confused and needing clarification!

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by daisy1942, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Without sounding dismissive do you think there is a bit of family embellishment in the story over the years.Which has possibly thrown you off the true story.
    Could you just document what you have plus the query you have moving forward.
    As stated before the time line needs simplifying

    Can you show the info re the badge change
    As pointed out in previous post.
    US Merchant Marine

    US Coastguard

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  2. daisy1942

    daisy1942 Junior Member

    You are correct, to a point, when you say there has been "embellishment" to some of the stories. However, for the many stories Dad told that we have been able to research, EVERY ONE has had more than an element of truth! This is partially the reason for the variety of enquiries made over the years. I have taken stories back to bare bones and then gone forward.

    Regarding the comment about the badges and the eagle head changing direction, I cannot give any concrete proof at all. It may well be that the story is completely apocryphal. All I can say is that a brief search on the web today showed both US and German cap badges with the eagle heads facing the same way. From memory, the story rose originally from a conversation with an American sailor sometime in the 1980s. I have never seen anything in writing to confirm it one way or the other.

    Finally, regarding a timeline - I would be happy to do this but where do I start? I could start with the Scottish link which members have discounted as a random choice on my part. I could start with Singapore - a story we did not believe for around 10 years because Dad said in escaping from Singapore he went via Khota Bharu! Eventually, we found out that there is a tiny village of this name in central Sumatra. It lies on the route that he took from the Djambi river mouth to Emmerhaven. If I were to compile a timeline complete with the level of documentary evidence some members would like to see it would be huge! So a timeline too large to post or a timeline without documentary evidence? Also do I start a brand new thread or post here?
    It is a tough choice.

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
  3. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Hello Daisy,

    It isnt the eagles head thats different its the whole badge! Heres a Coast Guard Officer


    Heres a US Merchant Marine

    Compare the cap badges with the photo you posted on the web...which one does it best resemble ? Certainly not the US Coast Guard if you have already dismissed the US Merchant Marine option then this is a little pointless!

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  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery


    "From memory, the story rose originally from a conversation with an American sailor sometime in the 1980s. I have never seen anything in writing to confirm it one way or the other."

    Exactly my point a lot of stuff is lost in time or old wives tales /myth

    We have seen all sorts on here

    My Dad/GranDad /Uncle was at Dunkirk then trained as a pilot in the Battle of Britain then was on the Dambusters raid then parachuted into Normandy and helped liberate Belsen etc

    Sorry If I sound unhelpful but really it does get a tad far fetched .
    You cannot make assumptions because it takes you down the wrong route

    Maybe a concluding thread as to where you are and next steps as I mentioned before..
    Because you have some real good people here who have and continue to research on a very deep basis and through process have assisted many people.

  5. daisy1942

    daisy1942 Junior Member

    Hi Clive,

    Surely, Royal Artillery 1940, possibly RN at Singapore 1942, USED/US Coast Guard in December 1942 and British Merchant Navy by May 1944 sounds no more far fetched than Dunkirk, Battle of Britain, the Dambusters Raid, parachuting into Normandy and then liberating Belsen?

  6. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    As the story goes it is covering all bases.
  7. daisy1942

    daisy1942 Junior Member

    Following various comments, i shall consider how/if/when to post a timeline on Dominic Cunningham Casey and Dominic Michael Stringer. To attempt to create a clear precise view, I shall need to review as much of my research as possible. this will take some considerable time.
  8. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Hazel best that you do if you are going to get to the bottom of it as stated before many experts on here with a lot of patience
  9. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    As the great military historian and family history researcher Julie Andrews once said, Start at the very beginning, its a very good way to start. Or, to put it another way, start at the beginning, go on through the middle, get to the end and then stop.

    But here is the thing, only include evidence that you can provide documentary proof for, post the birth certificate, post the wedding certificate, post the death certificate, post the envelopes from all round the world, post the Merchant Naval evidence of signing on for particular voyages with dates, shipping lines, etc. Give us facts that we can check and research further.

    If you give us a few bones we can build you a skeleton, when we have a skeleton we can add flesh to the bones.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
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  10. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    It is totally far fetched because we have already provided evidence that he was an Engineer in the Merchant Navy at the age of 26 in 1945. (Or at the age of 23 if your theory about Dominic Cunningham Casey is correct). As I have already explained, to become a qualified engineer you have to do several years training, lots of hard work, lots of study and pass rigorous examinations all whilst undertaking sea voyages.

    How to Become a Ship Mechanic: Step-by-Step Career Guide

    He could conceivably have been at Singapore in 1941 but we have seen no actual evidence.

