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Quick reference - BI ships mentioned on this page: Africa, Amra, Arabia, Aronda, Asia, Asian, Bandra, Berbera, Bulimba, Camorta, Canara, Carpentaria, Chakdara, Chakdina, Chakla, Chakrata, Chanda, Chantala, Charles McLeod, Chindwara, Chupra, Chyebassa, Dacca, Dara, Daressa, Devon, Devonia, Dilwara, Dorunda, Dumra, Dunera, Dwarka, Egra, Ekma, Ellenga, Ellora, Empire Gannet, Empire Grebe, Evan Gibb, Gregory Apcar, Empire Kittiwake, Empire Trooper, Euphrates, Fazilka, Fultala, Garbeta, Goalpara, Golconda, Himalaya, India, Itaura, Japan, Jumna, Kampala, Karagola, Karanja, Karoa, Kenya, Khandala, Kilwa, Kola, Lawada, Lunka, Madras, Malda, Mandala, Manora, Mantola, Margha, Mashobra, Mata Hari, Modasa, Morvada, Mulbera, Nardana, Nerbudda, Neuralia, Nevasa, Nirvana, Nowshera, Nuddea, Obra, Olinda, Oriental, Orna, Ozarda, Pachumba, Palamcotta, Pemba, Pundua, Purnea, Queda, Querimba, Rajula, Rohilla, Rohna, Sangola, Santhia, Satara, Tairea, Takada, Talma, Tanda, Teesta, Torilla, Uganda, Umaria, Virawa, Wangaratta, Warfield, Warla, Waroonga, Woodarra

2008 Log Entries: This page contains the most recent abstracts from the BIship logbook, which has been signed by visitors from around the world. We welcome your comments, questions and suggestions. We are using icons to help readability. question denotes a specific question and answer information offered.

See archived logbooks at:
2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | May-Dec 2003 | 2002/03 | 2001/02 | 2000/01

...sign the logbook anywhere you see the Sign the BI logbook icon

Charles Mackay, Canada - Wednesday, December 31, 2008 at 19:30:33
I would like to find out if my grandfather who was an engineer woked with this company he was on the India route

Donald John Macleod, UK - Monday, December 29, 2008 at 21:28:53
I served with BI from roughly 1959 till about 1962. I was on the MS Dara as 4th Engineer when she sank.

Andrew Laurent, UK - Monday, December 29, 2008 at 09:10:52
My father joined the BI in 1948 in Calcutta,as a cadet, he now resides in South Africa, I would like to pass on some information to him, and do a little research too, as my Grandfather and my uncle both worked for the BI. My father and uncle were deck officers and my grandfather was a chief engineer.

Fred Young, New Zealand -Monday, December 29, 2008 at 09:07:28
Overland Scotland to New Zealand - Christmas 1972 with VW Beetle on Rajula from Madras to Singapore. Jan/Feb 1972 with VW Beetle on Carpentaria from Singapore to Lyttelton, NZ

Mitch Smailes, New Zealand - Saturday, December 27, 2008 at 18:11:09
Compliments of the season to all who are involved with B.I. ship,have a safe and happy new year.

Karen Young, UK - Friday, December 26, 2008 at 16:31:04
i have some menus from the ship s.s.Modasa dating between 2/12/1949 -12/1/1950 including christmas and new year menus and also a hogmanay dinner menu.Some have paintings of bridges painted by f.w.baldwin and some have paintings of flowers and the commander was A.R.G. Drummond.

Shyamal Banerjee, Germany - Wednesday, December 24, 2008 at 15:00:53
This is message to Kenneth Milne. My father was a ship surgeon with BI, the name I remember is Orna, Amra, Sangola etc. I am from Calcutta and now visit quite often Calcutta Jute Mills. With which mill in Calcutta were you a jute Wallah ? Would appreciate if you contacted me.

Henry StClair Beatty, UK - Tuesday, December 23, 2008 at 03:13:10
The memories of the Kampala along the African coast Seychelles and India are some of my happiest. I was a juniour deck officerand remember meeting the Chief of polices daughter who was going to join her family in the Seychelles. She was head girl of her school in Belfast which was only a few miles from where i lived so to hear her speaking was such a thrill as i had been away from home for about a year. Oh happy days.

Alex Hepburn, UK - Monday, December 22, 2008 at 12:58:56
Served in the BI on various ships as fifth, fourth and third engineer officer from 1958 to 1962.Great company,great people and great times.

Neil Russell, UK - Sunday, December 21, 2008 at 19:29:45
Trying to find details of ss Chanda. My great uncle was a crew member and was unfortunately drowned in Calcutta in 1901. If anyone could give any details of the ship. I can only find details of a schooner and as he was a 4th enginner, I am slightly confused as I thought a schooner was a sailing ship ! [All BI ships were either steam or motor ships (hence the company's name). The Chanda listed on this site for 1877-1902 was a steamship but had a schooner auxiliary rig - Editor]

Hans Johansson, Sweden - Saturday, December 13, 2008 at 10:53:44
I am an old Ch.Eng. and i have meet BI ship in India a lot of time. Are specialy interested in the fleet of old passenger ships.

Reynold (Ray) Wilson, UK - Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 19:43:14
I was 2nd r/o on ss Rajula from 1957/58 and then transferred to ss Pachumba from 1958/59.

Ronald Thomas, France - Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 16:25:01
Having served in other companies BI was by far the very best. Super personnel who worked hard and played hard too.The fact that the BIsite is going strong 36 years after BI's demise says it all.

Shirley Mohi, Canada - Monday, December 8, 2008 at 16:42:24
I was a passenger on the ss Uganda from Southampton to Beira 1962 and returned on it in 1964. I cannot remember his name, but my Godfather was the Commodore of the Fleet at that time.

Daphne Zhu - Monday, December 8, 2008 at 11:50:56
Where can I find a list of ships and their captains circa 1860 to 1890? [More staff lists will be added to this site soon - Editor]

Jill Wright, Australia - Friday, December 5, 2008 at 07:30:24
Captain Williamson he has 2 sons one Richard Waldie Williamson.
Richard has the daughter Fiona, I'm her mother.
Capt. Williamson didn't know that Fiona was even born. I lost contact with Richard 20 odd years ago. Can you help me?

Derek Lemarchand, UK - Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 16:49:07
Captain W Lemarchand (Ships Berbera, Ellora and Lawada) was my great-uncle. He served on other ships besides these but they may not have been BI.

Colin McInnes, UK - Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 15:28:59
Great site.

Matthew Robins, UK - Monday, December 1, 2008 at 18:11:03
i'm interested in finding out more about Osmand Male Robins, who I think was a commander on ss Takada ?

Colin Brittain, UK - Monday, December 1, 2008 at 17:35:56
Very informative website, which would benifit from the addition of the song and painting both created in tribute to the loss of the Rohilla?

Oliver Andrew, UK - Sat, 29 Nov 2008 16:46:52 +0000
Re my entry two days ago, I'm hoping to learn more about my uncle: I have his crossing-th-line certificate TSS Wangaratta 11.6.23, and his master's certificate 23.10.35; I know he was in a Japanese (he could never bring himself to write an account, let alone tell anyone). But I know next to nothing about which ships he was on, where, when etc.

Michael Farlie, Canada - Sat, 29 Nov 2008 12:37:11
We're all feeling the shock of the awful attacks in Mumbai, especially BI people and particularly those of the company who spent a lot of time in and around India. If you would like to
support a call for unity following the attacks there is a petition running at

Richard Dewis, UK - Saturday, November 29, 2008 at 15:49:39
My father served as a RN PO on Harpasa and I have a log entry on your site. I now notice that Yvonne Riley has a query re her father, an officer aboard her when she was sunk. I have some research info which may assist. [Details forwarded to Yvonne Riley. As Harpasa was not a BI ship, this thread is now closed - Editor]

Oliver Andrew, UK - Thursday, November 27, 2008 at 13:53:10
Any information about Captain Arthur Robert Andrew (ships, dates etc) would be most gratefully received. I'm hoping to learn more about my uncle: I have his crossing-th-line certificate ss Wangaratta 11.6.23, and his master's certificate 23.10.35; I know he was in a Japanese POW camp. But I know next to nothing about which ships he was on, where, when etc.

Hilary Phillips, UK - Thursday, November 27, 2008 at 09:20:25
I understand that my grandfather, Capt. James Henry Galgey, may also have served on the ss Rawalpindi. Could not see this ship's name on the Commanders list; can this be verified? [Rawalpindi was a P&O vessel - Editor]

Ian Macdonald, UK - Wednesday, November 26, 2008 at 18:46:29
I am the Grandson of John Macdonald, 4th Engineer of ss Fazilka at the time of the broken prop shaft in the Indian Ocean. I would be grateful for any further details of this incident to expand my family records.

Colin Fletcher - Wednesday, November 26, 2008 at 17:34:50
Brian Worts Monday Nov.3rd.2008.This may confirm ship. My late uncle R S Crockett was 2nd E.O. on Charles Macleod from 3.1.55 till 30.6.56 and CEO [Chief Engineer] during two periods of 1960s. Once met never forgotten!

Elisabeth Quinton, Canada - Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 06:50:31
answer I remember the Dunera being in dry dock in Glasgow at the end of 1944 start of 1945. The ship was being fitted out or some such thing. I remember seeing the hammocks for the troops and it was pointed out to me that the ship now had radar. I actually went under the ship accompanied by my father and others whilst it was resting on brick colums in dry dock. I remember her sailing by our house down the Firth of Clyde as she put out to sea early in 1945. My father was Chief Officer. Graham Knight who previously signed the logbook might be interested.

Yvonne Riley, UK - Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 13:31:50
question I am looking for further information re HMS father was an officer on this ship when it was torpedoed and I know the ship that picked them up was attacked too and lives were lost and would like to know which ship picked them up after the rescue ship was attacked. I noticed a name which came up in a web search........Tom Hunt who was also on the Harpasa when she was bombed on 5/4/1942 and wondered if anyone reading this had any information my father's name was George Sabin.

Mike Cass, UK - Friday, November 21, 2008 at 16:09:13
question Ahoy there. An age ago I asked for help in finding the troopship that my late father returned on to the UK. I was referred by the editor to Laxon & Perry. Regretably the only time I've seen a copy was on e-bay when it was passing £50!! Since then I may have found the ship - Dunera - and I'm wondering if anyone can tell me if the Dunera sailed from Bizerte (Tunisia) to the UK on or just after 18th April 1946 and also from Singapore to the UK on or after 14th December 1949. Info required is port in UK sailed to and the dates of sailing and docking. Hope that with this info someone in BI land can give me a yes or a no.

Jim Ivey, UK - Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 09:34:41
Very interesting site. I was an 8 year old passenger travelling with my mother on the Mantola. We sailed from Tilbury Landing Stage on 1st. July 1950 getting off in Dar-es-Salaam on the 4th August. I remember a 'special treat' by my mother allowing me to stay up to see the gili gili man perform his tricks while the ship was in Port Said. I met what was claimed to be his son some many years later during a stay there while serving on a rival company's ship as Chief Officer.

Phillip Drummond, UK - Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 00:11:39
answer My Fathers Name was Lewis Mcleod Drummond who married Niloufer Kapdia
My father passed away 17th Nov 2008. I will miss him. I believe he was a first officer sailing on Dumra Sailed Gulf run 1959-1962 Dumra. as a marine engineer meeting my mother who at the time was studying at Bombay University. My father ended up living in Port of Spain, Trinidad for the last 20 years owning his own engineering firm. He also I believe won many sailing single handed yaght regattas around Trinidad and Tobago.
[Lewis Drummond himself signed the Logbook on March 8, 2002. - Editor]

Richard Gibson, UK - Monday, November 17, 2008 at 20:16:50
question Looking for information re Capt H C Martin. According to this site he was in Calcutta 1949-51, was he with BI before and/or after that time and if so where and when. Very interesting site.

