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Help with service record

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Help with service record

Postby Tmtribe » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:01 pm

Hi, I would be grateful if anyone could help me decipher what my Great grandfathers service record means.
Service record
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Re: Help with service record

Postby AdrianB38 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:06 am

Key learning point 1 - the column for "Ship etc" often contains as many etceteras as real, floating ships. Sometimes the "etc" is a Shore base (aka "Stone Frigate"), sometimes it's an accounting base, which may or may not be quite the same thing.

And sometimes even when it's a real floating ship, it's not the ship the chap served on, but the ship where his admin clerks were. (E.g. HMS XYZ might be a real ship floating in a harbour that acts as the "depot ship" for a Destroyer Flotilla - the sailors on each destroyer would have XYZ on their cards.)

In your case, (HMS) President II is an accounting base for the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS), that part of the Royal Navy set up to deal with aircraft (see In particular, please note
HMS PRESIDENT is/was the London Accounting Base for numerous naval ships and establishments that were not self-accounting. The sub-divisions I, II, II etc were merely a means of dividing up the various 'customers'. The same principles apply to HMS VICTORY I, II, II etc, except that Victory was the Portsmouth Accounting Base. Both these two (and others) are/were shore-based offices.

It would appear that while Alexander was allocated to President II for accounting purposes, he was actually successively at Crystal Palace, Cranwell and Calshot. Suggest you do some Googling to work out what happened at those three places in relation to the RNAS.

Continuing the RNAS theme, it may be no surprise that HMS Daedalus was effectively Royal Naval Air Station, Lee-on-Solent. See

AC II and AC I are presumably Aircraftsman Class II and Class I.

And on 31 March 1918, he got transferred into the Royal Air Force (see Discharge column). FMP (I think) has RAF stuff, so there may be stuff for him there).

The lists and numbers, I have no idea.

That's about it for my knowledge of the Royal Navy.

For other HMS Presidents note (from that same URL above)

  • PRESIDENT I London/Shrewsbury Accounting Base 1918-1928
  • PRESIDENT II Chatham/London/Shrewsbury Accounting Base. In 1916 included Dunkerque, Claais, and Hendon
  • PRESIDENT III Bristol, Windsor, London Accounting Basde. 1916 active service RFR, RNVR, and RNR. 1918 DAMS accounts to VIVID 1 Oct 19.
  • PRESIDENT IV London Accounting Base 1918 to 1926 Admiral Commanding CG and Reserves
  • PRESIDENT V London Accounting Base. Antiaircraft duties, also RNR ratings at Admiralty and RNVR. Some POWs, Armoured Car Squadron 20, Stratford Experimental Station, Officers and men lent to Air Force
  • PRESIDENT VI London Accounting Base. 1918-1926 Transport Services, Base for Murmansk tugs February 1919, Officers in North Russia to LOBSTER July 1919.

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Re: Help with service record

Postby Tmtribe » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:30 am


Thank you for pointing me in the right direction, hopefully I can find out his full service history.

Kind Regards
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Re: Help with service record

Postby MaureenE » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:55 pm

For information about researching a person in the RAF, see the FIBIS Fibiwiki page Royal Air Force

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Re: Help with service record

Postby Tmtribe » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:07 am

Thanks for everyone's help and pointers.
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