Sunday, 3 November 2013

Service Record

Royal Navy Service Record of Robert (Bob) John Sharplin

Royal Navy Official Number: KX80024
Port Division: Chatham
Service Period: 8th July 1929 – 12th February 1953

Research by his son - Clive Sharplin.

Bob, believed to be mid 1941 to early 1942
Photo: Sharplin family archive

This Record is a compilation of Bob’s original Royal Navy documents which either accompanied or followed him throughout the whole of his 23½ years wherever he served. Incredibly they survived that ordeal and are now in the care of his family. They provided in sequence the name of every ship or shore establishment to which he was drafted with the relevant service dates, his educational and speciality (professional) qualifications attained, his progression through the ranks, decorations and awards made to him and the personal performance and conduct reports made by each of his Divisional and Commanding Officers.

The critical source documents were:

Admiralty Form S.-459         “Certificate of Service”
Admiralty Form S.-1243       “True Copy of Certificate of Service”
Admiralty Form S.-1246a     “Employment and Ability Record”
Admiralty Form S.-239         “Recommendations for Advancement Conduct Record Sheet”


08/07/1929     Volunteered at age 18 for 12 years service. Previous  
                       occupation given as “Butcher & Errand Boy”   
08/07/1941     Re-engaged to complete time for pension
1951               Service period automatically extended by 18 months due to
                       hostilities (Korean War)
12/02/1953     Retired on pension


                                    08/07/1929     Upon entry rated Stoker 2nd Class                 
11/05/1930     Rated Stoker 1st Class
11/06/1935     Rated Acting Leading Stoker
12/06/1935     Provisionally selected as “Mechanician Candidate”
12/06/1935     Rated Acting Stoker Petty Officer
11/03/1936     Qualified to take charge of Boiler Room whilst steaming
12/06/1936     Rated Stoker Petty Officer
11/11/1938     Rated qualified for Warrant Officer Rank in the Mechanician
                       (He subsequently declined to accept commissioned rank - See   
                             Note 1 )
30/01/1939     Rated Mechanician 2nd Class, Petty Officer
01/06/1940     Rated Mechanician 1st Class, Petty Officer
01/10/1944     Declared as “Is in all respects capable of taking charge of the
                       Machinery of a small ship”
25/01/1945     Rated Acting Chief Mechanician Petty Officer
09/02/1945     Passed “Good” by examination for Chief Mechanician
10/08/1945     Rated Chief Mechanician Petty Officer


3 Good Conduct Badges (Chevron Stripes)

1st awarded 08/07/1932
2nd awarded 08/07/1937
3rd awarded 08/07 1942

Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, 08/07/1944

  1. After WW2 and in retirement Bob was on record in saying that he believed that with the post-war value of hindsight this decision may well have saved his life. In making that statement he held the belief that so many of his contemporaries who had accepted a commission at around that same time were drafted as Senior Engineers into the smaller ships such as destroyers, frigates and corvettes had ultimately lost their lives as those vessels suffered horrendous losses in ships and men from enemy action.