navy lists for 1941 and after, can you look at them

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by DebbieSmith, May 28, 2020.

  1. DebbieSmith

    DebbieSmith Member

    hi i'm a helper, i'm writing this for a person whose eyesight is poor.
    Can we ask you about navy matters.

    There's a navy man recorded on a navy site online. it says he was lost with his ship in 1941.
    But it's thought he wasn't on that ship that day. Because he'd had a promotion. So he lived longer than 1941.

    Can you see navy lists to find if he was still working after 1941? or are they all secret still?
    thank you debbie
  2. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

  3. DebbieSmith

    DebbieSmith Member

    hi and thank you. i didn't know if I'd get a reply.
    These are big files.
    please can i ask a few things before i try to search.

    Where would the man we're looking for come in these lists, if he got promoted? would his name be in just the month he was promoted, so i have to try and find that? or would he also be in other crew lists as the years go on?
    Thank you for helping me
  4. DebbieSmith

    DebbieSmith Member

    hi, i'm replying to myself really, because i think i've got the hang of how the lists work.

    If he's not on the lists and was always just an ordinary seaman and didn't get promoted, but he was moved to another boat, how can i find out if he was still working for the navy after 1941? Do i need the service records, is that where i would go?
  5. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    The Navy Lists start with an alphabetical list of Royal Navy and Royal Marine officers, further on there are lists of RNR, RNVR, WRNS etc officers.
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  6. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    I think that WW2 service records are generally only available to the family [sorry, this was misleading - summary details available to non-family in 25 years following death, with fuller details thereafter - see Tim's link in post #19] Debbie but sharing the details that you have may illicit useful information nevertheless.

    In the meantime, a search of the CWGC site should help to clarify whether your man died in service. Also, if you scroll down you will see ‘Unit’ under ‘More Search Options’. You can use this option to find casualties to the ship – leave the surname, etc. blank and don’t bother with the HMS.

    Best of luck.
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
  7. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    A bit like an old fashioned telephone directory - if you had a phone and wanted to be you were listed. If you were not the bill payer or had no phone you were not.

    Navy List is primarily for Commissioned or Warrant rank - some civilian and other bods listed.

    If the bod attained a rank covered they would be listed in the next publication from the promotion and in each subsequent issue until retirement or death in service.

    Check the alphabetic name list at the back of any issue of interest.

    If not in the Navy List then it does not mean not in Navy and personnel service record from MOD is next port of call - however there are restrictions on what can be released.

    Hugh MacLean likes this.
  8. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

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  9. DebbieSmith

    DebbieSmith Member

    lots of people to thank here, i'm learning a lot.
    I've looked at the 1941 files, those big navy lists, i'm using the alphabetical bits as you told me but i cant see him so far.

    The list of men online says he died with a boat in july 1941.
    But we want to know how to find out if he wasn't on that boat. did he carry on working in the navy for a couple more years during the war. Went on after 1941. we really think he might have.

    He might just have been moved to a different boat, not promoted.
    Name is sam Erskine. born about 1910.
    thank you, debbie
  10. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

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  11. DebbieSmith

    DebbieSmith Member

    yes that's the same boat as we saw, july 1941. Thank you.
    But it's thought sam was not on that boat. He got moved to another boat.

    i work with lots of old people, sometimes very old. and you get all sorts of stories, like how they were officially told their son in the forces was dead but it turned out he wasn't.

    We don't think sam Erskine got all the way through the war. But we think he went farther than 1941. how can we find out if that's true.
  12. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    From: HMS Achates, destroyer
    July 1941
    24th Detached to take passage to Iceland.

    25th After engine failure due to contamination of fuel struck British mine in Field SN69 of
    Northern Barrage off Iceland, in. position 64.25N 12.45W.
    Major structural damage sustained including loss of entire bow portion and significant
    Ship disabled and taken in tow by HMS ANTHONY.
    63 of ships company lost their lives and 25 were injured.
    26th Arrived at Seidisfjord

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  13. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    If Samuel Douglas Erskine listed above is the person you are looking for you won't find him in the Navy lists.

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  14. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    From the Register of RN Ratings Deaths:

    I have my doubts about this story. It would be a very serious error for the Admiralty to have recorded a death that hadn't happened. The only way to be absolutely certain would be to send for the Service Records which will cost £30.

    Edit: Hugh beat me - have to type faster!
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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  15. DebbieSmith

    DebbieSmith Member

    hi to all, i lose my internet in 10 mins because of end of shift.
    I've promised to look into this and i try to keep my promises.

    thank you for all these posts. Nice of you.
    I know we're working with people's memories but the long ago memories are very clear, much much better than mine haha.

    Sounds like a bad thing happened to that ship. But it's thought sam was not on that ship. Didn't get on. Was on another boat altogether. He was heard from after 1941 that's what i am told.

    Can anyone ask for service records if they pay?
    may have to reply tomorrow
  16. michaelburge

    michaelburge Member

    I know this is about a different year and place but it might be useful.
    I asked a question on here a few days ago about HMS Ludlow in june 1944 and then carried on looking at destroyers in ww2.
    I saw HMS Isis which went down in july 1944 and I saw survivors stories which have been posted up and saw this. The survivor was John Parlane and I think it's a family member talking.

    "Mum was to be told in those early days that Dad was missing in action presumed dead. What the War Office didn't know was that Mum had received a note addressed to her in Dad's shaky but inimitable hand writing saying 'hurt my hand write soon Jack'. Although it was some time before Mum heard anything else about Dad's welfare, she held on to the belief that he was alive somewhere."

    My late dad was in the navy, based in south coast UK. He had a friend who got off a submarine in Portsmouth for some brief reason, sub had an accident, all lives were lost except his, he was on dry land. He never got over it. Everyone thought he was on the sub.

  17. Debbie,

    A search on The National Archives website gives a number of results:
    Search results: hms achates | The National Archives

    The first result (ADM 358/2982 - Enquiries into missing personnel) is probably what you are looking for. As stated by timuk above, it is highly unlikely thay the Admiralty would have recorded a missing person as dead without first having gone through a thorough enquiry process, involving interrogation of surviving witnesses etc., which should be in this file.

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  18. DebbieSmith

    DebbieSmith Member

    Morning and really sorry to have to stop yesterday.
    i know nothing about boats and the navy.
    I'm a helper as i said and i'm passing on information here so i can find out what to do.

    I'm as convinced as i can be by the story. and so i want to keep my promise if I can.
    No Sam would not be a survivor or missing man because he wasn't on that boat.
    He had moved. To a different boat. we guessed at a promotion but it could have been just a move.

    So i say thank you for the new ideas but its the service records i'm after.
    I won't be paying for them myself so thats OK. Do you write in for them?
  19. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

  20. DebbieSmith

    DebbieSmith Member

    help there's a lot of things here.
    Please can i check.

    it says death certificate to be sent, but not needed if he died in service. So we don't need that because the navy say he died on that boat in 1941.
    And 25 year period too, but after that theyd tell you where he was working if he was still in the navy. We would see the details if theyre there. so it's worth getting.

    Have I got it right. i don't want to waste anyone's money.

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