Author Topic: James Wheat - Engineer, 1969 to 1986 born 1926  (Read 15684 times)

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leej

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James Wheat - Engineer, 1969 to 1986 born 1926
« on: Jun 17, 2014, 10:15 AM »
Hi
My name is Jonno, I am a Lincolnshire lad approaching 50 from the wrong side.
Today, I am a steelworker with a bit of a hobby in medal collecting.
I have collected Lincolnshire Regiment medals for many years, though have now found another theme.
In my youth I was a soldier with the Royal Artillery units which used Rapier missiles during the Falklands in 1982, consequently being given a SAM with rosette.
My new theme is collecting SAM's/SAM groups to lads who served in this short war. Starting with my own, I have gained a number to various ships and military units involved.
Recently, I have gained a QE2 SAM to an engineer by the name of J. Wheat. This man is sadly now deceased.
I am trying to put together a picture of this man and his life.
As a custodian of history, a lover of history in general, and having a personal link to the Falklands myself, I feel it important to remember the people who served. Whether Naval, RAF, Army in WW1, Boer War, Korea, or the latest escapades our government sees fit to involve us with.
Anyway, cheers chaps!
Jonno

Offline CAP

Re: Researching crewmen of the QE2.
« Reply #1 on: Jun 17, 2014, 03:43 PM »
Welcome to the forum Jonno,

Unfortunately, I personally can't help you with your quest but just wanted to welcome you and express my support for your research.

Continued luck with the work hopefully there will be others who can provide information on the engineer.

Offline Willum

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Re: Researching crewmen of the QE2.
« Reply #2 on: Jun 17, 2014, 05:16 PM »
Hello, I remember Jimmy Wheat very well, although Rod will be able to tell you much more about him, he was on QE2 in the days of Steam and I think he was a 2nd Engineer possibly 1st. Thoroughly nice guy with a shock of white hair and a ready smile.

Willum

Offline Rod

Re: Researching crewmen of the QE2.
« Reply #3 on: Jun 17, 2014, 10:09 PM »
Jonno, welcome to the forum!
As Willum said, the "shock of white hair" and "the ready smile".
He was a Third Engineer and held a Second Engineers steam "ticket". He had no desire to progress any further, he did not want the responsibility, and did not want to pursue a Chiefs "ticket".
He also had issues at home with the health of one of his children and wanted to stay on QE2 so he would not be too far away.
With the new regime that came with re-engining, they wanted everyone to have diesel experience and hopefully, tickets.
I believe Jim was slated to go to one of the small ships and fought it. But the bosses won. The new stress at being taken out of a lifestyle he knew took a toll on his health and I believe he retired early.
I am so sorry to hear of his passing.
Definitely one of lifes "gentlemen"!
During my time on the ship he was Turbine Control Room, them moved to Main Control Room, occasionally did the odd trip as Maintenance Engineer.
If you can find some of the old pictures of the Main Control Room...he's the one with the white hair.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Researching crewmen of the QE2.
« Reply #4 on: Jun 17, 2014, 10:33 PM »
Could I just say how much I appreciate this correspondence and other topics like it.

It is memories and stories like this that make the ship come alive! Passengers and enthusiasts, with very few exceptions, came and went and did not leave a permanent mark on the ship. It is the crew who made her what she was, and as the crew members find their place here in the Forum and we read about their lives and their interaction with others, we understand yet another aspect of QE2 while she was fully alive and active.

And I thank Jonno and others who ask the questions, as without their interest and enquiries the answers would never find their way here.

Isabelle (during an interval between World Cup matches!).

leej

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Re: Researching crewmen of the QE2.
« Reply #5 on: Jun 17, 2014, 11:20 PM »
Cap, Willum, Rod & Isabelle

Many thanks for the grand welcome and the spot on information that has, so far, come out.

I must say that the QE2 gave us landlubbers a buzz when we saw her in 1982 and she certainly was a morale booster for any young squaddie who wasn't too sure of what he'd let himself in for. (i.e. ME!)
My first sighting of QE2 was off West Africa (Freetown seems to ring a bell), I do believe and again not far from Ascension.

