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Thomas Kennedy's RN Service Record

Scouse_Castaway, nobby0919 & List,

Many thanks guys for your efforts.

I'll leave the turning out of line until the following day's extract, 31st December.

The entry at 10:40 I first took to be made up of two separate entries:

"Executed Action" + "Rigged day action submarine defence"

However, on looking at it again, could the entire entry have been intended to mean:

"The executed action at 10:40 was the standard anti-submarine procedure"

I wonder what this procedure was? There are several specific entries which all read "zigzagging as requested", so it's unlightly to be that manoeuvre that is being referred to in the 10:40 entry above.

I know before I ask the next question that it's going to sound a bit foolish, but that has never stopped me before :lol:

nobby0919 states:

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

I presume this measurement is taken to make sure the ship is level in the water (bow to stern) before she leaves port? I have not seen the measurement taken again in the other two extracts once she is at sea.

The screenshot below shows the layout of the log between 12 noon and 1:00pm - the columns appear to be required to be filled in once per day:



Can anyone explain the headings in the four red boxes?

As always, any help very much appreciated.

Pat
 

nobby0919

Lantern Swinger


The headings are all to do with navigation & ships position.

Distance run through the water , would be the total of whatever the patent log readings were.

Variation allowed, probably to do with accuracy (or not) of the patent log.

Current in 24 hours, you have to add or subtract the ocean currents from the patent log run distance to get a true distance run.

Latitude & Longtitude DR is dead reckoning for when no readings could be taken, or were available.

Latitude N = northern hemisphere S would be southern
The figure taken is the angle in degrees and minutes above the equator, made using a sextant .

Longtitude is either E, East of Greenwich or W, West of Greeenwich

The figure is the reading of the ships chronometer in minutes and seconds at the noon sighting position.

Chronometers were set accurately to Greenwich time.
Wherever you are on the globe , & when the sun is at a maximum elevation, ie local noonday, the chronometer is read.
( Achieved by a series of sextant readings in the time approaching and just after local noon )
The time by the chronometer will relate to how far away you would be from the Greenwich meridian, either E or W.

Sometimes there would be a host of officers/midshipmen taking the noon sighting, as practice for all & a check on readings.

The depth of water to the keel can vary considerably, dependent on what stores/fuel/ammunition etc are on board.Look at pictures of a destored ship awaiting disposal for how far out of the water her normal commissioned waterline is.
The Navigating officer would need to know the draught.

True Bearing & Distance, At noon , is of a local visible landmark or point by compass bearing & distance.
Distance could be made in leagues, cables, nautical miles.
A cable is 120 fathoms, fathom is 6 feet.
Looks like Tongue Light Vessel.


.
 
nobby0919 & List,

nobby0919, again I appreciate your time and effort - it all seems so simple when explained by the professionals :lol:

I have extracted the pm section from the log entry for December 30th below and again would be grateful for clarification on the entries marked:



I get the following:

1pm - Employed (Deployed?) as requested

3pm - ...? to slow? (see enlargement below)



7pm - Altered course to ?


8pm - SBC?

Also at 4pm and midnight - I presume this refers to a change of watch but what do the initials stand for?

Initials on far left (example circled blue) - these appear to correspond with watch changes - are these the Officer of the Watch signing on or off?

As always, any help very much appreciated.

Thanks,

Pat
 
This thread is actually proving to be rather fascinating. Ironic though, the 'Formidables' were laid down under 1897-1898 Estimates...at the same time as the 6 units of the Cressy class (Armoured cruisers). The two designs were considered at the time to be safe from effective submarine attacks by the latest developments in torpedo nets.

Just a curious aside really
 

nobby0919

Lantern Swinger


I get the following:

1pm - Employed (Deployed?) as requested
Actually " Employed as requisite"

3pm - ...? to slow? (see enlargement below)



7pm - Altered course to ?

Simple Compass bearing notation , " North , 82 (degrees) , West

8pm - SBC?[/i]
Also at 4pm and midnight - I presume this refers to a change of watch but what do the initials stand for?

I am having a longshot guess here, possibly something like Set Both Chronometers.
A ship always had at least two chronometers, as a check against each other. Should be accurate to about 1 minute in a month if properly rated


Initials on far left (example circled blue) - these appear to correspond with watch changes - are these the Officer of the Watch signing on or off?
Yes, it says so at the top of the log page column

As always, any help very much appreciated.

Thanks,

Pat[/quote]
 

nobby0919

Lantern Swinger


I get the following:

1pm - Employed (Deployed?) as requested
Actually " Employed as requisite"

3pm - ...? to slow? (see enlargement below)
Can't make that one out



7pm - Altered course to ?

