Blue Funnel Crew Lists

Tomvart
26th June 2007, 15:59
My Uncle worked Blue Funnel Line Ships as an Engineer from the late 30's, his last ship was in the mid 70's, I know he was a Chief Eng. when he left the company, and that one of his ships was torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese in WW2, apart from this I have no record of what ships he served on, Is there a resource for Alfred Holt Crew lists available on line or does this need to be done at Kew?

Or perhaps I may be really luck and some of his old shipmates may be members of this site? He was called Bob Vart (He unfortunately died in 1994), He has a son, also called Bob Vart - also with Blue Funnel as an Engineer, he left in the mid 80's and now lives in Hong Kong.

Can anyone help or point me in the right direction?

Thanks in advance.

Tom Vart

Hugh MacLean
26th June 2007, 17:31
Hello Tom,

Do you have your uncles date and place of birth?
If you need to find out the ships he served on then best get his CRS10 Form (service record) from Kew. I can advise if required.

Regards (Thumb)

Tomvart
26th June 2007, 17:41
Hi Hugh,

Thanks for the prompt response, he was a Geordie - Birth: 25 Jun 1916-Jarrow. Death:1993 - In Wallasey.
Can I get the info from Kew by 'snailmail' and quoting his DOB (and obviously providing the all important shekels?), Is his CRS10 his Seamans Book? (I have my grandfathers from WW1).

Regards,

Tom

Hugh MacLean
26th June 2007, 19:04
Hello Tom,

His CRS10 Form will contain much of the information that is in his DIS A (seamans book) but also probably more.

I wonder if this is your uncle: Robert Vart, Date of Birth 25/6/1916, Service Number 1058258 If so he has a file in BT391/110/115 here: http://urlx.org/gov.uk/4f2ceCVART&accessmethod=0 (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATID=-4655642&CATLN=7&Highlight=%2CVART&accessmethod=0)

These records detail the sea service record of merchant seamen engaged in the liberation of Europe (6 June 1944 to 8 May 1945). They give the seaman's name, discharge 'A' number, rank or rating and qualifications together with details of the ships on which they served.

His CRS10 Form may be held in the Fifth Register of Seaman's Service
in piece details BT382/1845 here: http://urlx.org/gov.uk/e0bcc Note the Fifth Register will only give service from 1941. Prior to that, his service may be recorded in the Fourth Register and that is not online but I can give details if required.

If you hit the link and then "Request this" and follow instructions. You need to be specific and ask for the CRS10 for Robert Vart 25/6/1916 born Jarrow.

The cost is £8.50 for up to 10 pages delivered to your email address within 24 hours on a no find no fee basis.

If you think the first link I gave is your uncle then following that link and the instructions will also cost £8.50 because it is a separate file.

I hope that helps

Regards

p.s. There is a medal listing for Robert Vart also at the TNA Kew in this file: http://urlx.org/gov.uk/a7993
This is available for £3.50.

Tomvart
27th June 2007, 09:14
Hugh,

Your a veritable mine of information and an absolute star, thank you very much for your help, I will take a look at this at the weekend and let you know how I get on, Thanks again for your help.

Kind Regards,

Tom

Hugh Ferguson
30th June 2007, 22:32
Whilst I was researching the book, The Surgeon's Log, a few years ago, I was able to obtain a copy of the crew list from the The Memorial University, St. Johns, Newfoundland at a cost of $40. I understand that this came about on account of our Public Records Office, Kew, being obliged to find other space in maritime archives willing to take the overflow.
In the book all names are fictitious and the ship was known as the CLYTEMNESTRA. She was in fact the 1906 POLYPHEMUS, and the voyage, to Japan & Java, took place from January to June 1907. The book became a travel classic and went to 31 editions, the last one being dedicated to the author's daughter whom I met when she visited in 1996 bringing with her the journal kept by her father during the voyage. I also had two visits from the 85 year old son of the 2nd mate of the POLYPHEMUS. Both of these people have since died. Anyone interested is welcome to contact me for the full story. Hugh Ferguson.

David Allan
21st December 2008, 19:51
Tom

I sailed with Bob Vart about 1973 on the Glen Line "Glenalmond". He was Chief Engineer and I remember him well.

Allan

Tomvart
25th December 2008, 23:56
Allan,
Thanks for your post, and pleased to meet you......I hadnt realised Uncle Bob served with Glen line as well as Holt/Blue Flu or are they one and the same?
Bob always used to tell me some fascinating stories of his time at sea - If you have any anectdotes of Bob I would love to hear them?

kind regards,

Tom

Ocean Seadog
26th December 2008, 04:07
Tom,
Although you have not addressed this post directly to me allow me to answer.
Glen Line and Blue Funnel were indeed run as one and the same.

Tomvart
26th December 2008, 10:54
Ocean Seadog,
VMT for putting me right, I hadnt realised that they were one outfit, do you know the reason for this? Was it perhaps two companies who merged but managed to keep thier outer identities?
Thanks again
Regards
Tom

R651400
26th December 2008, 12:01
I hadnt realised that they were one outfit, do you know the reason for this? Was it perhaps two companies who merged but managed to keep thier outer identities?

