Many of these branches disappeared in the 20th century and of course, all have now gone in the 21st century.

A look back to the first badges used on ratings uniforms dating from the mid 19th century

We start our story off with 'badges', and just to confuse you, although the Royal Navy has lockers full of them with many different shapes, sizes, names and colours, we only refer to one of them as a BADGE. To further complicate things, in reality it is a 'stripe' but we don't call it such: we leave that for our buddies in the marines, the army and the air force to use that expression. Whilst not part of my story on this page, in the navy, a 'stripe' is worn by an officer to denote his rank, for example, a lieutenant has two stripes and a captain, four stripes.

We assessed men in the navy in two ways, and from those assessment an immediate picture came to mind about the overall quality of the man. The first assessment was the CHARACTER of the man which was a measure of his morals, his self discipline and thus his CONDUCT in the Service. The assessments were Very Good [VG]; Good, Fair, Indifferent and Bad.  The vast majority of sailors [in excess of 95%] were assessed as VG.  Thus being assessed as only Good meant that one was not up to the norm which was adjudged to be Very Good, and being less than Good usually meant that one was well below par and your future was bleak. As a reward, a man with a continuous VG Conduct record measured over a specific period was given a 'badge' which rather strangely was called a Good Conduct Badge, a GCB. In reality it should have been called a VGCB because been assessed as only Good continuously over the same specific period would have denied a man getting this 'badge'.   With the 'badge' came a small money allowance* and badgemen had certain privileges denied to non-badgemen.  In order to encourage the man to maintain his VG status, there was always the threat of it been taken off him for any wrong doing, and a mandatory wait period before he got it back given that he mended his ways.

*Badge pay stopped on the 1st April 1970.

Before continuing with GCB's, let me tidy away the other assessment mentioned above. The second assessment was EFFICIENCY at his job at his rate.  These were Inferior; Moderate; Satisfactory; Superior and Exceptional and to be marked as Satisfactory [SAT] was good enough. To be 'VG SAT'  meant that you were a trusted a well rounded sailor, quite adequate and most suitable for promotion when it came your way. At a guess, I would reckon that at least 65% of the navy were assessed as SAT with only a few percentage-wise below SAT, the other 33% or so in the higher assessment groups.

Back to the GCB story.

GCB's were first introduced in 1849, just 44 years after the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. They were of gold lace and chevron in design and were worn on the left arm. Below the rank of chief petty officer, the left and right arms show two types of badges, on the left arm SUBSTANTIVE badges and on the right arm NON-SUBSTANTIVE badges.  Substantive badges show naval rank {petty officer; leading hand; instructor boy; petty officer boy and leading boy} and the GCB's, whilst unlike the marines, army and air force have absolutely nothing to do with rank, are to do with good conduct, reliability, experience and if necessary, responsibility.  Non-substantive badges reflect the branch you are in and the level of expertise you have reached in professional examinations.

The first GCB was awarded after five years service, the second after ten years service and the third after fifteen years service, all times dating from the sailors eighteenth birthday or later if he joined after the age of eighteen.  Time served before eighteen did not count. Before 1860, a Royal Navy sailor could claim time spent in the Merchant Navy towards his qualifying time. In 1860, after a major rethink on 'Conditions of Service' in the light of the Crimean War,  the time periods for GCB's were altered to three years for the first, the second after eight years and the third after thirteen years. It remained that way for 90 long years until 1950, when common sense prevailed and the awards were made every four years after four, eight and twelve years service respectively. The reason for three only badges was that a man's fourth 'badge' would have been {prior to 1860] due after twenty years service and that was the time he would have left the navy in those days. After 1860, he had the opportunity of going for a pension to serve twenty two years, and after his third GCB {after thirteen years service when aged thirty two} his next "reward" was a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and a small cash gratuity negating the need for a fourth 'badge'.  And so it has always been a maximum of three GCB's. For the second half of the twentieth century sailors joining on or before their eighteenth birthday wore three GCB's on their left arm from the age of thirty. CPO's wore GCB's  when they were introduced at a time when they wore square rig, but ceased doing so when in fore and aft rig. Today, a sailor serving a pensionable career, has, after his third GCB, the award of a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal [LSGC] plus a cash gratuity after fifteen years service, followed by a pension when aged forty after twenty two years service.  It is possible to serve to a much greater age than forty, and that could bring a clasp award for his LSGC. This clasp was introduced on the 24th January 1945.

From the first introduction of GCB's, while the gold lace badges were sold as such for wear on blue cloth jackets and blue serge frocks, badges of blue serge had to be made up by the tailors to go on white duck frocks.  In 1860,  red badges were instituted for blue serge frocks, gold being worn on jackets only, and thereafter gold, red and blue GCB's could be purchased made up in ones, twos, or threes with the badge of a petty officer or leading seaman attached to them.  After the blue jacket was abolished in 1891, gold badges were worn on the number one frock which had replaced it as best, and when that also went out in 1906, on the number 1 jumper.  It may be convenient to explain here that the frock was a rather loose garment which was tucked into the top of the trousers while the jumper was slimmer fitting and was worn outside them.

Thinking on that left arm business mentioned above {the substantive side} 1958 heralded in a most unfortunate and grossly unpopular badge which was to be worn on the jumper/jacket left arm cuff by all ratings serving in submarines. The badge could hardly be considered to be SUBSTANTIVE {certainly less so than GCB's] and was called the 'pregnant sausage' or other less attractive names by all submariners including me, and although it was a SLOPS item until 1964, it was rarely seen on a uniform it being considered ridiculous. In my picture below I have shown it in line drawing, but it did come in all the normal colours namely red, white and gold, being a sewn image on normal badge-cloth.

Now for Non-Substantive badges which follow below.  But first a bit of history about them to help you understand more fully. Please do not rush ahead to the badges themselves for the history of them is as important and the badges themselves.

From the earliest of times the various duties that have to be performed in a ship of war have required the allocation of a number of separate men for their performance, so that everyone knew what his particular job would be and what jobs would be done by other men.  According to the importance of his duties so a man was graded and paid.  Some jobs might carry a petty officer's rate, some would not.

In the year after the Battle of Trafalgar there were as many as forty eight different ratings to be found in a ship of the line.  By 1st April 1853, when the rating of chief petty officer was first introduced, this number had swollen to seventy nine.   Thirteen of this total had been added in 1847 when eleven other ratings which had become obsolete were abolished.

