His ship, ss Stelling [pictured] (ON 148082) was built by Smith’s Teeside in 1924 for first owners Sharp & Co Newcastle. The ship was later owned by the Stephenson Clarke Group of Companies. Her grandfather, Kaj Henry Jorgensen would have been 17 years old when he joined the ship and would have had either a Discharge Book or a Discharge card between then and when he died in 1940, RIP. I believe photographic record retention on file ceased in 1921 and didn’t resume until 1940/41. The Information leaflet, on seamen, provided by HMG is MSF 5323 Rev 3/10 and can be accessed online by Googling the reference code above, this will direct researchers to BT364 files of The Register of Seamen at the Public Records Office or to Southampton Archives, Southampton City Council, South Block, Civic Centre, Southampton, S014 7LY where the original written records are kept. The PRO records are on microfiche and can be accessed for a fee. At Southampton Civic Centre there is no charge for personal visits. Postal applications for information require payments.
Seamen’s major records, such as signed Crew Agreements, are dispersed between the UK and Canada. Some 80% of all records are held by The Maritime University of Newfoundland. The records for Stelling are held by MUN of Canada. They have Crew Agreements from 1924 to 1938 inclusive for this ship. These can be accessed and photocopied for a fee.
British seamen’s records are a disgrace. HMG must rectify a situation whereby Sea Service records for the recent past were not retained, eg no records for 1973 to 1999 and none after the period 1999-2002. Future family searches for loved ones will be difficult.
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