04 April 2010

Farewell, Chief

From The Glasgow Herald on this day in 1939:




Mr. Llewellyn Roberts, C.B.E., former chief engineer of the Cunard White Star liner Queen Mary, died yesterday in Edinburgh. He became ill suddenly yesterday morning in travelling from Edinburgh to Clydebank.

His death is a loss not only to the Cunard White Star Line but also to the British Mercantile Marine, of which he was such a distinguished engineering officer. He was well known on the Clyde having been in residence at Clydebank for some time while the Queen Mary's propelling machinery was under construction by Messrs John Brown and Co., and since August last year he has been the Cunard White Star Line's chief engineer on the construction of the Queen Elizabeth's machinery.


He sailed on the Queen Mary as chief engineer during her maiden voyage, and would perhaps have been in the same capacity on the maiden voyage of the Queen Elizabeth, which goes into service next year.

Mr. Roberts has served the Cunard Company for some 35 years, and before taking up the position of chief engineer of the Queen Mary he held the corresponding command on the Berengaria from 1931 to 1934, while in the five previous years he was chief engineer of the Acquitania.

He was educated at the Collegiate School Llandudno, and after preliminary training in engineering he joined the Cunard Steamship Company in 1904 at the age of 23. He subsequently had sea-going experience on the Ivernia, the Lucania, the Caronia, the Mauretania, and the Lusitania.

When to those ships are added the other Cunarders Aquitania, Berengaria, and Queen Mary, on which Mr. Roberts held responsible positions, it will be seen that few engineering officers in the Merchant Navy have performed such an achievement.

Photo: Getty Images: Queen Mary's fourth propeller being hoisted onto the steamship Bradda at London Dock, on its way to Glasgow.

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