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CAPTAIN SMITH—PATRIOT.

... It'u-a fortunate. thing for: Leyton thatr in this year of stress" its Urban District Council should.be presided over by. such a breezy seafarer as Captain D. M. Smith, of the Commonwealth and Dominion Line (says the London Shipping Gazette). In the early stages of the war Captain Smith offered his services to the Admiralty and expressed his willingness to undertake the dangerous, duties of tminesweeping. . The captain's offer having, been rejected for reasons of age, He has devoted, himself to forwarding the 'interests of his country in his own locality, In addition to his arduous duties at the London docks, Captain Smith has devoted a tremendous amount of' energy and time" in starting and maintaining ' the various organisations whiob have been formed, in' Leyton in consequence of> rhe war. It may not be out of place to recall a sea episode with which Captain, Smith was closely associated some 40 years ago., In the fall of 1875 .the sailing ship.Brodrick Castle left the Thames for New Zealand,: having,on board 400 emigrants, ?,0 saloon passengers, and a crow of 60. Captain Smith was the mate of the vessel. ,0n 10th October, when inth»:Bay of Biscay, the ship encountered a, fierce westerly gale, and on the. following day a squall carried away the maintopmast, the foretopmast, the mizzen topmast head, and part of the mainmast head, • with most of the gear. Owing to the captain being seriously injured by falling wreckage, the, mate <hao" to take charge of the ship. The crew practically • mutinied when ordered aft to do-some dangerous work, saying, they wpuH rather drown than bs smashed to pieces by the blocks. The man at the. wheel had deserted his post, and the ship was in the trough of the sea. .In these dire extremities:a young American seaman volunteered to help the mate, and the two leaped on to the poop, the mate to windward and: the American seaman to leeward. The Brodrick Castle gave a ■'. heavy lurch, and the young American was killed. The whole . of; the mizzen mast came down with a crash, pinning- Captain Smith to the deck. No one could get near him to render assistance at the time, but. subsequently he was released and taken below. The ship* doctor then had to' amputate .his foot:" Shortly afterwards the dismasted Brodrick Castle, was picked up by a steamer and towed into! Falmouth, afterwards proceeding to Plymouth. Before permitting the gallant sailor to be lowered into the fishing boat which' took \ him ashore the crew of the vessel carried Him shoulder high three times round'the snip. For his gallantry Captain, Smith not long after received suitable awards. -. . ' ' . , i ■ . .

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19160212.2.103.4

Bibliographic details

Evening Post, Evening Post, Volume XCI, Issue 36, 12 February 1916

Word Count
443

CAPTAIN SMITH—PATRIOT. Evening Post, Volume XCI, Issue 36, 12 February 1916

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