Mark Baldwin (Bedford)
Research into the Baldwin family focused on William John Pilgrim, the great-grandfather of Mark (below), 17, who had always wanted to know if the family story that William had survived a torpedo attack that sank his ship was true or not. A second tale he wanted to look into was that another great-grandfather, Norman Watson, played football for Newcastle United in the 1920s.
Barratt and his team unearthed the official report of the board of inquiry into the sinking of HMS Otway. She was a 12,000-ton liner belonging to the Orient Steam Navigation Company, drummed into service by the Royal Navy, armed with four seven-inch guns and made part of the Northern Patrol. Her peacetime role, for which she was built, was as a passenger liner and mail ship between Britain and Australia, as well as other parts of the Empire.
William Pilgrim was one of 376 men on board when she was torpedoed and sunk by a U-boat in the North Atlantic on July 22, 1917. Ten men were killed by the initial explosion, but there were no further casualties. The inquiry found the officers and men behaved in exemplary fashion.
Unfortunately for Mark, nobody called Norman H Watson played football for the Magpies.