Joe Duffy

The photo was taken of my 1st trip as a Junior R/O, age 16 in 1957 aboard the Clan Campbell.

I joined her in Tilbury Dec.1957 and left in April 1958 at Glasgow.This vessel and her Chief R/O were used regularly by Siemens Bros for 1st trip R/O’s who received excellent training from the Chief R/O Reggie Cole.

R.F.Cole had gone through the whole of the 2nd World War and I believe he was torpedoed twice before joining the Clan Campbell when she was built on the Clyde in 1943.

He told me he had 3 female R/O’s deployed to him on the Clan Campbell and they could rattle out morse in excess of 30 wpm!!.. I think the ship became an armed merchant-man used to carry war material to North Africa.. Someone did tell me she picked up survivors of an air attack on convoys in the Western Med.

The photo attached is one I commissioned from a local Glasgow artist who specialised in Clyde Built ships. I gave him the original black and white photo of her in Capetown in 1957 and asked him to paint her alongside the Clyde’s well known “Finnieston Crane” which still stands today. This giant crane was commissioned in 1926 at a cost of £52,000 and was designed for lifting steam locomotives built in Springburn, North Glasgow and loaded onto ships for export all over the world. Its lifting capacity was 175 tonnes.

If you look closely in the back-ground you can see the funnel colours of the various cargo ships of the period.

I remember leaving Tilbury and sending my 1st TR to North Foreland Radio but the rest is blank, until we reached Algiers about 7 days later. After that I enjoyed the rest of the trip through the Suez Canal, East and South Africa, Ceylon and India.

The narrative from The Radio Officers Association web site

Service Record



Clan Campbell

Jnr Radio Officer



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