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 - Technicals

Note that indivduals who served only as Chief Officer are not listed here. Their entries are here

Technical staff were all serving or retired RN or MN personnel who wore uniform and taught nautical subjects and sports, and who often had additional duites as Divisional Officers.

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 staff 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.

Surname,  Forenames
& (Nicknames)
"Ag" See Collins
At least 1953 Xmas Term
Seamanship & Navigation Master.

Loaned by Anglo Saxon Petroleum Co (where he was a Chief Officer) to cover for Mr Siville then sick. He "carried out Mr Siville's duties very effectively during the greater part of the term an we appreciate the good work he did."

Mr E
1955 Jan to Apr
Navigation Instructor.
Maintop Divisional Officer.

Arrived on a 12 month secondment from Brocklebank Line but had to leave die to ill health.

He was to have married the daughter of Mr Nicholls the Chief Engineer.

See Crockett
1876 Apr 1st to 1879 Sep 30th or at least 1889
Seamanship Instructor.  Confirmatory letter from Captain Franklin

The Centenary Edition of The Cadet page 54 says he was still serving as Instructor over Stbd Fore in 1889.

Previously served in the RN from 1863 to 1876 when he paid off from HMS Liverpool and joined Conway.

Fought in the Crimean War.

"A kindly man much liked by all. Not withstanding hbis white hair and whiskers he could race any of us to'gallent yardmen up aloft"

He was born in Buckfastleigh, Devon in 1833.

At least 1946 to 1947
Subject not known.

Educated bangor University.

Anglicized his name after Conway to Bowers.

Joined Elder Dempster and later became a senior manager.

See Mandeville

See Chipp

"Big Bill"
See Hutchinson

See Davies and Sewill

See Burfitt

Lt A W RN Rtd
1938 Jan to 1951 Aug
Taught Navigation and Science.
Coach Athletics and Hockey teams.

Joined from King's School, Gloucetser.

 BSc (Wales)

He became very attached to Conway

Called up to the RN as an Ordinary Seaman at Easter 1941. In late 1944 Blackaby was serving in the Kenya and Russell-Smith was in Howe and both were in Trincomallee, Ceylon at the same time.

Resigned to take up a post as Senior Science Master at Steyning Grammar School, West Sussex.

Profile Sep 1951.

He had served in the ship for "more than 30 years" so he  must have been one of the very earliest members of staff.

The Cadet of May 1897 (page 18) briefly reported his death.

"Blue Eyed John"
See Maxwell

See Chipp

"Boo Boo"
See Davidson

1946 to 1957.
Chief Engineer in the ship.

In 1946 the ship was moored off Bangor Pier. Leslie travelled in her through to the new mooring off Plas Newydd and was aboard again when she was wrecked on the Platters. 

After that, he remained on the staff for a further 4 years or so, maintaining the boilers that heated the huts, classrooms, etc.
In 2010 aged 87 he donated collection of Conway artefacts to the Greenwood Centre in Gwynedd.  They were subsequnely donated to the Friends of HMS Conway and in 2019 are on display in the Conway Centre.

A short profile is here

See Phelps

BRENCHLEY      William
(Jelly Belly,                  Flabby Guts)
1861 to at least 1890 Second Officer
1890 to ???  Purser.

A quiet officer not well regarded by cadets, perhaps owing to his "wielding of the cane and birch".

Presented with a brass compass by the cadets on his retirement - photo here.

Cadets also presented him  with a pair of binoculars that are now in private ownership on Ynys Mon.

Born Holingbourne, Hampshire.

He had been recommended for the Victoria Cross during the Crimean War.

He crossed the bar in late 1893 or early 1894.

Served as Divisional Officer for a few years, see his entry in Chief Officers

See Owen

See Reid

Mr L J
??? to 1974 Paying Off
Taught Nautical Stuidies

Master Mariner.

1st Apr 1908 to 1914 Jan  Instructor
1914 Jan
to 1917 Apr 30th  War Service in the RN
1917 Mar 1st  to 1934 Sep 28th  Master At Arms vice Tozer.

Retired from the RN as CPO in 1904.

Served in Akbar before Conway.

Called up on Mon Aug 3rd 1914. Appointed to the Kent and nivolved in the fight with Leipzig and Dresden at the Batte of the Falklands. Returned to Conway Jan 1917.

Bio on page 254/4 of the December 1917 The Cadet. Click here

Obituary & Photo 1971

Captain Allan N

Master with Blue Funnel

Obituary 2009      

Profile and photo 

Canadian MMs

??? to 1948 end Summer term

Nothing more known.

(Spare Bags, Dave)
At least 1887to 1889

He served in the RN  from 1856-85 and then moved  to Liverpool to become an instructor on Conway.

The census in 1891 show him as a naval pensioner and his wife as matron of a home for waifs and strays in Birkenhead.

The 1901 census show him as "Nav Of Instructor" (Navigating Officer Instructor).

