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HistoryBoy

Midshipman
Hi All,

First post here and so hopefully I'm posting in the right place and have conducted sufficient searches not to be duplicating anything.

Does anyone know what the (N) stands for in WEM(N)1 - ie. Weapons Engineering Mechanic? I have not come across (N) before although I have seen:
(M) Mechanical
(L) Electrical
(O) Ordnance
(R) Radio (or sometimes Radar?)
(S) Sonar

The only instance I can find of it refers to (Acting) AWEM(N)1 David John Arden OZBIRN, who was killed in the attack on HMS Coventry during the Falklands War.

I wonder whether it could be "Navigation", although that doesn't seem very weapons-y. It could of course be a typo, but it does appear in several sources and Rolls of Honour.

I have also seen him referred to with the rank of Acting Weapons Engineering Mechanician 1, if that helps. Not entirely sure if there's some special distinction between a Mechanic and a Mechanician.

Any pointers much appreciated. Thanks and best wishes.
 
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WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
Mechanicians were mechanics who had proved themselves (technically) at sea and were selected, after passing a board and getting high enough marks on career courses, to do a 2.5 year engineering course in their specialisation, and then be on the same level as artificers*.

Sumo and I were both mechanicians.

*actually mechs were superior in every way to tiffs ;)
 
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Ballistic

War Hero
I think it's a safe bet that it should read WEMN1, without any brackets, making him a Mechanician with the rank of CPO.
In 1982 any brackets after the WEMN1 would be OC, WD, AD or CEW.
 

HistoryBoy

Midshipman
Thanks, wave_dodger, WreckerL, dapperdunn and Ballistic for your comments.

dapperdunn:
The (N) appears in several sources, but for example as AWEM(N)1 D J A OZBIRN on the RAF website .

Ballistic:
So am I interpreting you correctly that MN indicates Mechanician - and that Mechanicians were senior Mechanics with rank CPO?

With regard to your comment that "In 1982 any brackets after the WEMN1 would be OC, WD, AD or CEW" could you please let me know what those stand for?

The other WEMs I found in the MOD Falklands ROH database were as follows (with my interpretation of their rank, having looked at other sources as well, in square brackets):

WEM(R)1 John Keith DOBSON
[Acting WEM(R)1 [Weapons Engineering Mechanic (Radio), Class 1 (fully trained)]]

WEM(O)1 Ian Peter HALL [WEM(O)1
[Weapons Engineering Mechanic (Ordnance), Class 1 (fully trained)]]

WEM(R)1 Simon John LAWSON
[WEM(R)1 [Weapons Engineering Mechanic (Radio), Class 1 (fully trained)]]

POWEM(R) Anthony Richard NORMAN
[POWEM(R) [Petty Officer Weapons Engineering Mechanic (Radio)]]

POWEM(R) Andrew Keith PALMER
[POWEM(R) [Petty Officer Weapons Engineering Mechanic (Radio)]]

CPOWEM Michael Edward Gordon TILL
[Acting CPOWEM [Chief Petty Officer Weapons Engineering Mechanic]]

WEM2 Barry James WALLIS
[WEM2 [Weapons Engineering Mechanician, Class 2 (in training)]]

Please let me know if these are all modern versions and not what their ranks would have been in 1982.

Best wishes.
 

SONAR-BENDER

War Hero
Sumo and I were both mechanicians.

*actually mechs were superior in every way to tiffs ;)



And me! ME, me me too!

Started as an RMech, then morhed into a WMech then overnight converted into a (spit) Tiff.

And I have no idea what the suffix (N) meant - are you sure he wasn't a Wafu - they used lots of brackets.
 

BARNEYRNSM

War Hero
My brother passed out of Sultan on I believe the second to last mechanicians course in late 1982,ended up just after passing out as a POMEA.
 

Ballistic

War Hero
@HistoryBoy pull up a bollard and I'll tell you a sea story ;)

Once upon a time the WE world was divided into Ordnance Electrical, Control Electrical and Radio Electrical.
There were Mechanics, Artificers, and Mechanicians.Thus the rates were:
OEM, CEM, REM (Mechanics)
OEA, CEA, REA (Artificers)
OEMN, CEMN, REMN, (Mechanicians)

The Mechanics were usually employed as part of the section teams headed by the technicians, (Artificers or Mechanicians - the role was interchangeable).
Artificers joined the RN as technician apprentices and had a structured career path to Petty Officer level.
Mechanicians had previously joined as Mechanics and were selected for technician training on merit, (as alluded to by @WreckerL in post #4), thereafter their career path and qualifications were similar to those of Artificers.

