William (Bill) Roy Worrall

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William Roy Worrall
Born 26-01-1913
West Derby
Nationality British


In 1927 at the age of 13 he entered the H.M.S. "Conway", for 2 years, one of a number of ships whose purpose was to train cadet officers for the British merchant navy. His first ship, in January 1929, was the S.S."Cyclops" owned by Alfred Holt & Co. as an apprentice for 3 years. On 16th. June 1932 he obtained his 2nd Mate's certificate in Liverpool, No. 32644. As jobs were hard to come by he joined the S.S. "Perseus" as a seaman, and then served as a quartermaster. his next ship was the "Aeneas" (Blue Funnel) where he was again a quartermaster. On arrival at Shanghai he was interviewed by the Marine Superintendent of CNCo. at the Butterfield & Swire office on the Bund, and obtained a position as 2nd mate. As he was unable to sign off the "Aeneas" he "jumped" ship and after the "Aeneas" sailed, he again presented himself to the Marine Superintendent and was appointed 2nd Mate on the CNCo. ship "Chungking II" on the 28th. May 1934, after signing a 5 year contract.

He sailed as 2nd. Mate on the following vessels:- "Chungking II", (when the ship went aground in May 1935), "Hsin Peking I", "Chekiang I" , Shengking II, Chengtu I, "Taiyuan II", "Anking I"', "Kiating", "Soochow II", as 2nd Mate, then proceeded to Hong Kong where he obtained his 1st Mate's certificate No. 4952 on 17th. June 1936.

After obtaining his 1st Mate's certificate, he was appointed as Chief Officer on the following ships:- "Wantung", "Changsha II","Taiyuan II", Tug "Chuting", "Shengking II", "Kalgan", before proceeding on Home Leave, when he obtained his Masters Certificate No.42779 in Liverpool on Dec 22nd. 1938.

On return from Home Leave he was appointed Chief Officer of the "Chungking II".

At this time ship's Masters were appointed according to their length of service, and there were always more captains than ships, this meant that it would be a considerable length of time before he would have his own command. As the firm of Wheelock Marden was looking for a master, he resigned from C.N.Co. and was appointed master of the S.S. "Victorlock" which was employed on the Japanese coastal trade. After an incident involving the Japanese authorities, he was without a job, so proceeded back to Shanghai where Wheelock Marden asked him to take an old coal fired river tug, the "Hsin Fule" to Hong Kong. When the Japanese occupied Hong Kong, he was interned at Stanley Prison for the duration of the war.

On cessation of hostilities he was Master of the rescue tugs operated by Taikoo Dockyard, most of which he spent as captain of the Tug "Tai Koo" III


Events / Stories

The book "No Cure No Pay" by Captain William Worrell with Kevin Sinclair, describes his experiences while with C.N.Co. in the 1930's and as an ocean going tug skipper.