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Personnel => Royal Navy => Topic started by: pidgeonpost on 07 March 2016 09:44:10 am

Title: Service record research - P.O. Telegraphist W. Humphries - D/JX144022
Post by: pidgeonpost on 07 March 2016 09:44:10 am
Good morning all. I've been scouring the web trying to join up the various parts of my Dad's service between him joining as a Boy Second Class in February 1935 and leaving the Service as a P.O. Telegraphist in April 1949. Thanks to this website I've been able to fill in a lot of information but would like to add a bit more.

I have his original service record which lists the various ships and the dates he served on them but I've got a problem with some of the entries in that in some cases in the 'Name of ship' column it has two entries. For example:

From 25th August until 9th December 1939 he went by troop ship from Southampton to Hong Kong to join the minesweeper H.M.S. Huntley. On his record it shows the 'Name of Ship' as 'Terror (Huntley)' and I believe that 'Terror' in this case was the shore station in Hong Kong.

However there are a number of similar entries that so far I haven't been able to track down. These are:

Gloucester III (Huntley)
Nile (Huntley)
Ferret (Bradford)
Excellent II (Evolution)

If anyone can clarify what these double entries mean I would be very grateful. After the Huntley was sunk he was in and out of several other ships and a number of shore stations such as Drake and Collingwood, but there are also entries for BYRSA, HANNIBAL, and MERCURY. I've not looked into these last 3 yet.

But that's enough for now - any help much appreciated, thanks! 
Title: Re: Service record research - P.O. Telegraphist W. Humphries - D/JX144022
Post by: PhiloNauticus on 08 March 2016 09:32:47 am
The reason there are two entries is because the first named is the 'parent' establishment, which would have handled admin duties, such as pay. The name in brackets is the name of the ship he actually served on.  This arrangement was because smaller ships did not carry the staff to carry out the duties.

Gloucester III - accounting base at Aden 1939 - 40 (the cruiser Gloucester was Flagship in the East Indies at this time)
Nile - accounting base at Alexandria, Egypt; it looked after most of the smaller ships in the Eastern Med during WW2
Ferret - naval base at Londonderry, Northern Ireland 1940 - 47; it served as both a base, plus the 'parent' for a number of ships based there
Excellent-II - name given to an 'accounting base' - originally set up at Portsmouth, later moved to Westcliffe Gardens, Bournemouth (1942-43) to look after Coastal Forces.  In 1943 it was renamed Evolution and had offices in Chelsea Court, London as well as Bournemouth.  ....this doesn't mean that your Dad was actually ever in Bournemouth or Chelsea, it just indicates the location of the offices that were responsible for pay and admin etc

The others you mention:
Byrsa - name given to RN establishment at Bougie, Algeria in 1943; later transferred to Castellamare, Italy
Hannibal - name of accounting base established at Algiers in 1943; it had outposts at Oran, Bone and Taranto
Mercury - the Communications School at Leydene, near Petersfield, Hampshire; it was where Telegraphists and Signalmen were trained

Bradford - was one of the ex-US destroyers transferred to the RN under the Lend/Lease scheme.
Title: Re: Service record research - P.O. Telegraphist W. Humphries - D/JX144022
Post by: pidgeonpost on 10 March 2016 07:37:29 pm
Thank you SO MUCH for that information! It's very much appreciated and helps to complete the jigsaw. He survived the sinking of H.M.S Huntley in January 1941 and I know that he spent time in Algeria and Italy. He recalled having a spell on intercepts which he refered to as 'IFY' an acronym for 'Information for Y' or maybe the 'Y' Service. I'd really like to find out a bit more about that period of his service but I guess it may not exist or is still classified.

Thanks again for your help. No doubt I'll be posting again before too long. :)