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Author Topic: Cunard captain autobiographies  (Read 1470 times)

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Online Olivia

Cunard captain autobiographies
« on: Jun 17, 2019, 02:40 PM »
Has anyone read any?
I'm sure most of you have read 'Captain of the Queens' by Captain Arnott, I haven't read it yet but would like to.

I own/have read:
Captain of the Queens by Commodore Harry Grattidge
A Million Ocean Miles by Commodore Sir Edgar Britten
Home From the Sea by Commodore Sir Arthur Rostron
I Captained the Big Ships by Commodore Robert Thelwell
Queens' Company by Commodore Donald Maclean




Online cunardqueen

Re: Cunard captain autobiographies
« Reply #1 on: Jun 17, 2019, 10:49 PM »
Dare we ask, which one did you enjoy the most , and why ?
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online Olivia

Re: Cunard captain autobiographies
« Reply #2 on: Jun 18, 2019, 11:13 AM »
Well I'm sure you can appreciate that each book was amazing, all of course written by excellent captains who have had very interesting careers.
If I had to choose a favourite, I would say 'Captain of the Queens' by Harry Grattidge because it is so interesting. His account of the sinking of the Lancastria is very moving, as is his firsthand account of the Queen Mary's collision of the HMS Curacoa. It must have been difficult for him to cope having been at the centre of some of Cunard's worst disasters during WW2.

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Cunard captain autobiographies
« Reply #3 on: Jun 19, 2019, 03:48 PM »
I agree, Olivia.  His autobiography is indeed one of my favourites.  I had the pleasure of being acquainted with Commodore Grattidge.   :)

QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Online Olivia

Re: Cunard captain autobiographies
« Reply #4 on: Jun 20, 2019, 10:59 AM »
Oh wow June! Did he ever talk to you about his life/anything mentioned in the book? Did he ever go on the QE2?

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Cunard captain autobiographies
« Reply #5 on: Jun 20, 2019, 03:32 PM »
Hi Olivia -

Thanks for your message.  I do not know if he went aboard QE2.  He passed away in 1979 and was not in good health leading up to his passing. 

In regard to the sinking of the Lancastria, even in later life, he was very distressed about the ship's sinking and the loss of life.  He had a penguin collection which went down with the ship along with all the letters from his Mum. 

Many captain's autobiographies seem to be written in a rather detached way.  Captain Grattidge's book was written from the heart.  One of the most touching moments for me was when he referred to his life at sea as a blinking of an eye and the obvious sadness that he would be leaving the sea. 

I still have the letters he sent as we corresponded.

Carry on with your plan to be a deck officer !

June   :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Online Olivia

Re: Cunard captain autobiographies
« Reply #6 on: Jun 21, 2019, 10:58 AM »
Yes June, his book does stand out amongst the others I have read. His sadness about leaving the sea is clear through his descriptions of his final days/moments in command.

One interesting thing about many of the books is their predictions for the future of both the Cunard Line and ocean liners in general.
One particular line that comes to mind is from Commodore Sir James Bisset's book:
"there are some reasons which make it seem unlikely that passenger ships of 80,000 tons and upwards will again be built." I wonder what he would say if he saw the QM2 today!

I found two of Bisset's books online, would I be allowed to link them here?


Offline June Ingram

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Re: Cunard captain autobiographies
« Reply #7 on: Jun 24, 2019, 04:28 PM »
Hi Olivia - Yes, it would be amazing to hear what former Captains would have to say about the modern cruise ships !  Have you read Geoffrey Marr's book ?  It is also very good.  I do not know about the linking of the books because of copyright.  The other moderators would probably know better about it.   :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Online cunardqueen

Re: Cunard captain autobiographies
« Reply #8 on: Jun 24, 2019, 06:02 PM »
I always thought two people who should have written books were Andrew Nelder The Maitre D and the late John Duffy. He actually kept a diary onboard , the reason l know is away back in 1988 l was assigned to his table on a med cruise, and then a great many years later , it happened he was the same host exactly 18 years to the very night, naturally l simply had to make a comment during Dinner , it was then he confided he kept a diary and would go back and check , sure enough on another night he confirmed the fact.

He also told us of the time he was interviewing up in Edinburgh shortly before QE2s return to service in April 1987 , he went down for breakfast and noticed a long line of people waiting, he asked a member of the hotel staff what was on... and was told Oh theres some interviews for QE2 and these are some of the applicants.
He laughed and told me, l said to the waiter, best cancel my breakfast and bring a large pot of coffee and lets get started.

