Stoker - what can you tell me?

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Joanne Hattersley, Feb 5, 2024.

  1. Hi everyone.
    My names Jo and I’m new to the forum. Found my way here after discovering my Grandads naval service history in my late mums things.

    He was a stoker on several ships in WW2. I’ve heard some say the stoker is ‘the lowest of the low’ and I’ve heard others say that without the stoker, the ship doesn’t move. Without the stoker, the ship is ‘dead in the water.’

    While I have been researching WW2 (Easy company - 506E) I know little of the navy. Looking for some help please.

    JimHerriot likes this.
  2. idler

    idler GeneralList

  3. Thanks for that. Much appreciated.
    JimHerriot likes this.
  4. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    One of the toughest jobs on any ship, and those on duty in the stokehold had the minimum chance of survival when the ship was sinking
  5. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    We always recommend applying for a service record, even if it can take a long time and a few obstacles can appear.

    If have some paperwork even letters and photos post them here, the experts can add value. Were any medals awarded?
    JimHerriot and Joanne Hattersley like this.
  6. This is the record I have of the ships he served on and the dates.

    Attached Files:

    JimHerriot likes this.
  7. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    This thread may help - not for your stoker though: Help with Navy documents WW1 / WW2

    Most of the ship names are for training and accounting purposes, notably HMS Victory.
    JimHerriot likes this.
  8. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Welcome Joanne,
    As Roy states one of the toughest jobs on any ship. A stoker was an engine-room rating certainly not the lowest of the low unless of course describing a position working below the waterline.
    The names to the left in his service record are the shore administration bases that looked after his welfare and the bracketed names to the right are seagoing ships.
    BAM 17/ HMS GAZELLE - BAM-17
    HMS START BAY - HMS Start Bay, frigate

  9. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Despite the rating still being 'Stoker', by WW2 hardly any would have been involved with coal as RN ships were now oil fired or diesel. Still a tough job with the heat, noise and smell.
    HMS DUKE was the shore establishment at Great Malvern for new entry stokers.
    HMS ASBURY was the RN shore establishment at Asbury Park, New Jersey. Your grandfather will have been here to commission HMS GAZELLE (BAM 17), diesel powered minesweeper and bring her to the UK.
    HMS Gazelle (J342) - Wikipedia
    HMS BOSCAWEN was the establishment and accounting centre at Portland where his records would have been held whilst he was serving in GAZELLE in Home Waters.
    HMS CAROLINE was the RN Base in Belfast where HMS START BAY was being built.
    HMS Start Bay (K604) - Wikipedia

    4jonboy, Redd, Roy Martin and 2 others like this.
  10. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

  11. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2024
    Joanne Hattersley likes this.

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