Torch landings Merchant Navy

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by barerootbonsai, Dec 13, 2020.

  1. barerootbonsai

    barerootbonsai Junior Member

    Hi All researching my Uncle Geof, MN on the Torch landings.

    can anyone identify the inputs on his Log prior to the landings.

    Thanks for your help.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    You have posted his discharge book but can you be more specific about what information you are needing?
    Regards
    Hugh
     
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  3. barerootbonsai

    barerootbonsai Junior Member

    I do apologise

    It states NYROCA on the 30/04/43 but I cannot figure what it means I don't think it is a ship.

    I am unsure what Rafinstan is again I cannot find anything except a oil adverts on the 18/11/42.

    Thanks hope fully in anticipation.

    Stay safe.
     
  4. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    No problem. NYROCA was a ship.

    141873 – NYROCA – 30.4.1942 signed on at Liverpool – 29.9.1942 - signed off at Stranraer, Able Seaman [Home Trade] voyage.

    165816 – KAFIRISTAN – 18.11.1942 - signs on MCR – Manchester?? – 26.1.1943 – signs off Swansea.

    Able Seaman [Foreign] voyage.

    Your uncle has a medal file at Kew along with a Combined Office Merchant Navy Operations [COMNO] pouch held at Kew. He will also have a CRS 10 which is a record similar to what you have in his discharge book. If you need anymore information about those files and indeed anything else just make a post. I will be away most of tomorrow though.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
  5. barerootbonsai

    barerootbonsai Junior Member

    Thank you very much Hugh I guess that was the ship on the torch landings excellent. I would love to know what "Combined Office Merchant Navy " Operations [COMNO] pouch is and what is in this but I don't know what it is LOL. My Cousin has his medals.
     
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  6. barerootbonsai

    barerootbonsai Junior Member

    Meant to say there is no big rush on these answers but I greatly appreciate it all.
     
  7. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    Quite a bit of info about the Isle of Thanet, both target towing in 1943 and as a standby HQ ships and LSI(H) later. I too would love to know what "Combined Office Merchant Navy " Operations [COMNO] pouch is Hugh? Still learning!
     
  8. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    He has a standard Seaman's Pouch held at Kew in piece BT 372/90/31
    Those pouches are hit or miss with regard to content - some have lots of info others virtually nothing but there is usually a mugshot ID photo on a CR1 card.
    There may be a CR2 card in there which may list any service prior to January 1941 which is the date records begin in the Fifth Register of Seamen 1941-1972.

    Combined Office Merchant Navy Operations [COMNO] - These records detail the sea service record of merchant seamen engaged in the liberation of Europe (6 June 1944 to 8 May 1945). They give the seaman's name, discharge 'A' number, rank or rating and qualifications together with details of the ships on which they served.
    Again, the pouch can be hit or miss with regard to content.

    Your uncle's COMNO pouch is held at Kew in piece BT 391/86/179
    His main record from Jan, 1941 until leaving the service is contained in a form CRS 10 which contains similar detail to his discharge book.

    Regards
    Hugh
     
  9. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian layabout

    Just wanted to say I never thought to check my grandfather's merchant navy travels to see if he participated in Torch, so thank you for bringing up the subject!
     
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  10. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    Thank you Hugh,
    Does that tie in with the occasional references to some of the MN being hastily issued battle dress jackets marked with Combined Operations before Normandy.

     
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  11. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    I have not seen references to battle dress jackets issued to the MN, Roy, but what I have seen is references to MN personnel being asked to volunteer for "special operations" so maybe some of them did.
    As you know MN personnel were not usually keen on wearing uniforms.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
  12. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    I don't know where I saw the reference Hugh, but it did include a comment that not all of them were worn!! I think it may have been the salvage crews who were working on or near the beaches and the minor harbours who had them.
    Other than that all I know is that they were on 'V' Articles (volunteer) and, I think, received 200 cigarettes a week.
    For my first year on a salvage ship, I took my uniform - didn't bother after that! I was the only one with a sextant as well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
  13. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    On the subject of smart MN uniforms! Here are a couple of the crew of the mud hopper turned salvage ship at Normandy. This ship went on to be one of the best-known vessels of the Risdon Beazley fleet. She was towed to Australia, where she worked the Cumberland and then steamed to New Zealand to complete the Niagara gold salvage. Sorry - I know it's a digression!
     

    Attached Files:

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  14. barerootbonsai

    barerootbonsai Junior Member

    Hi Hugh thank you for the information, If I ask nicely you couldn't identify my Grand fathers as well I am researching him as well but have no paperwork except.
    Arthur Edward Pepin
    Dis A No R152888
    Medals 1939/45 At Af PA stars and 1939/45
    Born in 20/12/1917 Elham Kent.
    He joined the MN in 1935/36 and went to Gravesend Sea School. while thee was on the Health Authority Boat "Howard Deighton" "H.M.S. Tritton"
    He served on
    R.M.S. Remvera 07/02/1936
    R.M.M.V. Highland Chieftain 15/06/1938
    S.S. Kent 14/03/1939
    M.V. Opawa 26/03/1940
    M.V. Brasilia Star 12/12/1973
    Died at sea apparently of a heart attack on 15 Feb 1974 on the Brasillia Star.

    What would I look in the archives under?

    Thank you again for your hard work.

    Nick
     
  15. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

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  16. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hi Nick,
    Arthur Edward Pepin has no online records apart from the medal file identified by TD. He should have a CRS 10 - service record beginning Jan, 1941 but these records end in 1972 although if he died in 1974 there may be mention of him joining BRASILIA STAR. They should be held at TNA Kew in pieces BT 382/1407 or BT 382/2794 - I would check both files but his records will probably be in the second one. Incidentally Geoffrey Pepin's CRS 10 should also be in the first file I mentioned BT 382/1407.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
  17. barerootbonsai

    barerootbonsai Junior Member

    Hi Hugh, Thank you so much, it is a maze knowing what to look for and what to type and where. it would probably take weeks lol
     
  18. barerootbonsai

    barerootbonsai Junior Member

    Sorry Hugh would he have had a "Combined Office Merchant Navy Operations [COMNO]" you have talked about as well? as he was in convoys, is it Kew website I would look at and is there anything I should type in.
     
  19. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hi Nick, No he does not have a COMNO pouch, he would only have one if he served at Normandy and I can tell by his medal file that it appears he did not. He would probably have had a Seaman's Pouch but many were destroyed in 1969. The only online record for him is the medal file. The CRS 10, I should say, is best obtained by a visit to Kew as the files are held in boxes of up to 60 other names so Kew won't send it to you without charging you silly money as they deem looking for files as research and charge accordingly. So, best option is to visit the archives or employ a researcher to obtain it for you. We had a couple of good guys on here who copy files for a very reasonable price but I am not so sure they still do it due to the changes made at Kew. The links above for his CRS 10 will take you to where the file is held but you cannot get it online but if someone could go to Kew on your behalf all they need do is check the file for the name and discharge number along with date of birth and they should be able to pick the files out.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
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  20. barerootbonsai

    barerootbonsai Junior Member

    Thank you Hugh all understood at last lol. Thank you so much for your help. Nick
     
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