Ships Nostalgia banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,581 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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)

Regards
Hugh
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
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 .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,466 Posts
Mine R700934 changed to UK mid 70s now DB. my lads at sea now his discharge book starts with DB.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,581 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
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. :)

Regards
Hugh
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
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.
 

·
Malim Sahib Moderator
Joined
·
8,603 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
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 .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
200 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
895 Posts
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 (Cloud)

So away went the opportunity for some with a DR in their book to explain to their grandchildren that it stood for Distinguished Report (==D)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
(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.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top