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Thread: Matthew Jean Bourrett Registration # R252523

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    Cool Matthew Jean Bourrett Registration # R252523

    Hello! I'm a newby to this site, seeking information for my Neice regarding her father who abandoned her family when she was a toddler.
    I have done extensive research about Matthew's movements while he was in the Merchant Navy but there are many holes to fill.
    I witnessed shrapnel splinters in Matthew's back, apparently the result of a torpedo sinking on a ship in the Indian Ocean.
    He was rescued and in a hospital in South Africa and later in Egypt according to family information.
    I assume by that information that Matthew may have been at the battle of Madagascar (5th May to 6 Nov 1942).
    I have narrowed the search for possible ships torpedoed there at that time as the SS Empire Chaucer and the SS City of Johannesburg.
    Their survivors were taken to four ports in South Africa by various ships, to Cape Town, Bredasdorp, Durban and Port Elizabeth.
    Any information regarding crew lists etcetera for these two ships would be greatly appreciated.

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    Default Re: Matthew Jean Bourrett Registration # R252523

    Hi Ron
    Just for now thank you for asking the Questions!
    Bredasdorp is quite far from the Ocean, it is not a Port ,but does have a Shipwreck Museum the only one i think in South Africa.
    There may be some info that one could get from there, but have to do research on it.
    Will look into the rest of all this as time permits and get back to you n this Thread, so just keep checking in!
    Cheers

    May be you can start by Emailing them with questions??
    swm@xsinet.co.za

    Below is a Link to his Seamans Pouch which may assist to start, but to get a lot more info you will need his CRS10 which will hold all his Sea Career, so that will be te best bet to get going!
    Cheers

    R252523 BOURRETT M J 02/05/1924 EASTBOURNE | The National Archives

    Reference: BT 372/440/30
    Description: R252523 BOURRETT M J 02/05/1924 EASTBOURNE
    Date: 1913-1972
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Former reference in its original department: R252523
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
    Last edited by Doc Vernon; 15th October 2022 at 05:36 AM.
    Senior Site Moderator-Member and Friend of this Website

    R697530

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    Default Re: Matthew Jean Bourrett Registration # R252523

    So far the Ship City of Johannesburg,s Crew listing only goes to 1938 at the Canadian Archive but will keep looking.
    This Link gives the names of some Crew

    Crewlist from City of Johannesburg (British steam merchant) - Ships hit by German U-boats during WWII - uboat.net

    Likewise for Ship Empire Chauser

    Crewlist from Empire Chaucer (British steam merchant) - Ships hit by German U-boats during WWII - uboat.net


    The other Ship Empire Chauser does not come up in the Crew List Search!?

    However a good idea besides looking or asking at Southampton, si to also Email the Canadian Archive, i know it states only till 1938, but there is a possibility that the Records may not be absolutely up to date!
    Contact Mrs Tanya MacDonald on their Crew List Email.
    mhares@mun.ca.

    Crew List Index Search (mun.ca)

    Researching Crew Agreements and Official Logbooks (mun.ca)

    I ma not too sure but i feel that possibly Southampton Maritime Archives may hold the Crew list for her , as she had a very short career!

    SS Empire Chaucer - Wikipedia

    Now if i am not mistaken the following Link should hold his CRS10 which i spoke of earlier.
    Bourne J A to Bowden S T | The National Archives

    Reference: BT 382/157
    Description: Bourne J A to Bowden S T
    Date: 1941 Jan 01 - 1946 Dec 31
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Former reference in its original department: 144
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
    Make sure when aplying that his Seamans Pouch Reference is stated as well, this will give them the correct File to look for!
    So should be in the Series above!
    Cheers
    Last edited by Doc Vernon; 15th October 2022 at 06:27 AM.
    Senior Site Moderator-Member and Friend of this Website

    R697530

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    Default Re: Matthew Jean Bourrett Registration # R252523

    Thanks Doc,
    I have Matthew's CRS 10 showing various ships and desertions but also two time gaps of six and a half months when his torpedoing apparently occurred, also his pouch, but that doesn't show anything helpful.
    He jumped about a bit, starting at Glasgow, then Durban, Cape Town, Baltimore, New Orleans, New York... often as a passenger. Often on the run I imagine.

    Regards,

    Ron Hume.

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    Default Re: Matthew Jean Bourrett Registration # R252523

    Ron .
    Not surprizing that he was on the run after being torpedoed , we had one seaman in our village who jumped in Jamaica after being torpedoed four times, he was a wreck when he got home.
    Des
    Lest We Forget

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