Gilbert Colvin

email from Charles Colvin  7th Feb.2008

I have been surfing the net for information on the Union Castle Line because my grandfather, Gilbert Colvin (1874 – 1965) and great uncle Robert Colvin (1876 ? – 1953) both worked for that company for many years.

My grandfather was the chief clerk of the London engineering dock office and worked for the company for forty nine years retiring in 1937.

My great uncle was at one time Engineering Commodore and served in many ships including HMS Carnarvon Castle, I believe as Chief Engineer, at the time of the battle in the South Atlantic in1940, I believe he was “mentioned in dispatches” for his part in that action.

I was recently in South Africa and looked for any evidence of the Union Castle Line – none to be found except a model in the Cape Town maritime museum of the Edinburgh Castle. Later I visited the island of St Helena and found the office of the Union Castle Line , with its original brass plaque on the door in the main street of Jamestown.

I can remember many times my grandfather talking about the Union Castle ships and their crews. He used to tell me that the clocks in Cape Town were set by the arrival and departure time of the ships !!

I hope these memories may be of interest to you.


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