Capt John “JC” Robinson

Orphaned at 12, John Charles Robinson went at 15 as a midshipman on one of the great passenger and cargo sailing ships to Australia. At 16 he narrowly excaped drowning in Sydney Harbour.

He rose to be one of the best known and most popular commanders - toasted by royalty! - On the Union-Castle Line, whose mail and passenger steamships ran regularly as clockwork between England and South Africa. His fervent Christianity, prompted by a dramatic shipwreck as a young officer, earned him the nicknames of “JC” and “Holy Joe”.

In his 70s, just after the First World war, he wrote his memoirs that have now been published for the first time. He recalls a kaleidoscope of events on sea and land, personalities of the day - Gladstone, Rhodes, Currie and African, Danish and English Royalty - and his Boer War experiences, including the celebrated episode of the Hymn-singing PoWs. He enjoyed mingling with the great and humble and his genial disposition and sense of humour shine through all.

The book “To The Sea In Ships” is published in 2013 by Royd House

ISBN 978-1-907197-10-9

Service Record

From

To

Carnarvon Castle

Master

7/1874

11/1876

Balmoral Castle

Chief Officer

2/1877

11/1877

Conway Castle

Chief Officer

1/1878

4/1878

Taymouth Castle

Master

5/1878

1/1880

Warwick Castle

Master

1/1880

11/1880

Dunrobin Castle

Master

2/1881


Warwick Castle

Master

5/1881

5/1883

Roslin Castle

Master

11/1883

2/1884

Norham Castle

Master

7/1884


Pembroke Castle

Master

11/1884


Roslin Castle

Master

4/1885

2/1888

Pembroke Castle

Master

5/1888


Norham Castle

Master

8/1888

10/1889

Roslin Castle

Master

1/1890

8/1891

Dunottar Castle

Master

11/1891

10/1893

Tantallon Castle

Master

1/1894

2/1896

Dunvegan Castle

Master

9/1896

7/1897

Carisbrook Castle

Master

6/1898

7/1899

Kildonan Castle

Master

11/1899

12/1901

Walmer Castle

Master

3/1902

8/1903

Armadale Castle

Master

12/1903

6/1906

Marine Supt



Died

1925

Aged 82

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