Thanks for the details of your father's service Mark. I have my own father's service record given to him on discharge, and I have the details given me by the Royal Naval disclosure cell, which I applied for, and which are similar in format to yours above, and the only difference between the two, is that the disclosure papers contain slightly more detail, so this should be a reasonably accurate picture of your father's service. Shrapnel is a name I'm familiar with, being an umbrella organisation it seems for a variety of training units, which I presume is what RNTU stands for, but the billeting usually referenced for Coastal Forces personnel is for Hounslow, and the Fraser Nash car company at Isleworth who trained motor & ordnance mechanics. So I haven't come across Newcastle before and don't know what that may have been about. It has to be said, that with the exception of the very brief draft to Hornet, which was the main Coastal Forces base at Gosport, there doesn't seem to be much of a connection to Coastal Forces. Whether he was spare crew in some capacity while billeted at Victory, or had some kind of specialist role that saw him being attached to boats in some way is hard to determine, as there doesn't seem to be any specific training of note or substantive rank involved. The nature of the training unit at Newcastle might provide more of a clue; whether he was some kind of sapper for instance, having being attached to a Naval Party later, who were forward groups that went ahead at times to establish bases etc. His previous occupation as a clerk might possibly have featured in some respect too.OK I've managed to convert some pages to jpg, a scan of one half the service record page (not very legible unfortunately) and the pay and victuals ledge which is legible but doesn't tell me much (I think) about his early service. Is does record the Naval Party he joined in Germany at the end of the war.
Sorry not to be of more assistance.
Claude Broomfield recalls a radar course at Rutherford.
That's a good find and I feel helps clarify the situation, as Sharpnel (Newcastle) would appear to have been about radar maintenance. Initially the boats had Radio Direction Finding equipment (RDF), which was a cruder precursor to the revolutionary technology that was Radar. Having made enquiries from a London Branch veteran who in fact served as a radar operator on one of the Mediterranean Dog Boats, I have learned that as an operator he was not trained in its maintenance, which was a shore-based activity carried out by a radio engineer, and that his radar operator training took place at Valkyrie on the Isle of Wight.It looks as though he was in Newcastle for around four months or so doesn't it. I appreciate this stuff is 'off topic' for this board, but I'll try and find out what was going on there
Thanks for the heads up David. The Mediterranean theatre does tend to get overlooked somewhat as there aren't as many photographs of the events there it seems.ML's were not only used as direction guides at D-Day. Some were fitted with radar in the Mediterranean a year earlier and were so used in Operation Husky and Salerno.
The Navy List for October 1944 shows this gentleman to have been Temporary Lieutenant-Commander J D S Hearder RNVR as CO of ML 250, and SO of the 19th ML Flotilla, with his first officer being Temporary Sub-Lieutenant R L Roberts RNVR.My Mother kept a letter in her scrapbook from Lt Cdr Heardly (? difficult signature) ML 250 19th Flotilla who picked him up and reassured my Mother that my Father was still alive.
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