baggage and went for lunch. After lunch we returned to our cabin to find out suitcases parked outside our cabin door. We’d released control of our suitcases before entered the terminal.
We had plenty of storage facilities so we were able to unpack completely and stow our suitcases out of sight.

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Our cabin was an inside cabin – one of the cheapest – but large enough for our needs. The bathroom was small, but not too small considering that I am over six feet tall. The shower was larger than I expected with very good water pressure.

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Our friendly steward (from Vanuatu) entertained us with towel ‘sculptures’.

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By 4.00 pm we were on the top deck to enjoy our departure – mobile bars helped with the party feel. Click on the link at the top of this page for Enya singing.

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 View of the harbour bridge, under which we will sail.

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The green park area is the new Barrangarro park, which used to be an industrial area.

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A last look at the city. . . .and part of the new park.

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We approach the bridge . . construction was started in 1924, and it took 1400 men eight years to complete. Sixteen lives were lost during its construction. It has six million hand driven rivets, and 53,000 tons of steels was used in its construction. It now carries eight road lanes and two rail tracks, one in each direction.

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   dsc07107rTrain passing overhead.

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We cleared it with ease; the larger cruise ships cannot pass under the bridge and have to dock at Circular Quay, which is on the seaward side of the bridge.

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All clear

dsc07114rWalkers on top of the bridge waving like mad as we pass under them . . .$288 plus / person for a daylight climb, $353 to $383 for a twilight climb to watch the sunset, $248 to $273 for a night time climb, and $373 to $383 for a dawn climb. I moved to Sydney in 1985 from Melbourne and as yet I have not ‘done’ the climb. There are a few hundred reasons why I haven’t, all of them include the $ sign.

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Passing the Opera House – from this angle it reminds me a helmet of a round head soldier during the English civil war.

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The four in yellow are some of the ship’s crew teaching passengers a particular dance to some very loud and fast music. One couldn’t help but join in the foot tapping.

dsc07124rApproaching the harbour entrance and leaving the city behind.

dsc07127r It wasn’t long before both granddaughters were in the pool.

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While grandson prepares for his first flying fox experience of this holiday.

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He’s off!

dsc07257rAs he zooms passed.

We stopped at the mouth of the harbor, and I thought this was so as to drop off the pilot. We drifted for some time and the ship was kept on station using her thrusters.

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South Head point of the harbour as we waited and waited. Eventfully the Captain made an announcement that there was a medical emergency onboard. A short while later we saw a police boat come alongside, it looked like a medical craft (red and white squares) as if it belongs to the Red Cross.
I was told later that a handcuffed man was seen to be helped in to the ‘medical’ police craft and taken away. This of course generated a number of different reasons for the handcuffs and whether he was a passenger or crew member or even a stowaway.

Once this small boat was clear of us it was full steam ahead for our holiday.

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Hoi An Historic Hotel

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When we visited Hoi An this hotel was just called the Hoi An Hotel, I am not sure when it became ‘historic’, although we did enjoy staying there at the time.

Hoi An had the feeling that the town was just beginning to attract foreign tourists. The main attraction at the time seemed to be the ability to buy tailor made suits / dresses much cheaper than back home in Australia.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe driveway to the front of the hotel.

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The pool was clean and very pleasant for swimming. The rooms were dark wood furniture, with wooden floors for coolness. Fully air-conditioned, plus a ceiling fan.

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We found the staff keen to please, very polite and friendly. I had a small problem when I asked for couple of small (20 ml) containers of milk for tea in our room, because we had used the original two the previous evening. I was given the milk and asked to sign for them, because they would be charged to my room.

Later, as the person who had made the booking on behalf of our group, I was asked to fill in a guest form, obviously because we were foreigners. I was happy to so, and commented that charging for 20 ml containers of milk will turn people away, because tourist object to rip-offs.

I posted the comment card in the box provided and we all went off for a day of sightseeing.

