View Full Version : Enlistment and Discharge Dates-help please

J. Brown
24th September 2011, 12:49 AM
I am doing some research on behalf of my sister-in-law whose grandfather Richardt (sometimes known as Richards) was in the British Merchant Navy around the time of WWI.

I have found his medal card through The National Archives and his C.R. 10 record through Find My Past but neither seems to specifically state when he joined or was discharged from the MN. The Find My Past record shows date range as 1918-1921. He married in New Zealand in 1921 although he may have jumped ship prior to 1921.

I am wondering if anyone is able to tell me if his ID certificate numer - 396268 and Dis. A number - 899119
give an indication of joining and discharge dates? From what I have read (so much that I am getting myself confused!) I think that his personal records may be amongst the missing ones prior to 1918?
The CR10 records show he served on ship no. 140292 (Westmoreland) and also show 2.19 after the ship number. Is this a date (Feb 1919)? I am in the process of researching the Westmoreland after 1916.

I may have found him (through Ancestry) as a crew member on the Oxonian arriving Boston May 1918 from Liverpool although his nationality is shown as Irish when actually he was English. (Perhaps whoever completed the list got carried away with the ditto.)

I know we can give details to the Museum in Canada for further records but the costs may be too high.
Can anyone suggest what other research I can do to find out more about this person?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Doc Vernon
24th September 2011, 10:15 PM
You seemed to have gone down most avenues,and its funny that his CRS10 doesnt have his Date of Engagement,as it should have!

Nominal Index, organised by the seaman's surname, each card typically gives the following information. On the front of the card:

discharge 'A' number;
certificate of company number;
name of seaman;
year and place of birth;
rank or rating;
name (sometimes) and official number of ship and
date of engagement of service.
I take it that the above should mean the Date of Engagement?? Or am i too looking at it incorrectly!

As for other info,yes you can approach Canada,but as you say it costs quite a bit!
However if you can whittle his info down to his First and last Ships then of course it would be a lot less costly!
But thats another hurdle isnt it!?

Its hard task this trying to pieve things together,i know too well!
As for the actual Numbers of his Discharge and ID i dont somehow think that they would give much of a clue to when he was engaged or dismised from the Service! ?? But there again i may be wrong!

I hope that others may be able to get futher with this and get more info to you than i have!
Sorry and i wish you the best of luck in your search!

Dont give up!!

J. Brown
25th September 2011, 02:53 AM
Thanks, Vernon.
I can only think that perhaps the"2.19" after the ship numer on the C.R.10 is meant to represent February 1919.
Has anyone else seen a date written in this way on a C.R. 10?


25th September 2011, 11:32 AM
Welcome Jab,

Firstly, let's be clear about a CR 10 card and a CRS 10 - both very different beasts.
The CR 10 card will give personal details about the seaman but it wont tell you when he joined the MN.

The date 2.19 does signify February 1919 - the date of engagement on the ship. The ID number or RS2 number suggests he was either on deck or in the engineroom.

The only way to find out his service through WW1 and prior would be to use Crew Agreements of a known ship. I suggest if you are sure he was on 'OXONIAN' in 1918 then you need to look in her 1918 Crew Agreement as this should give his previous ship and try to work backwards. There appears to be a Crew Agreement for 1918 in Canada under her official number 109475 Crew Indices Search Results (http://www.mun.ca/mha/holdings/viewcombinedcrews.php?Official_No=109475)


Ray Buck
25th September 2011, 01:05 PM
If we have the correct Robt E Richardt
(DoB circa 1894) place of birth Liverpool, RS 2. 396268 who signed on the “Westmoreland” in Liverpool 4th February 1920 as an AB gave an address as 10 Bridge Street Bootle, The ship arrived in New York 27th February 1920 having sailed from Liverpool

There was also a R Richardt aged 26 an AB again aboard the “ Westmorland” when the ship arrived New South Wales 13th April 1919 from Liverpool via Auckland

A R Richardt age 22 was aboard the “Middlesex” as a Seaman place of birth Liverpool, the ship arrived in New South Wales 7th January 1917 having sailed from Brisbane

A Robert E Richardt aged 24 signed on the “Oxonian” as a Seaman in Liverpool 26th April 1918, height 5’ -8” , ship on left hand, the “Oxonian” arrived in Boston May 1918 having sailed from Liverpool

25th September 2011, 01:43 PM
There are Crew Agreements for 'MIDDLESEX' official number 135569 held in Canada for 1916 and 1917. Crew Indices Search Results (http://www.mun.ca/mha/holdings/viewcombinedcrews.php?Official_No=135569) The 1917 Agreement is also held at Kew.

'MIDDLESEX' was torpedoed and sunk on 16.5.1917 by U30.


Doc Vernon
25th September 2011, 09:35 PM
Now you have a lot more info to go on,i knew there would be more to reply!
Now if you do go ahead and get on to the Maritime Histoty Archive, University in Canada ,you should address all your enquiries to mha@mun.ca (mha@mun.ca).
c/o Tanya McDonald there,as she deals with all that side of the searching! Tanya has done a lot for me,and you will find her very helpfull!
Cheers and again good hunting!

Info on things to look at,cost etc


As Hugh suggest

A crew agreement provides particulars about a vessel, including the port of registry, tonnage, form of propulsion, owner(s) and intended voyage. It also provides information on each crew member including the person's name, year and place of birth, capacity, previous vessel served on, and date of signing on and off the vessel. There are no nominal indexes to the crew lists. For us to search the agreements for a particular seafarer, we must know the name or official number of the vessel, and the approximate dates that person served on it. Once a person has been located, it is sometimes possible to trace his or her career back through previous vessels.

J. Brown
27th September 2011, 12:22 AM
Thank you all. Your help and encouragement is very much appreciated.

Ray, I'm pretty sure that the records you have mentioned will be for the same person, as the ages tie up with his birth date and the address was his mother's, at least between 1911 (when he was shown on the census as a seaman) and 1919 (Next of Kin on the C.R.10). Am wondering where you found those records? Also does the record for the Oxonian say Robt was Irish i.e. would it be the same as the one I have found which is for the arrival of the ship in Boston?

Family hearsay has it that Robert's ship/s were torpedoed twice so that would likely be the Middlesex and possibly the Westmoreland.

Is it likely that if a seaman signed on in Liverpool he may have been discharged in New Zealand? Sorry if that is a stupid question but I have no idea if seamen signed up for return sailings or not.

Thanks again.

Ivan Cloherty
27th September 2011, 07:54 AM
Is it likely that if a seaman signed on in Liverpool he may have been discharged in New Zealand? Sorry if that is a stupid question but I have no idea if seamen signed up for return sailings or not.

Thanks again.

Its more than possible

Some seamen were signed off Articles if they were taken ill during the voyage or taken ill in the port of discharge.

Some seamen were on delivery voyages (delivering a ship to new owners) so signed off in that port

Some signed on for a one way passage if they were emigrating, possible in those days because there were larger crews then and they were not paid much

Many more reasons, so not a stupid question, all questions need to be answered, without questions we wouldn't learn, for instance look at how many seamen on this site didn't know what a "Bovril Boat" was and they are in the business (pardon the pun)

So keep asking questions, we all learn from the question and the answer, you are never too old to learn