Capt Edward J Holl


Extracts from "The Union-Castle and the War 1914-1919 by E.F. Knight published by the Company in 1920.

On the loss of the troopship "Leasowe Castle" May 27th 1918.

"The 'Leasowe Castle' was a 10,000 ton ship, which, having been built in England for a Greek firm, was requisitioned by the Admiralty and handed over to the Union-castle Company.   

She was commanded by Captain Holl, a fine sailor and a very popular captain of the Union-Castle Line................"

"It was largely due to the precautions which Captain Holl used to take before sailing that so few lives were lost in the disaster.   

His officers have told me that he was untiring in his work of organisation.   Daily while lying at anchor he used to lower a number of his boats and train men in rowing, sailing, the use of sea anchors, and, of course, in clearing away and launching of boats.   he also before leaving port used to train a portion of the troops under his charge in the handling of boats, and he saw to it that complete arrangements were made for falling in of the men at emergency stations............"

"Nothing was seen of Captain Holl after the disaster.  He had been last heard giving the order, "Every man for himself," (this after seeing all boats away with all 2,900 troops OGK) from the sinking ship.  

The Chief Officer, in his report, wrote of the Captain that, "in his consideration for the safety of all those under his care, he never for one instant thought of his own safety, and went down with his ship"   

During the hour and a half that the ship floated, whenever the Chief Officer reported to him, Captain Holl said: "Do your utmost; they must be saved."   "Several times he came down on to the boat deck, encouraging and exhorting the men to further efforts, always cheerful, always hopeful."   

Captain Holl was posthumously awarded the Board of Trade Medal for gallantry (silver).

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