Circassia Karachi-Liverpool around 1951 - Ships Nostalgia
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Circassia Karachi-Liverpool around 1951

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  #1  
Old 6th December 2018, 19:55
MikeC58 MikeC58 is offline
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Question Circassia Karachi-Liverpool around 1951

Hello All,

I'm new to this site but I found you guys when researching a label on a steel travel trunk that my Great Granny used when moving from Pakistan to the UK in around 1951.

The label shows she travelled on the Circassia from Karachi to Liverpool. She would have travelled with her Grandson - my father. Other family records suggest this was in late 1951 when she would have been around 74 years old and he would have been around 29 years.

The trouble is that a search of the passenger lists (via National Archives/Ancestry) does not show either of their names.

I read that the ship was refitted after war service to provide 320 first-class only berths. It surprised me that Dad and Great Granny could have afforded to travel first-class. However, I also read that the ship carried 150 crew - could they have travelled as supernumerary crew? Was that at all common - and what duties could a 74 year old lady have carried out on board? Also, how long would such a journey take?

Any help on this would be very much appreciated. Isn't it amazing what a paper label can provoke?

Mike C
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  #2  
Old 9th December 2018, 13:34
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Roger Griffiths Roger Griffiths is offline  
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Hello and welcome.
You suggest that they embarked in late 1951. Have you checked the the early 1952 passenger lists? CIRCASSIA arrived Liverpool 28/1/52 after a voyage which originated in Karachi.
Re supernumerary crew. I doubt it. I have searched for the 1951/52 crew agreements of CIRCASSIA in the two main repositories, with negative results.
Good luck with your search.
regards
Roger
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  #3  
Old 10th December 2018, 18:28
MikeC58 MikeC58 is offline
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Many thanks for the reply Roger, and the welcome,

I'm actually more certain about when my Dad arrived than when he/they embarked. Dads National Identity Card was date-stamped 30 Nov 1951 (CLA, Croydon District).

Do you know how long the journey from Karachi to Liverpool would have taken the Circassia? I think I have found a leaving gift for Great Granny engraved with the date 8 Nov 1951 but I've no idea if 8th Nov in Karachi and 30th Nov in Croydon is plausible. Also can you tell me how to look up specific voyage dates?

The luggage label is for Anchor Line and has the name of the vessel - Circassia, Great Granny's name and the ports Karachi to Liverpool. It does *NOT* have a cabin number but *IS* annotated to say it would be needed on the journey. I guess the luggage may have simply been sent as cargo but then I would not expect the 'Needed on voyage' annotation.

Great Granny's name was Agnes Celand. Dad was Neville Cherry. I believe they travelled together but may be mistaken on that. They may also have travelled with her son Eric Celand. I've certainly had no luck searching the passenger lists through the Ancestry web site - I don't think I'm doing it wrongly, but I may be.

If you can point me in the right direction that would be great.

with thanks again,

Mike C
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  #4  
Old 10th December 2018, 19:26
Greenock1 Greenock1 is offline
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CIRCASSIA normally took 21 days from Karachi to Liverpool. There is a lot of information and photographs of interiors of CIRCASSIA and her sisters CILICIA and CALEDONIA in the website "ShipsoftheClyde.com" and I would suggest that you search for the three ships in that website.
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  #5  
Old 10th December 2018, 20:25
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Roger Griffiths Roger Griffiths is offline  
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Hello Mike,
21 days, Karachi-Liverpool as indicated by Greenock1, would be about right.
CIRCASSIA had a service speed of 16.5 knots, Allow for port calls,
http://ports.com/sea-route/#/?a=4012...ited%20Kingdom

That would fit the 8/Nov departure and the 30/Nov NIC stamp' Problem is I cannot find an arrival to confirm this. Nearest arrival 22/Oct
http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/C9157509

I do not have a subscription to Ancestry but useing their free search came across an entry for a Agnes Seland. (A misspelling?) Don't know if you seen it.
https://www.ancestry.co.uk/search/co...Ship=circassia
No mention of Neville Cherry. So maybe a supernumery? As indicated in my first post the crew agreements for 1951/52 seem to be missing so cannot confirm.

regards
Roger
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Last edited by Roger Griffiths; 10th December 2018 at 20:56..
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  #6  
Old 10th December 2018, 21:24
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is online now  
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If it is of any help I can confirm from my Dad's log-book that Circassia appears to have sailed from Liverpool on 24th November 1951 - thus ruling out her being in Karachi on 8th November 1951 and being consistent with her return on 28th January 1952, which is also confirmed.
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  #7  
Old 10th December 2018, 21:29
MikeC58 MikeC58 is offline
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Thank you very much Greenock1 and Roger Griffiths.

