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  #1  
Old 10th January 2020, 20:54
jockinese jockinese is offline
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Hello from Inverness

Hello,
I'm looking to find any information on my grandfather and the ships he sailed on. I've very limited information and don't know here to begin (lots of sites but his name is drawing a blank), any help would be appreciated.

Name: Murdo MacIver
Ships: Beauly, Brora,and Endrick. Built by Sloan in Glasgow during the 1920's.

I don't know what ship he was Captain of (one or more), or the dates he sailed, and no idea when he signed up but given his age (b.1899) he could've been in both world wars (though these ships were built after ww1).

Many thanks
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  #2  
Old 11th January 2020, 00:09
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Roger Griffiths Roger Griffiths is offline  
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Hello and welcome,
I don't know if this is your man. Its a WW1 Medal Card cost you £3.50 to download.
https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/D8056341

or this one
https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/D8056342

No medal records from WW2.

Royal Naval Reserve records. There are 80 records for Murdo MacIver, nearly all hailing from Stornaway. Cannot find one DOB 1899.

https://discovery.nationalarchives.g..._srt=3&_st=adv

He may have records in the BT382 series at the National Archives. However, It's a long way from Inverness to Kew and for best results, you would need to attend in person.
his records should be here.
https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ro=any&_st=adv

If not try

https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ls/r/C10989335

Try a search of the Merchant Navy registers 1918- 1941 at the pay to view site Find My Past
https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/...ers-1918-1941/

The ships you mentioned, BEAULY, Official number 147919 built 1924 by Alisa Shipbuilding. ENDRICK built 1928 by Ramage & Ferguson and BRORA 147895 built 1924 by Alisa Shipbuilding, were all owned by Sloans. (Coast Line) The records of William Sloan and Company Limited located at the Strathclyde Regional Archives. What is contained within, I don't know, you would need to ask.

Hugh MacLean is very knowledgable concerning Merchant Seamen from the Western Isles. He may have some records mentioned above.

Regards
Roger
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Last edited by Roger Griffiths; 11th January 2020 at 15:53..
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  #3  
Old 11th January 2020, 00:24
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is offline
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Hello from down the road in Fort William.
A popular surname from the Western Isles but if you could please confirm if he was Stornaway born or elsewhere please?

Regards
Hugh
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  #4  
Old 11th January 2020, 00:40
archie macdonald archie macdonald is offline  
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I was ordinary seaman on the BRORA 16 years old 1954 to 1955 and
Captain Maciver was master.regards archie
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  #5  
Old 12th January 2020, 14:54
jockinese jockinese is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh MacLean View Post
Hello from down the road in Fort William.
A popular surname from the Western Isles but if you could please confirm if he was Stornaway born or elsewhere please?

Regards
Hugh
Hello Yes, annoyingly for this there's quite a few Murdo MacIver's! He was born in Sheshader (Point, Lewis) on 23 March 1899. There's a box of his belongings in existence somewhere (his hat, some papers and info on his death), but I don't have them so having to search the long way round and can't seem to find him. Grateful for any help
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  #6  
Old 12th January 2020, 15:03
jockinese jockinese is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archie macdonald View Post
I was ordinary seaman on the BRORA 16 years old 1954 to 1955 and
Captain Maciver was master.regards archie
Oh wow, hello. Amazing to hear from someone who sailed with him. I have such little information on him as he died before I was born. My dad didn't speak much about him (his death hit him hard), and my elderly aunt says he was a man of few words, in particular about his work. I don't even know what ship he was on when killed in 1963 so it's difficult to know where to start. Thank you for saying hello
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  #7  
Old 12th January 2020, 15:14
jockinese jockinese is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Griffiths View Post
Hello and welcome,
I don't know if this is your man. Its a WW1 Medal Card cost you £3.50 to download.
https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/D8056341

or this one
https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/D8056342

No medal records from WW2.

