John or Hugh Williams may have deserted his ship Lobo in Brisbane on 26 July 1886 and spent the rest of his life in Australia

November 2, 2010

This is a bit of a long shot, but I am wondering if you can help me to find some information about a distant relative of mine.

I believe he deserted his ship Lobo in Brisbane on 26 July 1886 and spent the rest of his life in Australia.  When his sister died in Holyhead in 1939, the death notice said she had a brother called Captain John Williams who had left Wales and lived in Australia. Attached is a scan from the Welsh Mariners Index mentioning the desertion.

There is a possibility that he also went under the name Hugh Williams. HIs father was a Hugh Williams who was a mariner in Holyhead.

I have just stumbled on the attached photo of the man I assume to be him on his ship SS Amra. When I searched the Internet, I found you had a reference to SS Amra amongst your stories. I also found out that SS Amra was part of the AUSN fleet between 1907 and 1923, so I assume the photo was taken in this period. His cap badge certainly looks like AUSN, and the covered way at the side of the cabins, where he is sitting, looks just like the postcard on your website. Is it possible to establish his rank from the uniform?

Do you think there is any chance to find out more about him. Are there any AUSN crew lists from the period? I presume he must have held an Australian ticket. Are there any records of the tickets issued in in Australia in this period?

Best regards
John Williams
St Davids


It looks as if your Officer may be a Cadet.

I am unable to turn up any AUSN crew lists at all, nor any reference to Tickets issued, but as a Cadet he was unlikely to hold a ticket as such.


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