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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Where can I find the rest of his service records?


Guest ALANREES3

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I am trying to trace service records of my grandfather Thomas Rees.(stoker).

I have his service number (284659 Portsmouth) and records from enlisting ,01/02/1897 for 12 years until discharged on 08/11/1906 (invalided out with Gon +Rheu?).After this date all I have found out about him is that he had a 1914/1919 medal with T.Rees FMN M.F.A,and another 1914/1918 with the same inscription.

FMN I assume is a fireman?But what does M.F.A.stand for and are there any records for M.F.A

The only other piece of info I have on him is that he was in Belmont Military Hospital,Liverpool on 22/06/1918, tried this lead ,but drew a blank.

Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Thanks Alan.

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Alan, M.F.A. stands for Merchant Fleet Auxiliary.

These were ships that were hired or requisitioned by the Admiralty to provide support services to the Royal Navy.

During the war they carried out various duties including minesweeping, net tending (usually trawlers, drifters etc) and conveying supplies to the various bases around the world (merchantmen).

After the war finished the former duties were gradually reduced but the supply carrying continued.

Best wishes

David

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Alan,

Have you looked at the naval medal rolls in TNA files ADM? There are four sets of files, Royal Navy, Royal Naval Reserve, Mercantile Marine Reserve, and (I think that the fourth is) Royal Naval Division (no doubt I will be corrected if I'm wrong). In each category they are alphabetical. You should be able to find the T. Rees with the medals, and a service number, and from there get the relevant service card and make sure you are dealing with the same man. If it were me I would do this to make quite sure.

Noel

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Royal Navy, Royal Naval Reserve, Mercantile Marine Reserve, and (I think that the fourth is) Royal Naval Division (no doubt I will be corrected if I'm wrong).

The fourth is the Royal Volunteer Naval Reserve; there are also rolls for the Royal Marines.

The cards (which are online) for the Royal Naval Division are the service records of the naval personnel of the Division. Their entitlement for the Stars is usually on those cards; the full medal entitlement is on the medal roll relevant to their unit (RN, RNR or RNVR).

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Welcome to the forum.

There was a wide ranging discussion on the Merchantile Fleet Auxiliary/ Mercantile Marine Reserve on the forum

 

His medal entitlement might be in two places: the standard WWI medals ADM 171/132 'British Mercantile Marine Reserve Medal Rolls: Meb-War' on microfilm. BT 351 is the "Index of First World War Mercantile Marine Medals and the British War Medal" Microfiche.

A fireman worked on the boilers, the naval grade covered the merchant jobs of fireman and trimmer.

So far I haven't found mechant navy service records from imediately before 1918 and none for the Merchantile Fleet Auxiliary/ Mercantile Marine Reserve. Between 1918-1921 the records are on fiche in BT 350. Between 1921-1941 the records are in numerical order BT 348, with alphabetical index in BT 349 - both on fiche. They only give the number of the ships, not the name, so you have to cross reference that seperately.

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Looks as though he was invalided with "gonorrhoea and rheumatism". Arthritis/rheumatism is one of the later complications of this venereal disease. Unfortunate details are among some of the things one discovers when tracing family history (but not unusual).

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