Wendy Bowman, UK - Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 17:27:04
question Hello - for several years I have been trying to find more about my uncle Kenneth Hardy Thompson who was killed/sunk on the Chakdina on 5th December 1941. Just found this site and entries from survivors or those who knew them. Really desperate to find out more about the fate of the ship and my uncle. His only surviving relative (my father - his younger brother) died in 1973 at the age of 47 and we have nothing other than the telegram from the King and his last letter to his mother May 1941 just before his 21st birthday (which my have been sent from Egypt). There does not seem to be a way of contacting these entries direct (and I note that Editor has made a note that he will try to find more information and contact readers who have enquired. Would be very happy to receive direct contact from the Editor and all those mentioning the ship. Thanks so much for this site! [Information regarding the Chakdina sinking and others in the vicinity is being collated for a new page on this site. In the meantime we are putting you in touch with a person who may be able to help - Editor]

   Tairea - BI 1924-1952
Tairea - BI 1924-1952
photo: David Humphreys

David Humphreys, US - Saturday, November 15, 2008 10:24
In answer to Mary Glanville (November 8, 2008): I'm afraid I don't recall John Hine or your late husband, but what a bonus to see my old ship ss Tairea. I have attached a photo I took in September 1951 of Tairea at anchor in Penang. I was a cadet on Purnea when I first saw Tairea at berth in Calcutta in July 1951 - it was love at first sight. The next morning I went up to Mackinnon & Mackenzie office and asked the Marine Superintendant, Captain Rankin (easy access in those days) to transfer to Tairea. His only comment "Naming your ship - eh?" Two days later I was transferred to Tairea, I would be the last Cadet. I made three trips between Calcutta and Japan. On my first trip, we took the last of the Japanese High Command that had been in prison camps in Burma back to Japan, about 50 in all under the supervision of two British prison guards. After three voyages to the Far East I was promoted to Acting Third Officer. We made a couple of trips to Chittagong, then prepared Tairea for her final voyage from Calcutta back to the U.K for scrapping. A sad voyage, even the passenger cabins were stuffed with cargo. As we approached our berth in London's Royal Albert Dock, Captain Curley Lewis asked me where I would be going for my second mates ticket, I said I would probably be transferred to another ship.
"How old are you, Humphreys?" "Nearly 18, Sir." Poor Curley nearly had a heart attack. Two weeks later, I was heading back to Bombay acting Third on Goalpara.

It's more than 56 years since I sailed on Tairea, I have been a ship owner for 36 years and owned quite a few ships, but, the Tairea................there was a ship. A graceful three funnel - 17 knot steamer, sailing down the Hoogly, a full cargo for the Far East, 900 deck passengers for Rangoon, Gurkha troops for Penang and Singapore and assorted Sahibs and Mem-sahibs for Hong Kong. Even the cadet had a bar tab at the "Pig & Whistle", no wonder I loved that ship.

Hilary Phillips, South Africa -Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 07:41:34
Thank you for placing my inquiry re my maternal grandfather, Capt James Henry Galgey of the ss Mashobra, on the site. Any information re his career with BI would be greatly appreciated.

Ross Couper - Monday, November 10, 2008 at 21:20:26
question This is a link to a picture of the Fultala held in an Australian library: Does anyone know if it is the ship that was built for the company in Sunderland? [Without conclusive evidence it is difficult to say definitely but almost certainly this is Fultala, the first of three BI ships so named. She was built in 1890 by William Doxford & Sons in Sunderland and continued in BI service until 1923, when she was demolished. The picture shows the vessel with topmasts taken down, whereas the ship was known for the height of both her fore and main masts when fully rigged - Editor]

Hilary Phillips, South Africa - Monday, November 10, 2008 at 09:08:09
question Looking for information on my grandfather's ship, ss Mashobra, circa 1920-1938. I am researching my maternal grandfather's career with BI; he was Captain James Henry Galgey. As a young woman (maiden name: Gwenneth Galgey), my mother also worked in the Cockspur Street BI/P&O offices. My mother told me that her father was Commodore of the BI Fleet at some stage during the 1920s and/or 1930s. His flagship was the ss Mashobra. I look forward to hearing from anyone who can assist. [Captain Galgey appears in two of the commanders' lists - 1923 and 1924 - on this site. Mashobra was the first of the extensive 1920s M class passengerships; replacements for WWI losses. The 9,100 gt, twin turbine vessel was delivered in 1920 and spent her peacetime career on the London-Calcutta service. As a requisitioned depot/base ship at Narvik ship in WWII, Mashobra was badly damaged in May 1940 in a German bomber attack, beached and abandoned. The stern being under water, the forepart of the hull was blown up before the Allied withdrawal in June- Editor]

Arun Ingersoll, India - Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 06:08:00
Actually my grand father worked in this company. Now he is 95+ years old.He will say often about your company and about Mr.Mackinnon & Mackenzie. In remembrance of your company he is still having a letter, which was signed by the owner of your company of some 75 or 80 years passed. Me his grandson living in scotland. i hope he will be happy to share his views with his old mate company.

Michael Cox, UK - Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 23:41:12
I have nostalgic childhood memories of sailing on the Mantola during the late 1940's between Mombasa and the UK, and vice versa. I got to know the ship very well, from top to bottom and stern to prow and I can still smell the tar! I have framed a postcard photograph of the Mantola which I bought off Ebay.

T-class ship - probably Tairea - in a dramatic shot from the waterline
photo: Mary Glanville collection

Mary Glanville, UK - Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 10:59:25
I was interested to see David Humphreys (Sep 23, 2008) was a cadet between 1949 and 1953 and John Hine (Jul 14, 2008) was a cadet between 1947 and 1954. My late husband John Glanville served as a Junior Watch-keeping officer between 1947 and 1950 and wonder if either of you knew him? Please see my entry of Feb 23, 2008.

Lyndon Johnson, UK - Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 00:42:34
The latest issue of our occasional newsletter, ... Calling BI, has just been published. You can read a copy, just by clicking here. Alternatively, you can subscribe completely free of charge by contacting . Enjoy the read!

John Simms, UK - Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 21:55:41
answer My father's photographs taken during WW1 are in an album entitled "Trooping in the ss Bandra". He donated this album, his lifetime, to the P&O museum and is now with the P&O collection at the Maritime Museum, London [Bandra had a career spanning 37 years with BI. The vessel was sold in 1951 and scrapped the following year - Editor]

Alex Spedding, UK - Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 18:02:01
answer Sailed on Teesta 1973/74.
Excellant site needs photos

Brian Worts, UK - Monday, November 3, 2008 at 22:07:53
answer Organised military passengers and freight Suez and Cyrprus 1955 to 1956. I also went from posting at Port Said to Famagusta on this vessel. Heavy seas but I wasn't ill ! I'm not absolutely certain whether it was the Evan Gibb or Charles McLeod that took me to Cyprus. I think it was latter. January 1956. Did your company also supply Z Craft. At Famagusta we frequently used them and I have a picture of a 15 tonne RASC lorry, loaded with metal cases of ammunition, coming off a Z craft,and sinking
slowly into the water because they hadn't tied up the Z craft properly to
the quayside! [I don't think BI managed Z Craft - Editor]

John Stephens, UK - Monday, November 3, 2008 at 17:45:12
question Is it possible to find any extracts from the log or passenger lists of the voyage of the Manora from Calcutta to London arriving in London on the 21 March 1921, special note of any unusal events happening in Plymouth. [Official logbooks of British merchant vessels are accessible through the Public Records Office at Kew - Editor]

Nigel Hampson, UK - Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 21:13:13
question The nomadic preservation society is urgently seeking help to save the steam plant of the ss Nyanza, a lake steamer in Africa. Time is running out for these engines, which are imminently due to be ripped out and scrapped, as this vessel undergoes conversion to diesel engines.These engines are probably the last of their type on the planet. Once they are gone they can not be brought back. The nomadic preservation society believes these engines can and should be saved and preserved for future generations, indeed they could even be installed in the ss Nomadic - the last white star line vessel in existence, which ferried passengers out to the Titanic. [The lake steamer mentioned here has no connection with BI other than being a coincidental namesake of a BI ship - Editor]

Ross Couper, UK - Tuesday, October 28, 2008 at 18:55:28
question Looking for information about Captain Joseph M Couper, was captain of the Africa 1883-88?, Fultain [Fultala ?]1889 -, then Canara til 1900? Then had a shore based job until 1911 in Calcutta? when taken ill with what turned out to be a fatal cancer. Is there any way I can verify this and possibly get further details. Interesting and informative web site. Thanks

Gwyn Davies, Australia - Tuesday, October 28, 2008 at 14:09:35
Sailed on the Nowshera, Kampala. Nevasa, Carpentaria and Manora between 1965- 1972, looking for photos of the ships, if anyone can help?

Alison Cowie, UK - Sunday, October 26, 2008 at 15:21:18
I am looking for photos or pictures of the following ships: Margha, Gregory Apcar, Mandala, Khandala. I believe my grandfather served on them between 1919 and 1923. Any help really appreciated.


Ramesh Varma, UK - Friday, October 24, 2008 at 22:35:50
Where can I get more information about passenger ships Amra, Hariyana and State of Bombay which operated between Mombasa and Bombay. [BI's vessel Santhia was sold to the Shipping Corporation of India in 1966 and was renamed State of Hariyana - Editor]

Kenneth Milne, UK - Friday, October 24, 2008 at 22:00:20
question Hello from an old Calcutta Jute-Wallah. I am interested to know what BI ships Jim Corbett (maneaters of Kumaon fame) - and George Mallory (of Everest fame) sailed on. Many years past, as a young boy, I sailed with my parents on the Valera, Aronda & Karagola - Pure Magic. Best Regards

...sign the logbook Sign the BI logbook

John Cork, UK - Wednesday, October 22, 2008 at 22:13:05
answer Served BI 1956 - 1967

D H Rao, India - Wednesday, October 22, 2008 at 08:49:24
question Like very much want to know which ship of yours sailed on 22nd March 1929 from Rangoon to Calcutta, and on 26th March 1915 from Rangoon to Calcutta. Ineed this inf. as Gandhi sailed on these ships. Kindly help with full paticulars of above and as well as ss Lanka [Lunka] and ss Aronda. with regards.

Asha Ramdas, US - Tuesday, October 21, 2008 at 14:21:08
Looking for great great grandfather on uss Fazilka in fiji island 1902. [There is no known US warship named Fazilka but BI did have a ship of this name - Editor]

Gillian Youkee (nee Cole), UK - Tuesday, October 21, 2008 at 13:26:22
question Greek Trip (Genoa to the Greek Islands) - 1963 - Devonia. I attended Ewell County Secondary School (Danetree Road) and spent an extremely wonderful time aboard Devonia. Whilst in harbour at Piraeus (Athen's harbour) the Empress of Canada was in port. Can anyone give me information as to who the Captain of the ship was (he presented the prizes and took us for a final trip to the bridge, engine room and kitchens, I would appreciate it. Unfortunately I no longer have my log book for the trip. [It would depend on the exact date/cruise but Commodore Ben Rogers and Captain J E Wills were two of Devonia's commanders during that year - Editor]

Angele Claudia Caviglioli, Australia - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at 03:54:55
I am desperately trying to find the passenger list for the ss Nevasa for the educational cruise in 1967 to Eygpt. I was in the Caterham Valley Secondary School trip that summer, and would like some momemto of the cruise. I could be in the accident report log as the last night the waiter dropped a bombe alaska dessert on my head, and my hair caught alight. It would be nice to have the passenger list, with my name and school on it. I am willing to pay for it.

Gary Ruaux, Australia - Sunday, October 12, 2008 at 12:46:39
An interesting site for former BI Staff

Hilary Glenn, UK - Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 17:27:24
Many happy memories of two cruises in 1962 and 1963. Still as fresh today as though they had only happened.

