|HMS Conway 1859 - 1974
© Alfie Windsor 1998
Longest Serving Members of Staff
1. 37 years - 1880 to 1916 - Mr George Hunt Instructor and Gunner
2. 32 years 1940 to 1971 - Lt Cdr John Brooke-Smith RNR
3. 30 years - 1935 to 1964 - TEW Browne, Headmaster
There were nine Captain Superintendents and one acting Captain Superintendent between 1859 and 1968. From 1968 when Cheshire County Council took control the post of Captain Superintendent lapsed and the Headmaster took charge.
An Honours Boards made from the Ship's timbers listing the 9 Captains hangs in the Conway Chapel at Birkenhead Priory, paid for from donations to the Captain Hewitt Memorial Fund.
Back to top Headmasters
I have found reference to a Mr Brady as Headmaster but without his years being specified. There are no gaps in the appointments listed below so I have recorded his name here until I can obtain clarification.
An Honours Boards made from the Ship's timbers listing the 9 Headmasters (Tom Browne served twice) hangs in the Conway Chapel at Birkenhead Priory, paid for from donations to the Captain Hewitt Memorial Fund.
The post of Chief Officer was renamed First Lieutenant in September 1917. This did not last long and the post soon reverted to Chief Officer.
The technical position of Chief Officer lapsed in 1969 when Cheshire County Council took over the running of the Ship. A new academic post of Deputy Headmaster/Director of Nautical Studies was created in its place.
Dates are taken from various editions of The Cadet - various overlaps cannot be explained. There were however often a Sister/Matron/Senior Nurse as well as a supporting Nurse/Orderly.
There was always a sick bay in the ships. At Rock Ferry there was also a shore sanatorium, Willow House from 19?? to 1914 and from 1914 to 1940, the purpose built Conway House adjacent to the Knowlsey Road playing fields. The latter has been demolished and replaced by a very conspicuous block of flats with a blue top.
At Bangor from 1940 to Conway had use of Bryn Mel (now an Old People's nursing home) along the road from Glyn Garth slip/the Antelope Hotel. Bryn Mel was a large summer holiday residence owned by Miss L Johnson of the Johnson Warren Line (later Furness Withy).
At Plas Newyddfrom 1949 to 1974 there was the sick bay in the house. That has now been converted into a staff flat for the National Trust.
For images of nursing staff and sick bays click here
As with all military personnel it was commonplace for individuals to gain nicknames. The number and range of a person’s nicknames were directly proportional to the regard in which they were held so John Brooke-Smith must have been highest in our affections. It is interesting how perceptions of some longer-serving members of staff changed over the years as their nicknames indicate. Members of staff are listed below by name and nickname.
Rev Frederick J Ackers (Joey). Geography master 1880.
Nurse Annie Adams matron of sickbay circa 1882 to Dec 1902.
Ag see WO Collins.
Mr Aitken Mathematics Master joined Sep 1905.
Mr Allott BA joined January 1910 direct from Cambridge.
Mrs B (Mother) 1960s. “Arguably the most important figure of the whole Ship. She ran the off-duty tuck-shop and canteen situated in an old stable block. She lived in the house by the main gate and had an attractive daughter who also helped in the tuck-shop). She was the mother to all of us and a wonderful person. The food was homely and glorious, the atmosphere the same. She would open the back door and allow us to smoke behind the tuck-shop, giving us ample warning (unfortunately not the day I got caught) should an officer or anti-smoking Rate should appear. God bless her.”
Ernie Ball see Mr Owen
Mr Barker (Boowks) Late 60s and 70s was so named because of the way he said “Get your boowks out lads”.
Barmy see Mr Crocket.
Rev J H Barr BA. Sep 1913 to Dec 1919. A graduate of Christ’s College Cambridge (a rowing, football, swimming and Warer polo blue) and previously curate of Beeston (Notts). He moved to the living of St James, Congleton, Cheshire.
Mr Charles Barton (Bummy) He was a master from 1859 and Headmaster from 1863 to 1892. Charles Barton. ex Naval School Greenwich.
Basil see Mr Lord.
Mr Ken Bayliss (Ken, aka Pug) in 1960 was the Physics teacher and coach of the 1st XV and Athletics team). He left in 1964 for conduct unbecoming…
Captain Henry Baynham OBE RN FRAS (also holder of the Egypt Medal, British War Medal and the Khedives Star). (Bullets) Henry Baynham was born 1 June 1847 and was educated at the Naval School, Southsea. Entered the Navy as a Navigating Midshipman in Dec. 1862. Served HMS Victory, Buzzard, Nile, Galatea, Orontes and Phoebe. After a long and illustrious career he retired in December 1884 being medically unfit. In 1888 he was appointed Chief Officer of the Conway. In 1895 he was Superintendent of the Industrial School Ship Wellesley at North Shields. He retired from this post in 1910, aged 63. In 1914 he offered his services to the Admiralty and in Sept. 1915 he was appointed to HMS Victory. In 1917 he was officially notified that he was the oldest officer on the active list! Feb. 1917 promoted to Acting Commander. Jan. 1918 appointed to HMS Cyclops and then HMS Sandringham. He was demobilised June 1919 and reverted to the Retired List. He was 72. OBE awarded 1 Jan. 1919 "Worked at Haslar Training Camp and as supervising officer of the Auxiliary Patrol Depot at Immingham and was Senior Naval Officer of the naval base at Swarbacks Minn in Jan. 1918." He died 11th June 1933, aged 84.
C J Beecheno trigonometry master at least 1889 to 1894. Founder of the Conway Debating Society in 1889.
The Bengal Tiger see Mr Trewin
Bert see Mr Menzies.
Bertie see W H J Chipp.
Big Bill see Lt Cdr W. Hutchison
Bill see Mr. Siville/Sewill.
Bill the Bishop see Rev Williams
Mr Blakeman 1903 member of the academic staff. He married oin the summer of 1903.
Instructor. The Cadet of May 1897 (page 18) briefly reported his death.
He had served in the ship for "more than 30 years" so he muts
have been one of the very earliest members of staff.
Mr Blanshard left Dec 1909.
Mr Blomfield joined October 1911 to teach French and History for the Osborne Class. Left Dec 1910.
Mr FG Bloyne left in 1917 to join the RNVR. He was replaced by Mr E Staveley MA (Oxon)
Bluebelly see W H J Chipp.
