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Thomas Stanley McGowan. S.S. Hanau.

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Thomas Stanley McGowan. S.S. Hanau.

Postby cmsdk » Sun May 25, 2014 2:24 pm

Thomas Stanley McGowan was born in 1901 in Newcastle upon Tyne. In 1919, unknown to his parents he joined the Merchant Navy. On his first voyage he was lost at sea presumed drowned, we believe it was 'somewhere off the Russian Coast'.

I have Thomas's CR 10 Identity Certificate 802634. Written across the card is 'Deceased RG 84223'. Can anyone explain what these numbers mean. Hand written on the certificate is 'Hanau 16.4.19' which I presume is possibly when he died.

My great grandmother did receive a letter from the ships Captain but sadley we don't have it.

I have photos and information of the S.S.Hanau which people have kindly sent me. I contacted Southampton Naval Archives but they were unable to offer me any further information.

My request is:
1).Does anyone have any information regarding the S.S. Hanau's movements in 1919?

2). Would there be a death certificate for Thomas.

3). Would there be copies of the Captains letters.

Any advice or information would be appreciated.

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Re: Thomas Stanley McGowan. S.S. Hanau.

Postby junkers » Sun May 25, 2014 3:34 pm


Have you looked at this document at The National Archives, Kew, CO 323/830/39 relating to the Belgium Prize Court proceedings on the SS Hanau from October to November 1919, it may give some background information.
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Re: Thomas Stanley McGowan. S.S. Hanau.

Postby cmsdk » Sun May 25, 2014 4:29 pm

Many thanks for your prompt reply. I will certainly follow-up your information.
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Re: Thomas Stanley McGowan. S.S. Hanau.

Postby brunes08 » Sun May 25, 2014 10:16 pm

I googled 'SS Hanau 1919' and came up with some sites that may help. One The Great War Forum has a piece on it which gives information on what the ship was doing immediately after the War and that 2 crew members had been lost. It also lists the same information for the National Archives. Hope that helps a little.

Sent from my iPad using WDYTYA Forum
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Re: Thomas Stanley McGowan. S.S. Hanau.

Postby cmsdk » Mon May 26, 2014 12:27 pm

Hi. Many thanks for your help.
A while ago I contacted the Great War Forum and one of their contacts actually posted that info regarding 'Lost at Sea' on behalf of myself and another person.
I think I am hoping for too much in finding where my ancester was lost but it would have been nice to know.
Once again many thanks for your help.
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Re: Thomas Stanley McGowan. S.S. Hanau.

Postby Dutch » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:50 am

In 2013/4 I researched Reginald James Robley a crew member (Carpenter) of S.S. Hanau. His name appears on a WW1 Plaque located in Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne. (No family connection).

I have his CR10, 330866, which contains the minimum of information and is endorsed "Deceased RG 84223/19". (I have no information of the meaning of these numbers). The rear of the Card is endorsed "Will 18/4/19" and "Hanau 4.19" which I believe to be when he enlisted - April 1919; a possible explanation of Thomas' 16.4.19.

A response for information on Thomas Stanley McGowan (RootsChat 2011) gave the entry in Marine Deaths for the Year 1919 - "Stanley McGowan : Age 17 : Vessel Hanau : Page 207". There is an entry in the same publication "Robley, Reginald : Age 23 : Vessel Hanau : Page 207".

It is highly likely that Thomas and Reginald died in the same accident.

There should be a Death Certificate for Thomas, I obtained a Certified Copy of an Entry in the Marine Register - Return of deaths at sea, reported to the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen under provision of "Merchant Seamen Act of 1894" and 1970, During the Month of October 1919 for Reginald.

The Certificate records records that Reginald, crew member of the Hanau accidently drowned at 7.45 pm on the 11th September 1919 at Rahiza, Finland. (S.S. Hanau was en route to Kalajoki, Finland confirming that she was trading in the Baltic).

Reginald is also recorded in Consular Deaths 1916 - 1920, Volume 14: Page 1058; Consulate - Gamlakarleby.

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Re: Thomas Stanley McGowan. S.S. Hanau.

Postby cmsdk » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:49 pm

Dear Mike.

Many many thanks for all your information. I sincerely apologise for the long delay in replying but due to a year long family sickness my family research was put on hold. Thankfully all is well again.

Your info is very interesting and some new avenues for me to follow up. It does seem very likely that both Thomas Stanley and Reginald were lost in the same accident.

My 8yr old grandson in Northumberland is very interested in Thomas Stanley and is always asking if I have more information about him and thanks to you I can update him with a little more. I live in Denmark and will be visiting the North East soon.

I'm very grateful for your interest and once again please accept my apologies for the delay in replying.

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