Documents relating to John Stewart Ball (1903/4 - 1987), Chief Steward, Federal Steam Navigation Company (New Zealand Shipping Company).



Account of voyage of Surrey, Federal Steam Navigation Company (New Zealand Shipping Company), 1942 and accompanying track chart, by John Stewart Ball (known as Johnny Ball), Chief Steward. Vessel loses rudder January and towed to Bermuda, then Baltimore. In May sails to UK, torpedoed and sunk. Surviving crew take to lifeboats and are rescued. Letter from New Zealand Shipping Company re share of award from Ministry of War Transport for safe return of ship Hororata, 14 May 1943. Hororata was torpedoed in December 1943 during a voyage from New Zealand to Liverpool carrying refrigerated meat, patched up and arrives in Liverpool in March 1943. Ball therefore serves on at least two eventful and dangerous voyages during the Second World War. Two black and white photographs of Ball in Merchant Navy uniform. Biographical notes: Died at the age of 83 in 1987 (born 1903/4), brought up in an orphanage (did later meet his mother who had been forced to give him up) in London by the Silesian brothers. Ran away aged 12/13 and joined the New Zealand Shipping Company as a cabin boy, rose to be Chief Steward. Later shore based, Water Street, London. Married a nurse start of World War II, had two daughters.