Tom, If you have any interest in the "Glen and Shire Line" may I clear up the myth "one and the same outfit" by pointing you towards the excellent book of the same name by Ships in Focus Publications.
Quote From the start Glen was maintained as a separate operating enteity within the Ocean Group. It had its own London-based board of directors and managed its fleet under its own colours through McGregor Gow and Holland. Unquote.

Ocean Seadog
26th December 2008, 12:34
Tom,
Forget about reading books and listen to those who have the experience and and seniority to know. To all intents and purposes they were run as one and the same.

R651400
26th December 2008, 13:38
Repudiating researchers Malcolm Cooper, Bill Harvey and Bill Laxton with only a modicum of Blue Funnel experience strikes me as rather megalomaniacal if not derisory.

eriskay
26th December 2008, 16:03
Would support the view expressed by R651400. Ocean Seadog displays an arrogance that is considered deliberate rather than an unfortunate writing style, as evidenced on another thread (Blue Funnell Myths and Legends).

I had just completed a comprehensive response to that thread a short while ago, and posted it, when a message came up advising that due to the negative nature of that particular thread further postings were not being accepted, i.e. thread closed. Most unfortunate, as I wanted Ocean Seadog to hear what I had to say, even though I realise it would have made little difference in his viewpoint and attitude. The acerbic nature of his postings is very unfortunate as some of what he has to say could be educational and of interest, but it is negated by the haughty and superior stance he adopts. Could he just be teasing us all, for simple devilment, or is he really like this? Mmmmm ....

R651400
26th December 2008, 16:30
Eriskay, what really is at stake here are the reputation of companies such as Blue Funnel and Glen Line drawn into a ludicrous cyber conflict by supposed BF people who seem to have little or no allegience other than to their egocentric selves.
Reading the Ben Line forum with all it's warmth and care-free banter, what a truly unhappy experience it must be for newcomers to SN to see the exact opposite with Blue Funnel.
Slainte

K urgess
26th December 2008, 16:39
Cool it please, Gentlemen.
Please read the guidelines about posting the post not the poster.
One thread about Blue Funnel has already been shut down because of name calling, back biting, pointless posting, etc.
Let's all remember that this is the season of good will and refrain from this bickering at least until the new year is born.

benjidog
26th December 2008, 17:04
I agree 100% - the bickering (and the imflammatory posts that usually precede it) does no good to the reputation or credibility of the posters and will just put people off using the site. Friendly banter is one thing - a lot of these posts are not friendly banter.

If you think your present or past company is better than the rest - good for you - there is nothing wrong with loyalty - just don't keep going on about it (BTW this is a general comment and not directed at Blue Flue people!).

If you see a post like that please ignore it and help us avoid Groundhog Day.

Ocean Seadog
26th December 2008, 17:17
Would support the view expressed by R651400. Ocean Seadog displays an arrogance that is considered deliberate rather than an unfortunate writing style, as evidenced on another thread (Blue Funnell Myths and Legends).

I had just completed a comprehensive response to that thread a short while ago, and posted it, when a message came up advising that due to the negative nature of that particular thread further postings were not being accepted, i.e. thread closed. Most unfortunate, as I wanted Ocean Seadog to hear what I had to say, even though I realise it would have made little difference in his viewpoint and attitude. The acerbic nature of his postings is very unfortunate as some of what he has to say could be educational and of interest, but it is negated by the haughty and superior stance he adopts. Could he just be teasing us all, for simple devilment, or is he really like this? Mmmmm ....

I'm disappointed that you did not make the post as I could have responded on this thread something I was denied on the BF Myths thread.

eriskay
26th December 2008, 17:33
For Ocean Seadog :

In deference to the Moderators' advice and the site guidelines, I cannot accommodate you in repeating the posting here, as I would have to concede the posting was not 100% focused on the post, but also the poster, which I now accept was remiss of me, and for which I apologise to the members in general and site administrators in particular.

Angus Mac Kinnon

Chris Isaac
26th December 2008, 18:12
It is good that vitriolic threads are now closed quickly, unlike the "Useless" threads of a little while back that went on unchecked forever.

However why dont we have a thread entitled "Come outside on deck and say that" and let people battle it out!

Festively yours

benjidog
26th December 2008, 18:16
It is good that vitriolic threads are now closed quickly, unlike the "Useless" threads of a little while back that went on unchecked forever.

However why dont we have a thread entitled "Come outside on deck and say that" and let people battle it out!

Festively yours

Chris,

There are many sites that allow that kind of thing and if you have tried them you will find that they are not nice places to spend your time. That is why the Mods intervene - quite honestly we would prefer not to have to as we have more interesting ways of spending our time. We are not going to let SN degenerate into a place for slanging matches and refighting old battles.

