The death took place in hospital at Gloucester on Friday evening of Captain William Smith Lea, who for twenty-five years was a Goole Pilot. He was very well known in the port of Goole until his retirement in 1925, when he went to live at Linton, Ross-on-Wye Herefordshire. He was 68 years of age.
Captain Lea came from a well known seafaring family. His father Joseph Lea, traded from Goole for many years, first in charge of sailing ships and then later in steam ships. With his father he went to sea in schooners at a very early age. He became master of the Stanninton of Runcorn, and traded to Runcorn with materials for the construction of the Manchester ship canal during which time he held Upper and Lower Pilotage Certificates.
After obtaining his foreign going masters certificate he was for some years chief officer in the Co-Operative Society Goole Steamers, which were taken over by the railway company. He left the Co-Operative fleet to become master of the S S Achilles owned by Mr Marmaduke Marsden of Goole.
In 1900, Captain Lea joined the Goole and Hull Pilotage service and remained there til ill-health brought about retirement in February 1925, when he was senior pilot. He held the proud record of not having a single serious mishap during the whole of the time he was pilot. Indeed all of his seafaring career was singularly free from accidents and the only time he had difficulties was when the Achilles grounded on the bar while entering Middlesbrough. His knowledge of the river between Goole and Hull was unique and his advice was frequently sought. His four brothers are all connected with the sea three being master mariners, and the fourth chief engineer.
He was a member of the Goole Pilotage Examination Committee and of the old Goole Regatta Committee.
Captain Lea was a regular worshipper at the Goole Parish Church. Twice married he leaves a widow three sons two of whom are in the service of Barclay’s Bank the other on the staff of the Southern Railway.
The funeral took place at Goole Cemetery on Tuesday.
The Vicar of Goole (Rev, L. L. Knightall M.A.) conducted the service in the cemetery chapel and at the graveside.
The family and mourners were Mrs Lea (widow), Mr and Mrs W S Lea, Mr and Mrs F J Lea, and Mr and Mrs W D Lea, (sons and daughters-in law) Captain G E Lea OBE and Mrs Lea, Captain and Mrs S Lea (brothers and sisters-in law), Mrs E Gunill, (sister) Mrs J Lea and Miss R Lea (sisters-in-law and niece), Mrs J Burnitt, Hull (aunty) Captain R Burnitt (cousin), Mr W Walpole, Scunthorpe (cousin), Captain and Mrs Newlove.
Harbour pilots who attended were Pilot A E Ashton, Pilot S B Atkinson, Pilot A E Blackburn, Pilot H G White, Pilot E Osburn, while other present were Captain W A Prentice, Captain R G Anderson, Mr F Slgel (piermaster Blacktoft), Mr W Raymond, Captain C W Hepworth, Captain D Jackson, representatives of the Aire and Calder Navigation Mr H D Moore, Mr J W Fennellow, Mrs J Cavill, Mr C Langley, Linton Ross-on-Wye.
Floral tributes were from “His Wife”, “George, Edie and family”, “Edna, Bess and Susie”, “Herbert, Mary and family”, “Stephen and Honer”, “Sylvia and Dorothy”, “Peggy and Donald”, “Joseph and Jennie”, “Eddie, Charles and Ken”, “Dot and Fred”, “Sister Rose and Emma”, “Lilly, Annie and Billy, Scunthorpe”, “Willie, Nester and Ruby”, “Jessie, Stanley and Margaret Dewsbury”, Captain and Mrs Newlove, Captain and Mrs W A Prentice, “His old colleagues, the Goole Pilots”, “Sisters of St Mary of Nazareth, Linton Hurts”, “Linton Men’s Club”.