DEMS Gunner - Ships Nostalgia
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  #1  
Old 30th December 2018, 16:37
Terrysnell Terrysnell is offline
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DEMS Gunner

Thanks for allowing me to join your site
My Father served aboard The Glasgow as an RN DEMS gunner in 1943 and I wondered if anybody here knows where I can find information on her

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 1st January 2019, 20:49
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Roger Griffiths Roger Griffiths is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrysnell View Post
Thanks for allowing me to join your site
My Father served aboard The Glasgow as an RN DEMS gunner in 1943 and I wondered if anybody here knows where I can find information on her

Thanks
Hello and welcome,
Your post is a little confusing.
DEMS as the name suggests ( Defensivly Equipped Merchant Ship) served on Merchant ships.
The only merchant vessel named GLASGOW in the 1943 edition of Lloyd's Register was owned and registered in Argentina!
Could you please tell us where you obtained your information and do you have your dads RN service record?

regards
Roger
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  #3  
Old 2nd January 2019, 08:24
david freeman david freeman is offline  
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I sailed with a CPO {bosun=in his merchant shipping role} In the 1960's who in the tail end of the war was a DEMS Gunner, and if I remember correctly, some of his time was spent on 'BOOM Defence' for ports such as gibralta and the Orkneys?-scappa flow? I believe, where conveys would shelter prior to the voyage. There unit I am not sure if it were the Royal Navy, or I believe the Royal Artillery brigade out of Woolwich Arsenal. I am sure some old timer will correct me? Until then try army records for DEMS Gunners stationed in the CLYDE during the war?? {GLAGOW the port OFF?}
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  #4  
Old 2nd January 2019, 10:52
tom roberts tom roberts is offline  
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My freinds wife's father was a dems gunner in WW2 but she does not know what he sailed on ,how. Could she find out his history? Any help would she be grateful for.
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  #5  
Old 2nd January 2019, 11:32
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is offline
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Hi, DEMS gunners are not easy to research for various reasons.
1. As suggested by Roger in his post above, Obtain his service record. His Pay & Victualing record may provide the names of the merchant ships - but be aware they might not.
This must be your first step for any serviceman.
If you wish to give a name, date and place of birth I can check some limited records.
DEMS gunners were primarily Royal Navy and Maritime Regiment, Royal Artillery. There were 150,000 merchant seamen trained in gunnery to assist the DEMS at sea.
Regards
Hugh
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  #6  
Old 3rd January 2019, 08:47
david freeman david freeman is offline  
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Originally Posted by Hugh MacLean View Post
Hi, DEMS gunners are not easy to research for various reasons.
1. As suggested by Roger in his post above, Obtain his service record. His Pay & Victualing record may provide the names of the merchant ships - but be aware they might not.
This must be your first step for any serviceman.
If you wish to give a name, date and place of birth I can check some limited records.
DEMS gunners were primarily Royal Navy and Maritime Regiment, Royal Artillery. There were 150,000 merchant seamen trained in gunnery to assist the DEMS at sea.
Regards
Hugh
Idle curiosity I wonder if these souls? signed on MN articles as ''supernumaries'' as they would have been paid by their HM Service Provider [RN,Army?? from a central source]. Just a thought?
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  #7  
Old 3rd January 2019, 10:38
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is offline
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Hi David,
All DEMS gunners did sign the articles of agreement and are therefore classed as members of the crew. They were paid a nominal sum from the shipowner and given civilian clothing for use in foreign ports. DEMS gunners are therefore listed on MN crew agreements as deck hands.
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Hugh
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  #8  
Old 4th January 2019, 01:16
johncurrin johncurrin is offline  
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I wonder if he served on HMS Glasgow- info here - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Glasgow_(C21)
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  #9  
Old 4th January 2019, 11:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johncurrin View Post
I wonder if he served on HMS Glasgow- info here - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Glasgow_(C21)
He may have served on HMS GLASGOW but certainly not as a DEMS gunner John. The o/p mentions DEMS [Defensivly Equipped Merchant Ships] - if correct then his father would have served aboard merchant ships on their defensive armament.

