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When RNW registered his mother's death he gave an address in Castle
Douglas and his occupation as marine engineer.
Although it probably does not help my enquiries, the following might
indicate what sort of person he was. Apparently, when not at sea, he
worked locally as a motor mechanic. Each time he returned home he
promised his wife he was giving up the sea, but up to 1 December 1979
never had. His career would probably make interesting reading. By his
own account, he worked his way up from fourth engineer to first engineer
and then back down again. I strongly suspect that the descent was
alcohol related. I do not think he was a drunkard, but he did drink
while working on "dry" ships. This is all anecdotal, and second or even
third hand, so some or all of it might not be true.
Thanks to everyone who has responded so far. I am busy pursuing the
lines of enquiry suggested. The further information you have requested
is:- Robert Noel Wilson, born in Liverpool in 1925. He personally
registered the death of his mother in Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire
on 1 December 1979. His wife was already widowed when she died, also in
Castle Douglas, on 25 June 1995. Therefore, he was alive on the former
date, but not on the latter. When not at sea, he lived in Castle Douglas.
For a long time I was under the impression that he had been drowned when
the freighter he was working on sank at about the time of the Fastnet
Race disaster, but as he was still alive in December 1979, this was
clearly impossible. However, it does incline me to believe that he did
not simply die at sea, but might at some time have gone down with his ship.
I am looking for the career record of a second cousin who was a ship's
engineer, possibly from around the end of w.w.2 until some time after
1979. He was supposedly lost at sea, but I have no evidence for this.
All I know is that he was alive on 1 December 1979, but not on 25 June
1995 and his death has not been registered in his home town in Scotland
between those dates. Are there any records of ships' engineers' careers
open to the public, on-line or not? I lost touch with the surviving
members of his family many years ago, so I cannot ask them for help.