1906-1992-A Personal Remembrance
Stan Hugill-one-of-a-kind sailor, singer, writer, painter, historian, and maritime philosopher- died on May 15 at a hospital near his home in Wales,
with his wife Bronwyn and sons Martin and Phillip and their famil ies at his bedside.
Stan combined the life and knowledge of a commercial sailor with the intellect and artistry of a dedicated historian, musician and pai nter.
Raised in a seafaring family , Stan took to sea at an earl y age when commercial British sail was coming to an end.
He was serving aboard the last British commercial sq uare rigger Garthpool when she was wrecked in 1927.
Stan was her shantyman, and he recalled that the last song he led aboard her the day before her demise was “Fire Down Below.”
He went on to serve in steam, and during World War II his vessel was captured and sunk by the German raider Atlantis.
He spent the rest of the war in a German prison camp.
Later he became deeply involved with the Outward Bound movement and, after pulling together a lifetime of sea song collecting,
in 1957 he authored Shanties From The Seven Seas, the 600-page definitive volume on maritime work songs and their origins.
Other books on sailors and sea music followed, including the unique history of the portside sailors’ environment, Sailortown.
Stan toured America and Europe repeatedly during the last two decades, performing countless concerts and lectures at museums and festivals while still finding time to tum out hundreds of maritime oil paintings.
At his death, he left behind an as-yet unpub1ished400,000-word history of the sailor.
By any standard, Stan Hugill ‘ s career was remarkable.
Although his achievements are recognized mainly in the maritime area, they were the product of a keen
and curious mind that sought out and collected every different kind of human experience.
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