The original poster [Terry] needs to answer the questions put by Roger in his reply #2 .

Regards
Hugh
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  #10  
Old 6th January 2019, 09:36
Terrysnell Terrysnell is offline
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Hi All
Thanks for your comments, I have my father's service history supplied by Royal Navy Command records management team, he appears to have been aboard 16 ships and shore bases and I have just started to research them, his details are as follows.

Ronald Snell JX392381
Basic training HMS Glendower 21/09/42 - 02/01/43
DEMS Glasgow 12/01/43 - 21/01/43

Hope this helps
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  #11  
Old 6th January 2019, 17:32
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is offline
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Hi Terry,

DEMS Glasgow would have been one of the D.E.M.S. establishments ashore. There were many dotted around the country and some others abroad at that time.

Can you tell me a little more about him as I have found two suitable canditates and I am not sure if they are both the same man at this moment in time. Did he have a middle name and was he born in 1923? If not, where and when was he born?

Regards
Hugh
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  #12  
Old 6th January 2019, 18:11
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Roger Griffiths Roger Griffiths is offline  
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Just a little more.
DEMS Glasgow were at St Enoch Hotel.
DEMS Training Centre Glasgow, was at 130 Whitefield Road, Goven.
DEMS Training Centre Greenock was HMS Carrick, James Watt Dock
As he was posted in Glasgow for only 10 days. It seems to me that the Navy changed it's mind!
Could you also post the otherships and shore bases he served on?

regards
Roger
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  #13  
Old 6th January 2019, 19:32
Terrysnell Terrysnell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh MacLean View Post
Hi Terry,

DEMS Glasgow would have been one of the D.E.M.S. establishments ashore. There were many dotted around the country and some others abroad at that time.

Can you tell me a little more about him as I have found two suitable canditates and I am not sure if they are both the same man at this moment in time. Did he have a middle name and was he born in 1923? If not, where and when was he born?

Regards
Hugh
Thanks Hugh
He was born on the 5th October 1923 at Northfleet in Kent no middle name as far as I know

Terry
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  #14  
Old 6th January 2019, 19:44
Terrysnell Terrysnell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Griffiths View Post
Just a little more.
DEMS Glasgow were at St Enoch Hotel.
DEMS Training Centre Glasgow, was at 130 Whitefield Road, Goven.
DEMS Training Centre Greenock was HMS Carrick, James Watt Dock
As he was posted in Glasgow for only 10 days. It seems to me that the Navy changed it's mind!
Could you also post the otherships and shore bases he served on?

regards
Roger
Hi Roger
Thanks for your help, from DEMS Glasgow the list is as follows
SS Sal Viking, MV Empire Damsel, HMS President111, MVEmpire Damsel, DEMS Malta, SS Baltic, HMS Fabius, DEMS Naples, SS Scythia, DEMS Greenock, DEMS Clyde, SS Orion, HMS Golden Hind, HMS Barthorpe, HMS Drake.

Terry
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  #15  
Old 7th January 2019, 11:42
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Roger Griffiths Roger Griffiths is offline  
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Hi Terry,
A mixed bag there!
I could not find a few of the Merchant ships. Lloyds Register 1939-1945 is not online at the minute. This is a main database of merchant vessels.

SAL VIKING Could not find.
EMPIRE DAMSEL Official number 168800 784 tons built Grangemouth 1942. Empire Cadet class Coastal Tanker
HMS PRESIDENT III. DEMS Accounting base
BALTIC C.N.F.
HMS FABIUS Shore Base Toranto Italy
SCYTHIA official number 143730 registered Liverpool 1921, owned by Cunard.
ORION o/n 162512 reg London 1933
HMS GOLDEN HIND Shore base Sydney NSW, also, more likely Accomodation vessel moored at Grangemouth.
HMS BARTHORPE A Bar Class, Boom Defence vessel.
HMS DRAKE Barracks and Shore Base, Devonport.

