Navy Net - Royal Navy Community

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Thomas Kennedy's RN Service Record

List,

I found this collection of images for HMS Newcastle along with a reference to her being completed in September 1910 - this ties in well with Thomas Kennedy's joining the ship's company on 20th September of that year - it looks like he joined a brand new ship.

She appears to have immediately set sail for the China Station to replace HMS Bedford. The paragraph at the top of the page describes the Bristol Class light cruiser. I noted what I thought was a discrepancy in that the Wikipedia article above (see here again) describes her as a Town Class light cruiser. The discrepancy is explained here - the Bristol Class appears to have been a sub-set of the Town Class.

I found the diagram below for the Bristol sub-set:



There is a nice image of her here - if the date in the caption is correct, this photograph was taken prior to her completion.

The snippet here from The Straits Times puts her in Hong Kong on Tuesday 21st February 1911, presumably with Thomas Kennedy onboard. This snippet from the same newspaper, puts her in Singapore on the 15th June 1911 for the Coronation celebrations the following week, again we can assume with some certainty that Thomas Kennedy was onboard.

As always, I welcome corrections and comments.

Regards,

Pat
 
List,

On 6th December 1912, Thomas Kennedy joined the cruiser HMS Gibraltar - see her Wikipedia article here. This posting lasted just five weeks ending on 15th January 1913. There are some nice images of her here, together with a view behind the gun shield of the bow 9.2in main gun. I found this Wikipedia article on the 9.2 inch gun. One of the photographs in the article was taken onboard HMS Gibraltar.

This page showing a memorial tablet in St Mary's Church, Portsmouth caught my eye and on further searching on the ship's name on this page, I found additional names. Not all of them died on the same date, but I note four of them killed by a torpedo accident on 12th February 1897. It would appear HMS Gibraltar had quite a few losses during her early career.

From reading the bottom paragraph on this page, there appears to be a very old and rare film footage shot onboard HMS Gibraltar in 1900, titled 'Jack’s Game of Cricket on Board HMS Gibraltar'... I wonder who 'Jack' was?

The National Maritime Museum has this print of her dated 17th August 1901. This would be about the time that the illustrious career of Admiral of the Fleet John Henry Dacres Cunningham began as a Midshipman aboard HMS Gibraltar during the Boar War.

Ernest Joyce was a Royal Naval seaman and explorer who participated in four Antarctic expeditions - I found the extract shown below pertaining to his transferring from HMS Gibraltar to Scott's Discovery on this page:



Another search produced this page pertaining to her meeting the American Great White Fleet in Albany, Australia on 10th September 1908. She was commanded by a Commander C.F. Morgan on this trip, bringing out relief crews to the Australia Station. The photo below most probably shows HMS Gibraltar third from right in Albany with the Great White Fleet.


Photo credit: U.S. Naval Historical Center

Two years later, there is a reference to her on this page leaving Portsmouth on 19th September 1910, escorting two HMAS destroyers on another trip to Australia. They arrived at Broome on 15th November 1910, where HMA Parramatta and HMAS Yarra were handed over to the young Australian navy.

Nothing to date has surfaced pertaining to Thomas Kennedy's period of service onboard HMS Gibraltar (6th December 1912 - 15th January 1913).

Regards,

Pat
 
List,

Thomas Kennedy was transferred off HMS Gibraltar back to the shore base HMS Pembroke II on 16th January 1913. This was his fourth posting to HMS Pembroke II since 1st July 1905 and lasted 4½ months, ending on 1st May 1913.

His final posting was to HMS Formidable on 2nd May 1913. Her Wikipedia article is here. There is a nice collection of images of her here, however, the single image here is tack sharp and very impressive. Every hit I get on her seems to centre around the sinking, so I am going to try and steer clear of her loss just for a bit in order to ensure than nothing of note prior to this event is overlooked, especially if it pertains to the period 2nd May 1913 - 1st January 1915.

When Thomas Kennedy joined HMS Formidable, she was with the 5th Battle Squadron, Home Fleet (later Grand Fleet). The article here on this man, Ivor Gregor MacGregor shows what a close call he made when he was transferred off HMS Formidable in December 1914. I t also makes reference to the duties of the 5th Battle Squadron during this period - namely protecting the BEF going to France and their supply convoys. It's very lightly both men knew each other or at least they would have recognised each to see.

Another article here seems to indicate that Rev Captain Cuthbert Helsham Heath-Caldwell was on HMS Formidable for Thomas Kennedy's first month of service - May 1913. Again, Thomas Kennedy may have known him in passing.