There was no special arrangements for the training of men in special duties, and ratings were given or taken away at the discretion of the captain.  In 1830 there was a new department.  A Gunnery School was set up at Portsmouth in HMS Excellent and was later moved ashore.  The products of this school were rated as seamen gunners.  In 1860 gunnery instructors were also introduced and in this year the gunnery ratings were given embroidered badges to wear on their sleeve.  These consisted of a gun superimposed on a crossed rifle and cutlass with a crown above for gunnery instructors and a single gun with or without crown above it,  for seamen gunners of the first or second class respectively.

By 1885, the invention of the torpedo had led to the introduction of a new family of ratings. Men were trained in both weapons, and this led to both guns and torpedoes appearing on their badges, the arm for which they were principally trained being placed in front of the other on the badge. In the new set of badges, four had the gun in front of the torpedo, two the torpedo in front of the gun.  In the same year sick berth ratings shipped the Red Cross as their badge.

These [the gunnery] badges lasted only five years and they were modified in 1890 when some badges with a single gun also appeared.  At the same time badges were introduced for stokers, signalmen, artisans, gymnastic instructors and naval police.

In 1903, the gunnery and torpedo badges were all reorganised, each branch becoming completely independent of the other and wearing devices showing the one weapon only.  New badges for other branches followed, for wireless telegraphy ratings in 1909, for officer's stewards and cooks in 1916, for range-takers in 1918, for divers in 1919, for surveying recorders in 1921, for photographers, telegraphist air gunners and the new anti submarine branch in 1930.

1932 saw sail-makers having their turn and the various ratings that came under the jurisdiction of the accountant branch had some variety introduced into their badges.

In 1933, the signal and wireless telegraphy branches were reorganised with changed titles, and this led to changes in their badges in the following year.

One year before WW2 started [1938] the gunnery branch followed and also reorganised. It had been found that with the complexity of weapons it was no longer possible to give every man such a wide training as had hitherto been attempted, and in consequence men were now to specialise in one of four branches - gun-laying, quarters, control or anti-aircraft.  Many of the older gunnery and range-taker ratings were replaced and in 1939 came a new series of badges in which a man's particular sub-specialisation was indicated by distinguishing letters below the badge.

This same opening of war year saw the introduction of air mechanics, organised into three sections - airframes, electrical and engines.

WW2 gave rise to some additional badges, such as those for boom defence in 1941 and for combined operations in 1942. In 1944 responsibility for electrical matters was taken away from the torpedo branch who had held it since its introduction into the Navy in the last century, and was given to a new independent department.  Two new branches thus emerged from the old, each with its own basic badge.  These were the electrical badge, and the torpedo-anti-submarine branch which was formed by the amalgamation of these two disciplines. The new badges did not appear until 1947.

Up to this time, each branch had developed its own badges in its own fashion and the crowns and stars of one had not necessarily the same meaning as they had for another.  There were branches in which the same basic badge was worn without addition by all members of the branch.  In 1948, an attempt was made to rationalise the meaning of these additional crowns and stars throughout the Navy.   The original scheme had to be modified in 1951 when a new pay structure caused the chief petty officer of most branches to adopt two grades of badges according to their two grades of pay.  To the onlooker it seems strange that at a period when differences between officers' dress for the various branches were being obliterated so many additional badges should be introduced to show minor changes between the same status of ratings. Nevertheless frequent changes in non-substantive badges continued.

In 1956. it was decided that the title 'boy' was no longer appropriate and these were re-designated to be 'juniors'.  At the same time it was decided that it was no longer desirable that a new entrant should delay specialisation until he had been some time at sea and this lead to some reorganisation of the meaning of badges in the lower categories.  Before 1956, boy's had communication branch badges but those training for the seaman branch had none.

Badges are made in red for wear on blue uniforms and in blue for wear on white uniforms.  On No1 uniforms the badges are of gold.

So, what follows are the badges of the Royal Navy from the 19th century until the mid to late 20th century, sixty six basic badges in all with variants not shown.  The badges are arranged in the chronological order of the first introduction of each basic design.  THEY ARE TAKEN FROM OFFICIAL ADMIRALTY FILES.   Some of them appear alien to our more recent understanding of badges and at first glance you might question a badge for a rate.  Some of them tell of great and profound changes none more so than this badge on the left below, which

Click to enlarge

See this picture of ratings training to be pilots during WW2

See entries 84 and 85 alongside this branch badge

in the period 1945-1948 was the badge of a Rating Pilot [Completed Flying Training] and in the period 1948-1961, the badge of a 3rd class Photographer.

However, bear in mind the third paragraph above which begins with "Up to this time".  Where a date is shown with a hyphen only and no subsequent date, this means that the badge was still extant after the date shown.  Enjoy.

BADGE MAKE UP RATE ALTERNATIVE MAKE UP AND ASSOCIATED RATE DATE
Crown above gun over crossed cutlass and rifle 1. Gunnery Instructor n/a 1860-1885
Crown above gun 1. Seaman Gunner 1st class 2.  Gun on its own, Seaman Gunner 2nd class 1860-1885
Crown and star above gun crossed over torpedo encircled with wreath 1.  Gunnery Instructor -

 

2.  Without wreath {WW} -Crown star above and below - Gunnery Instructor if captain of turret.
3.  WW - Crown and star above - Gunnery Instructor if not captain of turret.
4.  WW - Crown above - Seaman Gunner Torpedo Man 1st class.
5.  WW - Star above and below - Seaman Gunner Torpedo Man if captain of a gun.
6.  WW - Star above - Seaman Gunner Torpedo Man 2nd class.
7.  WW  - Star above - Seaman Gunner Torpedo Man  not captain of a gun.
8.  WW - no additions - Seaman Gunner Torpedo Man 3rd class.
9.  WW - no additions - Acting Seaman Gunner Torpedo Man

1885-1890

 

1890-1903

1890-1903

1885-1890
1890-1903

1885-1890
1890-1903

1885-1890
1886-1890

Crown and star above torpedo crossed over gun 1.  Leading Torpedo Man -


2.  Crown and star above torpedo crossed over gun - Torpedo Instructor.
3.  Crown and star above torpedo crossed over gun surrounded by a wreath - Torpedo Instructor.
4.  Star above and below torpedo crossed over gun - Coxswain of Torpedo Boat.
5.  Star above torpedo crossed by gun - Leading Torpedo Man

1885-1890


1890-1903

1885-1890

1890-1903

1890-1903

Anchor and cable 1.  CPO not in possession of any gunnery or torpedo training: worn on lapels. - 1890-1908
Example Badge - Crown  above Red Cross with star and 'H' below Covers all ratings in the Medical Branch from 1911 to post 1965 whether Sick Berth Attendants [SBA's] or Medical Technicians.

