finding crew lists from sunk Merchant ships? - S.S Florian

Discussion in 'War at Sea' started by Roytoner, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. Roytoner

    Roytoner Junior Member

    hi all, I was wondering if there is any database/book/cd that lists the dead of the Merchant Navy during WW2? I'm researching men from my hometown's war memorial and would also like to know a little about those who died alongside them.
    One man I have is 19 year old cadet Ronald Barker of the S.S Florian. The Florian was lost with all hands on 20/01/1941 on the way to New York. It seems she was a straggler in a convoy and got picked off by the U-94
    I have seen from a couple of sources that 44 men were on board. Apart from Barker I can only find two other names. These were the two RN Gunners :
    EVANS, Albert H, Act/Able Seaman, D/JX 219188,23 years old,Llanelli
    WHEATLEY, Reginald, Act/Able Seaman, P/JX 204917,35 years old,Bristol

    If anyone knows anything about the Florian or has the names of any of her crew on that last voyage I'd love to hear from you.
     
  2. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hello Roy,

    I have completed research on all of the Ellerman Line War losses in conjunction with the Mercantile Marine Forum and I can confirm that all on board were lost. There were 44 lost on this ship, their names as follows. The official Crew Agreement will be held at Kew if you need it I can give you the piece reference.


    ALLAN, Fireman and Trimmer, FRANK, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    ALLAN, Fireman and Trimmer, WALTER CHRISTOPHER, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    ALLEN, Apprentice, GRAHAM SIMSON, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    BARBER, Trimmer, WILLIAM ERNEST, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    BARKER, Cadet, RONALD, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    BEWLEY, Assistant Cook, FREDERICK, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    BROBERG, Fireman and Trimmer, GUSTAV VICTOR, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    BROWN, Fireman and Trimmer, JOSHUA, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    BROWNLEE, Carpenter, GEORGE LESLIE, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    CAWKWELL, Fireman and Trimmer, HAROLD, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    CONSITT, Able Seaman, VICTOR, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    CROWELL, CLYDE. FIREMAN AND TRIMMER. S.S. FLORIAN (Liverpool). Canadian Merchant Navy.
    DEAKIN, Sailor, SIDNEY, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    EVANS, Able Seaman, ALBERT HENRY, D/JX 219188. H.M.S. President III. Royal Navy.
    FOSTER, Cadet, JOHN GERALD, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    GEDDES, Fireman and Trimmer, JOHN CORAL, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    HARWOOD, Fourth Engineer Officer, ROBERT SAMSON, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    HAZELL, Chief Steward, GEORGE RONALD, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    HOLMES, Able Seaman, THOMAS GEORGE, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    HUNT, Donkeyman, ALFRED ALBERT DARDANELLES, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    HUNTER, Able Seaman, WILFRED, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    IBBETSON, Able Seaman, LESLIE, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    KRINKLE, Assistant Steward, FRANK, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    LIKEMAN, Third Officer, THOMAS GEORGE, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    LOVE, Cadet, DAVID RONALD, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    LOWSON, Trimmer, FREDERICK, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    MANN, Master, LAURENCE ROBERT, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    MANNING, Donkeyman, ERNEST CARR, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    MARKWELL, Boatswain, EDWARD, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    McGOWAN, Fireman and Trimmer, BERNARD, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    MOIR, Chief Engineer Officer, JAMES ARCHIBALD, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    NEEDHAM, Chief Steward, STANLEY OSCAR, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    PETLEY, Chief Officer, JAMES ARTHUR, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    ROCHE, Able Seaman, JOHN WILLIAM, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    SHAW, Second Radio Officer, JACK, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    STEPHENS, Third Engineer Officer, CLARENCE FREDERICK, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    STEVENSON, Cook, ARTHUR, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    STONE, First Radio Officer, RENDLE CHARLES JAMES, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    TAYLOR, Fireman and Trimmer, WILLIAM, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    WETTON, Donkeyman, JOHN HENRY, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    WHEATLEY, Able Seaman, REGINALD HORACE, P/JX 204917. H.M.S. President III. Royal Navy.
    WILLIAMS, Second Officer, WILLIAM LLOYD, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    YEOMAN, Trimmer, GEORGE HERBERT, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).
    YORGENSON, Second Engineer Officer, ARTHUR CARLO, S.S. Florian (Liverpool).

