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Remembered Today:

H J Peacock


Alan Bentley

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My father was downgraded from air mechanic to "disciplinarian" when he was transferred, that was after he had spent nearly three years with 2 Wing RNAS in the Gallipoli campaign.

I have an original copy of the complaint letter he wrote to his superiors and was he annoyed!!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/04/2020 at 09:46, Alan Bentley said:

My father was downgraded from air mechanic to "disciplinarian" when he was transferred,

You say "downgraded" but you do not state what his trade was, as an RNAS Air Mechanic, or what rank he held in the RAF. This is important because, by comparing "air mechanic" with "disciplinarian", you are comparing apples and pears: "Air mechanic" (of various grades) was an RNAS rating (i.e. rank) and "disciplinarian" was not an RAF rank but a trade classification. The notion of a "letter of complaint" seems a bit at odds with the chain of command.

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On 22/04/2020 at 18:31, horatio2 said:

You say "downgraded" but you do not state what his trade was, as an RNAS Air Mechanic, or what rank he held in the RAF. This is important because, by comparing "air mechanic" with "disciplinarian", you are comparing apples and pears: "Air mechanic" (of various grades) was an RNAS rating (i.e. rank) and "disciplinarian" was not an RAF rank but a trade classification. The notion of a "letter of complaint" seems a bit at odds with the chain of command.

 

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R.N.A.S Trade Classification - "General"

Remustered to Air Force Trade Classification - "Disciplinarian"

R.N.A.S. Rating - "Leading Mech"

New Rank In Air Force - "Corporal"

200287 Peacock H. J.

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In the RNAS, his employment as a Leading Mechanic under the 'General' trade classification indicates that he was in a non-technical sub-branch. This could well have been 'regulating' or discipline. Unfortunately his ADM 188 RNAS ledger record does not detail his employment.

Under the new RAF transfer procedures (Air Force Memorandum No.1) he would have been re-mustered "according to [previous RNAS] employment" into the corresponding RAF trade - in this case 'Disiplinarian'. I think it very unlikely that he would have be re-mustered into an RAF trade undertaking roles in which he had no perevious experience in the RNAS - in other words a total trade change on Day 1 of his RAF service.

So I would love to know his precise cause for complaint. It cannot have been about rank/rating since Leading Mechanic (RNAS) and Corporal (RAF) are equivalent. Was he forced into a complete change of trade? Or was he just, like so many RNAS officers and men, horrified at being forced into the RAF?

Pehaps you could share the details of his complaint.

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2 hours ago, horatio2 said:

In the RNAS, his employment as a Leading Mechanic under the 'General' trade classification indicates that he was in a non-technical sub-branch. This could well have been 'regulating' or discipline. Unfortunately his ADM 188 RNAS ledger record does not detail his employment.

Under the new RAF transfer procedures (Air Force Memorandum No.1) he would have been re-mustered "according to [previous RNAS] employment" into the corresponding RAF trade - in this case 'Disiplinarian'. I think it very unlikely that he would have be re-mustered into an RAF trade undertaking roles in which he had no perevious experience in the RNAS - in other words a total trade change on Day 1 of his RAF service.

So I would love to know his precise cause for complaint. It cannot have been about rank/rating since Leading Mechanic (RNAS) and Corporal (RAF) are equivalent. Was he forced into a complete change of trade? Or was he just, like so many RNAS officers and men, horrified at being forced into the RAF?

Pehaps you could share the details of his complaint.

 

Letter enclosed, typical of my father's phraseology!

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Thank you for posting that letter. It is evident from this that the problem arose under RAF [mal-]administration and the facts of the case are clearly laid out. The reason for the change from Fitter to Disciplinarian is inexplicable. His AIR 79 record should give details of this but his record as RAF200287 is not available -  https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C12348476 .  Have you tried to get his record from the MoD?

