Help required to decipher a Royal Navy service record!

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by David Swatton, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. David Swatton

    David Swatton Member

    I am researching my great uncle's service record - Leonard J Swatton. Everything is pretty much clear apart from the last entry in pencil on his record (attached) which seems to read "AWKC 1.6.44 5161 Nile"

    I am thinking this could possibly refer to a posting to HMS Nile in Egypt on 1 June 1944 but what the codes AWKC and 5161 I'm completely at a loss about so any help would be appreciated.

    Regards, David Swatton

    leonard James swatton service record.JPG
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Dont know if you have this, but I will post them anyway

    UK, Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services, 1848-1939
    Name: Leonard James Swatton
    Gender: Male
    Birth Date: 23 Mar 1898
    Birth Place: Gosport, Hants
    First Service Date: 23 Jun 1921
    First Ship Served On: Victory I
    Last Service Date: 6 Jun 1923
    Last Ship Served On: Malaya
    Service Number: SS10684

    The one you have posted above also has more at the bottom of the page - see attached

    It could be S161 rather that 5161 - it seems to sat Ldg Sto which might mean Leading Stoker - other more experienced Naval members will hopefully arrive and clear up the matter

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  3. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Sorry I can’t help but it might help to attract the forum navy experts if you amend your topic title and insert the word “Naval” before “Service”.

    Good Luck

  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

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  5. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    S. 161 is a Form for "Changes in Rating, etc." which refers to Article 1730b in the Articles (forwarded by the Captain.)

    "1730b. Reports of Changes in Ratings, etc. - Reports on Form S. 161 are to be rendered to the drafting authorities and to the Admiralty of changes as they occur, in rating, non-substantive rating, engagement, port division, etc., and of all discharges from the Service. ( Detailed instructions for rendering Form S. 161 are supplied with the forms.)"

    There is more in 1730b but that is what S. 161 refers to and how the reference number is typed, i.e." S. ( single space) 161"

    Information from " The King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions for the Government of His Majesty's Naval Service Volume 1 - Articles - 1943 Embodying all alterations effected in the Regulations by Addenda, or otherwise, to November, 1943."
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  6. David Swatton

    David Swatton Member

    Thanks for that - makes sense as he seems to have been made Leading Stoker at that point... still bemused why he might be at a shore station in Egypt.

  7. Could AWKC mean "Absence With Known Cause" (as opposed to AWOL)?

  8. JackW

    JackW Member

    It would appear that there is a gap in his service record after 1st Jan 42.
    No further ships or shore bases noted, until Nile 1/6/44.
    Nile was a base for personnel that would be lent out to smaller vessels, for short periods.
    The AWKC S 161 Nile could be Auxiliary Watch Keepers Certificate, which would be appropriate for a Leading Stoker.
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  9. David Swatton

    David Swatton Member

    Thanks for that - that makes sense.

  10. It does, and certainly much more than my own pitiful attempt at finding the meaning of AWKC! :D

  11. JackW

    JackW Member

    There is also a Pay and Victualing sheet that will give details of what vessels he was on.
    As it was the Med theatre in 44, my guess is he was on Landing craft/small vessels as the motor mechanic/operator during the Anzio ops, not requiring a petty officer to run the machinery.
    The P & V ledger should be obtainable from the same source as his service history sheet.
    If Hugh Maclean comes along, he will be more knowledgeable than myself with obtaining records.
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  12. David Swatton

    David Swatton Member

    Thanks - I found his service record on but they don't have the P&V ledger that you refer to.

  13. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

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  14. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    The P & V ledger would not be included with the service record you have from Ancestry.
    If you contact the MoD as per Tim's #13 hopefully they will search and attach details but ask them when you apply.
  15. David Swatton

    David Swatton Member

    Thanks for all your input gentlemen.

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