    Regards
    Hugh
     
  3. Roytoner

    Roytoner Junior Member

    thank you so much Hugh, that's terrific. Keep up the fantastic research, the mind boggles at the peril those men knowingly faced everytime they signed up.
    Thanks also for alerting me to the existence of the Mercantile Marine forum.

    edit:
    I forgot to ask - what kind of information would be held in the crew agreement?
    Also,if you or somebody else finds it useful I took the list and checked them on the CWGC website to find their ages and where they were from:
    ALLAN, Fireman and Trimmer, FRANK, 35 years old, Hull
    ALLAN, Fireman and Trimmer, WALTER CHRISTOPHER, 21 years old,Hull
    ALLEN, Apprentice, GRAHAM SIMSON, 19 years old
    BARBER, Trimmer, WILLIAM ERNEST,22 years old,Wellington,Shropshire
    BARKER, Cadet, RONALD, 19 years old,Royton,Lancashire
    BEWLEY, Assistant Cook, FREDERICK,24 years old,Doncaster
    BROBERG, Fireman and Trimmer, GUSTAV VICTOR,33 years old,Hull
    BROWN, Fireman and Trimmer, JOSHUA, 23 years old,Grimsby
    BROWNLEE, Carpenter, GEORGE LESLIE, 30 years old,Warwickshire
    CAWKWELL, Fireman and Trimmer, HAROLD, 25 years old,Hull
    CONSITT, Able Seaman, VICTOR, 22 years old,Hull
    CROWELL, CLYDE. FIREMAN AND TRIMMER. Canadian Merchant Navy.
    DEAKIN, Sailor, SIDNEY, 20 years old
    EVANS, Able Seaman,ALBERT HENRY,D/JX 219188.RN.23 years old,Llanelli
    FOSTER, Cadet, JOHN GERALD, 16 years old, Hoylake,Cheshire
    GEDDES, Fireman and Trimmer, JOHN CORAL, 21 years old
    HARWOOD, Fourth Engineer Officer, ROBERT SAMSON,21 years old,Wallasey
    HAZELL, Chief Steward, GEORGE RONALD,21 years old,Bootle
    HOLMES, Able Seaman, THOMAS GEORGE, 60 years old
    HUNT, Donkeyman, ALFRED ALBERT DARDANELLES, 25 years old
    HUNTER, Able Seaman, WILFRED, 43 years old,Hull
    IBBETSON, Able Seaman, LESLIE, 21 years old
    KRINKLE, Assistant Steward, FRANK, 18 years old
    LIKEMAN, Third Officer, THOMAS GEORGE, 36 years old
    LOVE, Cadet, DAVID RONALD, 19 years old,Purley
    LOWSON, Trimmer, FREDERICK, 33 years old
    MANN, Master, LAURENCE ROBERT,54 years old,Wallasey
    MANNING, Donkeyman, ERNEST CARR, 39 years old
    MARKWELL, Boatswain, EDWARD, 37 years old
    McGOWAN, Fireman and Trimmer, BERNARD, 38 years old
    MOIR, Chief Engineer Officer, JAMES ARCHIBALD, 54 years old,Birkenhead
    NEEDHAM, Chief Steward, STANLEY OSCAR, 57 years old,Liverpool
    PETLEY, Chief Officer, JAMES ARTHUR, 39 years old,Devon
    ROCHE, Able Seaman, JOHN WILLIAM, 48 years old
    SHAW, Second Radio Officer, JACK, 18 years old
    STEPHENS, Third Engineer Officer, CLARENCE FREDERICK,27 years old,Bristol
    STEVENSON, Cook, ARTHUR, 18 years old
    STONE, First Radio Officer,RENDLE CHARLES JAMES, 34 years old,Liverpool
    TAYLOR, Fireman and Trimmer, WILLIAM, 23 years old
    WETTON, Donkeyman, JOHN HENRY, 60 years old,Hull
    WHEATLEY,Able Seaman,REGINALD HORACE, P/JX 204917.RN.35 years
    old,BristolWILLIAMS, Second Officer, WILLIAM LLOYD, 57 years
    old,Liverpool
    YEOMAN, Trimmer, GEORGE HERBERT, 27 years old
    YORGENSON, Second Engineer Officer, ARTHUR CARLO,39 years old,Hull
     
  4. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    I forgot to ask - what kind of information would be held in the crew agreement?


    Roy,

    A crew agreement will give the following information:

    Names of the Master and Crew and Discharge Book numbers if any.
    Age.
    Particulars of the voyage.
    Nationality of seaman
    Last place of abode.
    Name of previous ship.
    Date and place of signing the Agreement
    In what capacity served [rank]
    Date of joining ship
    Particulars of discharge or other termination of service
    How released.
    Report of Character.

    If you are researching a particular seaman though, it would be best to obtain his Form CRS 10 [service record] and seaman's pouch, if survivied.

    Regards
    Hugh
     
  5. Roytoner

    Roytoner Junior Member

    great, thanks Hugh. I'll put that on my list of things to do at Kew
     
  6. AndyWheat

    AndyWheat Junior Member

    Hello Roy, I have a conection to the Florian. If you would like to know a little more about it please feel free to contact me. I am also always interested to find anything new out about it so this message goes out to Hugh and any one else, any Florian based information would be greatly received.

