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Great Grandfather,s Crew Photo and Seaman,s Papers

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Posted 6 years ago


(23 items)

My Great Grandfather John William Perry he was born in 1887 in London England. We dont know a lot about him, on his marriage cert in 1907 he lists occupation as Ship Builder, and on one of his childrens birth certs in 1914 he,s listed as a Marine Fireman. Apparently the ship above was torpedo,ed twice on the back of the photo it says Dad made it ! Fireman 8 Trimmers No 8 Shovelboys does anyone know what this means ?? and was regular shipping attacked ??The last photo is him at home and cleaned up ! Of his 4 sons 3 went to sea at 15 yrs old and of there sons ( my uncles ) all 3 were at sea by 15 yrs old as well Thankyou for any info you can give .

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  1. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 6 years ago
    I’ll leave it to the ever-capable AR8Jason to answer the question about Firemen, Trimmers and Shovelboys, but yes, regular shipping operating in “the war zone” was the prime target of German U-boats. The idea was to deny all supplies from coming into to the British Islands, and the Germans made an official announcement of this policy, so it was no secret. When the British liner Lusitania was sunk with 128 Americans aboard, it helped to launch American involvement in that war.
  2. Mcgarrett50 Mcgarrett50, 6 years ago
    I see ,I didnt realize he must have been in the Merchant Navy I thought it was just regular shipping . I also just googled the two ships listed in the photos and the 2 nd ship is the Wairuna and it was captured by the Germans and the crew sent to Pow camps in Berlin ! So it looks like I need to do more searching .
  3. Mcgarrett50 Mcgarrett50, 6 years ago
    Thankyou Chrisnp
  4. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 6 years ago
    I would only add that in the case of WWI, Germany drew a zone around Britain, Ireland and the English Channel, and announced that anything inside the zone was in danger of being sunk. The details of German policy over neutral flagged ships inside the zone changed several times during the war, depending on how desperate they were to choke off supplies to the allies versus the possibility of drawing in more countries on the side of the allies.
  5. Mcgarrett50 Mcgarrett50, 6 years ago
    Thankyou very much Kevin and Chrisnp for the info this is such an education for me , I never thought that searching for family history would lead me in so many interesting directions ! I knew we were a family of Sailors but never had a thought about the times or nature of the dangers they faced just trying to earn a living . Would either of you know of any sites were I could check on non-military seamans records such as the ones above?
  6. Mcgarrett50 Mcgarrett50, 6 years ago
    Really Kevin you are an amazing source of knowledge and so helpful, again Thankyou for all your kind help.

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