Finding out about Grandad

Discussion in 'History' started by nethyman, Feb 4, 2009.

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  1. Hello,

    I'm new to forums so please excuse any mistakes, and let me know when I put my foot in it!

    I am trying to find out about my Grandad's service history. I have downloaded his service record from the national archives and am deciphering the handwriting slowly.

    He was in the RN from 1910 to 1928 and family history has it that he was a submariner. However all the vessels listed that are not shore establishments, are all (as far as I can find out) sub support vessels. Each one has a number after it though..L24, H28 etc.

    This is just the first of my queries...are they the numbers of the subs?

    I live up here in the Scottish highlands and am a long way from the old HMS Dolphin (where he also served) in Pompey, otherwise I'd pick their brains

    Any help that can be offered......other forums, publications, or anything at all :?: would be a great help.

    As a guy who never served in the forces I am afraid that naval slang and jargon will go straight over my head. I don't want to have to open a post asking what a pongo is!!

    Thanks in advance for your help
  2. You might find Chris Baker's Great War Forum helpful. I am sure that the lads and lasses on the GWF will be happy to help you with your research... free of charge! :wink:


  3. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    From my late Fathers WWII records and my own somewhat more recent ones, normally the depot ship was shown as the draft and if you are lucky they will show the small craft or Submarine that Grandad actually served on. On my Fathers records quite often only the depot ship or shore base was shown.
  4. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

  5. There is a memorial dedicated to those who died when HM Submarine L24 was in a collision, you can see the memorial entry at:

    At the very least, it will give you possible names of his shipmates.

    Trust this helps also..

  6. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

  7. Hi ,
    the names will be Submarine support ships and the L or H will be a submarine name --submarines in the early days only had numbers.
    If you want to post the ship names /bases names we will no doubt be able to explain them to you .
    The reason they put the support ship name first was because the support ship held the submarine crews paperwork and pay records of the submarines .
    Each support ship had its own group of submarines called a flotilla.


  8. Try contacting the Submarine Museum at they are very helpful. Ask for the Bear (no, really! He exists, was a Coxn, and knows who can help you!) I think that a lot of the numbers (L24) are early submarines. Let us know how you get on!

    A pongo is our slang name for a soldier, as in where the Army goes, the pong goes! Unless it is a cheap shot at a bite.......

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