Obituary - Captain Paul Stuart Brailsford (retd) (1936)
|Paul Stuart Brailsford of Ipswich, (Mass. USA) "crossed the bar" in April 2012 aged ninety-six. Paul was born in North London in 1916 during WWI. Prior to going to sea he joined TS Mercury aged 15 which was moored upstream from the present day Warsash Maritime Academy. Here he endured, what is by today's standards, a very harsh routine where boys slept in hammocks under one blanket, enduring the cold mists of the River Hamble. Drills were often held barefoot and scantily dressed.
On leaving Mercury he served his deck apprenticeship with the British Tanker Company, the fore-runner of BP. In 1936 he was one of the Dept. of Navigation's first 2nd Mates students which exam he sat for and passed in London. He later emigrated to New Zealand and in due course passed his Masters Foreign-Going Certificate of Competency.
In 1943 Paul was Master in an enormous convoy supplying Gen. MacArthur's force invading the Philippines. In the Battle of Leyte Gulf under Kamikaze attack, Paul experienced the horror of war, and, like most of his generation, vowed to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war." After 18 years at sea in command of banana and sugar ships, tankers, and cruise ships all around the globe, Paul came ashore. In 1949 he married the talented writer and artist Frances Wosmek and raised two children, Brian and Robin, in Beverly Farms.
He worked in sales for several companies before forming Brailsford Associates, where he invented, or was first to introduce, many innovations to the fishing industry. Paul loved poetry, Greek music and dancing, public speaking, painting, and made intense efforts on behalf of peace and justice. In 1990 he was founding President of the Samantha Smith Chapter 45 of Veterans for Peace, a national organization of veterans whose goal is the abolition of war, as the only means to avoid the ultimate nuclear catastrophe. In 2001 Paul helped found the North Shore Coalition for Peace and Justice. Paul, after two marriages, is survived by his son Brian, a marine surveyor of East Boothbay Maine, and daughters Robin Brailsford, a public artist of Delzura, California, and Melanie King, flying with Delta Airlines. There are many nieces and nephews in England. This link → Nantick Vets is to a fascinating video interview with Paul, made in 1971 by the Morse Institute Library of Natick, MA.
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