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It's hard to believe it's almost four years ago since my initial enquiry about my grandfather. The help I received then was invaluable because I managed to fill in a lot of the gaps, especially with the information from the Fleet Air Arm Museum, lovely people. Now my book is about 30% finished, and I'm hoping that someone has any knowledge of just a few things...

1. My grandfather, George Henry Munday ex-fisherman aged about 40 at the time, joined the RNVR in Ramsgate, on 29th September 1915 and eventually joined a trawler "Dahlia II", presumably on mine sweeping duties on the 6th November. I think the intervening weeks were for training, if so, does anyone know what form training took and/or what subjects would be covered?

2. The "Dahlia II" and subsequent vessels were based on "HMS Colleen" in Queenstown - now Cobh in the Irish Republic. Would he, and his ship-mates have gone on shore leave there, or were they constantly at sea?

3. The following April he was promoted from Deck Hand to Second Hand and transfered to "HMS LINGFIELD", an Ascot Class paddle minesweeper, built by Fleming and Ferguson Paisley in June. I can't quite figure out why he left trawlers for a much larger vessel? Was it promotion? A more comfortable ship?

4. His service record states ..."5165 Gunner 29.9.16 Dis to Queensferry Hosp (submersion)" which sounds like the "HMS Lingfield" had been transfered to the Firth of Forth, and was based on "HMS Gunner". And some how he ended up in hospital after being in the sea. Popular family rumour has it that he was torpedoed, but it sounds unlikely since he rejoined the Lingfield on the 11/11/1916. Any thoughts?

And just to add in the final bits, he concluded his service on the "Allan Ramsay", followed by the "Adoration" (Thalia), both based on "HMS Attentive" in Dover and was demobbed 30th April 1919 to live in Liverpool.

I've searched on-line extensively to try and cast some light on the missing information - if anyone can fill in any of those missing bits it would be a great help. Thank you....George Munday

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Q1. Trawler deckhands were experienced in handling heavy trawls. This experience needed to be transferred to sweep gear and they were trained accordingly.

Q2. Shore leave was given when the boats came in for re-coaling and storing.

Q3. He was advanced to second hand because he was deemed proficient for that rating. He was drafted to LINGFIELD because the Admiralty required it (comfort did not enter the decision).

Q4. HMS LINGFIELD was parented by HMS GUNNER from 1/6/1916 to 15/8/1917 when she was transferred to Dover, parented by HMS ATTENTIVE III. He was probably hospitalised after falling overboard, not torpedoed.

Unlike DAHLIA II and LINGFIELD, ALLAN RAMSAY (trawler) and ADORATION (drifter) were not part of the Auxiliary Patrol on minesweeping and anti-submarine operations. Both boats were employed as boom defence vessels. If ADORATION was parented by HMS THALIA (at Cromarty/Peterhead) she could not have been simultaneously at Dover (ATTENTIVE).

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Thank you Old Sweat - or should that be Major General?

That's a great help in clearing up a few things that didn't quite tie up...

I was only seven years old when my Grandfather died, so sadly I never got to chat to him, and my father died just nine years later, so I never got to talk to him as an adult either. Hence, when my mother suggested that he was torpedoed twice - and he couldn't swim - it always seemed some-what fanciful, and I'm trying to ensure that any information I use is based on fact.

I was particularly interested in Queenstown/Cobh, because I spent ten years living just about an hour away, and often spent time there, without realising the link; it is btw a nice old place, now hosting many cruise ships - the passengers disembark to visit the museums and memorials to the Lusitania and Titanic.

It wasn't specified on his service sheet that "Thalia" was a service boat. So, now it would appear - I think this is the correct interpretation - he was on the "Allan Ramsay" from "Attentive" based in Dover, from 22.10.1917. He was later transferred to "Adoration" from "Thalia" on the 19.11.1918. to be based in Cromerty. There's also a reference on his service record that he was demobbed on 30-4-1919 and given a rail ticket to get from Cromerty to Liverpool where his family lived. Why they left Ramsgate to live in LIverpool is a mystery I've yet to solve.

Anyway thanks for your help, it's greatly appreciated....George

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  • 3 months later...

I wonder if someone could answer a couple of supplementary questions?

Firstly, my grandfather working out of Queenstown (Cobh) on the "Dahlia II" from the 6th November 1915. He was then transferred to "HMS Lingfield" up in the Firth of Forth sometime between June and September 1916. Bearing in mind that his home was in Ramsgate, would he be given leave to visit home? and if so, how often?

Second, the war finished in November 1918 and he was demobbed in Cromerty, Scotland on the 30th April 1919. I read somewhere that there were thousand of British mines laid, which took a long time to clear; is it likely that he would have been sweeping again during the intervening six months?

Many thanks ....George

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