Discharge Book Numbers - Ships Nostalgia
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  #1  
Old 16th October 2018, 14:20
Hugh MacLean's Avatar
Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is online now
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Discharge Book Numbers

As there are a few threads about Merchant Navy Discharge A. book numbers or more formally the ‘Continuous Certificate of Discharge’, I thought you may be interested to know who were given the first ‘R’ numbers and who had the distinction of being allocated R1.
Remember that before the allocation of prefix ‘R’ Dis. A book numbers they were just numerical and certainly by the mid-1920’s had reached 7 figures. About this time it was decided to reset the numbers back to 1 but this time they would add prefix ‘R’.
Discharge numbers were allocated in blocks to Mercantile Marine Offices (MMO) and the take up of books would relate to the size of the MMO.

Asst Stwd, Frank Heller b. 1894, London.
Frank was the first Dis.A ‘R’number (R1). He joined the Merchant Navy in 1925. His first ship was BERRIMA. The last ship I can trace him on is EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA in 1938.

Also on BERRIMA was Fireman Arthur McDonald Hastie b. 1889, London. He joined the Merchant Navy in 1925 and the last ship I can trace him on is EMPRESS OF BRITAIN in 1934.

Again on BERRIMA was Asst Stwd Edward Davis b. 1900, London. He also joined the Merchant Navy in 1925 and the last ship I can trace him on is ARAWA in 1934.

They were all out of the same MMO at Victoria Docks, London and signed on for voyages aboard BERRIMA.

Frank Heller (R1)
Arthur McDonald Hastie (R2)
Edward Davis (R3)

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Hugh
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  #2  
Old 16th October 2018, 20:19
Bill Morrison Bill Morrison is offline  
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Nice piece of history Hugh. The way things are going I wonder who will have the last discharge #
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  #3  
Old 17th October 2018, 00:43
Somerton Somerton is offline  
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Very interesting . Yes it makes you think of the number of people who went to sea over the years . My discharge book number is R666116 . It was issued in Belfast in October 1958 . I have seen
some on S N starting with R 8----- . It would be interesting to know what the latest discharge book R number that has been issued . Alex C .
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  #4  
Old 17th October 2018, 00:51
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Morrison View Post
Nice piece of history Hugh. The way things are going I wonder who will have the last discharge #
It's probably already been issued!

Not sure when the R series ended but current discharge books start with "UK". Dunno if that has any EU connections.

John T
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  #5  
Old 17th October 2018, 09:22
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Mine R700934 changed to UK mid 70s now DB. my lads at sea now his discharge book starts with DB.
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Old 17th October 2018, 10:49
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Mine R700934 changed to UK mid 70s now DB. my lads at sea now his discharge book starts with DB.
Hope your son likes rice. What does "DB" stand for? "Distressed Britain"?

John T
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  #7  
Old 17th October 2018, 19:52
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is online now
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The 'R' series prefixes ended around 1972 probably coinciding with the end of the Fifth Register of Seamen 1941-1972. The next prefix as you know that was added was the UK prefix. I didn't know about the DB prefix - I imagine if it started at #1 then with the size of the current fleet that prefix will never need to be changed again.

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Hugh
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  #8  
Old 21st October 2018, 18:03
Superlecky Superlecky is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somerton View Post
Very interesting . Yes it makes you think of the number of people who went to sea over the years . My discharge book number is R666116 . It was issued in Belfast in October 1958 . I have seen
some on S N starting with R 8----- . It would be interesting to know what the latest discharge book R number that has been issued . Alex C .
Mine was R859434 and was issued in July 1968. Up to the age of 16, when I went to work at Silley Cox in Falmouth, I took an interest in railway locomotives. By one of those strange coincidences which happen in life, 9434 was the number of one of the locomotives which worked on the Truro to Falmouth branch line.
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  #9  
Old 21st October 2018, 19:17
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The DB series is already into 6 figures. They must be handing them out like confetti to all and sundry on cruise ships, dive boats, yachts and the like regardless of nationality, as according to NUMAST there is only 20,000 odd bona fide UK Merchant Seamen active.
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  #10  
Old 21st October 2018, 23:38
Somerton Somerton is offline  
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Hi Superlecky . When you mention railway locomotives . I had an uncle who lived in Bolton . He spent all his working life in LMS and British Rail . From fireman up to the passenger express train . One time on holiday with them in Bolton he got me a ride in the engine from Blackpool to Bolton . No health and safety then .
Alex C .
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Old 22nd October 2018, 10:25
Geoff Gower Geoff Gower is offline  
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My discharge book number

