Royal Navy cabinet photo insignia ?

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Royal Navy cabinet photo insignia ?

Postby Fathertime » 21 Apr 2017 01:59

Wanted to share a photo picked up recently. I wanted to know if this man is a 1st class, or a Chief Boatswain's mate. My other question is what his additional qual or rating badges represent. My guess is a deck gunner. The 'small stuff' rope hanging around his collar is curious too. Does it have something to do with a Bosn's pipe?
regards
Bob
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Re: Royal Navy cabinet photo insignia ?

Postby crimea1854 » 21 Apr 2017 08:17

Your photograph is of a Petty Officer (crossed fouled anchor and crown badge on left sleeve) with three good conduct stripes below, who was qualified as a Gunlayer 1st Class (crossed guns with stars above and below on right sleeve) who was also qualified as a Marksman 1st Class ( crossed rifles with star above).

The cord is a 'lanyard' and was worn as part of normal full dress and dates back to when a seaman would carry a spare cord to fire a flintlock on the ships main guns should the other break.

Martin
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Re: Royal Navy cabinet photo insignia ?

Postby Frogsmile » 21 Apr 2017 08:22

He is a Petty Officer with three good conduct badges (left arm).
The other badges are 'gun layer 1st class' (upper right arm) and 'good shooting badge, marksman 1st class' (below first mentioned). See: http://www.naval-history.net/WW1NavyBritish-Ranks.htm

Clearly, :) Martin is a faster typist than me.
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Re: Royal Navy cabinet photo insignia ?

Postby Mark A. Reid » 21 Apr 2017 15:21

Good Morning;

Might I just congratulate Martin and Frogsmile on their swift and comprehensive replies, you two certainly know your " stuff! " If I might make a couple of quick observations;

- The belief on the Lower Deck was that the lanyard was intended to keep the seaman's knife, or " pusser dirk, " attached to the man so that never the twain would part. When seamen stopped wearing jumpers, collars, silk et al and donned Work Dress for everyday wear, the knife was transferred, still on a lanyard, to a trouser pocket but the lanyard continued to be worn, as obsolete as bell-bottomed trousers and the silk, but still an integral part of a man's kit. Boatswains, or bos'uns, who were occasionally required to pipe the side, invariably wore their pipe on a silver-coloured chain, marking them as " Real " seamen ... whatever that meant! I believe the Gunnery Branch made the same claim, and probably the Torpedo Branch, and so on. The silver chain became an unofficial badge of this branch for many years.

- The badge worn by the natty-looking Petty Officer 1st Class is actually a gun barrel crossed with a Whitehead torpedo and dates the photo to sometime in the final decade of the 19th century until about 1903, I believe. The man is a Torpedo Coxswain and would almost certainly have served in a Torpedo Boat Destroyer, as they were called at the time. This was a vital appointment that combined the duties of Coxswain, Boatswain, Master-at-Arms and senior Torpedo rating in a small ship. A very busy man indeed!

Although we are more used to seeing the Gunnery and Torpedo branches sporting their own badges, in the early days the torpedo-trained seamen wore Gunnery badges that initially incorporated both a gun and a torpedo. Eventually they separated into their own branches, each wearing either a gun or a torpedo exclusively.

Great photo of someone who must have been a real dynamo, I wonder what happened to him?

Cheers,

Mark
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Re: Royal Navy cabinet photo insignia ?

Postby Fathertime » 21 Apr 2017 15:32

Thanks fellas. We use the term lanyard as well. usually to identify a piece of line that prevents something from being lost, or a missile hazard in the event of a collision. One's knife, or marlinspike has a lanyard attached to your belt so you never drop it. Thank you for the link as well.
Cheers
Bob
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Re: Royal Navy cabinet photo insignia ?

Postby Frogsmile » 21 Apr 2017 15:41

Mark A. Reid wrote:Good Morning;

Might I just congratulate Martin and Frogsmile on their swift and comprehensive replies, you two certainly know your " stuff! " If I might make a couple of quick observations;

- The belief on the Lower Deck was that the lanyard was intended to keep the seaman's knife, or " pusser dirk, " attached to the man so that never the twain would part. When seamen stopped wearing jumpers, collars, silk et al and donned Work Dress for everyday wear, the knife was transferred, still on a lanyard, to a trouser pocket but the lanyard continued to be worn, as obsolete as bell-bottomed trousers and the silk, but still an integral part of a man's kit. Boatswains, or bos'uns, who were occasionally required to pipe the side, invariably wore their pipe on a silver-coloured chain, marking them as " Real " seamen ... whatever that meant! I believe the Gunnery Branch made the same claim, and probably the Torpedo Branch, and so on. The silver chain became an unofficial badge of this branch for many years.

- The badge worn by the natty-looking Petty Officer 1st Class is actually a gun barrel crossed with a Whitehead torpedo and dates the photo to sometime in the final decade of the 19th century until about 1903, I believe. The man is a Torpedo Coxswain and would almost certainly have served in a Torpedo Boat Destroyer, as they were called at the time. This was a vital appointment that combined the duties of Coxswain, Boatswain, Master-at-Arms and senior Torpedo rating in a small ship. A very busy man indeed!

Although we are more used to seeing the Gunnery and Torpedo branches sporting their own badges, in the early days the torpedo-trained seamen wore Gunnery badges that initially incorporated both a gun and a torpedo. Eventually they separated into their own branches, each wearing either a gun or a torpedo exclusively.

Great photo of someone who must have been a real dynamo, I wonder what happened to him?

Cheers,

Mark


Thank you for that really interesting explanation, Mark, I did not know that about the combined gunner/torpedo man. When I looked at the badge concerned I could see that one side looked slightly different but put it down to the light and shadow. This subject is not covered so well here and I hope that we will see more photos of RN in the Victorian era.
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Re: Royal Navy cabinet photo insignia ?

Postby Mark A. Reid » 21 Apr 2017 16:10

Hello again;

As requested, another image of the combined Gun & Torpedo badge, here being worn by a Petty Officer 1st Class with two GC badges. He is a Leading Torpedoman, an advanced trade level and not to be confused with a Leading Seaman. He is also wearing an East & West Africa Medal I believe.

Cheers,

Mark
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