Boo Boo see Mr Davidson photo on right
Boowks see Mr Barker.
Bog-brush see Mr Carter.
Leslie 1946 to 1957. "Chief Engineer' in the ship. IN 1946 she was
moored off Bangor Pier. Leslie then travelled through to the new
mooring off Plas Newydd and was aboard when she was wrecked on the
Platters. After that, he remained on the staff for a further 4
years or so, maintaining the boilers that heated the huts, classrooms,
etc.. In 2010 aged 87 he donated collection of Conway artefacts to the
Greenwood Centre in Gwynedd. A short profile is here.
Bomber see Mr Bradley.
Bossie see T Phelps.
Mr Ron Bradley (Bomber) 1971-73 taught the colts, and later the first XV. He had previously served in Malaysia (then Malaya), Northern Ireland and RAF Cosford. He and his family lived in the Kelvin Block flat. He built a small white dinghy there, called “Bainin”, gaelic for “little white”. He had a blue, long-wheel base land rover with a cream roof, and towards the end of his stay, a german shepherd. After Conway he established and managed a Field Study Centre in the Mourne Mountains, Co Down (NI) for some 5 years. He was also a member of the local mountain rescue team. Ron Bradley died very unexpectedly. He was suddenly taken ill with a liver condition which killed him on January 6, 1978, aged 44.
Mr Brenchley (Jelly Belly, aka Flabby Guts) Second Officer from 1861 to at least 1890 when he became Purser. A quiet officer not well regarded by cadets. He had been recommended for the Victoria Cross during the Crimean War.
Brodie see Lt Cdr John Brooke-Smith.
Capt H Broadbent RNR (Lobster Chops) Chief Officer 1898 - 1903 then Captain Superintendent 1903-1927.
Brogue see Lt Cdr John Brooke-Smith.
Lt Cdr John Brooke-Smith (Brooky, aka Spooky – from his innate ability to appear just when you least wanted to see him, aka The Brogue, aka Death Breath, aka Colgate –1951-2, aka Brodie) He joined the Ship in 1940 as a Lt RNR having had to come ashore with poor eyesight. In 1960 he was Mizzentop divisional officer, coached the 3rd XV and “an all round gent.” “Quietly spoken with one of the nicest smiles you could wish for.”
Brooky see Lt Cdr John Brooke-Smith.
Mr. T.E.W. Browne (called "Spitfire" in the 1940s as he was ex RAF. More generally know as Tube because of his initials). The headmaster he used to teach us Physics. Wore a gown and mortar-board. When perplexed he had the habit of scratching his stern and then vigorously rubbing his nose, saying “Most extraordinary! Most extraordinary!” Liked by everybody.
Mr F Buckby Science master Jan 1916 to Dec 1923. He was on war service from 1917 in the Artists Rifles. He was replaced by Mr HFJ Burgess.
Buller see Mr Greenwood.
Bullets see Captain Henry Baynham.
Bullshit see Mr Owen.
Bummy see Mr Charles Barton.
Mr Joseph Bunnell Second Cook, 1881.
Mr Burfitt Instructor in 1914.
Mr HFJ Burgess joined in 1917 to replace Mr F Buckby who left to join the Artists Rifles.
Mr Burtitt 1907-14 Instructor ex CPO RN. January 1917 appointed Master At Arms vice Tozer. Bio on page 254 of the December 1917 The Cadet.
Mr. Caldwell (Wrong Way aka Grief around 1961) In 1960 he was coach of the 2nd XV. His nickname is explained thus: “We were playing RAF Valley at home. He was inserted into the 3/4 line to add some beef to the attack. With ball in hand he was hit hard on about their 25 yard line and spun through 180 without hesitating ran hard for the line and "scored" a five yard scrum for the opposition!”
Charles Cater RN (Keen Eye) Chief Officer 1891 - 1898
Cannonball one of the padres.
(Spare Bags). Instructor at least 1887-9. He served in ther RN
from 1856-85. He then moved up to Liverpool and became an instructor on
Conway. The census in 1891 show him as a naval pensioner and his wife
as matron of a home for waifs and strays in Birkenhead. The 1901 census
show him as "Nav Of Instructor" (Navigating Officer Instructor?).
Mr. Carter. (Spogsh aka Bog-Brush because of his crew cut) Senior Master calculus, also taught navigation. Acting Headmaster during the war while Tube was on active service. Perfectly ambidextrous. “Once he set a Maths exam which was so difficult nobody could do it (average was about 2%) and they had to re-scale all the results. I was quite good at Maths but I only got about 15% I think.”
Charlie see Mr Joseph Light.
Charlie see Lt. Skinner.
Chipes see W H J Chipp.
W H J Chipp (Bluebelly aka Chipes aka Bertie). Served for 25 years from June 1883 to June 1907, first as Gunner then as second Offcier.
Cdr Peter Clarke RD RNR (Dhobi) 1964 – 1974. Maintop Divisional Officer who took great care to develop the leadership skills of his cadet captains. He joined Conway from the REAN. His nickname was earned one evening divisions when he announced to the assembled cadets that their “dhobi” (laundry) had been delivered and was to be speedily cleared away. The cadets (other than the large East African contingent) were slightly bemused by the term and it naturally became his nickname.
Charlie see Mr. C.T Nicholls.
Charlie Nick see Mr. C.T Nicholls.
Second Officer approx 1882 to Jul 1907. He was very well regarded. He
organised evening lectures and spoke himslef on many evenings e.g. Dec
1900 page 274.
Colgate see Lt Cdr John Brooke-Smith.
Warrent Officer Collins (Ag aka Jumper) 1937-40.
Ms F Coppack Ward Maid from Dec 1908 to Dec 1918.
Mr J C P Cort English master Jan 1912 - Dec 1923 (joined the forces during WW1).
Lt-Cdr Couch RNR (Sarky) Was XO and left in Aug 1939 on Fleet mobilization. “I heard he had command of a minesweeping flotilla on the East Coast and that he suffered a complete mental breakdown.”
Creeping Jesus see Mr Preen.
Mr J A Creighton Mathematics master at least Autumn term 1920.
Miss Fay Kendal Crispin Sister from early 1970 to mid 1971. She had recently obtained her SRN qualification at the Liverpool Royal.