Anchorman
26th December 2008, 18:38
Ocean Seadog.
Sorry your previous thread was terminated.
I was interested in your remarks about how the bell signals for focsle lookouts and how the name for samson posts differed in BF. Did you have many differences? I was hoping you were going to post some more. Did you have your own seamanship manual in BF ? Did the examiners expect you to revert back to the usual terms when sitting your certificates/damage reports etc? Please dont read anything untoward in my post, it is genuine interest.
Thanks
Neil

eriskay
26th December 2008, 19:04
Hello Tom,

Do you have your uncles date and place of birth?
If you need to find out the ships he served on then best get his CRS10 Form (service record) from Kew. I can advise if required.

Regards (Thumb)


Hugh :

How about giving us Luddites a step-by-step guide to using the National Archives system. Can anything be accessed direct on line or must all requests be made formally to Kew? If the latter, how do I go about requesting the referenced CRS10 form and providing them the DOB and POB ?

Thanks in anticipation,

Angus Mac Kinnon

muldonaich
26th December 2008, 19:10
Hugh :

How about giving us Luddites a step-by-step guide to using the National Archives system. Can anything be accessed direct on line or must all requests be made formally to Kew? If the latter, how do I go about requesting the referenced CRS10 form and providing them the DOB and POB ?

Thanks in anticipation,

Angus Mac Kinnon
contact hugh maclean on member on this site im sure he will help you angus.

eriskay
26th December 2008, 19:39
contact hugh maclean on member on this site im sure he will help you angus.

Thanks for that - in fact I did address the query to Hugh macLean as it was obvious from other postings of his that he 'knew the ropes' on this subject. Hopefully I will hear in due course, and thanks again for your recommendation. Assume you are in Barra from the 'Muldonaich' tag? Lifted a few crans of the 'skadan' from around there in the long distant past, probably lucky to get the odd saithe around there today !

Angus Mac Kinnon

sparkie2182
26th December 2008, 22:17
am i the only observer of s.n. who suspects the use of multiple identities by member(s)?

Hugh MacLean
26th December 2008, 22:32
Hugh :

How about giving us Luddites a step-by-step guide to using the National Archives system. Can anything be accessed direct on line or must all requests be made formally to Kew? If the latter, how do I go about requesting the referenced CRS10 form and providing them the DOB and POB ?

Thanks in anticipation,
Angus Mac Kinnon

Hello Angus,

There are many records you can request online from Kew. These include seamen's service records from 1941 - 1972 (Form CRS10) held in piece BT 382 from the Fifth Register of Seamen's Service.

Seamen's Pouches held in piece BT 372 at Kew.

Ship's Movement Cards for the war years. 1939 - 1946 held in BT 389

Medal Cards held in piece BT 395/1.

Crew Agreements (lists) for ships (various years) including WWII held under ship's official number.

These, I would say, are the main ones but there are many more which are available via visit or researcher.

I have to say that searching for records using the National Archives search engine is not the most user frendly I have seen. I could give you the main National Archives research guides which would give an idea but they wont help much when you need to actually find where individual records are referenced. I am afraid I do not have the time to put together any kind of useful guide as I am snowed under with plenty of my own projects at the moment. However, that said, I am always willing to point people to the correct references that they would need to obtain records from Kew or elsewhere for that matter.

To point you to a particular CRS10, I would need at least a name, date and place of birth. A seaman's pivitol reference, his/her Dis A., is always useful for searching and/or checking that you have the correct man/woman.

Two of the most useful guides: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/RdLeaflet.asp?sLeafletID=128

and for the Fourth Register: http://www.mercantilemarine.org/showthread.php?t=1622&highlight=central+index+register


Regards

muldonaich
26th December 2008, 23:16
am i the only observer of s.n. who suspects the use of multiple identities by member(s)?
i for one have always been registered on this site as muldonaich can you explain please kev.

K urgess
26th December 2008, 23:17
This has nothing to do with the subject in hand.
Unless you have something to contribute to the original query please refrain from needless comment.

muldonaich
26th December 2008, 23:31
sorry Hugh didnt realise this thread was going to turn into something personal by other members as I have recommended you to somebody else from Eriskay in the past who you did very well for and she is very grateful and so am i for all your help.

non descript
26th December 2008, 23:41
...Hugh ... I have recommended you to somebody else from Eriskay in the past who you did very well for and she is very grateful and so am I for all your help.


Hugh and Muldonaich,
Gentlemen, thank you for your good contributions and in keeping the spirit of SN alive, it is appreciated.
(Thumb)
Mark

eriskay
27th December 2008, 00:10
For Hugh MacLean :

Much obliged for your Post No. 27 earlier this evening, that is all very clear and most helpful and should enable me to progress a piece of family history that I am researching presently. Thank you very much for taking the time and trouble, Hugh.

Angus Mac Kinnon

muldonaich
27th December 2008, 00:11
Hugh and Muldonaich,
Gentlemen, thank you for your good contributions and in keeping the spirit of SN alive, it is appreciated.
(Thumb)
Markthank you tonga kev.

