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Clare Sneddon
19th March 2011, 01:32 AM
Hi all.

I'm really hoping someone might be able to help me. I'm searching for all records of my grandfather. He was born in New Zealand D.O.B 12/09/1927. He served in the British Merchant Navy whilst based in the UK during WWII. I believe he was on the P/O ship "Strathallan" when she was sunk. Names of other ships he was on have all been lost. But during his time in the navy I also believe that he was Injured due to another sinking and was taken as a P.O.W to a hospital in Dusseldorf Germany at some stage he was returned to England as unfit for active duty due to a loss of one eye and a injury to his right arm.

He was sent to the military Hospital in Wheatley where they fixed him up as best as possible. From that point not much is known about him. But its his war time history we are trying to find out more about.

I have no information as to his parents or siblings. He married a Beryl Elizabeth Brown.

I have looked on a few websites for his military records, but can't find anything. What makes it a little hard, is I know he sometimes went by other names, but I don't know what they are. I vaguely remember him telling me that at some point in his life he was a nurse, but I don't know where or when this was. :confused:

Any help would be very much appreciated, or if anyone can point me in the right direction that would be great too.

Thanks,
Clare

DeepSea
19th March 2011, 01:36 PM
There does not appear to be any primary records available on this man, but this is not unusual with Merchant Navy Records. As you believe he was on the Strathallan when sunk which was in 1942, would suggest his service details should be in the Fifth Register.

These records are held at The National Archives in classification BT 382. The Fifth Register of Seaman’s Service 1941 to 1972.

Records of individual Merchant Seamen's sea service details are held in alphabetical surname order. These details include the following information: Name of seaman, Date and place of birth, Discharge (Seaman’s) book number, Rank, Details of the ships on which he served. These include:

Name of ship and official number, date of engagement (Joining ship), Date of discharge (Leaving ship), whether ship was a foreign going of home trade vessel, and records in some cases National Insurance contributions. Details shown in these records are similar to those contained in an individual seaman's discharge book.

His file should be in BT 382/976 covering the surnames "Lane J to Lang T W"

See link for ordering and viewing options

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATLN=6&CATID=8124281&SearchInit=4&SearchType=6&CATREF=bt382%2F976

Clare Sneddon
20th March 2011, 11:56 PM
Thanks, I'll give this a look.

Clare Sneddon
23rd March 2011, 02:10 AM
I contacted the National Archives, but they advised me that they are unable to find any records for my grandad. I too was not able to locate any information.

Is there any other way I can trace him through the war?

Ivan Cloherty
23rd March 2011, 09:05 AM
I contacted the National Archives, but they advised me that they are unable to find any records for my grandad. I too was not able to locate any information.

Is there any other way I can trace him through the war?

Clare

Others on this site have suggested the Salvation Army, who seem to have a wealth of knowledge about long lost relatives etc, but whether it is restricted to the living only I do not know, but it may be worth contacting them, as if they are not able to help, they may be able to point you in another direction that could help

Good luck

Ivan

DeepSea
23rd March 2011, 07:57 PM
You stated you believed he was a survivor from the Strathallan, which was lost in 1942. If you get a copy of the ships last Crew Agreemnts held at Kew under the ships Official No. 166371 in file BT 381/2128, this will confirm whether or not he was a crew member. It would also have recorded the name of his previous ship in the agreement.

See link for viewing and ordering options. Make sure you only request her last Crew Agreements before lost.

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATID=8208767&CATLN=6&Highlight=%2C166371&accessmethod=0

Clare Sneddon
9th July 2012, 12:00 AM
Thank you to everyone who suggested something. Unfortunately they can't locate any information on my grandad on the last crew agreement, and living in Australia, it's making it a little difficult (and frustrating) to search. Unfortunately my grandad recently passed away, so there is no way of verifying the information we had. My grandma is nearly 95, and she won't talk about the war, so we are up a creek without a paddle, as they say.

I recently contacted the Salvation Army, so I hope they might be able to help.

Ray Buck
9th July 2012, 06:35 AM
Clare
This is not much help in your quest to find Granddads’ WWII history

There was a Thomas Samuel Lane, Beryl Elizabeth & Janet Elizabeth travelled 1st class aboard the S.S.” Lakemba” from Vancouver embarking April 1956 arriving Honolulu 14th April 1956 nationality was states as Australian

Then onward from Honolulu to Suva Fiji on the same ship in April 1956
Ray

Captain Kong
10th July 2012, 12:44 PM
The Salvation Army is an excellent way of finding relatives. I have had experience of their successes..
.
My step grandad ran away from my Grandmother to New Zealand and they found him living in Auckland under a different name and married to someone else.
.
. Also My life was saved in South Africa by a lad, David Brinton, that is all I knew about him his name.
48 years later they found him living in Scotland.
So they are Good.
Cheers
Brian

Elizabeth Olson
20th October 2015, 07:09 PM
Thank you to everyone who suggested something. Unfortunately they can't locate any information on my grandad on the last crew agreement, and living in Australia, it's making it a little difficult (and frustrating) to search. Unfortunately my grandad recently passed away, so there is no way of verifying the information we had. My grandma is nearly 95, and she won't talk about the war, so we are up a creek without a paddle, as they say.

I recently contacted the Salvation Army, so I hope they might be able to help.

My father, Francis George Lane, was Thomas Lane's older brother and is alive and well in Nanaimo, B.C. He knows of Uncle Tommy's activities during the war. My email is magickarpet3@gmail.com -Elizabeth Frances Olson

Doc Vernon
20th October 2015, 07:44 PM
Well now there you go,again this site has produced a helping hand from out the Blue!
That is great news I am sure for Clare!
Thank you to Elizabeth!
Cheers

Hope things can now be solved for you Clare!

gray_marian
20th October 2015, 09:03 PM
#11, Doc & Elizabeth, Clare last registered on site July 2012 so may need a pm sent:)

Doc Vernon
20th October 2015, 09:09 PM
Will do Marian
Cheers