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A sample of the photographs accompanying the early record cards of the Central Index Register of the Merchant Seaman now conserved by Southampton Archives. All tiers of a ship’s crew are represented, from captain to cabin steward, from engineer to deck crew.

The small, printed CR10 cards contain information about our seafaring ancestors and the ships they served upon, some actually during the Great War. On the back of some cards, there are small passport sized photographs.

The CR10 register cards tell us a seaman’s name, date and place of birth, his rating and the certificates of competency held. Sometimes even a physical description, including height, hair and eye colour, and the details of tattoos.

Those shown above all have the surname of Evans and were born in Wales. For example, Arthur Claude Evans, quartermaster, who served on the White Star Line’s CORINTHIC after it was taken over under the Liner Requisition Scheme in 1917. Arthur Evans came from Cardigan and left the ship in October 1918.

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