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Man discharged from the navy before his start date ??


Simon Cains

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Good evening, can anyone make sense of this navy record please ? At the top it says he served from 28 Feb 1917 for 12 years, but in the service record it says he was training during 1915 and seemed to be discharged on 25th May 1915.  SNLR, service no longer required  ( health reasons ?).  So perhaps the top line means that IF he had actually got through his training then he would have been put on active service starting Feb 1917 ? 

What are the initials in the Age box , looks like F.E. ?  I think he was born 1899.  And at the end, G.C. and B to be recorded ?   

He was very short and slim, only 5ft 0 and 3/4 of an inch, did the Navy have height requirements like the army ?    ( After discharge he did seem to join the army , Northumberland fusiliers, and wounded April 1918).   Thanks very much.

henry cains navy record zoom.jpg

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He was due to start his man service on the date calculated to be his eighteenth birthday, based upon his declared date of birth. Whilst serving as a Boy, from 9 July 1914 onwards, he was discharged prior to attaining 18 years of age. He never made it to Ordinary Seaman, nor did he get to fulfil a period of service of 12 years from his eighteenth birthday onwards.

 

Edit:
in 1858 Admiralty Circular No 121 dated 14th June was published; this introduced a number of important changes: 

required boy seamen to opt for the Continuous Service engagement - but time only to commence from the age of 18 

Source:
https://sites.rootsweb.com/~pbtyc/RN/Engagements.html

Edited by Keith_history_buff
Added a source, edited text in different font
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SNLR is a dishonourable discharge from the senior service, As such his character was recorded as indifferent. If he had stolen from his shipmates, that would be one example of a sailor being deemed SNLR. A quick search of SNLR will reveal some interesting threads on this forum.

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The cryptic G C & B in the Remarks column beneath SNLR entry refers to his initial Gratuity for Clothing & Bedding - & states " to be recd (recovered) as far as possible."

I have seen this entry on siilar ADM 188 records in the past for those released or discharged from the RN very early in their career.

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What are the initials in the Age box , looks like F.E. ?

F.E. refers to First Entry ( into the RN) 

 

did the Navy have height requirements like the army ?

The RN did not seem to be too concerned about their young Boy entries height - 5+ foot high was not unusual for the time.  I expect the asumption was that as the young Boy was being trained in the ways of the navy he would grow both in height & weight.  Altho the naval food in the day was not that great it was somewhat nourishing. 

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The following height standards were in force for Boy entrants in 1875 and probably still in effect in the early 20th century:-

  Height
(without Shoes)
Measurement round the Chest
Boys between 15 and 15½ 4 ft. 10½ in. 29 in.
Boys between 15½ and 16 4 ft. 11½ in. 29½ in.
Boys between 16 and 16½ 5 ft. 1 in. 30 in.
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8 hours ago, Keith_history_buff said:

SNLR is a dishonourable discharge from the senior service

SNLR is an administrative discharge, is not a punishment and carries no formal 'dishonour', even though this might be implied. DISMISSAL FROM HIS MAJESTY'S SERVICE WITH OR WITHOUT DISGRACE is thepunishment route allowed by the Naval Disipline Act.

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Most boys grew substantially during their period of training - three square meals a day was a great improvement over what was common at the time in civvy street (for ordinary folk).

MB

Edited by KizmeRD
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Many thanks to all of you for your instant responses, all through the night ( or maybe you are in different time zones) answering all my questions.  I love this forum !

I see that he did serve on the old HMS Dreadnought for about 3 1/2 months in 1915.  While he was on board, on 18th March she rammed a U-boat in the Pentland Firth, but then had to be refitted from 18th April in Portsmouth.  Supposedly the only time a battleship ever rammed a U-boat.

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Further to this particular discharge SNLR, @Keith_history_buff has noted that Character (C) on discharge was assessed as "Indifferent" (Ind), the lowest possible. Normally an "Indifferent" assessment was the result of  a rating being sentenced (in the course of the previous calendar year) to Cells, Detention or Imprisonment for 61 days aggregate or for two reductions to 2nd Class for Conduct. Such punishments are reserved for the most serious offences but they are not recorded in his ADM 188 record. It is most unlikely that a Boy of sixteen would have been required to serve such custodial sentences and it is in this context that application would have been made to the Admiralty for the SNLR administrative discharge in lieu, this being approved by the Naval Law (NL) Division.

Had he been of man's age (18) he would have served the sentences and,as was often the case for serious offenders, he might also have been discharged  SNLR on completion.

Boy CAINS was entitled to the WW1 trio of medals. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Admiralty Medal Roll shows that they were never claimed.

Edited by horatio2
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2 hours ago, horatio2 said:

Further to this particular discharge SNLR, @Keith_history_buff has noted that Character (C) on discharge was assessed as "Indifferent" (Ind), the lowest possible. Normally an "Indifferent" assessment was the result of  a rating being sentenced (in the course of the previous calendar year) to Cells, Detention or Imprisonment for 61 days aggregate or for two reductions to 2nd Class for Conduct. Such punishments are reserved for the most serious offences but they are not recorded in his ADM 188 record. It is most unlikely that a Boy of sixteen would have been required to serve such custodial sentences and it is in this context that application would have been made to the Admiralty for the SNLR administrative discharge in lieu, this being approved by the Naval Law (NL) Division.

