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 - Crew

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.

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."

Mr Leslie Bold. Chief Engineer 1946 to 1957. In 1946 she was moored off Bangor Pier and in 1949 Leslie travelled through in the ship to the new mooring off Plas Newydd. He was 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 Plas Newydd. A short profile is here.

Mr Joseph Bunnell Second Cook, 1881.

Henry Michael Butler. 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

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

Mr John Ellick, Ward Room Steward 1881.

Fanny Mrs Hewitt.

Mr Charles Forder, Captain's Steward 1881.

Mr. Harrison (Scouse) Chief Engineer 1960 to ??

Mr Stanley Kelly, Scullery Hand. Joined as Pantry Boy in 1921. Obituary 1927

Mr Edward Lowe Ship's Steward 1881.

Ma G  Mrs Goddard.

Mr Menzies (Bert) 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.

Mother see Mrs B.

"Mrs B" (Mother) 1960s. “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.”

Mr Thomas Radcliffe, Ship's Carpenter 1881.

Mr R S Roberts, Victualling Superintendent 48-56. Obituary 1950

Mr William (Simon) Shepherd, Assistant Steward 1913 to 1953. Nightwatchman 1953 to 1962. A total of 49 years of service. Obituary The Cadet 196

Taffy see Mr Walters

Mr. Walters (Taffy) 1940s - 60s. Head of the Canteen. “One baked beans on toast and a cup of Caaaawwfee”. He and his wife first ran the sanatorium at Rock Ferry, then at Bryn Mel, Anglesey and finally operated the tuck-shop cum café at Plas Newydd.

Mrs Walters (193? - 60) She was part of the nursing staff. Assisted by her husband, she ran the sanatorium at Rock Ferry, then at Bryn Mel, Anglesey and finally operated the tuck-shop cum café at Plas Newydd.

William Warbis Sep 1905 joined as Carpenter Instructor from Price’s Candle Works. Left in July 1905 to join Messrs Morgan and Blakeman.

Charlotte Williams Domestic Servant 1881.

Mr John Bullis Williams was ship's carpenter in 1932 when he made The King's Model.

Captain James Williamson Nightwatchman 1914 to July 1919. Described as "... in spite of his weight he was an active and well preserved man ... He had captained ... many fine sailing ships". He died aged 76. Obituary here.

Mr Wood. Role not known but believed to be serving around 1953. link

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