M.V. Accra

I decided to start a section on my website about the ships and shipping line that Henry Hedges travelled to Africa on. A couple of days ago, I bought a postcard on Ebay of M.V. (Motor Vessel) Accra, which he travelled to Nigeria on twice in the mid 1930′s. Well at least I thought I had!

The M.V. Accra that Henry travelled on was the second ship of that name, launched in 1926 and owned by the British & African Steam Navigation Co. Ltd., later Elder Dempster Lines Ltd. She was 9337 gross tons, 450.8 feet in length and registered in Liverpool. She had accommodation for 243 first class and 76 second class passengers. She was later torpedoed and sunk on 26th July 1940.

After looking closer at the postcard, which I should have done before I bought it, it is of the third M.V. Accra, which entered service in 1947.

As I said earlier, Henry travelled to Nigeria twice on the M.V. Accra.

  • 6th April 1932. Travelled on ship MV Accra of the Elder Dempster Lines under master J.C. Shooter from Liverpool to Lagos, Nigeria. He travelled 1st Class. His address in the United Kingdom was 243 Giston Lane, Aston W4. He was age 34 and his occupation was a printer.
  • 4th April 1934. Travelled on ship MV Accra of the Elder Dempster Lines under master J.C. Shooter from Liverpool to Lagos, Nigeria. He travelled 1st Class. His address in the United Kingdom was Long Marston, Tring. He was age 37 and his occupation was a printer. He is travelling this time with Lillian age 26. This must be their honeymoon as they were married on the 1st April 1934.

So, its back to searching for the correct ship images as I work on the new page.

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16 Responses to M.V. Accra

  1. My father was on board the Accra when she was torpedoed, I think on 26 July, 1940, not 29th, and coincidentally was returning from Nigeria where he too was a printer, stationed at Kaduna. You can find a picture of the ship at the website above.

  2. Ian says:

    Thank you John for contacting me with that correction. I think it must have been finger trouble, I have 26th in my notes.
    Thanks also for the link to the website, I hadn’t found that one yet. I am putting together a page about the ships that Henry travelled on and that will be more detailed for each vessel.

    Could you let me know what time frame your father was stationed in Kaduna? If the times overlap, it would seem likely that they may have known each other, both being printers. You may have seen from my other posts that Henry was in Nigeria from 1922 until early 1939. I know at the time of my father’s birth, in 1935, Henry was in Kaduna, but I do not know if he spent his entire service there.
    Regards,
    Ian

  3. Michelle Worthington says:

    Hi there, I travelled from Southampton to Lagos on the Accra in 1949 at that time my name was sullivan. I have been trying to find a picture of the Accra on the net but have been unsuccessful. Can you suggest a site that I can go to. I have very vivid memories of the trip especially having to climb down a very long thin ladder to get onto a boat to take us onto dry land!!

  4. Ian says:

    Hi Michelle,
    I’ve had a quick look and here’s a couple of pictures of the 1947 Accra. The first picture is the 1926 Accra, but the other two are correct.
    If you travelled back from Lagos, arriving in Plymouth on 24th August 1949 on the Amstelkerk, then I have found you in the incoming passenger lists on Ancestry.co.uk.
    Regards,
    Ian

  5. Marian Jackson says:

    Hi there,
    My great grandfather served on the Accra until his death in 1938. He worked as the ship’s butcher. There is a family story that he helped to look after a hippopotamus on its way to London Zoo from Africa. Would love to know if there is any truth in the tale.
    His name was Edward Herbert Collingwood Moss. I am up against a brick wall trying to trace his birth. I know he was lodging with a chap called William Parker Bell, a ship’s rigger at the time of his death. I wonder if he also worked on the Accra but not sure what a rigger does. Sounds more like a sailing ship activity than a steamship.
    Good luck with your research. Marian.

