Captain Frank Craske       


Frank Craske 1956My brother, Francis Christian Craske, was born on 11 October 1939 at The Bottle and Glass public house, Northorpe Lane, Donington, which was managed by his parents, Francis and Ann Craske. I followed on 8 August 1942. Soon after this our father was conscripted into the Royal Navy and the rest of the family moved to Sheringham, Norfolk, where his seafaring family had lived for generations.

Frank grew up by the sea and became a Sea Scout before joining the Air Training Corps at Paston (North Walsham Grammar School, where Nelson was a former pupil). For a form prize at school he chose ‘Flags, Funnels and Hull Colours’ and was also given ‘Ship Recognition – Merchant Ships’ from his Dad, an auxiliary coastguard. It was his natural choice of career.

Frank left Paston on his sixteenth birthday, before taking his ‘O’ levels, much to the dismay of the Headmaster who wrote to my parents, as a result of which he joined the Prince of Wales Sea Training School in Dover in January 1956, until 22 April 1956. He joined the Port Victor as a deck boy in May 1956. He was awarded the HRH Prince of Wales Certificate which he received at the Mansion House from the Minister of Transport the following year on his return to the UK.

Captain Frank CraskeHe progressed rapidly through the various ranks, mainly on foreign going ships, until 1961 when he decided to concentrate on home trade. He obtained his Home Trade Master’s Certificate in June 1963 and eventually became Commodore Master of P&O Tankships.

Unfortunately he suffered a brain haemorrhage in 1994 but made a good recovery from the operation at Middlesbrough Hospital. Medical retirement thus followed and he was unable to continue at sea.

Frank never married and was always a caring and considerate son to his parents, visiting them each leave and making sure they were not in need of anything. In 1973 he bought a house in Kessingland, Suffolk, where he lived quietly with his rescued border collie, Sally. He always loved flowers and birds and spent a great deal of time in his garden growing plants which would provide the birds with food during the winter and also attract butterflies. My husband and I spent several holidays with him on The Broads and another in the cottage where we grew up. He kept in touch with many colleagues from sea.

He became ill in May and his health gradually deteriorated until his death from cancer in Southwold Community Hospital on 10 December 2005, aged 66. His ashes were scattered at sea by Lowestoft Lifeboat.

Ann Dennis