Royal Naval Reserve records. There are 80 records for Murdo MacIver, nearly all hailing from Stornaway. Cannot find one DOB 1899.

https://discovery.nationalarchives.g..._srt=3&_st=adv

He may have records in the BT382 series at the National Archives. However, It's a long way from Inverness to Kew and for best results, you would need to attend in person.
his records should be here.
https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ro=any&_st=adv

If not try

https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ls/r/C10989335

Try a search of the Merchant Navy registers 1918- 1941 at the pay to view site Find My Past
https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/...ers-1918-1941/

The ships you mentioned, BEAULY, Official number 147919 built 1924 by Alisa Shipbuilding. ENDRICK built 1928 by Ramage & Ferguson and BRORA 147895 built 1924 by Alisa Shipbuilding, were all owned by Sloans. (Coast Line) The records of William Sloan and Company Limited located at the Strathclyde Regional Archives. What is contained within, I don't know, you would need to ask.

Hugh MacLean is very knowledgable concerning Merchant Seamen from the Western Isles. He may have some records mentioned above.

Regards
Roger
Hello That's great, thank you for all those links.

Birth dates. I'm wondering if he could've signed up giving a false year to make him older than he was. Would that have been a thing in the merchant navy?

I've just moved up to Inverness after 25yrs in London - how annoying is that as I could've gone to Kew at any time. I'll make sure I visit next time I'm down south, also Strathclyde Regional Archives when I'm in Glasgow.

Thanks again, Morven
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  #8  
Old 12th January 2020, 18:00
archie macdonald archie macdonald is offline  
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Its been a long time but I remember Captain Maciver clearly who knew his job,strict but a man of few words,he would ask me questions
in gaelic I came from Berneray North Uist.He was real gentleman,I can still picture him on the wing of the bridge.
regards
Archie.
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  #9  
Old 13th January 2020, 17:39
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is offline
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Hello Morvern,
I have been away from home these last two days, coincidentally in Inverness.

This is a difficult one but I have been doing some research that needs some clarification due to the popularity of that name in the Western Isles. Can you confirm that your grandfather had two brothers who served, John D. and Roderick? I have some information that may or may not be correct but we will try and work through it. I have also put a question on your other thread.
Regards
Hugh
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"If Blood was the price
We had to pay for our freedom
Then the Merchant Ship Sailors
Paid it in full”
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  #10  
Old 13th January 2020, 18:48
jockinese jockinese is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh MacLean View Post
Hello Morvern,
I have been away from home these last two days, coincidentally in Inverness.

This is a difficult one but I have been doing some research that needs some clarification due to the popularity of that name in the Western Isles. Can you confirm that your grandfather had two brothers who served, John D. and Roderick? I have some information that may or may not be correct but we will try and work through it. I have also put a question on your other thread.
Regards
Hugh
Hello Hugh,
Hope you're safely home now, it's not so nice out there.

No, that's not him. He had one younger brother (James) who emigrated to Canada and a half brother Roddy (along with five half sisters).

I've been speaking to my aunt and she's given me a little more information. A tribute to him which I assume was to do with his death (killed in a drunk driver traffic incident in Dublin). I'm trying to find out who gave the tribute and if there's a record of it. My aunt is getting old so I'm taking this slowly with her.

"...it talks about him being ambitious, intelligent and assiduous, working his way up to his Masters ticket. He served as chief officer on foreign going ships. At the outbreak of war his ship was requisitioned by the Government and he was given the rank of Lieutenant Commander in command of an armed merchantman HMS Orchy. It says that he served all through the war and had many hazardous escapes!"

That has confused me more as that ship name wasn't known to me.

Just when I thought there may be a strange secret in the family as couldn't find him, I've found two records in the National Archives. I can see on the preview that they are the correct address in Swordale and parent names, but the DOB is different from the family records I have. I'll purchase them this evening and see what information they throw up.

https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/D8526171
https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/D8468175

Second Mate certificate: I'm now unsure if that is the correct record for him as was so long ago it was pointed out to me, I'll have to upgrade my Ancestry account to access it.

Seems like he had quite a life and my aunt gave this wonderful little story..."Dad was passing through the Minch, we couldn’t see him but a crate of Canadian apples were delivered. l remember them being shared throughout the village!"

