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Collection of 106 items relating to the career of Captain James Walker Fletcher

Date: 1890s-1970s
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from James Lister Fletcher
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Archive series
Object No: ANMS1300

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    Description
    This collection of 106 items relates to the maritime career of Captain James Walter Fletcher as a merchant shipmaster during World War II and harbour pilot in Sydney and Newcastle from 1954 to 1970.
    HistoryThe series consists of three vaccination cards; two memorandums noting the transfer of Captain Fletcher to the AROONA and his appointment to SS DELUNGRA; two attendance records and three half yearly reports from Rozelle Junior Technical School; two damage reports for SS DUNDULA; three references; one Union levies receipt; two pay records; one list of vessels Fletcher served on; one NSW Maritime Services Board Notice; one invitation; one log book entry; 15 letters and one envelope relating to bonuses for services rendered, pay disputes, offers of employment, vaccination status and retirement; one hand written note regarding long service leave entitlements; one biography of James Walter Fletcher outlining his personal and professional life and 64 memorandums relating to Fletcher's career including promotions, prior service, long service leave, job applications, superannuation, job interviews, medical appointments and his resignation.

    James Walter Fletcher was born at Annandale on 17 November 1910. He left school 14 to work in the office of Elliott's Chemical Works at Balmain. In 1927 at the age of 16 he went to sea as a deck boy on the Union Steamship Company's SS NIAGARA on foreign going voyages. His discharges show that he stayed on the ship until July 1933, by which time he was ranked Able Seaman. He then enrolled at Sydney Navigation School and served in coastal ships as he progressed from third mate to master in 1945. He served in Australian merchant ships during World War II, and after the war obtained pilotage exemptions for numerous ports around Australia. He joined the NSW pilotage service in 1954, and was appointd master of the pilot boat BIRUBI. In 1957 he was appointed chief pilot at Newcastle, where he lived, and remained in the service there until he retired in 1970.

    The name Fletcher and Drake Shipbuilding was provided by the donor, James L Fletcher, son of James W Fletcher. There is little published history of Balmain shipbuilding to provide information as to this firm. The job book indicates that it must have been fairly substantial. For instance it built a ferry for the North Shore Steam Ferry Company. Some unused printed bill forms have the lettterhead of Walter Fletcher, House and Ship Joiner, at 3 Reynolds Street Balmain. This would appear to be James W Fletcher's father or uncle.
    Additional Titles

    Collection title: Captain James Walter Fletcher collection

    Web title: Collection of 106 items relating to the career of Captain James Walker Fletcher

    Assigned title: Papers relating to the maritime career of Captain James Walter Fletcher

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