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Blu Flu ship "DIOMED"

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Old 25th January 2021, 15:01
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Blu Flu ship "DIOMED"

Gents,

I am looking for some pointers on one of the ships my late Uncle served on during WW2, I have one of the pages from his discharge book, covering the second world war - Stentor (2 voyages), Glenapp (2 voyages), Ascanius and finally the elusive DIOMED.

The entry is showing his 12th ship "DIOMED" (sadly no official number is listed), he joined her in Birkenhead 13-2-1945 and left her 9-4-1945 rated as 'X 2nd Eng' (Extra Second Engineer?).

Searching the internet today I can find no trace of this ships details, from what I can see the 1917 built Diomed was sunk in 1918 and the next Bluey I can find of that name was the 50's cadet training ship.

Am I missing something, can anyone point me in the right direction?
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Old 25th January 2021, 16:16
Makko Mexico Makko is online now
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Hi Tom,

This is the vessel that you are looking for:

https://victoriancollections.net.au/...f83e0308605d00

Historical information
The SS Diomed was the last ? of the Blue Funnel Line's coal burners and the 4th (of 5 vessels) bearing the name Diomed and built in 1922. She made her last voyage from Australia to England in 1952, where she was broken up. The ship had been in service in Australia for 30 years and as a parting gesture the ship's bell was presented to the Mission by Alfred Holt & Co., the ship's owner. The bell was originally presented to the Port Melbourne Mission to Seafarers. It seems to have been a mark of respect for one of the Mission workers who regularly visited the ship. On closure of the Port Melbourne Mission in the late 20thC , the bell was transferred to the Melbourne facility and has been in permanent residence since then.

Rgds.
Dave
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Old 25th January 2021, 16:42
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SS Diomed. 10485 tons. 1922 by Workman Clarke. Belfast. 491.0 x 62.4 x 39.6. 3 decks. 4 Masts DF. 4 steam turbines. DR geared to 2 screw shafts, made by the builders. Code flags. GCYR. Owners China Steam. Nav;Co. Managed by A Holt & Co
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Old 25th January 2021, 19:34
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Gents,

Many thanks the the valuable information you have provided which fits the requirement perfectly!

Coal fired too! So my Uncle Bob was a 'thoroughbred' steam Engineer!

Dave are you able to confirm the 'X 2nd Eng' notation in the discharge book means he was a supernumerary or was onboard for some other task?

I was also wondering what the stamps at the end of each line mean: 'VERY GOOD B103' or 'VERY GOOD B94' variously appear in the ability and conduct columns, so he clearly behaved himself - however what level of ability does B94 or B103 imply?

Thanks again in advance.

PS, found this website with some fascinating Blu Flu information, including a very interesting article here on Coal burning ships and the transition to oil from coal.
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Last edited by Tomvart; 25th January 2021 at 20:21.
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Old 25th January 2021, 20:47
Makko Mexico Makko is online now
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Tom,

Yes, X 2nd Eng means extra second. I expect that he was onboard just as that, an additional 2/E, given that the vessel was twin shaft. It is my understanding that, in days of yore, on twin plants, there were more engineers in the engine room given the additional maintenance load. Even in my time, with majors on the gennys every five hundred hours (there were five on the RoRo's!) we were stretched and a little exhausted at times!

I don't know what the B94 or B103 imply but, at a guess, it would be the "official" ships seal for GC, probably delivered to the ChStwd or RO as part of the "voyage kit".

By my time, although the stamps had disappeared and the discharge book did not have a column for "conduct", we used to have an interview with the ChEng at the end of our stint and he would share with us the content of our individual conduct report which we had to sign as accepted and it was then sent on to India Buildings.

There was only one bar steward that I came across, who had written scathing reports on everybody!

One of the stewards even caught him "leaving a jobby" in my bog so that I would fail Captain's inspection! On that ship, they were saltwater toilets and the plumbing would discolour and there would be caked salt for even the most minor of leaks. Apart from keeping my cabin tip-top, I had cleaned the pipework up so that it looked totally shipshape. This consientious effort had apparently riled the ChEng, why, I know not. (It was actually related to me, a lot later, by the Master.)

The 2/E had a "quiet word" with him, basically reading his horoscope for him. The reports were torn up, sent over the wall and rewritten, in the presence of the 2/E, to ensure that the bitter man did not have his way. We then had to attend our interviews and sign our reports as accepted. I read mine and fixed the ChEng with a steely stare, thanking him for his glowing report! I never ran into the creep again nor did I ever hear anything about him.

Best Regards,
Dave
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Old 25th January 2021, 21:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Makko View Post
Tom,

Yes, X 2nd Eng means extra second. I expect that he was onboard just as that, an additional 2/E, given that the vessel was twin shaft. It is my understanding that, in days of yore, on twin plants, ........................

There was only one bar steward that I came across, who had written scathing reports on everybody!

