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Remembered Today:

What rank was "chief officer" in RNR


corisande
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A man I am researching was " Lt A C Meredith RNR "

The medal rolls for RNR show a "Arthur C Meredith" and he was a "Chief Officer", which left me confused as to whether this was the man I was looking for or not

I never realised that a man could be "Chief Officer" in RNR, I assumed, apparently wrongly, that the RNR ranks were all Naval, and that a Chief Officer in Mercantile Marine would get a naval rank on enlisting in RNR

Can anyone clarify what is happening here?

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He could have been, but I thought that he should have had a Naval Rank as well if he was in RNR

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Presumably a chief officer serving on a merchantman pre war could also be in the RNR but his functional rank on board a civilian ship would still be a chief officer and this would continue to be the case if the ship was subsequently requisitioned, as SG suggests, even though he might have a Naval rank as well and some one has merely copied the wrong rank onto the medal role. - clerical error.

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Mercantile Marine officers commissioned into the RNR were invariably given, and served under, naval ranks. They only retained their MM rank if they were entered into the Mercantile Marine Reserve. However, there was an RN rank of Chief Officer (and Divisional Chief Officer) which was held by officers of the Coastguard. The RN Officers Medal Roll has dozens of them. It is possible that this RNR officer was employed in the Coastguard and was given the appropriate (if somewhat unusual) Coastguard rank in the RNR. As Centurion suggests, it may have been a clerical error.

It is noteworthy that although nearly 100% of Chief Officers on the officers medal rolls are either RN or MMR, there are several MMR Chief Officers whose MMR medal roll entries are annotated "see RNR officers roll" where their medals are listed under their RNR rank. In the case under discussion I think it is quite likely that he was a Chief Officer MMR later commissioned into the RNR but in his case he did not get an MMR Roll entry as well and the incorrect rank was carried forward.

Incidentally, the same 'clerical error' can be seen on the medal roll entry at least one RNVR "Chief Officer".

The Navy Lists should make things clear on this man's RNR rank.

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Thanks for the inputs.

Clarifies for me as to "chief officers" in RNR

I have alredy been through the Navy Lists on Ancestry, but (perhaps oddly) he does not appear

It is perhaps pointing to him being just MMR. But if that were the case, and he is certainly on the RNR roll, am I right in saying that he ought to be on Navy List. In other words the "Arthur C Meredith" who is "Chief Officer" on RNR medal roll, must be on Navy List - the "Chief Officer" could have been an error, but it is perhaps less likely that they would put a MMR man on RNR roll.?

Given that he is not on Navy List, then can I conclude he is MMR and it was an error putting him on RNR List? And that all the time he was a "Chief Officer MMR" not in RNR at all, though he describes himself as "Lt A C Meredith RNR" elsewhere

Sorry if this sounds rambling, but I am trying to ascertain who he really was!

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If he does not appear in the lists of RNR officers in any WW1 Navy Lists I think there is a probability that his name was entered in error on the RNR Medal Roll instead of on the MMR Roll. That does not explain his use of the RNR rank title.

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Thanks. I am know that once one has to discuss "clerical errors" then one enters the realms of "probability".

I will try another angle and see if I can somehow winkle him out. Very grateful for the help.

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Just a thought. If it is a clerical error could it be that he is a CPO (Chief Petty Officer)?

Regards

Peter B

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Very unlikely that an RNR CPO would find his way onto the officers' medal roll. For one thing his RNR offical number would make his rating obvious. Secondly, there is no RNR rating of that name.

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Silly me!

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Have no great knowledge re `Chief Officer / RN / RNR' ranks - but here award to a Chief Officer.

Turner John 579WSA Chief Officer RNR 84Q140 H.M.T. Seamew

C-in-C Nore 24.03.19 Gazetted

Minesweeping between 01.07.18 and 11.11.18 Mentioned in Despatches

Has commanded sub-divisions of minesweeping Trawlers in the Nore Area, and has inspired the officers and the men under him, by his zealousness and confidence when sweeping up mines. He is a capable, zealous, and intelligent minesweeping officer.

Sadsac

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Interesting. In the May 1919 Navy List this man is recorded as a Chief Skipper (not Chief Officer) with seniority 31 December 1918. Between the dates mentioned, therefore, he held the warant rank of Skipper RNR, which is what is to be expected given his WSA suffix (a skipper on his first period of enrolment).

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This award may `widen' the topic ??

MURLEY Alfred R N/E Chief Officer (Civ) N/E 80E086 Cardiganshire

Vice Admiral J.M. de Robeck 31.05.16 Gazetted

Transport Duties Dardanelles Operations 1915 - 1916 DSC

Responded to the call for volunteers to man S.S. "Jessie" on the 22nd April, 1915, and for a few weeks during the first landing operations did invaluable work in keeping up an unfailing supply of ammunition to the beach.

Sadsac

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MURLEY appears on the RN Officers' Medal Roll as Lieutenant RNR, possibly commissioned from (earlier) MMR Chief Officer.

Edit: Indeed the LG entry shows that the above award was made to him as Chief Officer of HMT CARDIGANSHIRE.

Edited by horatio2
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Well checked Horatio. Here another C.O award.

NEWMAN James B N/E Chief Officer N/E 83P109 Squirrel

C-in-C Devonport N/E R

Attack on enemy Submarine 03.06.17 N/E

Acted promptly in attacking an enemy submarine on the 3rd June, 1917.

Wonder what Sub ??

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