Martin Spencer-Hogbin spent his working life in the shipping industry. In 1957 Martin decided to immigrate to Australia from England, believing it would be a better place to raise children. He travelled via a free passage on the Blue Funnel Line, with his wife and two daughters following as full fare paying immigrants. In Australia he was a superintendent for FG Strang, a stevedoring company, of which he later became director.
Early Life, Apprenticeship & War Service
Born in Cambridge, England in 1924 Martin Spencer-Hogbin spent his working life in the shipping industry. In January 1942, aged 17, Martin was apprenticed to Alfred Holt & Co (better known as the Blue Funnel Line), he was on the ship Stentor when it was torpedoed in October 1942. About 45 people were lost and if Martin hadn't been at action stations in the chart room at the time he would have died also. In June 1944 he was made 4th Mate on the ship Antenor (1924-1953) which was used as a troop ship during the war, and participated in the Normandy landings in November 1944.
In June 1945 Martin was made 3rd mate on the Empire Rawlinson, he remained in that role on a number of Blue Funnel Line ships including the Nestor, Denbighsire, Demodocus and Eumaeus. In August 1949 he was made 2nd mate on the Peleus a job he retained on the Cyclops until he made 1st mate in August 1951. He then served as 1st and 2nd mate on a number of Blue Funnel Line ships including the Euryades, Dymas and Clytoneus. In July 1953 he was made Chief Officer on the Memnon. He worked as Chief Officer or 1st Mate on ships including the Neleus, Glenbeg, Phemius and Nestor. His main routes were the Far East via the Suez, and Australia via Cape Town, and the ships carried cargo and first class passengers. Throughout his working life Martin served on around 30 ships.
Migration to Australia
In 1957 Martin decided to immigrate to Australia from England via a free passage on the Blue Funnel Line. His wife and two daughters followed as full fare paying immigrants on the Stratheden. Martin wanted to immigrate as he believed Australia would be a better place to raise children, in light of world events such as the Suez crisis, and the Hungarian uprising. In Australia he was a superintendent for FG Strang, a stevedoring company, of which he became director, he retired in 1987 and settled in Armadale.