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My Great Uncle Dennis Stevenson: RNAS

Article about: Hi Guys, I never knew my Great Uncle Dennis as he lived in Scotland and died in the 1960's. He was my Grandad's brother. I have written about my Grandad on the forum here: http://warrelics.e

  1. #1

    Default My Great Uncle Dennis Stevenson: RNAS

    Hi Guys, I never knew my Great Uncle Dennis as he lived in Scotland and died in the 1960's. He was my Grandad's brother. I have written about my Grandad on the forum here:

    http://warrelics.eu/forum/allies-bri...15-1919-a.html

    Until I got my hands on the family photo album some years ago I never realised he served in the RNAS (Royal Naval Air Service) in the Great War. This was the photo I discovered. It was dated July 1918 on the back.

    Over the past few years I have tried the National Archives to see if he was listed but without any sucess. Last night an old friend (and now new forum member ) called. We got talking about research and I was advising him how to go about finding out information on family members service history. I opened the UK National Archives website in order to send him a link. I thought while I was on the site, I would have another go at finding "Uncle Den" as my Dad calls him. I tried the one version of the spelling of Dennis, with a single leter "N"; no luck. So I tried with two "N's. Bingo! He came up! I quickly paid the 3.50 fee to download his entry from the Admiralty Register of Seamens Services. I was very very pleased to get this information. A great early Xmas present!

    The card gives his personal details, name, place of birth together with a physical description. He was aged 19 when he joined up.

    It also tells you where he was posted. He was never on any ship.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Default re: My Great Uncle Dennis Stevenson: RNAS

    Interesting photo Ade, he has the rank of LAC (leading aircraftsman) and wears the Air Force Albatross
    Ben

  3. #3

    Default re: My Great Uncle Dennis Stevenson: RNAS

    Hi Ben, being ex RAF I am not surprised you noticed that

    The RNAS and the Royal Flying Corps were combined on April 1st 1918 to form the new Royal Air Force. This photo, the only one I have of him, was taken in July 1918. So the photo shows an interesting mix of the old Naval uniform but with the addition of new RAF rank badges. On close inspection of the photo with a glass, he also appears to wear RAF buttons.

    My Dad is calling his cousin Harry tonight to try and find out more about his service. Also I am keen for him to obtain his Dad's full service record from the RAF. These records unlike their Army counterparts did not suffer destruction by the Luftwaffe in 1940. I have checked and these are held by the National Archive, but only on mircofilm and are not yet online.

    Cheers, Ade.

  4. #4

    Default re: My Great Uncle Dennis Stevenson: RNAS

    Here is the document I obtained.

    Note the ink stamped "Formerly RNVR Y31744". The "Y" prefix indicates - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Deferred enlistment (replaced by divisional prefix on actual enlistment) I would imagine his occupation being listed as "Fitter" might have allowed him to join the service this little bit later than many others.

    All RNAS servicemens numbers had an "F" prefix. So his second serial number was "F42637".
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    Default re: My Great Uncle Dennis Stevenson: RNAS

    He joined up for "Hostilities" in other words for however long the war lasted.

    Here is a close up on his postings. As a mentioned earlier he did not got to sea but served at various Royal Naval Air Stations.

    "President II" was an administrative posting. All men upon joining the service were "posted" there merely as an administrative paper holding posting. Dec 3rd to Dec 5th 1917. This was in fact situated at Crystal Palace, London.

    Next to RNAS Tregaulle, (Any ideas were that was? I found only two mentions of it online) Dec 6th Dec 1917 to 29th Dec 1917.

    Crystal Palace 30th Dec 1917 to 9th March 1918 then to RNAS Daedalus, Lee on Solent, 10th March 1918 to 31st March 1918. "Daedalus" was a big seaplane base.

    He was then transfered to the new RAF. I have discovered that the RAF renumbered former RNAS men by adding a number 2 followed by any amount of zeros to make their new service number up to six digits, so his new RAF number would be "2042637". This would now be his third serial number!

    Charactor and Ability decribed as "Very good - Satisfactory"
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  6. #6

    Default re: My Great Uncle Dennis Stevenson: RNAS

    My Dad is going to ask his cousin Harry about any medals etc I would imagine he would have qualified for a War and Victory Medal.

    I do think we share a family likeness. He was a good looking bloke too

    Dad says he always had a flair for mechanical items and worked all his life as a industrial knitting machine mechanic.

    Cheers, Ade.

  7. #7

    Default re: My Great Uncle Dennis Stevenson: RNAS

    Ade, if his trade was fitter he would probably have been what was known as a "splitter" or "dual trade", they did engines as well as Airframes
    Ben

  8. #8

    Default re: My Great Uncle Dennis Stevenson: RNAS

    Hi Ben, thanks that is useful to know. But I am not sure if "fitter" actually refers more to his civvy occupation? As it is not listed as a "trade"?

    Cheers, Ade.

  9. #9

    Thumbs up re: My Great Uncle Dennis Stevenson: RNAS

    Hi Adrian


    Thx great news, you must be very pleased with this information together with those nice photo's you found earlier. It's always nice to find out what family members did during the war.

    My fathers grandfather served the Belgian army in WWI for 4 years in the trenches near Diksmuide. I also have another family member who fought in WWII on the east front. I would love to research him to someday when I have more information about him...


    Greetz

    Nick VR

  10. #10

    Default re: My Great Uncle Dennis Stevenson: RNAS

    Hi Nick, thanks for your comments. I love doing this kind of research.

    If you can get information on your relatives I know you would get a real thrill finding out about then too. You must do it!

    My Dad called me tonight to say his cousin Harry is also thrilled to hear that this info has come to light about his Dad. I am going to print out this thread and send it him. Dad forgot to ask about if he has his Dad's medals, but I will find out. My next step is to get the records from the RAF.

    Cheers, Ade.

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