Hugh MacLean
27th December 2008, 00:38
Gentlemen, thank you all for your comments - much appreciated.
Angus if you get stuck make a post or drop me a PM. I will help if I can.
Regards

Phil Saul
27th December 2008, 01:35
am i the only observer of s.n. who suspects the use of multiple identities by member(s)?

Calm down guys!!
I think that what sparkie2182 is alluding to Ocean Seadog

And just to keep this post relevant.
While on the Blue Funnel shore-gang, I stored just about every 'Bluie' afloat but never, ever, stored a Glen boat, so it's safe to assume that they were separately managed entities within Ocean Fleets.
But what would I know, I'm only an ex-steward!!!

Regards Phil (Thumb)

muldonaich
27th December 2008, 02:52
was only trying to help fellow christians as i always do whats your ex rating got to do with it why would a man like bill davies lower himself to do such a thing if he has it does not say much for sn to have people like him on this site please anwer steve i think you need to thanks kev.

BA204259
27th December 2008, 09:59
Personally I don't have the slightest doubt that Ocean Seadog is a shabby, gutless troll, but which other shabby gutless troll he is in fact a clone of I don't know, although I have my own ideas. His postings do have the same smell about them as those of some of the other "come for a short while, do a bit of trolling and then vanish" school of trolls. There have been a few. Names that is, possibly only one uber-troll.

Chris Isaac
27th December 2008, 10:13
Chris,

There are many sites that allow that kind of thing and if you have tried them you will find that they are not nice places to spend your time. That is why the Mods intervene - quite honestly we would prefer not to have to as we have more interesting ways of spending our time. We are not going to let SN degenerate into a place for slanging matches and refighting old battles.

I was only joking!
Happy New Year
Chris

steve2
29th December 2008, 18:46
Tom.
Bob Vart Junior sailed his final voyage with Blue Funnel on the Centaur before marrying an Australian Lass. His Father Bob came on board the Centaur in Singapore and sent some furniture down to Perth W.A. aboard her for them. Think that this was about 1968 but all a long time ago.
Best Regards, Steve.

Phil Saul
30th December 2008, 03:17
Tom,
Forget about reading books and listen to those who have the experience and and seniority to know. To all intents and purposes they were run as one and the same.

Ocean Seadog, I'd suggest you get in touch with Bill Davies, another member on this site, who co-incidentally, is another expert on the Blue Funnel and Glen Lines.
I'm quite sure he could resolve the Glen Line/Blue Flue issue for us once and for all.
Like you, he has the superior knowledge and the seniority to know these things.
In fact, it's quite uncanny the way that when I read your posts I keep thinking I'm reading Bills posts.
Funny how the mind starts to play tricks when you hit 60!!
Silly me!!

Regards Phil (Thumb)

oceangoer
30th December 2008, 04:27
In fact, it's quite uncanny the way that when I read your posts I keep thinking I'm reading Bills posts.
Funny how the mind starts to play tricks when you hit 60!!
Silly me!!
EXACTLY !!

steve2
30th December 2008, 11:34
Phil,
Shire Line (all named after Welsh Shires) had been bought up by Glen Line of London. Alfred Holt and Co. then bought up Glen Line. BF continued to run out of Liverpool while Glen Line ran out of London. The reason for keeping the companies seperated was that each outfit gave the owners and extra say in the Conference and were therefore allocated extra trade routes-a bit similar to the Airline industry of today.
Alfred Holt and company also owned Elder Dempster Lines- and under this name also retained Guinnea Gulf Line, Burma Black Star and possibly others as 'sleeping companies'. Alfred Holt and Co. ran Blue Funnel itself under various holding company names- Ocean Steamship Co., China Mutual Steamship Co., China Steam Navigation Co. etc. All Buisness ploys.
Hope that this has started another can of worms- maybe someone can add more to this.
Regards Steve

R651400
30th December 2008, 12:34
maybe someone can add more to this.
Ocean Fleets as it was finally known is well documented throughout the internet and in book form and I think hard to add to.
Personal reminisces and nostalgia is another thing.

steve2
30th December 2008, 15:32
R651400
My last post was intended to assist an ongoing discussion between Phil and Ocean Seadog, not to get too serious or pedantic. For me this thead is now closed.
Steve

R651400
30th December 2008, 17:07
steve2
Aren't you taking things rather personally? The thread has moved so far from it's original "crew list request," I merely replied to the final sentence in your posting 42 nothing else.

