service number letters

#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.
 
#3
blanket_stacker said:
does anyone know the relevence of the letter that prefixes your service number.
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
 
#5
Seaweed said:
Horrified. We got through two world wars without officers having to have numbers.
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.
 
#9
blanket_stacker said:
but why them letters?
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.

Possibly:

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.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#11
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).
 
#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
blanket_stacker said:
still doesnt answer the question,
WHY A 'D'
what does it stand for
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:
 

icantfly

Lantern Swinger
#16
Ninja_Stoker said:
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).
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.

2BM
 
#18
This will explane how it used to be:

www.hms-vengeance.co.uk/serviceNo.htm

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:
 

x4nd

Lantern Swinger
#19
Anchor_Faced_Jack said:
This will explane how it used to be:

www.hms-vengeance.co.uk/serviceNo.htm

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:
Is Lympstone near Portsmouth then?

:dwarf:
 

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