 He always said one of the best things to ever come out of that interviews was a young man he interviewed by the name of David Thompson...the rest as they say is history

Another great book in 1988  C-Six  by Dr Nigel Roberts But lm off topic here       
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Twynkle

Re: Cunard captain autobiographies
« Reply #9 on: Jun 24, 2019, 11:57 PM »
Hello Olivia

And a belated Welcome!

Just a few of excellent books to add to your collection!
QE2 - the Authorised Story by Potter and Frost
The Queens and I by Commodore Geoffrey T Marr
Tramp to Queen by Capt. John Treasure Jones

QE2 - The Cunard Line Flagship by Commodore Warwick (2019 Ed!)
QE2 - A ship for all seasons by David Hutchings
QE2  - 1967 - 2008 Haynes Manuel By Stephen Payne
The Building of Queen Elizabeth 2: The World's most famous ship
Michael Gallagher  (2017)

And books also by Captains Arnott, Rentell, Moxom and Jackson - the latter is in regard to The Falklands campaign.
And - John Maxtone Graham too!
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for nearly 12 years.  Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Online Olivia

Re: Cunard captain autobiographies
« Reply #10 on: Jun 25, 2019, 09:15 AM »
Hello Twynkle,

Thank you for the belated welcome  :)

I would love to read all of these, particularly the books of captains Treasure Jones, Marr and Arnott. I have read the QM2 Haynes Manual By Stephen Payne, which gets quite technical at times but is really informative. I'm sure the QE2 version would be just as good, if not better.

Offline Clydebuilt1971

Re: Cunard captain autobiographies
« Reply #11 on: Jun 25, 2019, 01:15 PM »
Hello Olivia

And a belated Welcome!

Just a few of excellent books to add to your collection!
QE2 - the Authorised Story by Potter and Frost
The Queens and I by Commodore Geoffrey T Marr
Tramp to Queen by Capt. John Treasure Jones

QE2 - The Cunard Line Flagship by Commodore Warwick (2019 Ed!)
QE2 - A ship for all seasons by David Hutchings
QE2  - 1967 - 2008 Haynes Manuel By Stephen Payne
The Building of Queen Elizabeth 2: The World's most famous ship
Michael Gallagher  (2017)

And books also by Captains Arnott, Rentell, Moxom and Jackson - the latter is in regard to The Falklands campaign.
And - John Maxtone Graham too!

Oft Olivia - you'll need a big piggy bank for this lot! :)

I have a copy of the last three on that list - amazing books - well worth a read.

Micheal Gallagher is on this forum - well worth reading through his stuff - you will be inspired!!

Gav

Online Olivia

Re: Cunard captain autobiographies
« Reply #12 on: Jul 10, 2019, 04:15 PM »
I managed to get my hands on Marr, Jones and Arnott’s books ;D ;D
Haven’t got round to reading them properly yet but have looked at the pictures and done some serious skim reading!

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Cunard captain autobiographies
« Reply #13 on: Jul 11, 2019, 03:32 PM »
Great, Olivia !  You will enjoy them.  Captain/Commodore Marr was well thought of by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. 
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Online Olivia

Re: Cunard captain autobiographies
« Reply #14 on: Jul 16, 2019, 01:16 PM »
Yes June, this documentary features an interview with Commodore Marr when he was quite old and he recalls the Queen Mother's visit to the Queen Elizabeth before her last voyage.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Cunard captain autobiographies
« Reply #15 on: Aug 22, 2019, 02:54 PM »
Yes June, this documentary features an interview with Commodore Marr when he was quite old and he recalls the Queen Mother's visit to the Queen Elizabeth before her last voyage.

In addition to the interview with the Captain in the documentary, there is some really good film footage that covers the history of the ship.   
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Mauretania1907

Re: Cunard captain autobiographies
« Reply #16 on: Sep 21, 2019, 05:37 AM »
I believe there is a book about Captain Rostron recently published by Conway Press. I do have his book "home from the Sea" which I bought because he was master of the Mauretania.

Online Olivia

Re: Cunard captain autobiographies
« Reply #17 on: Dec 24, 2019, 10:30 AM »
I wasn’t quite sure where to post this, but I noticed this picture today on Cunard’s Instagram story and would I be right in saying that that is Commodore Grattidge on the left?

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Cunard captain autobiographies
« Reply #18 on: Dec 26, 2019, 03:47 PM »
Hi Olivia - Thanks for posting.  I think that is Commodore Grattidge, second from left.   :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

 

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