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  #51  
Old 07-01-2013, 13:25
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Harley Harley is offline
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Default Re: THE INVERGORDON MUTINY--1931

Beatty presided over the introduction of the 1925 rates in the first place and a two-tier pay structure. Such an inequitable state of affairs was never going to end well, especially when the government was faced with a 170 million pound shortfall.
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  #52  
Old 07-01-2013, 13:36
jainso31 jainso31 is offline
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Default Re: THE INVERGORDON MUTINY--1931

ADMIRAL SIR JOHN KELLY GCVO KCB RN

After the war Kelly rose steadily through the ranks, serving as director of the Operations Division of the Naval Staff (1919), gaining promotion to rear-admiral (1921), serving with the Home Fleet from 1922-1923, commanding the 4th Battle Squadron and spending much of the period in the Dardanelles and Bosphorus. From 1924-1927 he was Fourth Sea Lord, gaining a promotion to vice-admiral in 1926. In 1927 he took command of the First Battle Squadron and served as second in command of the Mediterranean Fleet. In 1929-1931 he served as admiral commanding reserves, with a promotion to full Admiral in 1930. In 1929 he was created a Knight Commander of the Bath (KCB).

In 1931 he was on the verge of retiring, when news of a pay cut ranging from 10% to 25% reached units of the Atlantic Fleet at Invergordon. On 15 September the crews of a number of major ships refused to follow orders to put to sea to take part in exercises. The “mutiny” was essentially a strike over pay and conditions, and only lasted for one day, with all the ships involved sailing for their home bases on 16 September.
Kelly was chosen as the right man to deal with the aftermath of the mutiny, and was promoted to commander-in-chief of the Atlantic Fleet (soon renamed the Home Fleet). He was acknowledged as having excellent personnel management skills. He held the post for two years, and soon demonstrated those skills. The worst parts of the pay cut were cancelled, 121 ratings were dismissed from the service and the fleet kept busy. In his report on the affair Kelly blamed the Admiralty for their poor handling of the pay issue, allowing the crews of the Atlantic fleet to learn of it through newspapers. He was also unimpressed with their general lack of interest in personnel issues. The naval schoolmaster branch also came in for criticism for its “socialistic” staff.


Kelly was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GVCO) in 1932, an order of chivalry created to reward people who had performed a personal service for the monarch. Two years later he was appointed to search as the king’s first and principle naval aide-de-camp (1934-1936). His final appointment was as commander-in-chief at Portsmouth.
One day before reaching compulsory retirement age, he was promoted to Admiral of the Fleet. After one day as the most senior officer of the Royal Navy, he retired. Four months later, on 4 November 1936, he died at a nursing home in London. He was buried at sea on 7 November.


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  #53  
Old 07-01-2013, 15:51
TCC TCC is offline
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Default Re: THE INVERGORDON MUTINY--1931

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Originally Posted by Harley View Post
I don't think so, bud.
It goes to intent of the men:
"The mutiny at Invergordon of eight large vessels - four capital ships and four cruisers - of the Atlantic Fleet, in September 1931, was the craziest and yet the simplest mutiny in the long history of the British Navy. It was the craziest because it should not have happened. It was the simplest because the original intention of the men was simply to 'down tools' for a couple of hours - to prevent the four capital ships sailing for exercises - and then to 'turn to' again."

'Down tools for a short period' seems like a strike to me.
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  #54  
Old 07-01-2013, 16:11
jainso31 jainso31 is offline
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Default Re: THE INVERGORDON MUTINY--1931

Yes TCC- it it is classed as a Strike in Civilian parlance; but in the Royal Navy it is Mutiny, when those who have "downed tools," as you put it-refuse a lawful command from an officer- to pick them up again. Subtle nuance but fact; and I may add fully understood- by at least the instigators of the action.
Question -during your career in the RN-have you even considered wilfully disobeying a lawful command from a ship's officer????

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Last edited by jainso31 : 07-01-2013 at 16:42.
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  #55  
Old 08-01-2013, 01:50
TCC TCC is offline
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Default Re: THE INVERGORDON MUTINY--1931

"Able Seaman Wincott was one of the chief personalities in the mutiny or 'unrest' as some preferred to call it at the time, in the Atlantic Fleet at Invergordon in September 1931. ... It seems to have been a very polite mutiny. There was never any ill-feeling between officers and men. Perhaps 'strike' would be a better word for it. The sailors simply downed tools until they got what they wanted (while maintaining essential fire-fighting and watchkeeping duties to ensure their ships' safety). The mutineers kept up their communal spirits and communicated with each other by a system of concerted cheering from ship to ship."

p88. of Vol1, 1975 Naval review. A quote from a review of Wincotts book.

Yes, Jim, it's sematics. But note that the the word Mutiny was to disappear from official naval usage and in the incident in Apollo in 1958 it was called something more appropriate.

