|About the Book|
A lifetime account of Captain John Kemp MBE: from his birth in 1905, in the small Cornish fishing town of St. Ives, and his early experiences growing up before and during the First World War, through to becoming a highly respected Captain in theMoreA lifetime account of Captain John Kemp MBE: from his birth in 1905, in the small Cornish fishing town of St. Ives, and his early experiences growing up before and during the First World War, through to becoming a highly respected Captain in the Merchant Navy with over fifty years of seamanship.John was enchanted by the sea from an early age. After a brief spell as a butcher’s boy, his father, a barber, finally helped him to become an apprentice in the Hain’s Steamship Company on the SS Trevessa. This was hard, poorly-paid work, often in squalid conditions, but John was determined to succeed and gain promotion.Being a man of strong conviction, John eventually asked to be transferred from the Trevessa which he felt was unsafe, despite protestations from his company. His instinct was proved correct when the Trevessa foundered, with some of her crew losing their lives.John passed as a Master Mariner in 1930, still working for the Hain’s Company. In 1938 he joined the Scottish trampship company Andrew Weir- and at the beginning of the war in 1939 the SS Teviotbank, together with John as First Officer, was seconded into the Royal Navy to lay mines.Following the war John rejoined Andrew Weir, earning an MBE for his part in the mass evacuation of Colombo in 1958 and becoming one of their most successful masters until his retirement in 1971.This is an insight into the Merchant Navy and a real piece of maritime history, with good accounts of the ships and a large number of black and white photographs.