William Ewart Hargrave

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William Ewart Hargrave
Born January 29th. 1908.
Ripon, England.
Nationality British
Occupation Master Mariner.
Employer China Navigation Co.
Spouse(s) Marjorie Hargrave.
Joined CNCo service December 9th. 1930
Left CNCo service February 11th. 1963.


December 9th. 1930. Joined C.N.Co. Arriving by the P.& O. ship Ranchi, holding his 1st.Mate's Certificate of Competency No 29184, issued July 31st.1930.

Employed as 2/M on numerous vessels including the Chengtu I, Chingtu, Chinhua, Wusueh, Kintang, Chung-King, Chenan I, Wanhsien, and the Nanchang II when the ship was attacked by pirates on March 29th. 1933. On release from captivity on September 12th 1933, proceeded to Hong Kong when he was on local leave.

October 14th 1933. Returned to sea as 2/M on the Kweiyang II, Anshun I, before taking local leave when he obtained his Master's Certificate of Competency No. 4912 in Hong Kong on June 22nd. 1934, then sailed as 2/M on the Anshun I and Sinkiang I.

May 30th 1935 as 1/M on the Kueichow, Kanchow, and Wanhsien, going on Home Leave on February 18th 1936.

November 11th. 1936. Returned from Home Leave, promoted to C/O sailing as C/O on the Kiangsu, Nanning II, Taiyuan II, Kiating, Anhui I, and Wuchang II.

May 19th.1939. Sailed as Master on the Siangtan, Shasi II and Wuhu III, prior to having a short leave, in May 1941.

June 18th.1941. Returned to sea as 1/M on the Ninghai I and Newchwang II (commissioned by the R.A.N.) He describes one voyage of the Ninghai I ... "I think Ninghai was the last British ship into Akyab before it was occupied. We loaded about a thousand Indian refugees and R.A.F bombs from the airfield, which had been devastated by enemy bombers. The only way to get the bombs loaded was to promise the refugees a passage if they worked the bombs and this was done with the ship's officers driving the winches - the crew flatly refusing to do so, because they thought it too dangerous. We then left the wharf and proceeded with all possible speed towards Chittagong. After about two hours a Japanese "97" plane dived at the Ninghai, but fortunately peeled off when he saw a Hurricane on his tail. We had about 500 tons of bombs on the Ninghai at that time, our anti-aircraft defence consisting of two army rifles."

March 1st 1943" left Bombay for Home leave in the U.K. Returning from the U.K on 27th. August 1943, for Freetown, South Africa.

February 1944, Spent two weeks in Takoradi hospital, West Africa, suffering from malaria. Took a months leave in Africa in September 1944, and again in March 1945.

July 4th.1945. Appointed as 1/M on the Hupeh II, Whangpu., Shantung II, and Wuchang II, proceeding on Home leave on November 26th. 1947.

September 24th. 1948. Returning from leave sailed as 1/M on the Yochow II, Szechuen III, then as Master on the Szechuen III, Yunnan III, Soochow III, Fatshan II. and as 1/M on Fatshan II and the Poyang II.

February 25th.1951. Seniority list, now "On Turn" Master, and employed as Master for the rest of his career with C.N.Co. then as Master on the Yunnan III.

May 3rd 1952, proceeded on leave, returning on February 4th 1953, being Master, at numerous times, on the following vessels until his retirement- Hupeh II, Chungking III, Szechuen III, Hanyang II, Pakhoi III, Yochow II, and Changsha II.

April 11th. 1956, spent a month assisting the Marine Superintendent in Hong Kong.

February 4th. to October 5th.1957, on Home Leave.

June 5th. 1962, proceeded on his final Home Leave, retiring on February 11th. 1963, after 32 years service.


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