Haworth or Purdy of England, 1800s
This is my first journal posting at this site. I have been attempting to find details of my English/Irish paternal ancestors through the surnames HAWORTH, PURDY and HOMEWOOD for about 2 years. My motivation came when I was writing a children’s book about ships and realized how much of my family history is connected to the sea. My father, Thomas Kenneth Haworth (1912-1987), and his maternal grandfather, Thomas Purdy (1836-1911), as well as his great uncle, Charles Henry Homewood (1851-1908) were Master Mariners. The only maritime history I have so far is names of some ships each of them served on. I’m hoping someone here can add to my knowledge.
A story to share - my great grandfather, Thomas Purdy, wrote a book called Practical Hints on Safe Navigation: a manual for young seamen (Liverpool: Mercantile Marine Service Association, 1902). This excerpt is from page 26: “The cautious seaman will be prepared for possibilities by seeing that his sluices and bulkheads are closed, boats in order and ready for launching, plugs in and water breakers filled, oars and rowlocks in their places, davit falls coiled down clear, and the watch below ready for instant call without delay….” Sage advice, and hopefully such cautions and preparations made a difference when my father’s ship was torpedoed in 1943. He was in the British Merchant Navy during WW II, part of the crew on a cargo vessel I believe was the Bristol City, in Convoy ONS-5 in the North Atlantic preyed upon by U-boats on May 5. Out of 44 on board, 29 were picked up by HMS Loosestrife, my father among them. I recall him telling me that once he had to abandon ship in such haste that he was forced to leave everything in his cabin. I wish I’d paid closer attention as a child to his tales of the sea. Can anyone add details about any of my seafaring ancestors?
Gillian (Haworth) Richardson