Andy Read, UK - Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 16:28:19
answer 1966-68, Santhia, Chupra & Ozarda. Swallowed the anchor when I saw containerisation coming, but have always considered my time with BI as a great education. Bet no-one remembers me, I was known as Sparks :)

Nick Dobie, UK - Tuesday, October 7, 2008 at 21:57:53
Still awaiting any feed back on the box...SS Neuralia [See Aug 26, 2008 entry]

Ron Kemp, UK - Tuesday, October 7, 2008 at 18:47:40
answer Have just signed on for new voyage with BI ,last trip was on Sir Percevale 1968, prior,s Canara, Chindwara, Chantala. Looking for any old ginger beers who did time on any of them 1967/68. Regret inform any old shipmates of passing of B.J. Robinson (Pancho) ex Kenya 1967/68 5.EO . Heart attack while in favourite location sitting at the bar, will be missed

Peter French, UK - Sunday, October 5, 2008 at 08:59:59
My grandfather, Herbert Richardson French, sailed wih BI, as an engineer, in the eastern service from Calcutta, around 1910 to 1940's. Three sons sailed with BI, Maxwell (Max) Henry Paul French (engineer), Terence Desmond (Des) French, (engineer) Eustace (Stacey) Hope Paul French (deck officer).
I would be interested in tracking down any information on the family, but particularly my grandfather. Congratulations on an amazing website. As a Master Mariner I find fascinating.

Peter Hackling, UK - Friday, October 3, 2008 at 12:42:55
Fascinating site

Toni Huil, US -Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 13:00:52
question To Armand di Rienzo, oh how frustrating to know you are out there & I am having such a time getting personal contact with you! My orginal reason for contacting the BI logbook was to see if anyone had conformation that my father in law was even in the convoy. alot of personal military records here in the US were destroyed in a fire. since my father in law, Spencer Hul, was moved to the Banfora he was just "lost" he wasn't listed as a surivor or casualty of the Rohna but his parents did receive a MIA. so that tells me there had to be some paper work that he was there. I imagine most of the info I am searching for is at the bottom of the ocean.

Ron Kemp, UK - Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 12:48:14
Served as 5.E.O. first on coastal trip aboard Canara. then went deap sea with Chindwara we where 24hrs from Suez when it was closed for 6 Days War in 1967, turned around and had to bunker at Las Palmas so we could do trip to East Africa (took on loads of spanish wine in exchange for tea with refinery owner) happy days

David Humphreys, US - Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 19:00:21
Cadet 1949-1953 missed the cadet ships, sailed mostly Far East and Indian coast.
January 2003 acquired last British India directors' minutes book 1961-1972. My shipping company is Linea Peninsular.

Alix Taylor, UK - Monday, September 22, 2008 at 10:46:50
My Grandfather John H. Mabey obtained his masteer's certificate in 1909 with BI, I woold be grateful if anyone has any further information about him.

Des Mulreany, Australia - Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 09:28:02
question I am looking for a buildable model of the Jumna, my ancestors were bought over on it. Good site, wealth of knowledge. History not lost!

Dunera in troopship livery (BI 1937-1967)

Graham Knight, UK Saturday, September 20, 2008 at 15:43:17
question In my father's old photo album is a postcard of the second mv Dunera, I believe this is the troopship that took him to Singapore around 1945, and is possibly the ship featured in the film The Dunera Boys with Bob Hoskins and Warren Mitchell? I'd be interested to hear from anyone who may have further info on this ship. [He was in the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment]. I know for certain he was in Singapore in 1946, and possibly late 1945 as he was guarding Japanese prisoners of war. [The second Dunera was the subject of what has been described as the Dunera incident. The Japanese surrender in Singapore was formally signed on September 12, 1945, but from web sources it appears likely that British troops started re-occupying the island a week beforehand. In trying to establish what trooping voyages Dunera made to Singapore in the last months of that year, Derek Hargreaves of the BI staff group has pointed to the ConvoyWeb site which usefully lists Dunera's movements. It shows the ship called at Singapore four times in the last four months of 1945, the first of which was mid-September, probably around the time of the surrender (the list has no arrival date for that particular visit) - Editor]

...sign the logbook Sign the BI logbook

Colin McInnes, UK - Thursday, September 18, 2008 at 11:37:29
My grandfather, John McInnes was an engineer on the ss Margha in 1923 (he died in 1935). I noticed a J McInnes as a Chief Engineer in 1955 and wondered if he might have been related to me and my G/Father.

Armand di Rienzo, UK - Saturday, September 13, 2008 at 17:30:37
How can I get in touch with Toni Hull? I was on the HMT Banfora, alongside the Rohna when it was sunk. Se is asking questons that I may able to answer. [I hope you have now been able to make contact - Editor]

George Clarkson, Australia - Friday, September 12, 2008 at 04:37:50
answer Replying to Genoa Ian McWhannel of 14th May 08. The vesssel you saw in Brisbane was the Forceful..Built 1925 certified for deep sea rescue tug duties ..Stephens yard sailed out here and I have a photo of her going down the Clyde..She is currently out of service and needs a drydock. Her colours are from a BI connection, ie Queensland Shipping Co as a lot of trade was carried between Brisbane and India (horses in particular) there were a few passenger/cargo vessels based here as well.

Brian Adams, UK - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 02:26:59
My uncle, Robert (Bobby) Hillis from Belfast, sailed to Australia around 1950, on the P&O Ship Ranchi and owned a sheep farm until his death 1969. He was on his way home in a tramp steamer (unknown) and died near Panama Canal area and was buried at sea. I think it is very interesting to find out all about this great ship before she was eventually scrapped. An interesting piece of history which was just given to me today via 'Yahoo Groups'

Armand di Rienzo, US - Sunday, September 7, 2008 at 22:34:42
Trying to reach Toni Hull, call me or Email me [re log entry of Mar 12, 2008]

Kevin Angell, UK - Saturday, September 6, 2008 at 11:41:57
I was on the Nevasa, cruise 252 05/12/1971, with mates from (school) Icknield Wantage age 14. Can you please contact me if you have photos or log books. l dont mind if you are not from Icknield School as I am researching for a book - thanks [It is known that another book about Nevasa is in preparation. Editor]

Geoff Goff, UK - Wednesday, September 3, 2008 at 00:06:53
question My Grandfather surname Cantopher. Was he Chief Engineer with BI around 1933? Any info please. Regards

  Warla (3,669 gt) was built in 1949 for BI's Chittagong-Japan run
Warla (3,669 gt) was built in 1949 for BI's Chittagong-Japan run but was transferred to the East Africa coastal service in 1956, where she remained until 1963, the year before being disposed of by BI

Gill Greenham, Canada - Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 17:41:19
answer Viewing the logbook pages has brought back many happy memories of when I had a connection to BI as an officer's wife. I sailed out to Mombasa in 1959 on the Uganda to join my husband Mike who was then serving as 3rd Officer on the Warla. We have great memories of our time there and the wonderful people we met. Our eldest son David was born at the then European Hospital. The small group of wives who lived there bonded together and saw one another through any crisis that occurred whilst our husbands were away as well as having many enjoyable times together.We would view the ship returning to Mombasa at the seafront and then race down to the harbour to get a K boat. This took us out to Port Reitz where the ship anchored whilst discharging explosives. We returned to home base in UK after two years and I was later able to join Mike for a trip on the Queda in 1963 when he transfered to Trident Tankers. I was even put to work painting the deck during this time. Geat times and wonderful people.

Anne Hutchings, UK - Monday, September 1, 2008 at 00:38:28
I was a passenger on the BI steam ship Uganda from Beira to Southampton just before the Suez Canal was bombed in the early 1950's. I am trying to find my name on a passenger list and would be grateful to anyone who can help me.

Kesava Chandran, India - Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 07:49:52
The ss Ekma was a troopship in which, as a 15 year old boy along with parents and 'sibs' from war torn re-occupied Malaya, we were civilian passengers along with military officers in the cabin class. Embarking from Port Swettenham (Klang) around late October 1946 the 6 day voyage through Straits of Malacca, Andaman Sea, Bay of Bengal up the Hoogly River passing by Sand Heads, Diamond harbour to dock at Kidderpore in Calcutta was a fine experience with the courteous Goan stewards, their cuisine and the calm sea adding to the pleasantness of the voyage. However after disembarking the picture of riot torn Calcutta was a rude shock urging us to take the first available train towards our home in peaceful S India. I am nostalgic about that memory.

  The Neuralia box belonging to Nick Dobie's family
The Neuralia box belonging to Nick Dobie's family

Nick Dobie, UK - Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 22:54:55
My wife was recently given a wooden box 10 x 8 x 4 inches with ss Neuralia in gold on the top. Is this a nice keepsake, or did everyone have them? I'm realy pleased. Your views please, or age and value. i wish to keep it. The name is in gold paint, but done before it was polished, no other inscriptions that I can see. Sadly no key. It apparently belonged to my father in law's mother's cousin, Harreth and Loo, (he was Welsh) and they worked for the Indea Tea Company at Southhampton, and lived there too. Also he would travel abroad quit a lot. I'm still waiting more info. [It looks like teak or mahogany. Could it have been a box from the bridge - possibly a binoculars box? Feedback will be most welcome - Editor]

Neil McLellan, Australia - Saturday, August 23, 2008 at 18:29:58
Trying to find out which ships my grandfather Neil McLellan served on and where they went, I believe he was an engineer between the wars.

...sign the logbook Sign the BI logbook

Michael White, Belgium - Saturday, August 23, 2008 at 12:02:06
1868/69 Abyssinian Expedition, General Napier. Which ships, if any, were chartered to the Brit Gov and used at Anseley Bay. Did BI carry the 44 Elephants from Bombay to Zula for the Artillery? [The Abyssianian campaign of 1868/69 was the first major seaborne military action in which BI participated, the company supplying transport tonnage and trooping capacity. The campaign was one of the single largest and most expensive (comparatively, even by today's standards) military actions undertaken by the British government overseas in the 19th century. It involved the movement of 13,000 troops and 36,000 animals (including elephants) in a total of 291 vessels of all sizes and types. Troops were supplied for the nine-month expedition mainly from India, for what was a punitive action against Emperor Tweodros (Theodore) in the heart of Ethiopia, about 400 miles from the beachhead and staging post at Annesley Bay (Zula, just south of Massawa) on the Red Sea. Nine of BI's earliest vessels were engaged for movements: Arabia (1,027 gt), Asia (1,579), Dacca (1,659), Euphrates (650), Himalaya (1,341), India (1,059), Madras (680), Oriental (1,481) and Satara (1,237) - Editor]

Olwen George, UK - Thursday, August 21, 2008 at 14:30:41
My grandfather sailed to France on the Nirvana in 1918 - I have some conflicting info on the ship - torpedoed and sunk in 1918 v scrapped in 1948 - was there two ships? - any info on this on anything else to do with the ship would be much appreciated. Thanks. [There was only one BI vessel of this name, in service for a period of 34 years covering almost all of WW1 and all of WW2. Your grandfather was possibly on board during a period of the ship's service to the French government in 1918. Otherwise, between April 1915 and July 1919, the ship was under requisition as a British Expeditionary Force transport. The confusion about the ship's fate probably stems from the fact that she was the target of a torpedo attack from UB57 on May 29, 1918. The projectile missed the ship, and she went on to complete another 30 years' service in BI - Editor]

Wal Haywood, UK - Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 15:54:09
My note concerns the Chakdina, which was sunk on 5th Dec 1941. My father-in-law was on the ship and survived, as he does to this day. I've seen various entries in this log requesting information and contacts, and Roy Fox would be more than happy to talk to anyone interested. I'm not sure how to contact the people who made the entries so maybe you could contact me? [Roy Fox was a Royal Navy telegraphist, who joined the ship in Jan 1941. We will attempt to contact those who have asked about Chakdina - Editor]

  Pemba (BI 1945-1960)
Pemba (BI 1945-1960)

Matthew Dunnachie, US - Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 04:23:44
Stumbled on this site and fascinated with the entries and comments. Brilliant. One entry 2003 by Don Pescud of special interest as I was an engineer on Karoa and did the trip from Singapore to Australia he refers to. Happy memories especially my first glimpse of Sydney from the sea. If he wishes to E-mail me would like to hear from him. Also served on Itaura, Karanja, Kilwa, Pemba.

