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Remembered Today:

"Transferred to Sy PO" on naval service records - any clues?


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I am researching Herbert Arthur Smith (b 13 Sep 1890) who joined RN in 1909 and served on and off until 1945.  His RN register of service is on Ancestry and is split between K.4203 (1909 to 1923) and M.37508 (192? to 1945).

The last entry on K.4203 says "Transferred 26th January to Sy.P.O. - Vide M.37508" [the writing is admirably clear]

The first entry on his M.37508 register shows him serving on Cyclops with a rating "Sy.P.O (3 years)".

He was pensioned off in 1931, then rejoined in 1939 with the rating "Sy.C.P.O".

I know he was a Petty Officer Stoker, so "P.O" and "C.P.O" are pretty obvious - I know this isn't WW1 territory but does anyone know what the "Sy" means?

Thanks in advance for any help.


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Supply Petty Officer.

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  • 2 months later...
On 18/08/2023 at 18:29, horatio2 said:

Yes. The RN Supply and Victualling branches were established in 1922. Ratings for the new branches were given new RN Official Numbers in the 'Miscellaneous' category with 'M' prefix.


Thank you for posting the Link.  I didn't realise how new the "Supply Branch" was relative terms. This was just over 40 years before l joined the Branch!

Feeling old now.🤔

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