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Wings5797

Royal Navy cap band

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Wings5797

Hello Folks,

Just a very quick ask.

My Grandfather served on many different ships during WW1.

My enquiry is; would a new cap band with the name of the ship be issued for every new ship he served on or was there a general issue cap band.

Thanks for your help.

Cheers,

Keith

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michaeldr

Not a full answer, but perhaps a rough guide

from David Wragg's 'Royal Navy Handbook 1914-1918', Sutton Publishing, 2006, ISBN 0-7509-4203-7

“...the rating wore the standard naval cap without a peak, known as a 'lid', which on major surface vessels would carry the name of the ship on a ribbon known as a 'tally'.”

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Wings5797

Many thanks Michael,

This is the best I have seen and goes some way to confiming my thoughts that the majority of ratings had a tally without the ships name. I wonder if it just read 'ROYAL NAVY'.

Cheers

Keith

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seaJane

I had always believed that in time of war the tally just said HMS... ?

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David  B

As far as I know in wartime the tally band just said H M S, otherwise you got a new tally for each ship and depot

that you were attached to. Great fun ? was always tying the new band to make an acceptable bow. Incidentally

submarines were always noted as H M Sjubmarines.

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dycer

I can well remember taking my Mother, who was a civilian nurse in Scotland,during WW2 , to the South Coast and experiencing her "shock" to see how closeFrance is..

My Mother's Father,i.e. my Grandfather was a common sailor during WW1 and served on Minesweepers.

From a surviving photo ,his Cap Tally identifies the vessel he served on.

But from an earlier Cap Tally photo,which I no longer possess,he merely wears HMWS.

George

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Wings5797

Hi Guys,

Many thanks for the information helping me through this can of worms.

Cheers,

Keith

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Magnumbellum

HMS was used in WWII

see here for a WWI tally

http://www.iwm.org.u...object/30076816

and another

http://www.iwm.org.u...bject/205125066

The note concerning the first example is not as helpful as it might have been, in merely stating that it was the property of the RC Chaplain on HMS Lion. The note should have made clear that as a chaplain he would have worn an officer's cap, not a seaman's, and the ribbon was just a personal souvenir.

I would also make it clear that the official name for the object in question is "ribbon", or "cap ribbon". "Tally" or "cap tally" is accepted naval slang. No-one in the Navy would ever call it a "band".

Issue of a new ribbon on a sailor joining a ship is automatic. Ships' names were omitted in WW2 to inhibit spreading knowledge of ships' movements.

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michaeldr

as a chaplain he would have worn an officer's cap, not a seaman's, and the ribbon was just a personal souvenir.

The Royal Naval Chaplain did not wear an officers' uniform in the Great War: See page 163 of David Wragg's book referred to earlier

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michaeldr

See post #6 here http://1914-1918.inv...howtopic=179702 for further information on Fr Bradley and Roman Catholic chaplains in the Royal Navy of the Great War era.

[see also http://www.cwgc.org/...HOMAS FREDERICK]

The following illustration may also be of interest re the position of RC chaplains. It is from Johnstone & Hagerty's 'Cross on the Sword'

“Fr Pollen, Catholic chaplain to the 5th Battle Squadron, threw himself into a cordite fire caused by enemy shell-fire without a thought for his own safety to rescue two seamen. He managed to drag both out alive, becoming badly burned himself. It was a deed which merited the Victoria Cross, but his commanding officer recommended Fr Pollen for the Distinguished Service Order. The Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, refused to support the recommendation for the DSO, on the grounds that FR Pollen was not a commissioned officer: he was awarded the lesser Distinguished Service Cross, which could be awarded to warrant officers. Jellicoe's decision was strictly in accordance with the rules and was probably recommended to him by his staff....”

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michaeldr

Looking at the London Gazette which gives the awards for Jutland it is possible to get an insight into the position of the chaplain in the Royal Navy at this date,

eg;

The Rev. Percy Herbert Jones, M.A., Chaplain, R.N

The Rev. Anthony Pollen (Roman Catholic Chaplain)

Both are referred to as 'The Rev.'

