Serjent Major I.W.T. 1915-1919

Debra Wilson
7th July 2008, 18:50
Hi, can anyone throw any light on my great-grandfather's role in WW1, please. I have a copy of his skippers certificate and it references the ships he sailed on. For the period Oct 1915 to Oct 1919, the vessel is given as 'Serjent Major' I.W.T. I know he delivered munitions in WW1 to Basra, Aden and Bombay. I don't know if Serjent Major was a vessel or his rank.
My great-grandfather was lost at sea in 1928 on the SS Cartagena which sailed out of Fleetwood bound for Rio de Janeiro.

8th July 2008, 00:47
Welcome onboard to SN and enjoy the voyage. From my records the abbreviation I.W.T. stands for Inland Water Transport

8th July 2008, 14:05
Greetings Debra and welcome to SN. Enjoy the site and bon voyage.

8th July 2008, 14:47
Welcome aboard Debra, nice to have some glamour around, enjoy your voyage.Terence Williams.R538301.

8th July 2008, 23:14
Welcome ( from Lancashire.

I hope you will enjoy the site.

BTW are you sure about the name of the ship your great-grandfather was lost on and the year of loss as I can't match this from lists of ships of that name. You can check yourself what is there on the Miramar Ship Index at this URL and putting in the ship's name:

Good luck with your research!



8th July 2008, 23:41
Hi Debra
Welcome to SN from Glorious Devon!
I have checked what information I have for 1914-18 ships and have come up with a blank regarding a ship called 'Sergeant Major'.
There was, as Gydnia has pointed out, an Inland Water Section that was actually part of the Army. Operated by the Army Service Corps initially it was transferred and run by the Royal Engineers from 1914 then in 1918/19 it was transferred back to what was by then the Royal Army Service Corps.
It seems likely that your ancestor was a soldier if his rank was Sergeant Major. The Royal Engineers do have a Museum based in Gillingham, Kent that you could approach and if you have your ancestor's full details (name rank and number) it is possible to look up his medal entitlement on line at the PRO from their medal cards, which would hopefully confirm that he was actually a soldier.
Please send me a PM if we can help further with this, particularly if you want some help looking up his medals and would prefer not to put his details on the website.
Don't forget the 1901 Census Return is also available on line if you know where he was living at that time.
Kind regards
Moderating Team

Debra Wilson
10th July 2008, 18:53
Hi Brian, thanks for your reply. I am certain about the ship my g-grandfather was lost on. Its name is engraved on the memorial on Fleetwood sea front. It was lost with all hands in January 1928. It apparently ran into difficulty within 24 hours of setting sail.

Debra Wilson
10th July 2008, 18:58
Hi Peter, I have tried to trace (without luck) any medal cards. My g-grandfather was Danish, born 25 July 1875. He came to England in 1902 and was nationalized in 1912. His name in Denmark was Kaj Poul Glaeiser-Petersen, however this was anglicised to Kaj Paul Glaiser-Petterson. His dob was often given as 25/7/1878 so as you can guess, there is an awful lot of variance in his details! I have a copy of his skippers cert - number 8226 which gives his name as Paul Petterson.......

10th July 2008, 20:27
Hi Debra
I have located the 'Cartagena' for you.

This was a trawler built in Canada for the British Admiralty in 1918 and was to have been used for minesweeping. Her name was TR 4 and she was sold by the Admiralty in 1920 possibly to the Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co. She was certainly owned by this Company in 1926 when she was renamed 'Cartagena'.

If you google this will bring up the Southampton maritime website and if you put Cartagena into the advanced search, you will find they have the complete transcript of the Enquiry and Wreck report on line giving all the details of her loss in 1928. There is even a mention of your Great-Grandmother Mrs Pettersen.

If you also google www.fleetwood-trawlers.connectfree you will find this an excellent site regarding the trawlers of Fleetwood. There is a section that lists trawlers that were lost including the 'Cartagena' together with brief details of the loss itself. What I find very interesting is that she sailed for South America having been sold, with a deep-sea Pilot in charge who does not appear to have actually been the Skipper, by the name of PETER PETERSEN. In the transcript of the enquiry on the Southampton site, your Great-Grandmother's name is spelt as PeTTerson but I rather think the similarity of names could be more than just co-incidence! lists those who lost their lives as Malcolm Wilson, A.Rawlings, J.P.Monaghan, William Shelfam, Neil Robertson, Joseph McFarlane, Richard Taylor, Peter Bramus, Harry Grayson, Albert Taylor, Laurance Gratix and PAUL PATTERSON. From this it looks like your Great-Grandfather was indeed sailing as the deep sea Pilot who is shown on the fleetwood trawlers website as Peter Peterson. (put TR 4 into the advanced search) also gives some information on the fact that the ship has been a popular scuba dive site for many years but that the ship was wrongly identified and has only recently been correctly identified as the 'Cartagena' when the bell engraved TR 4 was located on the wreck.

Hopefully this will help you to move your search onwards as it appears your ancestor was involved in the fishing industry or in pilotage.

I did a quick check of the medal cards and the only one that came close was a Lance Corporal P.E.Pettersen of the Royal Engineers which I very much doubt is the right man.