Coastal Minesweepers - Senior Rates


War Hero
Book Reviewer
In Lord Mountbatten's diary for 5.5.76 he goes aboard Bronington for a sea day, PoW driving. Ld M goes down (my italics) to the Senior Rates' mess for coffee and meets the 7 CPOs and 5 POs ..

Now if I remember correctly in 1960-2 in a CMS we had 1 CPO (an ERA1) as Chief, and 3 POs - Coxswain, POM(E) and an EA4. Buffer and FX killick were leading hands although over time each of those jobs sometimes had a seaman PO (L/Sea buffer was a disrated PO). Chef, steward, sparker were leading rates and there was an LM(E) also and possibly an electrical bod with a hook.

The SR's mess was for'd opposite the stokers and abaft the Coxswain's cabin. 'Down' below on 2 deck there were two messes, for'd for miscellaneous and aft for seamen. This seems to have been different in Bron.

Not like Ld M who was a devil for detail to have got this wrong .. so ..

.. the question is, what was going on in Bron? Was her complement beefed up with SRs for the PoW or is there something else going on?
Thios is really making the poor old grey cells work. My last seagoing time in a sweeper was summer 64 as a JME and I was in the after messdeck with the other stokers but I cannot remeber who else. The senior rates mess was ford of the galley. Mainly I have horrible memories of summer 63 going across the bay in moderately rough weather with dicky stern glands and having to check the stern tube teperatures down the after fuel space every 15 mins and chucking up as I got to the top of the ladder, then back down the control room for a ships biscuit before the next temperature reading.

Certainly in the RNR I didn't hear of POWs, though we did have senior rates doing OOW2 on a frigate.


Book Reviewer
Maxi_77 said:
Certainly in the RNR I didn't hear of POWs, though we did have senior rates doing OOW2 on a frigate.
I think that's because HRH, as befits a member of the Royal Family, was classed as a regular rather than reservist. :)
Bronington was a minehunter by this time so she would normally have had:

CPO/PO(D) as Coxswain
CEA1 as WEO (mainly for the 193 sonar)
POREl (general electrics)
2 x POMEMs (MCR watchkeepers but one was also the Stores POM)
PO(MW) as Bosun

The MEO and Cox'n shared a cabin that was also used as the Coxn's office. Any additional SRs might have been staff/students seariding during an MCMG course. I was on board in 1976 for this purpose myself and introduced HRH to chip butties.
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