All of the following types of badges have the RED CROSS as the centre piece. The periods in which badges were extant [thus changes occurred] within the overall period 1911-post 1965 {as shown in column 3} were:-
1911-1933; 1933-1939; 1933-1949; 1949-1951; 1951-1965; 1949-1965; 1949-1958; and post 1965.

Each has variants which are the addition of Crowns, Stars and Letter[s] {worn above and below badges} signifying a specific specialisation as follows:-

D = Dental Attendant; Dental Surgery Attendant; Dental Technician.
DM = Dental Mechanic.
H = Hygiene Inspector.
HP = Health Physicist
L = Laboratory Assistant; Laboratory Attendant; Medical Laboratory Technician.
M = Mental Nurse; Masseur.
N = State Registered Male Nurse.
O = Operating Room Technician; Operating Room Attendant; Operating Room Assistant.
P = Physiotherapist
R = Radiographer
X = X-Ray Assistant; Radiographer

The letters M and P were not always used as shown above. The letter P was originally used for MENTAL {PSYCHIATRY}  and the M for PHYSIOTHERAPY {MASSAGE/MASSEUR}.

1911-post 1965

 



 

 

Gun with Crown and star above and below. 1. Gunnery Instructor if also a sightseer. -


2.   Crown and star above - Armament Instructor Royal Navy Air Service [RNAS].
3.   Star above, two stars below - Captain of Gun 1st class
4.   Star above and star below - Seaman Gunner 1st class, if also Captain of Gun.
5.   Star above and star below - Second Captain of Gun.
6.   Star above and star below - Sightseer.
7.   Star above and star below - Captain of Gun 2nd class
8.   Star above letter 'A' below - AA rating 3rd class
9.   Star above letter 'C' below - Control rating 3rd class
10. Star above letter 'P' below - Seaman Gunner Patrol Service
11. Star above letter 'Q' below - Quarters rating 3rd class
12. Star above letter 'DEMS' below - Seaman Gunner Defensively Equipped Merchant Ship
13. Star above letter 'R' below - Radar Control rating 3rd class
14. Star above - Seaman Gunner 1st class
15. Star above - Seaman Gunner
16. Star above - CPO [G]
17. Star above - Aerial Gunner [RNAS]
18. Star Below - Seaman Gunner 2nd class if also Captain of Gun
19. Letter 'BD' below - Quarters rating 3rd class Boom Defence
20. Without any addition {waa} - Seaman Gunner 2nd class
21. {waa}  Seaman Gunner

1904-1909


1916-1918

1927-1939
1890-1903

1903-1904
1904-1909
1927-1939
1939-1949
1939-1948
1941-1948
1939-1948
1941-1948

1944-1948
1890-1903
1903-1939
1909-1947
1916-1918
1890-1903
1941-1948
1890-1903
1890-1903

Ship's propeller with Crown above and star above and below. 1. Mechanician
2. Chief Motor Mechanic
-

-

3.   Crown above star below - Chief Stoker
4.   Crown above star below - Mechanician
5.   Crown above star below - CPO Stoker Mechanic [hrp]
6.   Crown above star below - Chief Engineering Mechanic [hrp]
7.   Crown above - Chief Stoker
8.   Crown above - Stoker PO
9.   Crown above - CPO Stoker Mechanic
10. Crown above - PO Stoker Mechanic
11. Crown above - CPO Stoker Mechanic [lrp]
12. Crown above - Chief Engineering Mechanic
13. Crown above - PO Engineering Mechanic
14. Star above star below - Mechanician
15. Star above star below - Stoker PO
16. Star above star below - Motor Mechanic
17. Star above star below - Leading Stoker Mechanic
18. Star above star below - Leading Engineering Mechanic
19. Star above - Chief Stoker
20. Star above - Stoker Mechanic
21. Star above - Leading Stoker passed for Stoker PO
22. Star above - Leading Stoker
23. Star above - Leading Stoker Mechanic
24. Star above - Stoker 1st class
25. Star above - Stoker Mechanic
26. Star above - Engineering  Mechanic 1st class
27. Letters 'FF' below - Stoker Firefighter
28. {waa} Leading Stoker
29. {waa} Stoker
30. {waa} Stoker 2nd class
31. {waa} Stoker
32. {waa} Engineering Mechanic 2nd class

1914-1932

1943-1948

1914-1932
1932-1948
1951-1955
1955-
1932-1947
1932-1947
1947-1951
1947-1955
1951-1955
1955-
1955-
1906-1914
1913-1932
1943-1948
1948-1955
1955-
1890-1914
1890-1914
1914-1932
1932-1947
1947-1948
1932-1947
1947-1955
1955-
1942-1947
1890-1914
1890-1932
1890-1947
1947-1955
1955-

Crossed Flags - Crown with star above and two stars below. 1. Chief Yeoman of Signals [CYS] -


