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Remembered Today:

Mercantile Marine reserve


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This the only Bernard A Corke that i can find on the CWGC. A similar name appears on the Retford War memorial. Can anybody shed any light on the circumtances surrounding his death and what exactly were the mercantile reserve?




Initials: B A

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Able Seaman

Regiment: Mercantile Marine Reserve

Unit Text: H.M. Schooner "Vercher."

Age: 24

Date of Death: 18/12/1918

Additional information: Son of Cecil Aloysius and Beatrice Anne Corke, of Noble St., Wem, Shrewsbury, Salop; husband of Mabel Corke, of 3, Victoria Avenue, Clifton, Rotherham, Yorks.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: C. V. 23.


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Corke drowned when he fell overboard.

The MMR (Mercantile Marine Reserve) were merchant seamen who signed an agreement with the Admiralty to conduct themselves according to Admiralty regulations and obeying RN officers and authority while their peacetime merchantship was serving as an RN ship. The discipline was not as exacting as regular RN personnel, but at a higher level than other merchant marine personnel.


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His middle name was also " Aloysius" like his father's.

Birth registered June Qtr 1894, Wem Shropshire.

His father was from Devon and his mother from Wales. In 1901 he and his family lived at Victoria Avenue in Worcester. His father was a physician and surgeon.

Coincidentally, the address in Worcester is the same as that on CWGC in Rotherham...


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Thanks for information Steve, I am having difficuklty making the connection with Retford as you sya there are connections with Worcestershire and Wem in Shropshire. I can only think he must have lived in Retford at some time, or his wife is from the Town


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There were two Corke's born in East Retford after 1901.

Ena Emily A Corke, in Sep Qtr 1906


Alfred Edward Corke in Sep Qtr 1908.

But no marriage of a Bernard Corke. In fact his marriage does not seem to be anywhere. This does fit with the theory that he lived in Retford after 1901.

There were 3 male marriages of Corkes in Nottinghamshire dated 1882, 1903 and 1907, none of them in Retford, however.


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Thanks again Steve for your searching , etc. Looks like I will have to do some delving in the Local Studies room at the Library


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