Merchant Navy Day

Yokel

LE
World at War episode on the wolf packs is well worth a watch:


That is a fantastic programme - thank you for posting it. It does make the point that without the merchant ships getting through we would have been stuffed, and until the situation in the Atlantic was brought under control then there could be to landings in Europe.

At the time did the public know to critical the situation in the Atlantic was?
 

endure

GCM
My MN career in one picture :wink:

ships.jpg
 

Yokel

LE
Seafarers in the UK Shipping Industry: 2020

An estimated 22,970 UK seafarers were active at sea in 2020. This estimated figure is based on returns from the CoS without adjusting for non-response and MCA certificate data. Ratings and Uncertificated Officers active at sea estimates are based on data as returned in the CoS survey, with Cadet estimates based on MCA data. Certificated Officer estimates are also based on MCA data with an active at sea and retirement assumption applied.
 
Was pleased to see the Red Duster proudly flying on the market green of my local town yesterday, despite the edicts of the SNaziP to only fly the star spangled sphincter.

if I recall, the butchers apron was removed to fly the Red Duster.

Tres amusant...

JB

edit fecking autoshite..
 

B42T

LE
That 185,000 includes crews who never sailed in an operational war zone, there were typically @ 120,000 men under the Red Ensign, a testament to the long war service of many.
In the Atlantic theatre, MN crew loss rates exceeded Bomber Command. The Bomber Command figure also includes over 8,000 killed in flying accidents.
There were no easy days for a merchant seaman, they died on the first day of WWII right up to the last, there was no job in the rear, there was no non operational sailing, many served the whole war at sea.
36,749 seamen were lost to enemy action in WWII, the youngest 14 year old cabin boys to men in their 70’s, with a fair smattering of women.

BP entered WWII with 50 tankers, all immediately taken under war service contract on Sept 3 1939, their war ended Aug 14 1945. BP lost 55 manned and managed tankers during WWII - a notional loss rate of over 100%.

Right, so its still a loss far less than bomber command, so stop dripping on and ruining a decent thread.
 
The Merchant Navy started a multi service 30 year odyssey for me.

Age 14 and a bit, I was not expelled from school but certainly encouraged never to return.
Step forward my Uncle Frank, an enormous man, 6'6" and 20 stone.

Skipper of one of F T Everards coasters.
I sailed with him for 3 months, did every last job on board.
Not difficult, skipper, mate, cookie, engineer and 3 deck apes..
Loved every minute.
Returned and went to the nearest Royal Navy recruiting office, better pay, conditions and and paid time off.
 
The Merchant Navy started a multi service 30 year odyssey for me.

Age 14 and a bit, I was not expelled from school but certainly encouraged never to return.
Step forward my Uncle Frank, an enormous man, 6'6" and 20 stone.

Skipper of one of F T Everards coasters.
I sailed with him for 3 months, did every last job on board.
Not difficult, skipper, mate, cookie, engineer and 3 deck apes..
Loved every minute.
Returned and went to the nearest Royal Navy recruiting office, better pay, conditions and and paid time off.

I was offered a job as mate with the yellow peril once, about 1980, could I join a ship in North Shields dry dock on Christmas Eve. I gracefully declined.
 

Diko

Old-Salt
Junior Engineer Diko, Queensland Star and Paraguay Star.
 

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PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Seafarers in the UK Shipping Industry: 2020

An estimated 22,970 UK seafarers were active at sea in 2020. This estimated figure is based on returns from the CoS without adjusting for non-response and MCA certificate data. Ratings and Uncertificated Officers active at sea estimates are based on data as returned in the CoS survey, with Cadet estimates based on MCA data. Certificated Officer estimates are also based on MCA data with an active at sea and retirement assumption applied.

to put some perspective on that, just BP at the height of it’s Fleet in the 70’s, would have made a very substantial dent in that figure of 11,200 Officers.

And Cadets? Beware apples and oranges. Up till 1982, all cadets were employed as staff by their respective shipping lines with a guarantee of at least one years sea time after their cadetship to get their BoT certification. Most are now sponsored through marine academies by manning companies with no guarantee of employment.
 
