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janer6156
30-09-2007, 13:16
I am new to this forum, having found a link from researching submarine H27. I have just discovered a list of my grandfather's ships in aan old autograph book and a phot album from the early 1930s with loads of naval pictures in it. Having established from the phots that grandad William Foad (Bill) was serving on H27 in 1932 I have aphot of him in his number 2s(Is that correct for a sailor - I married into an Army family?) dated the same. he has two stripes on his left arm with waht looks like an anchor above it. On the other arm is a diagonal cross of some sorts with a blob above it. Can anyone tell me what his rank was at this time. I would also like to know how one shares photos - there are quite afew of other submarines and ships in this album.

qprdave
01-10-2007, 02:41
No. 2s seems to be correct. No 2s was a Duty uniform (No.1s were for ceremonial. On his left arm each stripe indicated indicates 4 years good conduct the Anchor above shows that he was a Leading Hand. i.e. Leading Seaman. On the right arm shows the branch that you belong (Stoker, Gunner et.c). Quite a few Branches has "Cross Badges ie Gunnery had Cross Guns. Hope this has been some help

janer6156
01-10-2007, 17:20
Thankyou - that is really helpful.
I will try to scan and blow up the photo to see if I can see what 'items' are crossed. I know my granddad finished his service in the 1960s and was a Master at Arms by the time I was born (1958) but I do not know what his trade was throughout.

Odin
27-03-2008, 12:04
The picture below is of tobacco issue on HMS Cressy. The officer is a Staff Paymaster (Lt Cdr Paymaster). I was trying to identify the rank of the young man in glasses on his left. If you make the comparison with the Paymaster, the youth appears to have just a single white band around his sleeve. Am I right in thinking he is a Clerk (= Midshipman Paymaster). I don't believe they wore the white collar insignia that Midshipmen did.

Batstiger
27-03-2008, 14:36
I can't help you there but as well as the Baccy ration that looks like a couple of bars of "Pusser's hard" in his other hand.

Bob.

BB60
27-03-2008, 15:56
I would have never thought that their ration would have been whole tabacco leaves. It is hard to tell how dry it is, I wonder if it is intended to be smoked or chewed.
Pardon dragging your thread off subject.;)

Harley
28-03-2008, 00:01
Odin, Clerk was the equivalent of Midshipman and Assistant Clerk was the equivalent of Naval Cadet. The chap in the photo would appear to be an Assistant Paymaster of less than 6 years seniority. If he had been Clerk then he would have had the three cuff buttons denoting a "snottie".

Harley

tonclass
28-03-2008, 00:14
Is the rating on the left a Gunnery Rate, acting Petty Officer ?
Rik

Harley
28-03-2008, 13:41
The rate badge has a Queen's Crown on, so it's pre-1901-1902 (takes time to replace badges). Looks to be a Gunner's Mate badge, but that title wasn't introduced until the early 20th Century, so I'm just trying to find out what it used to be called!

Harley

BB60
28-03-2008, 16:02
What are the block looking things he has in his hands and are stacked on the floor in front of the table?

Batstiger
28-03-2008, 16:18
I have already given my suggestion Jeff. "Pussers Hard"
These were large blocks of Carbolic soap for Jack to do his Dhobeying with. When I joined as a Boy/seaman at HMS Ganges in 1952 it was still being issued then and possibly a long time after. We didn't get the tobacco leaf though!

Bob.

BB60
28-03-2008, 16:37
Well see, Bob, you need to use English when 'splaining things to us septics.:D

I saw that reference to Pusser's Hard you mentioned and didn't have clue as to what it was and I'm still not sure, as I don't know what "dhobeying" is. Is he to use it to wash his butt or his clothing?;)

I have already given my suggestion Jeff. "Pussers Hard"
These were large blocks of Carbolic soap for Jack to do his Dhobeying with. When I joined as a Boy/seaman at HMS Ganges in 1952 it was still being issued then and possibly a long time after. We didn't get the tobacco leaf though!

Bob.

herakles
28-03-2008, 21:05
Jeff,

dhobeying means washing. It's an English slang word that comes from the Indian language.

A unique feature of Mumbai, the dhobi is a traditional laundryman, who will collect your dirty linen, wash it, and return it neatly pressed to your doorstep. All for a pittance. The "laundries" are called "ghats": row upon row of concrete wash pens, each fitted with its own flogging stone. The clothes are soaked in sudsy water, thrashed on the flogging stones, then tossed into huge vats of boiling starch and hung out to dry. Next they are ironed and piled into neat bundles. The most famous of these Dhobi Ghats is at Saat Rasta near Mahalaxmi Station where almost two hundred dhobis and their families work together in what has always been a hereditary occupation.

Batstiger
28-03-2008, 21:31
Dhobeying is, or was a well known Naval word.
I'm sorry I didn't explain myself but I keep thinking all members are ex Matelots. I shall know better next time!

Bob.

BB60
29-03-2008, 00:05
Awe, go ahead and type what you normally would. If I don't know what it means and can't find it, I'll ask. That way, I can continue to learn something new everyday and you can keep the idiosyncrasies of language alive.

Odin
29-03-2008, 12:44
Thanks for your comments - by the way the word 'dhobi' is in the bigger Oxford English Dictionaries (= washing).

I dug out the Messina Earthquake Medal Rolls for 1906 as two ships of the same class were there - HMS Sutlej and HMS Euryalus. I checked the crew list to see if that would help and found:

HMS Euryalus:
1 Fleet Paymaster (Cdr) 2 Assistant Paymasters (Sub Lieut) 1 Clerk (Midshipman)

HMS Sutlej:
I Fleet Paymaster (Cdr) 2 Assistant Paymasters (Sub Lieut)

As we appear to have a Staff Paymaster and Asst Paymaster, I can honestly say that was no help at all. So if the chap is an Assistant Paymaster, has anyone got a photo of a Clerk RN?

Harley
29-03-2008, 13:10
No photo, but I can show you the utterly invaluable rank insignia table I have. Clerk and Assistant Clerk is № 35.

Harley

Odin
29-03-2008, 13:45
Thanks very much for that Harley - a very useful table. I'll now start through all the old navy photos, doing some rank spotting.

Harley
29-03-2008, 13:50
If you would, let me know if you come across any of the Assistant Paymasters under 6 years seniority - I've never actually seen the thick stripe and the broad stripe together a la Lieutenant j.g.!

Harley

herakles
29-03-2008, 18:03
Thanks for your comments - by the way the word 'dhobi' is in the bigger Oxford English Dictionaries (= washing).


There's understandably quite a few Indian words in the dictionary. Khaki comes to mind.

nogrub
31-03-2008, 14:14
I would have never thought that their ration would have been whole tabacco leaves. It is hard to tell how dry it is, I wonder if it is intended to be smoked or chewed.
Pardon dragging your thread off subject.;)

Leaf tobacco, for pipe or chewing.

Strip viens out of leaves.
Treat with Rum.
Wrap in small canvas rolls and tie with string, like a small hammock.
Leave for 3 months. It turns out solid and pitch black.
Cut in small bits for chewing, or for filling your pipe

RCN
12-04-2008, 21:41
The rate badge has a Queen's Crown on, so it's pre-1901-1902 (takes time to replace badges). Looks to be a Gunner's Mate badge, but that title wasn't introduced until the early 20th Century, so I'm just trying to find out what it used to be called!

Harley

The Petty Officer in the white uniform receiving his issue wears the rate badge of a Torpedo Instructor for the time frame 1890-1903.
It appears as if he wears a crossed torpedo & gun. If the gun is crossed over the torpedo he would be a Gunnery Instructor.

Bryan

RCN
12-04-2008, 22:00
Further to Harley's posts concerning the rank of the Officer standing to the right of the photo (to the seated Staff Paymaster's left), he is definitely an Assistant Paymaster under 6 yrs seniority (ie: one gold band with the white distinguishing cloth below).

Here are colour illustrations of the Ranks of the Paymaster branch,

Bryan

NSR
01-05-2008, 16:44
Slightly off thread but leaf tobacco was still available in the late 40s. The ration of 1lb per month (two 1/2lb tins) could be had as cigarette, fine cut, at two and sevenpence, pipe, coarse cut, at two and threepence and loose leaf at one and ninepence. Pusser's hard was also known as Pusser's Vianola after a particularly fancy brand of toilet soap.

