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Thread: The Merchant Navy 'Pool' in W.W.II

  1. #1
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    Aug 2019
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    Default The Merchant Navy 'Pool' in W.W.II

    I was once sent by the pool to' work by ' on an old steamer prior to signing on. (I've forgotten its name.) There was a lot of work required to get it ready for sea and one day I noticed a shore gang spraying a cork insulation material onto all the bulkheads. I realised that meant that the next trip would be to a very cold destination. Now I don't like the cold at all, and much rather prefer the warmer climates. I decided not to sign on and went back onto the pool register. I found out much later the the ship did indeed sail in an Arctic convoy, bound for Murmansk. It was sunk by the Luftwaffe but I don't know the fate of her crew or if any were saved. My guardian angel must have been watching over me that time!

    From Wikipedia.
    Until May 1941 merchant seamen sailing aboard British vessels attacked and sunk by enemy action received no pay (wages) from the moment that their ship sank. If the seaman was fortunate to survive the sinking only to spend days or weeks in an open lifeboat hoping for rescue, it was regarded as "non-working time" and the seaman was not paid for that time because their employer, the shipping company who had owned the lost vessel, no longer required their services In May 1941, "Emergency Work (Merchant Navy) Order, Notice No. M198" was passed by the British Parliament in recognition of the desperate situation facing Great Britain. Under this new order a Merchant Navy Reserve Pool was established which was to ensure that available seamen were allocated to ships which needed crew, it required seamen to continue to serve for the duration of the war, they were guaranteed a wage for that period including time spent in lifeboats or in captivity and it provided for two days paid leave earned per month served. They had the right to reject a ship if it did not suit them, and to reject a second ship if that also did not suit them before having no option but to take the third offer

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Blue Mountains NSW
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    Default Re: The Merchant Navy 'Pool' in W.W.II

    Thank you for the Thread!
    You will need to get your thinking Cap on now, and try and recall the name of that Ship, then we can start looking into it ,and see what actually happened to the Crew, there may have been quite a few Survivers
    Senior Member and Friend of this Website


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