In reply to Lucy Smith, whose letter appeared in the April 2017 issue of Sea Breezes.
If your grandfather resided at Hazel Grove in Sunderland, then I can tell you he was indentured as a Seaman Apprentice (Cadet) in 1911, probably with Thomas Brocklebank. I say this because there is a record of him sailing on SS “Camberwell” in 1915 as a 20 year old Apprentice. The ship was belonging to a Well Line under Brocklebank management. The same ship, unfortunately, hit a mine off the UK coast in 1917 killing seven Asian engine room staff.
His voyages would have been from UK to the Indian Ocean area. The Camberwell was bound for India when she struck the mine that sunk her off the Isle of Wight. She allegedly still has her cargo of wine, Champagne, perfume goods, and blocks of postcards for use of British personnel stationed in India. I will send you all the documents I printed from the Maritime Museum, which could be your next port of call.
To summarise, he went to sea at age 16 in 1911 and was on board Camberwell for a number of trips with Captain FL Adamson. He obviously went on to serve at sea and acquired a master’s certificate. He later took a shore job for his then Company in Venezuela. Glad you met my helpful son who at one time was a cadet in P&O and later a 1st Officer pilot with BA (grounded by ill health). He is wonderful in boats and is my lead skipper when we holiday on the mighty River Shannon.