No Reward for Duty: A Biographical Note on the life and career of Captain G. V. Legassick
Captain G. V. Legassick DSC, RD, Royal Navy Reserve, was the Captain-Superintendent of the South African Nautical College General Botha for eleven years from 1947 to 1958. Before that he served with distinction in the British Merchant Service and between 1939 and 1945, in escort ships in the North Atlantic and the Western Approaches.
Through hard work and dedication, he developed SANC General Botha into a place of learning which became known throughout the world's maritime community as a centre of excellence. Sadly, this as brought to an end as a result of drastic political change in post-war South Africa. In an appallingly bungled bureaucratic action, Captain Legassick's term of office was abruptly terminated due to politically inspured interference. The press, the international maritime community and leaders in the Cape were horrified by the action of the government which had serious repercussions at the time.
The indirect long-term result of the loss of Captain Legassick's leadership was the demise of SANC General Botha as an effective nautical school within a few years. Institutions which replaced it worked to completely different and varying training policies and methods. Eventually, General Botha closed down completely. This was a serious loss to South Africa's youth and particularity to its maritime community.
The Naval Heritage Trust is proud to participate in recording this part of South African maritime history by publishing this well written and fascinating story of an outstanding man.