Military Service Record (1884-1907)

John Samuel Mitchell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hover cursor over each image for details of its content.

 

Overview:

 

On enlisting with the Royal Navy, John stated his date of birth as 3 years less than it actually was. This was not uncommon, given that joining as a 'boy' would have ensured John had a reasonably well defined career structure, a regular income, and the opportunity to become educated and train for a trade. Had John enlisted as an 'adult' his career structure would have been less well defined, with fewer opportunities for progression.

 

Force served:

British Royal Navy

 

Service number:

129174

 

Ranks achieved:

Boy 2nd class, Boy 1st class, Ordinary Seaman, Able Seaman, Leading Seaman, Petty Officer 2nd class and Petty Officer 1st class

 

Previous occupation:

Maunder (a wanderer with no clear purpose in life)

 

Date/place of birth:

25 February 1869, Birmingham, Warwickshire (Naval record)

29 December 1866, Birmingham, Warwickshire (Birth certificate)

 

Enlistment dates/ages/place:

(1) 25 November 1884 for 3 years, 15 years (Naval record), 18 years (Birth certificate), Portsmouth, Hampshire

(2) 25 February 1887 for 10 years, 18 years (Naval record), 21 years (Birth certificate), Portsmouth, Hampshire

(3) 26 October 1896 to complete pensionable service, 27 years (Naval record), 30 years (Birth certificate), Portsmouth, Hampshire

 

Height:

5 ft 1 ins (1) - 5 ft 4 ins (2) - 5 ft 5 ins (3)

 

Hair colour:

Brown (1) - Brown (2) - Dark (3)

 

Colour of eyes:

Hazel (1) - Hazel (2) - Brown (3)

 

Complexion:

Fresh (1) - Fresh (2) - Fair (3)

 

Distinguishing marks:

Anchor on left hand (1) - Bracelets on both wrists (2) - Basket of flowers on left arm (3)

 

Conduct:

Generally rated as 'Very Good'

 

Discharge date/age/place:

23 February 1907, 38 years (Naval record), Portsmouth, Hampshire

24 February 1907, 41 years (Birth certificate), Joined Royal Navy Reserve, Portsmouth, Hampshire

 

Reason for discharge:

Shore pensioned

 

WW1/WW2 service:

None

 

Postings:

 

H.M.S. Impregnable Training Ship:

25 Nov 1884 to 28 Jun 1886, Boy 2nd class/Boy 1st class, Devonport, Devonshire, TRAINING

 

H.M.S. Superb Iron Clad Battleship:

29 Jun 1886 to 20 May 1887, Boy 1st class/Ordinary Seaman, Chatham, Kent, VESSEL RE-FIT GUARD DUTY

 

H.M.S. Duncan Screw Propelled Battleship:

21 May 1887 to 9 Nov 1887, Ordinary Seaman, Pembroke, Wales, HARBOUR SERVICE

 

H.M.S. Rover Iron Screw Corvette:

10 Nov 1887 to 17 Apr 1888, Ordinary Seaman, Chatham, Kent, TRAINING

 

H.M.S. Duncan Screw Propelled Battleship:

18 Apr 1888 to 1 Jun 1888, Ordinary Seaman, Pembroke, Wales, HARBOUR SERVICE

 

H.M.S. Rupert Iron Clad Battleship:

2 Jun 1888 to 31 Mar 1890, Ordinary Seaman/Able Seaman, Hull, Humberside, GUARD DUTY

 

H.M.S. Andromache Cruiser:

1 Apr 1890 to 29 Oct 1891, Able Seaman, Chatham, Kent, VESSEL UNDER CONSTRUCTION GUARD DUTY

 

H.M.S. Pembroke Screw Propulsion Battleship:

30 Oct 1891 to 7 Jan 1892, Able Seaman, Firth of Clyde, Scotland, MINESWEEPING

 

H.M.S. Gannet Screw Propulsion Composite Sloop:

8 Jan 1892 to 16 Mar 1895, Able Seaman, Mediterranean and Red Sea, SURVEY AND HYDROGRAPHIC WORK

 

H.M.S. Victory I Naval School of Telegraphy:

17 Mar 1895 to 30 Apr 1895, Able Seaman, Portsmouth, Hampshire, TRAINING

 

H.M.S. Inflexible Armour Plated Battleship:

1 May 1895 to 17 Oct 1895, Able Seaman, Portsmouth, Hampshire, GUARD DUTY

 

H.M.S. Active Commodore's Squadron Training Ship:

18 Oct 1895 to 13 Oct 1896, Able Seaman/Leading Seaman, Portsmouth, Hampshire, TRAINING

 

H.M.S. Victory I Naval School of Telegraphy:

14 Oct 1896 to 9 Nov 1896, Leading Seaman, Portsmouth, Hampshire, TRAINING

 

H.M.S. Excellent Maritime Warfare School:

10 Nov 1896 to 29 May 1897, Petty Officer 2nd class, Portsmouth, Hampshire, INSTRUCTOR

 