On our return I was asked by the Manager to join him in his office because he had read my comments and wanted clarification.

We had a very friendly chat and he accepted my ‘comment’ about the charge for the milk – the charges were immediately cancelled, and he also put out an instruction to the front desk that they would no longer charge for small items.

I was flattered that the Manager was so interested in what I had to say. He asked me many questions about the different hotels that we’d stayed in during the previous couple of years. He told me that his problem was only having local hotels to judge if he was offering the right level of service to international travelers, so he was very keen to learn.

It was a pleasure to help him out, but I only wish certain other hotels (no name, no pack drill), would ask for their guests’ opinion while the guest was still at the hotel, rather than making excuses on Trip Advisor, after a guest has made a public negative comment. In my opinion the standard in any hotel is set by the manager – poor service to a paying guest, shows poor management.

If (hopefully when) we return to Hoi An I wouldn’t hesitate in staying at the Hoi An Hotel again, historic or not. . . . .

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We had a decent size room (36 sq mt) on the third floor – the above picture is from the hotel web site – I can’t find my photographs of our room.

Hotels with style . .

 

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I’d always wanted to return to Sri Lanka (still Ceylon in my mind) to show Maureen something different, but this time I wanted to stay at the Mount Lavinia Hotel, not just visit for lunch as I had when I was at sea.

We flew in from Malaysia and after immigration & customs we entered a colourful mad house of people shouting and gesturing in the arrival halls. The air conditioning system was losing the battle against the humidity of the outside world. I was back in Ceylon after nearly thirty years, it had the same smells, the same heat, the same friendly faces – I loved being back, and only hoped that I hadn’t over sold the holiday to my wife.The Mount Lavinia hotel is about a ninety minute drive south of the airport, which is only about 43 kms in distance (about 25 miles), but this depends on the traffic of course. imgp0657r

We had to drive through the centre of Colombo, which was an experience in itself.

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I’d picked the hotel because as a cadet, during my time at sea, I’d visited the Mount Lavinia Hotel for a genuine Sunday curry lunch, and I wanted to experience the location, and the local food once again, but this time with Maureen.

The hotel used to be the Governor’s home governors-palace in 1805 and remained so for many years. Click on the link and read of the romance between the 2nd Governor, Sir Thomas Maitland and a dancer and how the hotel was named.

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Entrance to Mount Lavinia Hotel.

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dsc03223rA touch of the old days with pith helmets. . .

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 The hotel is located on a small promontory jutting out in to the sea, and overlooking a magnificent beach, which is lapped by the Indian Ocean. The feel and design of the hotel is old colonial, but it had all of the 21st century requirements. The hotel owns this part of the beach.

dsc03211rThe cooling effect of an ‘indoor’ water fall as you checked in to the hotel.

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Picture taken from the hotel web site – all other photographs are my own.

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View from our room – one of the cheaper rooms.

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Small bar area near reception, most of the time we would sit out near the pool and admire the ocean view. When I visited as a cadet the pool area was a large lawn that sloped down to the cliff’s edge. We would have a beer and then the curry and find a shaded area to have a doze before returning to the ship. The roads were not as crowded then, so the taxi ride to the hotel used to be quite pleasant. Today the ride from the city is about thirty minutes or more, and the airport is further north of the city, which is why it takes so long to drive from the airport to this hotel – but we considered it worth the effort..

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Pool

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Sometimes we would have our evening meal in this area – enjoying a cool evening breeze – and we were covered in case of rain.

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We would sit at the far end near the ocean and watch the sunset – never tired of watching the sun go down. We did see a wedding party with spot lights and professional movie style cameras
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What more could I want  . . . ?

How about eating on the beach in the evening  . . the restaurant is the thatched area on the right.

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dsc03221rThe restaurant can be seen on the left – the tide never came in far enough to upset our meal.