See Skinner and Nicholls

"Charlie Nick"
See Nicholls

See Chipp

Mr W H J
(Bertie, Bluebelly, Chips)
1883 Jun to 1907 Jun
25 years service
Gunner vice Brenchley, then as Second Offcier.

Trainmed over 2000 Conway cadedts.

Trained Japanese naval cadets on secondment from the RN.

He was very well regarded. He organised evening lectures and spoke himslelf on many evenings e.g. Dec 1900 page 274.


1963 Jun to Dec

Temporarily employed vice Hillier.

Conway cadet 50-52.x

Lt Cdr Peter J REAN RD RNR
1963 Dec to 1974
Maintop Divisional Officer

He took great care to develop the leadership skills of his cadet captains.

He joined Conway from the REAN.

Occupied one of the staff flats in the New Block with his wife and two daughters.

His nickname was earned one evening divisions when he announced to the assembled cadets that their “dhobi” (laundry) had been delivered and was to be speedily cleared away. The cadets (other than the large East African contingent) were slightly bemused by the term and it naturally became his nickname.

Crossed The Bar 2013

Warrant Officer
(Ag, Jumper)

1936 to 1940

Lt Cdr RNR George Witheridge
1926 Oct to 1934 Second Officer

1935 to1939 Aug Chief Officer
Taught Compass Deviation and Direction Finding

Conway 11-13

Photo as a cadet

Extra Passing Out Certificate

Joined Geo Milne & Co's barque Inveramsay as midshipman but was called up in July 1914. When he served in the Cape Sqn, North Sea and Icelandic waters.

After thje war joined White Star line. He is believed to be the youngest person ever to achieve an extra masters certificate - at the age of 23. See here.

See entry in Notables

In the late 1930s he commisioned the ship's carpenter to produce a model of the ship, similar to the model the carpenter had made in 1932 for the King.

Left on Fleet mobilization. “I heard he had command of a minesweeping flotilla on the East Coast and that he suffered a complete mental breakdown.”

1946 Summer through the 1950s
Second Officer

His nickname was "barmy" not "balmy"!

Conway cadet 1931-33 click here

Joined from Blue Funnel where he was a Master.

Joined RNR in 1940 and served as Seamanship Instructor at the Combined Operations School.

MiD for his work in Asdic trawlers.

"He was a very nice man who was Second Officer and who suffered from a slight nervous affliction, possibly a result of wartime experience, which was sometimes evident when he took Divisions. The cadets, of course quickly latched on to this abnormality, hence the words of the alternative Conway song."

Brisbane Stephenson (Brizz)
1956 Summer to at least 1957
Supernumerary Officer - duties not known but see below.

Conway cadet 53-56

The Cadet lists him as leaving in Jul 56 to "continue education elsewhere". He actually stayed after Jul 56 apparently as a "Supernumerary Officer". He was never mentioned as a formal member of staff but was still in Conway in Jul 57. His Record Sheet notes that he completed a special course in pure and applied maths and physics at A level. The Special Studies A Level class started in Jan 1956. Perhaps his extra time (Jul 56 to at least Jul 57) was actaully to do his A levels. He is not listed in any later Cadet Leavers lists in The Cadet. Awarded an Academic Extra Passing Out Certificate (the only one discovered to date).

Mr William West
(Boo Boo, Mighty Mouse, Mouse)
1961 May to 1974 Paying Off
Fxl Divisional Officer later Housemaster
Taught Nautical Studies

Conway cadet 25-27

Boo Boo because he wouldn't say boo to a goose.

Mighty Mouse because of his stature.

Joined having been invalided home from service in the China Seas.

Believed to have been a PoW of the Japanese.

"A more kindly divisional officer for some of the new cadets would have been difficult to find."

Missed Xmas 62 and Easter 63 terms but place covered by Mr Thomas-Davies.

Retired to Beamauris.

William H
Exact years not known but early 1900s.
Drill Instructor.

Stood in as 2nd Officer in 1910 while the incumbent was on a course.

See Clarke

See Sewill

See Tozer

Cdr M G RD RNR (Monty)
1907 Jul to1917 Sep Second Officer

1917 Sep to 1934 Sep Chief Officer 

1934 Retired sick.

Around 1940 returned to take over from Douglas-Lane.

Conway cadet 1893 to 95

He served his time in sail before joining Lord Line where he rose from 3rd Officer to Chief Officer.

cadet 1893 to 95 click here

Completed a two month torpedo course at Devonport in early 1910 when he was replaced by Mr B H Davies.

Called up on Sun Aug 2nd 1914. Appointed to the light cruiser Charybdis around the UK coast and escorting transports from Canada. Returned as Second Officer on 11th may 1915 by specail dispensation of the Admiralty - Conway cadets needed training.

Short biography on page 252 of the December 1917 The Cadet. Click here.

He served his time in sail before joining Lord Line where he rose from 3rd Officer to Chief Officer.

Completed a two month torpedo course at Devonport in early 1910 when he was replaced by Mr B H Davies.