Jimmy Crockett was Second Officer in the 50s. He suffered from nerves having had a bad time in the war. was "barmy" not "balmy"! He was a very nice man who was Second Officer and who suffered from a slight nervous affliction, possibly a result of wartime experience, which was sometimes evident when he took Divisions. The cadets, of course quickly latched on to this abnormality, hence the words of the alternative Conway song.
Mr Cullingworth Left July 1903 for a post in Cairo. A member of the academic staff
Cupid see Rev? Williams.
DJ see Mr Dale Jones.
Mr Dale Jones (DJ). Chemistry teacher in the 60s.
Mr Davidson (25-27) (Boo Boo aka (Mighty) Mouse) Focsle's Divisional Officer in the 60s.
Bill H Davies (1899-1901), Drill Instructor. Exact years not known but early 1900s. he stood ion as 2nd Officer in 1910 while the incumbent was on a course.
Mr Davies (Peanut) 1950s. “Taught us English. I got on well with him though he was generally disliked. Also coached the Bantam Group for a while.” “The most lunatic evening was when 'Peanut' Davies was OOD. During cinema the projector was acting up (when didn't it?). As a result the time overran into supper (cocoa and a lump of seed cake). 'Peanut' stormed in and insisted that the cinema was stopped immediately. Naturally, the assembled Cadets were not amused and no amount of reasoning could dissuade him. Somehow the word spread that there would be a 'silent protest' at prayers before supper. Sure enough, 'Peanut' found himself singing the hymn alone. The meal (cocoa and a lump of seed cake) was in silence. 'Peanut' just grinned and chuckled. After All Hands were in bed and Rounds had taken place, 'Peanut' ordered each dormitory in turn to get out of bed, dress in shoes and run up and down the stairs 3 times and then assemble in the Mess Hall. Us POs were expected to accelerate the slow coaches - no way! On arrival at the Mess Hall, with the organist at the 'Wurlitzer', all had to sing the whole of 'Oh God our help in ages passed'. Then run up the stairs again to bed. This went on until all the dorms had done it. 'Peanut' thought the whole thing very amusing. Somehow the night's performance came to the attention of TEWB who interviewed 'Peanut' the next day. He was much more conciliatory after that.”
Death Breath see Lt Cdr John Brooke-Smith.
Dhobi see Lt Cdr Clarke RN.
Rev Mr Dickenson padre and games master 1899 Mar - 1900 July.
Dithery Dan see Mr Phillips.
Dodo see Mr. Woolley.
Doggy see Wm J Tozer.
Digby-Jones (Digger) was temporary Chief Officer 1947 Apr (at least) - 1948 Aug. He was ex Blue Funnel. A rather dapper man who was well enough thought of.
Digger see Digby Jones.
Thomas Dobson, Deputy Headmaster. Years not known but early 1900s. ex Naval School Greenwich.
Cdr G Douglas RD RNR (1893-95) (Monty) Originally joined as Second Officer in July 1907. Served as Chief Officer 1917 Sep - 1934 Sep when he retired sick. Returned from retirement around 1940 to take over from Douglas-Lane. He served his time in sail before joining Lord Line where he rose from 3rd Officer to Chief Officer.
Mr Geoff Drake (22-24) (Quack-Quack) – owing to the drawl with which he pronounced some words and his highly individual manner of announcing reveille over the intercom.) He joined in April 1949 as Chief officer. In 1960 was Divisional officer for Mizzentop and Hold. Sported a splendid goatee beard. “He always seemed to be secretly amused by us cadets but he never let us in on the joke.”
E Jarge see George Hunt.
Mr F W Ebdon became French Master Aug 1905.Also coached the football and cricket teams. Joined from St Johns, Leatherhead.
Professor Eeckies from Antwerp University employed as a temporary French Master in Jan 1915 to cover for a member of staff serving in the forces. He left in October 1915 to take a position in the Belgian Gvt.
Mr Edwards Taught Geography.
Lt H A Edwards RNR taught Navigation & Nautical Astronomy for the senior and RN class from Jan 1902 - 30th Jun1905. Left to become Marine Officer in Lagos.
Mr John Ellick, Ward Room Steward 1881.
Mr Norman S Elliott joined Jan 1925 as Spanish Master
Eric see Captain Eric Hewitt.
Ernie see Lt. Ernie Moore and Mr Owen
Nurse Fillingham 1900 - ??? became matron of sickbay from Jan 1903. She worked for the previous three years as a night nurse and part time nurse in sickbay.
Mr Feasey (Yo Ho).
Mr Finch Instructor 1914
Flabby Guts see Mr Brenchley
Flanagan was one of the two Warrent Officers. Years not known.
Mr Fogarty (Frog aka Fogas) teacher i the early 60s.
Fogas see Mr Fogarty.
Mr Charles Forder, Captain's Steward 1881.
Sam Foulkes 42-49 taught history and geography “A quiet, gentle man with a dry sense of humour”
Foxey see Mr Lord.
Mr. Fozard (Greasy) April 1956 To 1974 Spanish teacher who would speak just a few words of English to cadets in their first lesson viz “The best way to learn a language is to use a language. From now on I shall only address you in Spanish. Sienta te!” That was it; after the next few year it was all Spanish. He was the tennis and hockey coach. "A dapper graceful man, always smart and renowned for his slicked back brylcreamed hair." "A short, plump man with a sleek, black, brylcreemed hairdo and a Latin look, naturally he taught Spanish (later he was also the foclse divisional master). He had a parrot in his cabin."
Fozard died in 1978 after a long illness. "For 3 years Fozard worked in Lima in Peru before returning to join the training ship HMS Conway based at Anglesey in North Wales. For 18 years he worked with the students as a teacher and advisor. He always made himself available to the students and evidence of their high regard for him has been forthcoming ever since. One did not need to be long in conversation with Geoff before mention was made of Conway and his happiness there. But truth to say, Conway's loss was the Catholic High School's gain. He joined the staff of the Catholic High School in Chester in 1974,as Head of Modern Languages. Again he won the respect and high regard of his colleagues and the many pupils he helped along the way."
Mr W F Foulton Sep 1923 - ?? Science and rugby.
Lt Frankyn an RNR officer on a year’s secondment in 1955.
Frog see Mr Fogarty.
Gabby see Lt. G. A. B. King.
Gaff see Mr King.
Mr Gavin (master) left Dec 1901.
Mr Gepp appointed by Lawrence Holt, the Conway Committee Chairman in Autumn Term 1937 to teach mathematics as the regular teacher was ill. He was an Old Pangbournian and held an Extra Master’s Certificate.
