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Remembered Today:

Dispatch Riders.

Guest Adrian44

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Nice one Ronnie, might call in there in a weeks time, and have a meal in the pub over the road.


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On ‎24‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 10:50, Hectic Historian said:

can anyone help me . My Great Uncle Tommy Rose dob 27th January 1895 enlisted in the RNAS as a despatch Rider 22nd October 1914 and was sent to Pembroke 111, which I have established was HMS Chatham, where they seemed to train all military despatch riders.

What training was require?

How long was the training before they were sent on ops?

In an interview given in 1946 he stated he was with Samson in Belgium, Botha in SW Africa and with Smuts in East Africa.

Is there any evidence available to support this? tried all the archives, bought numerous books including 'Samson and the Dunkirk Circus', but think due to his age and rank of Petty Officer mechanic 3rd class, he was too lowly to mention, however he was mentioned in despatches by JC Smuts 8th May 1916 which appeared inLondon Gazette for Friday 30th June 1916 )so his interview was correct with the Smuts link)

Contacted Chatham Dockyard who advised me Pembrok111 was only designated in the second world war as a WRENs accounting base, but I have newspaper references to the contrary.

Would like to know more.

Tommy Rose went on to be a WW1 fighter ace was awarded the DFC,  became a test pilot and won numerous air races, the Kings Cup in 1935, the fastest return time to Cape Town in 1936.

I have found reference to despatch riders actually be used as intelligence scouts too!


If he served in both SWA and GEA this would suggest that he was in the RN Armoured Car Division.


Have you tried with Botha and Smuts in Africa, by Whitnall, QW., Cassell and Co. London 1917 and is available for download from the internet?




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Hectic Historian

Yes he was with the armoured car division, but what would his daily duties be

i am currently reading the book you suggest, but nothing about despatch riders

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