Capt R G Pargiter

From 'The Union-Castle Chronicle 1853-1953' by Marischal Murray:

The ship was listing heavily to starboard.   All the lifeboats on the starboard side had been shot away or rendered useless.   

Mr. R.G. Pargiter, senior second officer, who had been on the bridge, rushed along the port side, and, with some of the deck hands, tried to get one of the boats away.   As he was passing a woman and child into No 3 boat, the "Gloucester Castle" suddenly righted herself and then, almost at once, took a heavy list to port.   

The frapping ropes holding the boat carried away; the boat swung out into space; the woman and child were thrown into the sea and were never seen again.

After the war Mr. Pargiter was repatriated from internment in Japan, the Union-Castle company, as they did with all their war time casualties, retained his services although it was thought that he never returned to sea.

This was proved to be incorrect, although after The Union-Castle Chronicle was published, as Captain Pargiter resumed a sea going career in 1956.

He sailed at least one voyage as master of Winchester Castle in early 1956.

Strange that he sailed as master of a mail ship and thereafter reverted to command of cargo ships. Perhaps his war-time experiences had something to do with this.

Service Record



Gloucester Castle

2nd Officer


Winchester Castle

Chief Officer





Winchester Castle


Rochester Castle



Tantallon Castle




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