Called up on Sun Aug 2nd 1914. Appointed to the light cruiser Charybdis around the UK coast and escorting transports from Canada. Returned as Second Officer on 11th May 1915 by special dispensation of the Admiralty - Conway cadets needed training.

"One of the mainstays of Conway with an unfailing interest in all onboard and great cheerfulness."

Obituary 1946

See Lane

Served as Second Officer for a short period, see his entry in Chief Officer



Seconded from Alfred Holt for eight months. Source

Old Pangbournian

"E Jarge"See Hunt G

see Moore and Owen

Mr R I R
(Yo Ho)
1962 Jan to ???
Divisional Officer Foretop and Maintop Juniors



Called up on Mon Aug 3rd 1914. Appointed to mine sweeping in Brighton Queen.

On leave Oct 1915 after his ship was sunk by explosion. He escaped with minor injuries.

"Flabby Guts"See Brenchley

Years not known
Warrant Officer

Years not known but pre 1931
Role not known but mentioned as an Officer by Masefield.

Mr I, E, M
1951 Jul to 1952 Jul
Second Officer and Maintop Divisional Officer.

Joined on secondment from the Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co (where was was a Chief Officer) for a year.

His "discipline was firm but kindly".

1954 Sep to 1955 Dec

RNVR officer.


RNR officer on a year’s secondment.

See King

??? to ???  Second Officer

??? to 1885  Feb  Chief Officer

Left to return to sea.

See Thomas

Seaman Instructor

Called up on Mon Aug 3rd 1914 as 1st Class PO. Appointed to the Albion.
Served in the Dardenelles, the Cape East and West Africa.

Injured early in 1916 then returned to Impregnable as Instructor. Died after an operation to his leg on 16th Jul 1916.

War grave at Ford Park here

Mr W L
??? -to1910 Position not known

1914 temporary 2nd Officer

Reappointed to cover for Second Officer Douglas serving in the forces.

On Douglas's return Graham was, on 5th May 1915, posted to the RNAS as Prob Ft Lt and left to train at Windermere.

See Mayne

1905 Sep - ???
Mechanical Lecturer and taught Drawing to the Navy Class

Mr W N
1959 to at least 1967
Chief Engineer


Years not know

Crossed the bar 1914. Death Notice.


1950 Jan to 1951 Jan
Warrant Officer.
PTI ashore.

Resigned for domestic reasons

(Old Thunder Guts)
1961 Jan to 63 May
Marching instructor amongst other things

Replaced Moore.

Joined from Whale Island.

Left at short notice but reason not known

See Lee

Lt Cdr Edward
1953 to 1974 Paying Off
1960 Hold Divisional Officer and Head of Sailing.
Later taught Nautical Studies.

Master Mariner.

He was responsible for the sail design of the GP Dingy (Uffa Fix designed the hull) and owned sail number '1'.

Conway cadet 33-35. All cadet records record his name as Davies with Howard as a Christian name but as a member of staff he was always known as Howard-Davies.

1859 - ????

Father of George

Mr George
(Tartar/Tartan, E Jarge)
1880 Mar to 1889  Instructor
1889 to ??? Gunner
??? -to1912 Captain's Clerk
1912 to 1916 Apr  Appointment not known

Retired due to ill health in April 1916 with 36 years service he is our longest serving member of staff.

He became the fountain of knowledge about old boys.

"He had a singularly kind heart and was ever a good friend to the weaker and younger boys."

Click here.

His father had been an Instructor in 1859.

Reference to him in The Cadet 1902 Dec page 28.

Crossed the bar 15th Sep 1916 and was buried at Bebbington.

See Hutchinson


See Hutchison

(Hutch, Big Bill)

1955 Jun to 1963 May
Maintop Divisional Officer

Conway cadet 36-38.

Some sources in The Cadet, including the obituary below, and letters misname him as Hutchinson. His official cadet record sheet and all prospectuses name him as Hutchison.

"Very much respected in my time. Held himself very erect and probably used a little alcohol, totally understandable. Have never forgotten him, but he was an enigma.” “

His cap always looked way to big for him, great guy, but with demons.” “He was hugely respected and I do not remember anyone ever saying a bad word about him. I had several long discussions with him in my final term, and although he was, as when you were there, sometimes challenged by Johnny Walker, I have nothing but good recollections of his concern and helpfulness.”

“He was a totally fair and honest man and personally I respected him hugely. He was someone you could talk to or ask questions of and as far as I was concerned he genuinely tried to help.” “

He rode a large motor cycle and was addicted to a little whisky but I have problems trying to think of any of the Conway masters of officers of the time who one could class as "normal". They all appeared to have a few problems or at least idiosyncrasies.” “

"I always had a high regard for Hutch, he seemed a decent sort of chap. Never seemed to get hugely worked up about things but when he said jump, you certainly jumped.” “

He led the return trip on the yacht Flame in the summer of 1959 which I was fortunate to be involved in. We joined her in Holy Loch and after a day of familiarisation on the Clyde, we sailed back to the Menai Strait via Arran, Stranraer, Laxey I.O.M. and Moelfre Bay. We experienced strong winds and foggy calms, anchoring most evenings until the next day. It was a terrific experience that I thoroughly enjoyed. I think Hutch's brother came on the trip as well and possibly the English teacher, but memory fades on who else was there – I wouldn't have missed it for the world.” “

He had a strange walk, as if his arms were a bit loose and too long for his liking, good for his motorbike though.”