However only one is a 'Chaplain, RN'

while the other is merely given in brackets as 'Roman Catholic Chaplain'

In neither case is any rank given, as would have been the case with eg. the army's – Chaplain 4th Class – or some such

I referred earlier to David Wragg's excellent book: this is what he has to say regarding the chaplain's dress 1914-1918

One naval officer who did not wear a uniform was the padre or chaplain. Anxious that an officer's uniform shouldn't cause difficulties when exercising their pastoral duties on the lower deck, that is among the ratings, chaplains, while still members of the wardroom, were not uniformed. Under wartime conditions, this caused some embarrassment to many, especially when younger members of the chaplaincy department were off duty ashore; hence, many increasingly tended to order suits that had some resemblance to a uniform. It was not until 1918 that the Admiralty finally produced a gold lapel badge reading 'Chaplain Royal Navy', and it was some years later before chaplains wore the uniform of an officer. Some traditions remain, however, and to this day naval chaplains do not wear the insignia of rank, in contrast to their army and RAF counterparts, who bear commissioned ranks.”

[As RC chaplains were not 'Chaplains, RN' at this stage, it is not clear if his remark about membership of the wardroom also held good for them]

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Wings5797

The note concerning the first example is not as helpful as it might have been, in merely stating that it was the property of the RC Chaplain on HMS Lion. The note should have made clear that as a chaplain he would have worn an officer's cap, not a seaman's, and the ribbon was just a personal souvenir.

I would also make it clear that the official name for the object in question is "ribbon", or "cap ribbon". "Tally" or "cap tally" is accepted naval slang. No-one in the Navy would ever call it a "band".

Issue of a new ribbon on a sailor joining a ship is automatic. Ships' names were omitted in WW2 to inhibit spreading knowledge of ships' movements.

Hi Michael,

Sorry for the delay in replying.

Many thanks for this information and links to IWM photographs. Very clear now and helpful.

Cheers,

Keith

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Guest Vernon Varty

In the 10 or so years after WW2 many Royal Navy ships docked at Durban, South Africa (for provisions, repairs etc). One of these was the submarine HMS Tabard. I was a teenage Sea Scout at the time, and 6 of us were invited to visit the boat ... amazing thrill for me  ... we were even allowed to look through the periscope. Naturally I was able to picture myself as a heroic commander in the heat of battle, focussing on an enemy ship. We each received a cap talley, which was lettered in gold,"HMS Tabard" and Scout Headquarters gave us official permission to wear them on our peakless caps instead of our far less romantic "2nd Port Natal."

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Alan24

I always believed that only HMS was worn in conflict so that 'spies' couldn't go round the local public houses and report which ships were in port.

 

But maybe it's more complicated than that...

 

Alan.

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healdav
6 hours ago, Vernon Varty said:

In the 10 or so years after WW2 many Royal Navy ships docked at Durban, South Africa (for provisions, repairs etc). One of these was the submarine HMS Tabard. I was a teenage Sea Scout at the time, and 6 of us were invited to visit the boat ... amazing thrill for me  ... we were even allowed to look through the periscope. Naturally I was able to picture myself as a heroic commander in the heat of battle, focussing on an enemy ship. We each received a cap talley, which was lettered in gold,"HMS Tabard" and Scout Headquarters gave us official permission to wear them on our peakless caps instead of our far less romantic "2nd Port Natal."

These were not standard RN cap talleys. The cap talleys for submarines has only ever had HM SUBMARINES on it. This is because in the early days the subs had numbers and this was not considered good enough for a cap talley. The tradition continues today.

The last of the T Class in commission, was HMS Tiptoe, which headed into Portsmouth to pay off with a ballerina (the ship's symbol) on tiptoe on the focsle. I remember her coming into Faslane in 1969 for spares. I went on board and by that time you wouldn't have got me to sea in her even if I had been paid. Talk about falling to pieces.

Edited by healdav

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Patricia Ramsay

I have an old photo with several young men displaying UND on their naval cap band. I cannot trace where or who they are? Would anyone have any knowledge of this to assist please?

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horatio2

Wecome to the GWF.

Possibly RND - Royal Naval Division - on their cap tallies.

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Ron Clifton

A good example of a ship's 'padre' in plain clothes can be seen in the film The Battle of the River Plate, where John le Mesurier appears as the chaplain aboard HMS Exeter, in civilian dress (and, IIRC, without any headdress).

 

Ron

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