Capt. E C Martyn

MBE

Born 4 May 1914

Died 1978 aged 63

Edward Collins Martyn went to sea as an apprentice in 1931 and married in 1941.

After surviving the sinking of St. Usk he continued to serve as chief officer for the South American Saint Line and later promoted Master, mostly sailing on the motor vessel St. Essylt.

After the Saint Line was closed around 1965 he commanded various ships of B&C until he retired.

Email from Gerald Martyn 21 February 2014

Dear Chris,

I've picked up a link to your website by 'googling' my father, Edward Collins Martyn (as I do from time to time). You have some useful information there regarding his career. I've pondered a bit about what or whether I want to provide some more information which would be of interest yet not too personal.

I have decided to offer the attached image of the menu for the farewell lunch aboard the St Essylt.

This was attached to the rear of a framed picture which also came from the ship, and it wasn't until I removed it for better preservation that I discovered that it is signed on the back by all the officers present. Perhaps the list of signatures will spark a memory or two amongst other visitors to your site.

I can also add that his first command as Master was the Withrow Park, in January 1947 and until at least the end of that year.

Congratulations on your interesting website.

best regards

Gerald Martyn

Captain Martyn’s first command

Email from Gerald Martyn 22 February 2014

Dear Chris,

Pleased to hear that the menu was of interest. Most of the signatures would have put a doctor to shame and I find them very hard to make out.

With regards to pictures then of course I have several, but picking the most appropriate one is a problem. It would be nice to send one of him in uniform, but the more recent of such are all showing him in a group and not looking at the camera. I've therefore attached a passport photo from the 1950s  which has him much as he was through to retirement so may spark a memory with someone. Earlier shots of him much younger and slimmer would probably not.

I've also attached his rough log from the St Usk lifeboat voyage, which may be of historic interest to someone. It's just about legible, but I have a transcript if you want that also. It was written in pencil and amended in ink after the voyage where necessary.

best regards

Gerald Martyn

From Reef Knot January 1948

Position 16° 30’ S  29° 00’ W

20th @ 0842 GMT

Torpedoed in No 5 after part on port side. Propeller lost or shaft broken.

Abandoned ship. Gunner Gray injured about head by explosion. No lives lost.

Ship took about 30 minutes to sink.

Collected extra provisions from rafts.

Sub surfaced and took Capt Moss prisoner.  Offered extra provisions - took 10 gal of water. Left sub 1245 GMT set sail course N.W x N. Est speed 3 knots

—----------------------

21st  Rain squalls & calms in morning. Sighted another boat and sailed South to meet them.  Compared noon position, found to be making too much northerly. Sailed on ahead.

Noon Position  16° 18’ S  30° 20’ W    Estimated run 75 miles

—----------------------

22nd Wind E x S fresh to strong. Boat making good speed. Cloudy weather.

Noon Position  16° 01’ S  32° 05’ W    Estimated run 110 miles

—----------------------

23rd Wind moderating, sea too high to allow any change of course but running before the wind.

Noon Position  16° 00’ S  33° 50’ W

—----------------------

24th Wind light during the day freshening at night. Gave extra ration of water, approx 5 x 6 oz. To avoid gybing course steered too much Northerly.

Noon Position  15° 48’ S  34° 55’ W    Estimated run 75 miles

25th Wind light, freshening after midnight shifting to ENE. Course steered varies according to wind. Attempting to steer W x S. Sighting first ship 0700 - 0900 GMT about 6m astern apparently bound south. Only smoke seen

Noon Position  15° 49’ S  36° 08’ W    Estimated run 73 miles

Altered course W x S

—----------------------

26th 1000 Aeroplane “Lockheed” passed overhead, set off smoke floats

Day calm and adverse winds

Noon Position  16° 29’ S  36° 50’ W    

1610 Sighted US patrol plane, circled and dropped message and food.

—----------------------

27th No sign of rescue ship or aeroplane

Proved position given to to 100 miles north. Becalmed

Noon Position  16° 03’ S  37° 15’ W

1800 sighted Brazilian Lockheed plane, circled, flew off towards Bahia.

1820 Brazilian plane circled and flew south.

—----------------------

28th Squally night. Course approx N x E. Latitude 15°S.

Poor conditions wind freshening from SSE

—----------------------

29th Night, double reefed sail, course WNW (Comp) Strong wind to gale.

0530 Sighted land, closed, no habitations. Sailed North and sighted Morro de Sao Paulo.

0900 Towed in by SS Porto Siguro

Time 8 days 13.5 hours   Distance 750 miles   Ave Speed 3.48 knots

Farewell Luncheon Menu on the last voyage of St Essylt. 23rd June 1965

Signatures I recognise: E C Martyn (Master) and L Bainton (Chief Officer)

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