Advice Needed: RN "Naval Pay and Victualling Records"

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Stephen Bentley, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. I wonder if anyone has experience of successfully obtaining "naval pay and victualling records" held by the MOD?

    I made a FOI request but have asked for an internal review as the Navy FOI Dept. at Whale Island were (a) unhelpful and (b) inconsistent in the response to me compared with a previous similar request.

    If you or anyone else has experience of obtaining these records, I would be really grateful to learn the "wrinkles" as to best locate and obtain my grandfather's naval pay and victualling records from 1941 - 1945.

    This is the link to my FOI request. And this is the link to my previous post about my research.


  2. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    Last year I sent a request for the RN records of my grandfather. I sent in the required form and proof of his death along with a cheque for £30 and approximately 4 or 5 months later I got the required details. They sent me a letter after 6 weeks saying that they had located the records but due to the information they needed to do a further search. I knew it would take time so the 4/5 month wait wasn't an issue. I had no problems at all.
  3. Thank you for the information. When you say "RN records" what exactly do you mean?

    I already have his ADM service records from The National Archives and I attach those so you know what I already have. What I am after is the naval pay and victualling records for my grandfather.


    Attached Files:

  4. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    The attached images show what I received back, including a typed up list taken from the Payment & Victual Ledger.

    EH 1941-43 001.jpg EH 1941-43 002.jpg EH 1941-43 003.jpg EH 1941-43 004.jpg EH 1941-43 005.jpg EH 1941-43 006.jpg
  5. Thank you so much. That is exactly what I am seeking for my grandfather.
    Best Wishes
  6. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

  7. Thank you once more for all your help. It's really appreciated.
  8. 696kelvin

    696kelvin Junior Member

    Many thanks to Hucks216. I have for some years been trying to unravel my late father's time in the Andrew and it is bloody difficult!
    He didn't talk too much about his time and when I got his records from the MoD some years ago, they didn't really help a lot.
    For example, The record starts off with Impregnable from 15 July 1942 to 12 Feb 1943. Yet I know, from one of his tales, he was on board Reina del Pacifico when she left Liverpool in 1942 en route to the Med in Operation Torch.
    It follows then with 4 weeks at Drake and the next entry shows Excellent II (Evolution) 13 March 1943 to 31 August 1943. Then it gets really silly! The next entry shows St Angelo 1 Sept 1943 to 31 August 1943! (Does this make him the first time traveller?) The 1 September 1943 for St Angelo appears to have been crossed out with 13th March 1943 overwritten on it. Finally, the record shows HMS Fabius from 1 Sept 1943. Fabius was the shore base at Taranto which was invaded on 8 September!
    The record shows nothing for Canopus although I have his training record showing him passing exams there.
    Did you have to specify you wanted the pay & victualling extracts when you made your request? I am worried I will just get the same as I got last time I requested his records (2004).
  9. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    I didn't make any specific requests. I just filled the form in, paid and sent it in. Don't forget that when a sailor left the RN he took his service sheet with him so I don't think the archives will have a copy of it (although I might be wrong), although as I have my fathers one and I was given mine when the RN phased them out I think it is possible that you might just get the same as you already have.
  10. 696kelvin

    696kelvin Junior Member

    Thanks for that. I am still puzzled though, particularly with regard to the pay & victualling records. I have copies of so many bits of paper but none have the kind of detail your Dad's show.
    I realise that my Dad's drafts were all stone frigates (except for a spell on HMS Skye during the Korean War) but I also know he spent time on various ships, presumably temporary or transit drafts. For example, my uncle was on a merchant ship in convoy OS44, on his way to HMS Anderson in Mombasa (later moved to Ceylon) as one of Bletchley Park's first Japanese code breakers. My Dad was on a warship, travelling in the same direction and they had arranged to meet for a beer at Freetown as they hadn't seen each other for a couple of years. Uncle's ship arrived in the morning and Dad's arrived in the afternoon. They were due to go for that beer the following day but Dad's ship was turned out, looking for a U Boat pack and they never did meet up! That convoy arrived in Freetown on 24 March 1943 but Dad's record shows him at Excellent II for that period.
    I also know he spent a short spell in Capetown, attached to Prime Minister Jan Smuts' office. He took me and showed me exactly where when he came to visit me when I was working at Simonstown. Yet his record shows nothing. He came out with the Africa Star and Italian Star but they don't get a mention on the paperwork.
    If you don't mind, I have another question or 2 you may be abler to answer: Any idea what a T.O. V/S was? Or a Signal Boatswain? I can see he passed the exams for them but all I knew was he was a bunting tosser. Finally, I see he was awarded "W.S.T. (3)". Any clues?
    I was a pongo myself and, trust me, the Army's records system is just as magical! My own records show all my crime sheets but no mention of a couple of commendations I picked up!
  11. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    T.O. V/S = Trained Operator Visual Signalling.
    A Signal Boatswain was a senior signalman of Warrant rank.

    Navy records undoubtedly the most difficult to interpret of all three services in my opinion.
    Accounting bases are usually shown on service records often with no mention of seagoing drafts which makes it difficult for proving medal entitlements.