I am not sure of the precise date but one enterprising matelot obtained a professional cigarette rolling and set up in Chatham Depot. You could take your two tins of cigarette tobacco and exchange them for 400 cigarettes loose in a cardboard box. I suspect that the same occurred in other port divisions. Later the manufacturers took the hint and the blue liners began to appear.

Ken

ceylon220
09-06-2008, 17:30
I can't help you there but as well as the Baccy ration that looks like a couple of bars of "Pusser's hard" in his other hand.

Bob.

You mentioned "baccy" Bob, does the RN still issue the old Blue Liners(cigs) or have they gone the same way as the Rum ration. The Blue liners were throat cutters, we always said that this was sweepings from the fag factories, always pleased to get ship cigs after these.

ceylon220
14-06-2008, 19:28
You mentioned "baccy" Bob, does the RN still issue the old Blue Liners(cigs) or have they gone the same way as the Rum ration. The Blue liners were throat cutters, we always said that this was sweepings from the fag factories, always pleased to get ship cigs after these.

Is no one speaking to me, come on lads someone give me an answer on the above-----I have`nt upset anyone that I know of.:confused:

Shipswriter
07-03-2009, 19:56
Members
Can anyone help me please?

My late father served at HMS Drake during the later stages of WW2. Well in reality I think he did all his basic training and then the war ended so his naval career consisted of attending all the victory marches before being de-mobbed!
I know he was a Writer but what i'm trying to establish is what rank he would be. from photo's i know he didn't wear an ordinary seamans uniform (with a pork pie hat). Is the uniform he wore - with a peaked cap normal for a Writer, and would he just have been an 'ordinary seaman' ?
For information the picture on my profile is my late father (age 18)

many thanks
Dave

Batstiger
07-03-2009, 20:41
That is the normal uniform for a writer Dave. Have you a larger scan that you can post?

Bob.

Shipswriter
07-03-2009, 21:02
Thanks for the reply
Attached is the only other photo I have - in what I believe to be winter uniform?

Joseph
07-03-2009, 21:48
Class III or "Fore and Aft" uniform with black horn buttons : peaked cap red badge and jacket, with normal trousers (crease down the front), worn by daymen such as writers, sick berth ratings, cooks, stewards domestics, stores and victualling personnel. This uniform was removed from the Dress Regulations on 1 Jan 1960 and all junior ratings (apart from artificer apprentices) wore Class II or “Square Rig” round cap and bell bottoms with the blue collar.

Regards Charles

Jervis Bay
05-03-2010, 02:39
This is a WW2 sailor, as of yet unidentified. Rank is a weak area for me. Any suggestions as to rank-trade? Thanks.

qprdave
05-03-2010, 03:14
His Rate was a Chief Petty Officer. Because of his trade, he would be a Chief Yeoman of signals

He would be responsible for the Tactical side of signalling i.e Flags and pennants that were raised up the yardarm, Semaphore signalling (Signalling. using two hand flags) and Signal lamps (Using Morse Code).

If there is anything to add (or remove). It will be done by our ex-signallers in the morning when they get up

Dave

harry.gibbon
05-03-2010, 23:41
As Qprdave has indicated;

By all appearances this photograph depicts a Chief Yeoman of Signals. Whether he be Royal Navy or a Commonwealth Navy escapes me at the moment ... why? because of the cap badge! ... not sure about the crown and the laurels don't seem to be full enough and closely encompass the anchor.

But then again it might just be my eye(s) deceiving me.

Little h

INVINCIBLE
06-03-2010, 10:29
As Qprdave has indicated;

By all appearances this photograph depicts a Chief Yeoman of Signals. Whether he be Royal Navy or a Commonwealth Navy escapes me at the moment ... why? because of the cap badge! ... not sure about the crown and the laurels don't seem to be full enough and closely encompass the anchor.

But then again it might just be my eye(s) deceiving me.

Little h

Harry,

I entirely agree - the cap badge looks slightly odd to me, but then I only had thirty years experience in the Service. On the other hand looking at a WW II picture and a more recent one they look very similar.

harry.gibbon
06-03-2010, 11:19
INVINCIBLE,

I think we are on the right trail ... it's as though the cap badge being worn has the anchor depicted in your set of examples on the right (gold) whilst having the laurel leaves depicted on the the example on the left set (black & white)! 30 years is nearly twice the time I did so at least you got a pension:)

Little h

Fairlead
06-03-2010, 14:03
Without doubt a Chief Yeoman of Signals - the cap badge is that of a CPO and they did vary depending on where they were made (Malta - India - Ireland) and if you were issued it or bought it from slops or a Naval Tailor.

Gordon 54 (With 40 years in!)

davep
06-03-2010, 16:15
totally agree with fairlead, only got 19yrs in so far and my cap badge definately looks like the coloured one with the laural leaves close in

INVINCIBLE
06-03-2010, 16:21
INVINCIBLE,

I think we are on the right trail ... it's as though the cap badge being worn has the anchor depicted in your set of examples on the right (gold) whilst having the laurel leaves depicted on the the example on the left set (black & white)! 30 years is nearly twice the time I did so at least you got a pension:)

Little h

Harry,

Probably not appropriate to this thread, though I am not sure whether there is a thread on "Pay, Pensions and Conditions of Service" but I would hope that at least you qualified for a preserved pension for your years of loyal service to Crown & Country - an injustice if you did not !! I think the introduction of the "Military Salary" for the British Armed Forces and the huge 32% increase in pay under Margaret Thatcher in 1979 put right a lot of the injustices in the pay and pensions of the Forces. I must search the forum for pay and pension threads, although as this is an international forum concerning many different naval forces there may not be one.

harry.gibbon
06-03-2010, 16:24
Looks like thats it then ... sorted ... we can all sit back on our 'laurels':) and appear to be thoroughly 'anchor':)faced.

PS mine was as issued - I think!

Little h

steve roberts
06-03-2010, 17:08
Hi Little h.Did they issue them in your days? All I got on promotion both to Petty Officer and then Chief was a £70 uniform grant above and beyond Kit Upkeep Allowance.Which was a pittance anyway!!!:rolleyes:...Many Regards Steve.

harry.gibbon
06-03-2010, 18:14
Hey up Steve, in my day indeed:rolleyes:

Yep I was at GCHQ and collected first issue buttons and badges from slop stores in Corsham. KUA went towards the clothing items.

Little h

Jervis Bay
07-03-2010, 00:03
Thanks everyone for the CPO Chief Yeoman of Signals... His nicname was Pony, and he served aboard HMS Jervis Bay, and was one of the casualties. It should be easy for me to pick him out of the casualty list.

Jervis Bay
07-03-2010, 00:19
The Chief Yeoman of Signals aboard HMS Jervis Bay was Dennis Moore of Portsmouth. I have photos of most of the crew - his was one missing. Thanks again.

harry.gibbon
08-03-2010, 23:14
Harry,

Probably not appropriate to this thread, though I am not sure whether there is a thread on "Pay, Pensions and Conditions of Service" but I would hope that at least you qualified for a preserved pension for your years of loyal service to Crown & Country - an injustice if you did not !! I think the introduction of the "Military Salary" for the British Armed Forces and the huge 32% increase in pay under Margaret Thatcher in 1979 put right a lot of the injustices in the pay and pensions of the Forces. I must search the forum for pay and pension threads, although as this is an international forum concerning many different naval forces there may not be one.

