UK Bureaucracy Abbreviation

I’m looking at the passenger manifest of a ship that sailed from the Caribbean to London* in 1948. One page contains a slew of passengers — all women or children — who were Polish citizens, had been residents of Mexico, and were now emigrating to the UK. All the children had their profession listed as “scholar” or “student,” while the women were all given the abbreviation “H.D.” Anyone know what this means? Is it some British version of “housewife,” or something else?

  • Actually, the Port of Arrival looks like it’s “Silbury” or “Lilbrary” (it’s handwritten, so hard to decipher). Anyone know what’s up with that?

Just to say; it’s quite likely Tilbury.

Not sure of the abbreviations but the port could be Tilbury Docks in Essex.


I see that Tilbury is on the Thames. Is it close enough that people who debarked there would be said to have “sailed to London”?

I cannot help but feel an anti Duke of Parma rant coming on whenever I hear of that place.

Pretty much I’d say. Having sailed that distance and then disemarked 20 or so miles from the centre of the city, I think it would be fair to say you had sailed to London. Tilbury also falls under the Port of London Authority, so there’s that too.

I know WAGs are frowned upon in GQ, but could I suggest that HD could be Household Domestic.

An excellent guess, which let me find thisNational Archives UK educational resource.

The image in the section you linked to is a manifest for… London, 1948!

That’s the exact manifest I’m looking at.

And now I know. Thank you, everyone!

The port of arrival is probably Tilbury in Essex which is on the Thames estuary

D could be Domowa which is Polish for hostess so H.D. could be home hostess

When I sailed in 1970 from Montreal to London, we actually went to Tilbury, but it was described as Port of London.