If you wish to know a little more about where he sailed to on merchant ships you can download shipping movements cards from The National Archives.
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/h...rds-1939-1945/

If you realy want chapter and verse you can view the ships logbooks at Kew. Search via ships official number in series BT381.
Example for EMPIRE DAMSEL>

http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ro=any&_st=adv

regards
Roger
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  #16  
Old 7th January 2019, 12:40
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Originally Posted by Roger Griffiths View Post
Hi Terry,
SAL VIKING Could not find.
Presume it is this one Roger - 168746 - SALVIKING.

I will comment a little later when I have some time.

Regards
Hugh
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  #17  
Old 7th January 2019, 19:20
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There are a couple of Ronald Snell's that were interesting me, both b.1923 both deck hands (aka gunners). I can discount now Ronald C. Snell as he was not born in Kent.
The other Ronald Snell did voyages in 1943 aboard ss FOREST and mv MEGARA.
I still cannot be certain it is your man, however, as there is no more identifying information to hand. Also those ships are not mentioned in your RN service record but that is not unusual with those who served on MN ships as the information is gleaned from P & V ledgers - not the easiest to understand and easy to omit.

Overall, looking at the information you have, from his service record, you have come out not too bad as you do have some record of service aboard MN ships and many do not have that information.
Merchant Navy Crew Agreements will usually have the seaman's previous ship noted so you can use that information to check his MN ships backwards from the latest dated MN ship you have.

Checking of Crew Agreements I would suggest would best be a day out for you at the National Archives in Kew if it was within reasonable distance from you. The Crew Agreements for FOREST and MEGARA would give more identifying information ruling in our out if the R. Snell aboard was your man or not.
If you wish to pass me your email address by private message I will pass on what I have in the way of documentation to you.
Regards
Hugh
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  #18  
Old 7th January 2019, 22:18
Terrysnell Terrysnell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh MacLean View Post
There are a couple of Ronald Snell's that were interesting me, both b.1923 both deck hands (aka gunners). I can discount now Ronald C. Snell as he was not born in Kent.
The other Ronald Snell did voyages in 1943 aboard ss FOREST and mv MEGARA.
I still cannot be certain it is your man, however, as there is no more identifying information to hand. Also those ships are not mentioned in your RN service record but that is not unusual with those who served on MN ships as the information is gleaned from P & V ledgers - not the easiest to understand and easy to omit.

Overall, looking at the information you have, from his service record, you have come out not too bad as you do have some record of service aboard MN ships and many do not have that information.
Merchant Navy Crew Agreements will usually have the seaman's previous ship noted so you can use that information to check his MN ships backwards from the latest dated MN ship you have.

Checking of Crew Agreements I would suggest would best be a day out for you at the National Archives in Kew if it was within reasonable distance from you. The Crew Agreements for FOREST and MEGARA would give more identifying information ruling in our out if the R. Snell aboard was your man or not.
If you wish to pass me your email address by private message I will pass on what I have in the way of documentation to you.
Regards
Hugh
Hi Hugh
I can't thank you enough for your help, I'm not sure how to private message you so will try and work it out shortly.
According to family folklore he was torpedoed and spent some days in an open boat he was then sent to an Australian DEMS shore base to recover from a skin condition.

I thought it may have been the Orcades as I think it was the right place at the right time but only the Orion is mentioned in his records which of course was the sister ship and made it through the war.

Terry
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  #19  
Old 7th January 2019, 23:10
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Ron Stringer Ron Stringer is offline
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Terry,

To send a Private Message just go to any of Hugh's posts and click on his name (at the top of the post). A menu list will drop down, the second item is "Send a private message to Hugh Maclean"

Good luck
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