NOPE; 1949 - 1975 we got nothing for less than 22 years. My service 58-74 so one left with a 'small' gratuity. I for one could not be blackmailed into 22 years by the assisted house purchase scheme, so off I went. Little h

INVINCIBLE
10-03-2010, 14:48
NOPE; 1949 - 1975 we got nothing for less than 22 years. My service 58-74 so one left with a 'small' gratuity. I for one could not be blackmailed into 22 years by the assisted house purchase scheme, so off I went. Little h

Harry,

It is a disgrace that you did not receive a deferred pension for your service. Everybody serving now earns at least a deferred pension however few years they do. Those leaving after "22" at say age 40 receive an immediate pension for life! I have not found a thread on this forum on "Pay, Pensions and Conditions of Service". As regards the assisted house purchase scheme I can well understand your decision to "come ashore" and not get hooked in. An unknown consequence of the assisted house purchase scheme was that those who did buy at that time found years later that because of mega house price inflation they were sitting on quite a valuable asset. I think the gratuity was intended to enable those retiring to buy a cottage or at least be a substantial deposit for house purchase - could you possibly have bought a house with your "small gratuity". I remmember many years later when serving in Fleet HQ at Northwood an RAF Squadron Leader coming up to retirement. Armed with details of his gratuity he went to look at house prices, always having lived in RAF MQs. When he saw the price of houses in the local area he nearly had a heart attack. When I got married my "DO" told me to go and buy a house - best piece of advice anybody ever gave me.

qprdave
10-03-2010, 14:55
Harry

I think that you must have fallen through the cracks as far as your pension is concerned

I left in '78 after 12 yrs (9 man's time) and I will get one when I'm 65.

I should send them a little note asking what went wrong

Dave

INVINCIBLE
10-03-2010, 15:01
Harry

I think that you must have fallen through the cracks as far as your pension is concerned

I left in '78 after 12 yrs (9 man's time) and I will get one when I'm 65.

I should send them a little note asking what went wrong

Dave

Harry,

I entirely agree - a note to the "Pay and Pensions" Division with your official number would be well worth a try. I would be very interested to hear what excuse is used if you are denied a pension for your service.

JackW1208
10-03-2010, 15:13
When the new pension scheme came in (April 75) I qualified for a preseved pension, index linked, to be drawn, upon application, at the age of 60.
My service time was 65 - 75 (December) so I dipped in.
I drew my pension in 2008, and although smallish, it helps me along the way.
The lump sum was a godsend, finnished paying off my mortgage with it.
Sorry if I've upset anyone who left prior to April 75.

Jack.

JackW1208
10-03-2010, 15:22
Further to my last post, this is the link for pensions
http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/CorporatePublications/PersonnelPublications/Pensions/AFPS75/Afps75YourPensionSchemeExplained.htm

Jack.

TACKLINE
10-03-2010, 20:56
He certainly is a Chief Yeoman. A v/s2. v/s1's would also have a star underneath. Commonwealth countries have the same badges as the RN. At least the did when that photograph was taken. Have'nt a clue about present day badges.

harry.gibbon
10-03-2010, 21:59
Thanks folks for all your 'contributions';) regarding pensions. I shall investigate as you suggest, however there are others on my branch forum 'Squirrelshack' already in the fray with the subject, they having the same leaving year as myself.... and so far its a 'no go' to even be considered for inclusion into the scheme.

Little h

Jervis Bay
07-04-2010, 13:15
hi all, again thanks to all who identifieid his rank which lead to his identification as Dennis Moore. I just received about 8 letters from him to his "girl in the port". Each letter is between 4-8 pages long, between Sept.-Oct. 1940. They provide great details on life about HMS Jervis Bay. The best war time find I've found so far about this ship. Oh yes, the best thing - while all are signed Pony, there is one signed Pony (Dennis) . great confirmation of name.

qprdave
07-04-2010, 13:58
Thanks for your follow up. It is always good when someone finds the time to let us know any results after requesting information on this Forum

Thanks again

Dave

whalerman
11-04-2010, 15:40
Regarding the badges in post #4. The ones on the left have the Kings Crown used when a King is on the throne, on the right the Queens crown, post 1953 when the present Queen was crowned. My mother remembers having to unpick and resew all my Dads P.O. and (Gunners Armourer) badges on to all his kit about 1954ish.
This goes for all Government Services who have a crown on their badges. So when Charlie takes over from Liz the badges should revert back to a Kings crown.

INVINCIBLE
11-04-2010, 16:05
Regarding the badges in post #4. The ones on the left have the Kings Crown used when a King is on the throne, on the right the Queens crown, post 1953 when the present Queen was crowned. My mother remembers having to unpick and resew all my Dads P.O. and (Gunners Armourer) badges on to all his kit about 1954ish.
This goes for all Government Services who have a crown on their badges. So when Charlie takes over from Liz the badges should revert back to a Kings crown.

Not least all the cap badges and also of course all the metal badges (beret badges etc) and also all the buttons too!. I believe all the wire badges are made in India and take a long time to arrive in the UK. Might depend on how much notice of the change we receive.

gfed
06-05-2010, 21:39
Regarding the badges in post #4. The ones on the left have the Kings Crown used when a King is on the throne, on the right the Queens crown, post 1953 when the present Queen was crowned. My mother remembers having to unpick and resew all my Dads P.O. and (Gunners Armourer) badges on to all his kit about 1954ish.
This goes for all Government Services who have a crown on their badges. So when Charlie takes over from Liz the badges should revert back to a Kings crown.That's a common misconception. There is really no such thing as a Queen's crown or a King's crown. When the Queen acceded to the throne, it was a personal decision to use the St Edward's crown as opposed to the previously used Tudor crown. This wouldn't necessarily be changed when the Prince of Wales accedes to the throne.

stontamar
22-05-2010, 22:33
[QUOTE=Jervis Bay;109613]hi all, again thanks to all who identifieid his rank which lead to his identification as Dennis Moore.

I am sure Jervis Bay is aware of the following but for other members the following may be of interest.

Chief Yeoman of Signals Dennis Moore C/J30780 age 41 son of William and Mary Moore; husband of Edith Anne Moore, of Copnor, Portsmouth, Hampshire killed on 5 November 1940 whilst serving on HMS JERVIS BAY.

Regards

stontamar

Jervis Bay
27-05-2010, 02:28
hello stontamar...thanks for this piece about Denis. Since I received his photos, I now have about 12 original letters from him to his girlfriend here in Saint John and Halifax, as well as some negatives and original prints. There will be an exhibit about TSS/HMS Jervis Bay in Saint John from 5 Nov. 2010 until 12 Jan. 2011.

spruso
23-04-2011, 07:06
Was there an exam to be promoted from AB to Leading Seaman during WW2 or was it merit and/or length of service?

Cheers
Bruce

jainso31
23-04-2011, 07:25
I should say that the promotion to Leading Seaman would be via the several links to the 1st Lieutenant and the decision based on merit and length of service-the merit part being "a natural leader who the men would respect"

jainso31

spruso
23-04-2011, 20:02
I should say that the promotion to Leading Seaman would be via the several links to the 1st Lieutenant and the decision based on merit and length of service-the merit part being "a natural leader who the men would respect"

jainso31

What do you mean by "via the several links to the 1st Lieutenant"

BC

jainso31
25-04-2011, 12:47
The Po's and Cpo's in the chain of command up to the 1st Lt. ie the ExO.-he,as far as I am aware ,is in charge of all matters relating to the ship's crew vice the Captain.That's what I mean,and I am talking about WW2.My father was appointed LS on board the Corvette Anemone in 1941, via his PO to the 1st Lt; who would put this to this to the Captain-should that have been necessary.

jainso31

spruso
25-04-2011, 20:10
The Po's and Cpo's in the chain of command up to the 1st Lt. ie the ExO.-he,as far as I am aware ,is in charge of all matters relating to the ship's crew vice the Captain.That's what I mean,and I am talking about WW2.My father was appointed LS on board the Corvette Anemone in 1941, via his PO to the 1st Lt; who would put this to this to the Captain-should that have been necessary.

jainso31

Thanks, that clears it up
Bruce

Forester
07-06-2011, 16:45
I have my father's training and promotion records before me. He was drafted into HMS King George V as a Boy Signaller in 1942 after completing his training at HMS St George. He was automatically promoted to Ordinary Signaller upon reaching the age of 17 and a half and then to Signaller (an Able rate) three months later, presumably by the Commander on recommendation of his Yeoman and Divisional Officer. He then left KGV for HMS Forester, which was based in Londonderry. While in Forester, on 14 October 1943 he sat examinations at the Signals Training Centre, Londonderry, for promotion to Leading Signaller, gaining 86% in the written paper, 86% in the Oral, 80% each in Procedure and Cryptography, and over 90% in practical tests of his send/receive competence in each of Buzzer, Flashing and Flags. Several months later his promotion document shows him promoted to Leading Signaller, with the entry signed on behalf of Captain D by the C.O. of the senior ship of C1 Escort Group (HMCS Assiniboine).