Rev A H Gibbon Vicar from Aug 1949 to ??.
Mr Glasspool Previously Second Officer then Chief Officer until Feb 1885 when he left to return to sea.
Captain Tom Goddard (Waah) see entry under Captain Superintendents.
Mrs Goddard (Ma G) Captain Tom's wife
The Gonk see D.H. Thomas.
Mr Goodey (Lads) 1960s.
Mr Gough Instructor 1914. Killed on active service in 1916.
Mr W L Graham left in 1910 but returned as a temporary 2nd Officer in 1914 to cover for a member of staff serving in the forces.
Greasy see Mr. Fozard, and Mr Rhys-Evans.
Mr C E Green taught French and History for the Osborne Class, left October 1911.
Mr T J C Greenwood (Buller). Taught Geography from (at least Autumn term 1920 to 1943. Died in harness.
Grief see Mr. Caldwell.
Sister Griffiths aka "Sexy Griff" at least 1957-59
Mr Grime 1903 member of the academic staff. He married oin the summer of 1903.
Gunner see PO Mayne.
Mr JH Hall BSc joined in 1917 to replace Mr CG Smith who left to join the RNVR.
Mr Hampson (Jackie) Was a Science teacher in 1953 and the term master for the 1954 intake. He was a keen amateur photographer and took many of the photos onboard the ship during her last passage from Plas Newydd. He retired in Sep 55 and lived in Somerset after retirement and died in 2005.
Mr Hargraves (Strike) Chief Officer 1865 approx - 1878/9
Mr Harris (Jet).
Mr. Harrison (Scouse) Chief Engineer 1960 to ??
Padre Alex Harrison 1970s. “He is in the 71 photo sitting next to Brookie. If memory serves he was an ex RAF sky pilot - I seem to recall the RAF wings on his vestments.” Seconded from the Missions to Seamen.
Mr Hague Mechanical Lecturer to the Navy Class joined Sep 1905.
Mr Hampson retired in Aug 1955. He had been science master and was a keen photographer. He organised the Photographic Society. He was onboard the ship in 1953 when she was lost and he took all the onboard photos in the Image Archive for that last journey
Miss I E Haws joined as Sister in Charge in January 1910. She trained at Reading before working at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh and the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading from where she joined Conway. She left in December 1910 to get married. She was much appreciated for "way she carried out her duties in the sick bay and the heaarty and sympathetic manner in which she had entered into the social life of the ship".
Mr Heywood taught engineering and woodwork (68-71)late and had a white Mini Traveller that I can vouch for the fact that it was lifted by a group of QBs between the two porches in the lower car park - side on so that it required about a twenty point shuffle to get it out. The cadets presented her with a silver tea service and stand.
Captain Eric Hewitt (Eric, aka The Old Man) see entry under Captain Superintendents.
Hilliard (Old Thunder Guts) 1954-9ish
Mr. Hillier (Thunder Guts). Was marching instructor amongst other things 1961-3.
Rev Douglas Hobson (Long Tom) 1908 Padre (?) and games master
Hoppy see Warrent Officer Lee.
Lt Cdr Howard-Davies (33-35) (Slob) In 1960 he was divisional officer of Hold and Head of Sailing. He was rumoured to have been responsible for the sail design of the GP Dingy and owned sail number '1'.
Mr Thomas Hukkinson English master in 1881.
Humph see Mr Kingsford.
Mr Hunt one of the first Instructor, appointed in 1859.
Mr George Hunt (The Tartar aka E Jarge) retired due to ill health in April 1916 with 36 years service he is our longest serving member of staff. He joined in March 1880 as an Instructor for many years, he became the Gunner in 1889. Until 1912 he was also the Captain's Clerk and became the fountain of knowledge about old boys. "he had a singularly kind heart and was ever a good friend to the weaker and younger boys." His father had been an Instructor in 1859. Reference to him in The Cadet 1902 Dec page 28.
Moses Hunt and James Hunt were brothers - employed as seamen, they were described as “two old man of war men”. Years not known but early 1900s.
Hutch see Lt Cdr W. Hutchison
Lt Cdr W. Hutchison (Hutch aka Big Bill) (36-38) had been on the Arctic Convoys to Murmansk. He joined the staff in June 1955 and was Maintop divisional officer at the Camp until 1962. Very much respected in my time “Held himself very erect and probably used a little alcohol, totally understandable. Have never forgotten him, but he was an enigma.” “His cap always looked way to big for him, great guy, but with demons.” “He was hugely respected and I do not remember anyone ever saying a bad word about him. I had several long discussions with him in my final term, and although he was, as when you were there, sometimes challenged by Johnny Walker, I have nothing but good recollections of his concern and helpfulness.” “He was a totally fair and honest man and personally I respected him hugely. He was someone you could talk to or ask questions of and as far as I was concerned he genuinely tried to help.” “He rode a large motor cycle and was addicted to a little whisky but I have problems trying to think of any of the Conway masters of officers of the time who one could class as "normal". They all appeared to have a few problems or at least idiosyncrasies.” “I always had a high regard for Hutch, he seemed a decent sort of chap. Never seemed to get hugely worked up about things but when he said jump, you certainly jumped.” “He led the return trip on the yacht Flame in the summer of 1959 which I was fortunate to be involved in. We joined her in Holy Loch and after a day of familiarisation on the Clyde, we sailed back to the Menai Strait via Arran, Stranraer, Laxey I.O.M. and Moelfre Bay. We experienced strong winds and foggy calms, anchoring most evenings until the next day. It was a terrific experience that I thoroughly enjoyed. I think Hutch's brother came on the trip as well and possibly the English teacher, but memory fades on who else was there – I wouldn't have missed it for the world.” “He had a strange walk, as if his arms were a bit loose and too long for his liking, good for his motorbike though.”
Sister Ironmonger joined Jul 1924.
Jack Isbester (Uh Huh) He joined in 1971 and effectively replaced Brookie in 1972 but in a new post of Deputy Headmaster/Director of Nautical Studies.
Charles Ivey (Instructor/Skipper) 1887 to Oct 1904 He had charge of the steam pinnace and his watch word was "sit down in the bows". He died after tripping and falling from the Albert Pierhead.
Jackie see Mr Hampson.
Jacky see Lt Mayne.
