My Grandfather Geoffrey was in the Royal Navy for more than 25 years. Unfortunately I did not know him very well. I was brought up from the age of 10 in Australia and he lived in England. I am on the journey of finding out about this man, who fought in both world wars, and even when he was demobbed - or should that be deshipped - still 'went to sea'.

I will leave his early life for another story, as there is a mystery surrounding his parentage that is still to be resolved.

Here I will introduce you to the man I have found when he was old enough to be working.

In 1911, aged 15, he was described as a wine and spirit store porter. I believe he worked in the Yarmouth fishing fleet until he joined the Navy in 1916. His ship must have been stationed in Scotland as Geoffrey fathered a child (my father) who was born in Edinburgh 17th June 1917. He was registered as illegitimate and he was christened 6th July, and his parents were married the next day. I am in the process of obtaining Geoffrey's records from the Navy, so his Navy career will be added once I have obtained, and and have made sense of, the papers.

I found Geoffrey as a crew member of the Elizabete, 2,039 ton steamer out of Cardiff carrying a cargo of pit props, Captain named Millars. This ship attempted to salvage the American Farmer, a vessel of more that 8,000 tons which was carrying a cargo valued at over 1 million pounds. The American Farmer had been abandond by her crew after colliding with another ship. They were unsuccessful, but it sure would have been good for the owners of the little vessl, and the crew who I think normally take a share of the booty, it they had made it back to port. More on the story can be found in a pdf exhibit attached to Geoffrey's data page

Take a look at the crew. A very tough looking bunch. Geoffrey later worked on the Lightships off the coast of Norfolk

Geoffrey is dead centre, to the right (as we look at it) and slightly to the rear of the sailor with the lantern jaw.