So it seems that promotion from Ordinary to Able rates (at least for signallers and probably other special duties ratings) was by the above mentioned procedure of recommendation and competence within the ship but for promotion to a Leading rate it was necessary to first pass written, oral and practical examinations held ashore at the ship's base.

(I wonder if the seniority of the officer signing the promotion entry had something to do with signallers' involvement in encrytption/decryption? They necessarily knew everything that was going on concerning the ships movements and orders)

eskimosailor
20-10-2011, 19:16
Leaf tobacco, for pipe or chewing.

Strip viens out of leaves.
Treat with Rum.
Wrap in small canvas rolls and tie with string, like a small hammock.
Leave for 3 months. It turns out solid and pitch black.
Cut in small bits for chewing, or for filling your pipe

I believe the small roll was known as a "plug".
Steve

Teuchter
21-10-2011, 08:07
I can't help you there but as well as the Baccy ration that looks like a couple of bars of "Pusser's hard" in his other hand.

Bob.

It is indeed "pussers hard" - as immortalised in the opening lines of a once popular Navy "sods Opera" skit on Padre's sermons beginning

"Today being the second day after soap and tobacco issue, the lesson will be read from the Acts

The acts of Jack - taken from the third bottle in the fourth crate of Watneys

Jack son of Nahabob, son of Rayabob, son of The Paybob - who was a robbing barsteward and so on.......

I recall on joining in 1959 being issued with "Pussers Hard" but whether it was at the same time as the monthly issue of tobacco coupons I cannot recall! (the grey cells seem to be escaping faster than they used to these days!!:D)

oldsalt
21-10-2011, 15:00
I believe the small roll was known as a "plug".
Steve

Not being rude the whole thing was called a Prick of Baccy. Leaf tobacco finished being available about 49-50. Cut throat razors were also obtainable from slops, their availability finished about the same time as the leaf tobacco.

eskimosailor
22-10-2011, 12:44
Not being rude the whole thing was called a Prick of Baccy. Leaf tobacco finished being available about 49-50. Cut throat razors were also obtainable from slops, their availability finished about the same time as the leaf tobacco.

My grandfather used to tell me that, on Dover Patrol, he had to shave with a cut - throat razor using cold water and no mirror. That may be a good Sea Story.
Steve

Fairlead
24-10-2011, 16:25
KenY has passed this on to me to post here to give you a bit more information regarding the "Perique" or "Prick" of tobacco. Which by the way was not by any means confined to the seafarer - I remember my grandfather rolling his during WWII and he was a farm hand (ex Army).

The International Guild of Knot Tyers had a demonstration and made a video at the Museum of Sailors Ropecraft some years back, which can be viewed on YouTube by searching for 'How to make a Pirique"

Verfain
01-12-2011, 19:08
The picture below is of tobacco issue on HMS Cressy. The officer is a Staff Paymaster (Lt Cdr Paymaster). I was trying to identify the rank of the young man in glasses on his left. If you make the comparison with the Paymaster, the youth appears to have just a single white band around his sleeve. Am I right in thinking he is a Clerk (= Midshipman Paymaster). I don't believe they wore the white collar insignia that Midshipmen did.

A most interesting photograph. The expressions! Not at ease with the photographer I guess.
My father spoke of his tobacco being issued as leaves by the RN whilst aboard HMS Cockchafer on the Yangtze, China mid 1930s. He was a pipe smoker. They had to return the veins, presumingly to make snuff.

I would like to download this photo if that is OK.
How can I credit it to you?

Regards
Verfain

oldsalt
04-12-2011, 13:13
I think leaf tobacco was discontinued about 48/49.

nigelweysom
25-03-2012, 19:07
does any one know what rank the man in this picture was , the picture was taken in Portsmouth so I'm Guessing Navy , the picture also belongs to the family of the late Admiral De jersey so again navy , i think the medals are all first world war, the picture quality is not great as it was taken on a mobile phone , but any thoughts would be appreciated
Nigel

Destroyerman
25-03-2012, 20:06
Nigel, purely conjecture but:

There are two rings on the left sleeve with what appears to be a grey infill between. This could signify a constructor Lieutenant or a "Schoolie" Lieutenant.

He is dressed in mess undress (ceremonial).

He appears young enough to be a Lieutenant as well.

Best guess and probably way off the mark.

But it starts the ball rolling ......:D

Sandy.

mandrake079
26-03-2012, 00:22
The coloured cloth between the lieutenant's stripes appears (to me) to be white, which would indicate an Accountant officer.

I agree with Sandy that silver-grey would indicate a Shipwright or Constructor officer, but an Instructor or Schoolmaster would have had light blue cloth at least up to 1939.

He is not wearing mess (un)dress, however, but full dress uniform, complete with tail coat and ceremonial sword belt.

Ted

Choppy Sea
26-03-2012, 11:56
The medals look like first world war but what would a naval officer be doing with the 1915 Star. Ray H

nigelweysom
26-03-2012, 21:26
The medals look like first world war but what would a naval officer be doing with the 1915 Star. Ray H

having done a little research it does look to me to be the 1914/1915 star , but the website that i looked at said they were issued to any members of the British armed forces who fought against the Germans , so wouldn't a Naval officer be eligible ?
Nigel

seaJane
26-03-2012, 21:53
Nigel,

TNA's RN Officers' Service Records (look down the list on http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/navy.asp) offers two de Jersey possibilities (three references, one of which is probably too early) -

Name De Jersey, Carey Robert Esten
Date of Birth: 22 June 1900
Rank: Commander
15 July 1916 ADM 196/123

Name Esten de Jersey, Carey Robert
Date of Birth: 22 June 1900
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
May 1913 ADM 196/147

Name De Jersey, William Grant
Rank: Lieutenant Temporary
30 June 1871 ADM 196/61

The records are downloadable for £3.50 apiece.

Mike B
27-03-2012, 19:37
does any one know what rank the man in this picture was , the picture was taken in Portsmouth so I'm Guessing Navy , the picture also belongs to the family of the late Admiral De jersey so again navy , i think the medals are all first world war, the picture quality is not great as it was taken on a mobile phone , but any thoughts would be appreciated
Nigel

Hi Nigel,
Does the photo show more of the sleeve rank lace? I think it is more than likely that the distinction coth between the rank lace is white indicating that he was a Civil Branch officer rather than Military Branch. In this case he would have no executive curl above the sleeve lace which would date the picture between 1892 and 1903 (Assistant Paymaster with over 12 years seniority). If there is an executive curl above the lace then the photo is post 1918 (Paymaster Lieutenant).
Mike B

nigelweysom
27-03-2012, 21:10
Mike thanks for that the photo is bigger than shown i was trying to zoom in on the medals , i will get another picture of it showing more and post it , that may help
Nigel

Choppy Sea
28-03-2012, 11:51
having done a little research it does look to me to be the 1914/1915 star , but the website that i looked at said they were issued to any members of the British armed forces who fought against the Germans , so wouldn't a Naval officer be eligible ?
Nigel

Yes Nigel, if he had fought ashore with the BEF between 1914 and 1915 he would be entitled to the Mons Star. If he does qualify then the photo was taken after 1914. Ray H

Mike B
28-03-2012, 16:35
Mike thanks for that the photo is bigger than shown i was trying to zoom in on the medals , i will get another picture of it showing more and post it , that may help
Nigel

Nigel,
Thanks, It will help a lot. Here is some more info for you Officers who wore the same rank lace with white distinction cloth up until 1918:
1892-1914 - Secretary to a Commodore 2nd Class.
1903-1917 - Assistant Paymaster with over 4 years seniority.
1917-1918 - Paymaster.
Once I can see the sleeve lace on the photo it will become clear
whether the picture was taken before or after 1918.
The best thing then is to get a copy of his service record which will give details and dates of his promotions - With this we will be able to be more precise.
Mike

nigelweysom
30-03-2012, 20:09
Mike were not actually sure who he is or indeed when the picture was taken
but i will see if i can get some more information
Nigel

Choppy Sea
31-03-2012, 12:33
Mike were not actually sure who he is or indeed when the picture was taken
but i will see if i can get some more information
Nigel

My father had all three WW1 medals and I believe that these were not issued until 1922 so at a guess this photo was taken after then. Ray H

Mike B
31-03-2012, 16:26
Mike were not actually sure who he is or indeed when the picture was taken
but i will see if i can get some more information
Nigel

Nigel,
You mentioned that the photo is actually larger than the one posted. If the sleeves of the uniform are visible on the photo, can you tell me whether or not there is a circle of lace above the uppermost ring of rank lace.
Mike

nigelweysom
31-03-2012, 19:33
Mike here is a fuller picture again taken on a phone
hope it helps
Nigel

BlackBat242
01-04-2012, 06:09
The inscription in the lower right corner might be helpful... if we could see all of it.

