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The Wireless Operator... was the first on a 'Crew List' that became 'OFFICER'. There were Bosun, AB, OS, JOS, Fireman, Wiper, Cook, Steward, Engineer, Mates, Master but the first 'officer' was the Wireless Officer or Radio Officer. Well, that is the story that I was told years ago.

Stephen
 

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Where did the Wireless Operator sorry the Radio Officer go?(Jester)
Same way the British Merchant Navy went .... down the CRAPPER. :sweat:

(And I,m ex crew and officer who finds all this class orientated discussion highly entertaining ... (Jester) )
 

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The Wireless Operator... was the first on a 'Crew List' that became 'OFFICER'. There were Bosun, AB, OS, JOS, Fireman, Wiper, Cook, Steward, Engineer, Mates, Master but the first 'officer' was the Wireless Officer or Radio Officer. Well, that is the story that I was told years ago.

Stephen
Interesting considering they were mainly 'On Contract' from another Company.
Entertaining it certainly is Bob.
 

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On all the Brocklebank ships I served as Engineer Officer we ate in the saloon always unless on watch , then in duty mess. My first trip in MN was on Bullard King's Umgeni, and ALL deck officers ate in saloon but ONLY the chief engineer officer did so. So cheerio to Union Castle subsidiary company Bullard King on arrival in UK. Only fair to say that some of us were shanghaied from Clan Line at time of take over of Union Castle, not surprised at why they had difficult at getting Engineer Officers, two joined in London at start of voyage and their cabins were mysteriously empty next morning!
 

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Interesting considering they were mainly 'On Contract' from another Company.
Entertaining it certainly is Bob.

Well, if some came from the Cunard and might be called a 'Chief Officer' might find himself as simply 'Mate'.

Even in my Dis. A... I have ranks noted as Third Officer and Third Mate (3/O) same for 2nd Mate or 2nd Officer. None as Mate... the rest say Ch. Off.

I was putting details in Dis. A for the crew... just eight of us on a tug. The Mate was Dan Robinson. His whole book was Fourth Officer, Third Officer, Junior Second, Senior Second, Junior First, Senior First and Chief Officer. For ship... all the same QUEEN ELIZABETH 2. When I came to fill his details I wrote 'ROYAL M', 489 grt, Valetta, FGN, Dartmouth to Piraeus. Under rank I write, Staff Captain' . He told he there were a few raised eyebrows when he went back to QE2!

Stephen
 

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Well, if some came from the Cunard and might be called a 'Chief Officer' might find himself as simply 'Mate'.

Even in my Dis. A... I have ranks noted as Third Officer and Third Mate (3/O) same for 2nd Mate or 2nd Officer. None as Mate... the rest say Ch. Off.

I was putting details in Dis. A for the crew... just eight of us on a tug. The Mate was Dan Robinson. His whole book was Fourth Officer, Third Officer, Junior Second, Senior Second, Junior First, Senior First and Chief Officer. For ship... all the same QUEEN ELIZABETH 2. When I came to fill his details I wrote 'ROYAL M', 489 grt, Valetta, FGN, Dartmouth to Piraeus. Under rank I write, Staff Captain' . He told he there were a few raised eyebrows when he went back to QE2!

Stephen

Purely out of interest I decided to wade through my Discharge books and see how many different kinds of 'Rating' and 'Capacity' entries I got during my time at sea. (The first book had 'Rating' which became 'Capacity' in the second book.)
So:
Fireman
Fireman/Greaser
Wiper
Trainee RO
RO
Electronics Officer
ER Officer
ERO
REO

All of these were hand written so I suspect subject to the writer's whim on the day. Technically towards the end it should have been CEO but that always made me laugh, how can you be a chief with no effing Indians ? (Meant an extra few quid though ! ... and an acceptance you were going to be tanker bound.)

So I do have a slightly offset perspective on all this talk of officers.

I met a few Army and Navy officers during my quick visit to the Falklands in 1982 and while many of them were highly impressive people, there were one or two who had they been in a lifeboat with me, would have been at the top of the menu. (Gleam)
 

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#183

Social snobbery is the source of more laughs than many other subjects!

