Bill Gray

Post date: Feb 02, 2017 11:55:43 AM

Bill's son Robert has very kindly provided SCARA with some very interesting information about his father's life and career.  

The first piece is the text of an introduction to Mr Gray which was used before he gave a talk to the Anchorites:

“Mr President, honoured guests and brother Anchorites,

“My guest this evening is a Scotsman although he has had the good sense NOT to have lived in that cold climate since he left University.

Robert has also provided us with Bill's CV which reads as follows:

Curriculum Vitae



13th October 1924 – Aberdeen


1930-36 Hilton Primary School, Aberdeen


1936-42 Robert Gordon’s College, Aberdeen


1945-49 Aberdeen University, Aberdeen


1941-42 Senior Leaving Certificate


Higher   Lower

English  History                

French   Mathematics



1945        University Matriculation


1949    M.A. (Hons. In French/Spanish)

War Service     

1942/45 Royal Navy

        O.D./Sub-Lieutenant R.N.V.R.

        (Active service in Mediterranean/Italy followed by internment in Spain)

Commercial career

1949/57 Union-Castle Line

        Trainee Manager in S. & E. African Trades

1957/67 Cayzer Irvine & Co. (Clan Line)


        Management Assistant in Australia Trade

1967    Overseas Containers Ltd    


        Assistant Manager   )   

1969    Conference Manager  ) Australian Trade

1971    Deputy Gen. Manager )

1973    General Manager     )

1977    General Manager Australian/N.Z. Trade       


See also: SCARA notice - Bill Gray, Derek Bowden & Christine Hartland 

*** Robert has added the family's explanation for this incident and what followed: "They managed to beach the landing craft near Vigo in Spain after being given the order to Abandon Ship, technically he 'came ashore' at this point but left the Navy in 1945 after the war to continue his education at University".

“As a very young RNVR Officer he saw war action operating landing craft around Sicily and Southern Italy.  The craft were later required for the invasion of France and were on tow back to England when a storm in the Bay of Biscay forced a decision to release the tow - so my guest found himself trading the beaches of Italy for those of Northern Spain and a permanent guest of the Spanish government.  Having been adjured via our diplomats that on no account were they to attempt escape – the group sat out the war in a local hotel and later in a Naval Base with generous opportunities for time out! [*** See note below]

“Post-war he traded the Royal Navy for the Merchant variety.  He joined the Union Castle Line, which later merged with the Clan Line, which later was merged with etc., etc.  Actually he came ashore in 1949 and pursued a progressive senior management career which also reflected all the changes in our merchant shipping over the last 50 years.  It is still going on.  He tells me that his pension now comes from a large shipping group that he never even worked for!

“Always a keen active sportsman and a very steady, reliable golfer my guest is my partner in our Winter League Foursomes – Bill Gray.”