Author Topic: Merchant Navy records CR1 CR2 CR10  (Read 356 times)

Offline Stirrick

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Merchant Navy records CR1 CR2 CR10
« on: Monday 04 October 21 16:56 BST (UK) »
I'm trying to get a handle on Merchant Navy Seamen's records for the period 1913 to 1941.

I've seen numerous references to the CR1, CR2 and CR10 cards. But no-one seems to say what they actually were and how they linked together.

Is it true to say that a Seaman would be issued with one CR1 card (when he first went to sea) and one CR2 card (when he left his first ship) ? And that subsequent ships that he joined would be recorded on these cards by their registration number ?

Or would a separate CR1 and CR2 be issued for each ship that he served on ?

I've seen references to the fact that Merchant Navy Seamen's records for the period 1913 to 1921 were destroyed in 1969. So what records are these? CR1's and CR2's ?

Unless, of course, they were CR10's?? So what's a CR10 and why weren't they destroyed along with the CR1's and CR2's ?

And what's the Discharge Number? Was a separate number issued each time a Seaman left a ship? Or would he keep the same Discharge Number throughout his career ?

I must admit that I'm completely baffled by the whole process.

Offline GrahamSimons

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Re: Merchant Navy records CR1 CR2 CR10
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 05 October 21 08:42 BST (UK) »
I'm not an expert. But the National Archives offer a series of research guides - this one is relevant to your question on CR10 and you can browse the guides from here.
https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/merchant-seamen-serving-since-1918/
Simons Barrett Jaffray Waugh Langdale Heugh Meade Garnsey Evans Vazie Mountcure Glascodine Parish Peard Smart Dobbie Sinclair....
in Stirlingshire, Roxburghshire; Bucks; Devon; Somerset; Northumberland; Carmarthenshire; Glamorgan

Offline Stirrick

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Re: Merchant Navy records CR1 CR2 CR10
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 05 October 21 09:13 BST (UK) »
Thanks for replying Graham

I agree that the NA guides are usually very good, but not in this case.

In fact every online site that I've consulted seems to just regurgitate the same phrases without ever explaining the detail.

I'm beginning to wonder if it's a case of 'The Emperor's New Clothes' and that non-one - even those sites dedicated to Merchant Navy records - actually understands what they are talking about with regard to this Registration process.

Very frustrating. ;-)


Offline GrahamSimons

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Re: Merchant Navy records CR1 CR2 CR10
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 05 October 21 09:18 BST (UK) »
Couple of books that might help too
Tracing Your Merchant Navy Ancestors: a Guide for Family Historians - Simon Wills
My Ancestor Was a Merchant Seaman - Christopher Watts
Simons Barrett Jaffray Waugh Langdale Heugh Meade Garnsey Evans Vazie Mountcure Glascodine Parish Peard Smart Dobbie Sinclair....
in Stirlingshire, Roxburghshire; Bucks; Devon; Somerset; Northumberland; Carmarthenshire; Glamorgan

Offline Stirrick

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Re: Merchant Navy records CR1 CR2 CR10
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 05 October 21 09:27 BST (UK) »
Thanks again.

I've got the Watts book. It's very good except that he glosses over the Registrations after 1857.

I might have to splash out and buy the other.

Offline HMac

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Re: Merchant Navy records CR1 CR2 CR10
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 05 October 21 11:57 BST (UK) »
Hi,
There were no registrations between 1857 [Third Register of Seamen] and 1913 [Fourth Register of Seamen] Only effective way of tracing seamen for that time period is by the use of Crew Agreements. The Board of Trade felt that Crew Agreements and Lists provided an adequate means of recording information about the seamen without the need to create a separate register.
Quote
Is it true to say that a Seaman would be issued with one CR1 card (when he first went to sea) and one CR2 card (when he left his first ship) ? And that subsequent ships that he joined would be recorded on these cards by their registration number ?
Not really true. CR1,2 & 10 cards were not issued to seamen but were documented ashore by clerks.
CR1 cards were filled in when a seaman was issued a replacement Dis.A book. CR2 cards show foreign voyages only usually named by ship's official number.
Quote
I've seen references to the fact that Merchant Navy Seamen's records for the period 1913 to 1921 were destroyed in 1969. So what records are these? CR1's and CR2's ?
The 1969 date refers to Seamen's Pouches in BT 372 but it is true that WW1 records do not survive. The CR10 card was started in 1918 -1921 they mostly show ships from late 1918 onwards.
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And what's the Discharge Number? Was a separate number issued each time a Seaman left a ship? Or would he keep the same Discharge Number throughout his career ?
The Dis.A is a seaman's pivotal reference akin to a service number and usually stays with the seaman for his full career although there are times when a seaman could have another number but these are fairly rare.