  6. Ian says:

    Hi Marian,
    Thanks for your message. The story about the hippo sounds as if it may be challenging to find any details about. Have you contacted London Zoo, they probably have details of where their animals came from and may have details of the transit?
    A ship’s rigger deals with setting up rigging gear to lift loads and equipment, so maybe in this case dealing with the cargo.
    What avenues have you tried to find your great grandfather? Assuming he was more than 38 when he died, he should be in the 1901 Census.
    Regards,
    Ian

  7. Marian Jackson says:

    Hi Ian,
    Many thanks for the reply.
    I’ll try contacting the zoo. That’s a good idea that didn’t occur to me! I’ve done google searches on hippos transported by ship from Africa and there were a few reported in newspapers at that time but no mention of which ships they used.
    My Gt grandfather was born in 1886 per his marriage certificate, 1894 per his death certificate. Moss is a common name but I can find no Edward Moss’s of the right age who were merchant seamen in the 1901 or 1911 censuses. Maybe he was away at sea!
    A cousin remembers that his name may have been changed from Samuel Moses, but even less joy with that name. I have found a Moses family living in the Wirral who have both mariners and butchers in the family but no likely cadidate to be my Gt Grandad.
    I’m going to write to the maritime archives in Southampton to see if they have his seaman’s record.
    I also know that he was in the RAMC as a chef in 1914 but have had no joy on the National Archives looking for his army records. I may try going up to Kew to see if they hold anything there about him.
    Thanks for the explanation of a rigger. Kind Regards, Marian.

  8. Ian says:

    Hi Marian,
    A possible name change does complicate matters. His seaman’s record would be a great option. I don’t know if there was any form of pension that you could investigate the records of. That was how I broke my brick wall a couple of years ago.
    Regards,
    Ian

  9. Rosanna, nee Patterson says:

    My father, Robert Patterson B.Sc B.Agr, was married on 4 June 1940 in Comber, Co Down. He was on the MV Accra when it was torpedoed on the 26 July 1940, en route to Accra where he served in the Royal West African Frontier Force. Those rescued were taken to Freetown and later to Glasgow.

  10. Marian Jackson says:

    I’ve finally got round to getting the copy of my Gt Grandad’s seaman’s record. It has his date and place of birth and a photo! That has led me to find his birth certificate. A different year and different christian name but right date and right surname and all the other details fit! At last I am beyond the brick wall! :-)

  11. Ian says:

    Hello Marian,
    Great news.That one breakthrough, that gets you through the brick wall is a great feeling.
    Good luck with your future research.
    Regards,
    Ian

  12. Jay says:

    Thank you so much for the useful information on this board. I think I am heading in the right direction. I found a diary from my late father who said that he sailed in 1942 from Lagos to Liverpool on board C.C.S Accra, having looked everywhere for a ship called C.C.S I think it actually may be the MV Accra. Any ideas?

  13. Ian says:

    Hello Jay,
    I don’t believe it could be the Accra as she was sunk in 1940 and the next Accra didn’t enter service until 1947.
    Regards,
    Ian

  14. Jay says:

    Hi Ian
    Thanks so much for getting back to me, I’ve since discovered (only today) that C.C.S is an abbreviation for Casualty Clearing Station, so he was stationed at CCS Accra. I think I may now contact the Imperial Museum to find out more, though as it is the Gold Coast….

  15. Ian says:

    Hi Jay,
    At least that’s one small mystery solved. You at least now know where you are trying to found out about.
    Good luck with your research.
    Regards,
    Ian

  16. caroline consalvey says:

    Hi Ian My dad Paul Campbell (may also have been known as Weaver)was on MV Accra when it was torpedoed in 1940.I think he was employed as a rigger by the merchant navy.I think he joined the ship from Liverpool and was underage when he joined the merchant navy.He lived in a childrens home Newton Hall in Frodsham Cheshire which was run by the National Childrens Home prior to joining.In his records there is mention of the ships fate in a letter he wrote to the home.He wasn’t the only survivor but I am not aware of how many people survived.One of the stories he told me about his time in the navy (which I’m not sure was on MV Accra or another ship during the war)was of a secret consignment which was Newsreel about Louis Mountbatten.They were told not to open the parcel on any account,appparently my dad who was a keen photographer gave an impromptu news conference by pinning up white sheets to project the news reel onto.I have really enjoyed reading all the comments.Sadly my father died in 1997 and although he told us little bits of information I would have liked to have known more about his time spent in the navy.

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