Road a motor bike, a twin cylinder model.

Served in the Arctic Convoys to Murmansk during WWII.

Obituary The Cadet 1964

1887 to Oct 1904
Instructor and he had charge of the steam pinnace.

His watch word was "sit down in the bows".

He died after tripping and falling from the Albert Pierhead.

Short profile here.

See Mayne

"Jelly Belly" See Brenchley

Captain OBE
1964 to ???

A small, frail, unassuming officer, with red hair, gammy legs and a limp.

San Demetrio, London
tells the story of his wartime exploits and how he managed to survive in the north Atlantic after being sunk.

Had a chest full of medals which he rarely bothered to ware.

"He smoked like a chimney and turned a blind eye to us doing the same (and loved for it). He was an officer who was well liked and immensely respected. I believe he served, gallantly, in the Ohio during the Malta Convoy as an apprentice. Initially he used to appear at Sunday Divisions in an unadorned uniform, such was the man. Eric, on finding out about his service record, ordered him to wear his decorations for Sunday Divisions in the future. The following divisions, a very embarrassed Logger duly appeared decorated with medal ribbons. They stretched from lapel to armpit and shoulder to pocket top with a civilian medal on the opposite side. The number of decorations far eclipsed the rest of the officers (probably all together). If he had actually worn his 'gongs', I am sure the poor man would have collapsed under the weight.”

“He drove a mini cooper with a wide bore exhaust and after lining us up outside the Kelvin Block with our semaphore flags he would roar off to Llanfair PG for a swift one. This gave us smokers a chance to have a quick fag while he was away and the noise of the exhaust could be heard long before he returned allowing us to get back into line and carry on waving our flags about. After leaving Conway he returned to sea with Shell on their coastal tankers but his arthritis got the better of him.”

He crossed the bar in the early eighties.

See Collins

Lt G A B
1952 Xmas Term to 1953 Aug.
Second Officer to replace Fowler
Coached the Bantams XV.

Onboard during the final transit of the ship in 1953 and was IC Stern Party.

Gabby because of his initials.

He was on loan from British Tankers and a young man not a lot older than the older cadets which meant they took to him in a special way.

He used to draw the most beautiful cut-away drawings of ships. Click here.

Book Click here

Lt Cdr

Nothing more known

Lt Kenneth Douglas RIM
1926 Jan 30th to ???
Signal Instructor

Conway cadet 07-09 leaving with an Extra Certificate

Service in the RIM click here

Served in RNVR in the North Sea during WWI.

Profile on joining

Cdr Charles Ivor Campbell RD RNR

1930 Sep to 1934
Third Officer, precise duties not known.

1934 to 1939
Second Officer

Taught Navigation
Assistant Games Master

1939 to 1946 Feb
Mobilised into the RN for wartime duties.
Served in several Armed merchant cruisers, then in April 1942 was appointed Commodore East Coast Convoys. Later had command of HMS Duncansby Head

1946 Feb to Jul
Demobbed and returned as Second Officer

1946 Jul -1947 Dec
Chief Officer

Conway cadet 17-20

Joined in 1930 from Orient Line.

Father of our current Chaplain Simon Douglas-Lane.

See Lawrence

Lt Cdr M H
1929 Dec to 1955 Dec.
PTI vice Stacey
Third Officer
Later Second Officer
Taught Seamanship and Signalling

Master Mariner

“He used to enter the mess deck (at the House), say nothing but start flashing away reciting his mantra of "E-I-S-H-T-M-O" to get us into the swing of things. He was a great character, a very amusing man and always very decent to us young cadets.”

Ill for most of the Summer 1955 term.

Retirement notice 1956

His valediction observed "He was part of the old ship and had served in her at all her moorings. His knowledge of her tradition and routine was only excelled by his deep understanding of boys. He knew their good qualities and their weaknesses through and through and though I never knew him punish a oy for any misdemeanour  he held their affection and respect and maintained discipline through his understanding of them."

Mr I, E, M
1950 Jan to 1951 Jul
Second Officer.

Joined on secondment from the Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co for a year.

Extra master mariner.

Organised many out of school activities.

“As we left the ship for the last time in July 1951 in No 1, we all sang, 'He's my brother, Le besque, got a row of forty medals on his chest, etc'. I think he was a temporary officer on detachment, and believe he left soon afterwards.”

He was appointed salvage officer of the wreck in 1953.

Lt Cdr V G RN

At least 1912 to 1914
1919 to Easter 1941 (latest)
Chief Engineering Instructor
Taught Science and Engineering

Married Miss Braithwaite of Leeds on 20th Dec 1912. Presented with a silver salver by the Management Committee "as a mark of their esteem and appreciation of his services", a convertable entre dish by his Osborne Class and a clock by the staff.