Simple Compass bearing notation , " North , 82 (degrees) , West

8pm - SBC?[/i]
Also at 4pm and midnight - I presume this refers to a change of watch but what do the initials stand for?

I am having a longshot guess here, possibly something like Set Both Chronometers.
A ship always had at least two chronometers, as a check against each other. Should be accurate to about 1 minute in a month if properly rated


Initials on far left (example circled blue) - these appear to correspond with watch changes - are these the Officer of the Watch signing on or off?
Yes, it says so at the top of the log page column

As always, any help very much appreciated.

Thanks,

Pat[/quote]
 
Scouse_Castaway, Nobby0919 & List,

Much appreciated Scouse & Nobby.

(SBC) Set Both Chronometers - looks like they omitted to set them at 4.00am the next morning, 31st December or at least did not enter the task in the log. This could be explained by the entry at this time as underlined below for the morning hours of 31st December:



Looks like the 4.00am entry reads:

"Altered course North. 6 knots to secure ? h(l?)atches - parted from fleet"

Can anyone do better? - see enlarged extract below:



I am curious as to why a capital ship would have to turn out of line just to close hatches (if that is the correct interpretation of the entry). What exactly would have been involved in this task - it's obviously more that just 'shutting doors'. Is the turn intended to get the hatches in the lee of the wind? If, as Scouse suggests, there were waves breaking over the bow, would not all the ships in the line have had the same problem?

I am also curious as to the meaning of what looks like the word 'lactis' or is it 'tactics' in the 9:30am and 11:45 entries

The 12 noon entry has 'SBC' again but this time appears to be a more complex procedure - I get:

"S(L?)BC & WBC"

As always, I appreciate very much any help you guys can offer.

Regards,

Pat
 

nobby0919

Lantern Swinger


Looks like the 4.00am entry reads:

Reads , "Secure fxle (OR focscle, a short form of forecastle of medieval times)) hatches , ie the hatches on the bow deck



I am curious as to why a capital ship would have to turn out of line just to close hatches (if that is the correct interpretation of the entry).

COULD depend on exactly how big the hatches were or some other unknown factor

What exactly would have been involved in this task - it's obviously more that just 'shutting doors'. Is the turn intended to get the hatches in the lee of the wind? If, as Scouse suggests, there were waves breaking over the bow, would not all the ships in the line have had the same problem?

I am also curious as to the meaning of what looks like the word 'lactis' or is it 'tactics' in the 9:30am and 11:45 entries
Tactics

Text then reads , Commenced tactics
Excercised at general Quarters
Finished Tactics



The 12 noon entry has 'SBC' again but this time appears to be a more complex procedure - I get:

"S(L?)BC & WBC"

The chronometer one was a guess, still not sure
 
nobby0919 & List,

Thanks nobby for the additional clarification.

Moving onto the morning of New Year's Day 1915 and the loss of HMS Formidable, I have uploaded the log entries for HMS Lord Nelson below:



The first sign of trouble appears to have been noted thus:

2.30 "Formidable dropped out of line"

Then at 3.20am:

Observed rockets, Very Lights & _ flashes to south eastward from "Formidable"

It would appear that the intention is to allow the escorting light cruisers HMS Topaze and HMS Diamond stand by the crippled ship and extricate the capital ships immediately from the vicinity to the safety of Portland. HMS Topaze picks up 43 men and HMS Diamond a further 37 - a brave feat considering the very real probability that the submarine is still in the vicinity.

An even more gallant feat of seamanship however was carried out by Captain William Pillar and his crew of the fishing trawler "Provident" which happened on one of Forminable's launches and eventually after four attempts got all 71 men transferred to the trawler in the midst of enormous seas.

Without doubt, the gallantry and bravery of those who were on the pinnace which eventually was brought to land at Lyme Regis the following night must surely rank as one of the most heroic survival stories of all time. The full story is related in the excellent book "Before The Bells Have Faded" by Mark Potts & Tony Marks.

Sadly, Thomas Kennedy was not amongst any of these groups who survived the sinking.

Getting back to the log of HMS Lord Nelson, I note the entries from 7.00am until Noon:

7.30 Course & speed as requisite for entering Portland
8.00am SBC lit fires in P(Picket?) boat
8.45am Stopped and _ to with SB(?) in _. Moored ship. 6 on starboard 10 on port (buoy numbers?)
lit _ watch
Preparing for coaling - _ steam _ -
11.40 Executed action
11.45 "Topaze" arrived
Noon SBC

Can anyone improve?

