Tony Short

Hi, I am doing some family history on the SHORT family of Appledore (where the Reardon Smith name is still well known amongst seafarers). One of my ancestors, William Charles (Willie) Short born in 1897 was employed on the Norwich City (132596)as a mess steward when he was lost overboard on 15th September 1920 (aged 23) in mid Atlantic. The ship was en route France from New Orleans. Are there any ships logs or other records still in existence which may shine light on what happened on that day in 1920?
I understand the ship was lost in 1929 with all hands.


Thanks to the help & advice from Mike I contacted the Maritime History Archive of the University of Newfoundland. They hold 75% of all surviving crew agreements & log books of British Registered vessels from 1863-1931 and 1951-1976. The National Archive, Kew retain the records prior to 1861, 1939-1950 as well as 10% sample for the years 1861-1938, 1951-1976. All surviving documents for 1861-1862 and years ending in '5' eg 1925, are held at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
From my enquiries I found that William Short was last seen on 15th Sept 1920 by the cook just after 7am returning from the Cabin Pantry to the Engineers Mess room. At 8.05am he was reported missing, the ship turned around & sailed back to the position it was at 7am, the ship was searched, but no trace was found of William. The weather at the time was strong Easterly winds with confused seas, the ship rolling & pitching and shipping heavy sprays forward and aft. His body was never recovered.
Four years after the loss of William from the Norwich City his brother had a baby son (my father) and named him William Charles, no doubt in memory of his lost brother.

January 2013.