In a recent “Would You Believe It?” there was reference to the ship in the opening credits of “Call The Midwife”. This ship, the
Dominion Monarch, stirred a strong memory.
In around 1948, when I was fifteen, this ship visited Durban, South Africa. The captain, Sir Henry Gordon, had a meal or two with us, as our family and he belonged to the same Christian denomination.
One evening, we took him back to his vessel in Durban harbour, and he asked if my parents and I fancied a quick look at the ship.
We boarded and climbed umpteen flights of steps, right up to the bridge, and explored other important areas on the way. It was fantastic.
I recall him speaking about a war experience, where around him were ships sinking, men drowning, the noise, fire and explosions. He said that for a moment he “saw the lid of very hell itself lifted”. I guess that he was decorated because of his part in the war at sea, but I do not know exactly why he was w knighted.