Rev Hugh Archibald James was the Chaplain for approximately ten years to 11 April 1925 when he left to be instituted and inducted as Vicar of St Annes, Sale, Cheshire on 11 April, 1925. He had formerly served as Chaplain to HMS Conway. “A great sportsman, active and quick in movement, much wider in his views on churchmanship and more tolerant.” Mr James resigned the living in 1931 to go to Hartfield in Sussex, where later he died."
Jelly Belly see Mr Brenchley
Jet see Mr Harris.
Joey see Rev F J Ackers.
Johnstone (Baby) 1960s.
Captain Jones OBE (Logger) 1964 - ?? A small, frail, unassuming officer, with red hair, gammy legs and a limp. San Demetrio,London tells the story of his wartime exploits and how he managed to survive in the north Atlantic after being sunk.
Mr. Jones English teacher in 1960. “A very Welsh accent and a small moustache (no connection), taught English and seemed to me a very placid sort of guy. He had to be to put up with disruptive types like me. He lived away from the school, but no doubt took his turn as duty teacher on occasions when others were away.”
Mr Percy Jones employed as a temporary French Master in Dec 1915 to cover for a member of staff serving in the forces.
Jumper see WO Collins.
Mr Kearsey master at least 1891-4.
Keen Eye see Charles Cater RN.
Ken see Mr. Bayliss.
Mr Kidley employed as a temporary Master from Jan 1916 to cover for a member of staff serving in the forces. He was a retired Cunard Line officer.
Lt. G. A. B. King (Gabby – because of his initials.) 1952-3. He was on loan from British Tankers and a young man not a lot older than the older cadets which meant they took to him in a special way. He used to draw the most beautiful cut-away drawings of ships. Coached the Bantam Group rugger 15. Onboard and IC Stern Party during the final transit of the ship in 1953.
Mr King (Gaff).
Mr Paul Kingsford (Humph – in the 50s, aka Newie – around 1961 and through the 60s aka Ning Ning, aka Sping) 194? To 1974. History teacher and coach of the “Fire in your bellies” Colts rugby team. Coached the cricket 1st XI.
Mr Kirby (Rip) a North Countryman who was on the academic staff.
Mr David Kirkham Head of English and Housemaster 1971-74 Born at Wembley in 1943, he went to the Skinners' Company's School in Tunbridge Wells and thereafter to Pembroke College, Cambridge. At Pembroke he read for the English Tripos. Cambridge was followed by two years lecturing at university, firstly at the University of Alexandria in Egypt, and secondly at the University of Cologne. After a year studying for his PGCE at the Institute of Education in London, he set off for Alberta in Canada teaching at Eastglen Senior High School. In 1970 he returned to this country spending a year at the Vintners Secondary School in Maidstone before taking up a post as Head of English and boarding Housemaster at the HMS Conway Navy Cadet School, Anglesey. Again, He said that the experience "taught me how marvelously self-reliant, inventive and miserable children could be at a boarding school." "Meeting David was like being hit by a hurricane, or perhaps a Tempest to use a more literary expression.” David ran the rugby XV in which there was a rather elegant fly-half called Iain Duncan Smith and an even more elegant centre called Clive Woodward. After Conway he moved to the Newport Free Grammar School.
"Under all his professionalism, there lies a quiet, courteous family man whose interests lie in gardening and astronomy.
Lads see Mr Goodey
Lt Cdr Lane (Loopy)
Lt K D Lane RIM (OC 1907-09) Joined as signal instructor 30th jan 1926.
Mr Charles Light academic master in 1894
Laurie see Lawrence.
Lawrence (Laurie) 1943 - Dec 1955. “He used to enter the mess deck (at the House), say nothing but start flashing away reciting his mantra of "E-I-S-H-T-M-O" to get us into the swing of things. He was a great character, a very amusing man and always very decent to us young cadets.”
Mr V G Le Mesurier (? – 1912 - ?) Chief Engineer Instructor.
Le Mesurier Chief Officer 1934 Sep - 1939.
Lebesque one time second officer of Comway in the early 50s. “As we left the ship for the last time in July 1951 in No 1, we all sang, 'He's my brother, Lebesque, got a row of forty medals on his chest, etc'. I think he was a temporary officer on detachment, and believe he left soon afterwards.” He was appointed salvage officer of the wreck.
Warrent Officer Lee (Tooley aka Hoppy) 1941 -?? who was well liked. Tooley was an army Warrant Officer, seconded to the Conway to teach the new-fangled unarmed combat. Taught Seamanship 1940-43. Famous for pronunciation of ‘rhubarb’.
Mr Cyril Elton Lee (1899-1901) Third Officer from May 1916, then Acting 2nd Lt from 1917 vice Douglas. Extensive Biography on page 252 of the December 1917 The Cadet. He had been injured at sea and so walked with a pronounced limp - an odd coincidence when the nickname for the other Lee is read.
Miss C Lendrum resigned as Sister in Charge 1910 Apr after 4 years in post.
Mr Joseph Light (Charlie) Maths master at least 1870 left Oct 1898.
The Little Man see Rev E.A Turner.
Lobster Chops see Captain Broadbent
Logger see Captain Jones.
Long Tom see Rev Douglas Hobson
Loopy see Lt Cdr Lane
Mr Basil Lord (Basil aka Foxey aka Lordy). Headmaster 1964-74 Nicknames derived from a TV hand puppet of the time called Basil Brush.
Lordy see Mr Lord.
Mr Edward Lowe Ship's Steward 1881.
Mr McLeod (Ocka Jock) Master at Arms in the early 1960s. He had been in fast patrol boats during the war and delighted in describing his antics. “A very blustery little character (vaguely reminiscent of the Scottish warder in Porridge). Best known for the speed that he drove his Mini Cooper around the estate. I had the dubious honour of being the last person he put on Captain's Report (for smoking) before he collapsed and died (1964?). Well, at least he got the satisfaction of seeing me dis-Rated before he went.”
Mr McNaught master - left to join the forces in 1914.
Lt H McNelle Dibb RNR (Feb 1883-Dec 1884). He was CPO in his last term. He joined Abram Lyle & Sons and rose to First Officer with the White Star Line.For three years prior to rejoining Conway he had been Chief Officer in Beaver Line. On appointment he asked for the defaulters list to be cleared so that "all might start fair".
Ma G see Mrs Goddard
Mr Mackness (master) left Dec 1901.
Maggott see Wm J Tozer
Bert Mandeville officer in the initial years at Plas Newydd.