Issued in Dock Street, London in October 1954 -- R618275
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  #12  
Old 22nd October 2018, 13:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trotterdotpom View Post
Hope your son likes rice. What does "DB" stand for? "Distressed Britain"?

John T
DB Discharge Book.
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  #13  
Old 22nd October 2018, 17:50
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Mine was R 762558 issued on the 27/03/1962 at M.M. Office, Victoria Dock, London.
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  #14  
Old 22nd October 2018, 19:58
uncle Ray uncle Ray is offline  
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My DB number is R887091 issued in May 1971 Gravesend Sea School
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  #15  
Old 22nd October 2018, 20:58
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Mine is/was R398395 issued oct 1947.
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Old 22nd October 2018, 22:15
Aberdonian Aberdonian is offline  
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Issued in Dock Street, London in October 1954 -- R618275
Issued M M Office, Aberdeen, December 1954....R618883.

Keith
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  #17  
Old 23rd October 2018, 11:07
ChathamChavs ChathamChavs is offline  
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Mine is R900850 issued Dock Street , London 29th November 1971 . This still had the Ability and General Conduct entries . The last entry for this book was leaving the ACT 4 in St John on 7th March 1973 , with the Conduct and Ability sections crossed through . I was issued a new Discharge Book - with the same number- 26th March 1973 at Dock Street .
Roger
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  #18  
Old 26th October 2018, 04:16
pbrock_2001 pbrock_2001 is offline  
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Why did they issue new books?
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  #19  
Old 26th October 2018, 08:47
seaman38 seaman38 is offline  
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Why did they issue new books?
It was deemed politically incorrect to comment on a person's conduct or ability which may prevent them from obtaining future employment. Therefore you could take one rotten apple without it being described as a rotten apple and throw it into a barrel of good apples and no one had to take responsibility for such an action

So away went the opportunity for some with a DR in their book to explain to their grandchildren that it stood for Distinguished Report
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  #20  
Old 26th October 2018, 09:08
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(Tongue-in-cheeek)

Something done by a bureaucrat is seldom logical - or so I found in my life, lol !!!

what about "DB" is short for "Discharge Book"??

/me giggles uncontrollably.



With mention of railway locomotives, seriously, I would doubt "Deutches Bundesbahn" that close to the end of WW2.

And German's original railway company was Deutches Reichsbahn, rolling stock still seen by me in 1990s on the Baltic train ferries - both Swedish and Danish vessels, replaced in West Germany when they formed their Federal Republic in about '48 as far as I know.
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Old 26th October 2018, 10:36
sparky1 sparky1 is offline
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R909565 issued june 72 in Manchester
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  #22  
Old 27th October 2018, 23:49
paddy mcdonnell paddy mcdonnell is offline  
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My number is R52o474 Paddy McDonnell. issued in Newry N.Ireland
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  #23  
Old 28th October 2018, 04:33
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My Number R766172 Dundee 1963
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Old 28th October 2018, 09:58
teb teb is offline  
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Reading through this thread i'm beginning to feel old !!!! My number R295172 issued Liverpool 1943
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  #25  
Old 28th October 2018, 12:18
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Reading through this thread i'm beginning to feel old !!!! My number R295172 issued Liverpool 1943
We joined the MN at the same time. My number is R289813, issued at Dundee on 5 July 1943. See my gallery for details.

Ian
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