The men who took the Bountry and set Bligh adrift were mutineers.

p.s. Don't forget where I came into this: someone was calling a self-appointed leader, and by implication all those involved, fit to burn
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  #56  
Old 08-01-2013, 01:55
RNfanDan RNfanDan is offline
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Default Re: THE INVERGORDON MUTINY--1931

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Originally Posted by jainso31 View Post
... it is classed as a Strike in Civilian parlance...
It may be of interest to the readership that the civilian term, "strike" is actually rooted in naval history:

"Crews often would take down or 'strike' their ships' sails so that [they] could not leave port until they were paid---so that even today, any kind of organized work stoppage is known as a strike... " (from To Rule The Waves, © 2004, Arthur Herman)
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  #57  
Old 08-01-2013, 02:08
SheppeyMiss SheppeyMiss is offline
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Default Re: THE INVERGORDON MUTINY--1931

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Yes, Jim, it's sematics. But note that the the word Mutiny was to disappear from official naval usage and in the incident in Apollo in 1958 it was called something more appropriate.
Hi TCC, although in the APOLLO BoE they didn't mince words and within the restricted and secret documentation, sealed from the public domain for 50 years, declared it an actual mutiny despite the charges applied to the ratings involved.

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Missy
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Last edited by SheppeyMiss : 08-01-2013 at 02:50. Reason: messed up quote
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  #58  
Old 08-01-2013, 02:09
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harry.gibbon harry.gibbon is offline
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Default Re: THE INVERGORDON MUTINY--1931

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Yes, Jim, it's sematics. But note that the the word Mutiny was to disappear from official naval usage and in the incident in Apollo in 1958 it was called something more appropriate.
TCC

Re Apollo 1958;

C-in-C Plymouth and the B of E called the indiscipline that took place AM on the 24th March 'a mutiny'.

That the ringleaders were charged with something different was, I would suggest, more to do with the fact that the cause of the 'sit-in' was the result of poor management.

In 1958; what the disobedience was - it was a mutiny; what the ringleaders were charged with was - a 'get-out' most likely orchestrated by the head of naval law at the Admiralty.

Even today, such an course of peaceful disobedience would surely be mutiny, otherwise there is no sense of discipline whatsoever.

In civvy street we play by different rules.

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  #59  
Old 12-01-2013, 15:48
TCC TCC is offline
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Default Re: The Invergordon Mutiny -- 1931

Cheers Missy & Harry
I may have mis-remembered something.
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  #60  
Old 12-01-2013, 16:31
jainso31 jainso31 is offline
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Default Re: The Invergordon Mutiny -- 1931

POSTSCRIPT

This year 2012 marked the 81st anniversary-on September 15- of the only serious mutiny by ordinary matelots and some Royal Marines on September 15 1931 in batleship row at Invergordon, Morayshire, Scotland, in protest at pay cuts of beteen 25 and 10 per cent that Britain's Coalition govt imposed in 1931. After the finacial crisis of August 1931 caused Great Britain to go off the Gold Standard which since 1925, had fixed the parity of the British Pound Sterling at $4 to the £-an artificially high figure that made British exports 10 per cent dearer in world markets-exacerbating an already rising unemployment rate in Britain which peaked in 1931 at three million.

The Second World War link is that some famous Royal Navy battleship's crews took part in the 1931 Invergordon Mutiny-HMS Hood -ten years away from extinction in 1941) Dorsetshire -which fired the torpedoes which administered the coup de grace to ''Bismarck '' in May 1941, before ''Dorsetshire ' was herself, sunk by Japanese aircraft in the Indian Ocean near Ceylon (modern Sri Lanka); HMS Nelson and Valiant too all had mutinying crews -which included Royal Marines traditionally on board to quell lower deck insurrections.

The mutineers were led by Communist navyman, Len Wincott-who was subsequently ''rewarded ' by his Soviet masters with 10 years in a Gulag between 1947-57-although he survived to team up in Moscow with arch British traitor, Donald McLean of Burgess & McLean infamy.
The mutiny achieved two objectives- one deliberate the other unintentional-the 25 per cent pay cuts were abandoned by the British govt while the 10 per cent reductions stayed in force.

Meanwhile, the Invergordon mutiny sparked a finacial crisis which -beneficially- resulted in Britain abandoning Winston Churchill's disastrous (when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1925) of putting Britain back on the pre-1914 Gold Standard which ramped up British export costs in world markets -great wartime leader, Churchill, -lousy peacetime politician)
Thus the Coalition govt reverted to the more realistic exchange rate of around $3-45 cents to the British £ after 1931 and cut interest rates to 2 per cent.
THe 1931 Invergordon mutineers were luckier than Ricahrd Parker -leader of the 1797 mutiny at the Nore in Nelson's navy. Parker was hanged at the yardarm-400 matelots involved in the Invergordon mutiny were simply dismissed the service.However, one of the mutiny leaders, Fred Copeman became -during the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War the Commander of the British battalion of the International Brigade.

