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  #1  
Old 12-07-2016, 14:50
Popeye1975 Popeye1975 is offline
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Default HMS Shrapnel

Hi all again...I am hoping that somebody on here can help where nobody else has succeeded. In my age-long quest to dig out more info on my dad's service record, I have come across HMS Shrapnel, Hendon unit. Having contacted the IWM, the RAF museum Hendon, TNA, and God alone knows who else, I have drawn a complete blank. He was there from about June 3 1944 to August 10 1944...I'm wondering D-day???? Help me Obi-Wan Kanobi...
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2016, 16:21
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

I think it was a Shore Establishment in Southampton
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2016, 16:42
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

Came across HMS Shrapnel, (which was a shore establishment in Isleworth Middlesex) in someones service record and found information about it here, and another here.

Jim
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  #4  
Old 12-07-2016, 19:04
navalis navalis is offline
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

SHRAPNEL was a shore base at Southampton, with an outpost at Letchworth. Commissioned 9 June 1942 paid off 3 Sep 1946

SHRAPNEL-II was a Stokers training establishment, used for the old Revenge and Resolution when acting as training ships for engine room ratings between Nov 1943 and Apr 1944
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  #5  
Old 12-07-2016, 19:53
Popeye1975 Popeye1975 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

I knew about the 'other' HMS Shrapnels (apparently there was one in Leeds as well) but nobody knows anything about the mysterious 'Hendon' unit. I am at my wits' end
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  #6  
Old 08-08-2016, 23:02
Popeye1975 Popeye1975 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

The local historian at Barnet Council is sure that there was no naval unit based in Hendon, London in 1944. He suggests that I look at Hendon, Sunderland. Anyone on here know if any public buildings in that town were requisitioned for military use around mid - 1944?
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  #7  
Old 09-08-2016, 15:31
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Popeye1975 View Post
The local historian at Barnet Council is sure that there was no naval unit based in Hendon, London in 1944. He suggests that I look at Hendon, Sunderland. Anyone on here know if any public buildings in that town were requisitioned for military use around mid - 1944?
Never heard of it in Sunderland.

Jim
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  #8  
Old 09-08-2016, 20:22
Domino Domino is offline
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Popeye1975 View Post
The local historian at Barnet Council is sure that there was no naval unit based in Hendon, London in 1944. He suggests that I look at Hendon, Sunderland. Anyone on here know if any public buildings in that town were requisitioned for military use around mid - 1944?
Hendon is well known for it's RAF airfield and IIRC has a thriving museum there. Know Hendon is now in Colindale but don't ever remember it being in Barnet, Hertforshire.

Considering the size of the Hendon base it is possible that Shrapnel was in there under the RAF, they had an RN unit there back in WWI
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  #9  
Old 09-08-2016, 22:00
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

SHRAPNEL was quite a big establishment, with a Vice Admiral (retired) in command and three whole pages in the navy list for June 1944; this includes officers 'for duty with rescue tugs' and 'for naval control service duties'; presumably there would have been vessels attached to SHRAPNEL to carry out these duties (though alas they are not given in the Navy List): perhaps one was called 'Hendon'?

Lenton lists an auxiliary tug call HENDON in RN service 31 March 1940-3 July 1942, (the dates are wrong to fit the above conjecture unfortunately)
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  #10  
Old 10-08-2016, 06:54
hood51 hood51 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

SHRAPNEL was a base in Southampton from June 42 until Sept 46. She was an accounting base which included the Government Tug Centre, Letchworth from Aug 42 and SQIUD, which was the Tank Landing Craft Repair Base at Harland & Woolfs yard in Southampton and other small depots.

Nominal craft were the Franch Tug STIFF (seized 1940), MFV 617 and FMB 39129

(Info from "Shore Establishments of the R N" by Ben Warlow)

Hope this helps

Steve
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  #11  
Old 10-08-2016, 14:31
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

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Originally Posted by hood51 View Post
SHRAPNEL was a base in Southampton from June 42 until Sept 46. She was an accounting base which included the Government Tug Centre, Letchworth from Aug 42 and SQIUD, which was the Tank Landing Craft Repair Base at Harland & Woolfs yard in Southampton and other small depots.

