Death of an eccentric

Motorboats at Cannes yacht festival
Some of Laurence Legge’s neighbouring yachts in Cannes

For years, pontoon B in the Old Port of Cannes was home for what many people considered the quintessential “English eccentric”. His dilapidated old yacht stood out from his neighbours, some of the most luxurious vessels on the Riviera popular during the Cannes Film Festival and MIPM. It was his home for some 20 years. Last January, however, the frail body of the 91 year-old was discovered floating not far from his yacht. As no next of kin could be found, he was given a pauper’s funeral.

However, an article in a British newspaper revealed the remarkable life of Laurence Legge, once a colleague of Lawrence of Arabia. For the full story, visit

Laurence Legge was a talented engineer that was very passionate about boats and yachting. He worked in numerous companies around the world. His skill in marine engineering was used in the construction of some of the high-speed rescue craft that saved the lives of many RAF pilots shot down and forced to bale out over water during the Second World War.

Locals reported that most mornings he could be seen stepping out from his yacht, Stygreg, in an immaculate white shirt, striped tie, beige slacks and panama hat on his way to do his shopping. He told acquaintances that he was writing “his papers”, which doubtless would have been fascinating. It is not known what has become of them. A slice of European and even world history died with him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *