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Collection of 10 items relating to Eric Bolton Beeham

Date: 1940 - 1950
Medium: Paper, silver gelatin print
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Elaine Beeham
Object Name: Archive series
Object No: ANMS0837

User Terms

    This collection of 10 items were used and compiled by Eric Bolton Beeham during his career as a merchant mariner during World War II. The series consists of one HMS SPRINGDALE Navigating Officer's notebook; and nine black and white photographs depicting views of HMT STRATHNAVER, OTRANTO, RMS MALOJA, Beeham dressed in Sub-Lieutenant uniform on HMT STRATHNAVER, Beeham and four crew in uniform on board HMS SPRINGDALE, Beeham and three crew in uniform on board HMS ROYAL ULSTERMAN, Beeham and two crew members on board ST COMMILES, two uniformed WRANS servicewomen and a female officer in uniform. The items span the period 1940 - 1950.
    HistoryEric Beeham was born in Sydney on 14th April 1917, and as a teenager he joined the Mosman Bay Company of the Navy League Sea Cadets. In 1936 he went to sea as a cadet with P&O working on the RMS MALOJA and the RMS STRATHNAVER. He became 4th officer on the RMS RANCHI in 1928 and subsequently worked on the STRATHEDEN.

    Eric Beeham became involved in the Second World War when the STRATHNAVER was commissioned as a troop ship. He qualified through the Merchant Navy Officers' Defence Course in London and was appointed as a Sub-Lieutenant, minesweeping around the Australian coast on HMAS SAMUEL BENBOW, HMAS WARREGO, HMAS WARRAWEE and HMAS NAMBUCCA. He subsequently commanded the patrol boat NEREUS. Beeham also served on the HMAS COOLEBAR, HMAS KANIMBLA, HMS SPRINGDALE in the Pacific, New Guinea, Milne Bay and Columbo, and on the aircraft carrier HMS RAJAH in the Mediterranean, Indian Oceanic and Atlantic. Beeham passed his masters examination in 1945 while on HMS VICTORY in London. He served on HMS ROYAL ULSTERMAN for the Normandy landing and on several ships demobilising troops at the end of the war.

    Beeham left the Navy in 1948 and returned to work as a merchant mariner, working as second officer on SS CURLOSS between Australia and Britain, becoming chief officer of that ship. He subsequently worked as chief officer with the India Steamship Company, the Lyle Steam Company, J. Marr and Son, Newcastle and Hunter River Steam Ship Company and the Australian Oriental Line. Captain Beeham worked on the SS CHANGTE from 1953 to 1960 and the TAIPING for one year.

    From 1962 to 1982 he worked as a pilot for the Maritime Services Board in Newcastle, Ballina, Yamba, Coffs Harbour, Port Kembla, Botany Bay and Sydney Harbour. He continued to serve in the naval reserves.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Photographs and notebooks collected and used by Eric Bolton Beeham that relate to his work as a merchant mariner during WWII

    Web title: Collection of 10 items relating to Eric Bolton Beeham

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