John Watkins

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by diamond2, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. diamond2

    diamond2 Junior Member

    hi... im looking for any information on a john watkins... royal navy WW2 period either a "petty officer Stoker" or a "stoker 1st Class" on behalf of my Great Grandmother. he was known as johny and might have been posted at HMS wildfire in 1941. alternitivly he could have been posted abord another submarine as that is what he told her when he left. any information would be much appreciated. :)
  2. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Hi diamond2 and welcome to WW2Talk,
    Have you a copy of his service record? If not you could apply here:
    Page not found
    Have a poke around the MOD site and you will find the right forms for RN resords and info as to which form to fill in for your enquiry.
    Good luck,

  3. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    As you may have already discovered HMS Wildfire was a Navy shore base at Sheerness, just across from the Essex shore of the Thames, near Gillingham.
    I don't have a lot of naval knowledge but a stoker to me is tasked with coaling the boilers, and there isn't much call for those on a submarine!
    It rather sounds as if he made more of himself than was the truth, so anything she was told can't really be relied upon, even his name without verifiable proof!
    As for calling himself Johnny, wow, that's original!
    If she has a photo or some other documentary evidence, that would help, but otherwise it's a bit of a needle in a field of haystacks.
    Does she even know with any certainty where he was born, family details or even his accent?
    We can work miracles, but this would be in the top ten if we were able to crack it!
    Sorry, I think we need more to be of any help.
  4. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    As far as I know 'stokers' actually carried out many other functions in the RN including many engineering responsibilities. It was a generic term carried over from coal fired ships and stokers did serve on HM submarines. In fact the 'X craft' mini submarines that disabled the Tirpitz in Norway had stokers amongst their tiny crews.
    Having said that we would still require a bit more information to try and help with this enquiry.

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