HMS Conway - Click here to return to the menu HMS Conway 1859 - 1974

© Alfie Windsor 1998
HMS Conway - Click here to return to the menu

Staff - Captain Superintendents

There were nine Captain Superintendents and one acting Captain Superintendent between 1859 and 1968. From 1968 when Cheshire County Council took control the post of Captain Superintendent lapsed and the Headmaster took charge.

May 1859 - Apr 1860

Captain Charles Powell

He resigned after a number of tragic losses in his family


Apr 1860 - Feb 1862

Captain Alfred Royer RN

Author: The English Prisoners In Russia  Click here

Feb 1862 - 1871

Captain Richard Mowll RN

(Old Mobby)

Previously served as Chief Officer.

His family tree can be found here. Background here


1871 - 30 Sep 1881

Captain Edward Franklin RN.

Edward Franklin was born in November 1798 and entered the Navy in March 1810. In HMS Norge he was present at the attack on New Orleans and at the capture of Fort Bowyer. He was promoted Lieutenant in September 1825 after serving in the West Indies and a period of convalescence following fever and rheumatism brought on by 11 continuous years of service in the tropics.

In November 1830 he was appointed to the Coast Blockade and while serving with the Coast Guard received a silver medal and letter of thanks for his intrepid conduct in swimming off, in a gale, with a rope (all boats being stoved) and saving the lives of eight men belonging to the brig Friends, when on shore near Brighton. From a severe cold caught in capturing a smuggler during another gale he lost the sight of one eye, owing to which, when combined with acute rheumatism, he was obliged to relinquish his appointment in the Coast Guard in 1839.

He was promoted Commander in November 1846 and was in charge of a Division of Transports in the Black Sea in May 1854. The Gold Medal of the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Society was awarded to him for having risked his life in the preservation of the crew of French and English Transports wrecked in the devastating Black Sea Gale of November 11th – 14th 1854 – an event which shortly followed the Battle of Inkerman, and which had as much impact on the Allied forces as a military defeat. The storm was worst at the Balaclava anchorage where Franklin was based, on a rocky, cliff-lined coast, where ships were dragging anchors, cables were snapping and crews were trying to chop down masts to stop their ships from foundering or being driven ashore to provide easy targets for the Russians. The losses of life (French, British and Turkish) were about 1,000 in all, around a third of whom were British. Some 50 vessels were wrecked and destroyed, the Marquis and the Mary Anne being lost with all hands. Only 6 of the 150 crew aboard the new screw-transport vessel Prince were saved; she had just landed the 46th (South Devonshire) Regiment, but not the vital winter clothing or medical supplies she was carrying beneath the ammunition. On the morning of November 15th Franklin set off early to obtain permission from the flagship to organise a full-scale rescue programme. Contemporary accounts of the storm suggest that he took the initiative at the earliest possible moment under the appalling circumstances, and many lives were saved amongst the floating wreckage strewn along the coast. Franklin became a Captain in July, 1857 and served in this capacity until February 1868.

Three years later, in 1871, he was appointed Captain Superintendent at HMS Conway, a position he held until September 1881, being promoted to Rear Admiral on his retirement.

His four medals were:

Crimea 1854, 1 clasp Sebastopol, engraved in plain capitals (Commander Edward Franklin. R.N)

Royal National Lifeboat Institution, silver medal, George IV obverse (Lieut. Edward. Franklin. R.N. Voted 12 December. 1838.)

Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners Royal Benevolent Society, gold medal, with straight suspension bar (Commander Edward Franklin, R.N., 6th July, 1855); and Turkish Crimea, Sardinian issue, engraved in plain capitals (Commander Edward Franklin. R.N), R.N.L.I. medal with a couple of rim nicks, otherwise generally extremely fine and silver medals toned, mounted for wearing.

R.N.L.I medal: FRANKLIN, Edward, Lieutenant, R.N.H.M. Coastguard, Hove, 29 October 1838: “During stormy weather, the coal-laden brig Friends was wrecked near Hove, Sussex, her crew taking to the rigging. Lieutenant Franklin and two men waded into the sea, threw ropes on board and took off the Master and seven men.”

1 Oct 1881 - 1903

Lt. Archibald Miller RN FRGS FRAS

(Lippy, Old Man).

Died in his cabin.

Obituary here and here.

He is buried in Toxteth cemetery, Liverpool, England. The stone is engraved: 'In loving memory of ARCHIBALD T. MILLER, R.N., for 22 years Commander of H.M.S. School Ship 'Conway', died 7th May 1903, aged 64 years'


1903 - 1927

Captain H Broadbent RNR

(Lobster Chops)

Conway cadet 1880-81. The first ex Conway to become Captain and Chief Officer.

He was the 2,900th cadet.

Served his apprenticeship with Galbraith, Pembroke & Co of London in their eastern trade.

Gained his Master's Certificate in 1891 and moved to Bibby Line.

1894 to 95 he served in the China Sqn as a Lt RNR, after which he joined Cunard til 1903.

"Under his command Conway more than kept pace with with the times."

Retirement Notice

Retirement Presentation

Profile 1927

Profile cont.

Crossed the Bar 21st Nov 1942


1927 - 14 June 1934

Commander F A Richardson DSC RN

Conway cadet 1900-02 when Captain Broadbent was Chief Officer

Profile 1927

Joining Notice

Retired for reasons that are not clear. The Cadet (1934 08) simply reported that the ship "regretted the necessity which compelled him to relinquish his post ... everyone saw him go with the greatest regret and sorrow. We thank him form the bottom of our hearts for the long years of service that he has given."

14 June - 24 July 1934


Commander Montague Douglas RD RNR (Monty)

Conway's Chief Officer was appointed Acting Captain Superintendent.

Obituary 1946

24 July 1934 - 26 July 1949

Captain T M Goddard RD RNR

Conway cadet 1905-07 Captain 1stXV, 1st XI and ship's gig crew

King's Gold Medalist 1907

Served his apprenticeship in sail then joined P & O.

Commissioned Lt RNR for WWI  in the armed cruiser Oceanic.

Captain of South Africa Training Ship General Botha in 1921.

Lt Cdr SANS until Mar 1933

Extra Master and Diploma in Hydrographic Surveying

His wife was much loved and called "Ma".

Profile in 1950



Dates not known
Captain Digby Rhys Jones OBE

Acted as Capt Supt for a short period, presumably while Capt Goddard was away on other duties.

16-29 Mar 1939 Captain Mansfield

Acted as Capt Supt for a short period while Captain Goddard was visiting Gordonstoun School

26 July 1949 - July 1968

Captain Eric Hewitt RD RNR

Conway cadet 1919-21

First appointed as "Staff Captain" and Captain Superintendent designate in March 1948 to give him a hand over period with Capt Goddard.

Obituary 1

Obituary 2


An Honours Boards made from the Ship's timbers listing the 9 Captains hangs in the Conway Chapel at Birkenhead Priory, paid for from donations to the Captain Hewitt Memorial Fund.

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