Giving the plausible transit time from Karachi to Liverpool helps me a lot. I had no "feel" for the likely duration of the voyage so I was very much shooting in the dark.

I know that a lot of 'British Indians' were trying to move from Pakistan to the UK in the early 1950s fairly shortly after Partition. Many thought of it as 'coming 'back home' - even though many others, like my father felt that Britain was a foreign country. What I don't really know is how desperate they were and how many rules they might have been prepared to 'bend' in the process... and how they could have worked it to get a 74 year old Granny through the system.

So, from you contributions, they almost certainly didn't 'work their passage' to travel - so they ought to appear in the passenger lists. I like the reference to 'Agnes Seland' - that definitely gives me something to work on.

Many, many thanks for your attention on this. This will give me much to dig through.

Mike C
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  #8  
Old 10th December 2018, 21:50
MikeC58 MikeC58 is offline
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Many thanks Barrie Youde,

This very much suggests they didn't travel as a single group. Perhaps my Dad or 'Uncle Eric' went on ahead and prepared somewhere to live (in Croydon) and Granny Celand travelled later (or earlier, I guess).

So: Departure from Liverpool on 24 Nov 1951 down via Karachi to Bombay and then back via the same route to Liverpool by 28 Jan 1952? A two month (approx) round trip... Any idea what would be the 'turn around' time in Liverpool before the next trip?

Many many thanks,
Mike C
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  #9  
Old 10th December 2018, 22:53
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is online now  
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Her next trip appears to be sailing from Liverpool on 1st March 1952, returning on 5th May 1952.
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  #10  
Old 11th December 2018, 07:10
MikeC58 MikeC58 is offline
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Many thanks again Barrie,

So a two month round trip with a one month turn around is possibly not unusual for the vessel on that route. (Yes, I know, extrapolating from only two data points is risky). If that's the case then it's effectively providing a three monthly service from Karachi to Liverpool.

If Dad travelled on that route and on that vessel then he possibly left Karachi early September...

There's an awful lot of 'If's and 'possibly's in that.

Perhaps what I thought of as a 'parting gift' from Pakistan for Great Granny was actually a 'welcome gift' in the UK. I think the lesson to be learned here is that I should have done more of this research while Dad was still with us!

Does anyone have any information on how frequent sailings from Pakistan (probably Karachi) to the UK were at around that time?

Thanks again for information, it helps me to get a feel for how/when Great Granny and co moved to the UK.

Mike C
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  #11  
Old 11th December 2018, 08:35
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is online now  
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#10

Mike,

Your extrapolation is quite right. Anchor Line maintained a regular, monthly liner service at that time with the three ships, Cilicia, Circassia and Caledonia. The monthly sailings from Liverpool were at 1600 on Saturdays.

Roger has already identified an arrival at Liverpool on 22nd October 1951 of Circassia. On the figures shown, she appears more likely to have left Karachi later in September than "early September".

Best wishes.
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  #12  
Old 11th December 2018, 19:39
Bob L Bob L is online now  
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Re. Anchor Line Eastern Service

Having sailed on Both Cilicia and Circassia we did not carry Supernumary Passengers at any time - the vessels were all One Class (First Class) so all Passengers ( around 300/ 320 maximum ) had full access to all public areas but there were three classes of cabins - 26 Boat Deck Staterooms - A Deck and B Deck - all with descending fares.
Obviously with a monthly service it required the Caledonia, Cilicia and Circassia to maintain it - with a little bit of leeway in case of any delays - always bear in mind all vessels carried between 7000 to 9000
tons of general cargo.
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