Empire Belle 1945

Sue WG
19th January 2013, 14:24
Hi I am trying to find out about my late father's career with the
Merchant Navy.
At the moment all I have is that he was discharged from Empire Belle
sep 1945 . ship 180129 and a discharge no. from a medical.

Help please.


Thanks
Sue

eriskay
19th January 2013, 15:33
Some details for the S.T. EMPIRE BELLE :

She was a Modified Warrior class steam tug built for the Ministry of War Transport (MOWT) by J. Crown & Sons of Sunderland (Monkwearmouth) as their Yard No. 211, Managers Townsend Bros. Ferries Ltd., London.

31-10-1943 : Launched
03-02-1944 : Completed

Official Number : 180129

Call Sign : M D C N

Tonnage : 257 GRT

Dimensions : 105.9 feet x 30.1 feet x 12.4 feet

Propulsion : 3-cylinder Triple-Expansion Steam Reciprocating Engine

Cylinders : 16.5" x 27" diameter x 30" stroke

Output : 1,000 IHP

Boiler : Oil-Fired - 16 feet in length x 11.5 feet diameter

Steam Pressure : 200 lbs sq inch


Historical summary :

14-06-1944 Towed Monarch to Portsmouth
Nov. 1944 Managers Overseas Towage & Salvage Co Ltd, London
06-04-1945 Allocated to relieve Empire Doris at Antwerp
June 1945 With Empire Bascobel towed dredger TIC10 to Tyne
21-06-1945 Released from COTUG to Director of Sea Towing
02-08-1945 Transferred to UK Admiralty, dispatched to Bombay.
Octbr. 1945 Arrived Bombay.
16-11-1945 Sailed for Singapore.
31-05-1947 Permanently allocated to UK Admiralty
1956 Renamed 'ELF'
1959 For sale 'as lies' at Singapore
11-04-1960 Sold to Imprese Marittime Augustea SpA., Palermo, for 17,300, and renamed MARE JONIO
20-04-1971 Sold to the Italian Navy and renamed ERCOLE [A 5388]
1989 Stricken
1990 Scrapped.

Sue WG
19th January 2013, 15:49
Thank you for such a quick response.

It is amazing to think my Dad sailed on her.
The family base is Gravesend and as child my life was full of ships
i just wished i had paid far more attention at the time.

Thanks
Sue

eriskay
19th January 2013, 16:08
You are welcome, Sue.

If you can locate his Discharge Book [Seaman's Record Book and Certificates of Discharge - a small hard-covered booklet measuring 4.5 inches x 6.6 inches (114 mm x 167 mm)] that will show any previous and/or later ships on which he served, together with his join and leave dates, rank, etc. That would enable me (or others) to provide you with some additional details of his maritime career.

I assume from your initial posting that he was discharged from the S.S. EMPIRE BELLE on medical grounds in September 1945, which would be at the time his vessel was bound for Bombay, India.

Angus

Gulpers
19th January 2013, 16:32
Sue,

On behalf of the SN Moderators, thanks for your introduction and a warm welcome aboard from the Isle of Anglesey.
You will thoroughly enjoy your time on SN and get many happy hours entertainment from your membership. (Thumb)

Delighted to see that Angus is already able to offer you some information. (Applause)

Sue WG
19th January 2013, 17:01
HI
sadly this is the problem the book has vanished.

He was at sea from aged 14 (1941) and retired aged 65 in 1992.
His discharge number was R340840 which i found on a medical
report about him dated 1989 confirming he was still fit to go to
sea.


hope this might help.

and thank you again

Sue

Hugh MacLean
19th January 2013, 17:12
Hello and welcome Sue,

Do you wish to give his name, date and place of birth?

Regards
Hugh

Sue WG
19th January 2013, 17:38
Hi yes ,

His name was Bernard Grant
born 10/07/1927 in Northfleet kent

I know he worked between Rotterdam when my parents first married
in 1954.

He worked for Bowker and King at some point, this is a name I remember.