Mike B
01-04-2012, 10:10
Mike here is a fuller picture again taken on a phone
hope it helps
Nigel

Nigel,
Thanks. You will notice that there is no executive curl above the uppermost row of rank lace. This means that the uniform is that of a civil branch officer (school teachers, doctors, engineers, paymasters etc.) prior to 1918. afterwhich the executive curl in the uppermost row of rank lace was extended to civil branch officers.
So my guess is that the picture was taken between 1915 and 1918; the uniform is correct in all respect for that period.
Mike

nigelweysom
01-04-2012, 19:13
Mike thanks for that, when you say civil branch officer what does that mean ?
Nigel

nigelweysom
01-04-2012, 19:17
The inscription in the lower right corner might be helpful... if we could see all of it.

i will need to photograph the origional again to get that , hope to be able to next weekend
Nigel

Mike B
02-04-2012, 09:59
Mike thanks for that, when you say civil branch officer what does that mean ?
Nigel

Nigel,
Seaman Officer's who drove and fought the ship were in the 'Executive' or 'Military' Branch and accordingly were distinguished by an 'executive' curl in the top row of rank lace and no coloured distinction cloth.
Other officers such as Surgeons, Dentists, Paymasters, Engineers, Shipwrights, Constructors, Electrical, etc were classified as 'Civil' Branch. They wore plain rank lace with no curl in the top row and had coloured distinction cloth between their rows of rank lace to identify their specialisation.
This arrangement existed from 1856 to 1918 when the 'Executive' curl in the top row of rank lace was extended to all officers of all branches. Former 'Civil' Branch officers did, however, continue to wear coloured distinction cloth with their rank lace.
Mike



Mike

nigelweysom
02-04-2012, 20:35
mike thanks for that , as i said we arnt sure who this is, however i believe that Admiral dejersey was an enginier so that may be significant
Nigel

nigelweysom
28-07-2012, 21:02
The inscription in the lower right corner might be helpful... if we could see all of it.

the inscription is the name of the photographer
Albert P Steer
1Buckland Terrace
Plymouth

Mike B
10-08-2012, 16:57
does any one know what rank the man in this picture was , the picture was taken in Portsmouth so I'm Guessing Navy , the picture also belongs to the family of the late Admiral De jersey so again navy , i think the medals are all first world war, the picture quality is not great as it was taken on a mobile phone , but any thoughts would be appreciated
Nigel

Hi Nigel,
Agree the Distinction cloth between the gold lace looks to be white which means that he was a paymaster. Its a pity we cant see more of the lace. If there is no executive curl above the top row the picture is prior to 1918
Mike

nigelweysom
11-08-2012, 19:44
Mike i take it we are talking about the cuff on the sleeve , have taken a close up and it looks like there is a curl to me
Nigel

Mike B
12-08-2012, 16:17
Mike i take it we are talking about the cuff on the sleeve , have taken a close up and it looks like there is a curl to me
Nigel

Nigel,
Much clearer in this picture, yes there is an executive curl - So the picture was taken after 1918 and probably before 1938 when cocked hats were placed in abeyance; they were deleted altogether in 1949 as part of post war economies
Mike

nigelweysom
12-08-2012, 19:26
many thanks to those who have helped with this question
it has been very revealing
Nigel

D01Caprice
28-03-2013, 13:09
Harry,

It is a disgrace that you did not receive a deferred pension for your service. Everybody serving now earns at least a deferred pension however few years they do. Those leaving after "22" at say age 40 receive an immediate pension for life! I have not found a thread on this forum on "Pay, Pensions and Conditions of Service". As regards the assisted house purchase scheme I can well understand your decision to "come ashore" and not get hooked in. An unknown consequence of the assisted house purchase scheme was that those who did buy at that time found years later that because of mega house price inflation they were sitting on quite a valuable asset. I think the gratuity was intended to enable those retiring to buy a cottage or at least be a substantial deposit for house purchase - could you possibly have bought a house with your "small gratuity". I remmember many years later when serving in Fleet HQ at Northwood an RAF Squadron Leader coming up to retirement. Armed with details of his gratuity he went to look at house prices, always having lived in RAF MQs. When he saw the price of houses in the local area he nearly had a heart attack. When I got married my "DO" told me to go and buy a house - best piece of advice anybody ever gave me.
On my 24th birthday in 1960 my wife wrote and said that she had just bought a house In Wimbledon for 1950 pounds. I was a killick seaman at the time out in the Far Flung. When we divorced in 1969 I gave her my share of the property. She sold it in the 80's for 165K and bought a small commercial hotel in Harrogate with the proceeds. I was and still am content; she earned it in my view.

My understanding is that anybody serving for three years in the US armed Forces can enter university and the US Government will pay the tuition fees. I wanted to attend the School of Navigation at Southampton University and my inquiries about UK Government assistance met with blank stares and amusement. So much for a grateful nation's response.

kimwhite
30-03-2013, 21:48
I have just read a book titled Scrimgeour's Scribbling Diary which was written by Alex Scrimgeour who was killed on board HMS Invincible at the Battle of Jutland.

The blurb in the book seems to indicate that Scrimgeour, who was in "A" turret, was actually in charge of that turret. But, his rank at his death was Acting Sub-Lieutenant which seems to me to be a bit junior to be in charge of one of the main armament turrets.

Was it usual for someone so junior to be in command? I think, but am not sure, that a Major of Marines was in charge of the turret on HMS Lion that almost blew the ship up until the dying Major ordered the magazine to be flooded.
many thanks
Kim in Australia

Gwyrosydd
30-03-2013, 23:07
I have just read a book titled Scrimgeour's Scribbling Diary which was written by Alex Scrimgeour who was killed on board HMS Invincible at the Battle of Jutland.

The blurb in the book seems to indicate that Scrimgeour, who was in "A" turret, was actually in charge of that turret. But, his rank at his death was Acting Sub-Lieutenant which seems to me to be a bit junior to be in charge of one of the main armament turrets.

Was it usual for someone so junior to be in command? I think, but am not sure, that a Major of Marines was in charge of the turret on HMS Lion that almost blew the ship up until the dying Major ordered the magazine to be flooded.
many thanks
Kim in Australia

Sub Lieutenant was Henry Leach's rank when he was a turret officer in Duke of York at North Cape.

TCC
31-03-2013, 13:32
No, sub-lt is fine. IIRC, New Zealand had a midshipman as officer-of the quarter at Dogger bank.

What did you think of the book?

Harley
31-03-2013, 13:57
Assistant Turret Officer maybe, but I'm not sure about him being the Officer of Quarters.

Scurs
31-03-2013, 19:23
As I recall, when I was in CEYLON, Officer-of-Quarters in 'A Turret was one Lieutenant Mason.

harris
31-03-2013, 19:42
Captain Henry Leach was captain of the 27th escort squadron which he commanded from HMS Galatea when I served on her 1964 - 66. There was a problem with the gunnery control system for a while and as part of the testing to solve it we did a lot of firing with the 4.5 mounted on the forecastle. The PO's mess was right under the gun and was a miserable place to live during the prolonged firing. In the deck head of the mess was a round hatch secured with a srongback that opened onto the forecastle and one day the hacked off PO's opened the hatch and poked a broom stick with a white flag pinned to it through the hatch and waved it it full view of Captain Leach who was watching the trials from the bridge. Apparently his face was a picture and he burst out laughing. A really nice man and a great skipper.

kimwhite
31-03-2013, 21:59
No, sub-lt is fine. IIRC, New Zealand had a midshipman as officer-of the quarter at Dogger bank.