Everyone knew where they stood and all was good in the world until 1979 and... :eek: ... EBD :confused:

Engineering Branch Development resulted in half the OE world being subsumed into the ME department and the rest being renamed. Thus we had:
WEM(O) [Weapon Engineering Mechanic (Ordnance)], WEM(R) [ WEM(Radio)]
WEA(OC), WEA(WD), WEA(AD), WEA(CEW) and WEMN(OC), WEMN(WD), WEMN(AD), WEMN(CEW)
[Wapon Engineering Artificer/Mechanician]
OC - Ordnance Control
WD - Weapon Data
AD - Action Data
CEW - Comms & Eloctronic Warfare

A WEA2 or a WEMN2 was a Petty Officer.
A WEA1 or a WEMN1 was a Chief Petty Officer
A CWEA or a CWEMN had charge responsibilities over all the other WE sections.

Sometime during 1982 or 1983, (can't remember exactly), it changed again and a WEA2(OC), (for example), became a POWEA(OC) and so on through the different rates.
Around about this time, (IIRC), the title 'Mechanician' was dropped and renamed 'Artificer' to reflect the interchangeability of the roles.

There was also something about Charge Chiefs and the WO2 ... :rolleyes:

Anyway, they all lived happily ever after. :D
 

HistoryBoy

Midshipman
Fantastic reading. Thank you (dare I say BLESS YOU) for taking the time to explain that to a man whose uniforms have only ever been green.
 

Sumo

War Hero
From others above,by his Age ( official number) he was senior by time served, my my input is the brackets are the typo and he was a we Mech WEMN1 only guessing but an AWEMN he would have been made a CPO awaiting to be confirmed?
 

SONAR-BENDER

War Hero
Ballistic -very good, but only 9 / 10! :(

Mechs also had a long period where they joined up asmech Apps or someting very similar I don't know the whys and wherefores of this, but have no doubt that somebody will come along!

Also, in boats we had 3 letter suffixes, hence I was a CPOWEA (ADC) - Action Data and Communcation I think it was and I can't remember what the 'rival' one was! (WDO) perhaps?
 

Sumo

War Hero
Ballistic -very good, but only 9 / 10! :(

Mechs also had a long period where they joined up asmech Apps or someting very similar I don't know the whys and wherefores of this, but have no doubt that somebody will come along!

Also, in boats we had 3 letter suffixes, hence I was a CPOWEA (ADC) - Action Data and Communcation I think it was and I can't remember what the 'rival' one was! (WDO) perhaps?
*******, Dildos & Ordinance (WDO)
Believe they used to have direct entry Mechs? there's a novel idea?
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
To add to Ballistics part, I was an LOEM but after EBD I was subsumed (press ganged as I had no option being a nuclear trained submariner) into the ME world and became an LMEM(L) which was a Leading Marine Engineering Mechanic (Electrical).

After getting my PO's rate I went on Mechs course but, as has been already stated, I came out the other end as a POMEA(EL)(SM).

Things have moved on since then and Mechanics and Artificers no longer exist and everyone is now an ET (Engineering Technician) so the weapons world are now ET(WE) plus specialisation suffix, ME's are now ET(ME) plus L or M suffix.

Just to be different (coz they're speshul), the Fleet Air Arm technicians are called AET :)

In 6 to 10 years time I've no doubt it will all change again though!!
 

dapperdunn

War Hero
Book Reviewer
Thanks, wave_dodger, WreckerL, dapperdunn and Ballistic for your comments.

dapperdunn:
The (N) appears in several sources, but for example as AWEM(N)1 D J A OZBIRN on the RAF website .



Best wishes.
The Cov's Garden of rememberance does not list him like that: http://www.hmscoventry.co.uk/rollofhonour.php
You'd have thought (hoped) that they would have got his rate right
The SAMA82 Garden of Remeberance does not have it either. http://sama82.org.uk/1982/GardenofRemembrance/tabid/78/Default.aspx
 

dapperdunn

War Hero
Book Reviewer
Thanks, wave_dodger, WreckerL, dapperdunn and Ballistic for your comments.

POWEM(R) Andrew Keith PALMER
[POWEM(R) [Petty Officer Weapons Engineering Mechanic (Radio)]]

Best wishes.
As a footnote, Peddler worked for my father as a REM. Dad tricked him into applying for his hook by getting him to sign what he thought was a request for weekenders. Consequently he passed and was rated up, starting him on his career path to PO.
Dad always blamed himself for Peddler's death. Peddler's widow didn't and stayed in touch with my father up until he died.
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
As a footnote, Peddler worked for my father as a REM. Dad tricked him into applying for his hook by getting him to sign what he thought was a request for weekenders. Consequently he passed and was rated up, starting him on his career path to PO.
Dad always blamed himself for Peddler's death. Peddler's widow didn't and stayed in touch with my father up until he died.
I'm pretty sure I served with Peddlar on the (old) Bulwark. All greenie (O,C & R) J/R's were in the same mess.
 
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