Gold Ribbon Banner
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Yorkshire 25 YearsIn an attempt to discover more about my late father’s seagoing career of almost 40 years, I set about trawling through memorabilia collected by my late mother.

Answers to my many queries could have been provided in minutes had I asked him a few more questions when he was alive, but this didn’t happen and he didn’t talk much about his life in the Merchant Navy, especially during WWII, unless specifically requested to do so. That was in the past, and only the present and future seemed to matter.

The collection of photographs, letters and other documentation were mostly stuck in a blank cash book in lieu of a proper album, which probably wasn’t readily available in WWII, when the couple met and became engaged. Two less conventional, but equally interesting items, were a couple of printed on board ship menus which together spanned his entire career. The first was a breakfast menu from January 2nd 1940 for mv Raby Castle (built 1925 – 4,996grt), belonging to Chambers of Liverpool, (Lancashire Shipping Co). My father, Adrian Moore, was one of four cadets on this vessel, having joined the company in 1938. I knew little about this shipping company, so some research utilising copies of Sea Breezes in 1973 and 1994 revealed that they had owned a fleet of medium sized cargo vessels, most with accommodation for a few 1st class passengers, which may explain the very colourful menu format. They were named after northern “castles”, not to be confused with those of Union Castle Line.

Some of the vessels were employed on a round the world voyage lasting about 130 days, marketed by Barber Steamship Lines of New York. This may explain the presence of two house flags on a blank menu card stuck in the same “cash book” album. As well as Chamber’s house flag and the ship name, there is also a striped blue flag with a “B” inset. Barber Steamship Lines? The breakfast menu was presumably brought back for my mother, who was then working for the Post Office Bank in London, possibly to reassure her that he was being fed well whilst away from home, or maybe there was an element of teasing involved. In 1940 food rationing was in force and breakfasts such as this would be almost unobtainable in the UK. One story told to me is of my mother “sharing” an egg with her brother on the occasions when real eggs were available.

mv Yorkshire However, the good times were not to last, and in May 1941 father was acting 3rd officer on the mv Wray Castle (built 1938- 4,253grt) when the vessel was torpedoed and sunk about 200 miles west of Freetown. One person was lost, and an entire cargo of sugar was sent to the bottom. The following year in 1942 he was on the dreaded Arctic Convoys run to Russia, serving as certified 3rd mate on mv Lancaster Castle (built 1937- 5172grt). Having reached Murmansk in one piece, the vessel was bombed and sunk in the harbour during April, resulting in about half the crew being killed. He returned home via Leith on a Royal Navy vessel, which itself was attacked en route. According to his youngest brother, he was visibly shaken on arrival. No doubt printed menus didn’t feature on that trip.

By the end of WWII Chambers had lost many of its ships in conflict, and the remainder were sold, some keeping their “castle” names for a few years. By 1946 the company had ceased trading.

About then, father joined the well established Bibby Line of Liverpool, which operated a regular liner service of passenger/cargo vessels from the UK to Burma and Ceylon, as well as troopships under government contract. Vessels were named after English Counties, and some of the earlier ships he served on included Herefordshire (1944 – 8,158grt), Cheshire (1927 – 10,550grt), Somersetshire (1921 – 9,468grt), Derbyshire (1935 – 11,660grt), Dorsetshire (1920 – 9,345grt), and Devonshire (1939 – 11,275grt). The last named was a troopship with accommodation for 1,300 troops and 212 cabin passengers, on which he was chief officer for a number of consecutive voyages, including her final one with Bibby Line in 1962, before being sold to British India Line for conversion to the school ship Devonia.

Fast forward to the Christmas Day menu of 1970 on board mv Yorkshire, also on her final voyage with Bibby’s. By then Adrian Moore was captain, with another seven years to go before taking retirement. The Empire was contracting, many countries including Burma and Ceylon had become independent and so the company’s regular route to the East was no more.

Read the rest of this article with additional pictures in Sea Breezes Magazine - August 2014 Issue
Click here to subscribe

Subscribe Graphic

Latest Issue - Look Inside!