In late 1914 he volunteered and was posted to RN College Osborne as Eng Lt RN (later Lt Cdr) in charge of the firth term cadets. He returned to the ship in May 1919.

Retired due to ill health in 1941.

Mr Cyril Elton
(Tooley, Hoppy)
1916 May to 1917 Third Officer
1917 to 1942 Acting 2nd Lt vice Douglas.

Taught unarmed combat and Seamanship

Later taught Gyro Compass and Meteorology

“Hoppy” Lee taught us seamanship, cargo stowage and so forth. With wheezing breath he instructed us in the intricacies of cargo stowage as he heaved himself up and down the classroom."

Conway cadet 1899 - 1901.

Short biography of his sea time on page 252 of the December 1917 The Cadet. Click here.

Rusian PoW for six months.

Left the sea 
in 1911 joining the Siamese Tin Syndicate erecting dredges for the recovery of tin and planted 700 acres of cocoanuts.

1913 Moved
to Perak, Malay State to superintend the work of a large tin dredger there.

1913 Sep 1st married Gladys Battiscombe of Hereford.

In Oct 1914 an incident with a mooring wire severed his leg and was forced to return to the UK after 3 mths in hospital. He was fitted with a wooden leg and walked with a pronounced limp.

Was well liked.

Famous for pronunciation of ‘rhubarb’ as his
speech impediment made the word come out as "oobarb" , giving rise to cruel merriment at his expense

"Hoppy was a great chap and we were lucky to have someone from the age of sail to teach us seamanship."


Member of staff from 1916

Retired in 1942.  

Retirement Notice 1943

Lt I H

1963 Jun to Dec

Temporarily employed vice Hutchinson on secondment from A Holt & Co.

Old Worcester.

See Jones

See Lane

1950 Sep to 1951 Sep
Second Officer
Coach Bantams XV.
Maintop Divisional Officer

Joined on secondment from the Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co for a year.

Master Mariner

"Maggot"See Tozer

1951 Aug to 1953 Apr
Technical Officer PTI

Left to take up an Admiralty appointment.

John RN
(Blue Eyed John Polar Bear

1881 Oct to 1907 Sep
Taught Seamanship, Fencing & Cutlass Drill.

Polar Bear as he sported a fine long white beard.

RN man who served in Nile just before she was loaned as Conway.

"The finest hand at snooping the decks after rounds and turning one out for an hour on the main deck"

Retired to N Ireland to breed pigs and poultry.

Was alive an very hearty in his 90th birthday on 24th Apr 1935 by which time he was living in Higher Tranmere. The photo right was on his 92nd birthday.

Obituary 1941 1

Obituary 1941 2   

Obituary 3

(Gunner, Jacky)
1950 Jan to 1953 Dec
Warrant Officer

Ex RN Gunner.

Gunner Mayne was probably the most energetic of all the POs. From him we learned that Whale Island was the axle on which the British Royal Navy revolved. Without it the RN would probably have foundered long before. Everything he did was ‘on the double’. Consequently he expected that everything we did should also be ‘on the double’ As our drill master he taught us not only to march, salute, stand correctly, but also to have pride in our accomplishments. I think that many of us learned from him that, although tasks might sometimes be difficult, they are never impossible. The Whale Island spirit lives on.”

“A splendid man and a true product of all that was best in the Royal Navy”

“He was always on about ‘his Admiral’. “Guns, said the Admiral, Sink me that ship” We were all amazed when, one day some Admiral came to inspect us and, upon seeing Jacky, fell on him like a long lost brother!! Perhaps all Jacky’s tales were true after all! He was a real nut for spit and polish and quite made you feel that it might be worthwhile. ‘Make an evolution of it!’ was another of his expressions.”

His father had worked the fighting top in Nile when she was in commission.

He retired to nurse his sick wife living in Portsmouth. Click here

(Ocka Jock)
Early 1960s to 1967
Master at Arms

He had been in a Sgt RAF in fast patrol boats during the war and delighted in describing his antics.

“A very blustery little character (vaguely reminiscent of the Scottish warder in Porridge). Best known for the speed that he drove his Mini Cooper around the estate. I had the dubious honour of being the last person he put on Captain's Report (for smoking) before he collapsed and died (1964?). Well, at least he got the satisfaction of seeing me dis-rated before he went.”

Obituary The Cadet 1967

1903 Jun 25th to 1917 Jun
Chief Officer
Coach Hockey team

Conway cadet Feb 1883-Dec 1884, he was CPO in his last term.

He joined Abram Lyle & Sons and rose to First Officer with the White Star Line. For three years prior to re-joining Conway he had been Chief Officer in Beaver Line. On appointment he asked for the defaulters list to be cleared so that "all might start fair".

A keen Merseyside sailor in his yacht Cariad click here

Photos are from 1906 (above) and 1918 (below).

