Captain William Thomas Turner



Captain W. T. Turner, Commander of the RMS Aquitania of the Cunard Line, 5 June 1914.

Captain William Thomas Turner, Commander of the RMS Aquitania of the Cunard Line, 5 June 1914. Bain News Service, 1914. Library of Congress # 2014696156. GGA Image ID # 1d33886b1a


New Commander of the RMS Aquitania

The new Cunard liner Aquitania, when she is ready for service in May next, will be under the command of Captain W. T. Turner. This announcement by the Cunard management is particularly interesting to Merseysiders because Captain Turner is a Liverpool man. and a typical " Dicky Sam."

He began his sea career before the mast when he was only 13 years of age, that is, in 1869. Up to 1878, when he first joined the Cunard service, he had varied experiences sailing ships the world over, which made him hard to beat by shipmasters «till in service.

It was not until 1904 that he succeeded to a command in the Cunard service. Still, since then, his advancement has been remarkably rapid. He has successively commanded the Carpathia, Ivernia, Caronia, Lusitania, and the Mauretania, and he has been on the latter ship since January 1910.

Last year (1913), the Lord's Commissioners of the Admiralty made him an Honorary Commander in the Royal Naval Reserve.

-- Shipbuilding and Shipping Record, 12 February 1914, p. 213.


Captain William Thomas Turner Biography - 1914

Captain William Thomas Turner, who commands the Aquitania, is the commodore of the Cunard fleet and a native of Liverpool. He began his career as a deck boy on the Liverpool sailing ship The White Star. He went around the world, returning home in the "wind-jammer Queen of the Nations, of which his father was skipper.

Since 1877, Captain Turner has served the Cunard Line and commanded, in turn, the Aleppo, Carpathia, Ivernia, Umbria, Caronia, Carmania, Lusitania, and Mauretania. He commanded the last-named vessel when she made the round trip between this country and the United States in just over 12 days.

At the merchant shipping review in the Mersey last July, Captain Turner received the King and Queen on board the Mauretania and conducted them over the vessel. He is an honorary commander in the Royal Naval Reserve. He holds the Royal Humane Society's life-saving medal and the transport medal for service during the Boer War.

With him are two staff captains, so that one will always be on the bridge, and nearly all the seven officers sailing in the ship have captains' certificates.

-- The Captain and Officers, in The "Aquitania" Souvenir Number of The Shipbuilder: The Journal of The Shipbuilding, Marine Engineering and Allied Industries, Special Number, Midsummer, 1914, p.145.


Captain W. T. Turner -- In Command of the "Lusitania"

Captain Turner, who was in charge of the vessel when she was torpedoed was acting in the place of Captain Dow, who was on rest leave. His real command was the "Aquitania" -- the newest and greatest of the Cunard fleet. When the "Lusitania" sank, Captain Turner went down with her, but was rescued and brought ashore at Queenstown (Cobh).

-- The Sphere, 15 May 1915, p. 155.


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