Colin S Macadie (OH 1937-1943)
29/02/2016
Colin Sutherland Macadie (1926-2016)



Former Cathedral School pupil, Colin Macadie, died at the Hereford County Hospital on the 29th February, 2016, after a short illness, aged 89. He was born in Hereford on April 27th, 1926. His family home was ‘Norwood’, Hampton Park, a house located on the outskirts of the city, which at that time, bordered the open countryside. An adjacent farm almost certainly instilled in him a life-long love of farming communities and one that likely influenced his work in later life In 1933, aged seven, he fell ill with Whooping Cough and shortly afterwards with pneumonia. Fortunately he survived both these illnesses but recalled being, “as thin as a pin, with legs like matchsticks”. The following year, his parents bought a small retirement home on Bradnor Hill, Kington where he fondly remembered spending school holidays:

The 1930’s represented halcyon days. With holidays on Bradnor Hill, pony riding on ‘Black Bess’, hide-and-seek in the bracken, walks to the Three Shepherds, and countless other exciting things – seaside holidays to Torquay, Tresaith and Newport – life was marvellous. What none of us could have known, was that our world was about to change.

The change he was referring to was the start of World War II. His early schoolboy participation in the war effort was attending night-watch duties on top of the Cathedral’s belfry tower to guard against the risk of incendiary bombs. He also witnessed, in 1940, a number of train carriages, full of evacuated troops from the British Expeditionary Force in France, entering Hereford railway station.

In November 1943, aged seventeen, he joined the shipping company ‘Brocklebanks’ as a Junior Apprentice. His first voyage was to Bombay & Karachi on the ‘Empire Regent’, a ship he thought to be special. They steamed thousands of nautical-miles through hostile waters, sometimes alone, always zigzagging the course and sometimes in convoy. He later recalled:

The ‘Empire Regent’ always seemed lucky but on our return home from India we had a narrow squeak. We had joined a well escorted convoy in the Western Approaches and were making our way up St. George’s Channel in the Irish Sea. The time was 4.30 p.m. and I was off-duty. As I came out of our accommodation hatch, right in front of my eyes, the American ‘Sam Boat’ immediately astern was struck on her portside. A huge column of water and debris spiralled skyward. Action Stations sounded and, within moments, I was at my station on the bridge.

He remained with Brocklebanks for many years, rising from junior apprentice to fully qualified Master Mariner. In 1956, he left the sea and joined a small agriculture business in south Shropshire as a Corn Merchant. He remained with this company until his retirement in 1989.

Throughout his life, he referred to the influence of his old prep-school teacher, ‘Miss Gamlen’. He also kept in regular contact with his Cathedral School friend and contemporary, David Ll. Davies, who now lives in Canada.

Besides his wife Joan (Gardner), whom he married in 1957, he is survived his four children, Kenna, Robert, James and Susannah.

Rob Macadie (OH 1971-1975)
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