* Commander Edwards summarises this event later in the same chapter as: 08.15 — Four batteries opened fire on marking M.L. (This was M.L.902)The passage of the force from Ostend was assisted by motor launches, which marked the channels, and was uneventful...Motor Launch 902* was the first ship to come under fire at Walcheren. She was acting as navigational mark when a German battery opened fire on her and she was ordered to withdraw. Ten minutes later the battleship Warspite and the monitor Roberts opened fire with their 15" guns. Operation Neptune: Part Three, Chapter III The Epic of Walcheren
No problem Stephen, my intention here is merely to provide another source of information for the benefit of Mark. History requires as many sources as are available to be considered, no one account containing all the facts, as evidenced by the fact that Commander Edwards appears to omit any mention of ML 146 and the casualties she suffered. And of course the primary sources, the commanding officers' action reports for their individual commands, are not always available to us. The one for ML 146 would have provided precise details of what it was doing and what happened, who was killed and who injured amongst the crew, right down to how many rounds and of what particular type of ammunition were expended.Please understand I'm not disputing that MLs were involved on 1st November. That's well documented and Geoffrey Searle's account makes graphic reading. I just don't think that 916 was there on that day or was likely to have been spotting for Roberts. On balance I think that 146 sounds like it may well have been Mark's father's vessel.
That's not a problem Mark, every post on every topic is an opportunity to expand on the available knowledge which, even if it doesn't fully answer the poster's questions, can prove of assistance to another in future.To muddy the waters further (it's completely acceptable for you all to give up on me right now!) my other swears that dad told her that he served on an MTB. However, I am certain I recall that when he was recounting the tale of the sand samples pre-D-Day that he said his boat either did not have torpedoes or they had been stripped
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.
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