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 on: 10 June 2019 02:53:55 pm 
Started by Hostilties Only - Last Post by Hostilties Only
My father trained as a Hostilities Only rating at HMS Collingwood from 8th May 1941. Interested in any information, especially experiences about training in Collingwood - have read Brian Lavery's excellent book on the training styles, was keen for more personal reminiscences/archives/photos, etc. What I have so far is here:

 on: 22 May 2019 02:06:37 pm 
Started by NavySparker - Last Post by NavySparker
The live status of the project can now be found at:

 on: 09 May 2019 04:02:57 pm 
Started by Davide9999 - Last Post by Davide9999
Thank you.

 on: 09 May 2019 08:44:23 am 
Started by Davide9999 - Last Post by PhiloNauticus
They refer to the standard range of war medals issued:

St = Star
V  = Victory Medal
B = British War Medal

S - means issued to Self (i.e. directly, not to a relative)
F = Father (i.e. sent to father of the man)

R = Run  (i.e. deserted)

The National Archives has a page explaining the abbreviations:

 on: 08 May 2019 06:30:12 pm 
Started by Davide9999 - Last Post by Davide9999
I've come across a Naval Medal and Award Roll document which the National Archive has allowed Ancestry to publish.  In the attached file is part of a page which details by individual the medals that were awarded. Unfortunately there is no key so in the attachment under column 4 are the codes 'St', 'V' and 'B'. How issued in column 5 is again a code - generally 'S' or 'F' though in several cases I guess they refer to naval vessels, eg. "Cleopatra". Finally in the Remarks, column 6, there are one or two instances coded 'R'.

Can anyone interpret these codes for me please?

Thank you,

 on: 04 May 2019 11:35:13 am 
Started by Davide9999 - Last Post by Davide9999
Good morning,

While researching my family history I've come across a distant relative who served in the Royal Navy as a Stoker between 1908 and 1917. I can see the names of the Ships he served on as well as his periods of detention. Despite his character being recorded as 'Good' during the first three months of 1917 the final entry records that he 'deserted' on 24 Apr 1917 while his Ship was in Canada.

The record states 'Wife informed'.

Is there anywhere in the Royal Navy records where I might find the name of his wife?

Thank you,

 on: 04 May 2019 09:44:53 am 
Started by Bodmin Keep - Last Post by Bodmin Keep
I am Collections Manager at Cornwall's Regimental Museum in Bodmin, and our site (in fact the extension Walker Lines), was one of the site of the Joint Services School for Linguists from 1951-1956. I have had a look at the RNRA page about this (and am reading School for Spies), and would be interested to hear from anyone who has memories of being at Walker Lines, photographs or indeed artefacts that we might make copies of, or acquire in to the collection.

The story of the JSSL at Bodmin is not one we are currently able to tell having very little information, and we are looking to develop a display in the museum. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Please send me a private message or email me directly at the museum on Thanks in advance, Verity Anthony (Collections Manager, Cornwall's Regimental Museum).

 on: 05 April 2019 08:51:38 pm 
Started by stuart kilminster - Last Post by chathamrat
Thats absolutely splendid - I'm very grateful.

Boilers seemed to be the family business, as William's son, my Dad, tended them at Chatham Dockyard through WW2, a period which included 3 years on a floating dock in Bermuda. Not me though - I "did' trains!

Very best wishes

Richard B

 on: 02 April 2019 02:35:03 pm 
Started by stuart kilminster - Last Post by PhiloNauticus

The TARTAR he served on would have been the torpedo-boat destroyer (TBD) launched in 1907 and handed over to the Navy the following year: quite a full history may be found on Wiki:

In 1904 the new First Sea Lord, Admiral ‘Jacky’ Fisher, ordered that all future torpedo-boat destroyers should be oil-fired and over the next few years a group of twelve ships were ordered from different shipbuilders, to their own designs using oil-fired steam turbines.

The ships were  given names previously used by small ships of the Royal Navy, and because these included names such as Zulu, Mohawk and Maori, they became known as the Tribal class. 

Although the ships did achieve very high speeds, 34 – 36 knots, compared to 24 – 26 knots of the coal-fired ships, the ships were not deemed a great success: none of them were good ‘sea boats’ (i.e. they rolled too much and shipped too much water) and it was found that fuel consumption was higher than predicted. 

TARTAR when completed was part of the First Destroyer Flotilla attached to the Blenheim, based at Chatham. An outline of her service during the time your relative was serving onboard:   
1908 – 16 April commissioned at Southampton; then to the Medway to join the 1st DF.  Exercises locally and North Sea; port calls: Harwich / Kirkwall / Portsmouth
1909 – exercises locally and port calls: Harwich / South Queensferry / Fortrose / Lowestoft / Portsmouth
1910 – as before: exercises in North Sea and port calls: Harwich / Lowestoft / Portsmouth / Portland
1911 – as before: exercises locally and North Sea: port calls: Harwich / Portsmouth / Kirkwall

Small vessels like these early TBD’s (the term was later abbreviated to Destroyer) were not big enough to carry their own admin staff, so they had what was known as a “parent ship”, that looked after the pay and secretarial work.  This would usually be the vessels that were known as Depot Ships, at this time usually an elderly warship retired from active work.  The Blenheim was converted for this role in 1907. I would imagine he was drafted to Blenheim and then allocated to one of the TBD’s she was “parenting”.   It became the usual practice later to note the name of any destroyer a man was allocated to from the Depot Ship, on the Service Record, usually in brackets after the Depot Ships name, such as Blenheim (Tartar). This clearly did not happen with this record – probably because it was not yet a widespread practice.
TARTAR photo:

 on: 01 April 2019 07:36:47 pm 
Started by stuart kilminster - Last Post by chathamrat
New to this Forum, and the site. I'm Richard Bourne, born and raised Chatham, but lived away since early 1970s. I've no connection with the Navy except through my Grandfather William, who's the subject of this message.

Stuart's been doing some digging for me in pursuit of information to accompany a small display of old Bill's WW1 medals. The reply from PhiloNauticus was certainly impressive, but there's one aspect on which perhaps he could comment further.

There's another ship of interest which doesn’t appear on his record. His Marriage certificate (from 1909) gives his "Rank or Profession" as Stoker on HM Ship Tartar. This is further borne out by an entry in the 1911 census, where the List of Officers, Crew and Royal Marines on board His Majesty's Ship "Tartar" includes SPO William Bourne, born Ashford Kent aged 34. A web search for Tartar came up with one description saying "one of the first ocean-going destroyers to be driven by steam turbines". As an oil burner shovelling was evidently no longer required and its pleasing to see that his conduct must have by then been good enough for him to be let loose on something relatively novel! I'd be interested to know more about that HMS Tartar (I see there were earlier and later ships of that name), and perhaps to understand why he was still recorded as being on the Blenheim.

I'd be grateful for any comments. Thanks in anticipation

Richard B

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