2.   Crown star above and below - Signal Instructor
3.   Crown above and two stars below - Visual Signalling Instructor
4.   Crown above and two stars below - Tactical Communications Instructor
5.   Crown above star below - Visual Signalman 1st class
6.   Crown above star below - Visual Signalling Instructor
7.   Crown above star below - CYS [hrp]
8.   Crown above star below - Chief Communications Yeoman [CCY]
9.   Crown above - CYS
10. Crown above - Yeoman of Signals [YS]
11. Crown above - Visual Signalman 2nd class if CPO or PO
12. Crown above - CYS
13. Crown above - CYS [lrp]
14. Crown above- CCY {lrp]
15. Crown above - YS
16. Crown above - CY
17. Star above two stars below - Qualified Signalman  higher standard class 1
18. Star above two stars below - YS
19. Star above two stars below - Visual Signalman 2nd class if below PO
20. Star above star below - Qualified Signalman passed for higher grade
21. Star above star below - Qualified Signalman higher standard class II
22. Star above star below - Leading Signalman
23. Star above star below - Visual Signalman 3rd class
24. Star above star below - Leading Signalman
25. Star above star below - CY {lrp}
26. Star above star below - Leading Tactical Communication Operator
27. Star above star below - Tactical Communications Operator 1st class
28. Star above letter 'C' below - Leading Coder
29. Star above - Qualified Signalman
30. Star above - Signalman
31. Star above - Trained Operator [TM] Visual Signalling
32. Star above - Signalman
33. Star above - Tactical Communication Operator 2nd class
34. Star above - Leading Signalman
35. Letters 'BD' below - Visual Signalman Boom Defence
36. Letter 'C' below - Leading Coder
37. Letter 'C' below - Coder or Ordinary Coder
38. Letters 'LC' below - Landing Craft Signalman
39. {waa} Signalman
40. {waa} Signalman if not trained operator in visual signalling
41. {waa} Ordinary Signalman
42. {waa} Tactical Communication Operator
43. {waa} Signal Boy
44. {waa} Junior Signalman
45. {waa} Junior Tactical Communication Operator
46. {waa} Convoy Signalman

1909-1932
 

1890-1909
1951-1958
1958-

1934-1948
1948-1951
1951-1958
1958-

1932-1934
1932-1934
1934-1948
1948-1951
1951-1958
1958-
1948-1958
1958-
1904-1909

1909-1932
1934-1948

1890-1904

1904-1909

1909-1932
1934-1948
1948-1958
1958-
1958-1962

1958-1962

1940-1941
1890-1909
1909-1934
1934-1948
1948-1958
1958-1962
1932-1934
1941-1948
1941-1948
1940-1948
1943-1948
1890-1909
1934-1948
1890-1958
1958-1962
1890-1956
1956-1958
1958-1962
1941-1948

Crossed Flags [but note the different pattern and colours] with that of a Yeoman's badge above. This one has  a Crown above and the letters S.S.S., below. 1. PO, RN  Shore Signal Service worn on the LEFT arm -

 


2.   Letters S.S.S., below - Signalman, Royal Navy Shore Signal Service

1925 to not known

 

As above.

Crossed Rifles with star above 1. 1st class marksman -

2. Cross Rifles with star above - Marksman
3. {waa} 2nd class marksman
4. {waa} Marksman

1890-1920

1920-1932
1890-1920
1932-

Rifle 1. 3rd class marksman - 1890-1920
Star. THREE types. Gold 1", Silver 1" and " used on boys' uniforms whilst under initial training. A. GOLD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B. SILVER

C. SMALL STAR

1.   Schoolmaster [CPO]
2.   Naval Schoolmaster [CPO]
3.   Ship's Steward [CPO]
4.   Victualling CPO
5.   Supply CPO
6.   Second Ship's Steward [PO]
7.   Victualling PO
8.   Supply PO
9.   Ship's Steward Assistant [Leading Hand]
10. Leading Victualling Assistant
11. Leading Supply Assistant
12. Victualling Assistant [Trained Man Able Rate] {tmar}
13. Supply Assistant {tmar}
14. Ship's Steward's Boy
15. Victualling Boy
16. Writer Branch
1.   Ship's Cook [CPO]
2.   Ship's Cook's Mate [PO]
1.   Advanced Class Boys' whilst in Boys' Training Establishments
1890-1913
1913-1921
1890-1918
1918-1922
1922-1932
1912-1918
1918-1922
1922-1932
1890-1918
1918-1922
1922-1932
1918-1922
1922-1932
1890-1918
1918-1922
1890-1932
1890-1932
1890-1932
1919-1956

and

Crown within a wreath. 1. Master at Arms -

2.   Crown between the letters 'N' and 'P' - Naval Police
 


3.   Crown between the letters 'R' and 'P' - Regulating PO



4.   Crown {waa} - Regulating PO



5.   Crown {waa} - Leading Patrolman



6.   Crown {waa} - Leading Regulator  

1921-

1890-1919



1919-1921



1921-



1945-1967



1967-

Crossed Clubs with Crown above and two stars below 1.  Staff Physical Training Instructor -

2.   Crown above star above and below - Gymnastic Instructor 1st class
3.   Crown above star below and above - Physical Training Instructor 1st class
4.   Crown above star below and above - Physical Training and Recreational Instructor 1st class
5.   Crown above star below and above - Physical and Recreational Instructor 1st class
6.   Crown and star above - Gymnastic Instructor
7.   Crown and star above - Physical Training Instructor 2nd class
8.   Crown and star above - Physical Training and Recreational Instructor 2nd class
9.   Crown above and star below - Physical and Recreational Training Instructor 2nd class
10. Crown above and star below - Physical and Recreational Training Instructor 1st class
11. Crown above and star below - Staff Physical Training Instructor
12. Crown above and star below - Physical Trainer CPO 1st class 
13. Crown above - Gymnastic Instructor
14. Crown above - Gymnastic Instructor 3rd class
15. Crown above - Physical and Recreational Training Instructor 2nd class
16. Crown above - Physical Trainer CPO
17. Crown above - Physical Trainer CPO 2nd class
18. Crown above - Physical Trainer 1st class [Not CPO]
19. Star above and below - Physical Trainer 2nd class

1951-

1904-1909

1909-1921

1921-1923

1923-1932

1904-1909
1909-1921
1921-1923

1923-1932

1932-1948

1948-1951
1951-
1890-1904
1904-1909
1932-1948

1948-1951
1951-
1948-
1948-

Crown above crossed axe and hammer with star below 1. CPO Artisan -

2.   Crown above crossed axe and hammer with star below - Ship Mechanic 1st class RNR
3.   Crown above crossed axe and hammer with star below - Marine Engineering Artificer [Hull] 1st class RNR
4.   Crown above - Chief Shipwright
5.   Crown above - CPO Artisan
6.   Crown above - Artisan 1st, 2nd or 3rd class
7.   Crown above - Ship Mechanic 2nd class RNR
8.   Crown above - Marine Engineering Artificer [Hull] 2nd class RNR
9.   Star above - Skilled Shipwright
10. Star above - Blacksmith, Plumber, Painter all 1st class; Chief Carpenter's Mate and Carpenters Mate
11. Star above - Armament Mechanic RNAS
12. Star above - Cooper, Joiner, Shipwright 1st or 2nd class
13. Star above - Chief Shipwright
14. Star above - Chief Blacksmith, Chief Plumber, Chief Painter, Chief Cooper
15. Star above - Chief Joiner
16. Star above -All Artisans 1st, 2nd or 3rd class
17. {waa} All other Artificers [but not ERA's]
18. {waa} All other Artisans
19. {waa} Ship Mechanic acting 2nd and 3rd class RNR
20. {waa} Marine Engineering Artificers [Hull] acting 2nd and 3rd class RNR

