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Thread: My Grandfather - a Liverpool Sailor

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    Senior Member az_gila's Avatar
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    Thumbs up My Grandfather - a Liverpool Sailor

    I just discovered this note written by my father about my grandfather for family history. I think he wrote it about 15 years ago. I now have grandfather's papers.

    During the hard times of the depression my father and uncle lived on the ship with their parents - that stopped when they had to go to school and they rented a house in Liverpool.

    The life of a Liverpool sailor....

    I knew that my father's ship was torpedoed in the first world war and that he spent some time, not very happily, in Spain before he was repatriated. I'd always assumed that the ship was the "Morazan" because we had a picture of it, painted by him. (He never talked about sailing to India)
    His first passport and Certificates of Discharge were lost at sea. I have his second passport, Master's Certificate and Continuous Certificates of Discharge, issued 21/11/17, which states that he was on the S/S "Ferronia",
    No. 137411, Liverpool, 2801 tons,
    Date of engagement 22/6/17, Barry, 2nd mate,
    Date & place of discharge 28/10/17, L'pool (Vessel sunk).
    All his reports, both for ability and conduct were "Very Good".
    S/S "War Yukon" 1416, London.
    L'pool 22.1.18. 2nd Mate.
    Cardiff 22.9.18, Description of voyage Admiralty.
    (a U.S.A. Alien Seaman's Identification Card N.Y. 1/18/19)
    S/S "War Courage", London 142384, 4068 tons.
    13.12.18 South Shields, 2nd mate,
    28.7.19 Hull, Admiralty
    (Canada Registration Board, 22nd June 1918. The only endorsements on his passport were for Canada. St Johns N.S 24/1/18 and Victoria B.C 13/7/18. He once talked being snowbound, in Alaska I think, and being a victim of very high prices at the time of an oil strike.)
    His passport was issued on 24/1/18 and expired 24/1/24
    He joined the "Clemenceau" (142748, London , 1508 tons) on 10/11/19 as second mate and was promoted to first mate on 10/7/20. The ship called on Hamburg, Le Havre, Cardiff and Rotterdam. After some time on half pay when the ship was laid up, he was discharged in Rotterdam 13/11/29. (This was during the Shipping Slump).
    He did not go back to sea until 5/12/31, after doing odd jobs, such as decorating, during a period of mass unemployment and not entitled to any benefits.
    He served mainly on United Africa ( a Lever subsidiary) ships as second and third mate until he became chief officer on 19/1/34. All journeys were described as "West Africa", except on "Knight of the Rose" (coasting)
    The ships were:
    Zarian, 125621
    Lafian 1610655
    Knight of the Rose 145653
    Dahomian 162384
    Kumasian 162354
    Mendian 114652
    He packed up sea on 25/10/36 when he became a cargo superintendent in the Liverpool docks until his death in April 1945.


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    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    Hi Az,
    Your grandfather seems to have led a very interesting life, do you have any photo's or certificates that can flesh out the history a little more?. We have so little in the way of personal history's that show us what life was like two generations ago. Thanks for sharing that with us,
    BrianD

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    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    Hi AZ
    Very intersting back ground there.
    I have been searching for photos of his ships, I can only find Two. KUMASIAN AND LAFIAN.

    1 LAFIAN ..................2 KUMASIAN ..................3 LAFIAN AGAIN, A LATER SHIP.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Came fourth...now what? Oudeis's Avatar
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    The Zarian is pictured on this site, about three quarters of the way down the page. You all find the site interesting though...

    http://www.wrecksite.eu/wrecked-on-t...spx?29/12/2010

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    Senior Member az_gila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian daley View Post
    Hi Az,
    Your grandfather seems to have led a very interesting life, do you have any photo's or certificates that can flesh out the history a little more?. We have so little in the way of personal history's that show us what life was like two generations ago. Thanks for sharing that with us,
    BrianD
    Thanks Brian,

    We have surprisingly few pictures, with only one ship photo that is unidentified, but apparently is one of the "War ---" series that were WWI Standard ships. I never realized how many were built so quickly during WWI -

    http://www.mariners-l.co.uk/WWlStand....htm#Shipindex

    The War Yukon was built in British Columbia and assigned to Henry Fernie shipping in Liverpool - this clip from a shipping magazine of July 1916 - kindly digitized by Google - shows its delivery. I also kept in the advert for the early electric planer...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'll look for more pictures and stuff when I'm in Liverpool next month.

    On the personal history, I remember my grandmother having a lot of dark mahogany furniture. My grandfather would bring back logs of african wood and trade with Liverpool cabinet makers. In my eyes, it was somewhat diminished by being stained so dark it was almost black - completely covering the beautiful grain and effects of the natural wood - African mahogany is nothing like the cheap Phillipine mahogany usually used now - but that was the style of the 20's and 30's.

  6. #6
    Senior Member az_gila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oudeis View Post
    The Zarian is pictured on this site, about three quarters of the way down the page. You all find the site interesting though...

    http://www.wrecksite.eu/wrecked-on-t...spx?29/12/2010
    Thanks for the link - there are a heck of a lot of ships on it!....

    The S/S Ferronia that was mentioned as his WWI torpedoed ship is listed there as "Ferrona" - but with the same dates.

    http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?147177

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