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Eric Bolton Beeham

Australian, born 1917

Eric Beeham began his career as an apprentice and worked his way up to Captain. He was born in Drummoyne, New South Wales, Australia on 14 April 1917 and joined the Navy League Sea Cadets as a teenager in 1930.

He went to sea as a cadet with P & O and worked on the RMS MALOJA and RMS STRATHNAVER. He became 4th Officer on RMS RANCHI in 1938 and continued to work on RMS STRATHNAVER and STRATHEDEN. When the RMS STRATHNAVER was commissioned as a troop ship, Beeham became involved in WWll. During this period he qualified as an air pilot. He was later appointed as sub - Lieutenant and worked on various vessels including HMAS SAMUEL BENBOW and HMAS WARREGO.

He left the navy in 1948 and returned to work as a merchant mariner. He worked as chief officer with various shipping companies including the Australian Oriental line. He captained SS CHANGTE from 1953 - 1960 and SS TAIPING for one year. From 1962 - 1982 he worked as a pilot for the maritime services board and continued to work in naval reserves.

The objects included within this collection provide a comprehensive record of the career of a merchant mariner during the 20th century and reflects the experience of a generation of merchant mariners. The collection material of photographs, journals, albums, folders, licences concerns the career of Eric Bolton Beeham from 1936 - 1982.