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Collection of 54 items relating to the career of Bill Heath

Date: 1974 - 1987
Medium: Paper based material
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Bill Heath
Object Name: Archive series
Object No: ANMS1314

User Terms

    This collection of 54 items relates to the role of William (Bill) Heath on the Seamen's War Pensions and Allowances Committee. The documents span the period 1974 - 1987.
    SignificanceThis first-hand record gives a rare insight into a little-known area of Australian maritime history - the extent to which Australian merchant seamen participated in World War II and were affected by it.
    HistoryThe series consists of 42 research documents referred to by the Seamen's War Pensions and Allowances (SWP & A) Committee including research into subjects such as Osteoarthritis, Gastric Ulcer and Bronchogenic Carcinoma; one list of references citing medical journals; two sets of documents relating to compensation claims; two sets of administrative instructions regarding the extension of service pension to Australian mariners; one set of photocopies from the Journal of Medicine September 3rd 1960; two bundles of documents relating to cases heard at the 49th and 50th Meetings of the SWP & A committee and seven letters relating to Heath's appointment on the Committee and a notification of the extension of service pensions to Australia mariners.

    Australian merchant seaman who were involved in World War II and who suffered a disability or injury were covered by the 'Seamen’s War Pensions and Allowances Act 1940'. However the benefits in this Act were far less generous for merchant seaman than for other veterans or members of the Armed forces. The McGirr Inquiry into the Needs of Australian Mariners 1989 was held in order to examine their position. Its recommendations, including a repeal of the 'Seamen's War Pensions and Allowances Act 1940', improved the position of merchant seamen who were affected by wartime activity. However, until the introduction of the recommendations from this enquiry and others, merchant seamen who claimed to have suffered injury as a result of wartime service were required to take their claims to the Seamen's War Pensions and Allowances Committee for compensation.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: - correspondence and papers concerning Bill Heath's membership of the Committee, and his association with the Seafarers' Retirement Fund, his membership of maritime unions and other activities

    Web title: Collection of 54 items relating to the career of Bill Heath

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