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Please be advised that the contents of emails sent to Lookout may be published within these pages after the removal of their contact details for data protection.


Currently, seafarers’ records are held in National Archives, at the Public Records Office in Kew.

Looking for records of an officer in the Merchant Navy


Looking for records of a merchant seaman serving between 1858 and 1917


Looking for records of a merchant seaman serving after 1917


Looking for records of PASSENGERS



From: David Matthews
Sent: 08/12/2015 12:05:55
Manchester City (2)


I found your website while researching my father's past for an Ancestry book.

He sailed for Canada (Ottowa) from the Manchester Docks about 2-3 June 1960 as per postmark.  His newly married 2nd wife wrote this postcard - presumably on board - and as the Docks would have been Salford Post Mark ? I assume............ date stamped 2 June 1960 Salford Lancs.

They were staying at my Grandmother's house in Salford so I assume they got the Postcards before they sailed ?  But the wording says they were on board ?

Can you tell me how many passengers would have traveled on a Cargo Liner of this size, and are there any records of the dates it sailed and arrived, my father was 41 at the time and sadly died at 42 the following June.


David G Matthews

Thank you for your email and thank you for using our web site

You do not give his forename or surname. I have however run a search through the "Looking for Records of Passengers" link, at the head of this page, using in the case of your father the surname Matthews and D.O.B 1919 +/- 2 years. I also ran a second search using his wife's name Morag and Matthews, but no D.O.B. In both cases I used Montréal as the arrival port. This may not be correct though as passengers usually disembarked at the first port of call, which in this case could have been Québec or even Halifax, Nova Scotia if the ship was scheduled for the eastern seaboard ports of the U.S.A. Unfortunately both searches drew a blank and we do not have any records of our own .

These ships carried up to 12 passengers. Regarding the posting of the post card, it was quite normal for mail to be wriitten during the Manchester Ship Canal Transit and have it taken ashore.

ML Hon Webmaster


From: Paul Brooker
Sent: 07/21/2015 16:20:41
Manchester Liners badge, Button, John Inigo Pritchard


Whilst researching my Family tree I came across some badges and buttons(photo attached) from my Great Grandfather John Inigo Pritchard. Most of the buttons are from shipping lines operating out of Liverpool but there are some Manchester Liners. He got his Masters ticket in 1893 but have as yet not found any info as to his service with M.L. (if any).

Paul Brooker

When I was at school in the 1950's, the mother of a friend used to painstakingly make these badges by hand. I watched her do it, threading each bit of gold wire roll and adding them one at time!

ML Hon Webmaster

Photo: Paul Brooker



From: Keith Smith
Sent: 08/06/2015 21:16:47
Subject: Manchester Progress
Latchford Locks - Circa 1960

Hello Derrick,

Two photos that may be of interest you -both Manchester Progress -Latchford Locks ,Warrington -Circa 1960 -Photo by Ken Smith Warrington

Ken Smith was my late father –I have scanned hundreds of his negatives, many are of Record/ Historical interest to people such as yourself .So you have my permission to use the photos for your collection,--- accredited to Ken Smith Warrington

I have also passed on photos MSC tugs to a colleague of yours who keeps records of other vessels

We had no connection with ML other than watching them sale passed our house on the MSC

Kind regards


PS, It would be interesting if the crewmen on the bow photo could be identified

S.S. Manchester Progress (1) - Latchford Locks
S.S. Manchester Progress (1) - Latchford Locks
Photo: Ken Smith Warrington
Photo: Ken Smith Warrington
S.S. Manchester Progress (1) - Latchford Locks - Enlarged to show fo'c's'le crew
Photo: Ken Smith Warrington

Do you recognise any of them?


From: Vivian Birkenhead
Sent: 06/02/2015 13:16:24
Subject: Manchester Commerce sunk 1917. Crew John Sydney Birkenhead aged 16

My father John Sydney Birkenhead was aboard the Manchester Commerce when she was torpedoed. His story was the U Boat came up along side the life boats, the U boat captain asked was there anyone from Liverpool, evidently his  mothers family lived in Liverpool, his father was German. He asked would someone take his watch to his family. I cannot recall who offered to do this , my sister thinks it was the captain.  Dad was later on two other ships that were torpedoed so I hope I have not mixed up Dad's memories. When Dad was 18 he was aboard the William Tyrell when she was cut in half by the Irish mail ship Cambria on her maiden voyage? In the 1920s he sailed with the Australian Merchant Navy, he returned to UK to see his mother and met his future wife so never returned to live in Australia. I have fulfilled his dream. I hope you find this little story interesting Kind Regards.

Vivian Sydney Birkenhead. Queensland . Australia.

See article on our War & Peace page: www.manchesterliners.co.uk/war.htm#mcrcommerce2b


From: Kim Scratchley
Sent: 05/03/2015 10:43:24
Subject: Crew Member died at sea 1933


I am researching a Manchester Liners crew member Augustus Earl who was born in Barbados in 1877 and died at sea on the Manchester Division in 1933. Can you shed any more light on Mr. Earl and maybe the circumstances of his death at the age of 56.

Would you have any more details of his wartime service (1914-18) if he was an employee of Manchester Liners during that period.

Thanking you in appreciation

Kim S. Scratchley

Unfortunately we are unable help you in this matter as we do not have records of official crew lists. If you have his details you may find him at:http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-person/merchantseaman1858-1917.htm?WT.lp=rg-3179 and http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-person/merchantseamanafter1917.htm


From: Sybil Nunn
Sent: 02/08/2015 23:26:06
Subject: S.S. Manchester Port (3) Darrell & Hilda Nunn

Hello,  I found your fascinating web page and thank you for all the interesting information there.

My mom and my then infant brother arrived in Manchester on April 20, 1945 on the Manchester Port which I assume is the same as the Manchester Port (3).  I am assuming that they left Halifax on April 3, 1945.

I found a map of the convoy on this page:  http://www.manchesterliners.co.uk/documents02.html

On that map I can see that the Manchester Port was in position 55.  However was it always in that position.

Mom used to tell a story of their ship changing positions in the convoy with another ship and shortly thereafter the other ship was sunk.  I see that there were two other ships sunk on this voyage and wondered if more is to be known of what happened.

Best wishes from snowy Nova Scotia

Sybil (Nunn)

Thank you for your most interesting email and thank you for using our web site and the ship in question is indeed the Manchester Port (3). There is a photograph, by kind permission of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, of her taken during WWII entering the Manchester Ship Canal at Eastham.


The image of convoy chart for HX348 is reproduced on our web site by kind permission of The Mariners Museum, Newport News, Va USA, http://www.marinersmuseum.org/  . Further information about this convoy to be found at: http://www.uboat.net/ops/convoys/convoys.php?convoy=HX-348 where details of the two casualties can be found. We have no other information regarding this convoy so cannot help you regarding any position changes of the ships.

ML Hon Webmaster


From: Susan Howard
Sent: 01/13/2015 14:59:44
Subject: Manchester Faith and Progress (new 1967), George Collings

Trying to find some details for my daughters' about their father's time with Manchester Liners, George Collings, d.o.b. 06/11/1947, of Glossop, Derbyshire, my former husband, who has recently passed away.

He joined the 'Liners' as what I think was a deck cadet?  Working on the bridge.  A particular friend was Roy Sunley (cabin mate)? George joined early 1967 and left mid 1970 to marry and move to Australia.

Thanks in anticipation

Susan Howard (nee Collings).