Geoffrey Drake

Mr Geoff Drake MM (22-24) joined as Second Officer (Chief Officer designate) in March 49. He was appointed Chief Officer in August 49. He later reverted to Second Officer because of ill health and then became Chief Officer at the House. (Known as Quack-Quack) – owing to the drawl with which he pronounced some words and his highly individual manner of announcing reveille over the intercom.) He joined in April 1949 as Chief Officer. In 1960 was Divisional officer for Mizzentop and Hold. Sported a splendid goatee beard. “He always seemed to be secretly amused by us cadets but he never let us in on the joke.”

    “Mr Drake was the Chief Officer in charge at The House. His sardonic turn of phrase and dryly trenchant tone of voice was eminently mimicable, and most cadets tried their hand at it, with varying degrees of success. He was a kind man, but a measured disciplinarian, not open to manipulation by cadets. The first time I heard him speak was when he addressed all new chums and 3-year cadets on The House mess-deck on the first or second day of term, the only remark I remember running something like “There’s a sea-boot in my office. It’s been there since the middle of last term. Is it too much to expect of the cadet concerned that he notice that he’s got only one sea-boot, and would he mind collecting the other forthwith?” This was greeted with silent delight by his admirers (most cadets) and exaggerated resignation by the disaffected. He projected a very pronounced personality, rather ascetic, dry, humorous and wise, the wisdom indicated by his goatee and moustache. He was diabetic, and cadets were under instructions to administer the sugar he kept about his person if he ever went into a diabetic fit; I never saw it happen.”

Without Incident by G. Drake


A short story in Touching the Adventures of Merchantmen in the Second World War edited by J Lennox Kerr.


His story well shows the sheer strain of operating in convoy; a strain unknown to modern seafarers

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