Nominal craft were the Franch Tug STIFF (seized 1940), MFV 617 and FMB 39129

(Info from "Shore Establishments of the R N" by Ben Warlow)

Hope this helps

Steve
There were certainly more than three officers performing rescue tug and sea control duties in June 1944, so presumably there were more than three vessels assigned-- all conjecture of course. Reference to the Pink and Red Lists would sort it out (they are held by the National Archives in Kew IIRC).
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  #12  
Old 10-08-2016, 18:51
Domino Domino is offline
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

Not sure if this is any help or if you have already been able to get a copy of this from http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peop...a8976009.shtml

Quote:
After just over six months duty in Dartford I was told to report to the regulator’s office in Chatham for a posting. There I found my old ship mate Maurice waiting to tell me that we had both been posted together to a new training establishment; HMS Shrapnel in Isleworth Middlesex. In the regulator’s office I was given all the paperwork and informed that although we both held the rank of sick birth attendant I was to be the senior. I questioned this as Maurice was older than me by 10 years. But, since we had both joined on the same day, under the peculiar rules of the navy my ‘seniority’ was due to the alphabetical order of our surnames; Smith coming before Ward!

Our orders were to set up the sick bay at HMS Shrapnel prior to it opening and our medical kit was the same as the ones issued to sick bays on naval destroyers. Shrapnel was to be a training school for Able Seamen to become qualified motor mechanics for work on gun boats and torpedo boats. The premises were formally the Fraser Nash car firm at London Road, Isleworth and the navy had taken over the workshops and showrooms, including the Fraser Nash motor mechanics who became civilian instructors. There was no accommodation for anyone at Fraser Nash and the entire ships company, including us, were billeted with local families. Being a training establishment we worked office hours over 5 and half days with Sundays off.
I have also found references to COPRA (Combined Operations Personnel Records & Accounts)

It is a very interesting exercise as my family originally came from Hertfordshire and several moved into London and were drivers and conductors in the early trams in North London
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  #13  
Old 10-08-2016, 18:54
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Domino View Post
Not sure if this is any help or if you have already been able to get a copy of this from http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peop...a8976009.shtml



I have also found references to COPRA (Combined Operations Personnel Records & Accounts)

It is a very interesting exercise as my family originally came from Hertfordshire and several moved into London and were drivers and conductors in the early trams in North London
Thats one of the links that I posted in #2. It might be worth posting the section of the service record which mentions Shrapnel.

JIm
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  #14  
Old 10-08-2016, 19:07
Domino Domino is offline
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

apologies, getting fixated on the Hendon link which is proving so elusive
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  #15  
Old 11-08-2016, 20:31
BlackBat BlackBat is offline
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

Shrapnel Isleworth, as has been pointed out, was a satellite of Shrapnel at Southampton which handled the accounts. It was a training school for motor and ordnance mechanics serving with Coastal Forces. As the training establishment - the Fraser Nash car company - had no other facilities, trainees were required to be billeted, and service records often record Shrapnel (Hounslow) and at least one other, so I suspect Hendon was about the billeting used.

Last edited by BlackBat : 11-08-2016 at 21:22. Reason: Corrected typo
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  #16  
Old 11-08-2016, 21:23
BlackBat BlackBat is offline
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

It would depend also on whether another discipline other than mechanic was involved as there could conceivably have been another London based training establishment that came under Shrapnel that also had billeting arrangements.
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  #17  
Old 26-08-2016, 20:33
Popeye1975 Popeye1975 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

I am very impressed with the depth of knowledge I have unearthed on this thread. it's quite clear that the War Dept during WW2 had more hidden corridors than Hogwarts, and the Shrapnel Unit at Hendon was just one of them. If it helps with anyone's perception of what this unit may (or may not) have been involved with, Dad was a Signalman who was possibly a member of Combined Operations Command, and held an Egyptian driving license. Not that it matters one iota, but he was also a very accomplished musician.

That's about it. Thanks for all the input troops
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  #18  
Old 29-08-2016, 10:51
BlackBat BlackBat is offline
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

Given it was signals and Hendon, it could just have been something to do with the RAF and using their facilities to learn ship to aircraft communications. The Fleet Air Arm had their own facilities at bases such as Daedalus, but the RAF were prominent in patrolling the skies above the Channel during the D-Day landings for example.
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  #19  
Old 31-10-2016, 13:52
Mark_e Mark_e is offline
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

Hello
I'm very new here but in the course of researching my father's war service, I have discovered that he was posted to HMS Shrapnel - RNTU Newcastle! Now I know Newcastle and Sunderland (Hendon) are not the same, but it was the radio training school for coastal forces. Sounds like a possible tie up with Popeye1975's dad as a signalman?

Google Maps tells me that near to the college (now defunct/part of the university) is a Hendon road in Gateshead and also the previously mentioned Hendon near Sunderland. Just a thought.
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  #20  
Old 14-12-2016, 18:13
Popeye1975 Popeye1975 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

This saga has taken a bit of a sharp right turn! I recently spoke to a feller who is quite an authority on HMS Shrapnel and he is 90% convinced that my dad's unit would have been based at Hendon Technical College, now absorbed into Middlesex University. I contacted their archive research chap and he is asking around to see if anyone can shed some more light on it😊
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  #21  
Old 15-08-2017, 20:32
Popeye1975 Popeye1975 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBat View Post
Given it was signals and Hendon, it could just have been something to do with the RAF and using their facilities to learn ship to aircraft communications. The Fleet Air Arm had their own facilities at bases such as Daedalus, but the RAF were prominent in patrolling the skies above the Channel during the D-Day landings for example.
Interesting you should say that - my older brother remembers dad saying he did some work at some stage in the war regarding signalling between ships and aircraft, and dad was apparently involved in some capacity with the Normandy landings. He also mentioned being allowed to take the controls of a Miles Messenger, but not sure if any of these facts dovetail in together
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  #22  
Old 27-11-2017, 22:55
Popeye1975 Popeye1975 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

Having recently spoken to the TNT records bureau at Swadlincote, I am informed that there are several references to the Shrapnel Unit. Apparently it was probably indeed some kind of RN/RAF collaboration unit. There were no more than 70 ratings on site at any time, with less than five of them senior rates.
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  #23  
Old 27-11-2017, 23:13
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwyrosydd View Post
SHRAPNEL was quite a big establishment, with a Vice Admiral (retired) in command and three whole pages in the navy list for June 1944; this includes officers 'for duty with rescue tugs' and 'for naval control service duties'; presumably there would have been vessels attached to SHRAPNEL to carry out these duties (though alas they are not given in the Navy List): perhaps one was called 'Hendon'?

Lenton lists an auxiliary tug call HENDON in RN service 31 March 1940-3 July 1942, (the dates are wrong to fit the above conjecture unfortunately)
Must have been split between two, or more, sites. This WREN served at the Southampton unit of HMS Shrapnel for most of the war.

Jim
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  #24  
Old 29-11-2017, 21:59
Popeye1975 Popeye1975 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Shrapnel

Sites at Southampton, Bracknell, Leeds, Northampton, Walthamstow, Isleworth, Redbridge and Hendon. And those are just the ones I know of
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  #25  
Old 27-12-2017, 19:23
Popeye1975 Popeye1975 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbryce1437 View Post
Must have been split between two, or more, sites. This WREN served at the Southampton unit of HMS Shrapnel for most of the war.

Jim
Having just been a monumental PITA to the god folk at TNT records Swadlincote I now have a full page of my Dad's P & V ledger and it appears that all the time he was under the pay umbrella of Shrapnel, RN Unit Hendon, he was sharing his time between there and Shrapnel at Letchworth, Shrapnel at Leeds and something called RTE at Gareloch. If anybody has any gen on this I would love to hear it
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