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Help please seaman ww2

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Dame*Shelly*("\(*o*)/") Report 20 Dec 2018 16:59

i have walter hodgson born 11th nov 1923 west ham essex
died 1996 in newham

i know walter was a seaman in 1940 he was age 17 yrs
i dont know what sult of seaman he was all i know is he was at sea

and i carnt find any sea records of him so this is were i need help please
thank you


PatinCyprus Report 20 Dec 2018 17:12

That is because no WW2 records are online.

MOD still has all the records from 1920 to present day. Here's a link it will cost £30 to get them and if his has been dead for less than 25 yrs you have to be next of kin.


ErikaH Report 20 Dec 2018 17:13

It is unlikely that any records will be available

What document do you have which shows him as a 'seaman'?


ErikaH Report 20 Dec 2018 17:15

Here he is in 1939 - just for info

19 Alice Street , West Ham C.B., Essex, England

Walter Hodgson 11 Nov 1923 Male Van Boy Single 40 5
George W Hodgson 07 Jan 1886 Male Labourer Turberer Corr Married 40 1
Elizabet Hodgson 13 Feb ? Female Unpaid Domestic Duti Married 40 2
George Robert Hodgson 14 Jan 1919 Male Labourer Pipe Fitter Mate On Turbines Corrs Single 40 3
Gladys Mortlock (Tredgett,Hodgson) 09 Aug 1921 Female Mfg Of Sweet Packer Single 40 4


Dame*Shelly*("\(*o*)/") Report 20 Dec 2018 17:18

Erika i dont have any documents only my dad use to say he was at sea
walter is my dads brother and both are no longer with us and there is no one left to ask


ErikaH Report 21 Dec 2018 12:06

Did he marry?


ArgyllGran Report 22 Dec 2018 10:59

He was in the Merchant Navy in 1954, and at least from 1942.

Walter Hodgson
in the California, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1959
Name: Walter Hodgson
Gender: Male
Birth Place: London
Arrival date: 21 Sep 1954
Port of Arrival: San Francisco, California
Ship Name: Loch Ryan
Port of Departure: Vancouver, British Columbia

Shipping company: Royal Mail Lines.
Length of service: 12 years.
DOB: 11/11/1923, London <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Position in ship's company: Able Seaman

That's no indication of what he did during WW2, though.

The £30 fee for an MOD search is not refundable, even if it turns out there's no record to be found.
There are different forms for searching for Army, Royal Navy, or RAF service , and presumably each one would cost £30.
Also, I think I'm right in saying you'd need to know his service number - which you don't have.


There are a number of other records of MN personnel named Walter (or just W) Hodgson, but without DOB's, it's impossible to say if any of them are your Walter.


ArgyllGran Report 22 Dec 2018 11:39

This one's him:

Walter Hodgson
in the California, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1959
Name: Walter Hodgson
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 11 Nov 1923
Birth Place: Rhode Island, USA [ wrong - image says London]
Age: 31
Arrival date: 31 Mar 1955
Port of Arrival: San Francisco and Oakland, California
Ship Name: Parima
Port of Departure: Vancouver, British Columbia

AB with Royal Mail Lines


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 22 Dec 2018 14:09

Go to this link re information on WW2 RN Records & click Post Date. That’ll take you to the last page.
Look for JoyLouise’ post dated 9 Oct 2016 10:54

Her research experience is quite illuminating.


Dame*Shelly*("\(*o*)/") Report 22 Dec 2018 21:52

thank you all for your input
much appreciated at lest i do no now that he was at sea
and yes ErikaH he was marred to Alice H Adams
i have all the info on that part

thank you all for your help


ErikaH Report 23 Dec 2018 10:27

The reason for asking if he married was that his occupation would be recorded on the marriage cert

The MOD do not have Merchant Navy records

Try here:-


ArgyllGran Report 23 Dec 2018 12:39

Unfortunately that only covers merchant seamen serving from 1918 to 1941.

It leads you to FMP, where there's no record for Walter:

His MN career may only have started when he (presumably) joined Royal Mail Lines in 1942.
It's not clear if the "Length of service" given in the records I posted is length of service with RML, or length of service in the Merchant Navy.
In Walter's case it may be both.


Inky1 Report 25 Dec 2018 22:51

Perhaps he joined the MN at the point in time that he would have been liable to being conscripted - ie his 18th birthday?

And this link shows that post 1941 MN records can be searched? (See Search 2.)


ArgyllGran Report 26 Dec 2018 00:31

Yes, so it does - I hadn't scrolled far enough down the page from Erika's link.


Inky1 Report 26 Dec 2018 09:35

1939 The last word of Occupation for both father and brother George. The image is not clear, but it is not "Corrs". Ancestry transcribes as:-
Labourer Pipe Fitter Mate On Turbine Cases.
And that seems right?

There is an annotation on the r/h page against brother George:-
"Passed Doctors to enter Na.." Cannot see the whole of the last word, but it has to be Navy? And that word often referred to the Royal Navy, rather than the Merchant Service.

Top line on the image: Bartholomew Collier, who was just a month older than Walter "Royal Mail Lines Apprentice Tinsmith".

There was plenty of heavy industry near to the Royal Docks and Woolwich Arsenal. In 1939 my family were in Woolwich. And my father is not in the lists as he was away at sea. Before, during and after WW2 he served on a number of ships linked to the Royal Mail Line. During the war most were re-fitted as troopships.

was plain ann now annielaurie

was plain ann now annielaurie Report 27 Dec 2018 20:32

Perhaps this is his record at the National Archives