Regards,

Pat
 
nobby0919 & List,

I appreciate that bit of info on the term 'jacks' - that puts the footage in a very different light - it could have been shot on any Royal Navy ship.

I have updated the 'Thomas Kennedy (344024 Shipwright 2nd Class) Royal Navy' web page listing which I have running in tandem with the research here on the forum. It's updated to his period aboard HMS Newcastle - see here. If anyone spots any errors or omissions, I would be grateful if you would point them out.

Regards,

Pat
 
List,

I have taken some time out to read "Before The Bells Have Faded" by Mark Potts & Tony Marks, published by The Naval & Military Press Ltd. This book, as I am sure many of you will be aware, studies the sinking of HMS Formidable on New Years morning, 1915.

Five hundred and forty seven officers and crew were lost on HMS Formidable, including 344024 Shipwright 2nd Class Thomas Kennedy.

On page 25 of the book, there is a reference to her serving in the Atlantic Fleet from 29th May 1909 until May of 1912. Thomas Kennedy joined her almost a year later on 2nd May 1913 when she was then with the 5th Battle Squadron, Home Fleet (later Grand Fleet). According to the list of Captains, Thomas Kennedy would have first served under Captain Drury St. Aubyn Wake on HMS Formidable. I found this document on the IWM site which appears to be written by the same officer in 1918. The letter is written in gratitude for the work done by the W.R.N.S. at Granton Naval Base. I also found a reference here to his son, Second Lieutenant Charles Baldwin Drury Wake, who was killed in action on 25th September 1918 - note the letter regarding the W.R.N.S. is written just one month after his son's death - a measure of the man!

He appears to have influenced Elinor Egan's autobiographical work "The War in the Cradle of the World" written in 1917. See his name referenced in this Japanese Amazon description of the book. These intriguing but limited hits on this officer has made me all the more curiouser about him, so I have decided to download his service record from the National Archives.

Admiral Drury St. Aubyn Wake's service record makes for some interesting reading. I have uploaded it here - can anyone help with the following points on the extract below:



1) I read "President" as the ship above Formidable - am I correct?

2) I read "for war course" between the red arrows - am I correct?

3) If it is "President for war course", can I assume this is in fact HMS Buzzard, base ship London Division, R.N.R (see her Wikipedia article here)?

4) Can anyone put light on the initials 'S.W.' circled in Green?

5) Can anyone put light on the term 'Half Pay' (in red rectangle) - is he getting an 'acting up' allowance or does it mean something else?

Any help very much appreciated.

Regards,

Pat
 

nobby0919

Lantern Swinger
1) I read "President" as the ship above Formidable - am I correct? YES

2) I read "for war course" between the red arrows - am I correct? YES

3) If it is "President for war course", can I assume this is in fact HMS Buzzard, base ship London Division, R.N.R (see her Wikipedia article here)? YES


4) Can anyone put light on the initials 'S.W.' circled in Green? DON'T know that one

5) Can anyone put light on the term 'Half Pay' (in red rectangle) - is he getting an 'acting up' allowance or does it mean something else?

Half pay- basically more officers than available posts, you were then "sent home" in a manner of speaking on half your usual payment rate.
 
Nobby0919 & List,

Thanks for the confirmation.

nobby0919 said:
Half pay- basically more officers than available posts, you were then "sent home" in a manner of speaking on half your usual payment rate.

Does this mean the officer would have no duties while on half pay - i.e. (half) paid leave?

Sorry folks, the link to the Imperial War Museum web site from my last post...

Sea_Mine said:
I found this document on the IWM site which appears to be written by the same officer in 1918. The letter is written in gratitude for the work done by the W.R.N.S. at Granton Naval Base.

...seems to have died a death overnight. If you want to have a look at the document, follow the Google search result here - it's the sixth document down from the top.

Regards,

Pat
 
List,

Having spent the last number of months over on the Battlebus forum researching stories and locations pertaining to the Normandy invasion, I have been remiss in bringing forward this thread on Thomas Kennedy in tandem with that work.

I have been re-reading "Before The Bells Have Faded" by Mark Potts & Tony Marks detailing the events surrounding the sinking of HMS Formidable on New Years morning, 1915.

On page 30 there is a reference to the Fifth Battle Squadron (of which HMS Formidable was part), engaging in 'target practice' on the 8th September 1914 and 'firing exercises' two weeks later.

Can anyone explain the difference between the two?

Thanks,

Pat
 
Knowing nothing of the historical practices of the Gunnery branch...

