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Probationary Sick Berth Attendant and Wireman (LC)


I've been looking into my father's naval career, his name was Stephen Dennis Elwell. Unfortunately my father died in 1996 and I only have his badges, medals and 3 photographs (2 of him in uniform & 1 of him in a group) . My mother is still alive and therefore as his next of kin she was able to apply for his navy records which we have received.

From 20/04/1943 to 07/12/1943 his Rank/Rating held was 'Probationary Sick Berth Attendant' in/on various Ship/Shore Establishments including HMS Glendower (first place) & HMS Shrapnel(Government Training Centre, Letchworth) the last place in this position. Would anyone be able to give me more information about this role and what it entailed?

From 08/12/1943 he was then a Wireman (LC) on HMS Shrapnel (Government Training Centre, Letchworth) and continued with this profession as shown below
From 16/12/1943 HMS Drake (Ports Division, Plymouth, Devonport)
From 19/12/1943 HMS Dundonald (Combined Operations Base, Auchengate)
From 05/01/1944 HMS Copra (Combined Operations Pay & Drafting Office)
From 01/02/1944 HMS Westcliff (Combined Operations Base, Southend)
From 01/04/1944 LCT 924
From 09/09/1944 HMS Foliot (Landing Craft Base, Plymouth)
From 16/09/1944 HMS Hopetoun (Landing Craft & Mine Sweeper Base, Port Edgar)
From 05/10/1944 HMS Copra (Combined Operations Pay & Drafting Office)
He was invalided from Naval service on 17/01/1945.

Does anyone know what the role of a Wireman (LC) was? What does the LC mean? Was there a reason why he would be in places for what seems a very short while except for the one between 01/04/1944 to 08/09/1944?

Any information provided would be gratefully received or if there are any websites which could give me more information would also be welcomed.


War Hero
It looks like he was taking advantage of a pre release course to equip him for civie street.
After he left the RN did he work with electrics?

OOps sorry forget my last, this was at the start of his career.
Last edited:


War Hero
Super Moderator
I would imagine that he was an electrical rating on landing craft (LC). The reason he was in so many places for short periods would be because he was on a landing craft and their pay etc would be held by a parent unit as LC's were too small to carry admin staff. Sweepers and submarines employ the same system today.


Thank you for that information. I've looked at what a LCT looks like and I remember he said he hadn't gone to shore on D Day because he was on the boat. What boat it was or what he did I didn't know but remembered him saying something about wiring up a telephone system below decks. Getting his records advised us of job. I'm just trying to get a fuller picture as I've been researching my family tree.


Lantern Swinger
Had he any electrical training before he joined up? The Wireman branch was a new one set up during the war and became the Weapons Engineering trade - greenies. I wonder if he re-catted from SBA to what he may have seen as a more aggressive branch - in no way disrespecting the medics as they saw a lot of the results of action and are an essential part of life onboard.

HMS Dundonald, was at Irvine in Ayrshire and was a combined ops landng craft training base, along with HMS Qubec in Inverary. HMS Lochinvar was at South Queensferry, near Edinburgh.
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