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Biography of James Wilson Pallin


James Wilson Pallin was the first child of Thomas Harriman Pallin and his wife Maria Elizabeth (nee Wilson).  He was born at Blackburn on 8 May 1887, completing his apprenticeship as a shipwright at West Hartlepool.  During the Great War he volunteered for duty, serving as a First Class Petty Officer in the Royal Navy aboard the depot ships “Swiftsure” and “Vulcan.”  On cessation of hostilities he sailed as a ship’s carpenter in the Merchant Navy aboard the steamer “Mandalay.”  Whilst outward-bound to Australia he was swept overboard and back again, sustaining injuries that saw him hospitalised.

He left the sea and took a job with Gray’s shipyard, West Hartlepool, being one of those that worked on the paddle-steamer “Wingfield Castle.”  Ostensibly quite austere, he was a practising Methodist, having signed “the Pledge” as a teetotaller.  Nevertheless, he was a kindly man and apprentices found him eager to pass on his skills.  Jim Pallin sang in the Orpheus Male Voice Choir (formed 1910) and during the 1920s and 30s the choir achieved great success in national competitions.  His workmate Charlie Crinson was also a member of the choir as the two are remembered as singing while they worked.

James Pallin married Ann Isabella Murphy.  The couple lived at 31 Grosvenor Street and had three children, two girls (later Mesdames Kerridge and Hauxwell respectively) and a boy (who sadly died in infancy).  Jim’s son-in-law, Arthur Hauxwell, a fitter-and-turner by trade who served his apprenticeship at Richardsons, Westgarth, was notable for his book “I Am Not a Tramp!” about his charity walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats.  Jim Pallin later worked for F. O. Kindberg & Co., a firm of ship and boat repairers engaged in maintaining the so-called “Mothball Fleet.”

Source: “The Wilsons of Whitby and West Hartlepool,” Vol. 3 by Stuart James Wilson.  See images.   



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