Thanks to "merchantman" for discovering this bit of family history for me on the "War Memorials" thread. My family had a few men who served in the MN and a few more neighbours as well.

ex_colonial said:
This was the memorial to a second cousin of mine torpedoed & lost, his name is probably on the national memorial somewhere

View attachment 595462

This from the "Uboat net" ...
Between 02.20 and 02.48 hours on 30 Aug 1940, U-32 attacked convoy HX-66A 58 miles west-northwest of Cape Wrath and sank the Mill Hill.
At 02.20 hours, the Mill Hill (Master Robert Du Buisson) was hit in the stern by one torpedo and sank with a heavy list in a few minutes. The master and 33 crew members were lost.


Lord, John William
, Merchant Navy
16Galley Boy
My Gran had a photo of him holding me as a baby in late 1939.
As an aside he was the son of my Grandfathers brother, who despite only having one eye, had managed to join the Black Watch in 1914 while working on the Rosyth dockyard, after Kitchener's appeal.
His disability was only discovered after he had been wounded on the Somme and his glass eye had been lost by the Shrapnel hitting his face! (In his medical he had covered the same eye twice with different hands
Click to expand...

Your link showed that your cousin is commemorated on the MN memorial at Tower Hill. I was in the area yesterday for a long and boozy lunch with some friends so took a stroll up there before the festivities started.

Tower Hill 1.jpg

Tower Hill 2.jpg

Tower Hill 3.jpg

Tower Hill 4.jpg
 

Sana

Old-Salt
There has been a stunning silence from the media regarding the day. I wonder if the media and public actually understand how much of our trade goes by sea? Many people seem to assume that everything arrives by air or on a lorry. The oceans are the highway of the Global economy, but the merchant seaman is under appreciated.

Not only were they targeted in both World Wars and indeed the Falklands, they have also been targeted in the 1980s tanker war, and current tensions in the Middle East. That is in addition to terrorism and piracy, and the ever present dangers of the sea and the risk of accidents.

I totally forgot that it was Merchant Navy Day. I don't understand why we have been made to forget that this is a maritime island nation, where without the Merchant Navy we would literally starve to death, throughout both world wars and now.
 
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One thing I'd like to have done was to sail on a general cargo ship pottering around lots of ports instead of tankers/box boats/gas boats/OBOs.

Careful what you wish for. I sailed on lots of general cargo ships as well as reefers and a bulker before moving into the offshore side of things on anchor handlers and dive support vessels. Gen cargo vessels were usually ok, and to be fair my preferred type of ship, but not all the ports you ended up in were fun. Often working round the clock with no chance of getting ashore or ports where there was nothing to go ashore for. But you could make up for all the shit in the good ports and charge up the road with 5 dollars in one hand and your dick in the other!!
 

endure

GCM
Careful what you wish for. I sailed on lots of general cargo ships as well as reefers and a bulker before moving into the offshore side of things on anchor handlers and dive support vessels. Gen cargo vessels were usually ok, and to be fair my preferred type of ship, but not all the ports you ended up in were fun. Often working round the clock with no chance of getting ashore or ports where there was nothing to go ashore for. But you could make up for all the shit in the good ports and charge up the road with 5 dollars in one hand and your dick in the other!!
Working round the clock? I was a Sparky. The hardest work I did in port was grounding the aerials before I went ashore :wink:

Not quite true. When I was with Sea Containers (the little RoRo/box boats in my picture) I used to do 6 on 6 off with one of the mates driving the gantry crane. I was quite a whizz slinging boxes round the deck even if I do say so myself.
 
Is the first photo one of Fred Everards yellow perils

No that is the "City of Dundee" one of John Ellerman's fine vessels. Joined in Hull Jan '72 did Hamburg, Rotterdam, Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban, Lorenco Marques, Biera and back down the SA coast with the addition of Cape Town and then back to Hull.
 

Yokel

LE
Just out of interest, is there any publication that lists all the vessels sailing under the Red Ensign? I once saw one that must have been published in the late eighties, and the diversity was impressive. Liners, Cruse Ships, Ferries, Car Carriers, Oil Tankers, Gas Tankers, Chemical Tankers, General Cargo, Container Vessels, Bulk Carriers, Offshore Support, Cable ships....
 

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