Philanthropy

A major aspect of the work of any livery company is that of supporting those in time of need. The Honourable Company provides support to seafarers, wives, widows and children during difficult times as well as providing funds for the encouragement of careers at sea.

The Honourable Company of Master Mariners and Howard Leopold Davis Charity (Charity Number 1172234)

Objectives and Activities

  • To relieve Master Mariners and Maritime Navigating Officers of the Merchant Navy, and their families and dependents who are in need through financial hardship, sickness, disability or the effects of old age.
  • To educate and train persons serving or intending to serve in the Merchant Navy and persons with an interest in seamanship or sailing.
  • The Charity was established on 13 April 2010 as an amalgamation of the London Maritime Institution (20708), The Benevolent Fund of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners (207094), The Education Fund of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners (313382) and The Howard Leopold Davis Fund (207095).

Trustees

  • Captain J.W. Hughes (Chairman)
  • Commander L.A. Chapman RN
  • Captain H.J. Conybeare
  • Captain S.T. Culshaw
  • Captain N.F. Rodrigues
  • Captain A.J. Speed

To view this charity on The Charity Commission for England and Wales’ website, please click here.

Howard Leopold Davis

Contribution from Neil Purdon

Durban born Clan Line cadet Howard Davis whose family originated from the Channel Islands. After two years on the Clan Graham (2) Howard found himself in Glasgow when WWI broke out. With some of his friends he joined the Highland Light Infantry and died of injuries sustained on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. His wealthy Father TB Davis was determined that his son would not be forgotten.

His Dad also bought HMS Thames in 1920 and brought it out to SA where it was renamed SATS General Botha and served as the SA’s Merchant Navy Training Academy until they moved to Granger Bay. Their training ketch (the equivalent of the Halcyon at Warsash) was named the Howard Davis, although Bothie cadets irreverently dubbed it the Olympic Flame – because it never went out!

Howard Davis is one Clan Line cadet whose name will be remembered for many more years to come.

Those of you who’ve visited Durban may have noticed the Howard College University buildings which dominate the skyline behind Maydon Wharf. These were donated in Howard’s memory. The taller building is called the Memorial Tower Building in Howard’s memory. On entering Howard College building you are greeted by a large painting of Howard in his cadet’s uniform with a model of the Clan Graham beneath.

In Jersey the magnificent Howard Davis Park and Memorial Hall are to be found. The St Helier War Cemetery in the park is the only Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery where the crosses are made of wood, not stone. As recently as 2016 Howard’s great niece laid the foundation stone for Victoria College’s new Howard Davis Hall to commemorate the centenary since his death. Throughout those 100 years the school has benefited through ongoing scholarships as well as the College’s Howard Davis Theatre.

To apply for relief

If you require support them please apply in the first instance to:

The Merchant Navy Welfare Board
8 Cumberland Place
Southampton
Hants SO15 2BH
Tel 02380 337799 – enquiries@mnwb.org.uk

or contact the local Sailors, Soldiers and Air Force Association (SSAFA).

Members of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners seeking assistance should write to:

The Clerk to the Honourable Company of Master Mariners
HQS Wellington
Temple Stairs
Victoria Embankment
London
WC2R 2PN
Tel: 020 7836 8179 – info@hcmm.org.uk

or, contact the Company by completing below: 

Scroll to Top