I have been reading several books on the lives of Englishmen who became commodores of the Cunard line. These are fascinating as the books start off, as the youngsters going to see in windjammers, then into the age of steam, finishing in the more modern vessels of today. The 2 mariners saw service during the WW1 as merchant sailors enrolled into the royal naval reservists, one of the chaps was in the first ship to arrive to assist the stricken Titanic, and the 2 chaps saw service during WW2 also as reservists. The names of the 2 are Sir James Bisset, and Henry Grattidge. Unfortunately, the books are out of print but are to be found in the 2nd hand book sphere. The merchant navy had appalling losses particularly during WW1 until a workable response to the German U boat was developed.