How can i find information

23rd February 2010, 13:41
Hello my first time on here so forgive me if i make very little sense. I am trying to find out any information about my Great Uncle Mr Victor McCaffrey who was in the Merchant Navy in the very early 1950.s and early 1960's. If im correct his Naval Number was R524241. Can anyone tell me what the following things mean :- B.S.I.C. document, Papers received in B.S.S., Bay B. C.R.S. Section, R.B.6, theres a pink coloured card with his name description and name of ship joining "VIENNA" Theres a No of DIS.A.issued. Victor McCaffrey was born in Enniskillen Co Fermanagh in 1917, he was an ex Royal Marine, he sailed on a great number of ships including Baron Elgin 1952, Chepman 1952, Moreton Bay 1952, Empire Baltic 1952, Athel Knight 1953, Regent Tiger 1953 Athel Duchess 1956 and many more, any help or information would be greatfully received

23rd February 2010, 14:08
Welcome aboard Jack, get a look around and find yourself a cabin. Have a good trip. here is a bit of information, others will expand on it if I haven't got it quite right.

Dis A is the discharge book, recording his employment on merchant navy ships. The R524241 is the number of the discharge book. B.S.I.C. is the British Seaman Identity Card, this will have the same Dis A number in it with his date of birth, signature and photo.

23rd February 2010, 14:22
Thank you so much for your information

23rd February 2010, 15:03
Greetings George and welcome to SN. Bon voyage.

K urgess
23rd February 2010, 16:54
Welcome aboard from East Yorkshire, George.
Find your way around and get to know the crew.
Have a good voyage.

bert thompson
23rd February 2010, 17:44
Welcome George to this great site. Glad to see that you are already getting the information you wanted
Best wishes

23rd February 2010, 19:12
Welcome from Lancashire - I hope you will enjoy the site.

Given the date, Vienna is most likely this one (information from Miramar Ship Index):

IDNo:5347518 (
Type:Cargo ship
Launch Date:
Date of completion:
Length overall:65.8
Country of build:POL
Builder:Komuny Paryskiej
Location of yard:Gdynia
Number of screws/1

Subsequent History:

[1978 Lg 72.3/70.0m, 1136gt/1356dw] - 87 VIENNA - 88 TIROL - 89 FLEET FEEDER - 92 ARWAD - 93 MED QUEEN - 94 IMAN M. - 97 LATTAKIA FEEDER - 03 SKY - 03 MARIA I - 04 PAXOS
Disposal Data:

BU Aliaga 19.9.04 (this date is obviously wrong!)

23rd February 2010, 21:13
Welcome aboard from the Philippines, Enjoy all this great site has to offer

Hugh MacLean
23rd February 2010, 21:52
C.R.S. Section, R.B.6, theres a pink coloured card with his name description and name of ship joining "VIENNA" George

Hello and welcome.

CRS = Central Registry Section.

The pink coloured card is a CR1.


23rd February 2010, 22:53
Have had second thoughts about Vienna - the one I quoted changed name to Vienna after the time we are talking about so it must have been the earlier one as below:

IDNo:1161034 (
Type:Passenger ship
Date of completion:6.29
DWT:Yard No:527
Country of build:GBR
Builder:John Brown
Location of yard:Clydebank
Number of screws: 2

Disposal Data:

Broken up Ghent 4.9.60

24th February 2010, 10:42
Thank you so much everyone who sent me messages i really appriciated them, I have found a little information about my Great Uncle, he was a Victor McCaffrey born Enniskillen County Fermanagh in 1917. He served in the Royal Marines from 1938 until 1948, then appears to have joined the Merchant Navy. I have a record of him which states :- VICTOR McCAFFREY D.B.S. PASSENGER ON M.V.DEIDO OFFICIAL NUMBER 160370, ELDER DEMPSTER EMBARKED AT DAKAR LANDED IN LIVERPOOL 12th AUGUST 1953 AGED 36 YRS OLD, PROPOSED ADDRESS 18 MANOR STREET CLAPHAM SW16, HE WAS A DONKEYMAN ON THE SS REGENT TIGER. Does anyone know what D.B.S. means and what is a donkeyman.

24th February 2010, 11:53
DBS is Distressed British Seaman. One who for whatever reason finds himself stranded abroad without his ship. The British consul arranges a passage home on any other British ship, no doubt in return for working his passage.
Donkeyman is, or was, the Petty Officer in charge of Engine Room ratings.

24th February 2010, 12:39
Thanks for the info really great