Isambard ‘Ice’ Arthur Beckett

From his daughter Mrs. Judith West.

Thomas's eldest son Isambard (Ice) Arthur Phillip was born on 13th February 1915.   He joined Union-Castle in 1932. He wanted to join as a deck officer Apprentice but times for employment were difficult and so he joined the Catering Department.

In 1939 he was Store Keeper on the "Carnarvon Castle", it arrived in Table Bay in the 2nd week in September and was taken over by the Royal Navy.   He became a PO Supply.   In December 1940 he was in the South Atlantic when they had a battle with the German raider "Thor".   The ship was very badly damaged.   After about 90 minutes the "Thor" laid down smoke and made good their escape.   After the battle they were trying to clear up and an unexploded German shell was found in the magazine.   The vessel made for Montevideo and was granted 48 hours for repairs.   He (Isambard) said they all had great satisfaction when plates from the scuttled "Graf Spee" were used to patch the shell holes in the hull of the "Carnarvon".   When the ship arrived in Table bay she was saluted by a special guard of honour as she passed through the harbour entrance.

1941 finds him on the "Winchester Castle" (he was a CPO by this time) for nearly a year they were training with the Commandos.   The vessel was Brigade Headquarters and was now a Landing Ship Infantry.   This lead to them going on the Madagascar Expedition and the "Winchester Castle" was the first ship in.

September 1942 and they were back at their old haunts in Loch Fyne.   This time training again as it turned out for the landings in North Africa, Sicily, Salerno, Anzio and South of France.

At the end of the war he returned to the Merchant Navy and it was not long before he got his first real promotion.   He went as Chief of Cargo Boats leading in time to the South African Service and liners sailing from Southampton.   He served on many of the Company's vessels including the "Capetown", "Pendennis" and "Transvaal Castle". Before he retired early he was serving on the Windsor Castle" as Chief catering Officer/Purser.   

Service Record

From

To

Carnarvon Castle

Saloon Boy

12/1931


HMS Carnarvon Castle

Store Keeper

1939

1940

HMS Winchester Castle

CPO

1941


Kenya Castle

Chief Steward

1953


Durban Castle

Chief Steward

5/1957

12/1960

Pretoria Castle

Chief Cat Officer

4/1961

7/1961

Warwick Castle

Chief Cat Officer

8/1961

3/1962

Pretoria Castle

Purser Catering Officer

8/1962

9/1962

Windsor Castle

Purser Catering Officer

10/1962

8/1963

Stirling Castle

Purser Catering Officer

9/1963

2/1964

Transvaal Castle

Purser Catering Officer

5/1964

3/1965

Capetown Castle

Purser Catering Officer

4/1965

2/1966

SA Vaal

Purser Catering Officer

2/1966

1/1967

Windsor Castle

Purser Catering Officer

2/1967

4/1967

Edinburgh Castle

Purser Catering Officer

6/1967

12/1967

Pendennis Castle

Purser Catering officer

3/1968

4/1968

Reina Del Mar

Purser Catering Officer

5/1968

6/1968

Windsor Castle

Purser Catering Officer

6/1968

8/1968

Reina Del Mar

Purser Catering Officer

9/1968

10/1968

SA Vaal

Purser Catering Officer

10/1968

12/1968

Edinburgh Castle

Purser Catering Officer

1/1969

2/1969

Reina Del Mar

Purser Catering Officer

3/1969

5/1969

Windsor Castle

Purser Catering Officer

9/1969

1/1970

Pendennis Castle

Purser Catering Officer

3/1970

9/1970

Edinburgh Castle

Purser Catering Officer

12/1970

2/1973

Retired

3/1973


Union-Castle Home Page
Previous Page Next Page Home Page   Email the Site     The Group Register