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 on: Yesterday at 05:42:24 PM 
Started by jackroyd - Last Post by jackroyd
I shall quiz Norman further on the convoy question.  I have understood they were solo. Your references helpful. j

 on: Yesterday at 01:36:08 PM 
Started by jackroyd - Last Post by PhiloNauticus
It is a very odd story, and without the name of the ship he was on, difficult to check on - I am not aware of any such incident.
The nearest incident that I can find is the sortie into the Atlantic by Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in early-1941.  They twice encountered convoys, but both times declined engagement.  Strictly neither was in the Bay of Biscay, the nearest was the second incident on 7 March 1941, when they found a convoy (SL-67) 300 miles north of Cape Verde, but turned away and failed to press home an attack when they realised that the British battleship Malaya was with the convoy.

 on: 24 May 2018 05:19:50 PM 
Started by jackroyd - Last Post by jackroyd
My old pal Norman, soon to be 96 served 5 years in RN on HMS Fitzroy and HMS Waveney.  He has a story that is hard to believe but if true I'd like to give him verification for his birthday next month.  He was on a ship in the Med which had some mechanical problem that could not be repaired there. It had to return to UK. The ship waited at Gibraltar til conditions in Bay of Biscay were optimal re weather and u-boats. Eventually the ship left and limped along very slowly. One day a German ship came over the horizon. All hands were ordered on deck ready to die. But although the German ship swung its guns around at his ship it never fired a shot. Just kept motoring along.  Did this ever happen? He cannot recall which ship he was on at the time and I cannot find any references online to this.  Thank you.

 on: 21 May 2018 08:11:09 AM 
Started by johnbennett - Last Post by johnbennett
many thanks Philo, fantastic summary of the 'navy way' of doing things in those days opened a new set of avenues for me, I have visited the National Archives to research my man, but concentrated on his Coastguard career and a spell back in the navy in the 1850s when a lot of coastguards were posted back into the navy during the Crimean war.. So its another visit


 on: 20 May 2018 02:07:34 PM 
Started by johnbennett - Last Post by PhiloNauticus
Although officers could embark on a career in the Royal Navy, in 1819 seamen did not "join the Navy" - the Navy employed ratings on a casual basis - individual ships recruited men anyway they could: financial inducements and pressing were both legitimate methods.
On foreign stations, like St Helena, ships would frequently take men from merchant ships (whether they liked it or not).  If he was rated Able Seaman on joining the Conqueror, then this meant that he was already an experienced sailor - able to reef and steer and heave the lead - normally only attained after five years or so at sea. 

Men would only be employed by the Navy for the length of the commission, they were then paid-off and were free to move wherever they wished: although sometimes the Admiralty would order a ships company to be 'turned over' to a ship about to be commissioned.

For the seamen of the time,  they moved constantly and easily between merchant and naval service, enjoying the freedom to choose whatever ship they wished to join, so a mixed record is quite normal and indeed the usual.

If he joined the ship at St Helena, then I would suggest that he was 'recruited' from a passing merchant vessel, and after leaving Cambrian, he went back to merchant service.

Have you checked the Pay and Muster Books for Conqueror ? - they sometimes indicate a previous ship

 on: 20 May 2018 09:17:41 AM 
Started by johnbennett - Last Post by johnbennett
My family research has unearthed that my grt grt grt grandad who served as a coastguard for most of his life had a brief naval career, 1819- 1824 serving on two ships HMS Conqueror and HMS Cambrian. I have two questions. One he joined HMS Conqueror in 1819 but the ship at that time was guarding Napoleon on St Helena. would the navy send a new recruit to a ship 6000 miles away or just load him onto one in port at the time... his record shows him being 20 yrs old and joining as an able seaman. I am thinking could he have joined earlier as a 'boy' and they only started recording him when made an able seaman. the other query is regarding what he did for five years between 1824 and 1829 when he joined the coastguard service... is it common for naval ratings to go into merchant shipping for instance...only after suggestions as i know specifics would be very hard to find....oh his name was Robert William Bennett from Ipswich

 on: 17 May 2018 06:42:22 PM 
Started by Yettoner - Last Post by James_harvey
You can get it cheaper on eBay

 on: 17 May 2018 12:04:01 PM 
Started by Yettoner - Last Post by Yettoner
Thanks for your answers, if dad was still alive I would have gladly paid 45 for the medal as he was so proud of his service, but it's a bit expensive just for me and I do have all his others, as well as my granddad's WW1 medals.

I am compiling a PDF of his service and experiences plus photo's of his medals and some of him while serving, I will then pass them on to his grand and great grandchildren some of who never knew him.

Thanks yet again for your help.

 on: 17 May 2018 07:29:41 AM 
Started by RichF - Last Post by PhiloNauticus
I would suggest that you are misreading the entry - it is likely to be Mount Stewart

Mount Stewart was the naval unit established at Teignmouth in Devon: it served as the base for training men to serve in small craft and special duties


 on: 16 May 2018 10:11:49 PM 
Started by Livtoots - Last Post by James_harvey
Drake is shore establishment is wild Swan in brackets



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