Author Topic: Help needed for interpreting RNAS service record for Lieut. George Cecil Rhodes  (Read 276 times)

Offline SteveKNS

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I'm trying to work out the significance of some of the entries in the Appointments section of the RNAS service record for George Cecil Rhodes (see attached extract). At the top of his service record is the number P.I. 42241, which I assume is his service number.

Prior to WW1, George worked as a senior design engineer for the Lanchester Motor Company and I believe he was heavily involved in the design of the Lanchester Armoured Car.

George enlisted in the RNVR sometime in 1914 (to service armoured cars, I believe) and then transferred to the RNAS on 28 Dec 1915; he was then posted to Wolverhampton "E" the next day. Does anyone know what Wolverhampton "E" was?

On 1st April 1917 he was attached to the Ministry of Munitions. In the "Whence" column of the service record there is a reference (A/140708/17) - any ideas on what this could mean?

On 27th Oct 1917 the appointment is what looks like "Preside??? for RNAS"; can anyone decipher the first word and/or suggest what it might mean?

Lastly, he was transferred to No. 2 Wing on 16th Nov 1917 - I do know that he flew spotter planes out of Greece looking for Turkish submarines at some point (according to his obituary), so perhaps this is when he did this. Are there any reference sources for No.2 Wing that may help confirm this?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Steve

Rhodes, Laycock, Dennant, Maturin, Denson, Johnston

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Offline tonepad

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"Preside" looks like President and probably refers to the shore establishment HMS President a base for the RNVR.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_President_(shore_establishment)




Tony
Aucock/Aukett~Kent/Sussex, Broadway~Oxfordshire, Danks~Warwickshire, Fenn~Kent/Norfolk, Goatham~Kent, Hunt~Kent, Parker~Middlesex/Gloucestershire, Sellers~Kent/Yorkshire, Sladden~Kent, Wright~Kent/Essex

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Offline SteveKNS

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Thanks Tony - that makes sense.

I think what foxed me initially was the loop below the "n" of "President" but, on reflection, I think it's just a flowery "W" from the entry below i.e. "No. 2 Wing". The ink is a slightly different colour for the two entries and the loop clearly belongs to the "No. 2 Wing". Sometimes just asking a question helps to find the answer oneself ;-)
Rhodes, Laycock, Dennant, Maturin, Denson, Johnston

Offline John(txic)

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Sunbeam in Wolverhampton made aero engines, which may be relevant.

Offline SteveKNS

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Thanks John - I'll follow that up. I did have a quick look at Wikipedia and it mentioned that Sunbeam made engines for the Short seaplanes used by the RNAS, so that looks promising.
Rhodes, Laycock, Dennant, Maturin, Denson, Johnston

Online ShaunJ

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UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Online ShaunJ

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The FindMyPast document has a reference to his posting to Ark Royal in October 1917 for No. 2 Wing for disposal for "E" duties. Ark Royal was a seaplane depot ship and was later engaged in supporting seaplanes in anti-submarine patrols in the Southern Aegean.

"E" seems to indicate Engineering. No sign of pilot training in the RN records.

UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline SteveKNS

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Thanks Shaun - that's very helpful.

I don't have access to FindMyPast at present so can't open the link, but the Ark Royal reference is certainly interesting as it backs up what I'd seen about his submarine spotting activities. I guess the "E" reference for the earlier appointment of Wolverhampton also means engineering, so it looks as if he was involved with designing/maintaining aero engines too.

I also haven't found any evidence of pilot training apart from a 1936 news report that mentioned that he had over 1,000 hours of flying experience, but it's possible that his training didn't start until after WW1 ended. I guess he could have been a spotter in WW1 rather than a pilot in the Aegean submarine patrols.

Steve
Rhodes, Laycock, Dennant, Maturin, Denson, Johnston

Offline John(txic)

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The folks over on the Cross & Cockade forum may be able to assist:

https://www.crossandcockade.com/cciforum/