NAVY NEWS, JUNE 2008 33
takes a dive
MY son is a 25-year-old RN there are certain roles in the Does this seem fair when he by Fleet Headquarters: Diving
Mine Clearance Diver. He Royal Navy which, because is literally putting his life at risk Pay is one of a broad range of
joined the service in 2001 of their nature, qualify for every day? Specialist Pay (SP) which apply
after successfully completing specialist pay. These include I know I cannot challenge to all three Services and which
rigorous and challenging training submariners, aircrew and mine the power of the MOD, and my are approved independently by
to the highest professional clearance divers. son with many other loyal and the Armed Forces Pay Review
military standards as one of the He was informed that he dedicated service personnel Body (AFPRB).
youngest divers at just 19. would forfeit all his specialist
will lose their pay, but I would
It was last reviewed in 2004,
For the next six years he pay for the last six months of
suggest the RN Careers
with the main conclusion being
served in many countries his employment because he’d
website should highlight this
that SP is an extra payment
including the Gulf, enjoying submitted his notice to leave.
questionable practice so that
for certain jobs where there
teamwork, comradeship and My son, along with his unit,
prospective applicants are
are recruiting and retention
the ‘can do’ attitude which is an flew out to the Gulf two weeks
made fully aware of a potential
difficulties. It is not danger pay,
integral part of the elite Diving ago on a special assignment
salary reduction before they
risk money or knowledge/skills
Branch. which will see him and his
Last September he decided colleagues working in a highly
I am saddened that this
The review went on to
that he would like to move dangerous environment.
appears to be an example of
recommend that all forms of SP
to commercial diving and On this assignment my son
contempt towards a group of
should be reduced for individuals
submitted his statutory one- will be carrying out the same
our specialist service people
who submit notice for early
year termination notice. demanding and hazardous
who are being penalised simply
release, as the retention element
His superiors were duties as his mates and
for leaving the RN after giving
of SP will have failed.
disappointed that he wished to I know he will not shirk his
loyal and dedicated service to
Individuals continue to receive
leave and informed him that he responsibilities to them, the
their Queen and country.
SP, but reduced by 50 per cent,
would have been a guaranteed unit and the Royal Navy, but he
– Gary Taw, Cosham, Hants
until leaving the Service. This
candidate for promotion. will be earning £10 per day less The following guidance on applies to all forms of SP and
I am sure you are aware than they will. specialist pay was provided across all three Services.
Picture: LA(Phot) Chris Winter
It’s got to be York...
THE cruiser in the photograph which had two much shorter
(Letters, May) is, without any
possible doubt, HMS York.
– Mike Alston, Maidenhead,
The bridge structure is quite
distinctive, and the number of ...SHE is York, taken during World
platforms and extensions in the War 2, and could be identified
SOME sympathy can be accorded felt when he passed his Leading
bridgework is totally different from her sister Exeter in that the
to Leading Seaman Gferer (Letters, Seaman’s Specialist course and
from her slightly later half-sister latter had tripod masts (fitted after
May). joined the fleet in a role that has
Exeter. the Battle of the River Plate) and a
When I was promoted leading always been accepted as vital to
York was the last cruiser to have different bridge structure.
hand in 1949 at the age of 21 I any ship.
such bridgework, which followed The camouflage scheme shown
was over the moon with my rank. What I believe he has forgotten
a similar pattern to the earlier in the photo is identical to that
I had some status at work even
is that we as Seaman Specialists
‘counties’ and suffered much which York was wearing when
with an overbearing of artificers
pride ourselves as being whole ship
adverse comment, being subject she was lost at Suda Bay in 1941.
but more so, I was the Killick of
ratings, working alongside many
to strong draughts. (See Imperial War Museum photo
other ranks and rates that are
Exeter, and all subsequent MH 3878.)
I felt it was well run and often
just as important to the effective
cruisers, had a more solid-looking – A J Smythe, Rayleigh, Essex
we used to win the ‘cake’ for
and efficient day-to-day running
...YORK without a doubt – I
of the ship.
Also unique to York, and clear
would stake my life on it.
One of my main duties was to
Included within that cadre
in the photo, are the two sloping
As for not being in Jane’s, S/M
oversee the issue of rum which if
were the Radio Opertor
funnels. Exeter had a similar
Whelan is looking at the wrong
there was any misdemeanour I was
funnel layout, but hers were
copy, as it is as clear as daylight on
responsible and could easily lose
(Communications) who also
upright. loss in 1941 after being attacked her pole masts were replaced by
p45 of my 1939 copy.
my rank. Incidentally, it taught
prided themselves (and rightly so)
Finally, the camouflage pattern in Suda Bay, Crete, by an Italian tripods, though a near sister of
As for being Emerald, she had
me how to hold my liquor.
as vital elements of the unit.
is identical to that shown on a torpedo boat and aircraft. York she was in fact a one-off.
two single 6-inch shields forrard
After early promotion to sub
photograph of the starboard side The wreck was scrapped in the – Bill Thompson, Hartlepool
and three funnels, one abaft the
lieutenant and throughout my 30
has brought together these two
of York on p267 of British Cruisers early 1950s.