Mr Marchant Joined 1899, retired Dec 1934. The Navigation
Master, he was appointed a Senior Master in 1923. he trainmed some
3,000 cadets before rteiring to a "well earned rest". He trained at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.
John Maxwell RN instructor from October 1881 to July 1907. Fencing master and cutlass drill instructor.
Lt Mayne (Gunner, aka Jacky) 1950s. Ex RN Gunner. “Gunner Mayne was probably the most energetic of all the POs. From him we learned that Whale Island was the axle on which the British Royal Navy revolved. Without it the RN would probably have foundered long before. Everything he did was ‘on the double’. Consequently he expected that everything we did should also be ‘on the double’ As our drill master he taught us not only to march, salute, stand correctly, but also to have pride in our accomplishments. I think that many of us learned from him that, although tasks might sometimes be difficult, they are never impossible. The Whale Island spirit lives on.”
“A splendid man and a true product of all that was best in the Royal Navy”
“He was always on about ‘his Admiral’. “Guns, said the Admiral, Sink me that ship” We were all amazed when, one day some Admiral came to inspect us and, upon seeing Jacky, fell on him like a long lost brother!! Perhaps all Jacky’s tales were true after all! He was a real nut for spit and polish and quite made you feel that it might be worthwhile. ‘Make an evolution of it!’ was another of his expressions.”
Mr Menzies (Bert) Head cook on board. Looked like Robert Newton as a pirate cook. Pockmarked face and all. He lived in terror of the Kelly Gang in Liverpool and we reckoned he was ‘hiding out’ in Conway.
Mons. Meunier visiting French Master left Aug 1905 after 20 years of service.
Mr Milroy (Stoolie) Taught Science (possibly English) 1951-5. He rode a 125 motor bike with a huge crash helmet.
Captain Archibald Miller see Captain Superintendents.
John Milson left 1907. "A grand olf man, fine seaman and well natured".
Monty see Cdr Douglas.
Mr H J Moon History master at least Autumn term 1920.
Lt. Ernie Moore (Ernie aka Pony) 1950s to 1963ish. In 1960 was divisional officer for Focsle in the House. Taught Signals and Shooting. Petty officer. “Great on knots and rope work. ‘A bit of rope or a bit of wire wivout a whipping is like a woman wivout a whatname’ he used to tell us. During the war he apparently escaped from the Japs in Singapore and led a party of civilians all the way round into India. “He lived in the Plas Newydd block and had his wife and a DAUGHTER! I even remember her name Thelma who he kept very much on a tight leash”. Both he and Jacky had more medal ribbons on their chests than would fit while poor old Brookie only had one.” “Ernie was perhaps the most colourful, certainly in his use of language. My first memory of Ernie was when he told us that we were not allowed to have sheath knives with points on. It was apparently against the ship’s regulations. This was immediately followed by a warning that, if any of us were so unsailor-like as to spoil one of a sailor’s most important tools by breaking the tip off a knife, we would have him to answer to. In seamanship class one day he was teaching us how to rig sheer-legs. We had lashed the two spars together at the head and his words were, ‘Now then, pretend it’s your girl, grab the legs and pull them apart.’ Another day, as the pinnace was coming alongside the gangway in fairly heavy weather, the bow man was having a great deal of trouble in picking up the mooring wire with the boathook. Ernie, who was O.O.W. leaned over the top of the gangway and in his nice London accent said, ‘Come on my son, your mother might have waited nine bleeding months for you but I’m not going to’. To many cadets though, Ernie and his wife were father and mother figures. I spent a week in Bangor hospital at one time and Ernie and Mrs. Moore made a point of visiting on at least a couple of occasions.”
Mr James Morgan re-joined July 1911 as mathematics and Naval Class teacher. In 1920 he was the Senior Master. Previously a member of staff 1903 to 1906 as the Mathematics Master to the old Navy Class. He was educated at Beaumaris Grammar School and Jesus College, Oxford.
Mother see Mrs B.
Mouse see Mr Davidson.
Mr. Murphy (The Sheriff – because he was for a while the Mayor of Beaumaris, aka Spud) Taught Navigation “Oh he of perfect circles”. “Great sense of humour. Sheriff of Beaumaris pronounced ‘B.E.A.U. (pause) Maris’ He had an ancient car which he called Snowball.” He was one of the very few who held an extra masters ticket in both steam and sail.
Mr Mylroi retired in Aug 1955 to get married.
Mr Naylor employed as a temporary Master from May to Oct 1915 to cover for a member of staff serving in the forces. He left to become a Vice Consul in Tromso.
Mr Nelson Chief Officer until Dec 1883.
Newie see Mr Kingsford
Mr. C.T Nicholls (Charlie Nick, aka Charlie) An engineer who joined from “Blue Funnel” He was I/C fuel for the boats and taught ship construction. Member of staff from, at least, 1943 to end of Octiober 1963. “In 1951-2 I remember that the band at 'divisions' would play Charley Nick as we marched away. The words of the song formed the opening lines of his dictated notes for his first lecture. The words were something like:
Ning Ning see Mr Paul Kingsford.
Rev. Henry O'Brien; L.L.D., Cork was the Chaplain from 1859 to the 1870s.
Mr J Oakley Sep 1905 became Engineer Instructor to the RN Class with responsibility for the machine shop. Previously engineer.
Ocka Jock see Mr McLeod.
The Old Man see Captain Eric Hewitt.
Old Thunder Guts see Hilliard
Lt. J. Oliver (Taffy) A much liked Petty Officer during the 1950s. In 1960 was divisional officer for Foretop and Maintop in the House. Taught Signals and Seamanship. “Taught me all I knew about sailing. Sometimes was called “Way Ho – Jay Ho” with all the sing song of the Welsh accent. When he wanted to locate some cadet on board he used to hail down the main hatch, “ Way Ho – Smith or whatever” whereupon the whole ship would shout back, “Way Ho – Jay Ho!” John Oliver was the quietest of the three POs. His lilting Welsh accent was always controlled and he never seemed to have to raise his voice much at all. For a couple of terms he was my divisional officer and I found him to be very considerate and thoughtful. The other thing that I remember about him was that his initials JO, and the way he wrote them, were extremely easy to forge. This was a great benefit when one needed a note or a textbook label initialised by your divisional officer. Something I took advantage of on a couple of occasions.” In the last ten years of his life he ran the cafe at PD.