I have never sailed with nor even met a Staff Captain.

Please, can somebody explain to me what a Staff Captain might do that a Chief Officer would not do?
 

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Lots of them. Lots.

Passenger ships use the term.

It is not the Chief Officer as we usually call today. The Chief Officer is now the 'Safety Officer'. The next is the Staff Captain and next to Captain. Some ships call it Deputy Captain. They also use the term Staff Chief Engineer. I even hear names like 'Chief Technical Officer'.

Some of them use pale blue between the gold on their cuffs and call it 'Environmental Officer' ( Sewage Engineer).

I loose track of it! In some ships they used to post a groups of photos for all of the officers, just for the passengers can recognise the captain and seniors. Now these days that don't post the photos... a security risk!!!! Oh well.
 

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Many of us know Canon Bob Evans, MBE, MNM, Chaplain to the Mersey Mission to Seafarers since about 1960 and still (I'm delighted to say) going strong at well into his middle nineties. He is also Chaplain to the RNR.

As to social standing, he explains that it is his duty to assume the rank of the person he is speaking to. Sound advice for those of us less holy than Canon Bob.
 

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I have always held the belief that the most undervalued and underrated person on board any British ship was the Bosun. He always seemed to me the one man one could rely on to make things happen. Never quite understood the importance of Carpenter and why he appeared above the Bosun on the crew list. Tradesman argument does not wash. Perhaps this new rating of CPO which which is assumed by the Bosun is someway towards the mans recognition.
 

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#193

I agree.

There must be a very large number of MN officers who, if they had not been blessed with the academic talent to pass some examinations, would never in a thousand years have risen to the rank of Bosun.

The mark of the Bosun is not merely his wealth of knowledge of all matters on deck but also his personal power of command; or personality. These are rare gifts.
 

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Bob,

I always wanted to sail in a passenger ship and have a book that says 'Senior Bar Tender'!!!!! The money is better than braid. ;-)
I hear that. I went to sea to make a living, and (corny as it may sound) a bit of adventure. I just didn't fancy a life in the factories of my home town, of which there were many in those days, now all gone.

It must have worked because I stuck it for 21 years before the collapse came. :eek:
 

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I hear that. I went to sea to make a living, and (corny as it may sound) a bit of adventure. I just didn't fancy a life in the factories of my home town, of which there were many in those days, now all gone.

It must have worked because I stuck it for 21 years before the collapse came. :eek:

I wonder about youngsters going to sea today. You see cadets at the age of 30 and just starting off! I wonder what they will end up as. Have laptop will travel!

Bar Tender... I knew one fellow, Furness Bermuda Line 1964 to 1966. 1966 to 1990 with Cunard and most of the time as Bar Tender in QE2. I think he owned most of Liverpool! Those days are gone I'm afraid.
 

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I have always held the belief that the most undervalued and underrated person on board any British ship was the Bosun. He always seemed to me the one man one could rely on to make things happen. Never quite understood the importance of Carpenter and why he appeared above the Bosun on the crew list. Tradesman argument does not wash. Perhaps this new rating of CPO which which is assumed by the Bosun is someway towards the mans recognition.
Cannot agree with the above. without doubt the most undervalued person on board a British ship is/was the Peggy.B\)

No saloon or mess room dining for him!

BW

J(Gleam)(Gleam)
 

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Cannot agree with the above. without doubt the most undervalued person on board a British ship is/was the Peggy.B\)

No saloon or mess room dining for him!

BW

J(Gleam)(Gleam)
Got to agree with that John. Undervalued? I got £3/6/8 per week for working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, plus loads of verbal abuse, and the occasional smack round the earhole.(Sad)

PS John, I replied to your PM but it is not showing in my sent box. Can you confirm you got it?
Pat
 

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I thought the best non-officer appointment was carpenter.
Recollect joining a ship and the bosun was eyeing up my bearer as he carried my kit aboard.

Ship was sail trainer, 'bearer' was elder son and bosun was female ;)
 
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