...WITHOUT any shadow of doubt mainmast.
years as an officer I observed
branches, which over the past two
of World War Two by Raven and – Ian Richardson, High
she is HMS York, based upon her I hope this clears up S/M
the demise of the leading rate
years have worked extremely hard
Roberts, and dated to late 1940/ Shincliffe, Durham
bridgework’s configuration, tall Whelan’s dilemma.
stemming in my opinion from the early 1941.
loss of the tot.
and, through a process of give
...SHE is definitely HMS York, pole-masts, extended hull plating – S/M Mike Ross, Horsham
York was crippled in Suda Bay
Also at work there was an
and take, have overcome many
there were only two ships of amidships aft to her deck-mounted Branch RNA,
on March 26 1941 by an Italian
overbearing for him of chief
that class, York and Exeter, torpedo tubes as well as her funnel Yapton, Arundel, West Sussex
explosive motor boat. She was
petty officer rates in the artificer
At the centre of this was the
and although sister ships they arrangement with the slightest
beached, and abandoned on May
...IT looks exactly like HMS York,
branches now redressed.
retraining of many personnel in
had distinctly different bridge of rakes just visible, making her
22 1941 after bombing by German
who was distinct even from her
Much credence has been put on
both Seamanship and Tactical
structures. unique for identification.
aircraft, and subsequently salvaged
only sister, HMS Exeter.
the warrant officer rank in recent
The ship in the picture matches Thank you for a most enjoyable
for scrap in 1951-52.
While both ships had two
years, possibly at the behest of
This phenomenal task has been
York, also the camouflage scheme exercise!
– Geoff Hewitt, Penwortham,
funnels (of different sizes) and
successful due to the adaptability
is identical to a photo of York in – Dudley Mills, Northwick,
two twin 8-inch turrets forward
In the beginning it was found
of our young people and their
Alexandria in 1941 just prior to Worcester
(and only one aft), there were
willingness to learn.
...THE ship is HMS Exeter, if as her loss in the Greek campaign.
difficult to find jobs for them, now
...SHE is definitely York, in spite two strong distinguishing features;
LS(Sea) Gferer, upon successful
S/M Whelan states it is not York. I would like to thank you very
they are employed on what used
of Mr Whelan’s belief to the York’s funnels and masts were
completion of his Tactical
– Gordon Peters, Cape, South much for the article about the
to be junior officer jobs, causing
contrary. more raked than Exeter’s – sadly
Africa Palestine Blockade, a friend of
that cadre little chance to ease into
The temptation is to suggest that this isn’t obvious because of the
training, will again find himself a ...THE ship is HMS York. She
mine, now sadly passed away,
it is her near-sister, HMS Exeter, angle of this photograph, but the
We have seen the removal of
key member of any ship’s company can be identified by the twin
served in Childers at that time and
which had vertical, as opposed to bridge structures were radically
the acting sub lieutenant and the
as part of a new, young but rapidly 8-inch turrets, her high ‘pagoda-
formed part of the boarding party
raked, masts and funnels. different.
ordinary seaman rate, why not go
maturing branch, which is key type’ bridge and the destroyer-like
for President Warfield/Exodus and
However, Exeter’s bridge Exeter had a streamlined bridge
one step further and do away with
to maintaining the operational break in her hull.
was at her helm when she entered
structure was quite different. whereas York had four obvious
the leading rate, substituting him
capability of the Fleet. She was the sister to HMS
HMS Emerald and her sister, tiers, as shown in the photograph.
with the rank of sub (or 2nd class) As a member of this multi-skilled
Exeter of Battle of the River Plate
– Chris Quirk, Muirend,
Enterprise, had three funnels and –Cdr Patrick Keefe, Base
petty officer? branch, he will still be trained and
can therefore be discounted, as Executive Officer (BXO) HMS
This would give him more required to drive the ships’ boats,
She became a constructive total ...SHE is clearly Exeter before can the C and D-class cruisers Nelson, Portsmouth
status as an NCO as with the he will also find himself i/c of all
Army’s corporal and he would fit seamanship evolutions including
more overtly with the Navy’s rank replenishment, boat lowering and
structure. part of ship at Harbour Stations,
Finally, Nelson did not have on top of this, he will also deliver
Chefs mustn’t be chuffed
leading hands, or lieutenant tactical communications to the
commanders, only ordinary Command – although not all at
LOOKING through your April edition I came across the cumber- time the owners of large country houses had begun
seamen, able seamen and petty the same time!
some phrase ‘Logistician (Catering Services (Preparation))’ which lavishly entertaining and therefore employing such people.
officers. Warrant officers in those
Finally he will find himself in apparently is the new designation for a chef. Throughout the English-speaking world today the term ‘chef’ is
days had higher qualifications as
the most important role of his We hear much talk about bureaucracy but surely this is immediately recognisable and everyone knows just what kind of
career, the one as mentor to his management-speak gone mad? Who was the numpty at MOD person they are talking about.
Now here’s a topic for debate!
subordinates, ensuring the high who thought up such a ridiculous definition for a chef? When What could be a more perfect description of the duties of a
– ‘Icarus’ (name and address
standards that he obviously aspires is Jack ever going to go rushing into the galley just before the chef? How did the RN ever come to accept such an unlovely
to are passed on to the future chef goes off duty to shout “Wait for me, Logistician (Catering phrase?
...AS the Deputy Fleet Seamanship generations of Seaman Specialist.
Services (Preparation))!” If he’d had a couple of pints he’d never I understand that various other trades such as writers and
Offi cer, I feel the need to – WO1(Sea) Stu Oliver,
be able to pronounce it. stewards have received similar ridiculous titles. Is there no end to
clarify a few issues raised by Deputy Fleet Seamanship
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word the takeover of the Royal Navy by the bureaucrats?
LS(Sea) Gferer Officer,
‘chef’ first came into use in England in 1842 to mean – George Thompson,
I fully understand and have CinC Fleet Headquarters,
the head cook in a large household, because at the ex-PO Radio Mechanic (Radar), Northampton
experienced the pride that he Portsmouth
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