“Lascar” Crews in WWII

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    I am currently undertaking some research for an exhibition that will take place on HQS Wellington starting in May this year that will run until October. The theme of the exhibition is “South Asian Seafarers: Their influence on Maritime History”. I have been allocated the task of trying to prepare something for one of the panels. As an ex Master Mariner I hope to find material to project a more positive image of their contribution than that of the subservient and underpaid seafarer that appears to be the popular perception some want to perpetuate!

    I used to serve with the British India Stean Navigation Company and became aware of an incident that occurred in 1940 that demonstrated the co-operation and potential self sacrifice that European officers and Asian crew achieved when working together. I attach a link to the London Gazette that recorded the award of the Albert Medal to all three of the participants. I hope to track down, if any exist, photos of some or any of the three individuals to illustrate the theme that I want to project of professional co-operation rather than the rigid hierarchal one that some whish to present.

    I have found several references to the incident, but so far nothing pictorial that would help to support and add to the information presented in the London Gazette. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/34935/page/5286/data.pdf The award is the one presented to Neville Charles Eric Little, Third Officer, Valla Pema, Lascar, and Jairam Narron, Lascar, in the s.s. “Barpeta“ Any suggestions to where, if any, photos of the participants exist would be greatly appreciated.

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