Syed Ibrahim, Malaysia, - Monday, August 18, 2008 at 10:04:42
Rajula will always be in my heart as this ship that brought me to Penang in 1971 when I was 8 months old with my mother and sister.

Derek Hargreaves, UK - Sunday, August 17, 2008 at 15:09:27
Ref Gillian White's query on 14 Feb 2006 and the mystery of the ashtray.
Valiant Voyaging, on page 66 tells me that the manager of Garden Reach Workshops was Mr J B Henderson. Assuming he retired at 65 during WW2, it is just possible that he could have been the signatory on the ashtray at the age of about 30.

Brian Longstaff, UK - Saturday, August 16, 2008 at 19:38:05
With BI from 1954 as Engineer Cadet until 1964 as 2/E/O of Garbeta ( after Canara, Warla, Chakdara etc) Hard life/good memories. Will always be a BI wallah.

Philip Mamo, Malta - Saturday, August 16, 2008 at 08:17:59
The two cruises I went on ss Uganda during my schooldays have left a positive impression throughout my life. Would like to contact students who were on board in January 1972.

Seshadri Sampath, Canada - Monday, August 11, 2008 at 07:37:31
I was a passenger in ss Daressa plying from Bombay to Bahrain. It was a memorable trip taking 7days to reach Bahrain. also i was in Dubai at the time of ss Dara explosion. I am looking for the book "Last Hours on Dara by p.j.abraham. any bookstores in UK? I cherish those memories but no one to exchange that experience.

George Deans, Australia - Monday, August 11, 2008 at 06:31:15
A very informative site for anyone with a BI connection.

Paul Orwin, Australia - Sunday, August 10, 2008 at 06:54:25
answer Re query fromIan McWhannell, Goa - Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - if no-one has replied before now.....the vessel seen on the Brisbane River is called the Forceful and was built in 1925. Don't think it was connected to BI but the mooring site is the Queensland Maritime Museum which has a website. They have an enquiry email to ask questions.

James Pryce, Australia - Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 07:50:24
A great site full of history. Looking for information on my uncle who started as a cadet pre-war and ended up as a captain. Was invalided out late in the war. Captain Fred Rendell. Do not know of any ships he sailed on.

Rita Beadle, UK - Thursday, August 7, 2008 at 22:01:22
I have just discovered this site and wonder if anyone remembers me. I was one of the BI wives living in Bombay between 1968 and 1972. I also travelled with my husband Ken Beadle (2nd engineer) on the Nuddea and Chakdina. It would be great to be in touch with some of the other wives and officers I met out there. I used to have dinner parties so that I could practice my cooking skills(or lack of them). I am planning on going to the reunion in Fremantle on my way to New Zealand, and look forward to seeing a few familiar faces there.

PhaikLee Tan, Singapore - Wednesday, 6 Aug 2008 10:21:20
Please could I request assistance with some research that a crew (or family) member on board a BI ship could help with?
A few of us have been trying for many years now to locate the ship that Paramahansa Yogananda, the founder of Self Realization Fellowship, sailed in during his return trip from Kobe, Japan to Calcutta, India in Oct/Nov 1916. He would have registered then as Swami Yogananda and was 23 years of age. The information we have is that the ship surgeon on board was Dr Satyendra Nath MISRA. The commander of the likely vessel, ss Japan, was C P Seddon. If in any way, CP Seddons' family or even Dr Misra's family have registered with this website, please can we make contact as we would like to confirm that it is indeed ss Japan that Paramahansa Yogananda sailed in from Kobe to Clacutta in Oct/Nov 1916. Even pictures they have may help us establish some facts. Any suggestion to help us confirm the identity of the ship would be very much appreciated.

PhaikLee Tan Singapore - Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 02:48:11
[Entry withdrawn at request of sender because of possible incorrect information ] Impressive - the collation of materials etc. Is there any record of a Dr Satyendra Nath Misra who may have served as ship surgeon in Oct/Nov 1916 in journey from Kobe to Calcutta? Apprecaite any help to confirm.

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Mell Fraser, UK - Monday, August 4, 2008 at 08:41:42
I was a passenger on ss Nevasa when she was a Schools' Cruise ship in the 60's. I'm also trying to track down Claudia Condry who was a tutor at Kingston University in the early 00's and later a researcher at the Imperial War Museum. [Claudia Condry was known to me during her time at IWM. I believe she left there in early 2006 - Editor]

Robert Bain, UK - Sunday, August 3, 2008 at 19:08:33
Can anyone help with the history of the ss Nevasa built in 1913 and scrapped in 1948, particularly between 1930 and 1940. I believe my father sailed on her around that time when she was being used as a troop ship. Thanking you in anticipation. [It is known that a book mainly devoted to the last Nevasa is in preparation, and that it will contain some information regarding the second BI ship of that name, the one you are interested in - Editor]

Alasdair Cook, UK - Saturday, August 2, 2008 at 20:05:31
Interested in ss Nevasa on which I sailed twice as a dormitory passenger and also ss Uganda on which I sailed as a independent cabin passenger.

Kenneth Hodge - Thu, 31 Jul 2008 17:10:01
Thank you for passing my details to Brian Agnew, formerly skipper of Gothic. We are now in contact. [We're very happy it worked out.]

Cynthia Wilson, UK - Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 13:29:45
Dear Editor, many thanks for your reply to my query. Still searching for photographs of survivors on deck of ss Nevasa.

Jaimini Thakur, India - Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 06:40:43
I was a nine year old passenger on ss Amra (Bombay, India to Mombasa, Kenya, British East Africa) in the summer of 1955. I was twelve and half on my way back, this time on ss Mozaffari. This was a small ship and if I remember it correctly, it had been borrowed by BI. The average six to seven day voyage took us twelve days as the ship was small and we encountered a storm and had to be anchored somewhere in the vast waters of the Arabian Sea!
I again took ss Amra in 1960 - Bombay to Mombasa, this time via Seychelles. Staff was friendly, amenities adequate, food palatable. Saw films every night, played table tennis and ring during the days and just roamed about on the decks! We had loads of fun! I haven't been on a ship since then, and have no immediate plans on being on one. The memories of my voyages with the BI are wonderfully vivid! [Mozaffari (7,024 gt) was a favoured charter vessel from Mogul Line in the late 1950s/early 60s when she made a number of India-East Africa trips for BI - Editor]

Neil McLeod, US - Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 05:34:09
Maiden Voyage - Our departure for Kenya Colony was in August 1951, my mother was determined not to be separated from her husband a moment longer. So she sold up house and home, packed what was going to be needed for a new life in a completely different world, and boarded the ss Kenya, British India's new ship on her maiden voyage from London. Six weeks later we were in Mombasa and after some delay we were met by my father, who from the ship's side looked as if he had green hair from swimming pool chlorine. My mother was nursing and we had a traveling companion and nanny, Yvette. We were diagnosed as having mumps and quarantined, and so confined to sick bay up top by the quarter deck. Later the real circumstances became clear to us. Here's a poem for you:

1. From London to the Bay of Biscay
And past the straits at Gib
By Malta through the blazing Med
To Suez and Port Said.
While we were on the upper deck
Ensconced in quarantine,
In sick bay for we had the mumps
So said doctor MacBean.

2. Through Suez down to Aden
To B.I. was the toast
Round the Horn of Africa to
Mombasa on the coast.
We were on the maiden voyage
The new pride of the line
The S.S. Kenya, British India's
New ship on the brine.

3. When the Red Sea lead us on
We missed nanny Yvette,
For while we all remained abaft
She roamed as doctors pet.
And what seemed very interesting
Is that some years later on
We were diagnosed with mumps again
Something must have been wrong.

4. From London to the Bay of Biscay
And past the straits at Gib
We took the Kenya's maiden voyage
I'm telling you no fib
And when we reached Mombasa
Who came to meet us there,
But my father on the quayside
With swimming pool green hair.

Ramendra Chand, New Zealand - Monday, July 28, 2008 at 13:00:17
question My grandfather came from india in 1902 in the ship Virawa. his name was Jagan, his fathers name was Gabar (I think). They were from the town Jubbulpur, Thana Shahpura. If you know anything else about him can you please contact us.

Morley Prowse, UK - Saturday, July 26, 2008 at 17:56:14
I am trying to put together a written account, with photos,of my time serving in the BI. I have photos of Ellora, Ellenga, Nardana, Karanja, Uganda, Canara and Rajula but do not have any of the Orna or Chakla. Can anyone help?
I served from 1959 to 1967,which included maiden trips on both Ellora and Ellenga, also I was 3rd officer on Canara when she caught fire in Bombay harbour resulting in the find of a quarter of a ton of raw opium, a lively time!

Rajnikant Agravat, US - Friday, July 25, 2008 at 18:59:46
I have been a passenger on several BI ships, such as Amra, Karanja, Kamapala etc, between Mobasa and Mombay via Seychelles.

David Bell, UK - Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 20:09:26
Re George Ferrier's entry of July 11/08. Hello George,been a long time! I retired in Nov.97 after 35 years at sea! Would like to hear from you

Yogi Appadurai, UK - Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 21:59:07
Are there any ex BI officers livng in the Merseyside area. Would be nice to meet up for a chin wag.

John Dodsworth, UK - Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 09:57:25
Served on a number of BI ships in the period 1951 to 1964 if there are any of my old shipmates out there I would love to hear from them.

Richard Bracher, UK - Monday, July 14, 2008 at 17:24:23
A site always of the greatest interest.

John Hine, UK - Monday, July 14, 2008 at 09:36:31
Cadet and 3rd Mate BI 1947-1954

John Dodsworth, UK - Sunday, July 13, 2008 at 22:54:53
Have just signed up to BIship and filled in the booking form for the London reunion when I hope to meet some of my old shipmates. Now retired I have some very happy memories of my times in BI.

...sign the logbook Sign the BI logbook

Tom Kelso, UK - Sunday, Jul 13, 2008 14:55
answer Regarding the report of Russell Austin's death: I knew Russell from school days, was one of the five cadets, who having completed the 9-month pre-sea training course at the Royal Technical College, Glasgow, joined the BI in the summer of 1947. The others were Dick Taylor, Alastair ("Boris") Gordon, Alastair Ewing and myself. (I believe that Alastair Gordon also died several years ago).

I sailed with Russell on the maiden voyage of the Kenya. Since his seniority on rejoining the Company dated from the passing for Second Mate, he was technically a fortnight junior to me. This resulted in his being appointed as Fourth Officer. He quite rightly protested about being appointed in this rank (although it had the slight advantage that the then Company's Rules exempted him from sharing shipkeeping duties with Jimmy MacGowan (2/0) and myself!). The head office wheels ground slowly and it was not until three months later, at the conclusion of the maiden voyage that he was "promoted" to Extra Third Officer, with appropriate back payment. The situation was all the more ludicrous in that from the time of his appointment to Kenya in early July till our return to the UK in early October, if I remember correctly, apart from either Dunera or Dilwara, and the Empire Trooper, and one of the cadetships, not one of a number of BI ships which called at UK ports had a certificated Third Officer, and at the time probably about half our cargo vessels on the Coast had uncertificated 3/0's . So I think I would be correct in saying that Russell was the last certificated Fourth Officer in the Company

On obtaining his Master's ticket, he joined East African Railways and Harbours, and after the usual initial spell on the Lake Victoria steamers, he trained as a pilot at Mombasa. Later, and the last contact I had with him, he was on the point of taking up a civil service post in the Ministry of Defence.

Russell's family owned an industrial bakery in Glasgow, which specialised in producing "Scotch" mutton pies, During the ten days or so that we were standing by Kenya at Barclay Curle's Clydeholm yard before her hand over,, Russell arranged daily deliveries by the firm's van, of a couple of dozen or so.of the said pies placed in the Officers' smokeroom in time for morning "smokoe". He was a natural raconteur and accomplished mimic, and at the 1800 early dinner for junior officers when we had the dining saloon to ourselves, he would soon have us sore with laughter! His other forte was running a seance in his (darkened) cabin with an ouija board. In this he was assisted by one and sometimes two of us, which inevitably had any newcomer shaken to the core! A great chap! [Reposted from the BI Group]

Brian White, UK - Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 19:15:04
Some names from way back to stir memories - Harry Bancroft and Derek Boardman!