He worked on Oil tankers delivering oil around the Uk when I was a child
and the ships were tied up at Denton off of Gravesend.

I hope some of this helps

Thanks again

Sue

Pompeyfan
19th January 2013, 17:43
Also on behalf of the 'SN Moderating Team', welcome aboard Sue. I hope you find the information you are seeking.

Hugh MacLean
19th January 2013, 18:45
Hello Sue,

There are no records on line for him but that does not mean he has none. His records, should they have survived, from January 1941 until 1972 should be held at the National Archives, Kew in file classification BT 382/2401 (http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/details?Uri=C10990625)

Unfortunately, the Register General was not required by legislation to keep seamen's records from 1973 - 1999.

It would be best to view the file by visit to Kew as it may be a hassle to get online using the Kew research service and not at all cheap.

Do you know if he ever claimed his war medals?

Regards
Hugh

stan mayes
19th January 2013, 22:45
Hello Sue,
Welcome to this great site..
I live at Gravesend and I know many who worked on the Thames so will make inquiries..Bowker and King had small tankers which took oil from Thameshaven
to various places on the river and many of their crews lived locally so they often
anchored overnight off Denton..
During the 1950's I sailed with a George Grant who lived at Northfleet -is it possible he is a relative?
Regards,
Stan

billyboy
19th January 2013, 23:10
A warm welcome aboard from the Philippines. Please enjoy all this great site has to offer.

Sue WG
20th January 2013, 08:46
Hello Sue,
Welcome to this great site..
I live at Gravesend and I know many who worked on the Thames so will make inquiries..Bowker and King had small tankers which took oil from Thameshaven
to various places on the river and many of their crews lived locally so they often
anchored overnight off Denton..
During the 1950's I sailed with a George Grant who lived at Northfleet -is it possible he is a relative?
Regards,
Stan
Hi Stan

my dads father was George, but he did not go to sea.
My dad had two borthers who did, Terry and Jim who would have been older than him.

That is what my Dad did and he worked 2 weeks on one week off.

thank you

Sue

Sue WG
20th January 2013, 08:49
Hello Sue,

There are no records on line for him but that does not mean he has none. His records, should they have survived, from January 1941 until 1972 should be held at the National Archives, Kew in file classification BT 382/2401 (http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/details?Uri=C10990625)

Unfortunately, the Register General was not required by legislation to keep seamen's records from 1973 - 1999.

It would be best to view the file by visit to Kew as it may be a hassle to get online using the Kew research service and not at all cheap.

Do you know if he ever claimed his war medals?

Regards
Hugh

Hi Hugh,

thank you so much for taking the time to look.

I am not sure about war medals, is there any way of finding
out please?

I have had no success on the National Archives site and find it
very frustrating.

I have written to an address in cardiff to see if they can help me.

Thanks again
Sue

Hugh MacLean
20th January 2013, 12:52
Hello Sue,

Yes, I agree, the NA online is not a very user friendly site if you are not sure what you are looking for.

Regarding his medals, checking the NA site, there is no mention of them being issued or claimed. However, not all entitlements have survived so its possible that he did claim them and the paperwork has not survived. It is equally the case that he may not have claimed his medals and his next of kin would be entitled to a free issue of same. However, if it is the case that his entitlement has not survived, it will be up to the next of kin to provide the evidence that he met the Area and Time qualification to be awarded his medals. The process really begins with obtaining his service records which I have linked to in my last post.

In the first instance you need to find out for sure if he does have a medal entitlement at the Registry of Shipping and Seamen in Cardiff. If not then you would need to proceed to gather the evidence to provide to them. The medal office is in a state of flux at the moment due to changes in staffing but hopefully this can be checked out at this address.

Medal Officer
The Registry of Shipping and Seamen
P.O. Box 420
Cardiff
CF24 5XR
Tel: 029 20 44 88 00
Fax: 029 20 44 88 20
Email:[email protected]

Note the only place you will get his service records [CRS 10] from is Kew - Cardiff will not be able to help with them I am afraid.


Regards
Hugh