Help please

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by bocjoc1, Feb 10, 2008.

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  1. Hi, I've just joined RumratioN hoping that someone can help me out with some information .... My wife's granddad is 84 and lives in Kirby near Liverpool, he is quite poorly and frail after a series of strokes and his faculties are not as they once were. However, he has never before spoken about his Navy career or his war record until recently. The family are unsure whether he was in the Royal or Merchant (or both) and all he can recall at the moment is that he served aboard a HMS Wolf (or Wolfe), the rest of the information is hazy. Can anyone point me in the right direction to get any information and/or assistance.

    Many thanks
  2. Talk to Ninja Stoker in Newbies he was from that era.alternatively Sgt Peppared he generally knows every thing :hockey:
  3. HMS Wolfe (named after the hero of the Heights of Abraham Battle with French Canada) had previously been a Canadian Pacific liner - 16,500 tons, anti aircraft defence 2 x 3" guns and 2 stripped Lewis guns. HMS Wolfe was launched 1920, and originally named Montcalm. Requisitioned as an armed merchant cruiser in 1939. Purchased in 1942 and converted into a submarine depot ship. Wolfe spent most of the war, from 1943, on Holy Loch, with HMS Forth. 1946-47 Flagship of the Captain 1st Submarine Flotilla. Paid off in 1949, broken up in 1952

    Looking at your Wifes grandads age he would have been around 14 or 15 when he joined up in the late thirties. This was normal as many lied about age. So it was quite possible he served on this ship around the early 1940's. The links below takes you to pages where a couple of fellas about his age describe experiences aboard HMS Wolfe. Also below a link to photos of ship. Others in Liverpool are also researching this subject, link yet again also below. Might put you in touch with someone who can help you further.

    Just a start for you, hope you can find out more!

  4. See if you can try to find out if he has any paperwork /certificates amongst his personal belongings . If he was in the RN/MN he would have a sevice certificate of some description giving details of his career . Maybe have medals aswell . If you do get anything post it on here and we'll
    probably be able to tell you a lot about his past history .

    Good hunting.

    :nemo: :nemo:
  5. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    BocJoc1: Welcome to RR. Sorry to hear about your Grandfather-in-Law. As suggested, you could try to find some records/documents relating to his service. Once you have that you can find out everything you need! The internet is awash with naval history/records, etc., but you need the 'building blocks' of the serviceman's records to start with.

    A good start is the Veterans UK organisation, who give information on obtaining historical service records.

    [align=center]SERVICE RECORDS[/align]

    Requests from former Service personnel
    Requests from Interested parties
    Records of Deceased Personnel
    Where do I send my SAR form?
    What about records in the public domain?

    Access to personal data held by the MOD may be sought for many reasons, including:

    proof of Service in HM Armed Forces
    medical reasons
    family history or research
    Requests from former Service personnel

    Requests from former Service personnel for his/her personal data held by the Ministry of Defence are processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998; such requests are called Subject Access Requests (SAR).

    A SAR must be made in writing and must be accompanied by proof of identity (e.g. a copy of a passport or recent utilities bill), and sufficient information to locate the data sought. To assist the search, your letter should include as much information as possible eg:

    Service Number, Rank, Full Name, Date of Birth and period served (dates from and to).
    Requests for data for ex-Army personnel must also include the Regiment or Corps.

    A full copy of the record can be requested however, original documents, discharge papers/books cannot be replaced. The MOD will also provide extracts from service records. Once all the necessary information has been received, your request will be processed and you should receive a reply within 40 calendar days.

    To download the SAR form, please click here.

    For service records of non-UK personnel please click here.

    Requests from Interested parties
    Enquirers must provide a letter of consent, signed by the person to whom the records relate.

    Records of Deceased personnel
    Enquirers must provide the consent of the Next of Kin and unless the person died in Service, proof of death. A charge may be made for enquiries. Prior to 1972 all Royal Navy personnel were given their service record when they were discharged. For pension purposes the Royal Navy retained pay details. Therefore the only data held on Royal Navy personnel who served prior to 1972 is their Service details (number, rank, name etc) and a list of dates and ships/shore bases.

    Certificate of Kinship
    Information from the personal record of a deceased Ex-serviceman/woman can be released only with the consent of the official Next of Kin. The form aims to identify whose consent is required and the data you provide will be used only in connection with your enquiry. The form is retained for 2 years should you have subsequent queries. To download the Certificate of Kinship form for the Royal Navy, please click here.

    Where do I send my SAR form?
    Personnel records are stored at archives and repositories throughout the UK. Additionally there are also Subject Access Request Co-ordinators for each Service. You must send the completed SAR form to the relevant address.

    [Royal Navy]:

    The following address should be used for all Royal Navy and Royal Marine Enquiries

    RN Disclosures Cell
    Room 48
    West Battery
    Whale Island
    PO2 8DX

    Telephone: 02392 628671/ 02392 628670

    What about records in the public domain?
    The following personnel Service records have been transferred to the National Archive (formerly the Public Record Office) and are available for public access.

    Royal Navy Officers commissioned prior to 1914
    Royal Navy Ratings who enlisted prior to 1924 and First World War records for the Women's Royal Naval Service
    Royal Marine Officers commissioned prior to 1926
    Royal Marine Other Ranks that enlisted prior to 1926
    Army Officers commissioned prior to 1920
    Army Other Ranks that enlisted prior to 1920
    Royal Air Force Officers that served prior to 1922
    Royal Air Force Airmen that served prior to 1924

    Service records which pre-date those held by the MOD have been transferred to the National Archive and are freely available for public access. However the National Archives is not resourced to carry out searches.

    Enquirers are instead welcome to visit, or hire an independent researcher - see the National Archive website for further details.

    I am still unsure of what to do, who can help?
    If you have any other queries about service records or are not sure about which office to write to please contact the Veterans Free Helpline.

    For information on historical records please see our links page.

    Godd luck! :thumright:

    Thanks to HydraJoe at for the links

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