    Cheers

    Andy
     
  7. Billy McGee

    Billy McGee Senior Member

    Cargo ship Florian, 3,174grt, (Ellerman & Papayanni & Co.) had been sailing independently from Hull to New York in ballast, sailing from Oban on the 18th January 1941 and disappeared along with her forty-one crew. The ship was officially recorded as missing/untraced on the 26th March 1941 by Lloyd’s and a Missing Ship Committee considered her lost on the 20th. Information from German sources state that on the 20th January 1941an unidentified two masted vessel of around 2,500grt was sighted proceeding in the direction of Iceland, West of the Faroe Islands and was torpedoed and sunk in position 61’ 14N 12’ 05W. The Germans reported the ship sank in 42 seconds. This ship is believed to be the Florian.

    I have another three Merchant Seaman lost from Royton, Lancashire if you want their details

    HAMMOND, Baker, THOMAS, S.S. Laconia (Liverpool). Merchant Navy. 12th September 1942. Age 57. Son of Richard and Mary Hammond; husband of Elizabeth Hammond, of Royton, Lancashire.

    HASTY, Second Officer, ROBERT COLIN, S.S. Janeta (Glasgow). Merchant Navy. 1st May 1944. Age 22. Son of George and Elizabeth Mary Hasty, of Royton, Lancashire.

    HOWARTH, Steward, HAROLD, S.S. Glenlea (Newcastle-on-Tyne). Merchant Navy. 7th November 1942. Age 17. Son of James and Kathleen Howarth, of Royton, Lancashire.
     
  8. Roytoner

    Roytoner Junior Member

    thanks a lot Billy, that's brilliant. I knew about Hammond & Hasty but not Howarth as he's not on Royton's War Memorial for some reason. Maybe he's on Oldham's or another nearby town's. I'll have to try to find out. Thanks again.
     
  9. Ian Carr

    Ian Carr Junior Member

    Hi Roy, Andy & anyone else interested in SS Florian. My Grandfather J.A. Moir was Chief Engineer on Florian. As has already been stated Florian was torpedoed and sunk very quickly on Jan 20th 1941 at 00:42 hrs approx 150 miles west of the Faroe's by U-94 (the 17th most successful U boat of the war) U-94 was herself sunk 18 months later in the Caribbean whilst stalking an American convoy, a Catalina flying boat dropped depth charges which disabled the sub, it was then shelled and rammed by the Canadian Corvette Oakville giving the U-Boat no option but to surrender, she was scuttled by the crew as they left.
    My Grandfather was born near Dundee and served an engineering apprenticeship in the shipyards there.As soon as he qualified he went to sea as ships engineer serving throughout the 1st W.W. and up to his death in 1941.
    Photo's of Florian can be seen on OLD SHIP PICTURES PAINTINGS PHOTOGRAPHS POSTCARDS IMAGES JPG WW1 WW2
    According to family "legend" there were 2 versions of why Florian sailed alone. 1)as a new ship she was considered by the Admiralty to be fast enough to evade U-boats (obviously not the case) also U-boats tended to wait for their quarry to come to them rather than chase them down. 2) the second tale was that 2 crew where late joining which delayed Florian's sailing, however I do not believe a Captain would delay his sailing for the sake of 2 crew.
    I see that there were 2 RN gunners on board, does this mean Florian was an armed Merchantman, there doesn't appear to be a gun in the pictures of her.
    If anyone would like to discuss further or find out about my Grandfather please get in touch. Regards Ian
     
  10. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Photo's of Florian can be seen on OLD SHIP PICTURES PAINTINGS PHOTOGRAPHS POSTCARDS IMAGES JPG WW1 WW2

    I see that there were 2 RN gunners on board, does this mean Florian was an armed Merchantman, there doesn't appear to be a gun in the pictures of her.


    Hello and welcome Ian,
    The photos of FLORIAN that you have linked to are not for the same ship. These photos are for the 1955 built ship. The 1940 built FLORIAN was a Defensively Equipped Merchant Ship (DEMS) with military gunners supported by merchant seamen.

    Regards
    Hugh
     
  11. Roytoner

    Roytoner Junior Member

    hi Ian, good to hear from you. I spoke with Andy about the Florian back in November, his grandfather (one of the RN Gunners) was on board along with yours. He's looked into things in as much detail as I think you can go. I dare say he's subscribed to this thread but if not I'll drop you his details, pretty sure I've got his email.
     
