Seamans Discharge Book

FREEBEE
6th October 2009, 18:21
When was the first Seamans Discharge Book/ and I.D. Book issued, and who now keeps the record of the old applications? Is it possible to access this information?
Regards
Freebee

Billy1963
19th October 2009, 20:25
Hello Freebee,

All depends on what years you are looking at. There are no copies of actual Discharge Books, but records known as CRS10 service files detail the same information found within a Discharge Book.

MERCHANT NAVY SEAMAN'S SEA SERVICE RECORDS

1999 - 2002 Sea Service Records

The MCA at Cardiff is able to provide details of a merchant seaman's service for the above years. This information is taken from the ships official logbooks and crew agreements on which the seaman sailed. There is a charge of £11.00 per logbook to extract this information, the details of which are then included on a Certificate of Sea Service in respect of the seaman. Further charges are made for additional information and these are listed below.


1973 to 1999 Sea Service Records

This MCA at Cardiff is not able to supply information concerning the sea service details of individual Merchant Seamen from 1973 to 1999. After 1973 the Registrar General was not required by legislation to keep these records.

1941 to 1972 Fifth Register of Merchant Seaman's Service

These records are held at The National Archives in classification BT 382. The Fifth Register of Seamanís Service 1941 to 1972.

Records of individual Merchant Seamen's sea service details are held in alphabetical surname order. These details include the following information: Name of seaman, Date and place of birth, Discharge (Seamanís) book number, Rank, Details of the ships on which he served. These include:

Name of ship and official number, date of engagement (Joining ship), Date of discharge (Leaving ship), whether ship was a foreign going of home trade vessel, and records in some cases National Insurance contributions. Details shown in these records are similar to those contained in an individual seaman's discharge book.

1913 to 1940 Fourth Register of Merchant Seaman's service. (Please note these records actually start from 1919 as all WWI records were destroyed)

These records are available at The National Archives and are held on Microfiche in the following classifications BT 348: Register of Seamen, Central Index, Numerical Series (CR 2), BT 349: Register of Seamen, Central Index, Alphabetical Series (CR 1) and BT 350: Register of Seamen, Special Index, Alphabetical Series (CR 10). These three classes were combined in one classification namely BT 364 Register of Seaman, Combined Numerical Index (CR1, CR 2 & CR 10) and were made up by extracting combinations of cards from the other three classes.

The original records for the above named classifications are now held at the following address: Southampton Archives, Southampton City Council, South Block, Civic Centre, Southampton, S014 7LY. This office is open Tuesdays to Fridays 9.30am to 4.30pm, with one late evening opening each month. There is no charge for a personal visit. Alternatively enquiries for information from the records may be made by post, e-mail or fax but there will be a charge for this.

1854 - 1856 Third Register of Merchant Seaman's service

This register of Merchant Seamen service was opened in 1854. This was arranged in alphabetical order and contained the following details of seaman: age, place of birth, details of voyage, including name of ship and port of departure. In 1856 it was considered that the obligation to maintain a register of seaman was satisfied by the crew list and the register was closed.

The records of this are held at The National Archives in the following classification BT 116: Register of Seamen: Series 111.

1845 - 1854 Second Register of Merchant Seaman's Service

The Merchant Shipping Act 1844 stipulated that every British seaman should have a register ticket. The details given when applying for a ticket were: Name, Date and place of birth, Date and capacity of first going to sea, Capacity since: any Royal Navy ship served in, and capacity; Present employment at sea, home address.

These records are held at The National Archives under the following classifications: BT 113: Registers of Seaman's Tickets. (1845-1853), in Certificate number order. BT 114: Alphabetical Index to registers of Seamanís Tickets. BT 115: Alphabetical Register of Masters Tickets.

1835 to 1844 First Register of Merchant Seaman's service

The registration of seamen was introduced by the Merchant Shipping Act 1835. These records are held at the Public Records Office under the following classifications: BT 120: Register of Seamen Series 1. (1835-1836). These records are arranged alphabetically. BT 112: Register of Seamen: Series 11 (1835-1844). BT 119 Alphabetical Index to Seamen. This index provides the registration number of the seaman.

FREEBEE
20th October 2009, 21:24
Hello Billy,
Many thanks for a very comprehensive reply. I am tracing details of my Gt Gt Grandfather who was a master mariner and was at sea from 1846 to 1874, and other members of the family who was at sea in more recent years.
The next question is when was the first photograph ID used?
Regards
Freebee

R58484956
21st October 2009, 15:32
Billie, Once again you are an encyclopedia of knowledge for which many of us have been thankful.