Regards
Hugh
Merchant Navy Research
ss CITY OF CAIRO

Offline Stirrick

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Re: Merchant Navy records CR1 CR2 CR10
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 05 October 21 12:11 BST (UK) »
Thank you very much for this, Hugh.
The fog begins to lift a little. ;-)

> CR1 cards were filled in when a seaman was issued a replacement Dis.A book.
What's a Dis.A book ?

What was a CR10 ?

If a CR1 was created each time a Seaman was issued a new Dis.A book, would all of his voyages for that period be recorded on the CR1 ?

Would a separate CR2 be issued for each foreign voyage ?
Or would each CR2 cover all voyages in a given ship ?

I've been looking at a couple of Seamen. They each have a CR1 and a CR2. And one also has a CR10. All these cards name a particular ship (or at least its Registration Number), but nothing else.
This is despite these Seamen each being at sea for many years.

Is that usual ?
And in these cases would it be necessary to track their careers through Ship's Crewlists ?

Thank you again for your help.
The Emperor's not wearing any clothes! ;-)

Offline HMac

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Re: Merchant Navy records CR1 CR2 CR10
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 05 October 21 12:32 BST (UK) »
Sorry, A Dis.A book is the Continuous Certificate of Discharge or more commonly known as his discharge book. The book that records all of a seaman's ships including sign on and sign off as well as the ports of engagement and discharge. The book also records character and ability and the type of voyage i.e. Home Trade [HT] or Foreign Going [FG].
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What was a CR10 ?

If a CR1 was created each time a Seaman was issued a new Dis.A book, would all of his voyages for that period be recorded on the CR1 ?
No. Foreign only on CR2 and Home Trade would be recorded with a paper discharge. 

A CR10 card was introduced in 1918 and stopped in 1921 was designed to allow the Government to
check that the merchant seamanís exemption from conscription is not abused by men taking an unduly long period ashore between voyages.
The CR10 cards were introduced in August 1918 together, with a new identity and
service certificate (RS2 book) to be carried by the seaman. By far the best site for explaining your requirements is David Snook's site:  http://irishmariners.ie/

Quote
Would a separate CR2 be issued for each foreign voyage ?
Or would each CR2 cover all voyages in a given ship ?
CR2 cards were continually updated with the foreign voyages but usually only one card was updated and kept and the rest destroyed. However, not all CR1, 2 and 10 cards now survive so you may have to use Crew Agreements of known ships to do your research in the cases were records no longer survive.
Quote
've been looking at a couple of Seamen. They each have a CR1 and a CR2. And one also has a CR10. All these cards name a particular ship (or at least its Registration Number), but nothing else.
This is despite these Seamen each being at sea for many years.

Is that usual ?
And in these cases would it be necessary to track their careers through Ship's Crewlists ?

Crew Agreement will certainly be the way forward if no other records available. If you need help with the seamen and you wish to share the name and date of birth I can check where you should be looking. Feel free to send a private message if you dont want to go public.

Regards
Hugh   
Merchant Navy Research
ss CITY OF CAIRO

Offline Stirrick

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Re: Merchant Navy records CR1 CR2 CR10
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 05 October 21 13:45 BST (UK) »
Thank you very much again, Hugh.

I really appreciate the help.

Just one other thing if that's okay.
Was there a special provision for Apprentices ?

One of the guys I am looking at is rated as AB on his CR1.
But a note on the reverse declares that he is not in possession of a Continuous Discharge Book (his Dis.A presumably) because he is an Apprentice.