 

What I do not understand is how a claimed trade-change in the RAF (which, apparently, took effect in early 1919 (on re-engaging) and of which he was informed in April 1920 (two years after leaving the RNAS) is also in the RAF Muster Roll of April 1918. Could the Muster Roll be changed retrospectively? I don't know.

 

HE WOZ ROBBED! (it would appear).  Did he get redress from the RAF?  Thanks for sharing.

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3 hours ago, horatio2 said:

Thank you for posting that letter. It is evident from this that the problem arose under RAF [mal-]administration and the facts of the case are clearly laid out. The reason for the change from Fitter to Disciplinarian is inexplicable. His AIR 79 record should give details of this but his record as RAF200287 is not available -  https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C12348476 .  Have you tried to get his record from the MoD?

 

What I do not understand is how a claimed trade-change in the RAF (which, apparently, took effect in early 1919 (on re-engaging) and of which he was informed in April 1920 (two years after leaving the RNAS) is also in the RAF Muster Roll of April 1918. Could the Muster Roll be changed retrospectively? I don't know.

 

HE WOZ ROBBED! (it would appear).  Did he get redress from the RAF?  Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for your thoughts on this case. My father served until March 1939, he retired as Flight Sergeant at RAF Abingdon, I believe as being concerned with the University Air Squadron. As usual he never spoke of this, how do I approach the MoD on this matter?

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I have his RAF Form 280 - Certificate of the service and discharge, and his RAF Form 543.

What other records of his service would be available?

The Form 280 for the relevant period says - "Transferred to RAF Cpl 1-4-18"

"Reclassified Cpl (Discip) 1-1-19"

"Remusterred Cpl A/ Hand Group 5 (could be 3) 1-8-19"

"Remusterred to Fitter AE Gp 1 with effect from 1/8/19". (AM. Letter 287886/20/400/M1 dated 21-1-21"

Does any of this throw any more light on the whole affair? and could I get a copy of this letter?

I am confused (as usual).

Thanks for your help.

 

 

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I am stepping into deep water now,being totally unfamiliar with RAF administration. So, Caveat Emptor.

We have no way of knowing what RAF records were retained in his MoD file. It may (or may not) contain a copy of the AM letter. Too often it depends on whether some zealous clerk has been told to do some 'weeding',

That said, the facts seem to be as follows: 

1. He was transferred, correctly, to the RAF in the rank of Corporal (although strictly he should have been Corporal Mechanic = Leading Mechanic RNAS) but trade is not mentioned,

2, He was reclassified as Disciplinarian on 1 Jan 19 but was not informed of this until after April 1920 (per his letter).

3. He was "re-mustered" (whatever that means in RAF-speak - we need an RAF expert here) as an A/Hand Group 5 on 1 Aug 19. I have no idea what "A/Hand" is let alone "Group 5". "A/Hand" is not among the RAF Trade Classifications listed in Appendix II D of  Air Force Memorandum No.1 (RAF expertise need here, also). He was not informed of this change either.

4.  Your father's letter of 1 Dec 20 (when all became clear to him and he was hit with a massive retrieval of 'over-payment) was acted upon with commendable (?) RAF efficiency nearly two months later in late Jan 21. This re-set the clock back nearly two years to the re-mustering of 1 Apr 19. He was re-re-mustered to Fitter AE group 1. (HOORAY!)

 

Two things remain unsolved:

a. Did he keep his 'over-payment' - I would hope so!

b. How and when was the RAF Muster Roll of 1 Apr 18 amended to reflect a chage to Disiplinarian which did not occur until nine months later on 1 Jan 1919.

 

It is possible that further information will be in his MoD file. I would go for it.

 

P.S. some Googling indicates that "A/Hand" may be "aircrafthand" - the lowest trade group, pushing aircraft and swinging props, etc.

Edited by horatio2
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Just for general background interest I add these.1674490970_Aircrafthand2001.jpg.887edda3ed55953cf7a9a624474dfcad.jpg315835732_Aircrafthand001.jpg.502072ba0f9ad011e27192660e803009.jpg

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