1951-1968

1968-1970

1970-

1932-1948
1948-1951
1948-1968
1968-1970
1970-

1890-1919
1890-1924

1916-1918
1919-1924
1919-1932
1919-1948

1924-1948
1924-1968
1890-1913
1913-1968
1968-1970
1970-

Star over crossed axe and hammer with gun on top 1. PO Armourer 1st class -

2.   Star over crossed axe and hammer with gun on top - Chief Armourer
3.   Star over crossed axe and hammer with gun on top - Armourer
4.   {waa} Armourer's Mate
5.   {waa} Armourer's Crew

1890-1891

1891-1948

1891-1948
1890-1948
1890-1948

Star over crossed axe and hammer with torpedo on top 1.Chief and other torpedo Artificers -

 

1890-1893
Bugle 1. Bugler [when the navy had its own bluejacket bands before the days of the Royal Marine Bands]. - 1897-
Crossed Guns with Crown above and stars top and bottom 1.  Gunner Instructor if also Captain of turret.
2.  Gunnery Instructor if also turret gunlayer.
3.  Gunner's Mate if also gunlayer 1st class.
4.  Gunner's Mate
-


-


-


-

5.   Crown and star above - Gunnery Instructor if not Captain of turret
6.   Crown and star above - Gunnery Instructor if also gunlayer
7.   Crown and star above - Gunner's Mate if not gunlayer 1st class
8.   Crown above and two stars below - Gunnery Instructor
9.   Crown above star and the letters 'CA' below - Control Armourer CPO 1st class
10. Crown above star and the letters 'FC' below - Fire Control Armourer CPO 1st class
11. Crown above star and the letters 'GA' below - Gunlayer Armourer CPO 1st class
12. Crown above star and the letters 'GL' below - Gunlayer CPO 1st class
13. Crown above star and the letter 'L' below - Gunlayer CPO 1st class
14. Crown above star and the letter 'Q' below - Quarters rating CPO 1st class
15. Crown above star and the letters 'QA' below - Quarters Armourer CPO 1st class
16. Crown above star and the letters 'QR' below - Quarters Rating CPO 1st class
17. Crown above star and the letter 'R' below - Radar Control Rating CPO 1st class
18. Crown above star below - Captain of Turret if not a Gunnery Instructor
19. Crown above star below - Gunner's Mate
20. Crown above star below - Gunnery Instructor
21. Crown above letter 'A' below - AA Rating CPO
22. Crown above letter 'A' below - AA Rating 1st class
23. Crown above 'C' below - Control Rating CPO
24. Crown above 'C' below - Control Rating 1st class
25. Crown above 'C' below - Patrol Service Gunner CPO RNR
26. Crown above letters 'CA' below - Control Armourer CPO 2nd class
27. Crown above letters 'CA' below - Control Armourer 1st class
28. Crown above letters 'FC' below - Fire Control Armourer CPO 2nd class
29. Crown above letters 'FC' below - Fire Control Armourer 1st class
30. Crown above letters 'GA' below - Gunlayer Armourer CPO 2nd class
31. Crown above letter 'GA' below - Gunlayer Armourer 1st class
32. Crown above letters 'GL' below - Gunlayer CPO 2nd class
33. Crown above letters 'GL' below - Gunlayer 1st class
34. Crown above letter 'L' below - Layer Rating CPO
35. Crown above letter 'L' below - Layer Rating CPO 2nd class
36. Crown above letter 'L' below - Layer Rating 1st class
37. Crown above letters 'MS' below - CPO RNR qualified in minesweeping
38. Crown above letters 'MS' below - Gunlayer RNR passed in minesweeping
39. Crown above letter 'Q' below - Quarters Rating CPO
40. Crown above letter 'Q' below - Quarters Rating CPO 2nd class
41. Crown above letter 'Q' below - Quarters Rating 1st class
42. Crown above letters 'QA' below - Quarters Armourer CPO 1st class
43. Crown above letters 'QA' below - Quarters Armourer 1st class
44. Crown above letter 'QR' below - Quarters Rating CPO without 1st class qualifications
45. Crown above letters 'QR' below - Quarters Ratings 1st class
46. Crown above letter 'R' below - Radar Control rating CPO
47. Crown above letter 'R' below - Radar Control Rating CPO 2nd class
48. Crown above letter 'R' below - Radar Control Rating 1st class
49. Star above with two stars below - Turret Director Layer
50. Star above with two stars below - Director Layer 1st class
51. Star above star and letter 'A' below - AA Rating 1st class
52. Star above star and letter 'A' below - AA Rating 2nd class
53. Star above star and letter 'C' below - Control Rating 1st class
54. Star above star and letter 'C' below - Control Rating 2nd class
55. Star above star and letters 'CA' below - Control Armourer 2nd class
56. Star above star and letters 'FC' below - Fire Control Armourer 2nd class
57. Star above star and letters 'GA' below - Gunlayer Armourer 2nd class
58. Star above star and letters 'GL' below - Gunlayer 2nd class
59. Star above star and 'L' below - Layer Rating 1st class
60. Star above star and letter 'L' below - Layer Rating 2nd class
61. Star above star and letter 'P' below - Patrol Service Gunnery Instructor
62. Star above star and letter 'Q' below -  Quarters Rating 1st class
63. Star above star and letter 'Q' below - Quarters Rating 2nd class
64. Star above star and letters 'QA' below - Quarters Armourer 2nd class
65. Star above star and letters 'QR' below - Quarters Ratings 2nd class
66. Star above star and letter 'R' below - Radar Control Rating 1st class
67. Star above star and letter 'R' below - Radar Control Rating 2nd class
68. Star above - Captain of Gun
69. Star above - Gunlayer
70. Star above - Turret sightsetter
71. Star above - Gunlayer 2nd class
72. Star above - Gunlayer
73. Star above - Seaman Gunner, Star
74. Star and letter 'C' below - Seaman Gunner, Star [Control]
75. Star and letters 'MS' below - Gunlayer Armourer RNR
76. Star and letter 'Q' below - Seaman Gunner, Star [Quarters]
77. Letters 'BD' below - Gunlayer Boom Defence
78. Letter 'C' below - Seaman Gunner [Control]
79. Letters 'MS' below - Seaman Gunner [control] RNR passed in minesweeping
80. Letter 'Q' below - Seaman Gunners [Quarters]
81. {waa} Gunlayer 3rd class
82. {waa} Seaman Gunner [Control] RNR
83. {waa} Seaman Gunner

