This collection details the names of over 50,000 merchant seamen who lost their lives during and just after WWII. The Merchant Navy during this time was made up of approximately 185,000 seamen, including 40,000 men of Indian, Chinese and other nationalities. When war broke out, the merchant fleet, which was the largest in the world, was put under the control of the Ministry of Shipping, later part of the Ministry of War Transport. The most significant battle that involved the merchant navy was the Battle of the Atlantic, during which the merchant fleet, with its naval escorts, struggled to bring food, fuel, equipment and raw materials from America and elsewhere across the Atlantic, while Germany mobilized U-boats, battleships, aircraft and mines against them in an attempt to sever Britain's supply lines.
Please note that the organisation of the collection on Ancestry reflects the way that the original data is arranged at the National Maritime Museum.