Author Topic: Captain R H Arnott RD RNR (22 May 1976)  (Read 3345 times)

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Online Lynda Bradford

Captain R H Arnott RD RNR (22 May 1976)
« on: Aug 18, 2013, 11:44 AM »
Captain Robert Harry Arnott RD RNR
(QE2 Relief Captain 22 May 1976, Master QE2 October 1976)

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Born:  1923 in New South Wales Australia.  Captain Arnott’s  family returned to England where Captain Arnott was brought up in Fleetwood, Lancashire.  He had a long, successful Merchant Navy career, sailing with the Blue Funnel Line during World War 2 years and Cunard Line in post war years, where he gained promotion through the ranks. 

Died: 27 August 2015

Navy Career:
1940:  Joined Blue Funnel Line as Midshipman onboard Antilochus.  During his wartime service in the Merchant Navy, he served on many Blue Funnel Line ships
1942: Midshipman onboard Blue Funnel Line ship, Antilochus, when Peter Jackson (QE2 Captain from 1973) was rescued
1942:  Appointed Senior Midshipman onboard Asphalion
1943:  Gained Second Mates Certificate
1947:  Gained First Mates Certificate
1947:  Joined Cunard Line in May 1947 and sailed as second Officer on Vasconia
1949:  Second Officer on RMS Parthia
1949:  Joined Cunard Cargo ship SS Fort Musquarro then later RMS Caronia
1950:  Gained Masters Ticket from Fleetwood Nautical College
1950: Junior third Officer onboard Queen Elizabeth, August 1950
1952: Inter-third Officer on Queen Mary
1953:  Second Officer on RMS Parthia then Junior First Officer on Franconia
1953:  Royal Navy Reserves Officers introductory training
1961:  RMS Caronia
1967:  Appointed QE2's Chief Officer in October 1967 and along with Captain Warwick was involved in overseeing the progress of the ship
1968: Commander RH Arnott awarded the Royal Naval and Royal Marine Forces Reserve Decoration on 26 March 1968   
1969:  Onboard QE2 as Chief Officer for her Maiden Voyage
1970:  Appointed as Staff Captain onboard Franconia in March 1970
1970:  Appointed as Staff Captain onboard Carmania
1971:  Master of Carmania
1972:  Staff Captain onboard QE2 and was onboard at time of Atlantic Storm and Bomb Hoax
1972:  Promoted to Captain of Royal Navy Reserves
1976:  Relief Captain of QE2 (22 May 1976)
1976:  Master of QE2 (October 1976) following the retirement of Captain Hehir
1977: Appeared on BBC This is your life programme  – 14 December 1977
1985: Captain Arnott retired on 31/7/1985 ending a 45 year career at sea and nine as master of QE2
2015: Captain Arnott died August 27 RIP

Books written by Captain Arnott:
Captain of the Queen – The autobiography of the most famous sea captain of them all.

Media and Information Sources:
11.March 2008
Captain Arnott tells of his sadness as QE2 ended her sea-going service with Cunard.

The Captains Cocktail Party clip from Alan Whicker’s “Fast Boat to China” Wicker’s World Programme

Blue Funnel Ships

The Ships List Blue Funnel Line

The Ships List Cunard Line

QE2 Story topic boards that feature Captain Arnott
Books, Videos and DVD's about QE2: Captain of the Queen,3892.0.html

Captain Arnott interviewed - see VHS copy first ever visit of QE2 to Liverpool in 1990

Extract from "Cunarder - Journal of The Cunard Shipping Companies", Winter 1985 edition.
Information on "This is Your Life" episode has been sourced and contributed by CAP Members Comments and Contributions
Apparently the programme was given the go-ahead about 12 months beforehand.  The producers did not want to film the epsiode whilst the ship was alongside in Southampton, the preference was to do it whilst at sea.  This obviously presented a number of challenges not least getting familiar people onboard and unnoticed.  The actual filming took place as QE2 left Cherbourg bound for Southampton and had disembarked the pilot.  There were a number of technical challenges including the different phasing of the TV production equipment and the ships power systems, radio interference was also an issue at the time of the broadcast.  The latter was readily fixed by cancelling all ship to shore radio broadcasts.  A smokescreen in the form of a "aired from sea cabaret" was devised which also provided the opportunity to get the Captain on stage!  Guests were boarded at Cherbourg and were given full disguises by the television company. This feat was aided by the French Authorities who had to process those involved using their different names and disguises.  For legal reasons it was necessary to produce a full passenger manifest at the time of departure, the relevant ship's company were sworn to strictest confidence.  One of those boarding was of course the Captain's wife, known to many of the ship's personnel.  According to my information this was a Thames TV production.

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« Last Edit: Jan 14, 2018, 12:26 PM by Lynda Bradford »
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