Capt COGLE of Liverpool School of Navigation

Kindly forwarded by Angus Johnson

Shetland Archives

Shetland Times, January 01, 1921.


THERE were few better known men to Shetland’s seafaring population than Captain Cogle, of the Liverpool School of Navigation, whose death, at the advanced old age of 90 years, was announced in our obituary column last week, for in the long course of his imparting instruction to young Shetland seamen, he was intimate with many, and not a few officers who held positions of responsibility on our merchant fleet, both in home waters and on the coasts of our Colonies, but will learn of his death with regret, and always cherish fond memories of the kindly old instructor who assisted and encouraged others to “go up higher.”

The late Captain Cogle had a most interesting history. He was born at Nashion, near Mossbank, Delting, and his earliest associations with the sea were—not unlike other Shetlanders—fraught with sorrow. His father, John Cogle, was drowned in Yellsound (along with Mr Robert Hoseason, of Mossbank) while crossing over to Mossbank in 1835. His mother was Robina Pole, daughter of Robert Pole and Grizzle Lamb—a distant relation of Mr Andrew Nicolson, baker, South End, Lerwick. Robert Pole met his death by drowning while at “the eela,” in the entrance to Sullom Voe. Captain Cogle had two brothers, one of whom was the father Mr Robert Cogle, of the Steamers’ Store, and grandfather of Mr Laurence Cogle, chief clerk there. His sister was married to Captain Robert Sinclair, Lerwick, who is well know to all our readers.

The late Captain Cogle attended school—frequently under difficulties which would have disheartened most youths—most diligently, and proved an apt and ready pupil. While still a young lad he left home, and coming to Lerwick he apprenticed himself on board ship, probably with the father of the late Mr James Spence, and went to sea. Conditions on the high seas were not so good then as they have become in later years, and his life on board ship was such that he “ran away.” However, the sea still attracted him, and his desire for advancement spurred him on, and while still a comparatively young men he secured his master’s certificate, and commenced sailing out of Liverpool as captain of one of the “clipper” ships for which that port was long famous. After his marriage, he went to India; and while there he met with a rather serious accident while travelling as a passenger on the railway. This accident incapacitated him from seafaring, and after residing in India for some time, he returned to Britain, and settling down in Liverpool, started a navigation school. The rest of his history is know to most Shetlanders. Kindly, atractive, and painstaking, he was always anxious to advance all his pupils, but for “Shetland boys” he had a special regard, and no effort was too great for him to put forth to help others to reach the topmost rung of the ladder in their career. And he had the satisfaction of seeing abundant evidence of the zeal and aptitude of his pupils. Apart from his efforts as a teacher, he was one of the most kindly of men, and many Shetlanders, who will learn of his death with genuine regret, will recall with pleasure many happy hours spent with Captain Cogle in his times of leisure.

Shetland Times, 25:12:1920, Capt. Robert S. Cogle, Holly Bank, Cable Road, Hoylake, Cheshire, husband of the late Ann E. Cogle, died 19:12:1920.


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