Roger Griffiths
22nd October 2009, 17:01
Hello Billy,
Many thanks for a very comprehensive reply. I am tracing details of my Gt Gt Grandfather who was a master mariner and was at sea from 1846 to 1874, and other members of the family who was at sea in more recent years.
The next question is[B] when was the first photograph ID used?
Regards
Freebee


From 1918 to 1921 a special index was included in the Fourth Register of Merchant Seamen. It would seem that there was some concern as to the situation in Ireland and the powers thatbe, felt there was a need for an improved ID system for merchant seamen. This resulted in CR10 cards indexed alphabetically. Apart from sea service they would include place and date of birth and rank, or rating. They would also describe physical appearance, I.E. 5ft 10 inchs, blond hair, blue eyes etc, a mugshot photograph and maybe Trade union and medical insurance.
Photographs ceased after 1921 untill the Fifth register of merchant seamen in 1941.
See examples here
http://www.irishmariners.ie/photo-gallery.php


Roger

FREEBEE
25th October 2009, 13:38
Hi Roger,
Many thanks for the ID photo info. Do you know if there is a British Mariners list similar to the Irish one that can be viewed online?
Regards
Freebee

Roger Griffiths
25th October 2009, 13:59
Hi Roger,
Many thanks for the ID photo info. Do you know if there is a British Mariners list similar to the Irish one that can be viewed online?
Regards
Freebee

Simple answer----No

If you had told Billy your GGrandfather was a master mariner, I guess he would have given you different information as officers records are classified differently.
If you could post your GGrandfathers full name, date and place of birth, we may be able to give you help in finding his seagoing records.


regards
Roger

Hank
29th October 2009, 17:58
Just to add a bit to what has already been written: the Discharge Book came in to use in the early 20th century. My grandfather got his (no. 89012) in Feb 1901. Before then the seamen got a loose paper discharge certificate.
The earliest use of photographs that I have was on the CR10.
The link below you will take you to a webpage where you can see pictures of an old discharge book, an 1892 discharge certificate and a CR10, amongst other things.
http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/chinaboats/docs.html
Cheers, John

FREEBEE
3rd November 2009, 16:53
Hi Roger and John,
Many thanks for the additional info. I already have my Gt Grandfathers sea going records which I got from the Guildhall Library, in London and Greenwich. It is that we are short on Photo`s of some of my other sea going relatives, hence the query as to when photo`s was used for the I.D. Book and Discharge Book.
Regards Freebee

krebsy
4th November 2012, 01:54
i'd like to view my discharge book please no R538888

Roger Griffiths
4th November 2012, 12:54
The easiest way to view your MN service records 1946-1972 is to look at your form CRS 10. This will be stored at the National Archives at Kew in piece BT382/2561
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATID=8125865&CATLN=6&accessmethod=5
These are records of individual Merchant Seamen's sea service details are held in alphabetical surname order. These details include the following information: Name of seaman, Date and place of birth, Discharge (Seamanís) book number, Rank, Details of the ships on which he served. These include:
Name of ship and official number, date of engagement (Joining ship), Date of discharge (Leaving ship), whether ship was a foreign going of home trade vessel, and records in some cases National Insurance contributions. Details shown in these records are similar to those contained in an individual seaman's discharge book.
There are no records of Service between 1972 and 1999
Also you have a Seamans "Pouch" in the piece BT372/1367/141
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATID=-3479031&CATLN=7&Highlight=%2CKREBS&accessmethod=0
The contents of "Pouchs" vary from single registry cards
to ID Cards, photographs, letters, applications forms and other ephemera.
You cannot see any of these records online. Best bet is to visit Kew yourself and view for free. If not you would need to employ a researcher or use TNA's research service.

Roger

LucyKnight
8th July 2013, 19:47
Discharge book records
Is there any way of viewing discharge book records of merchant navy officers , discharge book and seaman's books no's etc after 1972 available now, or proof that you were signed on on ship's articles easily availablle.

Hugh MacLean
8th July 2013, 20:05
From 1972 - 1999 the answer is no. The MCA at Cardiff can give information but only after 1999.
Regards
Hugh

LucyKnight
11th July 2013, 18:05
From 1972 - 1999 the answer is no. The MCA at Cardiff can give information but only after 1999.
Regards
Hugh

Thanks for that info Hugh. Regarding ships articles after 1972, can one obtain proof of being on ships that way.

Hugh MacLean
11th July 2013, 20:04
Hi Lucy,
Between the dates of 1972 until 1999 the MCA were not required by legislation to keep these records so you wont find details there or at the National Archives. For details of service after 1999 you should contact the MCA at Cardiff.

Regards
Hugh

Jacko123
12th July 2013, 01:31
Oddly enough I received yesterday my grandfather's discharge books from my mother. The first ships are HMS Eaglet August 1919 and RFA Petrobus September 1919. They go right up to Ramore Head December 1955. My first Ship was Ramore Head 1958. Also sailed on several of his ships, RM Deseado. Raeburn (called Canadian Star when I sailed on her) and the RM Durango. Takes you back a bit. RIP Tommy