The titles seem to refer to the main aim of the exercises: until you are very good, trying to hit something under realistic "firing conditions" is like trying to pin fog to a wall. Obviously the Gunnery Officer was satisfied with their ability to hit a target, and thus wanted to increase the difficulty, probably by either increasing the rate of fire or the difficulty of the shot.
 
List,

Another quote from the book dealing with the actual sinking of HMS Formidable also has me puzzled:

At 4.10am, HMS Lord Nelson parted company with rest of the squadron to secure hatches on her forecastle. She steamed towards St. Alban's Head, before rejoining the squadron - which had continued on a straight course - at 8.00am

What was involved in this procedure of 'securing hatches' that took HMS Lord Nelson almost four hours to rejoin the squadron - it's obviously more than just "closing doors"

Why did she have to leave the squadron to perform this task?

Any help very much appreciated.

Thanks,

Pat
 

nobby0919

Lantern Swinger
Failing all else,probably best to see what was in Nelsons ships log for that day .At Kew Archives.
 

scouse

War Hero
Sea mine.... just an aside Potty and Tony, live down the road from me, and we worked together at Rolls Royce Motors, for many years, they still do. They have compilled a book about the First World War dead as well. Just two ordinary working lads, who compilled the books and researched it in there spare time :D
 
nobby0919, scouse & List,

Many thanks for your feedback. As suggested by nobby0919, I have requested from the National Archives an estimate of the cost involved in obtaining a copy of HMS Lord Nelson's log for the day before and the day of the sinking - 31st December 1914 and 1st January 1915.

As this is my first attempt at applying for an estimate of cost, I will share my adventure on the National Archives site.

Have done a search for "Lord Nelson" in 'The Catalogue', I came up with a number of hits on her. The document date range of 23rd June 1914 to 15th March 1915 for ADM 53/47273 straddles the date of the sinking...



...so I clicked through on that link and, as per the warning issued by Seaweed, nobby0919 and Naval_Gazer on the previous page (thanks again guys :wink: ), I avoided checking the "copy all pages in this document" check box!...



From what I can see in the summary of my request for a cost estimate below, I do not yet appear to have agreed to part with any Euros...



We'll await developments...

Regards,

Pat
 
alfred_the_great,

Thanks for spotting that - it's no more than I have as my contact details on my own site but yes, you are correct, there is no point in advertising personal details.

I appreciate your time.

Regards,

Pat
 
List,

I have obtained three extracts of HMS Lord Nelson's log from The National Archives. The extracts cover the three day period of 30th December 1914 to 1st January 1915. The battleship HMS Lord Nelson was the flag ship of Vice Admiral Lewis Bayly, commanding the Fifth Battle Squadron, Channel Fleet.

The Fifth Battle Squadron included the battleship HMS Formidable on which Thomas Kennedy was serving when he perished together with 546 others of her crew at approximately 04:45 on New Year's Day 1915.

The Squadron had been on gunnery exercise while on route from Sheerness to Portland when U-24 intercepted them and caught HMS Formidable, bringing up the rear, with a torpedo strike.

In the book "Before The Bells Have Faded" by Mark Potts & Tony Marks, there is a reference on page 39 to HMS Lord Nelson making an unusual manoeuvre (at least to me) on the previous morning, 31st December 1914:

"At 4.10am, Lord Nelson parted company with the rest of the squadron to secure hatches on her forecastle. She steamed towards St. Alban's Head, before rejoining the squadron - which had continued on a straight course - at 8:00am"

I have uploaded the three extracts from the log of HMS Lord Nelson at the following locations:

[align=center][ 30-12-1914 ] [ 31-12-1914 ] [ 01-01-1915 ]
[/align]

As this is my first time studying a Royal Navy ship's log, could I ask you guys to explain some of the terminology and decipher some of the words as marked in red on the extract below:

[align=center]
[/align]

This extract is taken from the morning of 30th December as the Squadron prepares to depart Sheerness.

Any help very much appreciated.

Thanks,

Pat
 
I have no Nautical experience so I aint sure of anything. However, line 7 seems to refer to net defence unless I have read it wrong so maybe referring to deploying or raising torpedo nets (I think many Capital Ships were fitted with them on boom arms)

Line 10 seems to say Slipped *unreadable bit* ....proceeded as *unsure of the next bit too* 5th BS (5th Battle Quadron) in company

This seems to say they slipped moorings (Number 6 buoy) and proceeded (maybe as ordered) with the rest of the 5th BS. If I recall from something I read somewhere Lord Nelson joined 5th BS after Bulwark was lost. (by the Battle of Jutland 5th BS was the Queen Elizabeth Class fast battleships and the Pre-dreadnoughts were redeployed to the Med Theatre).

