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

© Alfie Windsor 1998
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Staff - Crew & Others


As with all military personnel it was commonplace for individuals to gain nicknames. The number and range of a person’s nicknames were directly proportional to the regard in which they were held so John Brooke-Smith must have been highest in our affections. It is interesting how perceptions of some longer-serving members of staff changed over the years as their nicknames indicate. Members of the crew are listed below by name and nickname.

There are photos of many member so staff for whom I have no names. See them here. If you know any of them please email them to me.


Many of the crew in the 50s were Chinese on loan from Blue Funnel. The following report was made by a party of Bangor Boy Scouts visiting the ship during the school holidays early in the 50s "The tender's crew were quite fearsome to behold. They were all Chinese and none of them were clothed from the waist up. This displayed, in their full glory, the numerous bodily mutilations they had sustained during their earlier careers - prior to capture by the Royal Navy! - as pirates on the China Seas ! Huge scars, missing fingers, ears and noses were everywhere. None of them seemed to have escaped the effects of fighting with cutlasses. Despite their fearsome appearance, they were very friendly and treated us boys like little princes whilst we were aboard."


NAME Forename & (Nicknames)

Service
Photo
BALL
Earnie
At least 1962-63
Bosun's mate


BASHAM
Mrs
(Mrs B / Mother)
At least 1964 to ???
Ran the tuck shop at Plas Newydd.


“Arguably the most important figure of the whole Ship. She ran the off-duty tuck-shop and canteen situated in an old stable block. She lived in the house by the main gate and had an attractive daughter who also helped in the tuck-shop). She was the mother to all of us and a wonderful person. The food was homely and glorious, the atmosphere the same. She would open the back door and allow us to smoke behind the tuck-shop, giving us ample warning (unfortunately not the day I got caught) should an officer or anti-smoking Rate should appear. God bless her.”



BOWLES
Leslie
1946 to 1957
Chief Engineer

In 1949 Leslie travelled in the ship to the new mooring off Plas Newydd. He was also aboard when she was wrecked on the Platters in 1953.

He remained on the staff for a further 4 years or so, maintaining the boilers that heated the huts, classrooms, etc.

In 2015 he donated his collection of Conway artefacts to The Friends of HMS Conway.

A short profile is here.

Mention in a BBC feature



BUNNELL James
1881
Second Cook


BUTCHER
Mrs Margaret

1952 Aug to at least 1965
Captain's Secretary

Replaced Miss Hughes.



BUTLER
Henry Michael
Apprenticed to the ship as a Ship's Carpenter.

After qualifying and a few years away from the ship he returned  as a Carpenter Instructor.

He was in the ship in 1953 when she foundered.

Link


COOK
Mr 
1966 Sep
Victualling Officer

Replaced Porter.


DREW
Mr T and Mrs
Feb 1915 to 1927
Ran Conway House (infirmary) at Rock Ferry and tended the adjacent playing fields until his death.

Obituary 1927


ELLICK
John
At least 1881
Ward Room Steward


FORDER Charles
At least 1881
Captain's Steward


FRASER-SMITH
Mrs L A
??? to 1971 Apr
Domestic Bursar

Left to become Dep Matron at an old people's home near Lichfield.


HACKETT
Miss A M
At least 1970
Headmaster's Secretary


HUGHES
Miss
(Brenda)
Approx 1945 to 1952 Aug
Captain's Secretary

"Always cheerful, always efficient, always charming".

Like all land based members of staff she accessed the ship from Bangor Pier. She must have been a young woman as cadets sought to "walk out" with her along the pier. At first this was a punishable offence but later it was tolerated. She left to get married and was replaced by Mrs Butcher.


HUGHES
Mrs

At least 1950 Summer to ???
Headmaster's Secretary

Missed the summer term because of sickness and had an operation in Cardiff


HUGHES
Miss

??? to 1971 Aug
Assistant Domestic Bursar

Moved to Radnorshire as Schools' Meals Orgainser.


HUNT
James
Early 1900s
Seaman

Brother of Moses, they were described as “two old man of war men”



HUNT
Moses
Early 1900s
Seaman

Brother of James, they were described as “two old man of war men”


JOHNSON
Miss J A

??? to 1959 Apr
Captain's Secretary

Resigned to get married.


JONES
Miss Margaret

1967 Jan to ???
Assistant Domestic Bursar

Resigned to get married.


JONES
MrsD A

1971 Sep to ???
Domestic Bursar

Moved to Radnorshire as Schools' Meals Orgainser.


KELLY
Stanley
1921
Pantry Boy, later Scullery Hand

Obituary 1927



LEWIS-JONES J
??? to at least 1967
Waages Officer

Took over form LLoyd Williams.


