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Jim Maclean

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Everything posted by Jim Maclean

  1. I had to have a bit of a chuckle at the first post as rolling tobacco in the R.N. was known as "Tickler". It wasn't purchased through the NAAFI but from "slops", the clothing store and was only available in shore bases. It was the hand rolling version of Blue Liner tailor mades. Certainly available in these tins in 1969-70 when I joined and I think went to 2oz conventional tins in the mid 70s. Seagoing ships had brand name cigs and baccy. In shore bases you were issued three red stamps per month each entitling you to 100 cigarettes or 4ozs of baccy. Seagoing ships got six blue stamps per month. In 1969 300 cigarettes cost the princely sum of 8 shillings.
  2. Thanks Leigh, doing a Google search throws up references for Sergeant of Drums, Drum Sergeant etc. No real good explanations though. Seems regardless of rank he carried the appointment of Drum Major and was thus referred to.
  3. Just for info here's the trio that sparked my interest. Left to right:- Sergt.-Major Hunter, Capt. & Adj A. L. Moulton-Barrett and Bandmaster R. J. Shepherd. I must find myself a copy of this album but where ?
  4. Leigh, what a superb find, worthy of a museum. Following Narinder Sethi's post to his website I had a look at his album of the 1st Dorsets. Many of the names on your piece are pictured in the album. The album is a superb reference to the uniforms and badges of the time and the photography very good considering the date. In my search for confirmation of wear of the '1906 wide wreath Dorsetshire cap badge' I thought I had the enigma cracked with the photo on page 24. The Sgt. Major is wearing the pre 1901 two tower badge, the Adj sitting beside him has the badge worn up to amalgamation and the Bandmaster looked to be wearing the wide wreath. I emailed Narinder who graciously sent me a lovely enlarged scan of the photo. Alas it turns out that the Bandmaster is indeed wearing the normal badge. Close, much closer but no cigar yet. Of course every avenue of search has it's side streets and ths one is no exception. On the left of this photo captioned 'Regimental Instructors' is Sergt.-Dr. Clarke. It's interesting to see he is wearing what I always thought was the Officer's forage cap badge from the 1890s. He's the only one bar a Sergeant in the band wearing one. He's shown with 'The Drums' and must be what we'd now call a Drum Major. What would his title have been then. Sergeant of Drums? Also why is his uniform so different? The album can be found here. The rest of the site is well worth a look as is searching for Fred Bremner the photographer.
  5. Jim Maclean

    Royal navy /Malay Peninsula

    It's Radio Operator 1st Class (Able Seaman rate)
  6. Jim Maclean


    I'm no great defender of defence cuts, our "current" war is in a landlocked country. Apart from stand off launches of missiles what use is the RN in such a war? As to the Falklands it would only take one Type 45 down there, I can't imagine the Argie Air Force getting past that even if they all flew at the same time. We cannot rely on any of our "allies" if we get embroiled in another Falklands episode. We go rushing to the aid of the US whose Pres at the time said something like "if you're not with us, you're against us". Can we expect support .
  7. The above description on diggerhistory is a bit confusing unless you know what you're looking at first. The crown on the belt plate should I think be correctly be called the "Crown of the Garter on the Star of India" often referred to as the Indian Crown or the flat topped Victorian crown. It's found mostly on Victorian cavalry badges and a couple of infantry badges, the HLI being one of them.
  8. If you do a bit of googling you'll probably find out what the Penstemon and Wilton were.(Found some for you ) Ton class have been minesweepers, being small ships they would not have their own pay department. The would also operate as squadrons which would come under a shore base for pay. Your Grandfather would thus be on the books of HMS St Angelo for pay but actually be serving on HMS Wilton. Penstemon was a Flower class Corvette built in Birkenhead. Eaglet was the RNR base at Liverpool, presumably he served in the first commission so being a small ship would come under them for pay and accomodation whilst standing by her. Cormorant was a 19th century vessel reduced to harbour service by WW2 and would have been their next pay base. Penstemon then moved to the Med and came under St. Angelo at Malta. Looks like he then had some well earned shore time before joining Wilton again in the med and under St. Angelo. HMS Wilton, gives you an idea of what Grandad was up to. Penstemon, bottom pic is Valetta with I think HMS St. Angelo in the background.
  9. I've just noticed a rum induced faux pas in an earlier post of mine that I can't edit. Just for forum historical accuracy the Radio Electrical branch wore the lightning bolts with the letter R in the centre. The Control Electrical branch wore CE and the Ordnance branch wore OE. The WAFUS sorry FAA have similar but with different letters, AR, AL I think but can't be sure.
  10. The advancement through the branch is REM2, REM1, LREM, POREL, CREL. That's Radio Electrical Mechanic Class 2 & 1, Leading Radio Electrical Mechanic, Petty Officer Radio Electrician and Chief Radio Electrician. Hope this helps a bit, it's biased towards my time in the 60s and 70s. WW2 designations may well vary.
  11. OK the badge makes sense now, you forgot to mention the crown above the device . I'm not that well up on Pinkies badges but I think this one would be passed for CPO indicated by the star below. He's a POREL in the photo, the branch was known as mechanics up to LREM and electricians as PO and above. Looks like a MiD oakleaf and I'll stick my neck out and say an Africa Star ribbon above it with a rosette for the 'North Africa 1942-43' clasp. In typical RN fashion of wearing them high up under the lapel I can't make anything else out. The gold badge is for No1 uniform(optional on No2) and the red badge worn on No2, 3 and 4 dress. Worn on the right arm. The stripe is a Good Conduct Badge awarded for 4 years service, worn below his PO's badge.
  12. It's an electrical mechanics badge. R for Radio C for Conrol and O for Ordnance. What doesn't sound right is the six pointed star underneath, I would expect it to be on the top which would be an REM1 Ny chance of a pic?
  13. The thing that stood out was the Quebec crest that changed from 2 to 3 fleurs de lys.
  14. December 9th 1939? Lovely flag :beer:
  15. If you look carefully at his service history you'll see that on the 24th October 1906 he was discharged shore and pension. This was a day after his 38th birthday. This would have given him 20 years reckonable service from the age of 18. You'd have to research the service required for pension, it's currently 22 years and has been for a long time. Service up to the age of 18 is not reckonable for pension. Your man apparently joined as a Boy 2nd class on 11th July 1884. On discharge it looks as though he joined the RNR for 5 years, this I believe was not an option at the time. He was then called up again at the start of WW1, you'll notice he joined again at Vivid (still today existing as the RNR unit at Devonport). He then after a few days went to HMS Jupiter, a Majestic class battleship. After a year on that it was back to Vivid for 4 months then to HMS Grive??? can't find any references to that but he was there for a year and a bit and then back to Vivid. Then demobbed Jan 1919.
  16. Jim Maclean


