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What does F7 mean to you?


Archer
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I have been researching the career of a Stoker who served in HMS Manly, 1915-1918.

According to the Pink Lists, by January 1917 Manly had been detached from the 10th Destroyer Flotilla, Harwich Force, to Dover, and by the end of June 1917 she was shown as a member of the 6th Destroyer Flotilla, at Dover.

Meanwhile, in April 1917, Manly’s commanding officer, LtCmdr E.W. Kirkby, was appointed in command of the new Destroyer, HMS Torrid, in the Tenth Destroyer Flotilla. The Stoker I am researching went with Kirkby. He served in the Torrid for 18 days, from 20 April - 7 May 1917.

He then returned to the Manly. And to my question.

On his service record he is drafted into Attentive II [depot ship], for duty in Manly F7 on 8 May 1917.

I don’t understand the F7. I can find no reference that Manly’s pennant number was ever F7. Also, pennant numbers are not normally included in the list of ships in a rating’s service record.

Can anyone suggest what this F7 was supposed to mean?

:cheers:
William

xxx 8 1.jpg

Edited by Archer
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  • Archer changed the title to What does F7 mean to you?

...... it seems curious that 

On 07/09/2021 at 07:30, Archer said:

On his service record he is drafted into Attentive II [depot ship], for duty in Manly F7 on 8 May 1917.

....... and Manly transferred to the Dover Patrol on the same day (8 May 1917).  I read F7 as a descriptor associated with Manly. Could F7 be related to this new Dover Patrol task in some way? 

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Cmdr. R H B Hammond Chambers was appointed as captain of Manly on 6-4-1917  and HMS Manley joined  the Dover Patrol (which was the 6th Flotilla) on the 8-5-1917- the same day your man joined Manly. Could the F7 mean he with  Manly and the rest of her crew were formally transferred from the 7th Flotilla to the 6th on the 8th May?

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54 minutes ago, yperman said:

Could the F7 mean he with  Manly and the rest of her crew were formally transferred from the 7th Flotilla to the 6th on the 8th May?

The problem is that the 7th Destroyer Flotilla was based at Immingham (tenders to HMS WALLINGTON) and neither TORRID nor MANLY were ever in that Flotilla. 

This stoker's movements appear to be that, while on the books of HMS DIDO (10th Destroyer Flotilla at Harwich) and serving in MANLY, he (probably with other experienced ratings) was briefly drafted across to TORRID for 18 days which covered TORRID's completion with her Wallsend builders, commissioning on 5 May 1917 and transfer into 10th Destroyer Flotilla at Harwich. MANLY may still have been on loan from the 10th Flotilla to the Dover Patrol at this time and his draft may have been from MANLY at Dover to TORRID at Wallsend.

With the bringing south and commissioning of TORRID he was drafted back to MANLY, at the same time as she formally transferred to Dover (ATTENTIVE) and joined the 6th Destroyer Flotilla. I think it possible that the ADM 188 ledger entry is a clerical error and should read "F.6" However, I agree with @Archer that Pendant numbers (and Flotilla numbers) are not usually entered in a man's ledger record.

Edited by horatio2
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On 07/09/2021 at 07:30, Archer said:

Meanwhile, in April 1917, Manly’s commanding officer, LtCmdr E.W. Kirkby, was appointed in command of the new Destroyer, HMS Torrid, in the Tenth Destroyer Flotilla. The Stoker I am researching went with Kirkby. He served in the Torrid for 18 days, from 20 April - 7 May 1917.

As @yperman has correctly noted above, Cdr. R H B Hammond-Chambers was appointed in command of MANLY on 6 April 1917, which means Lt Cdr KIRKBY left MANLY on that date (his record just states "April 1917"). The stoker was drafted two weeks later. It is possible that Kirkby asked for certain members of his former ship's company to be loaned to him in TORRID to help bring her into service. On the other hand, the draft may have been a routine one.

May we know the stoker's name and number?

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Dear @TullochArd, @yperman, and @horatio2

I apologise for the long delay in replying. I have been away, and then - through the evil machinations of cable thieves - was without power for 14 hours.

The individual concerned was Sidney Beer, K26904, Chatham Division.

I have found no evidence at all that F.7 was ever used as a descriptor of the Manly, and, as yperman, says, when she formally joined the Dover Patrol, she was allocated to the 6th Flotilla.

As I wrote above, before that she was part of the 10th Flotilla in the Harwich Force, until she was attached to the Dover Patrol late in 1916 or early 1917.

It is a great mystery indeed!

 

 

 

Edited by Archer
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On 12/09/2021 at 09:07, TullochArd said:

....... and Manly transferred to the Dover Patrol on the same day (8 May 1917).  

It's fair to say that by 1917 the Dover patrol was one of the Royal Navy’s most important commands and was being constantly reinforced by all manner of warships, armed trawlers, motor launches, submarines, minesweepers, seaplanes and airships.  We have the Battle of the Dover Straits  on the night of 20th April 1917 where SWIFT and BROKE intercepted six German destroyers .......” and a steady increase in German minelaying activity from Jan 1917 peaking in June 1917. 

Could F7 be a wider surge response?  Have you had a look at Admiral Bacon's book 'The Dover Patrol 1915-1917'?

Edited by TullochArd
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Points well taken.

I have access to Bacon’s book at the naval-history.net site. So far as I can see, there are no references either to Manly or F.7 / F7 in the text. Mind you, the work is dated 1915-1917.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Archer said:

I have access to Bacon’s book at the naval-history.net site

Chapter XII "The Incomparable Sixth Flotilla" is of interest but he makes no specific reference to the fourteen 'M' Class destroyers transferred from 10th Flotilla between mid-February and early June 1917. These are listed in Appendix IV. with dates of joining 6th Flotilla.

An Index to Bacon's book can be found here -  https://archive.org/details/doverpatrol1915102baco/page/634/mode/2up

 

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Having done a brief rummage through a few other stokers' ADM 188 records, I have found a couple whose records have an 'extra' entry in the Ship's Book "List" column. Examples are for K.26899 and K.26902. Both ratings (drafted to ATTENTIVE from DIDO in MELPOMENE and METEOR respectively) are shown as List 12 (borne for service in tenders), as expected, but have the additional entries E.9 and E.10. I assume that thse 'List' entries refer to the respective tenders.

This leads on to a possibility that the F.7 attached to MANLY may be a similar sub-division of the ATTENTIVE Ship's Book List 12 for officers and men seving in MANLY. (E.9 = List 12 MELPOMENE; E.10 = List 12 METEOR.)

I suspect that a deeper trawl of ADM 188 records would throw up other examples.

The 'flotilla' theory for F.7 having run into the sand, the above is now my best bet.

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Wow, wow, wow!

What can I say? I am so grateful to you for going to the trouble of this research.

People talk of Forum power. This has been a damn fine example.

Thank you @horatio2

:cheers:

William

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