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Stories of tragic seafarers online

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale

NAMES of Scottish seafarers who died in the course of their work have been made available online.

Records of over 14,000 deaths from the late Victorian times up to 1974 have been released by National Records of Scotland through the Scotland’s People website.
These records list Scottish seamen, including many fishermen who drowned in Scottish waters, emigrants who did not reach their hoped-for destination and those who served in the Royal Navy.
The documents contain hundreds of entries for Scottish sailors, engineers and other crewmen who died in every corner of the world, whether at sea, or in foreign ports or hospitals.
And they include the names of Scots crewmen of the Titanic, such as Dalbeattie-born First Officer William M Murdoch.
The records also list those who lost their lives in war-time on HMS Hood, SS Athenia and RMS Lancastria.
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Scotland is a maritime nation with fascinating stories and an important seafaring history and these new online registers will provide wider access to this heritage.”
Tim Ellis, registrar general and keeper of the Records of Scotland, added: “The Returns of Deaths of Seamen and Deaths at Sea open a window into the lives of Scots seafarers in the first half of the 20th Century.
“They reveal the dangers experienced by seamen and passengers alike, and provide useful information for anyone wishing to discover more about their ancestors.”

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