Phil Saul
30th December 2008, 23:13
Phil,
Shire Line (all named after Welsh Shires) had been bought up by Glen Line of London. Alfred Holt and Co. then bought up Glen Line. BF continued to run out of Liverpool while Glen Line ran out of London. The reason for keeping the companies seperated was that each outfit gave the owners and extra say in the Conference and were therefore allocated extra trade routes-a bit similar to the Airline industry of today.
Alfred Holt and company also owned Elder Dempster Lines- and under this name also retained Guinnea Gulf Line, Burma Black Star and possibly others as 'sleeping companies'. Alfred Holt and Co. ran Blue Funnel itself under various holding company names- Ocean Steamship Co., China Mutual Steamship Co., China Steam Navigation Co. etc. All Buisness ploys.
Hope that this has started another can of worms- maybe someone can add more to this.
Regards Steve

Thanks for that Steve.
Each piece of info. adds to the jig-saw puzzle that was Ocean fleets.

Regards Phil (Thumb)

R651400
31st December 2008, 11:50
EXACTLY !! Lemming?

MICHAEL SQUIRES
31st December 2008, 15:38
Holts acquired Glen Line in 1935 at a bargain price due to the collapse of Royal Mail Group. Glen & Shire Lines were allowed to keep their identity because of the benefits derived from the conference system andaccess to the east coast, they kept some of their agents out east. eg Bousteads & Jardine Matheson. Richard Holt became Chairman of Glen Line but kept two of Glens Managers on.After that Holts ordered new ships for Glen designed by Harry Flett and were responsible for manning. Glen Line had British Officers and Chinese crew ie: Stewards, Petty Officers Ab's,greasers etc.

My father's first ship as a Midshipman was on the Glenbeg which he joined in 1940 at Birkenhead and he continued to alternate on Glen ships and Bluey's until he became master in 1962 after that he only comanded Blue Funnel Ships. From his point of view Blue Funnel & Glen where one and the same and its plane to see that ultimate control was exercised from India Buildings but Glen had some autonomy at operational level in London. So both sides of this "discussion" can claim to be right.

Regards


Mike Squires

Tomvart
3rd January 2009, 17:50
Steve2,
Thanks for the info on Bob Vart (senior and Junior), I understand that Bob Divorced the Australian Lass he married (Helen?) a few years ago, he now lives in Hong Kong and works as a Marine insurance agent.
Thanks to everyone else who contribulted information about BF and Glen Lines too...fascinating.
All the best
Tom

DURANGO
3rd January 2009, 19:10
I agree 100% - the bickering (and the imflammatory posts that usually precede it) does no good to the reputation or credibility of the posters and will just put people off using the site. Friendly banter is one thing - a lot of these posts are not friendly banter.

If you think your present or past company is better than the rest - good for you - there is nothing wrong with loyalty - just don't keep going on about it (BTW this is a general comment and not directed at Blue Flue people!).

If you see a post like that please ignore it and help us avoid Groundhog Day.
I had the good luck to sail as A.B. in the Blue Funnel line on 4 of their ships which as i have said before was just one of our great shipping companys along with many more which were their equal in every way and some of those i was also lucky enough to have sailed in ,as you will see in my details ,when i think back to Shaw Savill to me i see another great company i was the last man to steer the Athenic into the breakers at kaoshiung , then i think of the tramp the Worthy Down [ Manns of London ] only 2 ships in the company but for me a ship that i would love to see sailing around the world once more even though she put me ashore in Shanghai but that to was part of the wonderful way of life that we lived in those days , yes Blue Funnel was special but no more so than all the others that are long gone .
I just feel so privalidged to have had the chance to have spent 12 years of my youth at sea and in some of the finest ships ever to have sailed the sea,s .

jmcg
5th January 2009, 22:47
I had the good luck to sail as A.B. in the Blue Funnel line on 4 of their ships which as i have said before was just one of our great shipping companys along with many more which were their equal in every way and some of those i was also lucky enough to have sailed in ,as you will see in my details ,when i think back to Shaw Savill to me i see another great company i was the last man to steer the Athenic into the breakers at kaoshiung , then i think of the tramp the Worthy Down [ Manns of London ] only 2 ships in the company but for me a ship that i would love to see sailing around the world once more even though she put me ashore in Shanghai but that to was part of the wonderful way of life that we lived in those days , yes Blue Funnel was special but no more so than all the others that are long gone .
I just feel so privalidged to have had the chance to have spent 12 years of my youth at sea and in some of the finest ships ever to have sailed the sea,s .

Good post!

Michael Squires.

On my first trip Blue Funnel Clytoneus your dad was the "old man" He signed my steering certificate after 10 hours on the wheel. Great days.

BW

J

demodocus22
14th January 2009, 04:11
first time here, just like seaman, get a few beers down us and we want to take on the world, and i thought it would b us old ones, hahaha,
the blues, and the glens where dif comapnies, but we all came under the ocean steam ship comp, and i dont no if it true, but if a merchant company had more that a certain amount of ships they had to buy a ship of war, that is why they kept changing the funnels, so i was told, guys put the gloves away, hahaha

Hugh Ferguson
14th January 2009, 09:29
Michael, Did you ever ask your old man if he remembered being pitched out of his bunk all those years ago in the Southern Ocean in the old coal burning ELPENOR? Hugh.

