Signal whistle aboard HMLCF

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Pieter F, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. Pieter F

    Pieter F Very Senior Member

    My knowledge on the Royal Navy is only limited, so I am hoping someone can help me with this. Who / which trades would have had a signal wistle amongst the crew of a HMCLF? Was this only the signalman of were there others as well who carried a signal wistle?

    The wistle I am talking about is a Hudson & Co signal wistle, as used by the various branches of the British military forces.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

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  3. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Short answer is I don't know. However whilst it is called a signal whistle it is not a piece of signalling equipment so it is unlikely to be carried by a signalman. The whistle is an emergency signal used to draw the crew's immediate attention. My guess is that it was carried by officers and was possibly used, in the case of a Flak boat, when verbal communication was difficult to signal 'Cease or Check Fire' particularly if the guns were inadvertently firing at friendly aircraft.

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  4. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Pieter, are you enquiring regarding Landing Craft Flak 1?
    There is a previous thread on here which talks of whistles, but that was due to the Germans using small 10ft long launches with a mine attached to the bow. They penetrated into the hips around the Mulberry harbours and as they approached the target the German on board would ram open the throttle and dive overboard, to be carried out in the darkness towards a waiting vessel. They used whistles to communicate with the "mother ship"
    HMLCF 1
  5. Pieter F

    Pieter F Very Senior Member

    Thanks guys. I am not enquiring regarding HMLCF 1, but No.37. A couple of days after it sank at Walcheren, three marines washed up at the Hook of Holland. Two of them were buried as unknowns. I found a Dutch burial report at the archives which mentioned one of them caried a signal whistle on him.
  6. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    It sounds as if this marine was part of a Royal Marine AA detachment. Whilst the Royal Marines were part of the Royal Navy they dressed and were equipped like the Army. My Dad was in the Royal Artillery and had a similar whistle on the end of his lanyard so it may be it's use lies more with Artillery. The order 'Check fire' is, as I have said previously, an emergency order. In a RN warship this is indicated by the sound of a ringing bell, whether such a device was fitted in LCFs I do not know. However RM AA detachments often operated ashore.
    I have come across one use of a whistle in an AA context albeit American and in practice fire. This states that in an AA shoot, if the Safety Officer notices that the gun is training on the towing aircraft rather than the towed target he is to blow his whistle and the gun immediately put to 'half cock'.
    Not really much help. The answer may lie in a RA Handbook.

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