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Remembered Today:

Service record help please.


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I would like some help in reading my Great uncle's service record please.

I know through family history that Charles Snelgrove served onboard HMS Galatea during the battle of Jutland, but could some one let me know what part HMS Galatea played during this battle.

I would also like some help in what is written in the sub-ratings section, the first part looks like act sg, is that acting sergeant, do the navy have sergeants?.

As he served twelve years man and boy with the navy and a character that was very good why is there no mention of a Long Service Good Conduct medal or is Twelve years just not long enough.

Please forgive my limited knowledge on this subject.

Any help is very much appreciated.



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Arethusa Class Light Cruisers


Built Beardmore, laid down January 1913, completed December 1914.

Leader 2nd Destroyer Squadron Harwich Force.

February 1915 Leader 1st Destroyer Squadron Grand Fleet.

4 May 1916 Took part in shooting down of Zeppelin L 7.

1st Light Cruiser Squadron Grand Fleet.

31 May 1916 Took part in the Battle of Jutland.

1921 Sold for scrap.

from http://www.worldwar1.co.uk/light-cruiser/hms-Arethusa.html

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S.G. = Seaman Gunner

He started service when he was 15, and had over 2 years 8 months boy service. Adult service of 12 years was not enough for a Long Service Good Conduct Medal, it was the standard term of service. Minimum required for a LSGC in the Navy was 15 years adult service; he had 2 Good Conduct badges on discharge. He was recommended for the Royal Fleet Reserve, but nothing to indicate that he took it up, if he did he could have received an RFR LSGC Medal. He might have been recalled to serve in 1939, when I'm guessing he would have been 40 on introduction of conscription in March.

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Not just at Jutland, looks like HMS Galatea fired the first shots.

Beatty had been ordered to turn north at 2 p.m. GMT, or when he reached a 'waypoint' 260 miles east of the Forth, and steer for the Grand Fleet which by then should be about 70 miles north-north-east of Beatty's position. At 1.30 p.m. he made a number of re-stationing signals to his screening destroyers and cruisers to bring them into a formation to cover his rear during his passage to meet Jellicoe. He followed this with a signal at 2 p.m. ordering a turn on to the new course at 2.15 p.m., the time he would reach his turning point.

At that moment, a small Danish tramp steamer was sighted by the light cruiser Elbing, the westerly ship of Hipper's screen, and two torpedo boats were detached to investigate. Simultaneously, the light cruisers Galatea and Phaeton, on Beatty's eastern wing, sighted the Dane. Followed by the light cruisers Inconstant and Cordelia, the British ships raced to investigate. As Galatea closed the Danish tramp, she sighted the two enemy torpedo boats, and at 2.20 p.m. hoisted the signal 'enemy in sight', and broadcast by wireless, 'Urgent. Two cruisers [sic], probably hostile, in sight bearing ESE, course unknown'. A few minutes later, Galatea and Phaeton fired the opening shots of the Battle of Jutland, with their 6-inch guns, on the German torpedo boats.

By this time the BCF had completed its 'waypoint' turn and was steaming north, with the 5th Battle Squadron in the lead. At 2.32, on receipt of Galatea's signal, Beatty turned the BCF about, to steer south-south-east towards the enemy.

Regards Charles

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Per ardua per ma... and Charles.

Many thanks to you both for your replies to my question.

I am surprised that 12 years is not long enough to recieve a LSGC medal, although Charles must have been proud of the two good conduct badges that he did get. I am not aware of him joining the Royal Fleet Reserve but it is something that I could research further.

S G = seaman gunner, seems obvious now that you have told me what it stands for.

The fact that HMS Galatea appears to have fired the first shots at Jutland is rather amazing. That really is something to tell my Nan.

I would not have wanted to be on that Danish tramp steamer. The British fleet on one side and the German on the other, I wonder what ever happened to it?

Also surprised that HMS Galatea was built in 1914 and sold for scrap in 1921, seven years just seems too young to be scrapped.

Once again thank you both for your help.

Colin. :rolleyes:

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I try to help,

I am surprised that 12 years is not long enough to recieve a LSGC medal, although Charles must have been proud of the two good conduct badges that he did get.
12 years was the standard length of service for the navy and the army. In ther navy men got the LSGC medal (if they qualified) after 15 years, in the army it was 18; it had been 21 for both. The navy briefly granted them after 10. Proud and better off! He got extra pay for each Good Conduct badge.

Also surprised that HMS Galatea was built in 1914 and sold for scrap in 1921, seven years just seems too young to be scrapped.
It was known as the "Geddes Axe" ships were scrapped (after all there was never going to be another war) and men let go. Beatty tried to have Lion saved as a national monument, but they sold her off too. The old traditions of laying them up or having a reserve fleet were ignored.

All the best

Per Mare

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Colin, the name of the Danish steamer was "N. J. Fjord".


Thanks for nameing the Danish steamer for me.

I have now read an account of the incident that said that the N. J. Fjord 'scurried away'. The best thing to do considering what was about to happen. I read in another report that the N. J. Fjord was later sunk by a German submarine in 1917.

Many thanks for your help.


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Per Mare,

I can see your point of "proud and better off" if an LSGC was awarded after 10 years, the more men that have one could bring a boost in morale to the ships crew but it could then be seen as too easy to be awarded one thus downgradeing the medal. 15 years does seem like a pretty good amount of time required in order to receive a LSGC medal without takeing anything away from the meaning of the medal.

Surely a LSGC medal would have been pretty much unobtainable if 21 years service was required. Obviously those that did receive one were pretty special and well deserveing of such an award.

The "Geddes axe". I have not heard of that before, what a waste of what were probably pretty good seaworthy ships. Laying them up or haveing a reserve fleet sounds like a much more logical solution as to what to do with an excess of warships. Although as you say this was the war to end all wars so they were not needed anymore.

Such a shame, if "Geddes axe" had not fallen maybe a few would stil be around today.

Thanks for you help,


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Thank you all for your replies. I am inclined to think that the military police explanation is correct as my Grandfather was in and out of the cells throughout his time in the navy. I have tried to upload his service record so that you could all see what I mean but without success. There are also a few bits of info that I can`t read or understand that someone may have been able to help me with.

Sorry Wrong thread.

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