If you have any further pointers that would be amazing.
Kind regards,
Morven
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  #11  
Old 13th January 2020, 19:24
Hugh MacLean's Avatar
Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is offline
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Hello Morven,
Back home now thanks

Just to add to the confusion then here is a quote from "Lewis and Harris Seamen 1939-1945" when relating to the sinking of HMS CURACOA by troopship QUEEN MARY in 1942 -

Quote:
Among the survivors was PO gunlayer, John D. MacIver, Swordale. He never fully recovered from his ordeal in the cold, oily waters, some of which he swallowed before his rescue. The Queen Mary sped on to the horror of those who had suffered this catastrophe. If she had stopped she would have presented a perfect target to any lurking U-boat. Though John was invalided out of the service he left two brothers serving at sea. Roderick, a CPO in the Patrol Service, must have created something of a record while based at Grimsby on relief duty. He served on thirty-five different trawlers. Murdo, a First World War veteran was a Merchant Navy Master Mariner in 1939. His ship, the Brora, was requisitioned and fitted out as a `Q' ship, a decoy for enemy submarines. Murdo served on her as a Lt. Commander until she was derequisitioned. Then he resumed the rank of Captain MN.
The author quotes the BRORA which your grandfather is known to have served in but he makes the mistake that BRORA was a Q ship - it was not but BEAULY was and we also know that he served in her. So was he aboard BEAULY or ORCHY which was also a Q ship?


Quote:
I've been speaking to my aunt and she's given me a little more information. A tribute to him which I assume was to do with his death (killed in a drunk driver traffic incident in Dublin). I'm trying to find out who gave the tribute and if there's a record of it. My aunt is getting old so I'm taking this slowly with her.
I thought you said earler that he was lost at sea in 1963 and you were not sure of the ship or did I pick that up wrong?

With regard to the dates of birth - not at all surprising - many records have incorrect dates of birth. Also family lore over the years has truths, half truths and no truth so I always start with the known facts.

I have found a 2nd Mate, Murdo Maciver who served in WW1 maybe or maybe not the same man that is mentioned in Ancestry but he was born 10 years previous in 1889 and was 26 years old in 1915. If you have his Cert of Competency number we can check it against the man I have to rule him in or out.
Regards
Hugh
__________________
"If Blood was the price
We had to pay for our freedom
Then the Merchant Ship Sailors
Paid it in full”

Last edited by Hugh MacLean; 13th January 2020 at 23:18..
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  #12  
Old 14th January 2020, 14:01
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Roger Griffiths Roger Griffiths is offline  
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An interesting thread. I would agree with Hugh concerning family lore. ORCHY was a Q Ship of sorts, a Special Service Freighter under the name ANTOINE. She was requistioned in March 1940 and returned to Merchant Service 18/June/1941 under the control of MOWT. reverted to the name ORCHY O/N 161920. She was involved with the rescue of the Panamanian freighter CATHRINE in June 1940. Her masters name was Charles V Mack RN.
Her Logbooks and Crew Agreements 1941-1950 are at Kew. If Captain MacIver was her master, I believe it would be during this period.
According to the book "Scotlands Cruel Sea" ORCHY was involved in the rescue of the Ferry PRINCESS VICTORIA in 1953. Her master Captain Hugh Angus Mathieson was later awarded a BEM for his part in the rescue.

It seems to me that the key to this search is to find the correct Murdo MacIver and as Hugh has commented you need to establish his Certificate of Competency Number. This number would be unique to him.