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As you see the floor is sand packed tight. Reservations required even if you are a hotel guest. The restaurant is owned by the hotel so you sign and put it on your room account.

dsc03240rI think it had just started to rain, but we were dry under the thatched roof.

dsc03279rThe fish is displayed in ice and the price marked is per 100 grams, which includes rice or chips (French fries), and salad or vegetables. Tell the cook how big a piece you want and it is cut fresh from the whole fish, and they are seldom wrong when estimating the weight before cutting – they weigh the piece in front of you and ask how you want it cooked. For me it is always grilled and I like swordfish, tuna, and any steak style fish slightly pink in the middle – it was grilled perfectly. In the photograph you can see 300 LKR (Sri Lankan rupees), which is about AUD $2.50 for 100 grams of Grupa (Grouper) fish.

dsc03283rIf you can not find your fish in the ice display just pick from the blackboard.

All the fish on display was that day’s catch, and still whole at the start of the evening. Some of the fish were very large and it was fascinating to watch as the exact weight that I required, was cut from a large swordfish – none of the portions that I saw, even from the smallest fish, had bones attached to that portion.

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Breakfast could be inside, in air conditioned comfort – or outside in the pool area.

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 Hot food just outside the air-conditioned dining room.

 A lovely hotel with old world charm and friendly staff, a relaxing time for both of us.

Quit ye like men and they did . . .

 

From the beginning the ship attracted a certain type of boy.

1860 Mathew Webb captain_matthew_webbwent on to be the first man to swim the English Channel.

1861 Warrington Baden Powell  later in life was the founder of the Sea Scouts.

1868 Admiral Sir  Sackville Carden Carden KCMG RN sir_sackville_carden was asked by Churchill, who was First Lord of the Admiralty, to produce a strategy to knock Turkey out of the First World War. His plan was accepted and he was in charge of the initial landings, which were successful. He was replaced when he became ill and his plan was altered, which included landing troops further south than the original plan – this alteration became the Gallipoli failure.

1871 Sir Hamilton Gould Adams hamilton_goold-adams commanded the troops that defeated the Matabele 1893 and was in command of Mafeking through out the siege. As Governor of Queensland he laid the foundation stone for Brisbane town hall in 1917.

In 1889 The Cadet was started – I had the whole magazine in 1960.I can not remember what happened the-cadet-frontback-cover

to the innards. Above is the front & back of the same edition.

herbert-haddockOn a different note Capt. Herbert Haddock (Conway 1875- 77) was the first Captain of the Titanic. He delivered the vessel to the White Star Line, (from the builders) at which time, even though he was one of the Company’s most experienced captains, he was removed and posted to the Olympic as commander, and Captain Smith of the Olympic was given command of the Titanic.

james-moodyJames Moody (1902-03) was the sixth officer on the Titanic and had only been at sea for six years. He stayed with the ship making sure the lifeboats got away until the end, he didn’t survive the sinking. There is memorial to him Woodland Cemetery Scarborough.

capt-_arthur_h-_rostron_r-d-_r-n-r 1885 Sir Arthur Henry Rostron – he was thirteen when he joined Conway and in 1895 he joined Cunard Line. He was Captain of the Carpathia in 1912, and rescued nearly 700 survivors of the Titanic. Later he commanded the Mauritania and was Commodore of the Cunard Line.

philip_bent1912 Lt Colonel Philip Bent VC, DSO gained his 2nd Mates ticket after leaving Conway, but volunteered for the army in 1914 as a private solider, and was posted to the Leicestershire Regiment. His regiment was sent to the Western Front.
Losses were so great that within three year this 23 year old had been promoted from the ranks through various positions to become Lt Colonel of his regiment. His battalion attacked Polygon Wood in Belgium. The attack was unsuccessful and the Germans counter attacked the British lines. The situation became critical, so Colonel Bent collected a platoon that was in reserve and a number of other soldiers and lead them in to a counter attack. He lead from the front shouting ‘Come on Tigers’ – unfortunately he was killed, but the attack was successful. For his bravery he was awarded the VC.