LOWE
Edward
At least 1881
Ship's Steward


MENZIES
Bert
Years not known but obvioulsy prior to 1941
Head Cook on board

"Looked like Robert Newton as a pirate cook. Pockmarked face and all. He lived in terror of the Kelly Gang in Liverpool and we reckoned he was ‘hiding out’ in Conway."


OWEN
F RN
(Bullshit, Spike)
At least 1953 to 1966 Aug
Bosun
Taught Seamanship and Signals

The Dock was the domain of the bosun and his mate, “Bullshit” Owen and Ernie Ball respectively, who lived in a snug room above the bosun’s store in a stone building that also housed the seamanship room.

Mr Owen, a small wiry North Walian, regarded us with shrewd circumspection, given to the utterance of homilies on anything from the handling of rope to the hazards of cold stonework: “You’ll get piles sitting on them cold stones, boy. Oh, yes – and then you’ll remember me – “ turning to Ernie, always a pace or two in the offing “ – won’t he, Ernie?” But Ernie – stolid West Country, apple-cheeked and slow-spoken – never answered beyond a slow smile and a nod, and we wondered just how far he saw through Mr Owen’s pose, as we liked to think it. The pose was, of course, old sea-dog. But he was a kindly man, very patient with a cadet’s apparent imbecility, though the patience was leavened with mild sarcasm.
“A splice, is it, boy? Well, you could keep a small parrot in it with room to flap its wings. Give me that spike. Now look – "

Retired


PARRY
H
At least 1953 to 1966 Aug
Seaman

Retired


PORTER
Mr 
Early 1964 to 1966 Sep (served approx., 2.5 years)
Victualling Officer.


POWERS
J
At least 1936 to at least 1940
Bosun
Taught Seamanship


RADCLIFFE Thomas
At least 1881
Ship's Carpenter


READ
T W
??? to 1895 Feb 7th
Ship's Treasurer and Bookeeper

Obituary


ROBERTS
Mr R S
1948-50
Victualling Superintendent

Lived and was buried in Amlwch. Six cadets were his pallbearers.

Obituary 1950

SCOTT
Mrs
1970 to at least 1971
School Secretary



SHEPHERD William (Simon)
1913 to 1953
Assistant Steward


1953 to 1962.Nightwatchman 

Our longest serving member of staff with a total of 49 years of service.

Obituary The Cadet 196


SIMMES
Miss Catrina/Katrina
At least 1971
Position not known


STANLEY
Miss F G

1971 Sep 15th to ???
Assistant Domestic Bursar




TAPPS
1961 to ???
Husband and wife team recorded as "the catering managers". Assume they ran the cateen post Walters?


TEDDER
RN Rtd
1971 Jun to ???
Bursar

Appointed to replace Wye

Served in RN for 20 years.

Qualified aeronautical electrical engineer.


"Tommy"
??? to at least 1963
Fitter

WALTERS
Mrs

Late 1920s - 1960

Assisted by her husband they:
-
ran the sanatorium (Conway House) at Rock Ferry
- then t
he sanatorium at Bryn Mel, Anglesey.
- finally sick bay at Plas Newydd.

Before Conway she had beeen Matron of a small hospital.



WALTERS
Mr (Taffy)
Late 1920s - 1960

Assisted by his wife (see Sick Bay) they:
-
ran the sanatorium (Conway House) at Rock Ferry
- then t
he sanatorium at Bryn Mel, Anglesey.

At
Plas Newydd the ran the tuck-shop cum café.

Known for his cry
“One baked beans on toast and a cup of Caaaawwfee”.

Before Conway he had been a miner but left that because of poor health.

Retirement 1960





WARBIS
William
??? to Jul 1905
Carpenter Instructor

Joined from Price’s Candle Works.
Left to join Messrs Morgan and Blakeman.



WILLIAMS Charlotte
At least 1881
Domestic Servant


WILLIAMS
John Bullis
At least 1932
Ship's Carpenter.
Made The King's Model with help from cadets.



WILLIAMS
Mr  Lloyd
approx., 1946-7 to 1966 Sep
Bosun

Retired aged 65 after almost 20 years service.

Joined as Victualling Officer, later became Wages & Recordss Officer


WILLIAMS Mr 
At least 1959 to at least 1965
Galley Manager



WILLIAMS
Mr  N L
1966 Sep
Bosun

Replaced Owen.


WILLIAMSON John
1914 to Jul 1919.
Nightwatchman

A Master Mariner "He had captained ... many fine sailing ships".

Described as "... in spite of his weight he was an active and well preserved man."

He died aged 76. Obituary here.



WOOD
Circa 1953
Role not known.

Link


WYE
Lt E A G RN Rtd
1967 Jan to 1971 Jun
Bursar

Appointed to replace the defunct office of Captain's Secretary.

Left to become Assistant Bursar at St Catherine's College Cambridge by which time his rank had become Commander.

Mention in the College Magazine Sep 1972



 
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