What did you think of the book?

Hi everyone,
many thanks for the info. Looks like Scrimgeour WAS the turret commander. I think he was only 19 years old, too.
The book was quite good. I was hoping it would have more detail on the ships, especially Invincible, but it covered more personal stuff. The entries stop around April 1916, I think. Those would have been his last notebooks landed while on leave. His "working" book obviously went down with the ship. A good read none-the-less! Worth getting.
cheers
Kim

TCC
01-04-2013, 09:42
Hi everyone,
many thanks for the info. Looks like Scrimgeour WAS the turret commander. I think he was only 19 years old, too.
The book was quite good. I was hoping it would have more detail on the ships, especially Invincible, but it covered more personal stuff. The entries stop around April 1916, I think. Those would have been his last notebooks landed while on leave. His "working" book obviously went down with the ship. A good read none-the-less! Worth getting.
cheers
Kim

I've only ever read a quite strident 'opinion' that he was "insufferable" and that his were the "scribblings of a spoilt, self-important teenager". I'm actually sorry I read that first as it probably coloured my perception of him as I kept looking for it. (Maybe it struck a chord in the reviewer?) Though I didn't think him or his writings objectionable to any degree or in bad taste, iirc, they were encouraged to write pen-portraits of their fellow officers.

I liked it for the social views of Rosyth.

Yes, the last missing diary, very poignant.

TCC
01-04-2013, 11:30
Assistant Turret Officer maybe, but I'm not sure about him being the Officer of Quarters.

That's just Simon being Simon: I say tomato, he says tomato.

How's the ego? ;)

D01Caprice
01-04-2013, 16:55
Jack Cann was appointed to HMS WILTON as Gunnery Officer in January 1942 at the age of 21 years and 8 months. He was then a Gunner with 2 months seniority. He was promoted to Commissioned Gunner at the age of 25 years and 5 months.

Harley
01-04-2013, 18:33
That's just Simon being Simon: I say tomato, he says tomato.

How's the ego? ;)

That's simply not true. I'm saying than an Assistant Turret Officer is different to an Officer of Quarters. By using that analogy you're apparently saying they're one and the same?

D01Caprice
02-04-2013, 14:42
The only time that I was part of the crew in a turret was when I was in SUPERB and I have no recollection of an officer being present. What would he do anyway? Certainly all the shoots I ever experienced were radar controlled and all the gun's crew were expected to do was to reload ASAP and set fuses when in AA mode. If in local control I can see a need for somebody to allocate a target but I would be more content that an experienced Petty Officer ran the show rather than some inexperienced 'Subbie'. What is the point of gunnery ratings holding 1st or 2nd class non substantive ratings without giving them a degree of responsibility?

I am mindful of one occasion when the coxswain of the Commodore's motor boat told the young 'Middie' who, nominally at least was in command, to stand well clear of him and that he and the lads, myself and another OD, would ensure that he didn't get chewed out by the Commander. He wisely duly obliged.

Old Salt
03-04-2013, 01:46
Certainly in a frigate, our 'Captain of the Turret' was a Petty Officer Weapon Mechanic (POWP). The very same person who maintained the turret and knew all there was to know.

Brian

BelliniTosi
03-04-2013, 11:14
On the good ship Eastbourne the "Captain of the Turret" was a Leading Seaman
and like Old Salt's post he also was the maintainer of the turret.

John

Ceylon-Medals
21-10-2013, 19:19
If you think you might be able to help identify some naval rank insignia, worn by officers of a Canadian government ship (Fisheries Protection Service), which was taken over by the RCN during WWI, please have a look at the following thread over in the Canadian navy section: http://www.worldnavalships.com/forums/showthread.php?p=10094592#post10094592

Cheers,
Glen,
In Our Dominion of the North

Ceylon-Medals
29-10-2013, 16:30
Colleagues:

I am currently doing some research into the rank of "Mate" in the Royal and Dominion Navies around the time of the Great War.

As I understand it, the rank of “Mate” was first introduced into the RN in 1840 as a commissioned officer rank below Lieutenant. This was changed to Sub-Lieutenant twenty years later, (effectively abolishing the rank of Mate).

However, the rank of “Mate” was resurrected once more in 1912, for ratings advanced to commissioned status. This differentiation was once again done away with, however, in 1931, when these Mates, too, were re-designated Sub-Lieutenants.

What I am unclear about, however, is whether the post-1912 "Mates" received Commissions, or were simply "warranted" from the Admiralty

Also:
a) what was their relative seniority in comparison with Commissioned Boatswains, Gunners, Telegraphers, etc;
b) could they be promoted to Lieutenant (prior to 1931);
c) did their rank braid differ in any way from a Sub-Lieutenant's?

Thanks very much,

Glen,
In Our Dominion of the North

.

Harley
29-10-2013, 16:43
a) They ranked with Sub-Lieutenants, so outranked officers of commissioned warrant rank.

b) Yes.

c) Same rank distinction lace.

With regards to b), an early Mate by the name of Benjamin C. S. Martin reached the rank of Rear-Admiral in 1944, and a few others followed.

Simon

Ceylon-Medals
29-10-2013, 19:46
Thanks very much, Simon.

One remaining question: were Mates actually commissioned, or did they have to await promotion to Lieutenant before receiving a Commissioning Scroll?

Cheers,
Glen

patroclus
29-10-2013, 21:07
A t this period a Mate was a commissioned officer. In 1912 Churchill, as First Lord, introduced a scheme which would allow warrant officers, petty officers and seamen to reach commissioned rank at a reasonably early age. “The candidates selected undergo courses of instruction at Portsmouth, and on passing, are given the rank of Acting Mate. They then proceed to the Royal Naval College at Greenwich for four months instruction in navigation, followed by two months instruction in pilotage at the Navigation School at Portsmouth. On passing the examination at the termination of this course, they are confirmed as mates and embarked in seagoing ships for two years, at the end of which they will be eligible for promotion to Lieutenant…..”

By the outbreak of war in 1914 some 50 men had been commissioned as Mates or Acting Mates.

Post-war there was a limit of 100 on numbers in this category – I am not sure whether this limit was in place during WW1.

Ceylon-Medals
29-10-2013, 23:07
That's wonderful, Patroclus. Very useful information. Thank you, most sincerely.

Now the question becomes (forgive me!).... how was Churchill's peacetime plan, for the (regular) RN (as outlined by Patroclus) modified in wartime for the reserves and dominion branches of the navy?

For instance, one of the chaps whose career I am tracing joined the RN as a Boy in 1897; was promoted to Leading Seaman (Gunner) c.1905; transferred to the RCN in 1910; was transferred to a Canadian Fisheries Protection Service vessel (under naval control) in 1913; served in her until 1917, at which point he was appointed "Mate" in the RNCVR (vice Leading Seaman, RCN).

While there is a note in his file indicating he had to obtain his Master's papers within a year, he did not leave the ship during this period (ie., he did not go ashore to undertake any special training)... all of which leaves me to deduce that the training was largely (if not exclusively) on-the-job.

Any thoughts, or further examples, most welcomed.

Cheers,
Glen,
In Our Dominion of the North

patroclus
30-10-2013, 02:22
Captain John Wells RN wrote a social history of the RN and has this to say:

"Early in 1915 the original mates were promoted to lieutenant and from then on the demand for officers resulted in over one hundred (mates) per year being qualified, with a healthy reduction in age so essential to the scheme. By 1918 many lieutenants (ex-mates) occupied responsible jobs in small craft or, if suitably qualified, were appointed 'in lieu of a specialist officer'. In fact, three subsequently became flag officers."

The above does not answer your question but certainly in wartime courses were shortened (and in some cases done away with) due to the urgency but the explanation may have been that his commission was in the VR and not in the RCN.

