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Passenger lists and religion

I'll hazard a guess that it was to know how many different services they had to do on the Sunday during the voyage? That is of course assuming you are talking about the long voyages in days of old. If I can find someone that did a trip on a 'troopship', they may be able to tell me if there were different ones on them, because there was a time when a voyage from UK just to Aden took 7 weeks. As said, it's a guess!:rolleyes:
Asking about someone's religion is standard procedure and is asked still eg upon hospital admittance on those forms which have to be filled in.

On board ship ... for Sunday services and burial at sea ... are all good reasons.