Jim Wheat's SAM came up for sale on the dreaded ebay earlier this week and not having a QE2 SAM in my collection thought I would have a punt. The QE2, had 654 awarded.
The seller of the medal was based in Wales and seemed to know that Jim had died, she will send more details with the medal.

As a collector, it is always nice to put a face to the medal and name. The research is as much fun as finding the medal. There is the feeling that when you have completed your research, you have achieved something for posterity and kept the memory of the person alive.
As my old Dad said, 'a person is never quite dead until people stop talking about them.' Dad was a Bomber crewman in WW2 so knew about loss and remembrance.

Isabelle, I could not agree more with your sentiment that 'the crew made her what she was.'
The personalities, all different, make a unit/ship/workplace/school what they are and why they are remembered so fondly.

I will post all that I find on James Wheat.
I am pleased to hear that he was a well thought of chap and as an old hand, not a grumpy old git, like me at work (Honest >:( ;D)

Cheers
Jonno







leej

  • Guest
Re: Researching crewmen of the QE2.
« Reply #6 on: Jun 17, 2014, 11:43 PM »
Does anyone know wher Jim Wheat came from?
J

Offline Rod

Re: Researching crewmen of the QE2.
« Reply #7 on: Jun 18, 2014, 01:05 AM »
I want to say he lived in North Wales.....don't hold me to that though!

Offline ship pro

Re: Researching crewmen of the QE2.
« Reply #8 on: Jun 18, 2014, 05:27 AM »
I think Jimmy is on the end of steam photos that are on this site somewhere?

I believe he lived in Llandudno

I will try and find and post some photos

leej

  • Guest
Re: Researching crewmen of the QE2.
« Reply #9 on: Jun 18, 2014, 08:08 PM »
Chaps
The seller came from Flintshire, Wales though seems to think there maybe a link to Runcorn in Cheshire.
There was a James Wheat born in 1926 mothers maiden name Schofield.
There are a couple of 1935 births in Stoke on Trent, too.

Discharge Book No.R404526 issued 10/01/1983 Eng Officer 1969-1986 QE2.

He appears on the Ships Engineering Department list under 1st Engineer JF Chillingworth as an Engineering Officer. This aseems to be a list of men  who sailed under steam 20/10/86 to 25/10/86 New York to Southampton.

Jonno

Offline Rod

Re: Researching crewmen of the QE2.
« Reply #10 on: Jun 18, 2014, 09:46 PM »
I believe Jim joined the QE2 at Clydebank.
I believe he also served on "The Old Queens"
Apart from that, but will see what I can find out.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Researching crewmen of the QE2.
« Reply #11 on: Jun 18, 2014, 09:59 PM »
Hello Jonno, welcome to the forum and thank-you for starting this very interesting discussion. Looking forward to hearing more.
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

leej

  • Guest
Re: Researching crewmen of the QE2.
« Reply #12 on: Jun 18, 2014, 10:43 PM »
Hi Lynda
Yes, it is a fascinating subject.
As a collector of SAMs I have found it quite difficult to find information on the people who were awarded the medal. The comparatively recent nature of the Falklands war means that it doesn't lend itself to in depth research. Most of the information is still held by 'the powers that be' and are unlikely to release details until a number of years have passed. Due to the sensitivity of information. Afterall, we have only just had the release of WW1 military records and census are only released for publication 100 years after there compilation.
That is why forum like this are important to enthusiasts who wish to learn more.
For me, a medal is a part of a story, the life of the person, unit or ship. Medals lie untouched for years in drawers and attics, it is only when someone looks at them and questions the reason for them being there, they are remembered.

I am hoping to be able to put Jim Wheat's life together on paper for the future, for posterity. As I have done with so much of my collection.
Navigating through the forum here, I can see some very interesting threads, photos and details. Just the sort of thing to keep me occupied.
The Mrs will be pleased 8)

Jonno

Jonno

leej

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Re: Researching crewmen of the QE2.
« Reply #13 on: Jun 18, 2014, 11:51 PM »
Just having a look at Ancestry......could Jim have been born in 1922?
That would make him 60 in 1982 and would tie in with his semi-early retirement in 1983 or is it 86.
His Discharge Book issued 10/01/1983, though he was with QE2 1969 to 1986........ How does that work?
Did he work as a civilian after discharge in 1983?

