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Hi,

Help wanted please!

I've just been sent my grandfathers RN service records and there are many things I don't understand or just can't read.

Firstly there are his postings. He seems to have the name of land based postings (Eaglet, Cormorant & St Angelo) but next to them in brackets are the names of ships (Pentstemon, Wilton etc) and I don't know what this signifies. Was he on the ship or detached from it on a land base? I've attached a snapshot of his service card to illustrate my point.

I'd assumed he was land based however he has an MiD in the London Gazette under the blanket heading of 'bravery and skill in the hazardous operations in which the allied forces were landed in North Africa'. When that was awarded his service card shows him as HMS Eaglet with Pentstemon in brackets next to it. Eaglet was in Liverpool but HMS Pentstemon was in North Africa at the time and directly involved in the landings. Also his medal entitlement card has a handwritten HMS Pentstemon 8/41 - 10/43 on it. Can anyone decipher the significance of this for me?

Secondly what medals was he entitled to? On the photograph attached it seems to show his Africa Star with a rosette on it but I don't know what that means. Also his MiD oakleaf isn't on his Africa Star but that's where it was awarded? On his medal card (scan attached) several medals are ticked but some have an 'R' either as well or instead. What does that mean? I'm surprised he didn't qualify for the Defence medal and I was wondering if it's possible to find out if he was entitled to any bars to these medals? There is also another medal referred to on the remarks section of his card issued on 19/8/53 (scan attached) but I can't make out the writing it could possibly say ‘navy medal’?. Perhaps someone out there knows what it might be-a Coronation medal perhaps?

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I'd assumed he was land based however he has an MiD in the London Gazette under the blanket heading of 'bravery and skill in the hazardous operations in which the allied forces were landed in North Africa'. When that was awarded his service card shows him as HMS Eaglet with Pentstemon in brackets next to it. Eaglet was in Liverpool but HMS Pentstemon was in North Africa at the time and directly involved in the landings. Also his medal entitlement card has a handwritten HMS Pentstemon 8/41 - 10/43 on it. Can anyone decipher the significance of this for me?

HE COULD HAVE BEEN SECONDED (TEMPORARY DUTY) TO SHIPS EVEN THOUGH HIS NOMINAL OR ADMINISTRATIVE BASE WAS EAGLET HE WAS ON THEIR ROLL.....

Secondly what medals was he entitled to?

THE WAY THAT I READ IT HE WAS ENTITLED TO:

1939-45 STAR

ATLANTIC STAR

AFRICA STAR - NORTH AFRICA BAR (NAVY AND RAF PERSONEL ONLY)

ITALY STAR

THE PUZZLE IS THE FRANCE AND GERMANY STAR

AND THE

WAR MEDAL

On the photograph attached it seems to show his Africa Star with a rosette on it but I don't know what that means.

THE ROSETTE IS FOR THE NORTH AFRICA BAR

Also his MiD oakleaf isn't on his Africa Star but that's where it was awarded?

THIS IS ONLY WORN ON THE WAR MEDAL

On his medal card (scan attached) several medals are ticked but some have an 'R' either as well or instead. What does that mean?

IF YOU READ THE MEDAL CARD HE WAS ISSUED REPLACEMENT / DUPLICATE OR MEDALS ON 13TH AUGUST 1951

I'm surprised he didn't qualify for the Defence medal and I was wondering if it's possible to find out if he was entitled to any bars to these medals?

HERE IS WHERE I THINK THAT THERE MAY HAVE BEEN A MISTAKE, THE REPLACEMENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN A DEFENCE MEDAL AND NOT A FRANCE AND GERMANY STAR..... IF I AM WRONG HE WOULD ALSO HAVE A FRANCE AND GERMANY BAR FOR HIS ATLANTIC STAR.....

There is also another medal referred to on the remarks section of his card issued on 19/8/53 (scan attached) but I can't make out the writing it could possibly say 'navy medal'?.

I THINK THAT IT IS A NAVY LSGC AS WARTIME SERVICE WOULD COUNT A DOUBLE AND THAT WOULD HAVE GIVEN HIM THE 18/20 YEARS SERVICE.....

Perhaps someone out there knows what it might be-a Coronation medal perhaps?

IF HE HAD THE CORONATION MEDAL IT WOULD HAVE A CORONATION STAMP....

Edited by QSAMIKE
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Thanks a lot for your reply it's really helpful.

A couple of questions arise from it; You think the unknown medal might be his LS&GC but what I didn't show on the scan was a seperate entry just below this one which says LS&GC but it's dated 2 months later (14/10/53)so I'm guessing it has to be something different?

Also do you know what the criteria for the coronation medal would be? He'd been in the Navy since 1936 so I assumed he'd be entitled. I received the golden jubilee medal for combined Army and Police service in 2003 so assumed he'd have been entitled after 17yrs Navy service but I suppose assumptions are dangerous things!

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Traced Medal indicates the award of the LSGC - it required 15 years service and war service for regulars did not count for double time. The 1953 Coronation Medal was only awarded to selected individuals (unlike the Golden Jubilee Medal which was awarded to ALL uniformed subjects who had served 5 years and were serving on the relevant date) so only a relatively few Service men received the 1953 award.

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If you do a bit of googling you'll probably find out what the Penstemon and Wilton were.(Found some for you :D )

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.

Edited by Jim Maclean
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