In WW1 Conway cadets were awarded 3 VC,(Victoria Cross, the highest award for bravery in the British military, it has only been award to 1358 times since 1856) 42 DSO, (awarded to officers in the army above Captain – it was considered that the individual had just missed out on a VC), 48 DSC (a navy medal), 21 MC, (Military Cross usually given for bravery on land), 2 AFC, 4 DFC (the AFC stands for Air Force Cross and the DFC is Distinguished Flying Cross) unusual awards for cadets of a naval college.

During WW2 the Commander (2nd in charge) of HMS Ajax at the battle of the River Plate was Douglas Everett 1911-13. Rear Admiral Everett, as he was to become, was Chief Staff Officer for the planning of the invasion of Sicily, and later Commander in Chief Hong Kong amongst other senior appointments.

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Ian Fraser 1936 – 38 – commanded a midget submarine against the Japanese. During his approach to the Japanese cruiser Takao, he deliberately left the safe channel and entered a minefield to avoid being detected by hydrophones. The target was in very low water and only the midship section was where the water was deep enough for him to place his mines. After forty minutes approaching the cruiser he forced his own craft under the centre of the target. He placed limpet mines and dropped his main charges, which were attached to his midget sub. He had great difficulty in extracting his midget sub from under the cruiser, but eventually he was clear and made his way out to sea through mined waters. he was awarded the VC and the Legion of Merit by the USA. When the mines exploded they blew a hole in the cruiser 20 x 10 mt (66 ft x 33 ft)

Beneath the waves – lionel_crabbBuster Crabb  1922 – 23 – in WW2 he volunteered for mine and bomb disposal and was posted to Gibraltar in 1942. The Italians, using human torpedoes, attacked Gibraltar from Algeciras in neutral Spain. Crabb scouted the harbour at night looking for unexploded under water bombs. For his work and courage he was awarded the George medal, which is the second highest award for a civilian. In 1948 he spent time checking the hulls of ships for mines in Haifa in Israel.In 1956 he disappeared while diving near a Russian warship in Portsmouth harbour. Officially he was reported drowned, but rumors have it that he was working for MI6 Some say he was captured and taken aboard the Russian vessel. A corpse was found later that year, but it was badly decomposed and its head was missing along with its hands  . . . . .

On the literary side for Conway we havejohn_masefield John Masefield (1891-94) the poet laureate, who wrote many poems linked to the sea. Sea Fever being one of his most popular along with  Cargos

This short poem was found after his ashes had ben interned in the poet’s corner in Westminster Abbey.

 

Let no religious rite be done or read
In any place for me when I am dead,
But burn my body into ash, and scatter
The ash in secret into running water,
Or on the windy down, and let none see;
And then thank God that there’s an end of me.

duffdoug Douglas V Duff  (1914 – 15) – author of over one hundred novels after an exciting ‘Boys Own’ real life. His ship was torpedoed in 1917 (he was sixteen at the time)  and was one of only two survivors. He went back to sea and was torpedoed again when he was eighteen. After the war he joined the Royal Ulster Constabulary and tried to arrest Michael Collins, who told him not to be daft because he was surrounded by body guards and they would shoot him. Later he joined the Palestine Police Force. The photo is of him in the Palestine Police uniform. In WW2 he joined the Dover patrol, set submarine nets in the Suez Canal and sailed a schooner called ‘Eskimo Nell’ through the German blockade in to Tobruk. He later became involved in broadcasting and TV work until his death in 1978.

In more modern times we have

cyril_abrahamCyril Abrahams (1928 -30) author of the Onedin Line.

There are a large number of Conway authors, some writing text books, others biographies and yet others novels.

In the sporting field we had Sir clive_woodwardClive Woodward Coach / Manager of the British rugby team that won the World Cup 2003.

