Swansea and Port Talbot Docks History

Swansea Dock Masters 1913

Transcribed from a Cambria Leader Supplement November 1913

Captain D.C. Davies


Swansea’s Senior Dock Master. He entered the service of the Swansea Harbour Trust eight years ago (1905) and spent three years at the North Dock followed by two years at the King’s Dock, and was appointed principal Dock Master in 1910.

Captain William Tucker Griffiths

Letricheux offices

The popular Dock Master of the King’s Dock was born in 1868 in Swansea. In 1882 he was apprenticed to Messrs., Simpson Bros., of Swansea. He served for four years in their “Pembroke Castle”, and a year in the barque “Langland”. He served as second mate on the barque “Ordovic” of Swansea, and was Mate on the “Phasis” (Messrs., J & H Carmichael, of Greenock) for over two years. Afterwards he joined the firm of Messrs., J. Coverdale & Son, of West Hartlepool and was appointed Master of the S.S.” Weston”, 3,600 tons in 1898, and in 1905 took command of their new steamer, the “Muriel Coverdale”, of 6,600 tons burden, trading to India, retaining this post until he was appointed Dock master of the Prince of Wales Dock in 1909. Since 1911 he has been Dock Master at the King’s Dock.

Captain Griffiths' experience in the handling of big vessels has stood him in good stead at the King’s Dock where the largest class of steamer visiting the port are dealt with. The work is necessarily heavy at times, but it is always cheerfully undertaken, and with results which are in all respects thoroughly satisfactory to shipowners and the Trust alike.

Captain David Evans R.D. R.N.R.

Letricheux offices

At the age of thirteen and a half Captain Evans began his apprenticeship in “the copper ore men” and at the age of twenty two he obtained his Master’s Certificate. He subsequently improved on this by taking the Extra Masters Certificate, purely honorary.

He joined the Harrison & Allen Lines from Liverpool, afterwards obtaining a commission from the British Navy and underwent four months preliminary training, followed by six months at the gunnery and torpedo schools at Portsmouth. He was appointed Lieutenant of the first class battleship, the “Anson” on commission in the Mediterranean. During that period “The Kruger Bomb” went off. After leaving the Naval service, in spite of being offered substantial inducements to remain, Captain Evans joined the White Star Line and remained in their service for nine years.

He served under Captain E. Smith, who was lost with the “Titanic”, as both a junior and senior officer. He was also Chief Officer of the “Majestic” with Captain Smith, who has always appealed to him as the perfect essence of a sailor. Captain Evans subsequently was offered and accepted, a government appointment in Nigeria. There were excellent prospects there, but unfortunately, the climate did not agree with him, and he was forced on this account, to relinquish his position. He has given a lot of time to the Naval Service, and his assiduity has been recognised in decorations bestowed upon him. He was first the Dock Master at the South Dock and has since been promoted to the King’s Dock where he does duty alternately with Captain Griffiths.

Captain Thomas Green

Letricheux offices

Born in Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland, Thomas Green went to sea at fourteen years of age and he served in all grades on North American vessels. He attained his Masters Certificate before his 28th birthday. He joined Messrs., Palgrave, Murphy & Co., as Chief Mate and after filling that role for 8 months, he was promoted to Master. For a long period he was Master of the “City of Dortmund”, one of the regular visitors to Swansea, owned by that firm. Eight years ago (1905) he was appointed Dock Master at the South Dock.

Prior to his appointment at the North Dock, there was much concern from the public regarding delays occasioned at the North Dock Bridge, which was often open for 45 minutes whilst shipping was dealt with. This was a matter that Captain Green quickly resolved. The position of the Dock Master of the North Dock is one of no little importance.

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