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  LOOKOUT 2015  

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: Ernest Swain
Sent: 07/29/16 09:34:52
Subject: John Ryan

Seeking John Ryan. chief steward 1950. Manchester Shipper.

"Tommy Swain".


From: Susan Corrie
Sent: 05/15/16 17:53:46
Subject: Enquiry re R808598 Travis N 13/12/1946 Middleton

I am writing to you in relation to my brother, Norman, who was in the Merchant Navy from the mid 1960's to the mid 1970's. I obtained the above details from the Central Register of Seamen: Seamen's Records (Pouches). Sadly Norman was involved in a Road Traffic Collision near his home in London in April 2014 and suffered brain injuries, which brought on vascular dementia. He has no proper long or short term memory, but remembers he was in the Merchant Navy.

He cannot remember the ships' names he was associated with, so I was hoping you may be able to supply me with these details. My aim is to try and obtain photographs of these ships so we can accurately give Norman something of his history back and hopefully will cause him to reclaim some of his "old" memories.

I would like to thank you in anticipation of your reply and for your trouble

Kindest regards,

Mrs Susan Corrie


From: Sharon Barnes
Sent: 03/29/16 12:13:03
Subject: Ahmat Kassimi SS Manchester Division

I have been tracing my grandfather and he was awarded the BEM for being on the SS Manchester Division. Could you please tell me if you have any records for why he was honoured and what his main position was etc...also any photo's? His medal was donated to the National Museum in Cardiff on his death, but due to a lot of paperwork going missing, I am searching for any info I can get? Anything you have would be helpful, as I am trying to piece his career and personal life together.

Many thanks in advance.

Sharon Barnes (nee Kassimi).


From: James Carroll
Sent: 04/03/2016 00:57:17
Mysterious Nazi submarine from WWII discovered in Great Lakes

I thought this bit of info would interest past Manchester Liners employees who played the Great Lakes.

This article is to be found in the World News Daily Report published 18th February 2016

USA: Mysterious Nazi submarine from WWII discovered in Great Lakes

Niagara Falls| Divers from the U.S coast guard took part this morning, in a delicate wreck recovery operation to bring to the surface a Nazi submarine discovered two weeks ago  at the bottom of Lake Ontario.


Although a good story, this has since been proved to be a hoax. Please see the link below.


ML Hon Webmaster 31/03/2016


From: K F S Wood
Sent: 01/08/2016 16:27:13
SS Manchester Port, Convoy HX348, April 1945

To the Manchester Liners Old Shipmates Association:


In April 1945 I travelled as a six year old with my Mother and six months old sister on the SS Rangitata in Convoy HX 348 from New York (in our case) to Liverpool. Also in that convoy was the SS Manchester Port.

I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to find on your web site, a chart showing sailing positions of ships in that convoy.  Although the Rangitata is not marked on the chart I can clearly recollect her position in the convoy.

The ship marked on the chart in position “66” was carrying aircraft with folded wings on its decks—as a child I saw this to the left and slightly behind the Rangigata. During the voyage, we were hit by a terrible storm, the convoy scattered and when the convoy regrouped most of the aircraft on that ship had been washed overboard.  This would make the position of the Rangitata at no. 72.

When the convoy reformed a 21 gun salute was fired by an escort vessel to mark the death of President Roosevelt. 

On April 18, 1945, and with only two days to go before the convoy arrived in Liverpool, it was intercepted in the Bay of Biscay by U-boat 1107 with disastrous results.  I still have a clear memory of huge black clouds of smoke from  burning fuel as the British tanker Empire Gold sank with the loss of 43 men. The U-boat also sank the US Liberty ship Cyrus McCormick with the loss of six more lives.

I recall adults speaking only in whispers and, probably in trying to ease anxieties, telling youngsters on board the Rangitata that the Empire Gold had been set alight by ‘spontaneous combustion’.

Twelve days later the U-1107 was itself sunk by the crew of an American Air Force Catalina captained by Lieutenant Frederick G. Lake, stationed at RNAS Dunkeswell, near Honiton, Devon.

Some years ago I was fortunate enough to discover a copy of the  Log of the R/s Gothland which had sailed with HX-348 as a rescue ship.

I am writing to ask if in your records you have any details of Convoy HX348, and the SS Manchester Port which is in Station 55 on the Convoy Chart of Ships.  I am currently compiling for my grandchildren an account of my 1945 travels from a farm in Kansas to Bolton in Lancashire in one of the last Atlantic convoys of WW2.


Florence Star Wood.  (My mother was travelling to the UK to rejoin her husband who was then serving as an RAF pilot.) 

PS. In late March 1975 our family spent a holiday in Sillloth, Cumbria and woke up to the sound of  ‘foghorns’ and as the  mist cleared  a Manchester Liner unloading grain came into view. 

PPS In 1966 my husband was staying in the Chateau Frontenac hotel overlooking the St Laurence river in Quebec. When he opened the bedroom curtains one morning, he said it was almost like being back in Manchester! 

Down on the river below was a Manchester Liner making its way upriver.

This very interesting email has also been posted with the Convoy Chart HX348 with our documents