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Remembered Today:

Royal Navy Service Record


Jim Clay
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Hello Pals,

I recently downloaded the service record (up to 6 August 1914) for my partner's great-uncle Arthur Franklin (Frank) Shackleton who joined the RN as a boy in 1904.

Pals may recall a thread last year where I posted his photograph (re-posted below) for identification. Frank's uniform was identified as that of a Warrant Officer, and Bryan (RNCVR) kindly posted a number of excellent photographs from his collection of Warrants' uniforms over the Victorian era and early 20th century. Those who've not seen them should look up the thread on the archived version of this forum.

post-2135-1129331774.jpg

From the service record (attached), and from the helpful replies to other pals who've raised questions about other sr's, I can see that Frank joined in May '04 at 16 and a half, on a 12 year engagement from his 18th b'day. I've found details of all the ships he served on during the period of the sr (ain't t'internet wonderful!). Suffolk we knew about from the entry on the fly-leaf of his Bible where he described himself as AB on board the Suffolk "on the Mediterranean Station 1906-1908". Cambridge and the last 3 ships before his return to Vivid II in May '14 I found particularly interesting -

Cambridge - Gunnery school floating classroom

Defiance - Torpedo school ship

Hibernia - flag ship of rear admiral 2nd div, Home Fleet

Defence - sunk at Jutland

He was promoted to PO on 1 February '14 and to Acting Gunner on 7 August '14, and transferred to officer's section (where I'll have to look for his subsequent service).

My questions for pals are mainly about rating and sub-ratings.

Was it PO(WS) that he was promoted to in Feb '14? and what does the WS stand for?

His first sub-rating as a B2cl (?) (Boy 2nd class?) was bugler. What were the others?

I can see that he passed educationally for PO on 1/12/08 and was granted educational cert vide N(?)14037/08. He passed proflly(?) for PO(WS)(?) on 10/10/10.

It looks as though he left the service on 9 March 1921(?) but I'm not clear what the rest of this note means.

Referring to what Bryan told me on the earlier thread about the type of man who might make it from AB to Warrant Officer - a lot on the ball, ambitious, prepared to get some education and skilled, experienced man, knew his trade very well, minimum 10-15 years in the ranks, then Frank's record seems to fit the bill.

Be grateful for any advice on points I'm not sure about - and any other observations you might have.

Thanks a lot

Jim

Shackleton__AF__RN_record_to_1914.pdf

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Hello Pals,

I recently downloaded the service record (up to 6 August 1914) for my partner's great-uncle Arthur Franklin (Frank) Shackleton who joined the RN as a boy in 1904. 

Pals may recall a thread last year where I posted his photograph (re-posted below) for identification.  Frank's uniform was identified as that of a Warrant Officer, and Bryan (RNCVR) kindly posted a number of excellent photographs from his collection of Warrants' uniforms over the Victorian era and early 20th century.  Those who've not seen them should look up the thread on the archived version of this forum.

post-2135-1129331774.jpg

From the service record (attached), and from the helpful replies to other pals who've raised questions about other sr's, I can see that Frank joined in May '04 at 16 and a half, on a 12 year engagement from his 18th b'day.  I've found details of all the ships he served on during the period of the sr (ain't t'internet wonderful!).  Suffolk we knew about from the entry on the fly-leaf of his Bible where he described himself as AB on board the Suffolk "on the Mediterranean Station 1906-1908".  Cambridge and the last 3 ships before his return to Vivid II in May '14 I found particularly interesting -

Cambridge - Gunnery school floating classroom

Defiance - Torpedo school ship

Hibernia - flag ship of rear admiral 2nd div, Home Fleet

Defence - sunk at Jutland

He was promoted to PO on 1 February '14 and to Acting Gunner on 7 August '14, and transferred to officer's section (where I'll have to look for his subsequent service).

My questions for pals are mainly about rating and sub-ratings.

Was it PO(WS) that he was promoted to in Feb '14? and what does the WS stand for?

His first sub-rating as a B2cl (?) (Boy 2nd class?) was bugler.  What were the others?

I can see that he passed educationally for PO on 1/12/08 and was granted educational cert vide N(?)14037/08.  He passed proflly(?) for PO(WS)(?) on 10/10/10.

It looks as though he left the service on 9 March 1921(?) but I'm not clear what the rest of this note means.

Referring to what Bryan told me on the earlier thread about the type of man who might make it from AB to Warrant Officer - a lot on the ball, ambitious, prepared to get some education and skilled, experienced man, knew his trade very well, minimum 10-15 years in the ranks, then Frank's record seems to fit the bill.

Be grateful for any advice on points I'm not sure about - and any other observations you might have.

Thanks a lot

Jim

Hi Jim!

