Trying to research my Grandad's time in the Great War. His service record lists him under Pactolus (Respond). Think that Respond is a tug and was in Malta at that time. Does anyone have anymore information.
PACTOLUS (1896) Lamlash / Ardrossan, submarine depot ship, auxiliary patrol parent ship.
Cruiser, converted to SM depot ship Sep 1912. Lamlash Flotilla 24 Sep 1912 to 1914, 9th SM Flotilla Ardrossan Dec 1914 and 7th SM Flotilla 1916 to 1918, also auxiliary patrol parent ship in Clyde Dec 1914 to Jun 1919. Depot ship for anti-submarine training Ardrossan 1919. At Shandon in care & maintenance Sep 1919. Allocated RNR Clyde. Sold [to Multilocular Shipbreaking Company, Stranraer] 1921.
There is a picture of Respond in Malta. My grandfather's service record lists Pactolus (Respond) 17th Jan 1919 - 30th April, 1919. He was previously in Alexandria on Slieve Foy and trying to trace his movements from 17th Jan 1919. Seems odd to be listed as serving on Respond from January when she was only commissioned in March. Can't understand that.
Trust me, the converted cruiser PACTOLUS was the floating accounting base. Otherwise she would have been described as a nominal depot ship for a shore accounting base called PACTOLUS.
Never underestimate the Royal Navy's fondness for seagoing tradition. Even junior sailors going for a 'run ashore' from a 'stone frigate' had to muster for the 'liberty boat' where they were inspected before being allowed to 'salute the quarterdeck' and proceed through the gate. This routine was only abolished after the introduction of 'free gangway' in the late 1960s/early 1970s.
Until 1962 every RN shore establishment ('stone frigate') had to be associated with a vessel of some sort (a 'Base Ship' or what was later termed a 'Nominal Depot Ship') and took her name as a satellite or 'tender' to this vessel. In practice, vessels normally had their names changed to comply with those of their associated shore bases because they tended to wear out faster. This peculiar custom was a legacy of when anchored hulks served most of the Navy's accommodation, administrative, accounting and training needs afloat; the only shore facilities were small outposts or the Royal Dockyards where ships were built and repaired. Any outposts were referred to as 'tenders', as in ships' boats, and this term is still used in the RN today for ships or units attached to commissioned shore establishments or 'parent ships'.
From 1 Apr 1889, the Base Ship for HMS WILDFIRE, the shore base at Sheerness, was the yacht HMS WILDFIRE (ex-civilian HIAWATHA) purchased by the Admiralty in 1888. This WILDFIRE was renamed HMS UNDINE in Jan 1907 and sold in July 1912. She was replaced as the Base Ship at Sheerness in Dec 1906 by a new HMS WILDFIRE (ex-HMS NYMPH), a composite screw ship launched in 1888. In turn, this WILDFIRE was replaced as Base Ship on 1 Apr 1916 by ex-HMS CORNWALLIS, a 3rd Rate 74 gun ship launched at Bombay in 1813.
An ordinary Depot Ship was a floating base, sometimes static but often mobile. For example, squadrons of submarines, motor launches and destroyers were usually assigned to depot ships that would accommodate the squadron's senior officer and his staff and move wherever the squadron was deployed.
"...prior to 1 Jan 1959 the Naval Discipline Act only applied to those officers and men who were borne on the books of one of His/Her Majesty's Ships of war. Thus all personnel were allocated to a nominal ship when not actually serving in a proper seagoing warship. At the turn of the century these shore establishments were mainly old hulks and the original ship names were taken into use...
Later, when proper shore accommodation was provided, a ship was nominated to carry the establishment name, and later, even small craft were used for this purpose. Thus a 27 feet long Montagu whaler was notionally crewed by hundreds of officers and men...
The provision of a nominal depot ship also created other anomalies. The DOLPHIN was lost while under tow; the ST ANGELO was mined; the MANTIS became a constructive total loss, and the FOLIOT was lost by collision. Other losses were the CABOT and HORNET. Even the enemy were confused as they claimed to have sunk the ST ANGELO, and in a way, they were right.
Establishments formed after 1959 (PALATINE, SHERWOOD, etc) did not run this risk, having no need for a nominal depot ship, and the Navy List ceased to record these nominal depot ships from 1962."
Incidentally, your grandfather might well have been 'standing by' RESPOND during her build. As she was launched in Nov 1918, he could easily have joined her ship's company in Jan 1919 and been accommodated on board PACTOLUS until moving on board RESPOND for acceptance trials a few months before her commissioning in March.
Ahh - that might make more sense and I'd assumed, presumably wrongly that Respond was in Malta in 1919 when this picture was probably Second World War - s RESPOND, built in 1919 by Ayrshire Dockyard Irvine ... Photo supplied by J Ward McQuaid shows Respond with HMS Warrior, Ancient and Warden at Malta