Captain Laurence William Barefoot (3728)

March 12, 2022

TSM 5th May 1947 to 18th October 1949

Laurence Barefoot crossed the bar in February 2022.  Laurence was born on 10 June 1933 in Margate and became a wartime evacuee in June 1940 in Penkridge, Staffs where he stayed for four years.  During this time, he lived in a pub with two other evacuees and learned to help on local farms which he really enjoyed.  In 1944 he returned home to Margate. Two years later, aged 14, he joined Mercury.  He described it as a place where there was no love and no one wore shoes, although they had to polish their boots every week and then place them back in a locker! He told his family that it was a training prepared him for life – one of precise order and discipline.

He left Mercury at the age of 16 to joining Strick Line’s cargo ship the Albistan as an apprentice, which he described as being ‘very lucky’ because the Second Officer knew what to do!  Throughout his time at sea, he maintained detailed diaries noting all the voyages and ports he visited.  These included meticulous tracings of charts and recording all his escapades in over 140 pages. He ended his time at sea as master of P&O’s passenger liner Arcadia, something he was rightly proud to have achieved. A pivotal moment for him was when he received a sextant in recognition of gaining his master’s certificate.

Laurence then joined a shipping agency called Escombe McGrath as Cargo Superintendent for the National Shipping Corporation of Pakistan – a job that still took him to sea around European ports. In September 1966, he accepted a position as Assistant Dockmaster with the Port of London Authority at Tilbury.  He finally retired in January 1991.

He was a loving father of three daughters – Sandra, Julie and Lorna and filled his spare time with making model boats, playing bridge, listening to music and calligraphy.  He was also a proud grandfather and great grandfather who never lost his sea faring background and all that it taught him with his motto ‘A place for everything and everything in its place’  and he was a long-time member of the Mercury Old Boy’s Association.

We are most grateful to his daughters, for sharing this eulogy information.