H.M.S. Victory III Naval Training Base:

30 May 1897 to 14 Aug 1897, Petty Officer 2nd class, Portsmouth, Hampshire, INSTRUCTOR

 

H.M.S. Victory I Naval School of Telegraphy:

15 Aug 1897 to 17 Aug 1897, Petty Officer 2nd class, Portsmouth, Hampshire, INSTRUCTOR

 

H..M.S. Excellent Maritime Warfare School:

18 Aug 1897 to 29 Aug 1897, Petty Officer 2nd class, Portsmouth, Hampshire, INSTRUCTOR

 

H.M.S. Medina Fleet Air Arm Training Ship:

30 Aug 1897 to 30 Sep 1897, Petty Officer 2nd class, Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire, INSTRUCTOR

 

H.M.S Victory I Naval School of Telegraphy:

1 Oct 1897 to 31 Oct 1897, Petty Officer 2nd class, Portsmouth, Hampshire, INSTRUCTOR

 

H.M.S. Porpoise Twin Screw Cruiser:

30 Nov 1897 to 31 May 1898, Petty Officer 2nd class, China Station, PATROL VESSEL

 

H.M.S. Victory I Naval School of Telegraphy:

30 Apr 1898 to 30 Jun 1898, Petty Officer 2nd class, Portsmouth, Hampshire, INSTRUCTOR

 

H.M.S. Resolution Twin Screw Battleship:

1 Jul 1898 to 24 Dec 1899, Petty Officer 2nd class/Petty Officer 1st class, Portsmouth, Hampshire, HOME PORT PROTECTION, CHANNEL SQUADRON

 

H.M.S. Collingwood Twin Screw Battleship:

25 Dec 1899 to 2 Jan 1900, Petty Officer 1st class, Bantry, Ireland, COASTGUARD DUTY

Limerick Balling Killings Battalion: 3 Jan 1900 to 14 May 1902, Petty Officer 1st class. Quelling civil unrest and rioting in Ireland, following trial outcomes (finally resolved in 1914) for murders of Lord Frederick Charles Cavendish (newly appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland) and Thomas Henry Burke (Under Secretary for Ireland), in Phoenix Park, Limerick on 6 May 1882.

 

H.M.S. Duke of Wellington I Steam Assisted Wooden Battleship:

15 May 1902 to 13 Jun 1902, Petty Officer 1st class, Portsmouth, Hampshire, RECEIVING SHIP

 

H.M.S. Vernon Steam Assisted Wooden Battleship:

14 Jun 1902 to 12 Jan 1903, Petty Officer 1st class, Devonport, Devonshire, TORPEDO TRIALS

 

H.M.S. Orion Armour Plated Corvette:

13 Jan 1903 to 24 Feb 1903, Petty Officer 1st class, Malta, Mediterranean Fleet, DEPOT SHIP FOR TORPEDO BOAT DESTROYERS

 

H.M.S. Hibernia Iron Clad Frigate:

25 Feb 1903 to 31 Dec 1904, Petty Officer 1st class, Malta, Mediterranean Fleet, DEPOT SHIP FOR TORPEDO BOAT DESTROYERS
 

H.M.S. Orion Armour Plated Corvette:

1 Jan 1904 to 14 Feb 1904, Petty Officer 1st class, Malta, Mediterranean Fleet, DEPOT SHIP FOR TORPEDO BOAT DESTROYERS

 

H.M.S. Leander Cruiser:

15 Feb 1904 to 10 Mar 1904, Petty Officer 1st class, Malta, Mediterranean Fleet, DEPOT SHIP FOR TORPEDO BOAT DESTROYERS

 

H.M.S. Imogene Iron Screw Yacht:

11 Mar 1904 to 3 Feb 1905, Petty Officer 1st class, Malta, Mediterranean Fleet, SPECIAL SERVICE VESSEL

 

H.M.S. Firequeen Steam Yacht:

4 Feb 1905 to 31 Mar 1905, Petty Officer 1st class, Portsmouth, Hampshire, GENERAL DEPOT SHIP

 

H.M.S. Victory I Naval School of Telegraphy:

1 Apr 1905 to 23 Feb 1907, Petty Officer 1st class, Portsmouth, Hampshire, INSTRUCTOR

 

Royal Navy Reserve:

24 Feb 1907 to 24 Feb 1907, Petty Officer 1st class, Portsmouth, Hampshire

 

Aftermath:

 

John had a successful career through which he progressed from Boy 2nd class to Petty Officer 1st class (equivalent to a Sargent in the Army) within 15 years.

 

Much of his career was spent being trained, or serving as an instructor in training establishments, this combined with his good conduct ratings and steady advancement suggests he was good at his job, and was probably diligent with good interpersonal skills.

 

As well as serving in Britain, he spent 6 months in China, 2 years in Ireland and 2 years in Malta, although not during any significant naval conflicts of battles.

 

John was more fortunate than many of his contemporaries, in that he was not wounded, and does not appear to have suffered from any serious infectious disease or other handicap as a result of his service.

 

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