Catalogue description Registry of Shipping and Seamen: Fifth Register of Merchant Seaman's Service (CRS 10 forms)

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Details of BT 382
Reference: BT 382
Title: Registry of Shipping and Seamen: Fifth Register of Merchant Seaman's Service (CRS 10 forms)

This series contains Fifth Register of Merchant Seaman's Service (CRS 10 forms).

The Fifth Register records on a standard form (CRS 10) the service of individual merchant seamen and lists the ships on which they served with relevant dates.

The CRS 10s give personal details of each seaman; the front page of the service entries includes:

  • name;
  • date of birth;
  • place of birth;
  • discharge A number;
  • rank or rating, with relevant certificate details;
  • details of any other qualifications;
  • date CRS 10 first page was created;
  • British Seamen's Identity Card Notations. The entries refer to correspondence and issuing of cards, certificates, applications etc. The originals in general do not survive except where they have been filed in the seaman's pouch.

The continuation pages show:

  • a list of ships and their official numbers with date and place of engagement;
  • rank or rating;
  • F or H (for Foreign or Home trade voyage);
  • date and place of discharge from the ship;
  • character grade;
  • National Insurance contribution code;
  • Registry clerk's initials and date of the entry;
  • when ashore the sheet may bear the entry MNRP (Merchant Navy Reserve Pool) with date and place.

This information about service was extracted from ship's logs and crew agreements lodged by ship owners. The information contained in the register is used to verify entitlement to wartime service medals.

Some commonly used abbreviations on the forms are:

  • MNRP = Merchant Navy Reserve Pool
  • AB = Able Bodied Seaman
  • EDH = Efficient Deck Hand

Date: 1941-1972

The Fifth Register was maintained in a number of parts, each forming a subseries in the catalogue:

Part 1: European origin mainly: covering mainly Europeans and mainly the period from 1941 to approximately 1946, although some late 1940s and 1950s records can also be found. Pieces BT 382/1-2022 and BT 382/3289.

Part 2: European origin mainly: covering mainly Europeans and mainly the period from 1946 to 1972., although some records covering the Second World War period can also be found. Pieces BT 382/2023-3078.

Part 3: Asian: Asian seamen, mostly from the Indian sub-continent, from 1942 to 1965. Pieces BT 382/3079-3118.

Part 4: Asian (excluding Chinese): Asian seamen, mostly from the Indian sub-continent, from 1966 to 1972. Pieces BT 382/3119-3137.

Part 5: Indian, Chinese and foreign nationals: Indian, Chinese and foreign national seamen, unnumbered series (as service was only of brief duration a discharge book/seamen's number were not allocated), mainly from 1941 to 1972, although the records of Chinese seamen cover the period 1945-1972. Name spellings are Anglicised in the original records. Pieces BT 382/3138-3231.

Part 6: Prisoners of War and Internees: Prisoners of war and internees; Europeans, Lascars (Indians), Adenese, Goanese and Chinese, from 1940 to 1945. Pieces BT 382/3232-3251.

Part 7: Men on requisitioned merchant vessels: Records of those men who served on merchant vessels requisitioned for war services. Pieces BT 382/3252-3284.

Part 8: Death records for pension purposes: Records of the deaths of Merchant Seamen recorded for pension purposes for the Ministry of Pensions, from 1944 to 1951. Piece BT 382/3285-3288.

Each of these parts is arranged in one or more alphabetical sequences by surname or patronymic.

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in its original department: CRS 10
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen, 1872-1992

Physical description: 3289 file(s)
Restrictions on use: To access these records please contact the Enquiry Service (via our contact webpage or staff in the Reading Room).
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

in 2001 Registry of Shipping and Seamen

Accumulation dates: Series ran 1941 to 1972
Selection and destruction information: The whole of the Fifth Register has been selected for permanent preservation. The collection theme from the Acquisition Policy which applies to these is,,the interaction of the state with its citizens and, in particular, the economic, social and demographic condition of the UK. The records document the state's dealings with merchant seamen and the merchant shipping industry during the period of the War of 1939 to 1945 and also the post war period to 1972 which was a period of major decline of the UK shipping industry.
Accruals: The series is not accruing. The records were transferred in one batch by mid 2001.

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