Hogfiddler
10th March 2009, 00:23
I've just come across this thread, so forgive me for resurrecting it! To support Ocean Seadog, I was an engineer cadet in Blue Funnel and coasted on the Flintshire before finishing my training. The main difference was that Blue Funnel tended to ship out of Liverpool/Birkenhead; Glen Line shipped out of London.

Dolius
4th June 2009, 23:22
Here are two Lifeboat stations 'Crew Lists' from Blue Funnel. mv Laomedon 1962/63 and mv Asphalion 1964. I was mates with Dougie Gray the E/O on Asphalion. I wonder where he is now.
Any more Blue Funnel lifeboat lists out there ?

Bill Davies
7th June 2009, 15:16
Dolius,
Interesting that the Lampy on Laomedon 62/63 is shown elsewhere on one of BF threads as Bosun of another ship around the same time. Knowing George Birch only by his good reputation I have no way of knowing whether the man in the photograph was in fact George Birch. I did have my doubts as he looked a little young to be a China boat Bosun
John/Pat/Alec....any ideas??

Bill

Pat Kennedy
7th June 2009, 17:12
Dolius,
Interesting that the Lampy on Laomedon 62/63 is shown elsewhere on one of BF threads as Bosun of another ship around the same time. Knowing George Birch only by his good reputation I have no way of knowing whether the man in the photograph was in fact George Birch. I did have my doubts as he looked a little young to be a China boat Bosun
John/Pat/Alec....any ideas??

Bill

Bill,
I didnt know George Birch, nor have I ever heard his name before. What I find strange about the Laomedon Boat list is the fact that there are 3 leading seamen and a bosun's mate listed.
I never encountered this on any Blue Funnel ship. There was one leading seaman, (the Lampy). Bosuns mate was not a term I ever heard used in that company.
Pat

Dolius
7th June 2009, 17:19
Hi Bill,
I was 3/o Laeomedon from Sept 1962 to Sept 1963 so the dates are definitley correct. Can't help any further I'm afraid.
Dolius

Bill Davies
7th June 2009, 17:40
Hi Dolius,
I am sure you can.
There was a photograph recently in one of the BF threads of a Blue Funnel Bosun/ Lampy (no one could identify). G. Birch was mentioned! I have been looking through the posts and I cannot find it. ( Blue Overalls and the white revvie)

Brgds

Bill

jmcg
7th June 2009, 19:05
Pat

Always 3 LS in my day . All dayworkers except when required for 3 man watches.

Bill

The photograph you are referring to is #476 on Blue Funnel Nostalgia thread. I'm almost certain it is not George Birch. George was a rather short chap and a slight but noticiable lean of head to one side. The revie is standard fit allbeit a different colour.

If I had to hazard a guess I would suggest that N.E. (NorthEast) Roberts is a strong candidate.

BW

J

Bill Davies
7th June 2009, 19:18
Pat

Always 3 LS in my day . All dayworkers except when required for 3 man watches.

Bill

The photograph you are referring to is #476 on Blue Funnel Nostalgia thread. I'm almost certain it is not George Birch. George was a rather short chap and a slight but noticiable lean of head to one side. The revie is standard fit allbeit a different colour.

If I had to hazard a guess I would suggest that N.E. (NorthEast) Roberts is a strong candidate.

BW

J

John,

I had left the China before Leading Seamen were introduced which must have been around 62ish?, as I do recall talk amongst the other ABs about their money being paid directly into a Bank Account and that they would be receiving a cheque book. All very new! In my time Leading Seaman/ Lampy was the name given to the Bosuns Mate.
You mention above that they were called upon to to stand watch when the wheel was on. Am I being cynical or did these Leading Seamen ask for permanent 'Farmer'?? I think I know the answer!

Brgds

Bill

Macphail
7th June 2009, 19:30
Re: The “Asphalion” crew list.
Nice to see Tony Latchford’s and Ian Tomlinson’s names.
I sailed with Latch on the “Glenorchy” for a couple of years in the early sixties; he went on to become Lloyd’s principle surveyor for the Far East. I sailed with Ian on the “Clytoneous”, nice lad from the Isle of Man.

Re: George the bosun, “Antilochus” spring of 1964.
I only remember his first name; he had a pet miner bird, a big friend of the Chief Cook.
Thumbnail of George and the cook attached.

John.

jmcg
7th June 2009, 19:45
(Jester) I can recall GB having a commendable appetite but Mynah (Miner) Birds was not one of his favourite menu items. This supports my contention that it is not GB.

BW

J

Bill Davies
7th June 2009, 19:50
Re: The “Asphalion” crew list.
Nice to see Tony Latchford’s and Ian Tomlinson’s names.
I sailed with Latch on the “Glenorchy” for a couple of years in the early sixties; he went on to become Lloyd’s principle surveyor for the Far East. I sailed with Ian on the “Clytoneous”, nice lad from the Isle of Man.

Re: George the bosun, “Antilochus” spring of 1964.
I only remember his first name; he had a pet miner bird, a big friend of the Chief Cook.
Thumbnail of George and the cook attached.