George Ferrier, UK - Friday, July 11, 2008 at 11:40:03
David Bell, UK - are you the David Bell I started to study with for our 2nds' tickets in Glasgow, mid 60s and enjoy a drink at the Queens in Forfar the weekend before you returned to sea?

Tom Kelso, UK - Thursday, July 10, 2008 at 17:04:52
Have just noticed Russell Austin's request of 27/08/05, regarding contacting former shipmates. Could you please pass him my email address together with my salaams. [Since this request it has been learned, with sadness, that Russell Austin died in April 2007 - Editor]

Derek Hargreaves, UK - Tuesday, July 8, 2008 at 20:13:33
Reference Alan Williams query dated April 24, 2008seeking data on Captain Goater. There was certainly a Captain H Goater who served with BI prior to and during WW2. His name came up during a conversation with I K Bowerman who, as a cadet or possibly a 3/O, went through a typhoon with Jit (Capt Goater's nickname) possibly in a G, where a lifeboat broke out of its housing. He was certainly in command of the Warfield in July 1942 and Valiant Voyaging contains almost a page description of a fire in this ship caused by the ship ahead in the convoy blowing up. In August 1943, again in convoy, Warfield was sunk. This is also described in another full page of VV. Capt Goater was awarded the King's Commendation for bravery during the sinking. Guessing he was born around 1900, it is possible that he could have served in either the old Uganda torpedoed in 1918 or the new Uganda which entered service in 1952 or both! Some research at the National Maritime Museum or an easy piece of work for a researcher should reveal many details of his career. If Mr Williams wishes to contact me I will let him have the appropriate extracts.

  Aubrey Brown's first ship, Mulbera (BI 1922-1954), was one of the company's fine M class turbine steamers
  Aubrey Brown's first ship, Mulbera (BI 1922-1954), was one of the company's fine M class turbine steamers

Penelope Van Daele, UK - Friday, July 4, 2008 at 18:34:33
I have found so much information regarding my dad and the ships he sailed on for BI during the period 1938 - 1942. I have also made some lovely friends who have helped me immensly in my family history reseach. Thanks chaps, for all the help. My file is growing almost too big to handle now! [Aubrey Raymond Brown (known as Aub or Ray) was born July 1918. He joined BI and went to sea in 1938 as a junior engineer. His discharge book shows his ships were: Mulbera, Chyebassa, Karagola, Rajula, Egra, Garbeta, Santhia, possibly Kola, and the troopship Vita, by which time it was July 1942 and he was 4th engineer. The final entry has him being signed off Vita in Durban - Editor]

Jim Devine, South Africa - Thursday, July 3, 2008 at 23:47:13
David Palmer - I sailed with your dad Derrick on Empire Grebe during 1965-66. If you forward your email address I will send you a rather nice photo of your Dad taken on board during a Christmas party which we hosted for local (Maltese) orphans.

Brian Warburton, UK - Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 17:04:47
Sue Allum, I sailed with your dad for two years on the Austrailian coast. Fine gentleman and a first class engineer, taught me a great deal as a new Junior Engineer. Kind regards.

Cynthia Wilson, UK - Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 16:59:13
answer i am researching the sinking of mv Tahsinia, Oct 1943 by U-boat. The survivors (including my father) were rescued by ss Nevasa. i understand photographs were taken. if anyone has any copies or any information please contact me. [Tahsinia was an Anchor Line ship of 7,267 tons gross. Calcutta and Colombo for Aden and UK (carrying generals including tea, manganese ore, pig iron, & bagged cargo for UK), the ship was attacked 360 miles west of Colombo with torpedoes and gunfire on Oct 1, 1943. Her sinking is credited to U-532, although one report says two attackers were involved. According to the site, Tahsinia's master, 39 crew members and eight gunners were rescued: the master, Charles Edward Stewart, and 24 survivors were picked up by Nevasa 10 miles west of Alleppey Lighthouse after seven days and landed at Bombay on October 11. On October 6, 23 survivors made landfall on Mahdu Atoll, Maldive Islands and were brought to Colombo by an Indian dhow. Editor]

Harold Holmes, UK - Sunday, June 15, 2008 at 17:39:44
Have only just read Mike Evans request for people who served on Chindwara on its 68 voyage which included the USA visit in July 69.... I was the CPO at this time, please pass on my email address as I would love to be part of that reunion!

Roland Powell - Friday, June 13, 2008 at 16:51:08
I'm trying to establish the exact fate of the ss Asian, which I believe was a BI managed ship, but none of the three 'Managed Ships' link seem to work for me. [Asian, a Hong Kong-owned vessel of 2,461 tons gross was requisitioned by the British government in 1942 and placed under BI management for the Liner Division. She was lost after a collision with Harmatris off Ceylon, Dec 26, 1943. Fourteen survivors were picked up (from Laxon & Perry, BI) - Editor]

Kenneth Hodge, UK - Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 22:24:14
I would like to contact Brian Agnew, former master of the Gothic. His decisions probably saved my life during the fire in South Pacific Ocean, may years ago

Freddy Crabbe, UK - Sunday, June 8, 2008 at 10:19:05
I sailed in Empire Kittiwake on her last operational voyage from Kuching to Singapore, with my platoon of vehicles at the end of the campaign in Borneo. I am writing an article for my Regimental Asscociation 50th Anniversary Journal about that voyage. It was - I was told at the time - to be her last voyage and it was in 1966 but I have no dates. If you have her log book that would be most useful information giving dates and cargo details. I would be listed on the manifest as Lt A Crabbe GASC. I have a picture (colour slide) of the ship dressed overall in Kuching with my vehicles loaded before her departure. I note that there is no picture of her in the archives so I will be able to assist there.

Cynthia Wilson, UK - Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at 21:07:26
October 1943 ss Nevasa rescued crew of mv Tahsinia in indian Ocean. Photographs were taken of survivors on deck.

Jaap Termes, Netherlands - Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at 20:38:04
I'm looking for info and photos of Khrisna, Baragua lightvessels and other lightvessels in the indian Ocean. I special ask it to the BI ship seafarers. Who's helping me?

...sign the logbook Sign the BI logbook

Patricia Lettiere, US - Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at 01:13:43
During the early 1980s I worked for P&O Strath Services in NYC as Capt. David Colley's secretary. I found this website by putting in a search of his name..I am so sad to find that he passed away..I was thinking about him..He was a very nice man..I wish that I had the opportunity to contact him before his passing...I will never forget him.

Margaret Way, US - Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 18:24:58
I am researching my family. My Dad, Ralph L Way spent most of his life at sea. He died 1969. I am looking for anyone who remembers him or has stories. Also, my uncle, Frank "Lester" Way. Sailed from Hawaii to Australia in the early 1920's. He never left Australia and died there in 1969. I am looking for records for either of them. Thank you!

Colin Graham, Australia - Monday, June 2, 2008 at 08:59:46
Looking for anybody who sailed on the 'American Voyage' 1954.

Don Pescud, Australia - Sunday, June 1, 2008 at 10:07:34
answer To Claudia Condry, if you are still about, my father sailed on the Karoa from Singapore July 45 as a POW returning to Australia.

Yogi Appadurai - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 18:58:56
Does anyone know the whereabouts of Dave James. His late wife was Rita. He was living in New Zealand.

Edward Valentine, UK - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 13:46:25
Both my great grandfather, David Valentine, and my father, also David, served with BI.

John Luckett, UK - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 13:30:17
My uncle, William Sinclair, was briefly commodore of the BI fleet in the 1950s.

Phil Brotherton, UK - Friday, May 16, 2008 at 09:13:03
Just doing a bit of research, as my father, Andy Brotherton, spent some time messing up the engines, in the late 60s early 70s.

Ian McWhannell, Goa - Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 13:53:04
I was in Brisbane the other day.... my very first port I called into on the Chindwara when first visited Australia nearly 60 years ago! I saw a river boat of some [age] tied up in the Brisbane River with a black funnel and two white bands. Can anyone tell me has this vessel a BI connection? I remember sailing with a third officer in BI who came fom Brisbane who told me his father had a ferry service on the river. All I can remember was his name which was "Cheeta" because he liked raw beef which when ordered shocked the Goan cook.

Norman Kanine, US - Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 10:02:25
Are you able to look up names from the log book which were put in at the time of 1860 i have an old grandfather which my family is looking for.

Lou Chambers, Australia - Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 07:42:44
[My] father, Harry was with BI and I am wondering if anyone has a picture of mv Orna in the 60s please - it was his first command and I am thinking of having it painted ......... the photo could be alongside, from the air, any angle! Many thanks.

John Walker, New Zealand - Monday, May 12, 2008 at 22:53:24
I read a message from Marion (Kyra) Walshe, UK dated Friday 6th June 2007, enquiring the whereabouts of John Parker, engineer Nevasa, unfortunately I don't know where John is but he and I were very good friends during the three years I served on board her as a fellow engineer. He at one time came to my home in the north country for a week of his leave before returning to Bristol, complaining Nerwcastle Brown Ale was too strong for him. if I search my archives I'm sure I have a photo of a bearded John somewhere....when I left Nevasa around the end of 1960, I lost contact with him...but like others wonder what ever happened to them. If you have managed to track him down I'd like to hear from you Marion.

  Commander Reginald Bond OBE, appointed BI commodore in August 1958
  Commander Reginald Bond OBE, appointed BI commodore in August 1958 [Photo: BI News]

John Walker, New Zealand - Monday, May 12, 2008 at 05:42:37
I stumbled upon this site by pure chance. I was a junior engineer on Nevasa from 1957 to 1961...captain or commander was Reggie Bond...I have read references to him on other websites and in particular the parrot which I well remember...I think the 2nd engineer at the time was Eddie Gray. I was known by the name of David at the time and I had my 21st birthday on board, I still have a photo of myself holding the wooden 21st key. If there is anyone who reads this and remembers that period I would be interested to hear from you. I have tried other sites many times but without success.

John Hall, UK - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 21:21:44
I am researching a family member Charles Raymond 'Carl' Perry (1883-1961) who was employed by BI. He was a 2nd mate in 1905; first mate 1910 and gained his masters certificate in 1914. On his initial training en route to Australia it is said four of his fellow trainees drowned! He is said to have been twice sunk during the war. Any information, guidance appreciated.

David Banner, Australia - Friday, May 9, 2008 at 15:06:11
Thanks for the great site. I served on the Tanda, Bulimba and Nuddea over the period from Sept 1970 until June 1972. I would be most interested to catch up with John Woodward who was 2nd Officer on Bulimba whilst I was Radio Officer on her.

Geoff Pearson, US - Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at 22:47:34
I believe my great grandfather was master on the ss Jumna late 1800 early 1900. I understand he died at sea. Where can I track down the history of masters who served on this ship?

Debbie Nunn, UK - Monday, May 5, 2008 at 12:01:47
Looking for info on ms Devonia to Norway 1966/67

Martin Barnes, US - Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 01:29:47
As 2/Lt in Royal West Kent Regiment Itravelled to Cyprus on Dilwara as a troopship in 1959. The fleet purser was at my table taking retirement cruise. The laskars in early moring tea round told me they regreted the exit of the British from India as they gave justice to all, even the white sahib was under the law. We stopped at Gibraltar, Malta, then Cyprus. We drank white lady cocktails and threw the glasses into the sea, not good.

Glenda Gouveia, UK - Thursday, May 1, 2008 at 18:41:18
I sailed to Madeira, Tangier, Cadiz and Lisbon in September 1963 as a member of a school party from Paignton, Devon. It was in Madeira that I exchanged adresses with a Portuguese boy who later became my husband, and has been my husband for the last 39 years.

Robert Cannon, UK - Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at 18:59:52
Went from Singapore to Japan and back to Singapore via Hong Kong both ways in the summer of 1961. Great memories although coming back, left HK harbour and straight into a Dad's got some good cine film of it! Is there any way of getting a picture of the ship from anywhere? The ship was Santhia.