    T.S. PUMA S.C.C. Sutton(London Borough) Unit. Wallington Surrey. T.S. stands for Training Ship.
  17. Jim Maclean

    The Royal Marines

    It'll take me a couple of days to dig them out and photograph them. I'll photograph the helmet plates at the same time. I've got a bootneck's ear is that any good? Seriously though the only real bar room brawl souvenier form a bootneck is from a night in Mr Harry's club in Guzz in the mid 70s is above my right eye. When I cleared the blood away said Royal was an unconscious snotty heap about 20 feet away. My mate who played water polo for the RN and was bigger and harder than most booties had sorted him out, he was watching closely and waiting for things to develope, which they did. That's the only friction ever with a bootneck. So many times they've got me out of the mire. Probably not the appropriate place but I have the greatest respect for the Corps and wish them well in these hard times. :beer:
  18. The only contribution I can make to this post is that I think it highly unlikely that this was ever used in the air. I agree with the Air Ministry markings but if you look at the scales the upper one is a vernier scale with a graduation of 2 minutes of arc, in post #5 the reading would be 179 degrees 12 minutes. I doubt that present fly by wire can manage 2 minute accuracy certainly not long enough for someone to sight then read the scale then make the appropriate action. I would say as a guess a piece of ground based calibration equipment. I look forward to learning what it really is though, my guesses are seldom correct.
  19. Jim Maclean

    The Royal Marines

    No I don't have anything special RM wise except Artillery and Infantry helmet plates which may or may not be genuine, you just can't tell these days with some stuff. I think I have two Artillery helmet plates and they both have correct reinforcing disc to the back of the grenade. I can post pics if you want. Royal Marine badges would make a magnificent collection on their own. I envy you those RND shoulder titles every time I see them I get outbid. I can maybe help on the thread with pics of the cap badges as apart from the RND Machine Gunners I believe I have a genuine example of each, naturally I've also got a fake of each so I can do some comparisons.
  20. Jim Maclean

    The Royal Marines

    Just to clarify post #43 a little. The bronzed badges are worn on the beret, the anodised badges on the peaked cap, I have on occasion seen RMs wearing a beret with blues. Now that the RM bands no longer wear the green beret but the blue beret with red tombstone it would be interesting to look at their badges. I remember back in the mid 70s the Royal Marines band on HMS Ark Royal wearing green berets even though not having done the all arms course. I can't remember any bandsman wearing bronzed badges even on the green beret. I don't know when they lost the right to wear the green beret but as far as I know they were still wearing it when I left the mob in '79.
  21. Jim Maclean

    The Royal Marines

    Colour Sargeants wore this example, WOs wore the Globe and Laurel in gold and silver anodised if I recall correctly. Sargeants and below wore the one piece badge.
  22. Nice helmet Peter, now you need to show us the ORs back badge as fitted. :unsure:
  23. That's a nicely focused collection there Kjell, I've got a soft spot for the badges of the MGs and the Tanks that were an offshoot. Four of those Vickers would make great legs for a coffe table :o
  24. The "Dolphins" are awarded (earned) I believe well after qualifying for subs. Basically I believe you have to have a good working knowledge of all trade disciplines aboard a boat. I'll check with my brother who was a long time "S" boat submariner and give you the details. I think you had to re-qualify for each boat but didn't lose the dolphins Looks a good one and is worn on the left breast above any medals/ribbons. Clutch pin is normal, I believe much favoured amongst the RN is the Aussie version which has a truer smooth skin.
  25. Jim Maclean

    The dreaded "sea cocks"

    The very thought brings tears to my eyes . Thank goodness for "soap on a rope" Theodor is correct, they are known as Kingston valves. A seacock is generally accepted in the RN to be a valve that is fixed directly to the hull usually on a reinforcing pad. The term "cock" is really a misnomer as this suggests a 90 degree turn valve whereas most skin fitted valves are screw down types. Magazines have been known to have rapid flooding valves and some steam ships had a large gate valve on the main condenser inlet before the circ pump. This was more a last ditch effort if the engine room was flooding but would be an excellent means of scuttling the vessel.