Belgian Shore Force

Shipmates. (oh dear).
I have yet another mystery surrounding the old family. The father of the last chap I posted, so my Great Grandfather who was born in Folkestone in 1863 and died in Chartham asylum (in Kent) in Nov 1914 has 'Foreman in the Belgian Shore Force' on his record. I have been searching for years to find out what it was. I've tried the WWI forum but to no avail. Any thoughts would be great!


Only reference I can find is on THE DOVER WAR MEMORIAL PROJECT - World War One - Casualties on the Town Memorial - Surnames B

J R Back was also on the Belgium Shore Force. Not sure if it was part of the Live Bait Squaldron mentioned in the above

As it was patrolling the northern europe coast could be another name for it??????? Some interesting thoughts here

History of the Great War - Royal Naval Operations, Volume 2 by Sir Julian Corbett

Best I can do



War Hero
Book Reviewer
Only officers in the Navy List. The Live Bait squadron was a regular cruiser squadron of the RN. The uniform in the picture is NOT RN. There's three pieces of un-help - sorry! As to back (above) I note he was a merchant seaman in 1901 and then in the Belgian Shore Force (whatever that was) in 1911. Also an AB RNR (because, i suppose, as a merchant seaman he received some sort of bounty - every little helps ) and therefore pulled in to the RN on mobilisation in August (or even July) 1914.
Thanks folks. The only other thought IO had was whether Belgian Shore Force was the equivalent of longshoremen or something ...? Weird one, isn't it.


Lantern Swinger
Worth trying a chap called Johnny Geldhof, his main interest is the Royal Navy Section Belge of WW2, but he might be able to help.
replace at with the usual @


War Hero
Book Reviewer
As above the BSF seems to pre-date WW1 .. I'm wondering if it could be some form of Belgian national Coastguard? BSF would be a translation..
Only officers in the Navy List.
Yes, I omitted to say that, was aiming for brevity as I was trying to finish my coffee, put my coat on and get out of the door while typing!

Although the Navy List lists Officers, it also has units and bases in it. When I was researching a question RR was asked a few months ago about the bases listed on a WWII service record, I read through all the Navy List volumes from 1938 - 1952 and was interested to see listed the various bases I was looking for, most now long gone. I was pondering on the possibility that the relevant Navy Lists for the period we are looking at in this thread might have a mention of a Belgian Shore Force, as it must have had Officers attached to it and while the subject of the thread wouldn't be listed by name, it would at least allow us to confirm the existence of the unit if we could see it mentioned. I may well have the chance to look at the Navy List for the pre-WWI years in the next few days, so will have a browse to see if any Officers were listed as attached to anything "Belgian".

Repulse, just as a matter of interest, what is listed as this gentleman's occupation on the 1911 census?
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