Johnny Savidge, Ballard Locks 1947

It’s one of these photos where you cannot really make out the face of the person, but you see so many other clues: the young man is wearing a uniform, perhaps he was a crew member? He is standing on docks in a harbour. And the photo is identified:

Johnny Savidge, Ballard Locks 1947.

Johnny Savidge – what a cool name! Was his life just as savage :)? Let’s see what we can find out!

But first I wanted to clarify for myself what Ballard Locks means. Quoting from wikipedia:

The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, or Ballard Locks, is a complex of locks at the west end of Salmon Bay, in Seattle, Washington’s Lake Washington Ship Canal, between the neighborhoods of Ballard to the north and Magnolia to the south.

The Ballard Locks carry more boat traffic than any other lock in the US, and the Locks, along with the fish ladder and the surrounding Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Gardens attract more than one million visitors annually, making it one of Seattle’s top tourist attractions.

Source: Wikipedia
Source: TripAdvisor

So was Johnny indeed a seafarer? Yap, looks like it.

I find maaaany persons with the name John Savidge in the records, as you can imagine. I concentrated on the ones that had any records relating to seafaring.

I find one John Foster Savidge, a clergyman born in 1886, on many passenger lists in the 1920s and 1930s, and on aircraft passenger lists in the 1950s. In 1947, he would have been 61 years old, and I am pretty sure our Johnny in the photo is younger than that.

So I next concentrated on one John Daniel Savidge, born on September 26, 1922. I find him on a crew list of “Pacific Enterprise”, sailing from Liverpool to Halifax, Nova Scotia at Christmas 1946. John is listed as a ship’s junior engineer. He was 25 years old at the time, and single. He was British, born in Petersborough in Cambridgeshire, England (last address: 90 Willesden Ave. in Petersborough).

In April 1947, John is to be found on the list of members of the crew of the “Chinese Prince” as assistant engineer, sailing from Buenos Aires to New York.

Could they have made a stop at Ballard Locks as well?

John Daniel Savidge passed away in July 1991 in Petersborough at the age of 68.

I wish I knew if Johnny found the time and opportunity to settle down and have a family and if there are any children or grandchildren of his out there, who could confirm that this was indeed John Daniel Savidge, the ship engineer. Let’s hope so!

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