There is a birth for a James Wheat in Birkenhead in 1922.

Jonno

Offline Willum

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Re: Researching crewmen of the QE2.
« Reply #14 on: Jun 19, 2014, 09:50 AM »
Sounds about right,  and discharge books were renewed as required. I'm sure you're right about N.Wales as Ch.R/O Phil Marriott lived there and they would share lifts if the leave rota worked out that way.
Willum

leej

  • Guest
Re: Researching crewmen of the QE2.
« Reply #15 on: Jun 19, 2014, 11:09 AM »
Nice one, Willum :)

Is Phil Marriott still around or on the QE2 Story?

He was quite an old chap, then?
I wonder if he had any WW2 service, 1922 would easily make him eligible. Even 1926 would make him of service age for WW2.
One of my other SAM holders was from MV Norland and was described as a manager (in charge of canteens) born Grimsby (just up the road from me), 1926. Served on Atlantic convoys throughout the war.

Thanks for that, Willum!

Jonno

leej

  • Guest
Re: Researching crewmen of the QE2.
« Reply #16 on: Jun 19, 2014, 11:44 AM »
Just had a trip around the various forum I frequent and one of the chaps on the BMF (British Medal Forum and a SAM holder) came up with this gem of information on Jim Wheat.
It sounds like Jim wasn't without a nice family friends and of course his dog Dylan at the end of his life :)

WHEAT JAMES,
October 8, 2013. Born March 30, 1926. Jim passed into spirit at Holywell Community Hospital aged 87 Thelma,
.
Lizzie and Katy Jakes sadly announce the passing of Jim, a loving father and adored Grandad. His passing leaves
the world a darker place.
Jim will be missed by so many of our community for his gentle good manners and ready smile.
His loss will also be felt amongst the dog-walking fraternity where, along with his little pal Dylan,
his charm and charisma were renowned. Retired from both the Royal and Merchant Navies, Jim
was awarded the South Atlantic Medal in 1982 when he was one of the volunteers who sailed
the QE2 to South Georgia during The Falklands conflict. Heartfelt thanks go to those who cared
for Jim during his final weeks;- the nursing staff on Ffynnon B at Holywell Community Hospital and those on Ward
7 at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. Jim’s funeral service will take place at 2:00pm on Friday 18th October
2013 at Prestatyn Parish Church and thence to Bron y Nant Crematorium, Colwyn Bay at
3:30pm. We respectfully ask that there be family flowers only with donations gratefully received
in favour of The Royal British Legion. Any further enquiries to Tegid O Jones, Funeral Directors, 232 High Street,
Prestatyn.

http://www.bmdsonline.co.uk/31753706?s_source=tmnw_dapo

Lee Jonno
« Last Edit: Jun 19, 2014, 11:51 AM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

leej

  • Guest
Re: Researching crewmen of the QE2.
« Reply #17 on: Jun 19, 2014, 12:40 PM »
Nice one, Isabelle! ;D

leej

  • Guest
Re: Researching crewmen of the QE2.
« Reply #18 on: Jun 19, 2014, 01:09 PM »
So, James Wheat b.1926 Runcorn, Cheshire, mothers maiden name 'Schofield'.
The only marriage, Wheat to Schofield, was in Runcorn in April, 1913.

George W Wheat 1882 - 1950 = Sarah Schofield

George's father was called James Wheat b.1853 a grocer with his own account, according to the 1901 Census and came from just up the road from me in Gainsborough, Lincs.
I am beginning to like this man/medal/research more and more.
I collect medals to the Lincolnshire Regiment, many from Gainsborough included and Lincolnshire chaps in general  ;)

Things are looking good ;)

Jonno


Offline CAP

Re: Researching crewmen of the QE2.
« Reply #19 on: Jun 19, 2014, 01:31 PM »
Great work Jonno...

As a fellow researcher I fully understand the sense of achievement you get when your investigations come together as well as the motivation to continue the project.


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