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For ex-cadets, students & staff of Warsash School of Maritime Science and Engineering, founded 1935 as The School of Navigation, and the Warsash Superyacht Academy

William M Morton 1940

W M Morton joined the School of Navigation at South Hill on 17th April 1939 as a Junior Cadet and took part in the later move to South Stoneham in August of that year. He completed his third term on 17th March 1940 having gained promotion to Senior Cadet Captain. He joined Royal Mail Line as a Cadet later that month. During his 3 and a half years Cadetship, he served on the SS Nagara, SS Nariva and MV Gascony.

He obtained his Second and First Mates Certificates and continued in service at sea during the rest of the war period, in the Pacific, Atlantic and Mediterranean areas. For his service he was awarded the Pacific Star, the Italy Star and the Atlantic Star. His daughter tells of his stories of visiting Buenos Aires during the war period, where both British and German sailors drank together but at opposite ends of the bar and everyone behaved as Gentlemen. He also felt that he was "lucky" as no ship that he was actually sailing on was torpedoed, though one that he had served on but left, was later sunk with the loss of all hands.

After the war William came ashore for a while and worked for Marley Tiles, but later obtained employment working for the Aden Port trust services as a Pilot and Assistant harbour Master from 28 November 1952 to 11 January 1968. In 1953 he married Phyllis whom he had previously met in Melbourne and it was in Aden in 1956 that his daughter Helen was born.

Helen says that he loved being a Pilot and had plenty of tales to tell her about some of the ships' Captains which during the course of his employment he became involved with. Despite the so called 'Military Troubles' in Aden, he had good relations with the Arab workers, no doubt due to the fact that he had learned Arabic and could speak the language quite well. In 1968 he took early retirement due to Aden relinquishing British control and moved back to the U.K. to live in Worcester. He gained employment as a deputy registrar for the West Mercia Constabulary until his retirement at the age of 65.

Both he and his wife enjoyed travelling overseas and spent up to 3 months every 2 years in Australia visiting relatives and friends. In 1990 he visited his daughter who by then had settled in Sydney. He had a long and quiet retirement in Worcester caring for his wife during her final years and he himself after a short battle with cancer, died in St Richard's Hospice on the 8 July 2009, leaving his daughter Helen, son-in-law Brian, grand-daughter Emily and grandson Liam.

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