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Hello and HMS Tiptoe

Afternoon all.

For the purposes of full disclosure i should say i'm not RN or any other service. Hopefully that's ok but feel free to tell me to sod off if not.

I'm doing some research into my grandfather's service aboard HMS Tiptoe during the war. He was a W.T.3 leading telegraphist and is no longer with us. I have found quite a bit of stuff which i am compiling at WW2talk. I think i've got most of the easily googleable. Not sure what your policy is on links so ill hold fire for the moment. It should be easy enough to find if anyone wants to see the things i have already though.

What i would really like to know is a little more about the W/T shack he would have inhabited, the gear that he was using and both his day to day duties as well as those while submerged (i'm guessing being submerged put a bit of a crimp on the communications of the day). Hopefully this isn't still classified and you have some niftier gear on the new boats (although given budgets recently......).

Any stories, diaries or additional info would be most welcome as it was not something he liked to talk about and i didn't want to press. He mentioned the odd thing like being depth charged in "quite shallow water", some good degree of understatement there as i have since come to believe this was actually in just 40ft of water! I also got a hint that something amusing happened while on transit to the Far East at Malta but my grandmother put the nix on that story being heard for reasons of decorum.

It would be nice to preserve as much as possible so any and all contributions gratefully received.



Book Reviewer
James, put up the Wiki links, lets see what you have to date and we can maybe take it from there. Several posters on this site are ex communicators, though none of WW2 vintage as far as I know
Thanks Janner. Here is the post where i am collating links:HMS Tiptoe / 3rd group T-Class - Name,Telegraphy, Log and Misc - War at Sea - WW2 Talk
This is mainly general info on the T-class, her naming, what i believe may be parts of her patrol log (on uboatnet, need to get down to Kew at some point to confirm), the film and ballet links etc, a newspaper article from her time in oz, the recordsfrom RN Submarine Gosport. All linked to in the link above.

Regarding the W/T front and his actual duties i have found less than nothing. Not called the silent service for nothing i see! :) I'm wondering whether this may still be relevant to today's chaps which is why i have found so little.

Thanks for the speedy response,
Thanks for the recco. I have had quite a good poke around over there a few times and cant really find anything. There is the diary of a telegraphist but it mentions nothing of his duties only the main events of the patrol. The stuff it has on the Ts is mostly generic or about the later conversions.

Liked the following quote though.....
"What is it like to go out to sea?" I said, Master Chief Jerr Coss, the USS Alaska's Chief of Boat replied "Well, if you want an idea, first seal off your windows and doors and sleep under the coffee table. Hang a clipboard on your refrigerator and check something off on it every hour. "Then set your alarm to go off at random times, and when it goes off, get up, run around and do something that seems completely meaningless,"
Aha, with you now. No, not yet. Your email verification system is much more efficient. Still waiting to be cleared onto their boards. Definitely will when possible.
Thanks, looks another good avenue to try. Slightly longer term one though as i cant see any contact details and assume ill have to sign up for an associate membership. Thanks though, all good stuff.


Book Reviewer
I was doing the same job as your grandad in the 1960's but that won't help too much with the equipment side. General duties at sea as a killick sparker were watch keeping in the W/T Office, which was manned on the surface and at periscope depth. When deep there were various admin duties in the office or I used to go into the Control Room and give someone a relief on the planes or wheel.

In harbour generally he would be Leading Hand of the the duty watch

Have a wade through here INDEX.html

It will make your head ache but there are lots of facts hidden away on the site. If you contact Geoff he is usually fairly helpful.

Good luck
Thanks for that! Even though its not quite the right period i can start to get a feel for what he might have been up to. I was completely in the dark up to now. Learned some interesting navy slang too. Your link looks like it may have some juicy nuggets if i can root them out. Ill have a good dig before i bother him with an email. Might have to look the shades out for prolonged browsing though. I do hope his day job isn't in interior design. ;)


War Hero
Hi Jimmy! I should think you have already Googled HMS/M TIPTOE? I just did and got lots of hits - since I'm not interested (no offence intended!) I didn't bother wading through it all! Note HMS/M not HMS. Try for a TIPTOE Association.

You could also try the Submarine Museum at Gosport.

Good luck!
No offence taken! :D I've done the first 50 pages on google for HMS TIPTOE but have not tried the HMS/M variant. Good tip to try. Between the tiptoeing and the HMS in the searches i'm thoroughly sick of bloody Gilbert and sullivan now though!

I have sent off for all the stuff from RN sub museum Gosport but it is a little thin to be honest.

Thanks for the input!


War Hero
On a lighter note;- H.M.S. Adamant was a depot ship for the Clyde based Submarine squadron 1950s. I was not a Submariner, but I will always recall H.M.S./M Tiptoe with great respect because a couple of the crew caught the most evil scumbag Leading Patrolman shore in Rothesay and filled the bastard in big time. The combined ships company's went deaf dumb and saw nothing. The Godfather would have been proud. I know I've posted this before on other threads but thought it suited ! Sent by morse code tapped out on my dustbin lid.
All anecdotes gratefully received! I also have reason to suspect there may be those with knowledge of how Tiptoe talked the shoes off a ballerina skulking about here too.

Would a Type 54 or 55 transmitter with CDC and CDF receivers sound about right to any lurking "sparkers"?
That of course means F all to me, but would like to know whether that is the right track before i do any serious reading.

I have also been told there may have been issues with having to "aim" the whole boat for reception. I'm wondering whether she collided with so many things in an effort to get a clearer version of Lili Marlene. ;)
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