About the Website and its Creator

I am a retired IT Consultant with many interests including shipping, twentieth century history and genealogy. I became interested in shipping whilst researching the life of my grandfather who had been a steward serving on P&O Liners travelling between the UK and Australia just before the First World War. His ship was called Morea and my grandmother kept all the postcards he sent home to her. I loved looking through them as a child and still have them.

My research led me to join a number of shipping forums where I have made many friends over the years. Among them were a number of seamen who served in the Merchant Navy during WW2. I have learned a lot about their lives at sea, how many employers and the government treated them shabbily, and how many of them were killed or suffered unbelievable hardship carrying out their duties.

I learned that information available about 20th century shipping and the experiences of its seamen during this period of wars and rapid change is being lost so decided to try and do something about it. Since 2007 I have been building up a group of resources that you can access from the menu or the Home Page.

The first of the websites in the group was The Allen Collection. Next came Recollections - a place to record the memories of ex-seamen. Ship Histories complemented this by charting the histories of the ships referred to in Recollections. The Tower Hill site was created as I found to my astonishment that there was very little online about this important site and its memorials. I resolved to provide photos of every panel on the memorial to assist other researchers unable to visit Tower Hill themselves. The Court Line site was added as I could not even find a book dedicated to this company and over time other resources have been added including re-publishing material from www.merchantnavyofficers.com following the passing of its owner Fred Waddington. There is much more of this to come.

The Benjidog websites are regularly enhanced and updated and have been included in the UK Web Archive to ensure that the material is not lost when my time is up. I have three new projects in progress and hope to put at least one of these online during 2019.

I am encouraged by the large number of people who have contacted me - many whilst researching their own relatives. I hope to add a 'Visitor's Book' at some point to enable visitors to leave feedback. In the meantime my contact details are at the foot of the page.

Brian Watson
Lytham St. Annes