    From a recent FOI request: "The MOD holds Royal Navy Pay and Victualing Ledgers up to 1951 and I can confirm that these have been selected for permanent preservation at The
    National Archives. MOD does not hold Pay and Victualing Ledgers after 1951. "

    I have this detail for Pay and Victualing Ledgers - albeit a bit dated now but could do with some feedback on whether it is still current - what have you to lose? Drop them an email

    Director Naval Personnel,
    TNT Records Management,
    PO Box 7814,
    William Nadin Way,
    DE11 1EG

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  12. 696kelvin

    696kelvin Junior Member

    Thanks for the reply Hugh. I will drop an email to the link you supplied.
    Thanks also for the explanations re the signalman's ratings. It's interesting he passed the exams for both rates but never went beyond Signalman (a bit like me in the Army! Went in a Signalman and left as Signalman).
    In my Dad's case, he may have upset the powers that be early on. When he was seconded to Reina del Pacifico at Liverpool, they kept issuing different uniforms, Home, then Arctic, then Tropical etc. After leaving the Clyde, they issued the RN ratings with US Doughboy uniforms. And my old man refused to wear it, maintaining he had taken the King's shilling. So they locked him up until they got near to Algeria and they realised they would need him to work during the landings!
    Cheers. I will let you know what success, if any, I have with the TNT link. (TNT? What has the world come to!)
  13. popeye1975

    popeye1975 Junior Member

    I am so relieved to hear I am not unique in this, as I was beginning to go slightly bonkers. For example, his medal entitlement shows he 'only' has the War Medal, the Africa Star, and the 39-45 Star, and yet I know for a fact he spent the whole of 1945 serving in the Pacific theatre, and now discover that he was almost certainly involved with the Arctic Convoys and the Normandy landings. I fully understand the records people's assertion that at the time, the authorities were not concerned with the problems of future research as opposed to the business of fighting a war, but that does not explain why the RN can set up scores of clandestine training bases across the UK and then remove all trace of them. I have previously mentioned HMS Shrapnel, RN Unit Hendon on another site, but when I asked the FOI people about Hendon, they said that they had already given me an adequate explanation about it. Strange, I must have slept right through that.
  14. popeye1975

    popeye1975 Junior Member

    I think part of the problem here is the understated nature of that generation in the UK. My dad always said that he didn't go to war to win medals, he went to save his country and ensure his family had a worthwhile future, and I am sure that was echoed by more or less everyone that fought for King and Country in the war. But that very humility means that so many of them and their descendants never got the recognition for their sacrifice, and it is just plain wrong
  15. popeye1975

    popeye1975 Junior Member

    Hi Kelvin...strange, my dad had a similar problem early in his service, in that he didn't suffer fools gladly and if he thought he was being given a stupid order he would say so (but still do it). That may not have endeared himself to some of his 'superiors'
  16. 696kelvin

    696kelvin Junior Member

    I have contacted the TNT people per the email address above. I have to say the bloke I have been in touch with has been most helpful and I will be sending the form and cheque ASAP (well, as soon as I find my Dad's death certificate!) He was able to help me with the mysterious "W.S.T.(3)" I found on one of my Dad's docs. It is actually W.S.I (3) or War Service Increment, 3 years.
    There was a sting in the tail of my Dad's time on board Reina del Pacifico. After getting back home, my dad discovered he was entitled to an additional payment from the merchant line. As this was PSNC who were headquartered in Liverpool, the next time he got some leave and went home, he nipped over the Mersey to visit the line to ask for his cash. He was told he had to get a chit signed off by the Captain. He was then told the Captain lived only a couple of miles from Dad's home. Great! Give me the address and I will go see him. Then he was told the Captain had died a day or two previously. So he never got his cash and continued through life with a grudge against PSNC!
    Like you, Popeye, it appears my Dad may have done at least 1 Arctic convoy. I remember him telling me how lucky he was as the ship he was on was due to join a convoy and it was either delayed or sailed early to join another convoy. The reason he thought he was lucky was that the convoy he was scheduled to join was PQ17. He told me he was on (I think) a converted trawler which was to sail behind the convoy as a rescue ship. He told me it was a bit of a failure as they rarely pulled anyone alive out of the water. He also described how the Russians got up his nose as a result of the way they treated our sailors when they arrived in Murmansk, not allowing them out of the dockyard. In fact, I am sure he said the Russians would rarely allow the wounded to go ashore for hospital treatment.
    Like your old man, mine had a similar attitude to medals. His were kept in a drawer. He once said to me he was entitled to others but he couldn't be bothered applying for them.
  17. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    I think you can still apply for any medals that haven't been issued.
  18. James Harvey

    James Harvey Senior Member

    Yes you can

    My own grandfather was issued 3945 star Burma France and Germany and war medal

    I felt sure he was entitled to more as I have a copy of his original service certificate, so paid £30 to navy for their records
    The p&v records are slightly different but by sending both copies to mod mo
    I was issued his defence medal last year and I'm now trying to get the Atlantic clasp for his France and Germany star
  19. 696kelvin

    696kelvin Junior Member

    An update: I filled in the forms, got the death cert etc and posted it all off to the TNT address back on the 9th of this month. Yesterday I received a reply which started off by saying they had received my form which had been forwarded to them by "Navy Command Secretariat-4" in Portsmouth and asking me to make sure further communication goes to the TNT office. And that was the address I actually sent my application to! I have never even heard of that lot in Pompey. Ho hum! The bad news was it might take 5 to 8 months to get my application processed. I am not blaming them as it is obvious they are overloaded with work. Oh well, I will just have to sit and wait.
  20. James Harvey

    James Harvey Senior Member

    I've had the same reply yesterday for my great uncle

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