Stephen Cox, UK - Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at 17:52:14
My dad was in BI. I believe Chantala? Henry David Ashley Cox. His tales of BI and the North Atlantic Weather Service are great.

Sue Allum, UK - Friday, April 25, 2008 at 09:08:29
My Dad was Eric Deans who was engineer / chief engineer on some of the ships. I travelled with him on some short journeys.

Alan Williams, UK - Thursday, April 24, 2008 at 17:45:57
My wife's uncle was a captain with BI, I think on Uganda. He served in the war on BI ships, being sunk at least once. His name was Goater, not sure of his christian name, probably Harold. In my youth I wanted to join BI or P&O as a cadet, but after interveiws, as I remember in the sixties, failed both and ended up as a British Airways pilot for 30 years. It would be very nice to have some information on the career of Capt Goater.

D H Rao, India - Saturday, April 19, 2008 at 16:45:31
[Mahatma] Gandhi travelled by ss Lunka (lanka) to Rangoon. [I would please like] to know the name [of his return] ship and photos if possible for my 'gandhi and his ships' project. Your site is good for information.

...sign the logbook Sign the BI logbook

Paul Guest, UK - Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 20:03:38
I am trying to trace Robert Marsh, who left Boulevard, Hull in 1958. He sailed on Nevasa in early 60s. The reason is I am arranging a 50th reunion on the 7th June 2008. (I left Nautical School Boulevard, Hull in July 1958. I am at present trying to organise a 50th reunion of that day in Hull on 7th June 2008. My colleagues who went with BI at that time were Bryan Archer, who know lives in London, John Wilson who lives in Brisbane and MIck Collins who lives in Whickham, Tyne and Wear. The fourth member of the class to join BI was Robert Marsh who came from Sheffield and would now be about 65-67 years old. Bryan Archer says he served with him on Nevasa in early 60s and thought his father was a Methodist minister. Out of the class of 22 he is one of only I cannot find.) [With apologies that this entry was late in being posted - Editor]

Jacinta Gall, Australia - Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 13:30:02
Is it possible to find the shipping route of the Dorunda in 1886? My great great grandmother Nicoline Halvorsen brought her 4 childern to Bowen from Norway. We believe they sailed from London 7 April 1886 and arrived 2nd June 1886. Although we dont know how they got to London. Did the Dorunda leave from Norway or would they have had to make their way to Germany? [Almost certainly not from Norway, so either they joined in London or - possible but quite unlikely - a continental loading port - Editor]

  Torilla (BI 1911-19276) was purpose-built by Palmers
  Torilla (BI 1911-19276) was purpose-built by Palmers of Hebburn on Tyne with one continuous shelterdeck for transport of horses and mules from Australia to India

David Trott, Australia - Friday, April 11, 2008 at 06:02:22
Does anyone have a photo or information on the ss Torilla departed UK in August 1911 and arrived Brisbane 10th October 1911.

Ross Rawson, Australia - Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 07:45:05
I'm looking for pictures of ss Camorta which my great-great-grand parent and their children emigrated to Queensland in 1882.

George Wallace, UK - Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 19:29:23
I went to sea with Blue Funnel as midshipman in 1959 and therefore well remember seeing BI ships. Nostalgia's a bugger as you get older, ain't it! I now have an old Army and Navy jungle gun, built in 1898, which must have belonged to an officer in the Indian Army. There are stickers on the case showing that he made a voyage aboard Amra from Bombay to Durban. Can't read his name or the date. I am hoping to find out more of Amra - a picture would be great - and wonder if any passenger lists are still in existence. I know the gun was sold to a Mrs A M Hill, presumably for husband, son or son-in-law but I have been unable to find her or her relatives.

Doug McDonald, UK - Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 19:07:46
A friend of mine (who has no internet access) has in his possession a brass artefact relating to HMT Chakdara 1918. It was found on the beach at Buckie on the north east coast of Scotland in the 1950s. It consists of a crescent about 6.5 inches in diameter supporting a five pointed star with a circle cut out in the middle. The crescent bears the following hand engraved characters, "HMT Chakdapa 1918" We can find no reference anywhere to a ship called Chakdapa so we are assuming it must be Chakdara. We have found photos and info about the two Chakdaras associated with BI. The HMT would indicate that it was used as a Troopship in 1918 but we can find no records to substantiate this. Can anyone help with the history of this ship or advise where to look for more info. If the ship foundered in the Far East how did this brass plate end up on a beach in Scotland? [Chakdara was indeed taken up as an Indian troop transport during the First World War, employed almost continuously until October 1919 mainly between India and the Persian Gulf or Suez. She ended up sinking in July 1935 after hitting a submerged rock on the Burma coast, but that was two years after being sold to other owners and being renamed Burmestan. The fact that the plaque was found on a beach in Scotland is, I'm sure, unrelated to ship's employment or eventual fate, almost all of which was in the East - Editor]

Frank Erhorn, UK - Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 10:00:03
Phil Incledon, I sailed with you on Kenya and drank copious amounts with you and Mo the lecky [electrical officer]. I was also a lecky. If we make contact, I can let you have a copy of a photo taken in my cabin with you and several others including Mo, John Irving and several others which may jog your memory.

Diane Aronda Hardy, UK - Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 22:09:07
My father a Royal Marine returned to the UK from Naples aboad Aronda. I was born in 1946 and my Mother trusted my father enough to call me after the ship that had brought him home. I have a copy of Bill Highams's picture which I treasure. My name has been the source of many conversations over the years. Was any one else called after this vessel? [None are know at this time but we would certainly be interested in hearing if any others exist. A number of people are known to be named after other BI ships - Editor]

Jim Runcie - Friday, April 4, 2008 at 15:22:14
For information: My Father in law David McPherson, originally from Port Glasgow (Lithgows) and for much of his working life at Garden Reach Workshops, Calcutta, passed away in January 2008 after a short illness. His remains are interred at Port Glasgow cemetery. He is survived by his wife Hessie who lives in Greenock.

Gillian Elizabeth, Netherlands - Sunday, March 30, 2008 at 23:29:49
I am trying to find out some information about my father Victor George Jefferson 1900-1960. He was in BISN Co from being a young boy untill he retired in the early 50s [Captain V G Jefferson was a BI commander before his retirement - Editor]

Iain Crosbie, UK - Sunday, March 30, 2008 at 16:44:34
I have on loan a typescript form of logbook/diary kept by the captain of ss Nyanza with details of voyages between 1937/1939 Vancouver/Sydney/Dakar/Huelva/Philadelphia/New York/Liverpool/Newport/Buenos Aires/Vancouver/Sydney etc. Was this ship part of BI? [A BI name but, in this instance, not a BI ship. The only Nyanza in BI was a 1956-built cargoship - Editor]

Judith Caplin, UK - Sunday, March 30, 2008 at 14:17:35
My grandfather Herbert Le Gros Sinnatt entered the British India SN Co and commanded a ship. Lieutenant RNR. Died at Calcutta 1912 (info learned from Victoria College, Jersey) I am trying to find out more about him. Can you help please?

Margaret Brown, UK - Saturday, March 29, 2008 at 11:29:00
I think I have found the ship Nerbudda which I have been looking for. My ancestor a John Foy(e) died 25 May 1882 of cholera and I assume would have been buried at sea (age 23).

Richard Bracher, UK - Wednesday, March 26, 2008 at 11:21:45
In response to my original request in January for information concerning survivors of the sinking of ss Devon by the German commerce raider Komet on 19 August 1941, the editor kindly referred to Laxon & Perry stating that all 144 of Devon's crew were taken aboard the Komet. He gave the names of 24 Europens "plus 19 Indians". I have recently obtained a copy of Arthur H Bird's interesting book Farewll Milag - the auhor was himself a prisoner aboard Komet and describes the sinking of the Devon. He confirms that the crew of Devon totalled 144 of which 113 were Indian. The 113 Indians were not taken aboard Komet but were transferred to the Kota Nopan. She was a Dutch merchantman carrying a cargo of tin ingots. The Germans apparently knew of this valuable cargo and wished to preserve the ship. A prize crew was put aboard. Komet rendezvous-ed with another raider, Atlantis, and a supply ship, Munsterland, and a share-out of Kota Nopan's tin took place, to increase the chance of some of it reaching Germany. Komet and Kota Nopan (with the 113 Indians still aboard) parted company in mid South Atlantic on 17 October 1941 and Komet eventually arrived at Cuxhaven on 30th November. The Europen members of Devon's crew spent the rest of the war in Milag Nord [prison] camp, situated about 15 miles north east of Bremen. Arthur Bird refers in his book to "several hundred Indian seamen being kept imprisoned for a year or more in a separate camp several miles from Milag. They received scant consideration from their Nazi captors... They were eventually transferred to Milag....". I do not know if Kota Nopan ever made it to Germany or whether Devon's Indian crewmen were among those who survived at Milag. The fate of Komet is known. She was sunk by a force of Royal Navy destroyers and MTBs near Cherbourg on 14 October 1942. The raider was bound from Germany to the Atlantic and had sailed from Cherbourg the day before but was spotted by RAF aircraft. When caught by the RN force she was set on fire and blew up. All 351 crew died. Two of her large escorts were damaged.

Brian Young, Australia - Sunday, March 23, 2008 at 04:28:42
My Father, Joe Young, was at sea in the 50s and worked for Bi and PO. He is 80 yrs old now and would love to find out, more about and ships he might have sailed on.
He worked in the engine room. His name is Joseph William Young

John Myerscough, UK - Friday, March 21, 2008 at 23:37:33
My father, of the same name, was a DEMS gunner in WW2. He served on mv Fultala when she was sunk in April 1942 off Ceylon. He was rescued after spending 10 days in lifeboat. He also served on ss Ekma from April to August 1943. Does anyone have knowledge of these events; epecially photographs of these ships as I an preparing collage in his memory, and would be very grateful for any information.

Jeffrey Young, UK - Friday, March 21, 2008 at 17:38:07
Just found site very interesting

Philip Hogge, UK - Tuesday, March 18, 2008 at 08:15:02
I would like to find out more about my father's career. His name was Arthur Henry Hogge, and he was serving on the Mata Hari when it was captured by the Japanese in February 1942 in the Banka Strait.

Tom Kelso, UK - Saturday, March 15, 2008 at 07:40:19
For Biswajit Pakrashi. Sorry about the delay in responding to your message of 19th September 2007. Very grateful for the information regarding the book On the Hooghly. I must try and search for it now that I have the name. Bot salaamss

Shannon Ames, US - Friday, March 14, 2008 at 14:19:15
I am currently involved in collecting information for a publication that will document a privately owned model boat collection. One of our models is of the mv Pundua. I came across your website while searching for old images of the Pundua. You have a nice black and white profile image of her, and I would love to include it (to accompany photos of the model itself as well as a brief history of the ship) in our book, and I wanted to enquire about using it. Any information regarding the photos and how to obtain permission or rights to use them would be greatly appreciated! I look forward to hearing from you!

Mary Glanville, UK - Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 14:23:43
How would I make contact with Russell Austin whose entry appears on 14 July 2005 and may have served at the same time as my late husband John Glanville? Thanks in advance. (I already have an entry in the Logbook). [Since this request it has been learned, with sadness, that Russell Austin died in April 2007 - Editor]

...sign the logbook Sign the BI logbook

Mark Tucker, Australia - Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 11:15:13
Found your website looking for a photo of ss Torilla. My partner's great aunt was also on the maiden voyage, disembarked in Rockhampton. Just received the complete passenger list from the Queensland Archives which lists 25 Church Army Lads including Arthur Akehurst, age 21. Destination is not shown for any of them. Suggest the findmypast website checked for passengers leaving England which may give destination.