One of the stewards even caught him "leaving a jobby" in my bog so that I would fail Captain's inspection! On that ship, they were saltwater toilets and the plumbing would discolour and there would be caked salt for even the most minor of leaks. Apart from keeping my cabin tip-top, I had cleaned the pipework up so that it looked totally shipshape. This consientious effort had apparently riled the ChEng, why, I know not. (It was actually related to me, a lot later, by the Master.)

The 2/E had a "quiet word" with him, basically reading his horoscope for him. The reports were torn up, sent over the wall and rewritten, in the presence of the 2/E, to ensure that the bitter man did not have his way. We then had to attend our interviews and sign our reports as accepted. I read mine and fixed the ChEng with a steely stare, thanking him for his glowing report! I never ran into the creep again nor did I ever hear anything about him.

Best Regards,
Dave
Dave, thanks for the explanations mate, I really appreciate the help on my lockdown research task!

That C/Eng sounds like a grade A t0sser to me - what a total ass, lets hope he was paid off (or perhaps laid out by a disgruntled short tempered engineer)
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Old 26th January 2021, 13:25
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Originally Posted by Tomvart View Post
I was also wondering what the stamps at the end of each line mean: 'VERY GOOD B103' or 'VERY GOOD B94' variously appear in the ability and conduct columns, so he clearly behaved himself - however what level of ability does B94 or B103 imply?

Hi Tom,
The stamp has nothing to do with ability. It belongs to the MMO superintendent in front of whom your uncle was signed on/off - so basically his stamp.
Regards
Hugh
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Old 26th January 2021, 13:38
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Ahh, that explains it! Thanks Hugh much appreciated mate.

Hugh...knowing your expertise on MN research issues, is there a resource available on the web that documents which MN ships participated in WW2 convoys or operations?

I tried looking around the online resources of TNA last night but there was very little that I managed to find.
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Old 26th January 2021, 14:11
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Hi Tom,


The two best generic sources online [for me] for searching convoys are definitely the Convoyweb site and the Warsailors site:

http://www.convoyweb.org.uk/ [they also have a tab for 'convoy finder' which lists the ships in the convoy] Siri's site: https://www.warsailors.com/convoys/index.html

None of which are complete but they are very good. You can also use movement cards to cross refer individual ships.

As far as TNA is concerned there are official document in the ADM series which is not available online.

There are of course written works such as The Winston Specials: Troopships Via the Cape 1940-1943 which has favourable feedback.

Regards
Hugh
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Old 26th January 2021, 14:51
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Thanks Hugh,

I did try TNA ADM series last night, I managed to find several potential sources in the Convoy Commodores 'after action' reports - but as you point out none are available for ordering/copying due to the reading room being locked down - Frustrating to say the least after spending several hours searching!

Many thanks for those links, I will make a start there and see what I can find!

Thanks again - appreciate the help.

Tom
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Old 26th January 2021, 17:59
Makko Mexico Makko is online now
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Hi Tom,
The stamp has nothing to do with ability. It belongs to the MMO superintendent in front of whom your uncle was signed on/off - so basically his stamp.
Regards
Hugh
Thanks for the confirmation, Hugh. I had a feeling that I was on the right track!

It is my understanding that, in the "old days", the rubber stamps/voyage documents/ etc. were delivered onboard the BF ships scheduled to sail from Vittoria Dock by the ship's superintendent. Silverware & crockery for the saloon was also loaded. An inspection was also conducted by the super and ship's officers to ensure that the vessel was in tip-top shape, correctly loaded and trimmed and that no items of maintenance remained outstanding - Regarding the latter, if there were, a riding crew from Odyssey Works could be quickly assembled to either sail with the vessel during final loading (maybe Glasgow or the Continent) to ensure no issues were outstanding.

Best Regards and all the best for this New Year!
Dave
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Old 4th February 2021, 09:36
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I am guessing but could B94 and B103 refer to Board of Trade files? I say the because in the TNA there are BT103 series files as well as others such as BT108 and BT110 etc

DIOMED (4th) (1922 - 1952) Calchas class steel steamship.
O.N. 145930. 10,374g. 6,355n. 491.0 x 62.4 x 39.6 feet.
Four steam turbines by the shipbuilder, reduction geared to twin propeller shafts. 6,500 shp. 14˝ kts.
14.1.1922: Launched by Workman, Clark & Company Ltd., Belfast (Yard No. 392), for the China Mutual Steam Navigation Company Ltd.
9.5.1921: Registered at Liverpool.
16.5.1922: Trials and completed.
1952: Sold to the British Iron & Steel Corporation and allocated to W. H. Arnott, Young Ltd., for demolition at Dalmuir.
2.9.1952: Delivered.
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Old 4th February 2021, 11:51
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I am guessing but could B94 and B103 refer to Board of Trade files? I say the because in the TNA there are BT103 series files as well as others such as BT108 and BT110 etc
No Bill, the answer is as I have already posted in my #7

Regards
Hugh
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Old 5th February 2021, 15:46
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No Bill, the answer is as I have already posted in my #7

Regards
Hugh
Thanks Hugh, I missed that one.

Bill
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