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

Alfie Windsor 1998
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Old Conways have published an incredible number of books on a very wide range of subjects. I have added publisher, ISBN etc. details and a copy of the front cover wherever I have been able to find them.

Joseph Conrad & Conway

Conrad, a Polish-born English author and master mariner, wrote books about the sea and seafaring. He had many friends who were OCs including G F W Hope. He obviously formed a positive impression of OCs as many of his books contain Conway references or have OCs as characters. Despite this attachment, Conrad sent his son to Worcester (they lived in Kent). The late Hon Sec of the OWs when asked why Conrad did not seem to mention Worcester in his writing, said "the story was that Joseph Conrad hated the Worcester" but he did not know why. Perhaps his son had an unhappy time there. Conrad's main Conway references are below, to order the books click here

Heart of Darkness follows Charles Marlow as he recounts, at dusk and into the evening, his adventure into the Congo to a group of men aboard a yawl, the Nellie, anchored in the Thames Estuary. Conrad starting writing it in 1898. The novel is largely autobiographical, based upon Conrad's six-month journey up the Congo River in 1890 where he took command of a steamboat after the death of its captain. He returned to England extremely unwell and recuperated on Hope's yacht, also called the Nellie on the Thames. Hope was an OC and a company director. One of the lead characters in the book, the Company Director is described as an OC and he also owns the yawl Nellie on which the story is recounted in the novel although the character seems not to be based on Hope.

Lord Jim The main character of is based on Augustine Podmore Williams, born 1852, died 1916 in Singapore. He was the son of Rev Thomas Lockyer Williams, Vicar of Porthleven in Cornwall. There is no specifc mention of Conway in the book but chapter one, explains how "when after a course of light holiday literature his vocation for the sea had declared itself, he was sent at once to a training-ship for officers of the mercantile marine." Conrad does not say what training ship Lord Jim might have attended but the description (in chapter one) of the river and its environs fit the Mersey rather than the Thames at Greenhithe e.g. 'The vast landing stages heaving up and down and covered in sprays" fits the Mersey not the Thames at Greenhithe. The full text can be downloaded from here.

The Secret Sharer The text clearly states that the narrator, a sea captain, and the main character Leggett, a chief mate, are both OCs:

"You're a Conway boy?"

"I am," he said, as if startled. Then, slowly . . . "Perhaps you too--"

It was so; but being a couple of years older I had left before he joined. After a quick interchange of dates a silence fell"

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HMS Conway - Click here to return to the menu Page Last Modified (D/M/Y): 30/8/11 HMS Conway - Click here to return to the menu