Military Chat

Top tip - using the Genes Reunited community

Welcome to the Genes Reunited community boards!

  • The Genes Reunited community is made up of millions of people with similar interests. Discover your family history and make life long friends along the way.
  • You will find a close knit but welcoming group of keen genealogists all prepared to offer advice and help to new members.
  • And it's not all serious business. The boards are often a place to relax and be entertained by all kinds of subjects.
  • The Genes community will go out of their way to help you, so don’t be shy about asking for help.

Quick Search

Single word search


  • New posts
  • No new posts
  • Thread closed
  • Stickied, new posts
  • Stickied, no new posts

John Thomas Mitchell 1891 - 1951

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Julia Report 14 May 2020 18:22

I am keen to find out about the Merchant Navy career of my husband's Great Uncle John Thomas Mitchell of Whitby. He was born on 11th January 1891 to John and Esther Mitchell nee Hovington and he married Margaret Featherstone in 1917. We know that he was awarded the DSO for his service in the Second World War. The family say that this was for taking supplies to Mermansk during the Second World War. I know that these conveys sailed between August 1941 and May 1945. I have located a record of his DSO at the National Archives but it shows a date of 1939 so I am somewhat puzzled. Can anyone shed any light on this for me and I would also be grateful for any information about his career in the Merchant Navy and his service record. Thankyou.


ErikaH Report 14 May 2020 18:51

I expect the date of 1939 is ‘from’ , but not the date of the actual award.

If you purchase the record, you’ll get the full details.


ArgyllGran Report 14 May 2020 19:44

John Mitchell DSO
in the Web: UK, WWII Medals Issued to Merchant Seamen, 1939-1945
Name: John Mitchell DSO
Birth Date: 11 Jan 1891
Service: 1939-1945
Medal Issued/Claimed: 1946-2002
Discharge Number: 571978

I think it's just the dates of the war in which he served, or maybe the date he joined up..

And it looks like the award was made in 1946. Not sure what 2002 refers to.
I agree, you need to buy the record.

If you click on "Preview an image of this record" on the National Archives page, and then enlarge the watermarked image, you'll see that he's just one of several men listed on that record page , so it probably won't give you a huge amount of info. But it should let you see the headings of the different columns - one of which has the date 1939 circled.


Julia Report 15 May 2020 14:35

Thank you both for your responses. I have the information you have given and have downloaded those records from the National Archives. I am not sure how to buy his service record.


ArgyllGran Report 15 May 2020 15:23

His record may not have survived.

Info and instructions here:

Includes this -

"Seamen’s pouches, issued 1940-1972 but covering service 1913-1972

Merchant seamen who were discharged from the navy between 1940 and 1972 had their records filed in what became known as ‘seamen’s pouches’. Some of the seamen discharged during this period had been in service as far back as 1913 and the records reflect this.

>>>>>> Not every pouch survives and many were destroyed before any were transferred to The National Archives. <<<<<<< "

A search on that page produces no mention of him.


ErikaH Report 15 May 2020 15:46

I meant purchase the record of his award - for full details - not his service record, which may not have survived


Julia Report 15 May 2020 16:03

Thank you both.


Maddie Report 17 May 2020 12:42

is this him in ww1
there is a photo attached to image -- on find my past website

Britain, Merchant Seamen, 1918-1941

First name(s) John
Last name Mitchell
Event year 1918
Birth year 1891
Birth place Whitby
Birth county/country Yorkshire
Birth date 11 Jan 1891
Discharge number 571978
Identity certificate number 30274
Card type CR10
The National Archives
Series BT350
Date range 1918-1921
Record set Britain, Merchant Seamen, 1918-1941
Category Education & work
Subcategory Merchant Navy & Maritime
Collections from Great Britain, UK None

© Findmypast

birth 11.1.1891
no nok mentioned


Julia Report 18 May 2020 19:16

Thank you Maddie. Yes is definitely him. Is right birth date. Is Find my Past a pay for website?


ArgyllGran Report 18 May 2020 20:56

Yes, it is.