service number letters

Discussion in 'The Fleet' started by blanket_stacker, Jul 11, 2007.

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  1. does anyone know the relevence of the letter that prefixes your service number.
    we are thinking oficers begin CO (commisioned officer)
    females begin W (wren)
    jacks begins with a D
    not sure about this one but think it could be because you join up in the devenport area.
    this is todays topic of disscusion at work
    any thoughts much appreciated.
  2. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    Theres a thread on this some where, try a search. It was a while ago
  3. Hi B_S,

    Numbering was a letter followed by 6 numbers and a check letter at the end. The first letter was:

    C - Male RN Officer and Male/Female RN Surgeons
    V - Female RN Officers (but not female Surgeons)
    D - Male Ratings
    W - Female Ratings

    Not sure about RMs - is it N for Officers and P for NCOs, JNCOs and ORs?

    All academic, since all new joiners get an 8 digit "employee number" now.

    Edited for mongy grammar
  4. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Horrified. We got through two world wars without officers having to have numbers.
  5. I can remember much moaning and complaining over G&Ts and HNs when we were told we were going to be given numbers just because our pay was going to be computerised.
  6. And who says computers don't ruin lives - just about everything has to bloody change just to suit computer programmes!
  7. but why them letters?
    who decided that your sevice number begins with a D and not a Z
  8. What about official numbers starting with 'K'. I still remember a couple of them around when I joined up???
  9. I think the reason has been lost over the years. Ratings used to have C, D or P depending on where they were based, so perhaps they just randomly decided on using D.


    C = Commission
    D = C was already taken and P was going to be used for RM
    W = WRNS
    V = Looks nearly the same as a W

    Or perhaps they just got p*ssed and picked scrabble letters out of a bag.
  10. This sounds more credible for a MoD/RN working party.
  11. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    All new service numbers from this year have dropped all letter prefixes. The numbers are tri-service and carried over if you leave one & re-join another. The new numbers are currently eight digit, thus: 30096969 (in case you don't know what an 8 digit number looks like).
  12. still doesnt answer the question,
    WHY A 'D'
    what does it stand for
  13. And what about the official numbers that started with 'K'. - Does anyone know their significance???
  14. D - could that be **********, Dumb Asses, Dunces, Dweebs, Dross ??

    Don't bite - I had a D prefix..just taking the piss.

    Go back even farther tho (1950), my dad's number started L/SFX - what the F*** is that all about
  15. I know it used to signify a Devonport Rating, but I don't think it stands for anything now. It probably just happens to be the next letter after C.

    I stopped looking for reasons why certain things were done a long time ago and life became so much easier. :drunken:
  16. That's purely down to JPA. As it was designed for the Army, the programmers decided that any inputs had to be numerical. The only reason we're able to have our current service numbers in there is because they did a direct import of existing numbers.. and because we'd kill any bastard to tried to change them!
  17. My number, on joining as a junior was P/MX 916***, which I understood to mean Portsmouth/Miscellaneous (Cook) continuous service.
    In '58, when drafted to a Guzz ship, I elected to change port division, and became D/MX 916***.
    Shortly thereafter, I think when Chatham closed as a port division, it was changed to D/M 916***.
    At sometime in the early seventies, I became M916***R, I think this was at about the time we went from fortnightly pay over the table, to monthly pay into a bank.
    The "K" prefix would have referred to Stokers, Seamen were "S", Stewards "L", Comms "J". Tiffs, for some unknown reason, were lumped in with Cooks, Writers, and Jack Dusties as misc. ie "M".
    We still had "seven and five" men who had an extra "S" ie D/SMX, or P/SSX.
    The "L" prefix was Lee on Solent, and referred to Wafus.
    That's all from memory, so I may be wrong on a couple of points.

  18. This will explane how it used to be:

    These days it is still much the same

    All male ratings join in the Devenport area (D)

    All Marines join in the Portsmouth area (P)

    Officers are Commissioned (C)

    and WRN's were W so that you could tell they were not male (I still get confused with some of them)

    Thats what I understand by it anyway :nemo:
  19. Is Lympstone near Portsmouth then?

  20. OK, thats been done to death...again. Now then, who can explain the letter at the end of the Official Numbers?

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