William ( Bill) G. Wilcox

William (Bill) G. Wilcox 1911 ~ 2009

Bill Wilcox

After several months of illness senior retired Liverpool pilot Bill Wilcox died on July 15th 2009 at the grand age of 98.

Following his time onboard the training ship HMS ‘Conway’ moored in the River Mersey, and time at sea as a Cadet, Bill joined the Liverpool Pilotage Service around 1929.   As was commonly the case in those days, Bill was following in the family footsteps of his father and his uncle who were both serving Liverpool pilots at the time. After the usual lengthy apprenticeship he was licensed as a Third class Liverpool pilot in 1936 soon after his twenty-fifth birthday.

in 1940, as was normal practice, he was licensed as a First class pilot, and continued to serve as a pilot throughout all of those difficult and dangerous years of the Second World War.

Sadly, Bill’s younger brother Norman, who had also followed in the family pilotage tradition, was lost with the submarine ‘Thetis’ during her sea trials in Liverpool Bay in 1939 only a year after being licensed as a Liverpool pilot.

Later Bill was appointed appropriated pilot to the United Africa and Palm Line where he served for many years until his retirement at the age of sixty-five, in 1976.

His colleagues invariably found him to be a most amiable and jolly character to be in company with, but he was also very well respected by them as a skilled and conscientious pilot.

In retirement Bill enjoyed his family life to the full with his second wife Meron, having lost his first wife some years previously. He thoroughly enjoyed those many years in retirement being a very active person as his sons and daughters from both marriages grew up and had families of their own. He also delighted in the company of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and will be greatly missed by all his family. He will be long remembered with considerable affection by those retired Liverpool colleagues who worked with him all those years ago.

Geoff Topp


Liverpool Pilots’ Association (Retired Division)

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