John.

John,

Drove passed the 'Cock O Barton' yesterday on way to Tatton Hall.
Never knew of its existance until your post and probably would have went a different way. I'll try it one day.

Brgds

Bill

jmcg
7th June 2009, 19:51
(Thumb) Mynah Birds

Were they the ones that ***t everywhere? Purchased in Swettenham?

The Ceylonese (now Sri Lanka) versions were crows or ravens with their tongues slit to make two halves. A few of of our crowd fell for that one - on the premise that they would be "talking" before we got home to UK. Still as black and horrible as the day they bought them and not a squeak out of them.

BW

J

Pat Kennedy
7th June 2009, 20:29
[quote=Bill Davies;329804]John,

l
I had left the China before Leading Seamen were introduced which must have been around 62ish?, as I do recall talk amongst the other ABs about their money being paid directly into a Bank Account and that they would be receiving a cheque book. All very new! In my time Leading Seaman/ Lampy was the name given to the Bosuns Mate.
You mention above that they were called upon to to stand watch when the wheel was on. Am I being cynical or did these Leading Seamen ask for permanent 'Farmer'?? I think I know the answer!

Brgds
Bill,

Bill
Its a bit of a mystery. I sailed in the China until 1964, and I was daywork AB in the Agapenor in 62, and the Achilles in 64,and this was because the bosun chose two ABs to be daywork, and the rest were watchkeepers, but there was no mention of leading seamen other than the Lampy. Maybe this new rating started off in a small way in just a few ships on an experimental basis, but I certainly never encountered it in my time. Neither was there any talk of bank accounts, we paid off at the end of the trip in Birkenhead shipping office as always. I never had a bank account until 1969, when I was working ashore.
Bosun's mates, I always thought were confined to passenger ships and the grey funnel jobs.
Best regards,
Pat(Thumb)

Bill Davies
7th June 2009, 21:06
The talk of this new rating known as Leading Seaman was certainly being discussed when I left in 61. When it came about I can only guess and I have said 62ish. I met up with an old ship mate in the Rose & Crown in 64 and he was LS then (lived Mostyn street and had an unfortunate personal accident - - on a 'D' boat early 70s.) He was telling me about the cheque book.

Brgds

Bill

jmcg
7th June 2009, 21:42
It is amazing that I honestly thought the LS rating had been well established in the china for decades before that. They never appeared to me to have taken any liberties with preferential watch duties. All day workers and Sat/Sun off unless in port. No more than long serving company men really.

BW

J

Pat Kennedy
7th June 2009, 22:17
John,
The way it appeared to me was this.
When you joined a ship, the Bosun and the Mate would peruse the crewlist and between them they would select two ABs who they thought were capable of running the well deck operation on stations. These two were the daywork ABs and as you say they were usually stanchions in the company, or the Bosun knew them from previously.
As well as being in charge of well deck mooring ops, they usually got the splicing jobs, and derrick watch while in port, and best of all, got to hold the hose on the daily washdown! Remember washdown, two gangs, one started on the bridge and worked their way down, the other started on the focsle and worked their way aft, and the most junior of the ordinary seamen had to go down the pit and ask an engineer for water on deck.
This was the scenario on every BF ship I was on. It never varied and that was part of the attraction for me, it didnt matter if you joined a ship and knew nobody, We all knew exactly where we stood and what we had to do.
Regards,
Pat(Thumb)

jmcg
7th June 2009, 22:45
(Gleam) Good post Pat!

There can be no doubt that the cold winds of change were rapid and savage.

LS were well established in 67 -73 and yes, they did have deck perogatives as you point out. They had the middle cabins on the A Class. No questions about that. If you joined before a LS and off loaded your gear in any of the mid cabins you would soon find it turfed out. I was never aware of any "selection " process for effective running of the well decks.

The hose role seems to have been universal -the crud washed into the scuppers with the lesser mortls on the brush(es). If you were not quick enough on the brush one got a blast from the salt water fire main hose .

Another role they were tasked with was the "small stuff" and duck canvas work. I learned a lot on Autolycus from the Lampy who had a fondness for the Bostswain's locker for'ard on her. He prepared a lot of "gear" for sale out East and always appeared to me making heaving lines and gantlines and one offs.

The drill and expectations were common from ship to ship. JB was not a fan of LS though and they jumped and skipped as much as the unfortunate peggies.

Pat Kennedy
7th June 2009, 22:59
John,
The Lampy had the best job on the ship!
Apart from stations on the poop, his whole time was spent up for'ard messing round with paint brushes and stuff. They all seemed to be pipe smokers and would sit on No1 hatch contentedly puffing away while sharpening scrapers and suchlike. The Lampy always had the best 'Bronzie'
Pat

Dolius
7th June 2009, 23:08
I've had a look at the photograph 476 as mentioned by JMCG and do not recognise it as George Birch.
The Bosun's mate was always known as Lamps, but what did he sign on as ?
The two Leading seamen were known as Dayworkers.
I wish I could recall more about the hierarchy. Does anyone have a copy of Blue Funnel ships articles from that era to see who was who?
Regards
Dolius

jmcg
7th June 2009, 23:42
Oh yes Pat, but don't forget there was Lamp's store at no 5 hatch just next to the contactor house on the well deck (below the sailor's house).

