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Remembered Today:

An established clerk


akduerden
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I read in a previous post a comment referring to an established clerk would require permission to enlist.

My grandfather started working at the Admiralty Navy Stores Department in Somerset House as a clerk in March 1912, aged 15 3/4.

He enlisted 7/12/1914 which meant he had been a clerk for nearly 2.5 years. Would he have been an 'established clerk' and therefore need permission to enlist?

Regards Andrew

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In that department (in which I have a family history including myself), he would certainly have needed permisssion, and was extremely, 'lucky' to get it. His age is the clue. Under 21 you could be called up (or volunteer), over 21 NEVER.

By the Second World War anyone in that department was 'doing work equivalent to armed service' and was automatically, if over 21, could not only not be called up, but could not volunteer either.

My father was in that position, as was I when I worked there.

Being established or not may have changed things rather, but it was age which was the real catch.

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Thanks healdav. Your information helps a lot. This forum never ceases to amaze me!

Andrew


Healdav,

Was your family involved in the Naval Stores Department or other Admiralty departments. I am very keen to learn a lot more about the internal workings of the Naval Stores Department and particularly the job of clerks.

Andrew

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We were Naval Stores Department.

To make it clear; up until 1965 there were several 'stores' departments:

Armaments (dealt with ammunition, and guns down to the mounting as well as torpedoes, but not the launching equipment). acronym DAS or DASO.

Victualling (food and clothing). Acronym DVSO

Movements and fuel (ran the RFA and looked after all oil supplies). Acronym DFMT - Director of Fuel Movements and Transport.

Naval Stores (all traditional stores from nails and rags to canvas, paint, flags, etc and electrical equipment. Electronics came under this as they came along, but the Ship design department thought it could do better and there was a perpetual fight for control.

Machinery and spares came under the Weapons Department (designers) as did torpedo control equipment and gun mountings.

In 1964/5 there was formed the RNSTS (at first known as HSTS) - Royal Naval Supply and Transport Service. That took in all the above including taking over supplies from the design departments as above.

This took several years to implement as, for example, machinery and spares was an absolute shambles - they never looked for anything in the stores if it took less than a year to get a new one!!!

Anyway, that came into being and worked without problem, although it took an awful lot of headbanging to get the technical departments to agree that if someone in the Stores Department bought an XYZ it would be the same XYZ as they would get if an 'engineer' rang up his mate in the company and had one sent. What was more, the Stores Department actually knew about purchasing and would get it cheaper, and could apply variety reduction as well over time.

I'm long out of touch now, but the same sort of organisation still exists although the Victualling department is a rump as most food is now supplied on contract (quite rightly) from supermarkets. The enormous victualling yards have long been sold off.

I'm not sure what else you want to know, but the clerks - the definition of clerk has changed over the centuries - are normal civil service clerical grades, and do the purchasing, stock control, etc.

People like me, who were executive grades, also held/hold a Naval rank - I was a lieutenant commander when I left and went to Staff College as a lieutenant before that, and are listed in the Navy List. This supposedly get you treated as a POW rather than a civilian if captured in war time. As the rank is Royal Naval Reserve (Special Duties), my guess is that it ensures a bullet, but heigh ho.

Also, if liable to be captured we would go into uniform with the appropriate rank and there is/was a scheme for swapping jobs, so that a RNSTS officer could be and was transferred to an RN ship for a year to work as a Supply Officer, and vice versa. In fact, at one time I had an RN lieutenant working for me as a clerk (and he said he had never worked so hard in his life - not my fault it was the job).

It was a good department to be in as we could get out of the offices fairly often and most of us spent at least some time working on RN ships and RFAs or just in the dockyards or stores depots doing all sorts of things. I learnt about helicopter control and loading them for resupply at sea, went to sea on an aircraft carrier, destroyer, etc and submarines. I climbed allover the innards of nuclear submarines (the technical drawing for spares were a shambles, so we had to do it all again). Learnt cyphering, accounting, ammunition contrl, action messing; you name it.

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Thanks healdav.

Do you know if the Naval Stores Department has an archive relating to past employees, particularly those who enlisted during WW1. I have a letter from the Admiralty asking to be informed of all actions relating to my Grandfather for their record keeping which makes me wonder whether there is now an historical archive.

If there is an archive is it something that is available to the public (or relatives)?

Andrew

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If there is such an archive I would expect it to be deposited in the National Archives with the Admiralty files.So far as personnel matters are concerned, such files may well be subject to the 100-year rule.

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Like Healdav I worked for the RNSTS. It was my first job with the MoD. My job title was Fleet Liaison Officer with the ask of receiving ship's demand for stores - by runner every 30 mins - and issuing the necessary stores, where necessary chase them through the stores, and signal back to the stores with package number details, issue voucher details and an ETA - if stores were not available I had to find out the likely date they would be in store. If an in-coming signal was very high priority requiring an immediate response was received by the commcen they would telephone me and I would have to dash to collect it and take action. This was not helped by the fact that the commcen was on the ground floor and my office was on the third! I still remember well the anagrams used as part of initial response - AVICOS (Available and in course of supply) and NAAIHTO (Not available action hand to obtain) - and have a copy of a signal received from the Stores Department of HMY Britannia thanking me for my services. Happy Days.

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I don't know of any archives at all. I would guess that the personnel files would all be at Kew.

In about 1969/70 someone did write a history of the department(s), but I never saw it. I think only a dozen or so copies were printed and given to senior officers (as ever).

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It may be of interest to know that what I described of the Naval Stores et al, refers to the office jobs. What was known as outdoor work (heaven knows why) was the physical looking after and manipulation of the stores and the items is a totally separate hierarchy coming under whoever is the local head of supplies.

In WW1, once in that you were in it for life (but there was a good career structure), and you couldn't move to the office.

In about 1968/9 it was announced that people working in the stores above a certain grade (assistant foreman at that time, but Inspector of Storehouses in WW1 time) could move to the Executive Civil Service as EOs.

For reasons none of us could understand the reverse was not possible.

The outdoor staff had a perk in that they could elect to become Inspecting Officers (with a set of separate grades). These were/are people who go on the war ships and sort out the stowage of stores and ammunition, and hand over the ledgers, etc. Later they go on board as auditors and stocktakers of the stock accounts.

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Sorry, I have never been to Kew and I have no idea how it works.

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Possibly in ADM12 at TNA.

Dave

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First thing to do is just a search on his name in the London Gazette, https://thegazette.co.uk, this should show his initial appointment and any subsequent promotions which may help work out his status at the time he joined up.

There are some general hints on reaserching civil servants at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-person/civil-crown-servant.htm adn Audrey Collins discusses this further in the context of the First World War in a podcast available at http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/civil-service-first-world-war/ (the presentation slides are there too)

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Is this Louis Francis Eggleton?

He is listed as a temporary Boy Clerk in 1912:

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/28586/page/1573

He is listed with Customs and Excise in 1919:

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/31669/page/14941

Steve.

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