D.G Chapman represented Great Britain in the Amsterdam Olympics 1928

John Bligh – rugby for England – Walter Elliot Rugby for England – E.A Hamilton-Hill Rugby for England

Jay ‘Birdie’ Hooper – represented Bermuda in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Back to the sea for one family –

The Warwick family –

bil_warwickCaptain Bil Warwick 1926 – 28, Master of the Queen Elizabeth & Queen Mary and he was the first Master of Queen Elizabeth II, and later became the fourth Conway to be come Commodore of the Cunard Line.

His brother was also an old Conway 1948 – 49 and went to sea, and his son Eldon John 1955-56 followed the family to sea and ended up in command of his own ship.

Bill’s youngest son

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Ron Warwick 1956 -57, after a number of years at sea became chief officer of Queen Elizabeth II when she was requisitioned for the Falkland war. In 1990 he was appointed Captain of the Queen Elizabeth II and later became the first Captain of Queen Mary II and in 2003 became the Commodore of Cunard.

Falkland War

The invasion was reported by the British Antarctic Survey Base commander Steve Martin 1970-73.

Later Brian Lockwood 1972-74 reported that the Argentinians had landed on South Georgia.

When the decision to retake the Falkland Islands had been made the Assistant Chief of Defence, Vice Admiral David Brown 1941 – 45, got to work.

He had the help from other Conway cadets – Deputy Chief of Fleet Support Rear Admiral Edwards 1941 – 44.

Preparing the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Captain Butterworth 1941 – 43

Chief of Staff to the Joint Service Commander of the task force Vice Admiral Peter Woodhead 1954 – 57

Passenger ship ‘Queen Elizabeth II’ Chief Officer R. W. Warwick 1956 -57

Chief Officer of the Norland (which was a North Sea ferry fitted out as a troop ship) R. B. Lough 1961 – 63

Geesport a forward support ship – Captian G de Ferry Foster 1954 – 56

Europic Ferry – carrying troops, helicopters and equipment – Master W. Clarke 1959 -62, Chief officer Norman Bamford 1961 – 63, Second officer Alan Burns 1948 – 50 and one of the Staff Sergeants being ferried to war R.L Peacock 1969 – 71

Baltic Ferry – Master E. Harrison 1954 – 56 Second officer Bill Langton 1967 – 69

RFA Fort George Master DGM Averill 1941 – 43

RFA Sir Tristram master Captain G Green 1949 – 51

There were eight other old Conway’s involved  – I don’t think the Argentinians realised what was about to happen to them now that HMS Conway was involved.   :-o)

What ever your politics in the UK Ian Duncan Smith 1969 – 74 used to be the leader of the Tory party in the UK. Currently an MP in the British Parliament.

capt-hewittCaptain Eric Hewitt 1919 – 21 – he joined the RNR (Royal Navy Reserves) on leaving Conway and completed his sea time for 2nd Mates in the merchant navy. On the outbreak of war in 1939 he was called up for the RNR, and having served over the years in the RNR held the rank of Lt Commander.

He served in the Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf and took part in the invasion of Sicily. He was mentioned in dispatches for protecting a Mediterranean convoy. He was involved with the Normandy landings and when promoted to Captain he was the youngest serving Captain in the RNR.

He was on Earl Mountbatten’s staff in Singapore responsible for the movement of all ships in the Far East. He followed Mountbatten to India to supervise the withdrawal of British forces from India by sea.

In 1948 he accepted the position of Staff Captain at HMS Conway and the following year he was Captain Superintendent. It was Captain Hewitt who interviewed me when I applied to join the Conway.

In 1956 Captain Hewitt was ADC to HM The Queen and later became High Sheriff of Anglesey.

Captain Hewitt was a fine example for hundreds of Conway cadets over the years. He died in 1995 at the age of 91.

The above list of old Conway boys is just a very small sample of the 11,000 cadets that experienced life as a young teenager at HMS Conway between 1859 and 1974.

Conway closed in 1974, so it’ll not be long before we can no longer say ‘You’ll find on the bridge a Conway boy.’