Had he been of man's age (18) he would have served the sentences and,as was often the case for serious offenders, he might also have been discharged  SNLR on completion.

Boy CAINS was entitled to the WW1 trio of medals. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Admiralty Medal Roll shows that they were never claimed.

Thanks for all the information, not quite the war hero I was hoping to find ....   But I think he did do his bit in France in 1918.

Where can I find the Admiralty medal roll online please ?  I have a Gilbert ( Bertie) Cains who served and was even commended for bravery.  http://www.cains.myzen.co.uk/gilbert cains naval record.htm    Thanks

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There are images of the medal roll that can be downloaded for free from The National Archives. They are images, and are not transcribed or indexed.
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C975067
ADM 171/97 WW1 medal rolls to ratings, surnames Bro-Can

The medal roll can be accessed via Ancestry. Your local library, or failing that local history centre, may have the ability to access Ancestry free of charge, to access their transcribed & indexed RN medal rolls.
https://www.ancestry.co.uk/search/collections/1687/

Very quickly, whilst I have seen SNLR on army records from the 1890s, this is distinguished from the more serious "Discharged with ignominy" where a prison sentence is usually involved with the soldier concerned.

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Interesting to see that J38963 Cains also enlisted as a boy. Upon his eighteenth birthday of 11 August 1917 commenced a 12 year Continuous Service engagement, but was medically discharged on 27 Dec 1922.

Regarding the commendation, and its CW reference, could it be these were published in Fleet Orders, in the same manner that Walter Tull was commended in Divisional Orders by the British Army?

 

Commended.JPG

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In my haste to reply, I had not noticed that the commendation given to the ratings of HMS Conquest is reproduced on your website, the link to which you posted above.

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3 hours ago, Keith_history_buff said:

There are images of the medal roll that can be downloaded for free from The National Archives. They are images, and are not transcribed or indexed.
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C975067
ADM 171/97 WW1 medal rolls to ratings, surnames Bro-Can

The medal roll can be accessed via Ancestry. Your local library, or failing that local history centre, may have the ability to access Ancestry free of charge, to access their transcribed & indexed RN medal rolls.
https://www.ancestry.co.uk/search/collections/1687/

Very quickly, whilst I have seen SNLR on army records from the 1890s, this is distinguished from the more serious "Discharged with ignominy" where a prison sentence is usually involved with the soldier concerned.

Thank you, I thought I had searched thoroughly in Ancestry, but just found a whole page of Cains naval medals, including my Henry and Bertie  !   Try, try and try again ....    Thanks for your encouragement.  I assume the blank in "how issued" means they weren't issued.  But hopefully he got his army medals, I will search for those now.

cains naval medals.jpg

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2 minutes ago, Simon Cains said:

 I assume the blank in "how issued" means they weren't issued.  But hopefully he got his army medals, I will search for those now.

cains naval medals.jpg

Yes, that is correct. Boy Cains was never issued with his 1WW medals as @horatio2 mentioned above.

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Looks like the Admiralty were none the wiser to Henry's subsequent service in the British Army. I would have expected to have seen "W.O." to indicate the War Office taking responsibility for issuing the medals. Similarly, Percy J Cains, now transferred to the RAF, has his medals issued by the Air Ministry.

William Cains "Ran" at some point, thereby forfeiting his medals, hence F and R appearing.

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12 minutes ago, Keith_history_buff said:

Out of interest, how did you source the commendation for good service, in respect of J38963 Able Seaman Cains?

Commen.JPG

Hi, I got it from the National Archives copying service in 2006, from a Report on the mining of HMS Conquest.  I wasn't expecting to see him named, that was a bonus.  Hope you can read the N.A. reference.  Cheers.

Image002.jpg

Image001.jpg

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3 hours ago, Keith_history_buff said:

Looks like the Admiralty were none the wiser to Henry's subsequent service in the British Army. I would have expected to have seen "W.O." to indicate the War Office taking responsibility for issuing the medals.

It is also questionable whether the Army was aware of his RN service. Did he declare his former service and discharge SNLR as he was legally required to? Normally the "By WO" notation was applied to men who were transferred from Navy to Army (i,e, without a break). In such cases the War Office became responsible for the issue of  Victory & British War Medals, but a 1914 Star or 1914-15 Star would (if claimed) be issued by the Admiralty for Naval service. In this case there was no such formal transfer and he may have been issued with the two medals by the War Office without claim, as was the Army practice.

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4 hours ago, Keith_history_buff said:

Thank you. Now that is interesting, as of the five documents listed below, I would have thought ADM 1/8529/186 would have been the source.

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_aq=Conquest&_nq1=53&_cr=ADM&_dss=range&_sd=1918&_ed=1918&_ro=any&_st=adv

Thanks, I should have a look at those others.  I can't remember how I searched in 2006.  I just wanted to read about the episode, I had no idea my relative would be mentioned.

4 hours ago, KizmeRD said:
  ADM 137/3790
 

Mining of HMS CONQUEST

  1918 June 16-Sept 18

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4115461

MB

Yes that looks like the one I got scanned in 2006, two of the pages shown above.  I can send you all the pages if interested.

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