Crossed the Bar Aug 1934 - Obituary

"Mighty Mouse"See Davidson

1893 - 1916
Seraman Instructor

"A grand old man, fine seaman and well natured".

Lived Rock Ferry

Crossed the Bar 23rd Oct 1929

"Monty"See Douglas

Lt Albert E
(Ernie, Pony)
At least 1949 to 1961 Jan (12 years service by 1961)
Petty Officer.
1960 Fxl Divisional Officer in the House.
Taught Signals, Seamanship and Shooting.

His shooting team lost only four matches in 12 years.

"Great on knots and rope work. ‘A bit of rope or a bit of wire wivout a whipping is like a woman wivout a whatname’ he used to tell us."

“He lived in the Plas Newydd block and had his wife and a DAUGHTER! I even remember her name Thelma who he kept very much on a tight leash”.

"Both he and Jacky had more medal ribbons on their chests than would fit while poor old Brookie only had one.”

“Ernie was perhaps the most colourful, certainly in his use of language. My first memory of Ernie was when he told us that we were not allowed to have sheath knives with points on. It was apparently against the ship’s regulations. This was immediately followed by a warning that, if any of us were so unsailor-like as to spoil one of a sailor’s most important tools by breaking the tip off a knife, we would have him to answer to. In seamanship class one day he was teaching us how to rig sheer-legs. We had lashed the two spars together at the head and his words were, ‘Now then, pretend it’s your girl, grab the legs and pull them apart.’ Another day, as the pinnace was coming alongside the gangway in fairly heavy weather, the bow man was having a great deal of trouble in picking up the mooring wire with the boathook. Ernie, who was O.O.W. leaned over the top of the gangway and in his nice London accent said, ‘Come on my son, your mother might have waited nine bleeding months for you but I’m not going to’. To many cadets though, Ernie and his wife were father and mother figures. I spent a week in Bangor hospital at one time and Ernie and Mrs. Moore made a point of visiting on at least a couple of occasions.”

"A wise counsellor."

His wife "was always in demand as make up artist and mistress of the wardrobe in all our plays. The costumes that emerged from her nimble fingers were always much admired."

Part of his wartime service as  a leading Seaman in the RN is described in the book “Escape From Hong Kong” by Tim Luard published in 2012. He was part of a large group that escaped from Hong Kong. The escapees walked and hitched to Rangoon through the Chinese mainland led by a one legged Chinese Admiral, Chan Chak. Some later went on to India just prior to the Japanese invasion of Burma.
Extract from the book and photo here
Click here.

He and his wife retired to Leicestershire where he joined the Corps of Commissionaires.

??? to 1974 Paying Off
Taught Technical Drawing

"Mouse"See Davidson

(Spud / The Sheriff)
At least 1944 (the photo is taken on the Upper Deck!) to 1964 May
Taught Navigation “Oh he of perfect circles”
Editor of The Cadet throughout his employment.

The Sheriff – because he was in 1960 the Mayor of Beaumaris which he  pronounced "B.E.A.U. (pause) Maris"

“Great sense of humour"

He had an ancient car which he called Snowball

He was one of the very few who held an extra masters ticket in both steam and sail.


Cadets' reminiscences

Called to the Bar 1971 aged 71.

(Charlie Nick, Charlie)
1941 Easter to 1959 Oct
I/C fuel for the boats and taught ship construction.
Promoted Chief Engineer.

Was re-employed ??? to
1963 Oct.

An engineer who joined from Blue Funnel to replace Mr Le Mesurier.

MI Mar E

In 1951-2 I remember that the band at 'divisions' would play the tune Charley Nick as we marched away. The words of the song formed the opening lines of his dictated notes for his first lecture. The words were something like:

Up to thirty years ago

Ships' machinery consisted mainly

Of triple expansion engines

Which rarely used to go.

Chase me Charlie, Chase me Charlie

Tighten up the bolts

Chase me Charlie, Chase me Charlie

Join the Alfred Holts.”

"Charlie was well liked and told us he had been gassed in WW1 and torpedoed in WW2. He used to say 'Gott im Himmell ' a lot."

After Conway he joined Hillgrove School, Bangor as a sports master and introduced them to rugby.

Retirement 1959 Oct

Mr J

1896 Feb to 1926 Aug
Engineer of the Steam launch (pinnace)

1905 Sep - ???
Engineer Instructor to the RN Class with responsibility for the machine shop.

He "developed into a very proficient operator " of the cinema projector in 1919.

Remembered with "affectionate respect." He had a quiet dignity that was never encroached upon and was aways ready to help and explain."

Retired with a serious heart weakness

Obituary 1930

"Ocka Jock" See McLeod

"Old Thunder Guts" See Hilliard

Lt John RN
(Taffy, Jonny, Way Ho-Jay Ho)
At least 1949 to 1961 Aug
Taught Rowing, Signals and Seamanship.
Foretop and Maintop Divisional Officer in the House.

A much liked Petty Officer

“Taught me all I knew about sailing".

