memorial abreviations

I wonder if the collective RNR types can help. I recently visited Lindisfarne (beautiful place). on the war memorial amongst the normal regiments etc were a couple marked R.N.R.T.A.B.

I can't find any reference to this. my first thought was temporary AB, ie hostilities only?

any ideas guys ( and gals)

PS I took a phot but getting it on here is pi**ing me off.

Just having a quick scoot around, I have found another example of R.N.R.T.A.B. in a list of marriages in the North-East, in the section listing marriages during the First World War:

Lawrence Gall ? HOLMES 35, Bachelor, R.N.R.T.A.B. (Signalman) of 19 Hawick Crescent

Does the fact that he was a Signalman suggest anything, do you think?


Lantern Swinger
RNR T.A.B. I am sure is something to do with Trawlers.

Small fishing vessels of all types were taken over by the Royal Navy in World War One for a wide variety of tasks - they were particularly suited to minesweeping. They were commissioned vessels of the Royal Navy, although the bulk of the crews were from the fishing community and they were 'signed on' as members of the Royal Navy Reserve.

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne War Memorial lists two brothers, James (born 1872) and Thomas Markwell (born 1874) both were fishermen prior the outbreak of the first world war.

The details of James Markwell are correct, and he is listed as a casualty on the CWGC website.

His brother Thomas Markwell was not a WWI casualty, hence there being no details of him on the Memorial. Thomas actually died in Northumberland in 1954, aged 80.

SP. :)


Book Reviewer
RNR(T) was the distinct Trawler section of the RNR that was manned solely (no pun intended!) by fishermen. Perhaps, the abbreviation should be read as RNR(T) AB, i.e. an AB in the Trawler section of the RNR.
I'm so glad you saw this, Sweetpea, as I started to worry about this one when I realised that Thomas Markwell wasn't listed on the CWCG database.

I am wondering whether the fact that Thomas is included in the Roll of Honour list means that his name is also engraved on the memorial itself; however, that would seem a bit strange, if he actually passed away in 1954. Having said that, we did have a case, I think last year or the year before, the Meriden case, where it was proving impossible to match up the name engraved on the memorial with a name on the CWGC database and I began to wonder whether that particular gentleman had actually passed away postwar and had his name inscribed on the Meriden Memorial by a relative. Eventually, I had to make a FOI request to the RN in a bid to establish whether that gentleman had actually served in the RN and, if so, when. You may know more about how the Meriden case was resolved, actually.

It is possible that FleetChief has a photograph of the detail on the Lindisfarne Memorial, which will tell us whether Thomas' name is engraved on it.
FlagWagger said:
RNR(T) was the distinct Trawler section of the RNR that was manned solely (no pun intended!) by fishermen. Perhaps, the abbreviation should be read as RNR(T) AB, i.e. an AB in the Trawler section of the RNR.
Great info there, FlagWagger. Enabled me to find this:

"The RNR was generally confined to officers and men of deep sea merchantmen but in 1911 it was felt that there was a need to employ trawlers in war-time as minesweepers and patrol vessels. The Royal Naval Reserve Trawler Section - RNR(T) was set up to enrol the necessary personnel. Although abolished as a separate section of the RNR in 1921, the RNR(T) always remained quite distinct from the RNR proper, and employed fishermen. In both world wars a large number of trawlers were taken up by the Royal Navy complete with their crews, who were entered on a form T124 by which they engaged to serve in a named vessel for the duration of the war only. Fishermen on a T124 formed the bulk of the RNR(T) during the First World War. The RNR(T) wound up in 1921."

on the Harry Tates site.


Lantern Swinger

Many of the the War Memorials were supplied and paid for by the local community. The names and details of the fallen were submitted by living relatives to the Mayor or the local council, who then organised the stonemasonry and the engraving of the names, and here lies the problem! There are many names recorded on such Memorials where a person was not a casualty of war, in fact, that person was to be found very much alive. On the flip side, there are names of many casualties that have been omitted from the many local town memorials - It's what we term as "Human error".

The Commonwealth War Grave Memorials (CWGC) are entirely different, they are the "official" Memorials to the fallen.

If I remember correctly, the Meriden case was resolved. I am sure it was proven that the chap did not die whilst on active service, but had died many years after the wars end. (I'll have to look it up, I can't remember :!: )

My old Dad tells of ancient bearded crusty old "Mate" Subbies drinking cider in the mess when he was doing his RNR subs course at Whaley. No subbies, even trawler men in their late 50's were allowed hard spirits in the mess. This would be in the early 1950s. So the RNR(T) may have gone but some of the men were still there.
Try to get your hands on the book. 'out sweeps'. if you havent already read it.Great book. gives an amuseing insight on the clash of cultures between the Navy and the inducted fishing fraternity.

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