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Remembered Today:

WW1 Ships


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Michelle-welcome to the forum and good luck with the research.

I am not a naval expert but it looks as though your Grandfather served in the Royal Naval Reserve from 4/11/1915 to 2/3/1919 when he was discharged. He got good conduct badge and three chevrons for service in 1915,16 17-someone else will need to explain those! He also qualified on the 15 pounder gun. The only 'ship' mentioned is HMS Pembroke which I think was a training establishment. (Try Google-other search engines are available!)

His second page lists many ships he served on before his move to New Zealand to work on inland waterways.


Sorry that I cannot be any more help to you. If you get no more response try re-posting into the Sailors section on the forum




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Moved to the sailors sub forum, (we prefer not having multiple posts on the same subject in different sub forums as this causes confusion and repetition of answers.)

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Seaman Alick Ferguson 8645.A and 6168.B RNR first enrolled in the RNR on 4 November 1915, was demobilised on 2 February 1919 (also recorded as 2 March1919). On the same date he re-enrolled for a second five year term in the RNR with a new Official No. of 6168.B and he served in the RNR until November 1925.


His mobilised WW1 service began in Chatham Barracks (HMS PEMBROKE 12 Nov – 5 Dec 15), from where he was drafted to the destroyer depot ship HMS TYNE in the Firth of Forth (6 Dec 15 – 14 Mar 16). He was then drafted back to barracks at Chatham (HMS PEMBROKE 15 Mar – 18 May 16). HMS READY is then listed but only for one day after which he was drafted to HMS GUNNER a shore base at Granton on the Firth of Forth. While based at and parented by GUNNER he appears to have served in the trawlers HMS BRECON CASTLE (from about 1 Jun 16 – a hired Swansea trawler) and HMS CRAIGEWAN (from 4 Apr 17 – a hired Peterhead trawler). Both trawlers were employed as minesweepers.


On 19 May 17 he was drafted from GUNNER back to Chatham (PEMBROKE) until late August 1917 when he was drafted onto the books of HMS PRESIDENT III for service as gun’s crew in Defensively Armed Merchant Ships (DAMS). The records do not list which DAMS he actually sailed in. His service during 1918 is unclear in the record but he appears to have taken passage,in late May 1918, in the armed merchant cruiser (AMC) HMS HIMALAYA to Sierra Leone where he transferred to the battleship HMS BRITANNIA on 12 Jun 18. Presumably he was then transferred to other DAMS on the West Africa station because he was not in BRITANNIA when she was sunk on 9 Nov 18. By 1 Nov he was back at Chatham awaiting demob.


If you do not have it, his RNR record as 6168.B is here - https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D8488199

Edited by horatio2
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These log entries appear to record some of his movements. It is not clear when he left BRITANNIA but he was perhaps transferred to a UK-bound DAMS from Sierra Leone or Simonstown.


Ship’s log of HIMALAYA:-



27 May 1918 -  Devonport; 8.30pm: 188 ratings joined ship for passage.

12 Jun 1918 – Sierra Leone; 4.15pm: Discharged 46 Seamen and one Marine to Britannia.


Ship’s log of BRITANNIA:-



12 Jun 1918 -  Sierra Leone; pm: Two Warrant Officers and 47 Ratings joined for passage.


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Thankyou all for your very informative responses.

I have a number of questions


1.Can you  tell me what a GCB Awarded means

2. What is the recognition and purpose of the 3 Chrevron stripes

3. What ships were the prize money for ?

4 As regards the ranking and ability what do the initials mean on attached document

5 His Discharge certificate records non substantive rating of SG what does this mean



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1. GCB = Good Conduct Badge - awarded for 'undetected crimes' - worn on upper left sleeve..

2.  Chevrons, worn on the lower right sleeve were awarded annually for wartime service.

3.  Cannot now be determined.

4.  He was assessed as Satisfactory Ability in his rating of Seaman RNR and his Character (conduct) was Very Good..

5.  SG = Seaman Gunner

Edited by horatio2
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Thankyou, some more questions


What do mobilising initials RG of S&S refer to

Also What was my Grandads actual recorded ranking (does it say "seaman")

What does the Good conduct badge look like


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RG of S&S = Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen. See:-

 https://collections.rmg.co.uk/archive/objects/531513.html#:~:text=By the Merchant Shipping Act,Navy in times of war.


Your GF held the rating of Seaman RNR [Smn]. He was an Able-Bodied Seaman [AB = Able Seaman] when serving in the Mercantile Marine either side of his RNR mobilisation.


RN GCBs were awarded for 3, 8 and 13 years VG service and attracted a small additional payment of one penny per diem. Plenty of images come up on an internet search e.g.




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