1903-1904


1904-1909


1909-1929


1929-1932

1903-1904

1904-1909
1909-1929
1951-
1951-1956

1956-

1956-

1962-

1951-1956

1951-1962

1951-

1962-

1951-1956

1903-1904

1932-1948
1948-1951
1948-1951
1948-1951
1948-1951
1948-1951
1960-
1951-1956

1951-1956
1956-

1956-

1956-

1956-
1962-
1962-
1948-1951
1951-1956
1948-1956

1960-

1960-
1948-1951
1948-1962
1948-1962
1951-

1947-
1962-

1962-
1948-1951
1951-1956

1948-1956
1918-1927
1927-1935
1939-1948
1948-1951
1939-1948
1948-1951
1951-1956

1956-

1956-

1962-
1939-1948
1948-1956
1941-1948

1939-1948
1948-1962
1951-

1962-

1944-1948

1948-1956

1903-1904
1904-1909
1904-1909
1909-1935
1935-1939
1962-
1956-1962
1960-
1956-1962
1941-1948
1956-1962
1960-

1956-1962
1909-1924
1960-
1962-

Cross Torpedoes, Crown above star above and below 1. Torpedo Gunner's Mate {higher standard}.
2. Torpedo Gunner's Mate.
-


-

3.   Crown and star above - Torpedo Instructor
4.   Crown and star above - Torpedo Gunner's Mate
5.   Crown above and star below - Torpedo Gunner's Mate
6.   Crown above wheel below - Torpedo Coxswain
7.   Wheel above star below - Torpedo Coxswain if leading torpedo man
8.   Wheel above - Torpedo Coxswain if seaman torpedo man
9.   Wheel above - Torpedo Coxswain
10. Star above star and letter 'CM' below - PO [Controlled Mining]
11. Star above star and letters 'CMS' below - PO [Observation Mining]
12. Star above star and letter 'J' below - PO Wireman [Cable Jointing]
13. Star above star and letter 'L' below - PO Wireman
14. Star above star and letters 'MS' below - PO Wireman [Minesweeping]
15. Star above star below - Leading Torpedo Man [Low Power]
16. Star above letter 'C' below - Leading Wireman [Controlled Mining]
17. Star above letters 'CMS' below - Leading Wireman [Observation Mining]
18. Star above letter 'J' below - Leading Wireman [Cable Jointing]
19. Star above letter 'L' below - Leading Wireman
20. Star above letters 'MS' below - Leading Wireman [Minesweeping]
21. Star above - Leading Torpedo Man

1909-1920


1920-1932

1903-1909
1909-1920
1932-1947
1932-1947
1903-1909

1903-1909
1909-1932
1942-1947
1942-1947

1942-1947

1942-1947
1942-1947

1939-1947
1942-1947

1942-1947

1942-1947
1940-1947
1942-1947

1903-1947

Single Torpedo with letters 'CM' below 1.  Leading Watchkeeper [Controlled Mining]
2. Watchkeeper [Controlled Mining]
-


-

3.   Star above and below - Seaman Torpedo Man
4.   Star above and below - Seaman Torpedo Man [Old Scale]
5.   Star above letters 'CM' below - Wireman [Controlled Mining]
6.   Star above letters 'CMS' below - Wireman [Observation Mining]
7.   Star above letter 'J' below - Wireman [Cable Jointing]
8.   Star above letter 'L' below - Wireman
9.   Star above letters 'LC' below - Wireman [Landing Craft]
10. Star above letters 'MS' below - Wireman [Minesweeping]
11. Star above - Seaman Torpedo Man
12. Star above - CPO [T]
13. Letters 'BD' below - Torpedo Rating [Boom Defence]

1942-1947


1942-1947

1903-1904
1904-1909
1942-1947
1942-1947
1942-1947
1940-1947
1943-1947
1942-1947
1904-1947
1909-1947
1942-1947

Wings crossed by lightning flash - with Crown on top, letter 'A' above and letter 'M' below 1.  CPO Radio Mechanic Fleet Air Arm -


2.   Crown above and two stars below - Wireless Instructor
3.   Crown above and two stars below - Radio Communication Instructor
4.   Crown above star below - Wireless Telegraphist 1st class
5.   Crown above star below - Wireless Instructor
6.   Crown above star below - CPO Telegraphist [hrp]
7.   Crown above star below -  Chief Radio Supervisor [CRS] [hrp]
8.   Crown above letter 'M' below - CPO Radio Mechanic
9.   Crown above - CPO Telegraphist
10. Crown above - PO Telegraphist
11. Crown above - CPO or PO Wireless Telegraphist 2nd class
12. Crown above - CPO Telegraphist
13. Crown above - CPO Telegraphist [lrp]
14. Crown above - CRS [lrp]
15. Crown above - PO Telegraphist
16. Crown above - Radio Supervisor
17. Star above two stars below - Wireless Telegraphist 2nd class
18. Star above star below - Leading Telegraphist
19. Star above star below - Wireless Telegraphist 3rd class
20. Star above star below - Leading Telegraphist
21. Star above star below - Leading Radio Operator
22. Star above star below - Telegraphist passed for Leading Telegraphist
23. Star above star below - Radio Operator 1st class
24. Star above - Leading Telegraphist
25. Star above- Telegraphist
26. Star above - Trained Operator [W/T]
27. Star above - Telegraphist
28. Star above - Radio Operator 2nd class
29. Letter 'A' above letter 'M' below - Radio Mechanic FAA
30. Letter 'M' below - Qualified Radio Mechanic FAA
31. Letter 'P' below - Radar Plot Rating - not qualified in seamanship
32. Letter 'R' below - Radar Control Rating - not qualified in seamanship
33. {waa} Ordinary Telegraphist
34. {waa} Radio Operator 3rd class
35. {waa} Telegraphist not trained operator
36. {waa} Boy Telegraphist
37. {waa} Junior Telegraphist
38. {waa} Junior Radio Operator
39. {waa} Radio Mechanic [unqualified]