Most Popular

  • DFDS and Moby +

  • Flying Focus Calendar 2020 +

  • Seized Stena Impero Leaves Oran, Owner Confirms +

  • Visits to Brixham and the Pin Mill Race +

  • Coal Carrier to Serve Japanese Power Stations +

  • 1
  • 2

Latest Products

Maritime Log

  • RNLI to Cut 135 Jobs +

  • Twenty Years of Cruise Ships +

    Twenty Years of Cruise Ships ON AUG 30, the Port of Tyne celebrated 20 years of cruise ship travel. Read More
  • Race Through Horrendous Seas to Aid Fishing Vessel +

    Race Through Horrendous Seas to Aid Fishing Vessel ON THE afternoon of Aug 30, a fishing vessel reported to the Coastguard that she had lost power near Peterhead, Read More
  • RAF Chinooks Arrive by Sea From us and Fly to Their Base From Quayside +

    RAF Chinooks Arrive by Sea THE Atlantic Container Line (ACL) won a contract from Boeing Defence UK to transport seven Chinook helicopters across the Atlantic Read More
  • Launch of a Unique Memorial to a Memory +

    Launch of a Unique Memorial to a Memory THE NEW Invergordon Shannon class lifeboat which enters service next spring will feature the names of thousands of people in Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

North America

  • Tanker Returns to Shipyard After Hurricane +

    Tanker Returns to Shipyard After Hurricane The Grand Bahama Shipyard (GBS) officially resumed operations and welcomed back its first commercial vessel following Hurricane Dorian. Read More
  • Boost for Area's Exports and Jobs Forecast +

    Port of Morrow in Oregon THE EXTENSION of the barge service at the port of Morrow, in Oregon, is one of only three projects on Read More
  • USCG Cutter and Two Life Boats Ensure Damaged Vessel Reached Post +

    USCG Life Boat In a four-day operation off the coast of Oregon, three separate vessels of the US Coast Guard towed a 50ft Read More
  • Operation to Salvage Three Tugs +

    Tug Salvage THE US Coast Guard has launched an investigation into the sinking of three vessels in the Illinois River near Hardin, Read More
  • Terminal Being Made 'Big Ship Ready' for 2021 +

    Terminal Being Made Big Ship Ready WORK has started on the expansion of Seattle’s Terminal 5 so it can handle container ships of up to 18,000 Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3


  • Next Generation of Bulk Carrier Handed Over +

    Next Generation of Bulk Carrier Handed Over THE JAPANESE shipbuilder Japan Marine United has delivered what it described as “a next-generation energy-saving bulk carrier” to Nissen Kaiun, Read More
  • Coal Carrier to Serve Japanese Power Stations +

    Coal Carrier to Serve Japanese Power Stations THE Japanese shipping line, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), have taken delivery of the coal carrier Corona Citrus, 88,000dwt, built Read More
  • Network Demands Recovery of the Second VDR +

    Stellar Daisy A new search has been demanded to recover the second Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) from the wreck of the South Read More
  • First of Giant New Container Ships is Handed Over +

    MSC Gulsun THE SWISS-based Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) has taken delivery of one of the world’s largest container ships, the MSC Gulsun, Read More
  • The Last New Magnolia Ship in Series +

    The Last New Magnolia Ship THE Singapore-based container shipping company Ocean Network Express (ONE) has taken delivery of the 14,000 teu capacity ONE Cygnus, 138,611dwt, Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Naval Focus

  • US Navy Orders Another Two Expeditionary Sea Base Ships +

    US Navy Orders Another Two Expeditionary Sea Base Ships American News The expansion of the US Navy’s amphibious capability continues with the announcement that General Dynamics NASSCO has received Read More
  • RFA Tideforce is Welcomed into Service +

    RFA Tideforce BRITISH News THE FOURTH and last of the new Tide class tankers, RFA Tideforce, was offi cially accepted into service Read More
  • USS Cincinnati to be Delivered to US Navy +

    USS Cincinnati US News USS CINCINNATI is the latest member of the expanding littoral combat ship fl eet to be delivered to Read More
  • Scorpene Sub Snags +

    INS Khanderi indian News The troubled Scorpene class submarine program hit another snag in June. Read More
  • US Navy’s Frigate Program Passes Significant Hurdle +

    USS Minneapolis-St Paul US News The US Navy has unveiled its plans for the purchase of a new frigate known as FFG(X). Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ferry World

  • DFDS and Moby +

  • From Port Glasgow Nationalisation to Philip & Son, Dartmouth +

    Red Eagle So, not many months ago, nationalisation was unfashionable and unlikely ever to return, especially within the EU where that institution’s Read More
  • Alan Sinclair to Nova Star +