"Sometimes was called “Way Ho – Jay Ho” with all the sing song of the Welsh accent. When he wanted to locate some cadet on board he used to hail down the main hatch, “ Way Ho – Smith or whatever” whereupon the whole ship would shout back, “Way Ho – Jay Ho!”

"John Oliver was the quietest of the three POs. His lilting Welsh accent was always controlled and he never seemed to have to raise his voice much at all. For a couple of terms he was my divisional officer and I found him to be very considerate and thoughtful. The other thing that I remember about him was that his initials JO, and the way he wrote them, were extremely easy to forge. This was a great benefit when one needed a note or a textbook label initialised by your divisional officer. Something I took advantage of on a couple of occasions.” In the last 10 years of his life he ran the cafe at PD."

Had a bout of sickness in 1953 missing a lot of the Summer and Xmas terms.

Might have gone back to sea after Conway.

See Ollerton

Mr A R
At least 1959 to 1971 Summer
Fxl Divisional Officer until approx 1961 when Mr Davidson was employed.

He always wore a real flat-as-a-plate white cap which looked too big for his thin face and head.

Rode a BSA bantam motor bike.

Awarded the MN Medal in 2011 for services to merchant shipping and maritime education.

Link and photo here.

T Harry RN
At least April 1893

Lt Cdr Reginald Edwin RNR
(Reg, Yaah, Wah Wah)
1956 Jan to 1970 Aug
Taught navigation
Foretop Divisional Officer

Wah Wah and Yaah because of the way he spoke.

He had the most remarkable way of pronouncing horizon, making it sound more like ‘horry zon’ ”.

“I was in charge of the dock one day when the phone rang. I picked it up and said, ‘Yahaa! Lt. Cdr. Parry here’ in excellent imitation of him. The reply came back, ‘That’s damned funny! Lt. Cdr Parry here, too’. And it was! I put the phone down, and started worrying. By the time I saw him later in the day he just gave me a long hard look. Another good sport!”

“Parry did have a sense of humour alright, I went out the back gate one day and donned my yellow jumper and blue jeans to meet my girl friend. We went into Bangor, collected her dog and went for a walk. Blow me away Parry walked up the main street towards me. He looked me in the eye and he turned away up a lane way very quickly, I went the other way up another street, I thought that’s it, I’m a goner! Monday morning in class he bounced in and drew his hankie from his sleeve and asked whether we had all had a good weekend. He said the weather was lovely, ideal for taking one’s dog for a walk. He looked at me and that was it. Everyone else thought he was off his trolley.”

Conway cadet 1942-44

Left in 1970 to return to sea.

After retirement lived in Menai Bridge.

1914 Oct to 1919 Apr 30th
Temporary Engineering Instructor to cover for Mr Le Mesurier serving in the forces.

Resigned on Le Mesurier's return and presented with a cut glass jug. Click here.

Late 1880s and 90s

Jack L
1936 to 1946 Summer.
Warrant Officer
Assistant PTI during WWII.
Also taught Rowing and Signalling

Born in 1903, a cockney whose family were Thames watermen for generations, there is a Phelps Rd in London named for them.

Bossie was a family nickname e.g. his father was "Old Bossie"

He won Doggetts Coat & Badge in 1928, the fourth brother to do so..

Rowing coach for Thames Rowing Club and a Dutch rowing club before joining Conway.

He left to become Water Bailiff & Boatman at Winchester College.

Profile and poem dedicated to him.

Family Waterman's dinner 1960

Letter 1970

Family profile

See Moore

Mr William
(Potter-Oots, Quack, Quacko)
1859/60ish to at least 1894.
Master At Arms

"An outstanding personality and quite a terror to evil doers. All the same he was a good sort and his bark was worse than his bite. He had to be strict and, after all is said and done, discipline is the finest training any boy or man can have. When public thrashings were ordered he had to do the needfull."

"A very red faced man."

See Potter
Late 1880s and 90s

See Potter

See Potter

See Parry


1915 Feb to 1935
Seaman Instructor then Signals Officer finally Senior Instructor

1939 - ??? Returned for wartime service as Signal Instructor vice Whetham

Obituary 1941

Yeoman T RN

At least 1936
Taught Signalling

See Couch

See Harrison



In Oct 1915 he was on active service as a wireless operator in the armed trawler Lily Melling

(Bill, Dickie)
1943 to 1953
Seamanship & Navigation Master
Also taught Meteorology and Gyro Compass

Master Mariner

Founder of the Ship's Ornithological Society 

"Very quiet chap. Much liked and respected. I think that he was minus one lung due to being torpedoed on a tanker in the North Atlantic"

"His interest in his vocation has been inspiration to us all"

Struggled with increasing ill health in Xmas Term 1952 during which Mr Adlam was seconded to stand in his place. "Had to return for an operation" late in 1952. He died on 3rd March 1953 after a protracted illness.

Obituary The Cadet 1953

(Charlie, Winkle)
1952 to 1959
PTI and would also cut hair on Saturday morning for a bob!

