An interesting maritime find

A little while ago we were asked for assistance in tracing the movements of a rescue ship named the ‘Zamalek’. The enquirer was collating details of his Merchant Navy service during World War II for a family history project. This is something we are regularly asked to assist with, and we were able to provide the information he needed using the Lloyd’s Voyage Record Cards. These cards form an index to shipping movements in Lloyd’s List for the period 1927-1975 and are unique to Guildhall Library.

Zamalek VRC 3

As you can see the ‘Zamalek’ sailed Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 30th December 1943 (red ink) arriving at Glasgow by 14th January. By the 7th February she set off again for Halifax, arriving there on the 22nd (black ink). Setting off from Halifax again on the 6th March she sustained some weather damage in these harsh conditions (blue ink). We offer a guide and an abbreviations list to assist people in deciphering the cards.

We were also able to offer an image of the crew at the very time the enquirer was aboard (below). This is a rare example from the Lloyd’s Collection, which contains few images.

Zamalek Crew 39-45 (2)

You can find out more about Guildhall Library’s marine collections at: http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/visiting-the-city/archives-and-city-history/guildhall-library/collections/Pages/Maritime-history.aspx

Jeanie Smith
Assistant Librarian

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