    He could conceivably been trained to fire a gun as part of his action station on board a merchant vessel but that does mean that he was a D.E.M.S. gunner.

    He could conceivably have worn a U.S. Merchant Marine engineer officer's uniform if he signed on for a voyage as an engineer on an American merchant vessel but that does not make him a member of the U.S. Coast Guard.

    Ignore the conjecture and show us the verifiable evidence that you have, i.e. the documents, the letters, etc. Give us something tangible that we can follow up.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
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  11. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    1112401 Gunner Denis Brennan CUNNINGHAM 88th Field Regiment Royal Artillery
    22nd June 1918 Birkenhead
    Enlisted in 1940 captured at the fall of Singapore 15.2.1942.
    Remained in captivity for the duration of the war.
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  12. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    To back up Guy's post.

    Note the third image, shows him not now prisoner of war 1945.

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  13. daisy1942

    daisy1942 Junior Member

    Having spent much of the day checking bookcases to confirm I have all may paper research together, I now have a pile of folders. files and varied correspondence that stands about a foot to fifteen inches tall. As I said this will take some time to develop into a sensible format which can be easily posted. At present, I am thinking that I shall need to prepare time slot threads (e.g 1919 to outbreak of war, 1939-45 and post war). Then post all the thread sections consecutively under one main heading.

    However, one thing High Wood posted - How to Become a Ship Mechanic: Step-by-Step Career Guide - intrigues me. I wonder just how many WW2 merchant seamen that trained as engineers had degrees? I suspect that with the attrition caused by the German wolfpacks in the Atlantic a fair amount of on the job training was needed. Indeed, I wonder how many people from a poor/working class background in the 1930's studied for any sort of degree?


    p.s. From this government document › uk › files › researchbriefings › documents

    Education: Historical statistics -
    by P Bolton - ‎Cited by 1 - ‎Related articles

    it states that in 1938 7,071 men and 2,240 women giving a total of 9,311 gained first degrees out of a population in the region of 47.5 million.

    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
  14. daisy1942

    daisy1942 Junior Member

    HIgh Wood,
    could you please give me the details of where/how you found the newspaper reference? Thank you
  15. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Just incase Simon is delayed..

    01 November 1968 - Kensington Post - London, London, England
    .........said to have been staggering along the pavement at Earls Court Road, Earls Court, a 50-year-old electrician, Dominic Stringer, , was fined £1 at West London on Monday on a charge of being drunk and.............

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  16. daisy1942

    daisy1942 Junior Member

    Thank you so much - that is typical of Dad. Off to get the full article at some point!
  17. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    It was far more common in those days to do a cadetship and work your way up through an apprenticeship, than it was to be a degree qualified engineer. Most degree qualified people in those days were more likely to have ended up as university staff, designers, stress engineers, etc.
    My father in law started in WW2 in ship repair yard as an apprentice in 1939 and then got a post as a one ring ship's engineer, having obviously shown some mechanical engineering skill, before working his way up to four rings before the war's end. It was the losses of shipping at sea that gave much room for climbing the dead men's shoes ladder of rapid promotion. Engine room crews had the longest and most difficult route to the lifeboats if the ship was hit. Climbing ladders and companion way steps in a capsizing ship from its bowels is bad enough, but steam pipes bursting would instantly scald and hot bunker fuel pipe bursts could spray fire around, let alone the water pouring in midships to the engine room. Death rates in the merchant marine for all ranks were awful in WW2.
    The learning on the job route was still probably the most common route for the drivers and fixers well into the 1980's when two of my extended family went to sea, one in each trade.
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  18. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Good post - and very true.
  19. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    This is undoubtedly true and you nicely illustrate my point that it was a lengthy process and took many years to reach the rank of a "four ring" Engineer even with the "advanced promotion" to replace losses. We do not know the exact engineer rank of the Dominic Stringer who sailed back to Liverpool in 1945, but I doubt that he would reached such a rank if he had taken an extended career break in the U.S. Coast Guard. What we would really need to solve this would be his Continuous Discharge book that would outline his career progression. But, seeing some of the recorded evidence of the various voyages that were undertaken would be a useful starting point. (See Post 20).
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  20. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    One of the reasons that the original poster appears to have convinced herself that Dominic Michael Stringer is in fact Dominic Cunningham Casey is that there is no birth certificate for the former, and no death certificate for the latter.

    To prove the point that there are many very good reasons why it is possible that there can be no birth certificate for a known individual, could someone please find the birth certificate for the man enclosed in the red oblong, Arthur Kinson, born 20th January 1921?


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