Thankfully, mutines among Britain's servicemen in the 20th century have been few and far between.
During the First World War, there was the British Army mutiny at the base camp of Etaples, France-heavily fictionalised in the British tv programme -''The Monocoled Mutineer''-a mutiny by Scottish infantry veterans from North Africa on the 1943 Salerno beachead; and the last one that I can recall was in the ''Swinging Sixties '' when some Guardsmen from one of the Brigade of Guards staged a brief mutiny-in 1964- at Pirbright barracks in southern England.
THe only American naval mutiny that I know of was the fictional ''Caine Mutiny'' a novel written by Herman Wouk and filmed in 1954 staring Humphrey Bogart as the seriously loopy ''Captain Queeg''


http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=127304

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  #61  
Old 12-01-2013, 16:48
Scatari Scatari is offline
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Default Re: The Invergordon Mutiny -- 1931

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POSTSCRIPT

THe only American naval mutiny that I know of was the fictional ''Caine Mutiny'' a novel written by Herman Wouk and filmed in 1954 staring Humphrey Bogart as the seriously loopy ''Captain Queeg''


http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=127304

jainso31
Jim:

There was a mutiny in the brig USS Somers in 1842.
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  #62  
Old 13-01-2013, 06:10
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patroclus patroclus is offline
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Default Re: The Invergordon Mutiny -- 1931

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Jim:

There was a mutiny in the brig USS Somers in 1842.
There have been a number of mutinies in the USN, afloat and ashore, the best known of the latter probably being at Port Chicago in 1944.
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  #63  
Old 26-01-2013, 22:36
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Default Re: The Invergordon Mutiny -- 1931

Vol II of the Keyes Papers (Navy Records Society 1980) contains a series of letters, requests and pleas from Tomkinson to Keyes begging Keyes' help in restoring his reputation.

The Tomkinson Papers, deposited at Churchill College Cambridge, contain one box about Invergordon which is not available to researchers.
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  #64  
Old 26-01-2013, 22:58
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Default Re: The Invergordon Mutiny -- 1931

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Vol II of the Keyes Papers (Navy Records Society 1980) contains a series of letters, requests and pleas from Tomkinson to Keyes begging Keyes' help in restoring his reputation.

The Tomkinson Papers, deposited at Churchill College Cambridge, contain one box about Invergordon which is not available to researchers.


Co-incidently I had been re-reading the Keyes Papers recently. It would seem that the general opinion among the Flag Officers was that the Admiralty handled Tomkinson's case badly (along with everything else). He should have been relieved (or resigned his command, which seems to have been considered the most appropriate action) immediately after the mutiny or he should have been allowed to serve in his appointment for the normal term. Instead, the Admiralty delayed and relieved him months later.
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  #65  
Old 03-04-2013, 16:33
bellcm bellcm is offline
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Default Re: THE INVERGORDON MUTINY--1931

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Another academic...............Sorry; Navy book reader!..
Guilty as charged! (But quite unrepentant!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Salt View Post
Who was Christopher Bell and what are his qualifications please ?
Christopher Bell was (and still is) a naval historian at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. http://christophermbell.ca

It's gratifying to see my work on Invergordon being cited here -- I sometimes wonder if anyone ever reads my stuff (besides other academics). I've written two articles now on this incident, and hope eventually to do a book on mutiny/discipline in the RN c. 1900-1950, which will of course include a chapter or two on Invergordon.

Chris Bell

Last edited by bellcm : 03-04-2013 at 16:47.
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  #66  
Old 27-01-2018, 22:35
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Alterain Alterain is offline
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Default Re: The Invergordon Mutiny -- 1931

My cousin, once removed, Wilfred Bond was at the Invergordon Mutiny. He was a 19 year old Royal Marine who had joined in 1930. His ship was the Battleship HMS Valiant and as a Royal Marine should have been active, if so ordered by the Captain, in maintaining discipline.

He was off the ship at the time and was 48 hours 50 minutes overdue from returning from leave from 20.30pm 14th September to 21:20 pm 16th September.

The punishment for absence was 14 day’s No.11 (Stoppage of leave), 15 day’s No.12 (Reduction to 2nd class for leave), and 15 day’s No.14 (Grog entitlement stopped).

The punishment records make no mention of the mutiny, It is possible the Captain and senior officers did not want to overly stain the youngsters career, and I had no idea from the paperwork until I checked for the location of the ship and looked at the dates.

I have wondered why he did this as he already had the standard lower pay so would only have faced the 10% cut and not the 25% of the pre 1925 drafts. However coming from a poor farming background he knew all about poverty and hardship and what a 25% cut would bring to ratings with families many of whom under 25 years old would not have access to the additional Navy family allowance rates.
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  #67  
Old 28-01-2018, 13:27
Ednamay Ednamay is offline
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Default Re: The Invergordon Mutiny -- 1931

What a great reminder of this thread. I had forgotten it, and spent some time reading up to remind myself of the issues. Many thanks to those shipmates who have clarified the issues for us.

Edna
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