Minesweeping badge

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by James Harvey, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. James Harvey

    James Harvey Senior Member

    my avatar is the rnps silver badge normally awarded for 6 months minesweeping

    The badge has at the bottom m/s a/s

    This is for minesweeping and anti-submarine

    Can anyone tell me if boom defence whose main job was anti submarine was also awarded it after 6 months service
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi James
    I'm not naval but from BBC - WW2 People's War - The Coastal Sparrows

    And if you survived, you got your "Silver Badge". About the size of a thumbnail, and worn on the left cuff, it's worth a lot more than any Campaign Star. Those were issued wholesale, but you only got your Silver Badge after you had been actually at sea in a RNPS vessel for at least 6 months. Not something you part with ! When the odd Silver Badge turns up in a some future TV "Antiques Programme" though, it's unlikely that even the "expert" will understand the true significance of what is engraved on it. The background of the shield is a Boom Defence Net, surrounded by a Minesweeping Warp, and on it are two mines, and a shark transfixed by a marlin-spike. The Scroll carries the two inscriptions "M/S" (Minesweeping) and "A/S" (Anti-Submarine), and the whole is surmounted by a Naval Crown.
    I was transferred to the Army in 1945 and wore mine on my Army uniform - to the consternation of the RSM of 1st.Royal Horse Artillery. Nothing he could do about it though - it's an award.

    Interesting link - http://www.reservesandcadetsni.org.uk/sitefiles/resources/pdfs/bravereportissue30rnps.pdf

    Recognition by Winston Churchill
    The Royal Naval Patrol Service suffered over 250
    lost vessels, more than any other branch of the
    Royal Navy. Because of the dangers and losses
    faced by the men of the Royal Naval Patrol
    service, they were honoured in a statement made
    by Winston Churchill and by a unique silver
    badge, worn on the sleeve of the serviceman's
    uniform, that was awarded to those who served
    six months or more in the RNPS.

    The Type IXB U-boat U-111 - German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net

    I would guess that as Winston started it then there must be some reference somewhere to the detailed criteria of how you were awarded one or not, especially in light of their 'rarity'

    4jonboy likes this.
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Have you tried contacting and asking - RNPS History – History

    This hazardous work was recognised by the award of a unique silver badge to RNPS minesweeping and anti-submarine crews. It was not an automatic award and only given to those officers and ratings who had completed six months sea-time. The first issue was with a vertical pin at the back but the design was later changed to having four small eyes so that it could be sewn onto the sleeve.
    Because in the early days the majority were Royal Naval Reservists the RNPS became 'a Navy within a Navy' and was given a number of unofficial titles, 'Harry Tate's Navy' and 'Churchill's Pirates' being two of the more polite. The peacetime crews becoming Naval seamen together made for a special cameraderie which continued in the Service throughout WW2 even though by the end most RNPS members were 'hostilities only' who had probably had no connection with the sea before the war.


    Royal Naval Patrol Service Association – The RNPSA
    timuk likes this.
  4. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Hugh MacLean and Tricky Dicky like this.
  5. James Harvey

    James Harvey Senior Member


    I will try to get hold of a copy

    I did ask the rnps history and their answer was ambiguous as originally they said it was only issued to minesweepers then they came back with and people also on anti submarine duties also got it, but would not say what anti submarine duties qualified

    I will try the RN historical branch and if no sucess will try to get the file.


  6. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Hi James,
    Don't know if this will help you but the link has a comments box.
    An RNPS silver badge file in the National Archives - The ABfaR Blog
    Abstracted from the above blog by G A Michael Sims:

    • HONOURS AND AWARDS (85): Institution of silver badge for personnel serving in Auxiliary, Anti-Submarine and Minesweeping Vessels.
    (For those unaware, the silver badge was unique to the RN Patrol Service. It was produced at the personal intervention of Winston Churchill when First Lord of the Admiralty in December 1939 and it was awarded exclusively (it was believed, more later) to RNPS personnel after six months sea time on minesweeping and anti-submarine duties to reflect the hazards of their tasks. It was indeed solid silver and was a much prized mark of distinction).

    The file sounded intriguing but unlike the cabinet papers, it was not online I could not dip into it to confirm what it was about and there was no mention of the Patrol Service in the heading. To have confirmation I would need to get it copied and there would be a cost involved, unless I wished to travel to Kew to view it in person.

    As I hadn’t previously heard of this file before deciding what to do I checked with the RNPS museum curator to see if he already had a copy or even knew of it. He hadn’t heard of it so I asked the National Archives to quote for supplying a copy.

    The basic information available about the file did not give any indication about its size. The scale of charges by National Archives is a very reasonable 43 pence per A3 photocopy plus a charge for post and packing. When you ask for a quote they promise a reply within ten working days and after about a week the quote duly arrived.

    They set out the number of pages and the cost of copying and shipping. Although the per page cost of 43p had seemed very reasonable it was a bit of a shock to find that the file contained 120 separate pages and the quote including carriage was £65.00. This was, however, a record that needed to be investigated, would be cheaper than travelling to Kew and I am delighted to say that it was worthwhile.

    Although there appear to be gaps in the file it contains copies of correspondence between Admiralty departments, between the Admiralty and the Ministry of Shipping, the Patent Office, The Royal Mint, the Naval Press Bureau etc. on all aspects of the design, production and distribution of the badge. There is even a covering letter from the Royal Mint to the Admiral Commanding Reserves for the fee of 50 guineas charged by Mr Kruger Grey for designing and modelling the badge, asking for sanction for its payment.

  7. James Harvey

    James Harvey Senior Member

    Thankyou I will contact him



Share This Page