I believe the only positive we have at this stage is that Archie sailed with him in 1954/55 on BRORA 147895. I understand that BRORA was home trade vessel, so would have ony two Half yearly agreements. Go for the early 1955 Logbook. This should give you his Certificate number. Available (by Post) from NMM Greenwich after following the instructions on this form.

https://www.rmg.co.uk/national-marit...s-request-form

regards
Roger
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  #13  
Old 14th January 2020, 14:07
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Roger Griffiths Roger Griffiths is offline  
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Originally Posted by jockinese View Post

Birth dates. I'm wondering if he could've signed up giving a false year to make him older than he was. Would that have been a thing in the merchant navy?
Yes. Usually to atract a better rate of pay,

regards
Roger
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  #14  
Old 14th January 2020, 14:28
jockinese jockinese is offline
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Originally Posted by Hugh MacLean View Post
Hello Morven,
Back home now thanks

Just to add to the confusion then here is a quote from "Lewis and Harris Seamen 1939-1945" when relating to the sinking of HMS CURACOA by troopship QUEEN MARY in 1942 -



The author quotes the BRORA which your grandfather is known to have served in but he makes the mistake that BRORA was a Q ship - it was not but BEAULY was and we also know that he served in her. So was he aboard BEAULY or ORCHY which was also a Q ship?




I thought you said earler that he was lost at sea in 1963 and you were not sure of the ship or did I pick that up wrong?

With regard to the dates of birth - not at all surprising - many records have incorrect dates of birth. Also family lore over the years has truths, half truths and no truth so I always start with the known facts.

I have found a 2nd Mate, Murdo Maciver who served in WW1 maybe or maybe not the same man that is mentioned in Ancestry but he was born 10 years previous in 1889 and was 26 years old in 1915. If you have his Cert of Competency number we can check it against the man I have to rule him in or out.
Regards
Hugh
Hugh,
I spoke with a cousin (niece of Murdo, John and Roddy) and I have to apologise for being an idiot as yes, that is my family!

John and Roderick are half brothers to Murdo from my great grandfathers' second marriage so I didn't put it all together. Not helped by the fact that John is known as Ian Dan, so that threw me. Roderick is of course my uncle Roddy (who I remember from childhood going out on his fishing boat in Stornoway).

Death: Murdo died in Dublin in 1963. He had docked his ship and was knocked down on shore.

I've downloaded the two documents from the National Archive. As much as I can read of them, they are fascinating. Among others, HMS Vivid is mentioned a lot, along with HMS Caesar and 'Queen' (not sure what that one is). These records go up to 1926. Some of the information is difficult to decipher (not helped by the fact I don't know what I'm looking at), but hopefully from this I can track him and find out information after this time.

Just seen that you've responded again with more information. I'll pick this up later but thank you so much.

Exciting stuff.
regards, M
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  #15  
Old 14th January 2020, 18:03
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is offline
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Hi Morven,
Glad we have the right family now. I have connections to Uist and Barra so am well aware of how difficult it can be tracing trees. Roger's advice regarding Log books and Agreements is a good way to go as well as his previous advice about his CRS 10 - The CRS 10, service record from 1941, should list all ships from Jan, 1941 as well as a timeline so you would know when he served on those ships. The Lloyd's "Captains Registers" are now held by London Metropolitan Archives so that is another depository you could contact.

He was enrolled for RNR [Hostilities only] service on 20 April 1916. Normally RNR service was in periods of 5 years and it looks like he continued to serve until 1921 where he re-enrolled for another 5 years service leaving on 21 August 1926. It is probable that he coninued his service in the Merchant Navy sometime after this date.

He was a deck hand in the Trawler Section of the RNR. He has two different service numbers one for each 5 year term. It is likely the names of the vessels will be trawlers or drifters along with depot ship/accounting base. HMS VIVID was the Naval barracks in Devonport. These records are (a) difficult to read and (b) difficult to interpret so if you need further help just let me know.
I have attached his RNR WWI medal file where he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal - surname spelt incorrectly as happens now and again with the Mac/Mc.

Without having access to the Ancestry site re the second mate Murdo MacIver, I am reasonably sure it is not your grandfather.

Any questions please just ask and we will try and help if we can.

Regards
Hugh
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MACIVER.jpg (21.6 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg medal.JPG (30.5 KB, 1 views)
__________________
"If Blood was the price
We had to pay for our freedom
Then the Merchant Ship Sailors
Paid it in full”

Last edited by Hugh MacLean; 14th January 2020 at 20:20..
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