Harley
30-10-2013, 07:28
I can find no mention anywhere of Mate being a commissioned rank, which is quite irritating. I attach a link to the original Order in Council which makes no mention of the status of the rank:

http://www.dreadnoughtproject.org/tfs/index.php/Orders_in_Council_of_19_July,_1912

Next time I'm at Kew I'll look for the Admiralty Weekly Order promulgating the scheme and see if there's any Board paperwork discussing its inception.

Ceylon-Medals
30-10-2013, 09:09
Thank you, once again.

I think one of the reasons why I am a bit fixated on this point is because (for whatever reason) I find I have the following phrase stuck in my memory: "Mates are to rank with Sub-Lieutenants; but to mess with Warrant Officers". (But, alas, I can't recall the source.)

This makes me wonder whether or not the position of Mate is not, on a certain level, analogous to Midshipman -- ie., some one on the path to a Commission, but not yet commissioned -- which would imply that Mates don't actually get their Commission until they become Lieutenants.

Cheers,
Glen,
In Our Dominion of the North

Ceylon-Medals
30-10-2013, 10:19
FYI, I just did a search of the digital archives of The Times. For what it's worth, I found several retirement and death notices which employed the phrase "attained commissioned rank as Mate in 19XX".

A search for "Mate" in the London Gazette reminds one of the fact that ratings were not, in fact, advanced to "Mate", but to "Acting Mate", and then had to be confirmed, subsequently, as Mates. Perhaps the answer to my query lies in this difference: ie., one received one's Commission when confirmed as a Mate.

Cheers,
Glen,
In Our Dominion of the North

Harley
30-10-2013, 10:38
Such was the case with Mate before it became Sub-Lieutenant in 1861. One was Acting Mate, then confirmed as Mate, albeit without a commission (by Order I assume). Same applied with being an Acting Sub-Lieutenant, who was then confirmed and granted his commission.

Gwyrosydd
30-10-2013, 18:30
A t this period a Mate was a commissioned officer. In 1912 Churchill, as First Lord, introduced a scheme which would allow warrant officers, petty officers and seamen to reach commissioned rank at a reasonably early age. “The candidates selected undergo courses of instruction at Portsmouth, and on passing, are given the rank of Acting Mate. They then proceed to the Royal Naval College at Greenwich for four months instruction in navigation, followed by two months instruction in pilotage at the Navigation School at Portsmouth. On passing the examination at the termination of this course, they are confirmed as mates and embarked in seagoing ships for two years, at the end of which they will be eligible for promotion to Lieutenant…..”

By the outbreak of war in 1914 some 50 men had been commissioned as Mates or Acting Mates.

Post-war there was a limit of 100 on numbers in this category – I am not sure whether this limit was in place during WW1.


The Navy List for November 1917, under the "List of Officers by Seniority" lists Mates between Sub-Lieutenants and Midshipmen - there are four columns of them; earliest date of rank is 15 February 1915 -- (this may be because all those commissioned as mate prior to that date had been promoted by then).

Ceylon-Medals
30-10-2013, 19:20
Well, the plot thickens.

As I continue to plough my way through the papers of several Mates (RNCVR, Great War), I found the attached letter, dated 27 Jan 1920, clearly referring to a Mate (RNCVR) as a Warrant Officer who was granted a Warrant and not a Commission.

Cheers,
Glen,
In Our Dominion of the North

Harley
31-10-2013, 07:03
I was going to suggest that it was rather likely that Mate could have an entirely different meaning in Canada, either for RCN, RCNR and RCNVR. You may want to start digging through Canadian naval regulations to learn more (which reminds me, the RCN owes me an email).

Simon

patroclus
31-10-2013, 09:24
This question of the status of the mates of 1912 is an interesting one and hard to pin down. Both Peter Kemp (who probably served with mates) and Brian Lavery refer to them as ‘commissioned officers’ and they seem to have messed in the wardroom – a committee in 1930 considered moving them to the gunroom “to minimize the first bewildering effect of shyness and diffidence which is now felt on entering the wardroom”. It also considered altering their title to sub-lieutenant. (Lavery – “Able Seamen”).

Perusal of a 1918 Navy List reveals that there were many mates in the RNCVR but none in the RCN.

Ceylon-Medals
31-10-2013, 11:55
Always possible, Simon, and an area I will certainly endeavour to investigate.

In the same vein, it's also possible that our assumptions, above, that Mates were commissioned is incorrect. The only evidence put forth, thus far, in support of this supposition is:

a) a reference from a series of obituaries, (which could just be copying the same error), and which, (by my experience), are notorious for such minor factual errors; and

b) a sort of equivalency with Sub-Lieutenants, which to many would imply the granting of a Commission.

On the other hand, there now seems to be compelling proof -- from official documentation -- indicating that Mates (in the RNCVR) were warranted and not commissioned.

Moreover, during the Great War (and beyond) the RCN was very much a sort of "squadron" of the RN -- rather than an independent force.

As a result, although there were certain minor differences between the RN and RCN, which stemmed from "local needs", (ie., different pay scales), I would be surprised to learn such differences extended to something as fundamental as this -- in other words, that two men carrying the same rank, and wearing the same uniform (and rank insignia) would have such a fundamental difference in status -- one being warranted and the other commissioned. (For one thing, what would happen when an RN Mate went ashore in Halifax -- did he head for the Wardroom or Warrant Officers mess?)

This was very much the era one ocean; one fleet.

That said... there is still enough ambiguity all around to require more research.

Cheers,
and thanks again,

Glen,
In Our Dominion of the North

Ceylon-Medals
31-10-2013, 13:17
.... Brian Lavery refer to them as ‘commissioned officers’ and they seem to have messed in the wardroom.

Again, a little disconnect here with the documentary evidence I have uncovered in the personnel files of certain Mates I am investigating. For example, the attached letter (dated 14 Nov 1918) wherein a request is made for Mate Alcock to be given lodging and compensation in HMCS Rainbow (in effect, the shore establishment at Esquimalt) concludes by noting, "There is no Warrant Officers' Mess in this Establishment.", clearly implying this is where Mate Alcock should normally be lodged, (and presumably not the Wardroom).

I also note that throughout his record he is referred to as "Mister" (vice his rank)... which I had thought was an indication of Warrant (vice Commissioned) status.

Perusal of a 1918 Navy List reveals that there were many mates in the RNCVR but none in the RCN.

I think this is an important observation. During the Great War, the RCN was very much a small boat navy, with most of the regular navy officers serving ashore in staff capacities, with the RN, or as flotilla leaders (ie., of several small boats). A look at the RCN section of the Great War era Navy Lists reveals a preponderance of Skippers and Mates -- with Skippers being the captains, and Mates the first officers, of most vessels: auxiliary patrol boats, drifters, armed yachts, etc...

With regard to qualifications, although I have not (yet) found any formal regulations on this subject, I am confident in making the following suppositions based upon the RNCVR personnel files I have examined:

a) to be appointed Mate, RNCVR, one had to be at least a Leading Seaman, but qualified as Petty Officer -- or the equivalent in the Mercantile Marine; (I have not found any age limits);

b) as Mate, one generally commenced as the Second Officer of a auxiliary vessel (minesweeper, armed yacht, drifter, etc), eventually being promoted to First Officer; during this period, one was preparing to sit the exams for the Mercantile Marine Master's Certification (Coastal); (a Mate's initial posting could also be as first officer of an auxiliary vessel depending upon the circumstances);

c) a Mate could be promoted to Skipper (another Warrant Rank?) only after acquiring his Master's Certification (Deep Sea).

This seems to indicate that both ranks -- Mate and Skipper -- at least in the Canadian context -- were indeed viewed as wartime expediencies, (hence the reason they were all "VRs" and not regular force?), as opposed to regular navy Mates in the RN.

I can accept all of that.... but what I have problems accepting is (as mentioned before) the fact that these chappies' titles (Mate) were the same as their regular navy RN equivalents -- but one was warranted and the other commissioned. This just doesn't seem to make sense to me.