Nice to view the photo of Gunner Shackleton again! I recall the postings on him. Altho I have not had a look at his ratings SR yet (I will later this am) I can answer some of yr questions from my head with out viewing it:

Its PO(NS) {not WS altho it might look like a W} - Petty Officer under the NEW SYSTEM - it came it approx 1908 witht he Fisher/Selborne reforms in the RN - basically they needed education to qualify under the new system. Once they passed the education test req'd for promotion to PO they were noted as "passed professionally for PO(NS)". They would also be noted as "passed educational test" or "granted educatinal certificate" - I think the equivalent was a 1st class certificate.

The old Victorian/Edwardian rank of PO2 was formally abolised in 1913 & the old rate of PO1st class became simply Petty Officer.

The rating of Boy 2nd class was a First entry rating for boys enteerd under 16 yrs of age. They could join as young as 14 in Victorian times but by the pre WWI period the age had been upped to 15. The RN loved to 'get them young' - officers as well as men!!

Boys could be rated as Buglers if they could pass the test for sounding the bugle calls. There were over 50 of them & I have the bugle calls book somewhere in my archives.

sooooooooooo.... get back to you little later with more info Jim!

Bryan

the other ratings I have to view the SR & I'll do that later this am.

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Here is more info on A.F. Shackleton that I have obtained from a study of his SR

Jim:

He ent'd RN as a Boy 2nd class 13 May '04 & was promoted to Boy 1st cl on 8 Dec same yr, then rated as TM (Trained Man) on 5 Jun '07, then qualified as a SG (Seaman Gunner) 4 Dec '08.

He then qualifies as a LTO (Leading Torpedo Operator) on 6 Apl '09, & finally as a TGM (Torpedo Gunners Mate) & the (LS) after TGM means he was only a Leading Seaman when he qualified & was appointed TGM - this is very unusual as TGM is normally a PO (Petty Officer) rating. He had been promoted to AB on 5 Jun '07 & LS on 3 Oct '11. Then he was promoted to PO (NS) on 1 Feb '14. So his promotions came very quickly indeed. Making PO in under 10 yrs from Boy 2nd cl is exceptionally quick. He definitely had to have some ambition & desire to improve himself to move up that quickly - no doubt luck helped him along also!

He recd both his GCB's (Good Conduct badges) on time - 1st on 13 Nov '08, & 2nd on 12 Nov '13.

Then on 7 Aug '14 he is promoted to Warrant rank of Acting Gunner, but his seniority is shown in the Navy List as 1 Aug '14. (thats what 'vide Navy List.' means)

The Warrant part of his SR would be contained in ADM 196. I expect he was a Gunner(T) due to his Torpedo training.

Let me know if you need info on his ships,

Bryan

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Bryan

Thanks so much for that - it really does help to fill out the picture of the man who was to be, as I said on the earlier thread, the much-loved uncle of my partner's late aunt, who at some point inherited his Bible and the photo.

Do you know what the entry in the bottom r-hand box signifies? (it looks like F.252 (final) to Mdn SC21114 9 Mch 1921)

Thanks very much for the offer of info on his ships. I have found quite a bit by googling the ships' names, and sites like this one have provided photos and quite detailed descriptions, but I'd be grateful for anything that wouldn't necessarily be covered on such "fax 'n' info" sites if it's not too much trouble :)

Brian Moseley's Encyclopaedia of Plymouth History includes at

this link what seems an excellent concise history of RN training ships at Plymouth, and the pdf file "How Blue-Jackets are Trained" link on that page contains a terrific 1896 magazine article describing the training regime these guys would typically have gone through - things wouldn't have changed much I reckon by the time Gunner Shackleton started his RN career!

Thanks again, Bryan, and good to be conversing again.

Regards,

Jim

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Jim,

It appears to read: F252 (final) to man SC 21114, 9 Mch '21.

I think this refers to the final payment of the War Gratuity, usually one sees it as a rubber stamp notation on their SR's, altho I have also seen it written out like this. There may be more on these payments on his Warrant Officer (ADM 196) SR.

It might also refer to his pension if he was pensioned at this time, but usually pension memos are prefixed by NP then the reference numbers & date.

Bry

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Jim did you notice his two tattoos in the upper right hand corner in the 'Wounds, Scars, marks etc' box??

Interesting I thought that the first tattoo is the rate badge of a Qualified Signalman!

Bry

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Hello Bryan

Thanks for the extra info. Must book my trip to TNA to see ADM 196!

Interesting point about his first tattoo - guess we'll never know why he had this one done!

Cheers,

Jim

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  • 9 years later...

Hello jim,

I am researching a friends family tree and his great grandfather was Arthur Franklin Shackleton. Would be wonderful if you have any further information on his father Thomas pickles shackleton side?

sorry did try and send as a personal message but the site is telling me i don't have permission.

Nomie

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