Known originally as Charlie but renamed Winkle after the loss of the ship. “When we salvaged the sea chests from on board we had to empty them and hose them out. ‘Get ‘em good and clean. We don’t want to find no winkles in there.’ ”

“He had a cheerful sadistic streak using the tannoy, ‘Wakey, wakey, rise and shine, middle of the day and the sun's burning your bleeding eyes out!’ This at Zero Crack Sparrow Fart on a January morning with the horizontal sleet coming down the Straits and we had to do the morning run from the House up to the Figurehead before having a shower!”

Was serving in Ark Royal when she was sunk in November 1941 while accompanying a Malta convoy.

Died quite suddenly in 1959.

Obituary 1959.

See Ivey

See Howard-Davies


1885 to 1899 Feb

He had a long and exciting career in the RN, retiring in 1861. His time from then to 1885 is unaccounted for.

Obituary The Cadet Feb 1899

"Spare Bags"
See Carroway

See Owen


1924 Sep to 1932 Oct
PTI and Victualling WO
Coach Bantams XV
Joined vice Tozer.

1932 Oct - 1934 Feb 28th
Victualling WO
Dutries reduced because of ill health

Profile 1924

Resignation notice, forced to resign by staff cuts.

Obituary 1941

"Taffy"See Oliver

"The Tartar"See Hunt G

"Tartan"See Hunt G

David W B
(The Gonk)

1964 Sep to 1970 Aug
Taught Navigation
Later Nautical Studies

A short, round man with a dark beard so he quickly gained the nickname of the 60’s children’s TV characters. A small knitted and well stuffed gonk became the 1st XVs mascot.

Replaced Spud Murphy.

He had the unnerving habit of bursting into Senior Cadet Captain's cabins, without knocking, on his duty day. This was until the senior rate of Foretop devised the "Anti-Gonk Device". This was simply reversing the door hands to 'Lift to Open'. "The device did not stop his unannounced invasions but by frequently reversing the door handles at least it gave us a 50/50 chance of defeating the incursions.”

“I remember he suffered from chronic dandruff and his uniforms always seemed ill-fitting. He was a terror for ensuring we were always smartly turned out!”

Resigned to move back to London with his wife and two girls.



Called up on Mon Aug 3rd 1914. Appointed to the Vernon torpedo school

"Tom"See Priestley
"Tooley"See Lee
William J
(Doggy, Maggot)
1888 May 1st to 1893 Apr 30th
Instructor teaching astronomy and navigation

1893-to 1914 Jan
Master at Arms

1914 Jan to 1924 Apr 30th

Joined Conway having been invalided out of the RN as Chief PO. He held the Egypt Medal and the Khedive's Star.

Gave Conway 36 years of service.

As Gunner his duties included physical drill, gymnasium and boxing instruction.

Coach of the ship's gig crew for years.

His Conway diary for January to August 1898 is held in the Churchill Archive Centre.

A man of "great personal strength and phenomenal activity".

Educated at Greenwich Hospital School.

Father of George Lee

Lived 214 New Bedford Road, Rock Ferry

Observations 1917

Retirement 30th Apr 1921

Letter Dec 1924

Crossed the bar 27th Dec 1927 - Obituary

George Lee
Years before WWII

Son of William

Previously an engineer with Alfred Holt.

Crossed the bar 1961 aged 69.

Obituary 1961.

Approx 1953 Jul to 1954 Aug
Maintop Divisional Officer

On a year's secondment from Clan Line to whom he returned.

"He has left behind nothing but pleasant memories and admiration for the way he took part in all Ship's routines and activities."

1919 to 1924 Jul 24th
Took up the new post of Lieutenant.

Conway cadet 1908-10. Stroked the gig crew and member of the hockey team

Lt in destroyers in WWI

He served his apprenticeship in sail and then joined the RMSP.

Left to join Smith Junior Nautical College, Cardiff, a gunnery school for merchnat seamen.

Notice of his joining Conway


Obituary The Club Newsletter 1976


In Oct 1915 he was on active service in King George 5th, in the Grand Fleet at Scarpa Flow

"Wah Wah"
See Parry

"Wally" (nickname , real name not known)
At least 1877 -to1897 May 11th

Died onboard.

Mr William
1905 Jul to ???
Carpentry Instructor

Joined from Price’s Candle Works.

Left to join Messrs Morgan and Blakeman.

Obituary The Cadet 1932

"Way Ho – Jay Ho"See Oliver

Captain J D
At least 1944 to 1947
Taught Navigation and Seamanship.

He returned to sea in 1947.

1908 to 1926 (some hints of 1939)
Seaman Instructor

Obituary 1935

1904 Sep

His "former experience in the RN has given to the ship an expert instructor in that increasingly important subject signalling, in its various branches".

See Skinner

1884 Jan to ???
Chief Officer

Died in service

??? to 1948 end Summer term

Nothing more known.

See Parry

"Yo Ho"
See Feasey


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