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Remembered Today:

Merchant Marine Numbers

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Looking at the 1914-1918 Merchant Navy Roll of Honour in the Scottish National War Memorial today I noticed that many of the seaman had numbers against their names. The numbers were in the ranges 12**** or 13******.

This is the first time I'd seen MN personel with numbers. Where do these numbers come from, and why doesn't the CWGC give these numbers against their Merchant Navy entries?

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I've just recently started researching my great uncle who served with the Merchantile Marine during the Great War.

The only number I've come across is his discharge number, but I would imagine it would be a little redunant in the case of the lads you're looking at. A while back several members of the forum gave me some good contact address for the Merchantile Marine, let me know if you need them.


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The men with numbers are possibly members of the Mercantile Marine Reserve who were issued with numbers (which CWGC do list) as being considered 'military' as a reserve for the RN. I am no naval expert and am willing to be corrected though.

Merchant sailors did not have numbers as they were civilians - their graves only being regarded as war graves under certain circumstances.

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