Naval Ratings

Discussion in 'History' started by Johnnybach, Oct 17, 2013.

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  1. What were the naval ratings, in WW1? showing my ignorance, was Deck Hand the lowest and where does Able Seaman fit in? What were the others, starting at the bottom and going up, please?

  2. Ordinary Seaman was the lowest adult rate, next steps were Able Rate, Leading Rate, Petty Officer, Chief Petty Officer.

    I believe Deck Hand is a Merchant Navy term.

    Royal Navy Ranks and Badges, World War 1

    Google is your friend.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Hi Wreckert,

    I have a record of a man in WW1 who was on a minesweeper (a paddle steamer) and a deck hand, which, do you think, probably, explains the Merchant navy rank?


  4. The only reference I've found relating to deckhands is an RNR rate.

    Warship crews, Royal Navy in World War 1

    As they're all trawlers etc I'm taking it the crews were inducted into the RNR for the hostilities, I can't find any records of an RN rate of deckhand.
  5. Thanks! So, it seems that my man was in the Merchant Navy, as regards rating. He joined the RNR on board a minesweeper, which had been a ferry paddle steamer until the Admiralty took it over for minesweeper duties. It's a bit confusing as his very first rating, according to his service record was "Boy Sig", which I believe was Boy Signaller and a Royal Navy rating. There's, obviously, a lot I don't understand!

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