Ollie see Mr. A.R. Ollerton
Mr. A.R. Ollerton (Ollie) in 1960 was Focsle divisional officer. He always wore a real flat as a plate white cap which looked too big for his thin face and head.
Mr Owen (Bullshit aka (Spike) 1960 Bosun. “The Dock was the domain of the bosun and his mate, “Bullshit” Owen and Ernie Ball respectively, who lived in a snug room above the bosun’s store in a stone building that also housed the seamanship room. Mr Owen, a small wiry North Walian, regarded us with shrewd circumspection, given to the utterance of homilies on anything from the handling of rope to the hazards of cold stonework: “You’ll get piles sitting on them cold stones, boy. Oh, yes – and then you’ll remember me – “ turning to Ernie, always a pace or two in the offing “ – won’t he, Ernie?” But Ernie – stolid West Country, apple-cheeked and slow-spoken – never answered beyond a slow smile and a nod, and we wondered just how far he saw through Mr Owen’s pose, as we liked to think it. The pose was, of course, old sea-dog. But he was a kindly man, very patient with a cadet’s apparent imbecility, though the patience was leavened with mild sarcasm. “A splice, is it, boy? Well, you could keep a small parrot in it with room to flap its wings. Give me that spike. Now look – “
T Harry Owen RN Instructor at least April 1893.
Mr Roland Palm A Swedish Gymnast taught PE for a short period May-June 1960. He wanted to join the staff but there was no funds even thought the previous PE Teacher (Mr Skinner) had died in 1959. He was a Silver medallist in the 56 Olympics. He came from Helsinbourg, Sweden and was invited to Conway by the then headmaster after several visits to Sweden by Conway cadets. “It was incredible watching him doing crucifixes and handstands on the rings up by the cricket pitch.”
Lt. Parry (Reg aka Wah Wah) in 1960 was Foretop divisional officer.
Mr Patterson employed as a temporary Engineering Instructor in 1914 to cover for a member of staff serving in the forces.
Peanut see Mr Davies.
Penfold Instructor late 1880s/90s.
A McL Pilcher (1919-20) Chief Officer Sep 1945 Sep - Sep 1946.
Warrent Officer Jack L Phelps (Bossie) 1943-5. A cockney whose family were Thames watermen for generations. He was a holder of Do0ggetts Coat & Badge.
Mr Phillips (Dithery Dan).
Mr Ping employed as a temporary Master in Dec 1915 to cover for a member of staff serving in the forces. He came from St Albans School.
Pony see Lt. Ernie Moore
William Potter (Quack aka Quacko) Master at Arms 1859/60ish to at least 1894.
Mr Preen (Creeping Jesus aka Treen) replaced Peanut Davies in the early 50s. He retired in Aug 1955. His nickname was after the creatures who inhabited Venus in Dan Dare's strip in the Eagle comic. He organised the dramatic society.
Tom Priestley Instructor late 1880s/90s.
Pug see Mr. Ken Bayliss.
Mr Pullen Assistant Master resigned Jul 1907.
Quack see William Potter.
Quack-Quack see Cdr Jeff Drake.
Quacko see William Potter.
Mr Thomas Radcliffe, carpenter 1881.
Mr Ransome General Master. Years not known.
The Red Maggot name not known. Taught Science 1940-43; “No idea what his surname was but I still know how a moving galvanometer works (I think)”.
Reg see Mr Parry.
Mr Rhys-Evans (Greasy) English teacher in 60 and was picked up by the duty boat in P.D. He lived somewhere in Caernarfon.
Rip see Mr Kirby
Mr T R Sanderson taught Spanish at least 1952-3. "...a master, whom I remember partly because of his talent in teaching, but also because of his quiet and gentlemanly manner."
Sarky see Lt-Cdr Couch RNR
Mr G H Savage French master at least Autumn term 1920.
Scouse see Mr. Harrison.
Mr Scudder Instructor 1914
"Sexy Griff" see Sister Griffiths
Sister Shearer 19?? - Dec 1924
The Sheriff (of Beaumaris) see Mr. Murphy.
Mr. Siville/Sewill (Bill) 1950s. Very quiet chap. Much liked and respected. I think that he was minus one lung due to being torpedoed on a tanker in the North Atlantic.
Lt. Skinner RN (Winkle aka Charlie) 1950s. Known originally as Charlie but renamed “Winkle” after the loss of the ship. “When we salvaged the sea chests from on board we had to empty them and hose them out. ‘Get ‘em good and clean. We don’t want to find no winkles in there.’ ” He was the PTI and would also cut hair on Saturday morning for a bob! “He had a cheerful sadistic streak using the tannoy, ‘Wakey, wakey, rise and shine, middle of the day and the sun's burning your bleeding eyes out!’ This at Zero Crack Sparrow Fart on a January morning with the horizontal sleet coming down the Straits and we had to do the morning run from the House up to the Figurehead before having a shower!” Was serving in Ark Royal when she was sunk in November 1941 while accompanying a Malta convoy. Took cadets for gymnastics but died quite suddenly in 1959.
Skipper see Charles Ivey.
Slippery Vic see Rev Vickery .
Slob see Lt Cdr Howard-Davies.
Mr CG Smith left in 1917 to join the RNVR and was replaced by Mr JH Hall BSc
Mr Sneath was a master in Oct 1898 and seems to have been in post for some years. He ran the choral society and the debating society. was also a sports master (reference to football and Sneath's Sixes")
Spare Bags see David Carroway.
Spike see Mr Owen.
Sping see Mr Paul Kingsford.
Rev J F Spink joined for the Summer term 1910 as Chaplain and Games Master. He came from Weymouth College and was also a member of the Harlequins rugby team. He left in July 1913 to become Headmaster of the Cathedral School, Bristol.
Spitfire see Mr. T.E.W. Browne.
Spooky see Lt Cdr John Brooke-Smith.
Spogsh see Mr. Carter.
Spud see Mr. Murphy.
Mr J W Stacey joined Sep 1924 as a PTI
Mr E Staveley MA (Oxon) joined in 1917 to replace Mr FG Bloyne who left to join the RNVR.
Stoolie see Mr Milroy.
Strike see Mr Hargraves
Mr A H Stuart. joined in Sep 1904 "A worthy colleague ... a valuable preceptor and sympathetic friend".
