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Thread: Kosciuszho (Polish) 18 September 1941 - crew member details needed

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    Default Kosciuszho (Polish) 18 September 1941 - crew member details needed

    I belong to a family history society and every week we meet up to discuss our families. Mr William Kearney, born 1934 and 90 this year, lost his father at the start of WW2 and, in the many decades since, has been searching for him. Reputedly he was drowned at sea when his ship went down crossing the Atlantic or at least that is what his family told him.

    I have been to the National Archives and found an entry on his father's C.R.S.10 (the Merchant Navy index card for James Kearney, born 1897 in Glasgow, with the Dis.A. no. R94296 by the same line). He was taken on the Kosciuszho as a M.R. Steward initially (18.09.1941) at Liverpool but seems to have been reallocated the following day as a fireman, which I understand is a very tough job in the boiler room. The index card has virtually nothing else on it except it looks as though he was discharged in Fremantle. R89, (is this Australia?) with no date by it. Another line underneath the name of the ship has M/W Mr Harding, ref. RE 731/44 RRD 17.5.

    For a start I would love to know what all the abbreviations mean and, more importantly, how I can find out more information on our James Kearney - anything at all.

    One of the finds that has thrown us is that an article on the internet says there was only one Englishman on board the ship but I have found a newspaper entry for an English cabin boy around the time James Kearney was on board and he was dropped off at Bombay to be returned to the UK. However, because of this article, I can't convince our William of this and he has dismissed my findings.

    Please, can anyone help me find out more? Celia Webber
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    Last edited by Celia Webber; 26th January 2024 at 08:49 AM. Reason: further attachment needed

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    Default Re: Kosciuszho (Polish) 18 September 1941 - crew member details needed

    Hello Celia
    Your Quote

    looks as though he was discharged in Fremantle. R89, (is this Australia?) with no date by it. Another line underneath the name of the ship has M/W Mr Harding, ref. RE 731/44 RRD 17.5.

    I am not sure here but think that the R89 is part of a Discharge Number, possibly the Mr Harding?
    The Port of Discharge is Australia ! As for the other Ref Number 731/44 RRD ( Looks like 8731/14 to me )??this too not too sure , but will search around and see if anything comes to hand!

    Seems to be a big change in Duties from Asst Steward to Fireman, but strange things happen!
    Cheers

    May be of interest to you ??

    Fred Saunders in the Merchant Navy (boltonrevisited.org.uk)
    Last edited by Doc Vernon; 27th January 2024 at 08:00 PM.
    Senior Site Moderator-Member and Friend of this Website

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    Default Re: Kosciuszho (Polish) 18 September 1941 - crew member details needed

    Thanks to Fred Saunders for the information on the cabin boy. I had already picked this up from the Bolton Revisited website.
    Anything further about James Kearney, or about initials on his National Archives index card or the Koscuiszho, a Polish ship that joined the English fleet, would be really welcome.

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    Default Re: Kosciuszho (Polish) 18 September 1941 - crew member details needed

    #2 re strange things happen Doc.? I was mate on a Chinese crewed foreign flagged vessel in 1970. The vessel had 3 galleys, sailors, fireman’s and European galley. The fireman’s cook was promoted to 3rd.engineer during his term due to a death in the E.R. JS
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    Default Re: Kosciuszho (Polish) 18 September 1941 - crew member details needed

    Obviously didn’t pas his Knowledge to drive the boat?
    Doug

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    Default Re: Kosciuszho (Polish) 18 September 1941 - crew member details needed

    #5 The other 2 engineers were Indian . The reason for the 3 galleys the deck and engine room crew were from different parts of China and even spoke different lingoes apart from the food being different. Think the new third had been an engineer before and beggars can’t be choosers especially job wise as British seamen including myself found out at a later date.
    JS
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    Default Re: Kosciuszho (Polish) 18 September 1941 - crew member details needed

    If he was paid off in Freemantle there may bee something in the newspaper archives in regards to the ship. I found something there a few years ago, the bosun on my brothers ship was killed he was run over by a train on his way back to the ship, that was in 47.
    Des
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    Default Re: Kosciuszho (Polish) 18 September 1941 - crew member details needed

    Think the open rail line is still there Des. JS
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    Default Re: Kosciuszho (Polish) 18 September 1941 - crew member details needed

    Hi John.
    I was in Freemantle many times and that railway line always frightened me, especially if they were working when coming back aboard after dark, they were so quiet, one of the most dangerous wharves I can remember in Aus.
    Des
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    Default Re: Kosciuszho (Polish) 18 September 1941 - crew member details needed

    Fascinating stuff - especially from merchant seamen who've been there or experienced something similar. Puts things in context. Thanks all for posting.
    How to I get to the Australian newspapers?

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