    Glen Sannox Those in management positions must dread the retirement of those characters who retire from their life’s work with a wealth Read More
  • Fragile Future for Calmac +

    Isle of Arran TMore and more, I am reading reports that say the media, and the public too, are well aware of the Read More
  • Oscar Goes to Italy +

    Oscar Wilde Irish Continental Group has entered into a bareboat hire purchase agreement for the sale of its 1987-built Oscar Wilde to Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Sail Review/Coastal Comment

  • Visits to Brixham and the Pin Mill Race +

    Visits to Brixham and the Pin Mill Race In July, the brigantine Tres Hombres called at Brixham on passage from the Caribbean to Amsterdam with 35 tonnes of Read More
  • From Gloucester Tall Ships to Kenyan Sailing Dhows +

    Royalist Gloucester Dock is linked to the River Severn at Sharpness by a 16 mile canal. Read More
  • The Zea Servant +

    Zea Servant The Hong Kong registered Zea Servant arrived late June from Hull. She was in Campbeltown to load wind turbines for Read More
  • The Green Band of Marstal +

    Bessie Ellen The Danish Maritime Museum had the schooner Bonavista built on the island of Aero at Marstal and this year they Read More
  • Norweigan National Day +

    Thorodd I was in Montrose on the Norwegian National Day, 17 May, when its independent constitution from Sweden was confirmed in Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

From the Lookout

  • Flying Focus Calendar 2020 +

    Flying Focus Calendar 2020 FOR MORE THAN 30 years, Flying Focus, based in the Netherlands, has specialised in maritime aerial photography.. Read More
  • Seized Stena Impero Leaves Oran, Owner Confirms +

    Seized Stena Impero Leaves Oran, Owner Confirms It was good news to hear in late September that, according to the ship’s owner, Stena Bulk, the detained tanker Read More
  • Gulf Tensions Result in Cruise Cancellations +

    Oceana IN THE ‘MESSAGE FROM THE BRIDGE’ I referred to the tensions with Iran in the Gulf, following the seizure in Read More
  • Waverley Appeal Reaches Half Million Milestone +

    Waverley Appeal THE WAVERLEY – the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world – had to be withdrawn from service in May this year Read More
  • Welcome to 'Spirit Of Discovery' - Farewell to 'Oriana' +

    Spirit of Discovery WITHIN the last two months the British cruise industry has welcomed the arrival of Saga Cruises, 58,250gt, Spirit of Discovery, Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Cruise News/Superyacht News

  • Silversea Cruises has Partnered with French Luxury Glassmaker Lalique +

    Silver Shadow SILVERSEA CRUISES has partnered with French luxury glassmaker Lalique to enhance the dining experience onboard Silver Shadow and Silver Moon. Read More
  • Billionaire Arthur Blank has his own Dreamboat +

    Billionaire Arthur Blank's Dreamboat ARTHUR BLANK helped create the American home improvement store chain, Home Depot, and it seems that now, his new fl Read More
  • Boudicca Pays Tribute to D-Day Veterans +

    Boudicca Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines were proud to have played its part in hosting 250 D-Day veterans. Read More
  • Captain of a Modern Passenger Carrying Sail Ship +

    Sea Cloud 2 If you have ever wondered what qualities a Captain of a cruise vessel might need to have listed on his Read More
  • Every Ash Cloud Has A Silver Lining +

    The ash cloud crisis continues to cause uncertainty as we see sporadic closures of airspace and cancelled flights, and this Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ships, Ports and Places


An Unexpected Job in Cuba

In 1948, I joined the MV Yamaska Park as an EDH and, over the first few days aboard, I became Read More
Suez Canal

The Creation of the Suez Canal - Part Two

IAt the end of 1858, the company’s Works Committee convened for the first time. It included an impressive assembly of Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Companies, Events and Other Features

Seventy-Five Years On

Seventy-Five Years On

In 1944, Tom Bradbury was serving as a 22-year-old Royal Navy lieutenant in the DIDO class cruiser HMS Scylla. Having Read More
The Falkland Robinson Crusoe

The Falkland Robinson Crusoe

During the 1982 South Atlantic conflict between Britain and Argentina over control of the archipelago known to the British as Read More
  • 1
  • 2