Author Topic: Urgent help wanted to locate details of a merchant seaman.  (Read 349 times)

Offline Tasman1

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Urgent help wanted to locate details of a merchant seaman.
« on: Monday 13 July 20 14:01 BST (UK) »
Hi. My wife's father has just passed away aged 92. To remember his past, we would like to include something of his service in the Merchant Navy. With no experience with the National Archives website, I wondered if any kind person could help. Joseph McBride was born 11/08/1926 in Greenock, Renfrewshire , Scotland. Anecdotally, he started work in the shipyards aged 14 - (1940). He enlisted?? in the Merchant Navy when?? We have a photo of him with the crew but no ship's name is visible. He was aboard one of three ships when the other two were torpedoed and a picture showing them in Malta. He provided photos to the author of a book that include the torpedo attack. He had a dalliance in Ireland and married in 1948 and I have my wife of 48 years.  Thank you.
Aitkenhead, Purdon, Buick, Fairweather, Todd, Moresby.

Offline kathleenmitchell

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Re: Urgent help wanted to locate details of a merchant seaman.
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 14 July 20 13:16 BST (UK) »
Hi,
Your father in law should have a merchant seamanís record book, a bit like a passport and it would tell you all the ships and where he had been, although during the war it just says Foreign, but you will have the ships names etc, my husbands Grandad had one, he was also torpedoed three times and survived.
GREENOCK.  Mitchell, Foley, Ferguson, Sweeney, Beckett, Sheekey, Branchfield, McDermid, Crighton, Canavan
LIVERPOOL. Otty, Holmes, Crighton
CO TYRONE, FERMANAGH, ANTRIM, DERRY.   Mitchell, Elliott,Dowds, Mcguire, McFall
COUNTY CARLOW. Foley, Doyle
DENMARK. Holm
WIGTOWNSHIRE.  Ferguson, Milroy, Dickson, Gunlock, Aitcheson/Hutcheson

Offline seaweed

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Re: Urgent help wanted to locate details of a merchant seaman.
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 14 July 20 14:38 BST (UK) »
I cannot find a "seamans pouch" for him (Many were destroyed in the 1980's and if he was torpedoed they tended to get lost) or his medal listing (Many merchant seamen did not bother applying)
What I did find is a possible "Form CRS10"
This, if you like is the "office copy" of the discharge book referred to by the previous poster.

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_ep=McBride%20j&_cr=bt&_dss=range&_ro=any&_st=adv

Ideally, to obtain a copy you would need to visit the National Archive at Kew. These records are stored alphabetically in blocks of 60 names.
The record will tell you the names or official number of the vessels he served on together with dates and places  of engagement and discharge.
Whilst at Kew you can then look at the various ships Logbooks and Crew Agreements to get a fuller picture of his service. TNA reopens 21/07/2020
Do you have his Discharge A number? Usually a six digit number prefaced with the letter "R".
If it's problematic for you to get to Kew, let me know via PM and I will see what can be done next time I visit TNA
Dim ateb yn well nag ateb anghywir. Nid oes dim yn ddall fel rhai nad ydynt yn dymuno gweld


Offline Tasman1

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Re: Urgent help wanted to locate details of a merchant seaman.
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 14 July 20 15:32 BST (UK) »
Hi. Unfortunately can not visit Kew or access NA as we live in Tasmania, Australia. During these traumatic times, I do not want to impinge on his sons arranging the funeral to find out his serial number, though that is the obvious first step. Like my father's army experiences, Joe never talked about the war, only that he had provided photos for the book. Maybe later we can find something of his war experience to pass on to his grandkids. If Joe signed up aged 16 say, then that makes it 1942, so still three more years of war. Many thanks for your help.
Aitkenhead, Purdon, Buick, Fairweather, Todd, Moresby.