Now, Formidible was lost during exercises early on 1st January 1915 and the bottom of the log says some sort of action seems to have occured involving submarine. According to several historical accounts there had been reports of submarine activity in the area but the weather was apparently awful so thought to be negligible. If the weather was so bad than maybe Lord Nelso had to alter course in order to close and secure the hatches due to waves coming over the bow.

Purely my thoughts based on what Iv read and logical assumption from the log
 

nobby0919

Lantern Swinger
[align=center]
[/align]

Patent Log is the device used to measure distance run in nautical miles

Wind direction , L ' Airs, this is a naval short term for Light Airs, a term that had been in use for several hundred years, along with many other ships log notations.

Weather notation, bc, probably " becoming cloudy"

4 SBC, not sure, it also appears at 8 and at noon.
PROBABLY something done when the watches changed every 4 hours.

Draught of Water, is keel depth of water, ie below the waterline, typically one measurement for'd, the other aft.


7.00 reads ' Furled Net Defense', ie got in and stowed the anti torpedo netting and its attendant booms.

10 . Slipped and proceeded as 'Requisite' 5th Battle squadron in company.

10.40 'Exd action' , means executed action.
' Rigged day action submarine defence'
What this entailed I don't know, the ship was under way at the time.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
MoD_RSS Lord Evans' response to Nick Thomas-Symonds MP MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Change of Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Luxembourg: Fleur Thomas MoD News 0
soleil FB: National Museum Of The Royal Navy - On This Day - Sir Thomas Sean Connery Was Born History 3
T Arthur Thomas History 11
MoD_RSS Government plans to set up exceptional Thomas Cook compensation scheme MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Statement on the government actions to support customers of Thomas Cook MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Thomas Cook liquidation: letter to the Insolvency Service, 5 November 2019 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Sale of Thomas Cook’s UK retail estate MoD News 0
MoD_RSS First meeting of the National Taskforce for Thomas Cook MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Thomas Cook update MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Thomas Cook MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Thomas Cook liquidation MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Thomas Cook liquidation: letter to the Insolvency Service MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Are you a customer or employee affected by Thomas Cook? MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Thomas Cook: information for customers, employees, creditors and shareholders MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Government and UK CAA launches largest repatriation in peacetime history after collapse of Thomas Cook MoD News 0
MoD_RSS News story: Urgent appeal for family of Carlisle Resident Corporal Thomas Edgar MoD News 0
A Donald Trevor Thomas History 3
N LCpl Justin Thomas CGC, 40 Cdo on the radio tomorrow Current Affairs 2
W John Thomas anyone? The Gash Barge 8
F Blair/Kennedy dynasty. Current Affairs 2
trelawney126 Sir Ludovic Kennedy RIP Current Affairs 17
werqpr Ted Kennedy Current Affairs 11
D ted Kennedy to get knighthood Current Affairs 80
MoD_RSS New curriculum and campus to improve Civil Service skills and expertise MoD News 0
N Help with dads naval service. History 1
MoD_RSS IT maintenance disrupts IPO service to search and classify trade mark goods and services MoD News 0
MoD_RSS IPO new search UK trade mark classes service now available MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Extraordinary public service at centre of New Year Honours List 2021 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Service update - CICA festive opening hours MoD News 0
MoD_RSS New trade barriers service launched to help British businesses export internationally MoD News 0
MoD_RSS British Embassy in Santiago receives Civil Service Award MoD News 0
C Ww1 service record History 0
MoD_RSS Insolvency Service work recognised at Turnaround, Restructuring and Insolvency Awards MoD News 0
M Looking to Join (2nd time) - from Prison Service Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting 11
N Locating a service number History 7
mick1199 Runs ashore and the submarine service Submariners 37
MoD_RSS UKHO announces the release of the Seabed Mapping Service MoD News 0
MoD_RSS 10 new satellites to be built in Glasgow in next three years as part of new innovative constellation service MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Fish Export Service trial period MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Over 7,000 businesses register for Trader Support Service MoD News 0
Lemacque Service Record Help History 42
MoD_RSS Malaysia: Remembrance Sunday memorial service goes virtual MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Remembrance Sunday service held online to honour the fallen MoD News 0
MoD_RSS HMCTS online event, 4 Nov 2020: An update on the digital family public law service MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Fire and Rescue Service Boats report published MoD News 0
MoD_RSS The Insolvency Service newsletter: Autumn 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS IPO launches trade mark pre-apply service MoD News 0
M what does the x mean in service number Nearest & Dearest 27
MoD_RSS Disabled people to benefit from better journeys thanks to service station funding MoD News 0
Similar threads


















































Top