Merchant Navy - Unsung Heroes of the Sea. Ships/Crews/Dangers.

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by spidge, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Here is an interesting story I watched last night on Discovery Channel.
    Does anyone watch Treasure Quest?
    This episode was filmed in 2009 and had a Veteran on board called James (Jim) McDonald, aged 81.

    Jim McDonald was an assistant steward and served on the SS Gothland.
    On 18th April 1945, U Boat U1107 attacked Convoy HX-348 which sunk the Tanker Empire Gold and the American freighter Cyrus H McCormick. Jim and other crew from the Gothland picked up survivors and he was awarded the MID for brave conduct. (London Gazette 16/10/45).
    Picure of SS Gothland and info here

    Really interesting programme

    There is a YouTube video of the programme called Jim McDonald Treasure Quest, Liberty Ships if anyone is interested.
    (sorry don't know how to embed video!!)
  2. Tanky

    Tanky Junior Member

    Please see attached small history of my Grandmothers family in WW2.

    2 brothers and one brother in law, all lost in 6 months, other brother in law was killed in 1994.

    Sad tale but researching and discovering what happened has been very interesting and educational:

    Picture is of Lionel Elderton Clark with unknown shipmate on HMS Jervis Bay, May 1940.

    Attached Files:

  3. GeneaSearch

    GeneaSearch New Member

    I am trying to find out if there is any way to get a 'service record' for a British merchant mariner in WWII.

    My grandfather served on each ocean (according to the medals which I have) and was sunk as a result of smuggled bomb just outside the Red Sea. The wreck is still marked on shipping charts. I also know he was part of a crew that collected a newly built/ converted Liberty ship and he travelled to Latvia where he had a sweetheart. He got his Masters ticket after the war in Hull and largely sailed sailed the east coast of Africa although he was in Indochine just days before Dien Bien Phou but that's all I know. Can anyone suggest where I could go? If these 'service records' exist? I have his full name and date of birth and the book confirming his masters ticket.
  4. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hello and welcome,
    If you wish to give me his name, date and place of birth and the book number please I will point you in the right direction?

  5. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  6. researchingreg

    researchingreg Well-Known Member

    My wife's uncle Eddie has written a book which includes his service in the Merchant Navy. While he was on M V Tottenham in the North Atlantic with his convoy dispersed, he writes on Sunday 1rst December 1940, listing SOS's from other ships this was among them"...Victor Ross torpedoed followed by a message from the Dunslea ' ..sinking, have survivors from an armed merchant ship' .. he then states most likely from the Jervis Bay.."

    He also wrote about the Jervis Bay's action and the loss of the189 men aboard but did not witness it. So some of the others of Jervis Bay's crew were possibly rescued, but were sunk again, besides the 68 picked up by the Stureholm.
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  7. Andrea Thomas

    Andrea Thomas Member

    That’s my great great great grandmother Clara clarke
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  8. Tanky

    Tanky Junior Member

  9. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Prior to his death on JERVIS BAY - Lionel Elderton Clark served
    2.3.1934 – ORAMA – first voyage
    28.2.1936 - ORFORD
    19.12.1936 - ARANDORA STAR
    14.5.1938 - ALMEDA STAR
    23.11.1938 – TAINUI
    6.4.1939 - JERVIS BAY
    timuk, CL1, Tanky and 1 other person like this.
  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960
    Name: Lionel Elderton Clark
    Event: Death
    Birth Date: 1916
    Birth Place: Brighton, Sussex.
    Death Date: 6 Nov 1940
    Death Age: 24

    Name: Lionel Elderton Clark
    Death Age: 23
    Birth Year: 1917
    Death Date: 6 Nov 1940
    Death Country: United Kingdom
    [As attached below]


    Attached Files:

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  11. Andrea Thomas

    Andrea Thomas Member

    Amazing I’ve just looked , my nan was Phylis who married Ted Morton & they had 3 children David , Diane and Rosie & her aunty and uncles were Eric & Lionel & kitty . My mum is Diane
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  12. Andrea Thomas

    Andrea Thomas Member

    Thank you
  13. Tanky

    Tanky Junior Member

    Hugh, thanks for that, where did you get this information? So like his younger brother, he went to sea at 18. Sadly his brother was just 18 when he was killed on SS Mill Hill, 30 August 1940. One is forced to wonder if Lionel even knew his brother had died!
    Andrea Thomas likes this.
  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
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  15. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    panel from my photo collection

    Died 30/08/1940

    Aged 18

    S.S. Mill Hill (Newcastle-on-Tyne)
    Merchant Navy

    Son of Elizabeth C.A. Clark, of Hounslow, Middlesex. His brother, Lionel Elderton Clark, also fell.
    Commemorated at TOWER HILL MEMORIAL

    Location: London, United Kingdom
    Number of casualties: 36075

    Cemetery/memorial reference: Panel 70.

  16. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    The information comes from records within the Fourth Register of Seamen. Original cards are held at Southampton City Archives, copies are available at the National Archives, Kew and on paysite FMP.
    If you send me your email address by private message I will pass what I have on to you.
    Given the time window for the deaths of both seamen it is entirely possible L.E. Clark was unaware of the death of his brother. Lest we forget. RIP :poppy:
    Roy Martin likes this.
  17. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Re... in post #7... above...

    " About 5,000 Chinese seamen were employed on British registered ships at the beginning of the war. In early 1942, after the fall of Hong Kong, this number was doubled. By March, 1943, a total of 831 Chinese seamen had lost their lives on British ships due to enemy action and 254 were missing presumed dead. Some 268 were accounted for as prisoners-of-war. Thousands of these Chinese sailors were hurriedly repatriated after the war, their presence in Britain were no longer as welcome as they had been."

    A recent BBC World Service Witness History short audio...

    BBC World Service - Witness History, The scandal of Liverpool's missing Chinese sailors

    During World War Two, thousands of Chinese sailors and engineers served in the British Merchant Navy, keeping supplies flowing into the port of Liverpool and risking their lives in crossings of the Atlantic. Many settled in the port city and started families with local women but, after fighting ended in 1945, the British authorities began forcing them to leave. Simon Watts talks to Yvonne Foley, whose Chinese father was pressured to return to Shanghai, never to be seen again.
    PHOTO: Chinese sailors in Liverpool in 1942 (Getty Images).
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