As an aside, I have also found references to the fact that the rank of Mate proved to be rather problematic to the RCN's post-war planners -- they simply didn't know what to do with them -- and (reading between the lines) the authorities seemed to be doing everything in power to expunge this "anomaly" (my word, not there's) from the ranks of the navy.

I should point out that as part of this process, Alcock (who's file I am currently reviewing) was offered (in 1920) the post of Boatswain, RCN, if he gave up his position as Mate RNCVR, (which, as the relevant memo pointed out, entailed a 50 cents per day increase in pay!)

Cheers,

Glen,
In Our Dominion of the North

Ceylon-Medals
08-11-2013, 00:01
Colleagues:

I think I might well be zeroing in on a definitive answer to my original query, to wit: during the Great War, were Mates warranted or commissioned?

The key point, as I have learned, is that despite the identical title, the rank of "Mate" was not the same in the RN and the RNCVR, the key difference being:

- Mate, RN: was created as part of a (more-or-less) permanent process to select and train experienced Ratings for Commissioned Rank;

versus

- Mate, (RNCVR): was explicitly created as a war-time exigency to meet the demands of small boat patrol work.


This critical difference becomes clear after examining the different enabling instruments establishing the two ranks. The (1912) Order in Council establishing Mate, RN, can be found here: http://www.dreadnoughtproject.org/tfs/index.php/Orders_in_Council_of_19_July,_1912 .

The rank of Mate, RNCVR, however, was not created until 1915. Its enabling instrument is an Order in Council of the Canadian government dated 3 Feb 1915, to wit:


(Note: The “Committee of the Privy Council” referred to in the Order is, of course, the Canadian Cabinet; and the Governor General at the time was the King’s uncle (and Queen Victoria’s 3rd son) the Duke of Connaught– hence the style “Royal Highness” vice “Excellency”, which is the norm for Governors General.)

---------

At the Government House at Ottawa

Wednesday 3 February 1915



Present: His Royal Highness, the Governor General in Council.



The Committee of the Privy Council have before them a report dated 23 January 1915, from the Minister of the Naval Service, stating that since the outbreak of the war it has been found that the existing naval organisation has not sufficient elasticity to deal with conditions that have arisen in the employment of officers in patrol work, etc.;



The Minister observes that very suitable officers for this work have been found among Fisheries Protection Officers, but when they come under the White Ensign, there is no suitable rank in the Naval Volunteers. They have not all the qualifications necessary for a commission as Sub Lieutenant, while the next lowest rank is Midshipman, which is inappropriate for these officers;



That the technical officers of the Department of the Naval Service, after carefully considering these exigencies, recommend that a new rank of Mate be introduced into the Naval Volunteers between the ranks of Midshipman and Sub-Lieutenant, with pay at the rate of $2.50 per diem;



The Minister concurring in the recommendations of the technical officers of the Department of the Naval Service, recommends that the same be approved.



The Committee of the Privy Council submit the same to Your Royal Highness for approval.

------------


So it seems clearer now: a Mate in the RNCVR was (explicitly) not meant to equate to the same rank designation as then-employed in the RN … one was a war-time exigency; the other part of a (more-or-less) permanent process for supplying regular commissioned officers from amongst the ratings. Confusing?… potentially… but there we have it. So... I guess it's plausible that one was Warranted and the other Commissioned.

(I think one also has to note that this was possible because the RCN -- unlike the RN -- did not have the Mate system for selecting commissioned officers... this most probably helped to minimise any chances for confusion between the two, since Mate RCN did not exist on this side of the Atlantic... only Mate RNCVR.)

As an aside, I would suggest that the RNCVR of the Great War was more akin to the RNR(TS) -- ie., “Trawler Section” – than it was to the RNVR.

Cheers,

Glen.
In Our Dominion of the North

.

Brian Wentzell
08-11-2013, 00:46
Glen: Thanks for the research. One learns somethng new everyday in this Forum.
Brian

dennis moores girl
05-02-2014, 15:54
Good Afternoon Im writing this on behalf of my grandmother who is Dennis Moores daughter as I am his great granddaughter, You mentioned you have some letters and information regarding my great grandfather, it would be great to talk some more on this subject and we might be able to send you some more information and photos. many thanks donna

Pelican
10-02-2014, 09:24
O.M.

Has anyone come across a WW2 grade or branch using letters O.M. please? No badge available but recorded in personal documents. It has been suggested it was a gunnery branch grade possibly 'optical'? Another oddity is this man had a change of official number and from JX to MX. MX? Any info would be much appreciated.

jainso31
10-02-2014, 10:53
Pelican
My trawl through the internet indicates OM=Operator Mechanic in specialist fields eg Submarines.


jainso31

Mike B
10-02-2014, 11:31
Operator Mechanic - OM range of badges was introduced in 1993.
Have been unable to find any 'OM' specialisation during WW2.
Mike

Pelican
10-02-2014, 12:26
Many thanks Jainso and Mike. Maybe whoever has misread 'OM' as he was gunnery branch. Found a little more re MX which possibly indicates he ended up in the R.F.R.?
http://www.rnsubs.co.uk/Crew/research.php
P.S. Just been advised "Ordnance Mechanician(Optical)."

jainso31
10-02-2014, 12:51
Pelican-more here regarding the usage of this new trade category

jainso31

http://www.rnca.org.uk/node/208

mandrake079
18-02-2014, 18:12
I came across this postcard currently being auctioned on eBay. It's described as a Merchant Navy officer from the early 20th Century. I'm not familiar with the uniform. Any suggestions?

Ted

RCN
18-02-2014, 18:22
It appears to be RNR Civil Branch to me. The shoulder boards have the RNR twisted braid & it appears to be an RNR on his cap badge.

RCN Bryan

Mike B
19-02-2014, 11:57
I came across this postcard currently being auctioned on eBay. It's described as a Merchant Navy officer from the early 20th Century. I'm not familiar with the uniform. Any suggestions?

Ted

Completely confused. Definitely not RNR. The flukes on the anchor are straight - On all RN cap badges they are curved upwards. I cannot identify the shoulder badge at all,
Mike

Jan Steer
19-02-2014, 13:11
Looking at the crown could it not possibly be Romanian Navy or some such other Eastern European navy from the early part of last century?

Mike B
19-02-2014, 16:14
Is there any chance, Ted, of posting a close-up of the coat buttons?
Mike

mandrake079
19-02-2014, 23:46
Is there any chance, Ted, of posting a close-up of the coat buttons?
Mike

Sorry, I think that's the best I can do for now. It's an eBay screenshot and the original scan is quite small. According to the sales blurb, it's a studio shot taken by Chas. Haig of either Belfast, Bangor or Whitehead. I might just have to buy it to get a closer look!

Ted

Mike B
20-02-2014, 11:39
Thanks Ted.
Mike

mandrake079
02-03-2014, 17:49
I came across this postcard currently being auctioned on eBay. It's described as a Merchant Navy officer from the early 20th Century. I'm not familiar with the uniform. Any suggestions?
Ted

I bought the postcard to get a closer look at it and this is a higher-resolution scan.

I think Bryan is correct (post #138) that this is an RNR officer. The cap badge and buttons appear to show the initials 'RNR' and the braid is definitely twisted which wasn't completely clear in the earlier version. The absence of a top curl denotes, I assume, a civil branch.

However, I'm still intrigued since the braid looks quite different from the more-familiar WW2 style. In particular, the ends of the braid form closed loops that don't extend to the edges of the shoulder board, whereas if you compare the (much later) photo on the right, the ends of the braid are left open and extend out to the edge.

Does anyone have any information (especially other photos of RNR shoulder boards) that might shed some light on this?

Ted

Mike B
02-03-2014, 19:40
I stand corrected. The cap badge appears to be that of an RNR commissioned officer. Military Branch Officers had a silver anchor below 'RNR'; Civil Branch a gold anchor. Both versions existed from 1872 to 1918. After 1918 the executive curl above the upper row of rank laced was extended to all civil officers, thus the rank lace in the photo would be pre 1918. However, the rank laced on the boards doesn't resemble anything I have for RNR civil officers at that time. From 1921 RNR officers adopted the RN officer's cap Badge (without the 'RNR').
Mike B