Thanks,

Pat
 

nobby0919

Lantern Swinger
7.30 Course & speed as requisite for entering Portland
8.00am SBC lit fires in P(Picket?) boat
56 foot Steam Picket Boat,a standard type in larger ships

http://www.cyber-heritage.co.uk/defweb/steam.jpg

8.45am Stopped and _ to with SB(?) in _. Moored ship. 6 on starboard 10 on port (buoy numbers?)
Stopped and came to with Starboard BowerAnchor in 7 fathoms


lit _ watch
Set Anchor Watch

Preparing for coaling - _ steam _ -
Out Steam , can't read next,
11.40 Executed action
11.45 "Topaze" arrived
Noon SBC
 
List,

Can't imagine what those men must have gone through during that storm. Watching the computer generated sea in the film "The Perfect Storm" from the comfort of the sitting room couch is about as far as my imagination can go in an attempt to comprehend what Thomas Kennedy and his shipmates must have endured before being swallowed by the sea.

I note with interest how close the wreck of HMS Formidable lies to that of HMS Empress of India. The Empress was Thomas Kennedy's 3rd ship - see her story on page 2 of this thread here.

If Google Earth is accurate, both wrecks are just short of four nautical miles apart:



Seems strange...

I have posted the last section of HMS Lord Nelson's log, that of the afternoon of 1st January 1915. Most of the terms used are unknown to me so once more could I call on nobby or some other kind soul to put me straight:



Thanks,

Pat
 

nobby0919

Lantern Swinger
Paid Quarterly Settlement, and issued soap & tobacco.

Out Picket boat

Preparing for coaling as requisite

Coaling ship involved everyone on the lower deck and was timed to see how many tons per hour could be got in.Figure of 350 tons was quite usual.
Hoisting up sacks in a netting from a lighter alongside, dumping the contents on deck.then parties would seize upon the bags and barrow them to various chutes and hatches where they coal was tipped down.To arrive in the coal bunkers where it was shovelled& stowed.Quite usual for it to be nonstop, men sometimes barefoot even in the bunkers as it would ruin a pair of boots or shoes,The ships royal marine band would be playing popular tunes to keep everyone going.When it was finished the ship would be FILTHY,and a huge cleanup was the next thing. Coal ship took place several times a MONTH


Out net defence, ie anti torpedo nets.

On Mooring swivel, 6 shackles ( of chain) on each.A shackle is 90 feet.

Darkened ship, ie as little as possible visible light to outside

Hailed patrol boat.
A picket boat would be patrolling the anchorage to keep watch for the unknown. If it approached a ship it would expect to be hailed.The midshipman in command of the guard boat might go alongside a ship and board it. this would also be noted in the log.

Guard boat went round squadron.
Looks to mean this boat was the Lord Nelsons own picket boat, doing their share of guard boat duty
 

janner

MIA
Book Reviewer
Lyme Bay is full of wrecks, there are at least 4 Submarines (M1 discovered relatively recently in the region of Start Point, M2 on the West Bay side of Portland Bill, both have all hands still aboard (apart from two of M2's crew whose bodies were recovered.) Sidon that was sunk again as a sonar target after being raised in Portland harbour and the bodies of the 13 crew members recovered in 1955. I think the other was the L2 of which I have no details at present) as well as a number of merchant ships.

As a matter of interest the Lassie films/TV series are said to be inspired by Lassie of the Pilot Boat Inn
 
List,

Before closing off this thread, I just wanted to express my sincere appreciation to all who have taken the time to read the posts and most especially to the following contributors to whom I am deeply indebted. Without your long suffering replies with corrections, additions and suggestions, I would never have been able to unearth the wealth of information on Thomas Kennedy's career in the Royal Navy. If I have omitted anyone from the list below, please accept my apologies for the error.

[align=center]sweetpea | Isadirty | janner | nobby0919 | 2badge_mango | Seaweed | Naval_Gazer | alfred_the_great | scouse | Scouse_Castaway | BreathingOutOnTheWayUp[/align]

Thank you one and all.

I have finished the web page showing a summary of Thomas Kennedy's career and the ships he served on here. If anyone spots any errors or omissions, I would appreciate if you would let me know.

Lastly, I wish to mention the man himself, Thomas Kennedy, 344024 Shipwright 2nd Class Royal Navy, one of the many thousands of sailors who have perished at sea down through the centuries.

Thomas, I wish you Fair Winds and Following Seas.

Regards,

Pat
 
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