Toni Hull, US - Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 03:14:38
Armand, so thrilled to hear from you! I have so many questions but the space won't allow them all. My father in law Spencer G Hull was assigned to Rohna but was moved to the Banfora before the convoy set sail. Spencer is now 83. He remmbers being sent on the top deck to fetch the meal and saw the attack coming that morning. He origially thought he was on the Karoa but had the Banfora confirmed at the last reunion in Tennessee in 2007. He and shipmate recalled the shark getting stuck on the front of the ship. Do you recall that as well? I would love to hear your memories of the attack if you would be willing to share them with me. where do you live? Have you ever attended a Rohna reunion? were you orginally assigned to Banfora? In my searchig I know there was just a handfull of men moved from the Rohna to the sistership. I don't know if I am allowed to send you my email. I will try it. if so please contact me via this forum.

Quentin Murphy, France - Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 12:34:50
I Have been informed recently that Captain Duncan Raine crossed the bar on 22nd Feb. Duncan joined BI about 1947 as 3/O,and served on a great variety of cargo and passenger ships. Most of his time was spent on the Indian Coast where he was well known as Chief Officer and latterly Captain on Daressa, Dumra, Dwarka, and Karanja. His love for entertaining passengers and friends on board and at his flat in Bombay was legendary. He retired to Australia over 20 years ago.In his time he must have carried over a hundred thousand passengers to and from India, the Gulf and Africa. I am sure the worldwide BI community will join with me in extending their condolences to his wife Sheila and their children.

Ross Perkin, Australia - Friday, March 7, 2008 at 11:33:56
I have a picture of Chakrata, on the back of which is a notation to the effect that R J Scott served on her as a 4th. Engineer. Does anyone have any memories of him?

Sue Spence, UK - Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 18:46:34
A retired BI engineer, Tom O'Grady, has written asking if I can help him find a photo of his ship Obra. He sailed in her with George Bell, another BI engineer. Can anyone help please?

Alan Davies, UK - Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 09:29:33
I often wonder what happened to my pal Tariq Abdul Samao Nejim. He was a deck cadet on either Dara or Daressa (memory fades...) in 1956/57; I was junior Sparks. His home was in Basra. Has he survived the troubles since then? Also greetings to anyone who remembers me from the two Ds or Amra or Umaria between 1956/58

Michael Dodds, UK - Sunday, March 2, 2008 at 10:33:31
Re: Myra Davies. My father Alfred Dodds was a friend of Hugh O'May I often heard my mother and father talk about him. My father was a Chief Engineer with BI and also shore based in Mazagon Dock, Bombay. If you wish to contact me 01380 840324

question Would Myra Davies please contact me on 01380 840324. My father and your father were great friends in BI many years ago.

Robert Loughman, New Zealand - Sunday, March 2, 2008 at 04:33:57
Joyce Anderson was hoping to make contact with Tom Hunt who was on the Chakdina that was sunk in December 1941. I believe that Tom died several years ago but there is at least one surviving crew member in the UK. I am one of several people here in New Zealand who have been gathering information on this ship and its sinking. My father survived and was rescued by the HMS Farndale. We are interested in contacting anybody who can provide us with information, or photos of the Chakdina, its crew that might eventually form part of a history that we would like to write of the sinking of this ship.

Lois Machin, US - Thursday, February 28, 2008 at 23:39:39
Looking for two relatives: Captain W M Burkit, born 1831, and Captain Wm Burkit, commodore of flagship Golconda.

Mary Glanville, UK - Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 19:42:02
My late husband John Glanville, after completing a two-year training on the South African Training Ship General Botha, joined BI as a cadet in 1947 on Eastern Service. He was involved with the movement of people between India and Pakistan at the time of Partition and the delivery of urns containing Gandhi's ashes to the Indian communities in Mombasa and Durban. He was also on a ship, possibly the ss Tairea at the time of the Yangtze Incident. He had to leave the service in 1950 when his eyesight necessitated the wearing of glasses, his final ship being Carpentaria and returned to Southern Rhodesia. I am interested to hear more about his service during that time. I was a passenger on Uganda in 1956 from London to Beira when the ship was diverted via Cape Town due to the Suez Crisis.

Myra Davies, UK - Wednesday, February 20, 2008 at 12:18:10
I am new to the BI logbook and have just read John Engel's entry on 14 January 05. My father, Hugh O'May, also served on the Amra, though I couldn't say which years he was on her, but I'd be interested to know if Mr Engel's father remembers him or has any photos in which he might appear.

Douglas Ferro, Gibraltar - Monday, February 18, 2008 at 20:27:23
My mother was evacuated from Gibraltar to Madeira on the Neuralia on 10.08.1940. I would be interested to know whether there are any passenger lists available for this.

Joyce Andersen UK - Monday, February 18, 2008 at 17:23:37
Want to contact Peta Hunt re - Tom Hunt who was on HMS Chakdina. I have a friend who was on that ship when it was sunk.

Ian McWhannell, India - Sunday, February 17, 2008 at 13:05:38
Brian Agnew was trying to contact me. Sorry been in Goa for years not NZ. Also spend the summer in France at the Old Tower Hotel, Noyers sur Serein, in Burgandy.

Myra Davies (nee O'May), UK - Saturday, February 16, 2008 at 21:26:39
I have just read Robert Jacobs' entry on 24 Nov 06 about his father Tom who survived the sinking of the Waroonga in 1943. My father, Hugh Harper O'May, also survived this event and arrived home in Scotland to see his new-born daughter (myself). There is a photo of the ship's company taken in 1939 in Philip Dilworth's cadet journal. I think (though not sure) my father is fourth from the right in the front row. I wonder if Tom Jacobs is also in the photo. I agree our fathers would have been fascinated to see what can be discovered on the internet.

Sahay P, Canada - Saturday, February 16, 2008 at 08:50:12
Interested in s.s. Sangola trip from India to Fiji Islands ~ Feb. 1908.

William Roberts, UK - Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 12:00:23
I came across the site by accident as I was researching one of my uncle's ships the Rubystone. I like the site very much and will be a frequent visistor.

David Bell, UK - Wednesday, February 13, 2008 at 21:06:53
Only just discovered this site. Looking through the log extracts, I see the name Paddy Mawhirt mentioned. I sailed with him on Chakdina and last saw him when he was on a Gulf D. If you are still out there big man, give me a buzz -- also Jim Talbot (Elect). Regards to all. Dave Bell (BI 1963/74)

John White, Australia - Monday, February 11, 2008 at 09:55:17
I sailed on Chindwara 1953-56. I live in Melbourne and would like to find David Whitehouse and any other ex shipmates. Has anyone heard from Dave Martin?

Phil Incledon - Sunday, February 10, 2008 at 17:55:07
I have just spotted Frank Erhorn's entry in the 2003 abstracts. I must confess, the names mentioned do not ring any bells. Would Frank like to give me a clue ( deck or engine)? I must admit, I have only visited the BI web site very very occasionally, partly because of the Yahoo add-on, which deluged me with unrelated material (and from which I am now unsubscribed)

David Proctor, France - Sunday, February 10, 2008 at 15:28:34
Found this site by accident. Brought back many memories of my seagoing days in the early seventies. I joined BI as an Eng Cadet in September 1971 - only to find myself part of GCD in the October Revolution.

Sue Saltmarsh (nee Black) - Saturday, February 9, 2008 at 18:23:40
I have a handbook titled the British India Steam Navigation Company Ltd. Regulations and Instructions 1949 - this was given to my Dad - John Black (from Motherwell) it was issued to him in 1956 - he served on the Chindwarra, Amra, Dara, Chupra, Woodarra and Queda - somewhere between 1952 - 1962

Graham Golby, UK - Saturday, February 9, 2008 at 16:55:08
I am looking for details and a photograph if possible of HM tug Coringa lost in the Atlantic 1940, Can you oblige

Bernard Ashworth, UK - Wednesday, February 6, 2008 at 09:21:12
Sailed winter 1957 would like arrival date in Hong Kong

Darryl Reynolds, Australia - Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 13:49:48
My great grand father and his parents (Plath) arrived in Queensland Australia in 1886 aboard Dorunda from Germany. I was excited to see a ship of that name in service at that time. Possibly this ship is the one.

Armand Di Rienzo, US - Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 13:49:48
To Toni Hull [ref log entry Jul 1, 2007] Sorry I did not get back to you sooner, you can ask me anything about the Banfora, and hopefully I will try to answer

David Bell, UK - Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 20:11:02
Did not know this site existed. See Paddy Mawhirt featuring in several articles. Give me a buzz big man if you are still around. This also applies to any other old pals not wanted by Interpol. Dave Bell, BI (Eastern Service) 1963/74

Ian Ferguson, Alex Stiff, UK - Tuesday, January 29, 2008 at 22:32:33
To Dave Mitchell ex Rajula. Could you please get in touch using this new email link [email address supplied].

Alex Stiff, Australia - Monday, January 28, 2008 at 11:08:05
Barr(Paddy) Mawhirt - Are you a relation 2nd cousin to Charles Barr Boyd of Newtownards, Northern Ireland? [This posting has been cut. This site and the logbook pages are designed for exchanges about BI, its people and ships and cannot be used as general family history boards - Editor]

Mahrie Locket, Canada - Sunday, January 27, 2008 at 21:59:19
My father was Alan K M Patterson who served on various BI ships during World War 2. I am currently doing research on this time period of his life and have also just completed and published his diaries. They can be read in a book called Radio Man Marconi Sahib.

David Palmer - Saturday, January 26, 2008 at 18:49:20
Anybody remember Derrick Palmer, Purser BI, Empire Gannet and others. Posted by Son David Palmer

Praveen Chand, New Zealand - Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 04:34:39
I am trying to locate passeger list for ship Fazilka SS trip from India to Fiji in 1901

Rita Mondon, UK - Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 01:25:30
I have been a passenger on both ss Kampala and ss Karanja sailing to and fro between the east coast of Africa and the Seychelles during the years 1959 - 1966. I was only a child then exploring the whole of the ship and having the time of my life on the open waves. My last trip was in 1966, i was aged 10. My parents, older sister, younger brother and i, boarded one of the BI ships, SS Karanja or SS Kampala ( not sure which one) in Beira (having travelled from Botswana by steam train ) for Seychelles. I remember the ship stopped in Zanzibar, we took the opportunity to go on shore and see what great bargains we could get !!
Our ship continued her voyage stopping in Mombasa for almost four days whilst her hull was painted from head to toe before sailing to Seychelles.
I loved to hang out on deck and watch the sea through the railings for ages.
I will always remember the friendly, cheerful crew who would always stop to chat with me. One or two of the officers would always give me a small tub of vanilla ice-cream with a litte wooden spoon and even to this day, whenever i eat vanilla ice-cream, it somehow triggers off memories of these happy moments spent on a beautiful lady of a ship with wonderful kind people. Where are those boys now ??
There were days when the Indian Ocean was very turbulent, i would simply watch from an empty lounge ( most of the passengers were tucked away in their cabins) as the ship rolled, the sky and sea took turns to appear in view and to me, it was all a great big adventure !!
The sight of Silhouette island looming in the horizon would signal to every Seychellois on board that they were almost home. Great excitement indeed !!
Due to shallow waters, no big ships could get into port hence they had to moor way out beside St Ann Island. A whale boat would transport passengers to and from the ship to Port Victoria. Climbing down from the ship seemed such a very long way down. The whale boat crew were dressed in large kaki shorts and matlot type cotton white short sleeved shirts with a blue rim around the collar and sleeve and a great big straw hat. Amongst all the noise and commotion,the unloading of passengers flowed very smoothly. I am curious to know what became of these two elegant ladies, it saddens me to think that their dedicated, hard working lives may have come to an end with little dignity on the scrap heap. I just hope not !!

...sign the logbook Sign the BI logbook

Priyanka Iriyagolle, Sri Lanka - Monday, January 21, 2008 at 07:38:45
Tony (Gehan) Ekneligoda - Trying to contact you, it's been too long.

Roy Grimmitt, UK - Sunday, January 20, 2008 at 15:53:16
My father (Roy Grimmitt) travelled on the Ranchi on the 12th Oct 1928 with his mother. My grandfather travelled on the Morvada 10th Nov 1922. I am interested in finding out more about the ships and what other ships my grandfather, grandmother and father travelled between Indai and UK

David White, UK - Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 18:42:46
Genuine researcher and former MN Radio Officer - am trying to locate a copy of television programme cc early 1980s starring Dwarka shortly before she was withdrawn.