1944-1948


1951-1958
1958-

1934-1948
1948-1951
1951-1958
1958-
1944-1948
1909-1934
1909-1934
1934-1948
1948-1951
1951-1958
1958-
1951-1958
1958-
1934-1948
1909-1932
1934-1948
1948-1958
1958-
1948-1958

1958-
1932-1934
1090-1934
1934-1948
1948-1958
1958-
1944-1948
1944-1947
1944-1948
1944-1948

1909-1958
1958-
1934-1958
1909-1956
1956-1958
1958-
1944-1947

Letters. 1.  'OC' Officers' Cook
2.  'OS' Officers' Steward
-

-
1916-1917

1916-1917
Disc. 1.  Officers' Cook
2.  Officers' Steward
-
-
1917-1932
1917-1932
Three-spoked throttle wheel 1. Star above - Mechanic RNAS
 
-

2.   {waa} Leading Craftsman or Craftsman RNAS

1918

1918
Trident with Crown above 1.  CPO Mechanician and Craftsmen at the RN Experiment Station, Stratford -

 


2.   {waa} Mechanician and Craftsmen at the RN Experimental Station, Stratford

1918

 


1918

Range Finder. Star above and below 1.  Rangetaker 1st class -

2.   Star above - Rangetaker 2nd class
3.   {waa} Rangetaker 3rd class

1918-1939

1918-1939
1918-1935

Divers Helmet - Crown above star and letter 'C' below 1.  CPO Clearance Diver 1st class -

2.   Crown above star below - CPO Diver 1st class
3.   Crown above star below - CPO Clearance Diver
4.   Crown above letter 'C' below - CPO Clearance Diver 2nd class
5.   Crown above letter 'C' below - Clearance Diver 1st class
6.   Crown above - CPO Diver
7.   Crown above - CPO Diver 2nd class
8.   Crown above - CPO Clearance Diver 2nd class
9.   Crown above - Diver 1st class
10. Crown above - Clearance Diver 1st class
11. Star above star and letter 'C' below - Clearance Diver 2nd class
12. Star above star below - Diver 2nd class
13. Star above star below - Clearance Diver 2nd class
14. Star above letter 'C' below - Clearance Diver 3rd class
15. Star above letter 'C' below - Clearance Diver, Star
16. Star above - Diver 3rd class
17. Star above - Diver, Star
18. Star above - Clearance Diver, Star
19. Letter 'F' below - Free Diver [badge worn on cuff]
20. Letters 'SW' below - Shallow Water Diver [badge worn on cuff]
21. {waa} Diver
22. {waa} Ship's Diver [badge worn on cuff]

1952-1964

1951-1964
1964-
1952-1964
1952-1964
1948-1951
1951-1964
1964-
1948-1964
1964-
1952-1964
1948-1964
1964-
1952-1956
1956-1964
1948-1956
1956-1964
1964-
1960-1964
1953-
1919-1948
1964-

Sextant - with Crown and star below 1.  CPO Surveying Recorder 1st class -

2.   Crown above - CPO Surveying Recorder
3.   Crown above - Surveying Recorder 1st class
4.   Crown above - CPO Surveying Recorder 2nd class
5.   Star above and below - Surveying Recorder 2nd class
6.   Star above - Surveying Recorder 3rd class
7.   Star above - Surveying Recorder. Star
8. {waa} Surveying Recorder

1951-

1948-1951
1948-
1951-
1948-
1948-1956
1956-
1921-1948

Aeroplane - straight wing, with Crown above and star below 1. Observer's Mate -


2.   Crown above - Acting Observer's Mate
3.   Star above - Air Gunner
4.   {waa} Telegraphist Air Gunner

SEE BELOW [IN SEVERAL SECTIONS] FOR OTHER RATINGS FLYING BADGES

1935-1939


1935-1939
1935-1939
1930-1939

Camera - with Crown above and star below 1. CPO Photographer [hrp] -

2.   Crown above - Chief Photographer
3.   Crown above - CPO Photographer
4.   Crown above - CPO Photographer [lrp]
5.   Crown above - PO Photographer
6.   Crown above - Photographer 1st class
7.   Star above and below - Photographer 2nd class
8.   Star above - Photographer 1st class
9.   Star above - Leading Photographer
10. Star above - Photographer 3rd class
11. Star above - Photographer, Star
12. {waa} Photographer 2nd class
13. {waa} Photographer

1951-1964

1935-1937
1937-1951
1951-1964
1937-1948
1948-1964
1948-1964
1930-1937
1937-1948
1948-1956
1956-1964
1930-1937
1937-1948

Two-bladed propeller with Crown and stars above and below 1. Chief Motor Mechanic -

2.   Star above and below - Motor Mechanic

1923-1948

1923-1948

Coil of rope, harpoon and lightning with Crown over 1. Submarine Detector Instructor -

2.   Star above star and letter 'S' below - Harbour Defence Operator 1st class
3.   Star above and below - Submarine Detector 1st class
4.   Star above and below - Higher Submarine Detector
5.   Star above letter 'S' below - Harbour Defence Operator 2nd class
6.   Star above - Submarine Detector 2nd class
7.   Letter 'S' below - Harbour Defence Operator 3rd class
8.   {waa} Submarine Detector Operator
9.   {waa} Submarine Detector

1930-1947

1940-1947

1930-1937
1937-1947
1940-1947

1930-1937
1940-1947
1930-1937
1937-1947

Crossed Fid and Marline Spike - with Crown over and star below 1. Chief Sailmaker [hrp] -

2.   Crown above - Chief Sailmaker
3.   Crown above - Chief Sailmaker [lrp]
4.   Crown above - Sailmaker
5.   Star above and below - Sailmaker's Mate
6.   Star above - Chief Sailmaker
7.   Star above - Sailmaker
8.   {waa} Sailmaker's Mate
9.   {waa} Fabric Worker

1951-1970

1948-1951
1951-1970
1948-1970
1948-1970
1932-1948
1932-1948
1932-1948
1940-1948

Letters inside Stars - with Crown over letter 'S' and star below 1. Stores CPO [Stores] {hrp]
2. CPO Stores Accountant [Stores]  [hrp]
 