Mr Jas Stuart (Senior Master) Joined Oct 1898, left July 1911. In partnership with Captain Miller he formed a nautical school in South Street, Liverpool to coach candidates for their BoT examinations.
Taffy see Lt. J. Oliver and Mr Walters
The Tartar see George Hunt.
D H Thomas (The Gonk – he was a short, round man with a dark beard so he quickly gained the name of the 60’s children’s TV characters) joined around 1964-5. He had the unnerving habit of bursting into Senior Cadet Captain's cabins, without knocking, on his duty day. This was until the senior rate of Foretop devised the "Anti-Gonk Device". This was simply reversing the door hands to 'Lift to Open'. The device did not stop his unannounced invasions but by frequently reversing the door handles at least it gave us a 50/50 chance of defeating the incursions.” “I remember he suffered from chronic dandruff and his uniforms always seemed ill-fitting. He was a terror for ensuring we were always smartly turned out!” A small knitted and well stuffed gonk became the 1st XVs mascot.
Mr Howell Thomas Mathematics master at least Autumn term 1920.
Mr Thrower Instructor 1914.
Thunder Guts See Mr. Hillier.
Mr Thwaites September 1960. A very tall thin teacher with glasses?
Tooley see Warrent Officer Lee
Wm J Tozer (Doggy aka Maggot) Instructor from at least May 1st 1888 (when he was invalided out of the RN). Later Master at Arms from 1893 then promoted Gunner until he retired. As Gunner his duties included physical drill, gymnasium and boxing instruction. A man of 'great personal strength and phenomenal activity". Bio on page 253 of the December 1917 The Cadet. He retired on 30th April 1924 after 36 years service.
Treen see Mr Preen
Mr Trewin (The Bengal Tiger) Chief Officer 1859 to 1865.
Tube see Mr. T.E.W. Browne.
Oswald Tuck was born in 1876. He was educated at Greenwich Hospital School. In 1896 he joined Conway to teach astronomy and navigation with the title Naval Instructor. He left in 1899. His Conway diary for January 1898-August 1898 is held in the Churchill Archive Centre.
Rev Turner 1952 To 1970(?). Joined Conway from TS Mercury. Small and wiry, he was an Olympic long distance runner representing Great Britain in the Marathon at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. He was an exponent of the Finnish Style of running which meant keeping your heel down and literally sloping over the ground to save energy. To make it more effective you had to lean forward slightly at a specific angle to provide the necessary thrust to maximize forward motion. In his day he could sure cover the ground and a truly remarkable speed and was the very devil to keep up with. Fought in the Western Desert during the War. As Padre he was allotted the task of holding and distributing pocket money to Cadets hence the phrase “Yes Yes - here's your five shillings”.
Uh Huh see Jack Disaster
Rev Trevor Vickery (Slippery Vic) chaplain 1939-45. He was Rector of Staplehurst from 21st December 1951 to his retirement on 29th September 1991, the longest serving Rector since the establishment of the Rectorship in 1245. A memorial window was installed in the Parish Church of All Saints dedicated to his memory. The window, with its Welsh theme, has in the centre light, St David, Patron Saint of Wales, with other Welsh symbols, including the dragon, daffodil and leek. The arms of the Vickery family and Conway are in other areas of the window.
Mr Viner Drawing Master joined Sep 1905
Lt H Wadsworth RNR (OC 1917-19). He served his apprenticeship in sail and then joined the RMSP. In 1914 he was mobilized. He joined the technical staff in the new post of Lieutenant. He left on 24th July 1924.
Waah see Captain Goddard.
Wah Wah see Lt. Parry.
Wally an instructor from at least 1877 he died onboard on May 11th 1897.
Mr. Walters (Taffy) 1950s. Head of the Canteen. “One baked beans on toast and a cup of Caaaawwfee”.
Mr Weatherhead joined Oct 1898 from a "distinguished career at Cambridge".
Capt JD Weir taught navigation and seamanship. He returned to sea in 1947.
Mrs Williams matron from circa 1877. From 1904 she was matron of of Willow House until it was superceded by Conway House in 1914. She was "the personification of kindness and sympathy ... had a very large heart ... a capable mind and body ... was always a faithfull and trusted servant of the ship ... ever cheerfull".
Charlotte Williams Domestic Servant 1881.
Rev Williams (Cupid, aka Bill the Bishop) Member of staff between (at least) 1951 and 1960 “Always hidden behind a newspaper, hardly ever saw his face!”. Believed to have been a Padre in the RN. “taught maths and loved his ale.”
Winkle see Lt. Skinner.
Lt C E Wise RN Chief Officer from jan 1884. Died in service
Mr. Woolley (Dodo) 1970s. Science teacher.
Wrong Way see Mr. Caldwell.
Mr Wagner Instructor 1915.
Mr Taffy Walters (193? - 60) He and his wife first ran the sanatorium at Rock Ferry, then at Bryn Mel, Anglesey and finally operated the tuck-shop cum café at Plas Newydd.
Mrs Walters (193? -60) She was part of the nursing staff. Assisted by her husband she ran the sanatorium at Rock Ferry, then at Bryn Mel, Anglesey and finally operated the tuck-shop cum café at Plas Newydd.
William Warbis Sep 1905 joined as Carpenter Instructor from Price’s Candle Works. Left in July 1905 to join Messrs Morgan and Blakeman.
Tommy Wetham Instructor years not known.
Instructor joined Sep 1904. His "former experience in the RN has given
to the ship an expert instructor in that increasingly imoprtant subject
signalling, in its various branches.
Captain James Williamson Nightwatchman 1914 to July 1919.D escribed as "... in spite of his weight he was an active and well preserved man..." He had captinaed "...many fine sailing ships". He died aged 76.
Mr A L Wood joined Jan 1902 from Greenwich Observatory. Still employed Dec 1920.
H M Wyatt, Joined ??, Left 30th Apr 1901 when the cadets presented him
with a dressing case in "token of thier esteem and regard for him, and
to show their appreciation of the valuable services which he has
rendered." See The Cadet 1901 May. He was a member of the
academic staff who also supported athletics and other games. He moved to the College at Fareham.
Mr Wykes Assistant Master resigned Jul 1907.
Yo Ho see Mr Feasey.
Sister Zptumska 195? to Apr 1954. She had a thick accent and I remember her wielding a very large and thick needle full of penicillin when I was in Sick bay for boils in my ear,despite her rather scary appearance she was a real softy at heart.
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