True Gen­tle­man

The People's Friend - - Soap - Mr A.N., South Africa.

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.

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