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Explanation of service record

Hi, I am researching my family tree and have just obtained my grandfathers RN service record from the national archives and was hoping someone may be able to help answer some questions about it. He served between 1929 and 1952.

Firstly, it lists as his "Trade or Occupation" as "Messenger" can anyone explain exactly what a messenger was and what they did ?.

Secondly, listed on the right are "Badges G. D. or R." see below,
RN Badges.JPG

can anyone explain the meaning of the letters in the G. D. or R. column.



War Hero
I think it refers to good conduct badges, it would appear ( and I'm happy to be corrected)

on 10/6/32 he got his first good conduct badge
on 26/3/35 he was 'naughty' and lost it (in red)
24/9/35 he was once again awarded his first good conduct badge
24/9/37 he got his second
on date unlisted he was awarded his third and this should have been 24/9/42

No idea about messenger - was that what he was for his whole career or just on one ship/shore base ??
Hi Dusty70,

Thanks for the quick response, your explanation makes sense, I have found a comment further down in red ink listing contempt which would match up with the entry also in red ink.
with reference to the "messenger" it was typed at the top of his record along with his name DOB, place of birth, service number etc. so I guess it was when he started in 1929 but there is nothing else in his record apart from his progression through the ratings that obviously changes.


War Hero
Not sure it existed - see below

some old and bold may correct me but I thought there were messengers from the Bridge to the other parts of the ship, anyone of any branch could get detailed off to do that - there were 'messenger lines' when ships were RASing but they were usually seamen

Can't really help without seeing the record I'm afraid


War Hero
No Onions was right - that was his occupation before he joined

If you look at the Rating and Discharge column he was in Jan 29 a Boy seaman
June 29 Ordinary seaman
Dec 30 Able Seaman

Don't forget in 1929 they left school around 12 or 13 (or earlier) and messenger makes sense of a 'lads' trade


If I read that right (January 29?), it looks like he was on Emperor of India at the same time as my grandad :)He was on there till May 29. You can see the comments about the previous occupation are correct:


War Hero
Super Moderator
Going back to the original request, I believe G, D and R stand for Granted, Deprived and Re-instated which would make sense for GCB's.
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