SERVICE NUMBER

The PO numbers were introduced in the mid to late fifties. before this time Marines were issued with divisional numbers, CX - Chathem, PLY - Plymouth and PO - Portsmouth.

So when the Marines admin was centralised at Eastliegh in the fifties, as it fell under the Portsmouth area all bootnecks were therefore issued with the prefix PO.

I dont know when the PO was dropped but it seems to me as there is now a new centralisation of Admin, a new number is issued. following a historical precedence really.
 

alex79062

Newbie
There is some confusion over the divisional prefixes (Ply/x, Ch/x and Po/x) and the introduction of the computerised PO numbers that replaced the RM prefixes.

The RM prefixes (introduced I think in the late '50s or early '60s replacing the divisional numbers) were replaced with PO numbers when the Corps pay and records were computerised in 1972/1973 and the drafting, pay and records office in Melville Camp, Eastney was transferred to HMS Centurion in Gosport.

As stated above, the final letter (after the five numbers) was a check number simply to verify the correctness of a quoted regimental number.

I think I'm right in saying that it was only with the implementation of the computerised PO numbers that officers in the Corps actually had an official number - no number, no pay!!

Hope this helps
 

slim

War Hero
I joined the RN in 1963. At Raleigh we were given our official numbers. There were no prefixes. We were then asked to choose a welfare authority, the choice at that time was Portsmouth or Devonport. If you chose Portsmouth the prefix P was added to your official number. If you chose Devonport then the letter D was added. I chose devonport but after Raleigh volunteered for the Fleet Air Arm my letter D was then removed and replaced by the letter L for Lee on Solent as this was the welfare authority for all Fleet air Arm ratings.
To make it more confusing At Lossiemouth I met several older Killicks and their Prefix was LF two letters and my old mate Leading airman Pilots Mate Macneil (three badges + Long service medal) was LFX. They told me that the X was dropped after the Invergordon mutiny to distinguish those that joined after it, don't know if there was any truth in that though.
 

Handler

War Hero
Yes Slim---When joining in 1958 numbers began with LF--shortly afterwards it changed to LO. As well as LFX--there sa also LSFX
 
I still cant see how the letter at the end of your PO number can be anything else but random, I know tallying up with a formula has been mentioned but, my mate who joined the same day as me, has the same letter of the alphabet starting his surname, and his Po number is One number higher than mine, yet the letter at the end of his number is completley different, not even the next letter of the alphabet. So I remain unconvienced unless someone can shed more light on the "formula" used.
 

slim

War Hero
wet_blobby said:
I still cant see how the letter at the end of your PO number can be anything else but random, I know tallying up with a formula has been mentioned but, my mate who joined the same day as me, has the same letter of the alphabet starting his surname, and his Po number is One number higher than mine, yet the letter at the end of his number is completley different, not even the next letter of the alphabet. So I remain unconvienced unless someone can shed more light on the "formula" used.

When both prefix and suffix letters on official numbers were introduced in the 70s there was a formulae used to generate them. My original official number was L075... no suffix. In the 70s this became D075...D so I lost my original prefix denoting Lee on Solent as my welfare authority and gained two letters one at the start and the other at the end.
It was something to do with pay and a new computer at HMS Centurion.
 
wet_blobby said:
I still cant see how the letter at the end of your PO number can be anything else but random, I know tallying up with a formula has been mentioned but, my mate who joined the same day as me, has the same letter of the alphabet starting his surname, and his Po number is One number higher than mine, yet the letter at the end of his number is completley different, not even the next letter of the alphabet. So I remain unconvienced unless someone can shed more light on the "formula" used.

Say for example, you have (like me) 1 letter, 6 numbers, 1 letter in your number.

The algorithm may be something like:

1st number x 2nd number + 3rd number divide by some bizarre constant like 13.4 x 4th number - 5th number x another constant (say, 99.957) + 6th number

When you put all the numbers in, then the number that pops out should be between 1 and 26. If it is 5, then the letter at the end will be E and so on. This way, they know that your number is real and not fake.

It's not totally random, it just looks it since even if your Oppo's number is only different by 1, then your end letters will be completely different. Using checks like this is pretty common - used in a lot of things like bank accounts, ISBN numbers, Credit Card numbers . .

Just to point out that the example I used is just for show - no idea what the original one is like, but probably a lot more complicated.
 

pinky_faggot

Midshipman
These days (pre the new JPA numbers) service numbers are P0 (RM) and P9 (RMR), same with the RN - C0 (male officer), V0 (female officer), D* (male rating) - (they're on D26**) and W** (female rating). All RNR have 9 as the first number (same lettering). The letter at the end, as far as I'm aware is completely random!!
 
Of course, it's irrelevant now since all new entrants get a JPA employee number, so gone are the old letter prefixes: C (Male Officers and Male/Female Surgeons), D (Male Ratings), V (Female Officers), W (Female Ratings) and P (RM).

Also, the new numbers are allocated in sequence, so will no longer have the check digit at the end (ie the last letter)
 
TattooDog said:
wet_blobby said:
I still cant see how the letter at the end of your PO number can be anything else but random, I know tallying up with a formula has been mentioned but, my mate who joined the same day as me, has the same letter of the alphabet starting his surname, and his Po number is One number higher than mine, yet the letter at the end of his number is completley different, not even the next letter of the alphabet. So I remain unconvienced unless someone can shed more light on the "formula" used.

Say for example, you have (like me) 1 letter, 6 numbers, 1 letter in your number.

The algorithm may be something like:

1st number x 2nd number + 3rd number divide by some bizarre constant like 13.4 x 4th number - 5th number x another constant (say, 99.957) + 6th number

When you put all the numbers in, then the number that pops out should be between 1 and 26. If it is 5, then the letter at the end will be E and so on. This way, they know that your number is real and not fake.

It's not totally random, it just looks it since even if your Oppo's number is only different by 1, then your end letters will be completely different. Using checks like this is pretty common - used in a lot of things like bank accounts, ISBN numbers, Credit Card numbers . .

Just to point out that the example I used is just for show - no idea what the original one is like, but probably a lot more complicated.

Cheers TD,

I now know why I joined as a humble grav and had nothing more complicated to use than a bangstick and a bayonet. That formula is way, way over my head. :???:
 
wet_blobby said:
Cheers TD,

I now know why I joined as a humble grav and had nothing more complicated to use than a bangstick and a bayonet. That formula is way, way over my head. :???:

I expect the real one is way more complicated - probably why only real geeks can use it!
 
Joined Jan 56 original No LF 957*** it changed to L957***N sometime early 70s i still used that No untill i left in Jul 79. LF was for 12 years service and LSF was for 7 and 5. There were LSFX Nos when i joined but i`m not sure what they were for, there are older people on here who may know.
 
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