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WW11 Royal Navy Service Record - (My Grandad) - looking for some information please

ellamac

Newbie
My dad recently requested his fathers' navy service records. He wants to know where my grandad was based during the war, but the records only give limited information, please see below. If anyone knows where these ships were located and what the difference is between acting joiner 4th class and acting shipwright 4th class is please? My grandad was a joiner by trade before the war, thank you for any information you can give me, my dad will be so happy as my grandad passed away whilst he was quite young and he never got to ask him about his time in the navy. Many thanks for your help, Ella.

HMS Victory - 02/03/1943 - 07/05/19143 - Acting Joiner 4th class
HMS Westcliff -19/06/1943 - Acting Joiner 4th class
HMS Copra - 24/08/1943 -26/08/1943 - Acting Joiner 4th class
HMS Westcliff 27/08/1943 - 31/12/1944 - Acting Joiner 4th class then Acting Shipwright 4th class
HMS Byrsa 01/01/1945 - 30/09/1945 - Acting Shipwright 4th class
HMS Copra 01/10/1945 - 09/05/1946 - Acting Shipwright 4th class

He was released to shore in Class A on 9 May 1946 - Hi sport division was Portsmouth, he was from Edinburgh. His name was James Kirkpatrick.
 

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If you google the ships names you'll get their history.

As for Joiner to Shipwright I would guess that was a promotion within the branch. To put it into civvy speak it would be like going from mechanic to technician.
 
To add to what I've posted Victory is the shore establishment in Portsmouth where he probably joined up.

HMS Byrsa was a shore base in Algeria
 
As for Joiner to Shipwright I would guess that was a promotion within the branch. To put it into civvy speak it would be like going from mechanic to technician.
They were two different branches.
Joiner was a seaman-type sub-branch - part of the "Artisan Branch" (with painters, coopers, plumbers and so forth).

Shipwright was what you and I know at an Artificer Branch, which explains the uniforms in the photographs. More pay as well, of course.

My guess is that the RN recognised his skills, or added to them in service, and so grandpa @ellamac was re-traded.

@ellamac - What can you tell us about the group photo, please? Which one is grandpa?
 
Last edited:
Hello
He's in the top row, our right hand side looking at the photo and he is the shorter guy standing with his pal Jack Lawson, who is also in the middle of the top row, tallest guy!
Thanks for your reply. I've googled the ships, all shorebased except HMS Byrsa, which was based in Bougie, Algeria but also in Naples, Italy. From what I can gather he would have gone from HMS Westcliff, at Southend to Naples but would that have been via Algeria? Not sure?
I'm really happy to be able to give my dad a bit more of a detailed explanation. Many thanks
 
By my reckoning, HMS BYRSA was also shore based (as Wrecker has already mentioned), with Naval Party 656 at Bougie from 1 Jan 43, and transferred to Castellamare in Italy in Oct 43 and then Naples in Dec 43, closing down in Dec 45. This of course suggests that Ellamac's grandpa's BYRSA service was solely based at Naples.

Additionally, HMS COPRA was the cunningly chosen acronymic name for for the Scottish shore establishment holding the records for all RN personnel attached to Combined Operations, because it was simply the initials for Combined Operations Pay Records & Accounts.

Great photos too, and the group one could very justifiably be entitled "A fine body of men".

Although it now seems that Bougie is no longer directly relevant, it's quite amusing - on a "lighter" note - that "bougie" is the French word for "candle" - SWIDT!o_O

Jack
 
He's in the top row, our right hand side looking at the photo and he is the shorter guy standing with his pal Jack Lawson,
Right, so both taken in the latter part of his career then, once he had move to Shipwright. Note that he is still marked as a Leading Hand (anchor on left sleeve) despite being Acting 4th Class, as was the norm for Artificers.
 

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