BW

J (Gleam)

holland25
8th June 2009, 00:35
Looking at the Laomedon lifeboat list, I think its sad that the Chinese are listed by numbers. The West has been very arrogant.

jmcg
16th June 2009, 07:57
#72 Dolius

I know the LS had Leading Seaman endorsed in the relevent column (Rank) in their Ds Books.

What they signed on (Articles) as I cannot tell as I never aspired to or attained such elevation .

Perhaps others can enlighten us.

BW

J

Pat Kennedy
16th June 2009, 10:22
Oh yes Pat, but don't forget there was Lamp's store at no 5 hatch just next to the contactor house on the well deck (below the sailor's house).

BW

J
John,
One ship I was on, Ascanius, we had a monkey, and nobody could discover where this little guy did his business, until one day the lampy went into his lamp room and discovered that the spare masthead lamp was full to the brim with monkey sh*t.
That monkey, well loved by all hands,(even the lampy) went over the side and drowned while we were leaving Copenhagen.
Regards,
Pat(Thumb)

jmcg
16th June 2009, 19:09
What an unfortunate end for that poor monkey.

See my post #44 under the "Ships Carpenter" thread for a commentary on how we humanely dealt with a potentially very serious Monkey v. H.M. Customs issue.

Before we set him adrift, the Chief Steward who was a very pious and medically astute man, named our departing friend 'Moses'. He was then despatched to the Humber with full Palm Line honours.

I often wonder if that unfortunate poor critter made it ashore.

BW

J

bwat
23rd August 2009, 08:24
Doug Grey E/O Blue funnell died a few years ago. His wife died a short time later, I have lost touch with his son, so can't give you any more info

Dolius
23rd August 2009, 20:47
Thank you for letting me know about Dougie. We were together on Asphalion and Dolius, and I have many happy memories of those voyages and runs ashore wth Doug.

jasonclark
6th October 2009, 13:23
I am hoping someone might remember my Father, Michael John Clark, who served as an engine room apprentice in the late 1950's, I think working for Blue Funnel (might might have been Blue Star or White Star - sorry!!!). My dad passed away recently and I am trying to piece together some of his history. Any ideas would be much appreciated!!

Thanks

Jason

red lead
22nd May 2013, 20:45
My Uncle worked Blue Funnel Line Ships as an Engineer from the late 30's, his last ship was in the mid 70's, I know he was a Chief Eng. when he left the company, and that one of his ships was torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese in WW2, apart from this I have no record of what ships he served on, Is there a resource for Alfred Holt Crew lists available on line or does this need to be done at Kew?

Or perhaps I may be really luck and some of his old shipmates may be members of this site? He was called Bob Vart (He unfortunately died in 1994), He has a son, also called Bob Vart - also with Blue Funnel as an Engineer, he left in the mid 80's and now lives in Hong Kong.

Can anyone help or point me in the right direction?

Thanks in advance.

Tom Vart

Was with a chief that name on piesander in 60 s . was he from wallasey a small man. Red lead

red lead
10th June 2013, 20:05
(Night)My Uncle worked Blue Funnel Line Ships as an Engineer from the late 30's, his last ship was in the mid 70's, I know he was a Chief Eng. when he left the company, and that one of his ships was torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese in WW2, apart from this I have no record of what ships he served on, Is there a resource for Alfred Holt Crew lists available on line or does this need to be done at Kew?

Or perhaps I may be really luck and some of his old shipmates may be members of this site? He was called Bob Vart (He unfortunately died in 1994), He has a son, also called Bob Vart - also with Blue Funnel as an Engineer, he left in the mid 80's and now lives in Hong Kong.

Can anyone help or point me in the right direction?

Thanks in advance.

Tom Vart

Dod Caukie
30th June 2013, 12:18
As one who had the good fortune to sail with both Blue Funnel and Glen Line, while the companies were run as separate entities, the manning of the ships of both fleets was organised from India Buildings. That is not to say that Glen Line had no input in senior positions on board their vessels.

George Thomson

BIG JOHN L
2nd August 2013, 11:38
Anyone remember a chief engineer James Waite (I think that is the spelling) who came from Hartlepool.

Baz1uk
2nd August 2013, 23:01
Hi Big John. I did three trips with a Jim Waite on the Flintshire in 72/73. Quite an interesting guy to sail with. I'm not sure he came from Hartlepool, but certainly from up that way. The 2/E one Fred Longster was definitley from Hartlepool.

BIG JOHN L
17th August 2013, 12:11
Hi Baz,thanks for reply,James must have mellowed with age as he had a reputation in the mid 50s that 2engs would never do another trip. Did he still wear that black beret?