Master of MV Laurelwood pining for home


Laurelwood- built 1929Captain Joseph Francis of Eryl, Dinas Cross, decided to retire at the age of 53. He had just completed two stints as Master of the Laurelwood, one of the largest tankers in the fleet of John I. Jacobs and Co. of London. Jacobs’ tankers were mainly trading to the Gulf of Mexico or Cape Town – long trips that kept the sailors away from home for years at the time. As you can see from this letter to his dearest Becca, he seemed to find nothing at sea to interest him. All his thoughts are directed home to Dinas.

Joe Francis letter 2


Joe Francis letter 3-2

Joe Francis letter 2-4

My Aunty Becca’s account of unusual flooding in Dinas must have suggested the scenario of Howells on the privy as it floated away from Hescwm Mill, while the prospect of flooding at Rose Cottage, his own family home, may have worried him.

At the time of writing this letter there were still three more years of drudgery before he left the employment of John I. Jacobs and Co in 1938, having worked for them from 1931-1936 and then again on the same tanker from 1936-1938.

Sadly for Uncle Joe and Aunty Becca, he died soon after, in April 1940. He is buried in Macpela. His wife, Rebecca Francis, who lived for another 25 years and offered our family wonderful Dinas holidays during that time, died in 1965.

Cadben Joseph Thomas Francis, Eryl, bu fawr Ebrill 11, 1940 yn 55 ai briod Rebecca Francis farwodd Awst 21, 1965 yn 80 

About bookvolunteer

I'm passionate about books, about Oxfam and about making the world a better place. When I'm not filling the shelves in Oxfam Wilmslow, I might be found reading the books I've bought in the beautiful surroundings of North Pembrokeshire.
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