  12. Ian Carr

    Ian Carr Junior Member

    Hi Roy & Hugh
    Thanks Hugh for responding and correcting my mistake. I should have realised shipping companies often name new ships in honour of previous ships of the line. Looking at the pictures now I can see it is too modern for a ship built to a late 1930's design.
    Does anyone know if there are any pictures or details of the 1940 Florian? I know she was built at William Gray's Shipyard in Hartlepool, weighed 3174 tons and was powered by triple expansion steam engine and L.P. turbine producing 605 n.h.p and capable of about 13 knots. However I would love to know more if possible.
    It is interesting to learn that Florian was an armed merchantman. Maybe it was felt that as she could defend herself Florian would be safer making her own way across the Atlantic rather than being in convoy and limited to the speed of the slowest vessel.
    Regarding my Grandfather's seafaring career, do you know if it is possible to get a record of all the ships he served on, and which shipping company they belonged to?
    Thanks Roy for the note about Andy and his Grandfather it would be great to get in touch with him and exchange notes.
    Regards Ian
     
  13. Ian Carr

    Ian Carr Junior Member

    Hi Roy & Hugh
    Thanks Hugh for responding and correcting my mistake. I should have realised shipping companies often name new ships in honour of previous ships of the line. Looking at the pictures now I can see it is too modern for a ship built to a late 1930's design.
    Does anyone know if there are any pictures or details of the 1940 Florian? I know she was built at William Gray's Shipyard in Hartlepool, weighed 3174 tons and was powered by triple expansion steam engine and L.P. turbine producing 605 n.h.p and capable of about 13 knots. However I would love to know more if possible.
    It is interesting to learn that Florian was an armed merchantman. Maybe it was felt that as she could defend herself Florian would be safer making her own way across the Atlantic rather than being in convoy and limited to the speed of the slowest vessel.
    Regarding my Grandfather's seafaring career, do you know if it is possible to get a record of all the ships he served on, and which shipping company they belonged to?
    Thanks Roy for the note about Andy and his Grandfather it would be great to get in touch with him and exchange notes.
    Regards Ian
     
  14. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Regarding my Grandfather's seafaring career, do you know if it is possible to get a record of all the ships he served on, and which shipping company they belonged to?


    Hello Ian,

    As your granfather was killed in January 1941, he will have no records in the Fifth Register of Seamen so you will need to check the Fourth Register (effectively 1918-1941). These records are held on microfiche at Kew but the original cards are held at Southampton City Archives. I would recommend you contact them [Southampton] and ask for a search. Contact details below. You should write to them giving his full name, date and place of birth and for the fullest possible search you should give his discharge number if you have it. The cost for them carrying out this search is £15.

    This may be his medal card at Kew downloadable for £3.50. If the right person, it suggests to me that his medals were claimed by NoK.

    BT 395/1
     
  15. Ian Carr

    Ian Carr Junior Member

    Thanks Hugh for the information, coincidently I actually live in Southampton! So it will be easy for me to get the search done, I may even get to see the originals, which would be a bonus.
    I have all my Grandfathers medals (5 in all) 2 for WW1 and 3 for WW2. The WW2 medals are still in the original packaging as sent to my Grandmother after the war. The only bit missing is the ribbon for for the 1914-18 Mercantile Marine War Service Medal which he always wore with pride on his uniform.
    Thanks again, Regards Ian
     
  16. Hello Ian,
    Your Grandfathers MN records 1927-1940 are online. However it would be prudent to go to Southampton City Archives to see if they have any more on him.

    Dis A R509264 supposed drowned 20/1/1941

    7-1-27 FABIAN O/N 140655 ELLERMAN LINES, POR LIVERPOOL
    12-2-29 DESTRO O/N 144046 ELLERMAN WILSON LINE POR HULL
    9-12-33 ASSYRIAN O/N 143952 ELLERMAN LINE POR LIVERPOOL
    7-12-38 MALVERNIAN O/N 164324 ELLERMAN LINE POR LIVERPOOL
    19-1-39 ASSYRIAN AGAIN
    12-4-40 FLORIAN
    If Southampton have nothing more on him then it means backtracking via Crew Agreements to find his ships pre 1927 including WW1

    Roger
     
  17. Paul Beioley

    Paul Beioley New Member

    Hi There

    My Grandfather was Frederick Beioley who is listed in the crew manifest for the Florian as Frederick Bewley.

    According to family anecdotes, he changed the spelling with the authorities because he never used to get any post from home.

    He was the assistant Cook and a Lewis Gunner on the Florian, and he served on the Queen Mary before the war as a wine steward.
     
  18. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

  19. Tracy Hopkinson

    Tracy Hopkinson New Member

    Hi there,

    I have often hear about The Florian from family members over the years as my great grandfather (My Mums Grandfather) was Edward Markwell listed as the Boatswain.
    It is interesting to read more on here about the boat and to confirm that yes it was sank by a German U boat.
    I know this thread is a few years old, did anyone else find out anything more?

    Regards
    Tracy Hopkinson
     
  20. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    Hugh MacLean and ozzy16 like this.

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