Kathryn Langley, Australia - Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 12:06:46
I am searching for any information anyone might have about my grandparents Eckford and Gladys Chatelier Langley and their family who travelled from India to Fremantle, Western Australia aboard ss Talma in 1947 (date unknown).

Ian McWhannell, Goa - Saturday, January 12, 2008 at 06:43:17
I saw Brian Agnew was trying to find my NZ address last year as he was visiting NZ. Please advise Brian and others I sailed with that for over 20 years I have lived in Goa. I am totally surprised that not more BI sea staff did not retire here! Always interested in old shipmates who revisit India and who come to Goa.

Chelsey Dollman, Canada - Friday, January 11, 2008 at 04:37:24
My great great grandfather, Arthur Charles Francis Field, was a First Mate on a couple of your ships. He served in the mid-1800s. I have the original logbooks, as well as his journals from the voyages, letters to his families from the BI explaining his shipwrecks, as well as his certification letters from BI and seamen's company. I am always interested in finding out more about his life as a first mate and seaman, and wondered if you had any tangable records or any records at all of his employment with your company. If you do, would you please contact me?

Gwyn Lewis, UK - Thursday, January 10, 2008 at 20:07:11
Recently found two BI postcards of ss Modasa and the other could be ss Woodarra. (No name shown on photo but ss Woodarra stamped on reverse and signed Martins, steward in charge). Both possibly from the early/ mid 1950's. They belonged to my late great uncle, Sam Stoneman, who only completed a few short voyages in BI during his seagoing career from 1915 to 1954 when he retired as chief engineer. Do you want them for your archives? The Woodarra appears to be on trials judging by her bow wave and the close proximity of habitation. Great site, lots of memories.

Komet incident
  Commander R Redwood
  Chief Officer S Henderson
  2.O F C Connolly
  3.O W Pritchard
  4.O R S Beesley
  Cadet A G Dowdney
  Cadet N G Brodie
  Cadet W Errington
  Cadet H W Hughes
  Cadet D N Scott
  Purser R H Bartley
  Chief Engineer J Henderson
  2EO J W Douthwaite
  3EO K C McDougall
  4EO J Andrew
  JEO J P Cullis
  JEO J C Davis
  JEO F Rouse
  JE G Ratchford
  JE R Smith
  Ch Refr Off P K Rea
  2.Refr Off A Miller
  Surgeon A H Hallen
  Carpenter H W Ferguson
  plus 19 Indian seamen

Richard Bracher, UK - Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 10:34:16
Many thanks for Editor's note ref the sinking of ss Devon on 19 August 1941. Another of my school mates, Cadet Bill Errington, was aboard and spent four years in the Milag POW camp in Germany. My recollection is that Devon was operating as a cadet training ship. The fact that 144 survivors were transferred to the Komet suggests that there could have been, perhaps, 20 - 30 cadets amongst them. Anything known? [Devon's prisoners of war taken in the Komet incident, and published in Valiant Voyaging, are shown on the right. Under BI's ownership, beginning in 1934, when the vessel was bought from NZSC/Federal Line, Devon had accommodation for 38 cadets - Editor]

Robin Riley, UK - Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 18:12:02
I have a Lunch menu card of BI ss Kenya dated 13th May 1937 (found it in an old atlas). I have become interested in the ship and its history and enjoyed the detail I have found. Help request: Can anyone advise please where I may research where Kenya was steaming on that date; also where it is possible to obtain a photograph of the vessel.

John Welsh, Isle of Man - Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 17:21:12
I am trying to establish which BI ship was attacked in the Mediterrean during WWII while serving as a Hospital Ship during the siege of Tobruk I believe my uncle Herbert Welsh was the captain but I am not certain it was a BI ship

Robert Gibbins, UK - Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 15:55:16
My father (Robert Ovens Gibbins) served in the 1920-30's.

Richard Bracher, UK - Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 10:20:16
Ref Derek Hargreaves info of Sept 2007. I served as cadet in Malda for the voyage UK to Singapore via Panama Canal in 1941. I was transferred to Querimba in Calcutta but my fellow cadet and school mate, Peter Davies, was aboard Malda when she was sunk on 6th April 1942. The Malda's fatal casualty list was heavy - far worse than qouted in Derek's piece. The MN Memorial Garden on Tower Hill, London, has a tablet to those lost on Malda but it carries only one name - Edmund Sale (Junior Engineer). Peter Davies assured me that a number of the Indian crew also lost their lives. After some considerable letter writing I obtained a list of the details of 26 membeers of the Indian crew who died that day. The list was provided to the Registry of Shipping & Seamen by the BI head office. I have also copy of details of the Bombay 1939-1945 Memorial and the Chittagong Memorial. These memorials commemorate 438 sailors of the former Royal Indian Navy and 6093 sailors of the former Indian Merchant Navy. These memorials are situated in the Indian Seamen's Hostel, Bombay, and in a "similarly appropriate building in Chittagong selected by the Government of Pakistan". I expressed my view to British authorities that it would have been appropriate for all those seaman serving in British ships should be commemoriated also here where the general public has access but was informed that "this was not policy". [Richard, you raise several interesting points. One is that the three Malda fatalities given by Derek Hargreaves, with which you disagree, are those named in BI's book Valiant Voyaging. It would seem strange, though not impossible, for BI to state one version of casualties in print, in its own book, and another to the RGSS. It would be most interesting if you could provide a scan of the RGSS letter you received. Another point is the 'policy' or otherwise of naming Indian seaman on the MN memorial on Tower Hill. In another context on this Logbook page, it is shown that Indian seamen in BI (and probably in other companies like P&O and Bibby, too) signed articles of agreement opened in India, regardless of which ship they were sent to. Articles travelled with them and were sent back to India with the men when they signed off. The point here is that, perhaps, RGSS in Cardiff claims 'no knowledge' or at least no interest in such seamen, who although sailing in British ships were nevertheless contracted under Indian articles by India Shipping Masters in Karachi, Bombay or Calcutta. Such official disinterest may now be evincing itself in the case of Indian seamen who were lost in British ships as a refusal to acknowledge their presence, extending to the "not policy" response regarding the MN memorial. Again, it would be illuminating to hear which authority supplied this response - Editor]

Richard Bracher, UK - Monday, January 7, 2008 at 16:49:41
Useful info concerning loss of ss Devon in WW2. Am seeking list of casualties. [Were there any casualities? Valiant Voyaging and Laxon & Perry give none, the latter saying that all 144 on board Devon were transferred to the raider Komet - Editor]

Mike Evans, UK - Monday, January 7, 2008 at 16:38:51
I am trying to get in touch with anyone who was on Chindwara between 1968 and 1970, basically the trip from UK - Red Sea - Indian Coast - Australia - India - USA - UK. The intention is to have a 40th reunion. Provisionally we are looking at trying to arrange something in London in October. So far we have got Ray Boyd, Jan Pritchard, Dale Worthington, Nick Pearson and Mike Evans signed up but would like to hear from anyone else on hte trip that would be interested in meeting up.

  Devonia (BI 1962-1967) was one of the relatively few ships in BI's history not built originally for the company. However, she was a near sister of troopships Dunera and Dilwara and in 1962 BI took the opportunity of acquiring her from Bibby Line (ex Devonshire) for immediate conversion to an educational cruise ship. Five years' happy service ensued.
  Devonia (BI 1962-1967) was one of the relatively few ships in BI's history not built originally for the company. However, she was a near sister of troopships Dunera and Dilwara and in 1962 BI took the opportunity of acquiring her from Bibby Line (ex Devonshire) for immediate conversion to an educational cruise ship. Five years' happy service ensued.

Muriel Brand (nee Shinn), UK - Monday, January 7, 2008 at 12:47:50
Sailed on ms Devonia in April 1965 on an educational cruise whilst at Sudbury Girls High School in Suffolk. Sailed from Genoa to Venice, visiting Naples , Corfu, Athens, Delphi & Itea. Wonderful memories!

Joy Normile, US - Monday, January 7, 2008 at 05:25:28
How can I find out more about the comments about the ss Mooltan from Colombo Ceylon and three children on board who disembarked in Fremantle, Western Australia on Dec. 25, 1925 [Mooltan was a P&O vessel - the third of this name - built in 1923. For more information, I suggest you search the many sites referencing P&O ships - Editor]

Jo Hill, UK - Sunday, January 6, 2008 at 17:32:16
Jos Grimwood [re various previous logbook entries including Dara fire references] was my brother in law. He sadly died of throat cancer on 1/7/2000. His widow, my sister Sue, lives close by. If anyone has any questions about Jos she would be pleased to hear from you.

Robyn Heggen, Australia - Friday, January 4, 2008 at 03:42:40
Re Hazel Harradence‘s log entry (Oct 22, 2007) regarding picture of Dorunda. If you search the web for Dorunda Queensland Library you should find a picture of Dorunda docked at Port Said, Egypt

Jim Hepburn, UK - Thursday, January 3, 2008 [Monday, December 24, 2007 at 19:47:14]
My only connection with BI is that my Dad who died last year, was brought back from East Africa in 1946 on a BI troopship, after spending 6 years as a bomber pilot with the RAF. He came back from Mombasa in the Aug/Sept of 1946. I was born in the June of 47...... Ever since then I have been very keen on East Africa and Indian shipping and BI. So I am sorry that I am not an ex employee. Rather, I spent my early days in steel making derricks and davits for our great ships. I retired last week Dec 21.

Alan Faragher, UK - Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 11:40:17
Would like to contact anyone who sailed with me on the Kenya, Palamcotta, Olinda from 1952 to 1955.

Robyn Heggen, Australia - Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 03:09:59
Exellent site. Would there be a crew list available of ss Dorunda's voyage London/Brisbane ETA March 1885? [This is a big ask - to use current parlance - but you could try The National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, which holds any existing BI personnel records. You could also try the Public Record Office at Kew (both these places are near London and have their own websites) which houses all ships’ official Logbooks and Articles of Agreement for the crew. In the case of BI and other companies employing ‘lascar’ seamen, ships’ articles kept in the UK will record only British or European seamen (in BI’s case, largely the officers and petty officers). Ships’ articles for BI’s Indian seamen were opened in India, ie under Indian administration and if they still exist will almost certainly be in India - Editor]

  Egra (BI 1911-1950) with (below) members of the ship's company, unidentified apart from Josiah Dewis, far right, in the Maldives, July 1942
  Egra (BI 1911-1950) with (below) members of the ship’s company, unidentified apart from Josiah Dewis, far right, in the Maldives, July 1942

Richard Dewis, UK - Tuesday, January 1, 2008 12:17:01
Re my father Josiah William Dewis (P/JX216317) who served on ss Egra as a A/PO Gunner during WWII. Family documents show that he was on board ss Harpasa on 05/04/1942 when she was sunk by Japanese aircraft off Calcutta. He was rescued by a Indo-China Navy vessel the TAKSANG which was in turn lost within 24 hours. We then have evidence that he was treated in Calcutta Hospital before showing up as A/PO Gunner on board Egra. Convoy records obtained tie up with his own records from then till Sept 1943 on board Egra. He then shows up during Operation Matador [January 1945 - amphibious assault to capture the strategic port of Kyaukpyu, at the northern tip of Ramree Island, south of Akyab, Burma, from the Japanese using the Indian 71st Brigade] again on board Egra in Jan 1945. I am trying to fill the gap between October 1943 and Dec 1944 and then Feb 1945 to Oct 1945. Is there any way I can find out if he was attached to another BI ship during this period. I have his records of ports visited. Whilst he was alive my father never spoke much about his exploits other than he lost two ships within 24 hours. [I am not sure whether gunners were employed by the companies in whose ships they served or by the RN. I suspect the latter, and wonder whether you have tried the MoD, Imperial War Museum or National Maritime Museum at Greenwich for their records. Gunners were I think signed on ships’ articles of agreement (regardless of who paid them) and thus it might be worth a trip to the Public Record Office at Kew where mercantile marine Articles and Logbooks are stored - Editor]


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