Gordon Ellis Bennett

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Gordon Ellis Bennett
Born November 28th. 1931
Died Decenber 20th,1978.
Cause of death Heart attack
Occupation Master Mariner.
Joined CNCo service June 1st. 1953.
Left CNCo service September 9th 1966


His father James William Bennett was a Master with C.N.Co.

Reported to be at the China Inland Mission, Chefoo, before WW2.

Manilla, December 17th. 1941. The Anshun I on which he was a passenger, was bombed by Japanese aircraft, killing his father James William Bennett, who was 1st. Mate. On departure of the Anshun I Gordon was left in the charge of the Red Cross authorities in Manila.

February 18th. 1943. The Foreign Office reported the that he was in St.Tomas Camp in the care of Mrs.E.I. Bromfield, who has assumed temporary guardian ship of the child.

March 10th 1945. The Foreign Office reported that he had been released from internment, in fair health, and had rejoined his mother in Melbourne on March 23 rd. 1945.

Previous sea service. HMS Conway - 2 years, Alfred Holt & Co. (February 23rd. 1949 to February 25th. 1952), and F.T.Everhard - December 17th.1952 to February 25th 1953.

June 1st 1953. Joined C.N.Co. on Agreement with 2nd Mate's Certificate of Competency No 69847, issued in Newcastle on Tyne on May 15th. 1953. Referred to as "Bluey" possibly as he had "auburn" hair.

June 26th. 1953. Employed as 4th.Mate on the Taiyuan II, then 3rd Mate on the Shansi II, Changsha III.

May 30th. 1956 Promoted to 2nd. Mate, and sailed on the Changsha III, Szechuen II, prior to taking study leave in Hong Kong, when he obtained his 1st.Mate's Certificate of Competency No. 5423, on October 27th. 1956. Appointed Substantive 1st Mate on October 29th.1956.

November 10th 1956. Appointed as 1st. Mate, sailing on the Pakhoi III, and Anshun II.

March 4th. 1958. Proceeded on Home Leave, obtaining his Master's Certificate of Competency No. 84607 in Newcastle on April 20th.1959.

April 30th 1959. Appointed as 1st. Mate on the Hupeh II, Anshun II and the Fukien. sailing as Master on January 12th. 1960.

May 28th 1960. Appointed Master of the Funing I. and promoted to Sustantive Master June 30th 1960. Then as Master on the Shansi II, Kweilin II, taking Home Leave on January 13th. 1963. While on leave he attended the Merchant Navy Defence Course, Radar Observers Course, and the Fire Fighting Course in Liverpool.

September 11th.1963. Returning from Home Leave, sailed as Master on the Szechuen III, Hanyang II, Tsingtao, Soochow III, Kuala Lumpur, Fengtien II, and Ninghai II.

June - August 1966. Entered hospital for observation due to having fainted on a number of occasions. It was found that he was no longer fit for further service, and on medical grounds he retired from the Company's service on September 28th 1966.

Gordon Bennett was reported as being a conscientious person, and as Master ran a happy ship.


Events / Stories

Ian Goddard's memories.

I sailed with Bluey when I was 2/O on the Kweilin II. I rather gathered that when his father was killed after the Japs bombed his ship in Manila Bay, Bluey was left to his own devices until after the war, "even to the extent of living with street kids". Swires found him after that and I believe took an interest in his education and arranging a "cadetship" with Blue Funnel. I don't know whether that is where his nickname originated or perhaps it came from the land of Oz for he also had auburn hair.