George James Munro my Grandfather was born in Bootle
and grew up near the Docks.
His first job was as a Trainee Engineer on the Overhead Railway, that ran alongside the main dock area ( See separate map).
He eventually went away to sea, an employment that many of the young males from the Welsh and Scottish Communities in Bootle did.
In 1910 he was on the "Megantic" returning from Canada on 6th August 1910 and arriving in Liverpool on the 27th August 1910, on board was the famous murderer Crippen.
During the return voyage to Liverpool, my Grandfather said that he took turns in guarding Crippen in his cabin, and had the use of a small hand pistol as extra security.
That pistol is shown below, and has a black handle with a capital "K" clearly on the design.
It is shown as Pat. Feb. 2.92-Feb. 4.95, Baby Hammerless, Patents Pending.
His log book shows he was on the ship and the story has been verified by my 98 year old mother.
In the book written at the time about Crippen's capture and return, the Inspector assisted by a lady sergeant implied that they were the ones who looked after Crippen and his lady friend. 21 days of 2*6 hour shifts seem very unlikely, and would suggest they had some assistance.
If you would like to read more about the "Crippen" case, bearing in mind the recent TV programme about his possible innocence, then follow this link.
Wikipedia - Crippen Info Crippen and the Megantic Full Family History Home Page
Grandfather Charles Ingall Randall was born in
Alphington, St. Thomas, Exeter in 1874. GGrandfather
Samuel Payne Randall, seems to have helped his son to
eventually become a Merchant Navy Officer. The first
real evidence of his occupation comes from South
Shields where he qualified as a mate from the
Training College.( His certificate is held by us).
His marriage to Mary McGuckian and subsequent birth
of his first 3 children took place in the Tyne
Region. He subsequently moved to Liverpool and became
the Senior Captain of the "Leyland Line" a
line that was eventually taken over by another
shipping line. Some time during the Great war, and
while he was still a 1st Officer, the ship was
stopped by a German U-Boat. The crew were forced to
abandon ship, but unknown to the Germans my
Grandfather and a rating were hiding under the
gun's cowling. When the crew were well away they
managed to discharge 2 rounds from their 6 inch gun
and damaged the U-Boat below it's waterline. We
are trying to find out about the exact circumstances,
but the attached picture clearly shows him standing
the ship, with the 6 inch gun behind, with his medal
and the Luger Pistol he seems to have acquired.
My father originally became an Officer Cadet to train
as a Merchant Navy Officer.
This was facilitated by his father, a Captain in the Leyland Line which sailed out of Liverpool.
Because of the Great Depression all Cadets were laid off to save money and my father took employment with a steel stockholder called Baldwins.
He soon made his mind up to return to sea and ran away as a Bell Boy (Unpaid).
He married my mother in 1932 as she turned 21. He travelled back and forth on the Monarch and Queen of Bermuda between Liverpool, Bermuda and New York.
My mother subsequently lived in Bermuda, before returning for my birth in December 1934. At 6 months of age we returned for a short while to Bermuda, before moving to New York for a while.
We stayed on 52nd Street, in a flat owned by my Great Aunt Isabella McGuckian my Grandmother Randall's elder sister.
My 1st birthday was held on the top of Empire States Building.
We went back to Bermuda where my father became Asst. Manager of the British Naval Base (at that time the largest Naval Base in the world), before the whole family returned for the birth of my sister Maureen in November 1938.
When the war broke out and during the May Blitz, we were bombed a number of times, as we lived at, Tilston road, Aintree, only 1/2 a mile from a very large Ordinance factory on the nearby industrial estate.
With my father away at sea, we decided to move to Penmaenmawr, where my Grandmother's sister Aunty Nellie lived.
We stayed with a Mrs Griffith, possible relation(There are Griffith's in my Welsh Tree).
My father travelled all over the world to USA, Burma, Pacific, South Africa, Russia, and in doing so earned with clasps over 7 campaign medals.
1. He was on board the Duchess of Bedford
accompanying the Duchess of Richmond, both troop
ships being sent to Burma, when dysentery broke out
and some of the crew were sent to help with the
After leaving, the boat was sunk by a German U-Boat with the loss of live as big as any period of the war. This happened outside Durban South Africa, where his sister Maude's husband was the Chief Pilot Officer for the port.
2. On another occasion he was on the 1st troop ship into the port of Tripoli after the North African Invasion. While entering, the ship was still being shelled.
3. Finally he tells of hair raising moments on his journey to Mirmansk Russia on one of the Q37 convoys, and how while on duty on one of the Bofor Guns, in freezing conditions, he accidently released the safety catch and fired into the air. Luckily there was no German ships in the area.
Lance Bombadier Brian I.Randall No.22864007 "B" Battery of the 1st Royal Horse Artillery: Right of the Line: Senior Regiment of the British Army. Ceremonial Duties carried out by King's Troop of the Honourable Artillery.
When you record dates of birth and marriages, sometimes there seems to be a pattern of unusual dates: