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Author Topic: Fathers Service Record  (Read 901 times)

n4mv3t

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Fathers Service Record
« on: 17 July 2018 12:10:51 AM »

G'day all ... I have recently obtained my deceased fathers Royal Navy service history from Swadlincote. He joined the RN on 23 June 1937 (Wildfire) and his first ship was HMS Arethusa 15 Sept 1940 (rank from 23 June 1941 to 4 Oct 1942 was temp acting Leading Seaman. Rank then changes back to AB on 5th Oct 1942-why??) he then left the Arethusa on 16 Oct 1942. On 17th Oct 1942 he joined HMS Petard, as an AB, and left that ship on 16 Aug 1944 (with the rank of temporary acting Petty Officer, which he had held from 5th April 1943).
I have researched both the Arethusa and the Petard on the net and so I think I have a fairly good handle on that period, but my problem is with his post war record because I know he was in Malta for about 3 years (my younger brother was born there in 1951, plus 53 years ago I met the Maltese family that knew him and my mother) however understanding the Navy "shorthand" is a tad difficult.
His details are as follows:- William MacGregor RUSSELL, official number SSX21417 / JX768990 (he re-entered for 12 years on 15 July 1946) any offers of help in understanding the Navy shorthand will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks “Doc”
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PhiloNauticus

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Re: Fathers Service Record
« Reply #1 on: 17 July 2018 08:25:11 AM »

Could you post your Fathers record here  or say what the "Navy shorthand" is


re: "temp acting" - means temporary, acting in the rank - it is used to fill a vacancy.  When the gap is filled by someone qualified and of rank then the 'temp acting' person reverts to their old rate

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n4mv3t

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Re: Fathers Service Record
« Reply #2 on: 17 July 2018 10:45:09 PM »

Could you post your Fathers record here  or say what the "Navy shorthand" is


re: "temp acting" - means temporary, acting in the rank - it is used to fill a vacancy.  When the gap is filled by someone qualified and of rank then the 'temp acting' person reverts to their old rate

Thanks for your reply ... I'll scan the record today and post it asap ... 'Doc'
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n4mv3t

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Re: Fathers Service Record
« Reply #3 on: 18 July 2018 06:26:07 AM »

Could you post your Fathers record here  or say what the "Navy shorthand" is


re: "temp acting" - means temporary, acting in the rank - it is used to fill a vacancy.  When the gap is filled by someone qualified and of rank then the 'temp acting' person reverts to their old rate

Thanks for your reply ... I'll scan the record today and post it asap ... 'Doc'

OK here's the front page of his Service Record ... hope someone can help with the "Navy shorthand" ... Doc
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PhiloNauticus

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Re: Fathers Service Record
« Reply #4 on: 18 July 2018 08:15:59 AM »

Ships
Apart from time in shore bases (Wildfire and Pembroke at Chatham = Dryad at Portsmouth) he served at sea -

cruiser Cumberland in 1938  rated as Boy / Ordinary Seaman
cruiser Kent 1938 – 39 rated OS/Able Seaman
cruiser Arethusa 1940 -43
destroyer Petard 1943-45
then discharged to RFR (Royal Fleet Reserve)
later
destroyer Gabbard in 1947
    (see:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Gabbard_(D47)  )

aircraft carrier Triumph in 1948  - she was then serving in the Mediterranean Fleet
     (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Triumph_(R16)  )
   
depot ship Forth 1949 – 51 - she was based at Malta throughout this time – see:
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Forth_(A187)

aircraft carrier Glory 1953 – 54

   see:  http://www.hms-glory-assoc.org.uk/history.htm

The column ‘non-substantive’ – shows his trade rather than rank.  He originally joined and was trained as a Gunner = Q.R means Quarters Rating;  the numbers indicate class.  When he re-joined in 1947 he retrained as a radar plotter – RP
The badges column shows he obtained his Good Conduct Badges (to get the maximum of three) – these would have been worn as chevrons on the left arm




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PhiloNauticus

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Re: Fathers Service Record
« Reply #5 on: 18 July 2018 04:01:15 PM »

… and to de-code a little more:
In the Character and Efficiency columns, they record his disciplinary record and assessment of his work -
He is mostly V.G. (very good) for discipline, except for a bit in 38-39 and again in 41... must have done something naughty..  His work is usually rated Sat (satisfactory) and later Supr (superior).   Also noted in 1949 as RR = recommend re-engagement
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n4mv3t

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Re: Fathers Service Record
« Reply #6 on: 19 July 2018 02:46:22 AM »

PhiloNauticus - I thank you so very much for your three posts and for taking the time to add so much more information to make sense (for me) of his post war service ... most helpful ... I'll try to post the back page of his Service Record today, as that might have some more gems of info on it.
n4mv3t
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n4mv3t

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Re: Fathers Service Record
« Reply #7 on: 19 July 2018 07:45:21 AM »

Here is page 2 as promised ... thanks ... Doc
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PhiloNauticus

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Re: Fathers Service Record
« Reply #8 on: 19 July 2018 03:35:54 PM »

This shows that he completed his naval service 1954 – 55 on HMS Boxer – this was a radar training ship at this time
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Boxer_(F121)

He is noted as being invalided out PUNS – Permanently Unfit for Naval Service
Under this there is very faint (pencil) notations which seem to record that he was found guilty of a charge of Contempt and disrated to Able Seaman in October 1942 onboard the Arethusa.   This explains the change in discipline record I mentioned before – in the Navy Contempt means when someone “Uses threatening or insubordinate language to, or behaves with contempt to, his superior officer”
Under that, more faint writing seems to be a resumé of his progress after this – promoted back to Leading Seaman then to Petty Officer / to the RFR (Royal Fleet Reserve) / reengages etc

The bottom left hand corner are just notes of various admin forms being completed. It does show that he was discharged from Royal Navy Hospital, Haslar – no reason given

The Personal Description is obvious

Engagements – just a note of the dates he engaged and for how long etc

Under Clothing and Bedding ( a rarely completed box !) is noted his medal award –
He received the 1939-45 Star = Atlantic Star = Burma Star = Italy Star = War Medal
See; http://www.rogersstudy.co.uk/medals/ww2_stars/stars.html

Bottom right are the Examinations – these are just notes of when he completed various professional courses and also shows the Home Address he was discharged to in Castle Road, Southwick, Fareham



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n4mv3t

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Re: Fathers Service Record
« Reply #9 on: 20 July 2018 11:38:08 PM »

 PhiloNauticus - Again, many thanks for those explanations. Attached are some statements/comments hopefully you may hav an answer or two ... Doc
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PhiloNauticus

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Re: Fathers Service Record
« Reply #10 on: 22 July 2018 09:34:30 AM »


re: the 'R' or 'VR' on the medal record - confess you have me there, I don't know.  Perhaps re-issue (?) for a lost/damaged medal?
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n4mv3t

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Re: Fathers Service Record
« Reply #11 on: 23 July 2018 02:49:56 AM »

My youngest sister has the original medals and we are certain there was no re-issue, so the mystery remains ... I have posted the original document in the hope that another poster/viewer may see it and have an answer.
PhiloNauticus - you have been most helpful and again I thank you ... 'Doc'
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Deepankar Choudhury

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Re: Fathers Service Record
« Reply #12 on: 25 July 2018 11:51:35 AM »

Could you pls tell us briefly about the service record of your father's record
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n4mv3t

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Re: Fathers Service Record
« Reply #13 on: 26 July 2018 11:29:08 PM »

Deepankar - Like most who saw active service he never talked about it ... why? ... from my own experience (platoon medic, Aust Army Vietnam) it's 'cos those who did the "hard yards" already know and those who didn't wouldn't understand - the only info I have on his service is within the documents I have posted and which PhiloNauticus has assisted in helping me understand the Navy "shorthand".
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James_harvey

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Re: Fathers Service Record
« Reply #14 on: 12 August 2018 01:40:34 AM »

Medal record card

The tick means issued the R means clasp

The Africa star was also issued with clasp North Africa 1942-43 this means he was awarded the Africa star and clasp

Hope this helps
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