-

-


3.   Crown above letter 'C' centre star below - CPO Cook [hrp]
4.   Crown above letters 'CA' centre star below - CPO Caterer Branch [hrp]
5.   Crown above letters 'OC' centre star below - CPO Officers' Cook [hrp]
6.   Crown above letters 'OS' centre star below - CPO Officers' Steward [hrp]
7.   Crown above letter 'S' centre star below - CPO Officers' Steward [hrp]
8.   Crown above letters 'SA' centre star below - CPO Stores Accountant [hrp]
9.   Crown above letter 'V' centre star below - Stores CPO Victualling [hrp]
10. Crown above letter 'V' centre star below - CPO Stores Accountant Victualling [hrp]
11. Crown above letter 'W' centre star below - CPO Writer [hrp]
12. Crown above letter 'C' centre - CPO Cook
13. Crown above letter 'C' centre - CPO Cook [lrp]
14. Crown above letter 'C' centre - PO Cook
15. Crown above letters 'CA' centre - CPO Caterer Branch [lrp]
16. Crown above letters 'CA' centre - PO Caterer
17. Crown above letters 'OC' centre - CPO Officers' Cook
18. Crown above letters 'OC' centre - CPO Cook [lrp]
19. Crown above letters 'OC' centre - PO Cook
20. Crown above letters 'OS' centre - CPO Officers' Steward
21. Crown above letters 'OS' centre - CPO Officers' Steward [lrp]
22. Crown above letters 'OS' centre - PO Officers' Steward
23. Crown above letter 'S' centre - Stores CPO
24. Crown above letter 'S' centre - Stores CPO [Stores]
25. Crown above letter 'S' centre - Sores CPO [Stores] [lrp]
26. Crown above letter 'S' centre - CPO Stores Accountant [Stores] [lrp]
27. Crown above letter 'S' centre - Stores PO
28. Crown above letter 'S' centre - Stores PO [Stores]
29. Crown above letter 'S' centre - PO Stores Accountant [Stores]
30. Crown above letter 'S' centre - CPO Steward [lrp]
31. Crown above letter 'S' centre - PO Steward
32. Crown above letters 'SA' centre - CPO Stores Accountant [lrp]
33. Crown above letters 'SA' centre - PO Stores Accountant
34. Crown above letter 'V' centre - Stores CPO [Victualling]
35. Crown above letter 'V' centre - Stores CPO [Victualling] [lrp]
36. Crown above letter 'V' centre - CPO Stores Accountant [Victualling] [lrp]
37. Crown above letter 'V' centre - Stores PO [Victualling]
38. Crown above letter 'V' centre - PO Stores Accountant [Victualling]
39. Letter 'C' centre - Cook
40. Letter 'C' centre - Cook
41. Letters 'CA' centre - Rating below PO in Caterer Branch
42. Letters 'OC' centre - Officers' Cook
43. Letters 'OC' centre - Officers' Cook below PO
44. Letters 'OS' centre - Officers' Steward
45. Letters 'OS' centre - Officers' Steward below PO
46. Letter 'S' centre - Supply Rating
47. Letter 'S' centre - Stores Rating below PO
48. Letter 'S' centre - Stores Rating [Stores] below PO
49. Letter 'S' centre - Stores Accountant [Stores]
50. Letter 'S' centre - Steward below PO
51. Letters 'SA' centre - Stores Accountant below PO
52. Letters 'ST' centre - Stenographer
53. Letter 'V' centre - Stores Rating [Victualling] below PO
54. Letter 'V' centre - Stores Accountant [Victualling]
55. Letter 'W' centre - Writer
56. Letter 'W' centre - Writer below PO

1951-1964

1964-1970


1951-
1964-

1951-1968

1951-1970

1970-

1970-

1951-1964

1964-1970

1951-
1948-1951
1951-
1948-
1964-
1964-
1948-1951
1951-1958
1948-1968
1948-1951
1951-1970
1948-1970
1948-1950
1950-1951
1951-1964
1964-1970

1948-1950
1950-1964
1964-1970
1970-
1970-
1970-
1970-
1950-1951
1951-1964
1964-1970

1950-1964
1964-1970

1932-1948
1948-
1964-
1932-1948
1948-1968
1932-1948
1948-1970
1932-1948
1948-1950
1950-1964
1964-1970
1970-
1970-
1948-1962
1950-1964
1964-1970
1932-1948
1948-

Aeroplane swept wing - with Crown above star and letters 'AE' below 1. Chief Air Fitter [Airframes & Engines] [hrp] -


2.   Crown above star and letter 'A' below - Chief Airman Fitter [Airframes] [hrp]
3.   Crown above star and letter 'A' below - Chief Air Fitter [Airframes] [hrp]
4.   Crown above star and letter 'E below - Chief Airman Fitter [Engines] [hrp]
5.   Crown above star and letter 'E' below - Chief Air Fitter [Engines] [hrp]
6.   Crown above star and letter 'H' below - CPO [Aircraft Handler] 1st class
7.   Crown above star and letters 'MET' below - CPO [Meteorological Observer] 1st class
8.   Crown above star and letter 'O' below - Chief Airman Fitter [Ordnance] [hrp]
9.   Crown above star and letter 'O' below - Chief Air Fitter [Ordnance] [hrp]
10. Crown above star and letter 'P' below - CPO [Photographer] 1st class
11. Crown above star and letters 'SE' below - CPO [Safety Equipment] 1st class
12. Crown above star below - Rating Observer
13. Crown above star below - Air Boatswain's Mate
14. Crown above letter 'A' below - CPO Aircraft Mechanic [Airframes]
15.  Crown above letter 'A' below - Chief Airman Fitter [Airframes]
16. Crown above letter 'A' below - Chief Airman Fitter [Airframes] [lrp]
17. Crown above letter 'A' below -Chief Air Fitter [Airframes] [lrp]
18. Crown above letter 'A' below - Aircraft Mechanic 1st class [Airframes]
19. Crown above letter 'A' below - PO Airman Fitter [Airframes]
20. Crown above letter 'A' below - PO Air Fitter [Airframes]
21. Crown above letters 'AE' below - Chief Air Fitter [Airframes & Engines] [lrp]
22. Crown above letter 'AE' below - PO Air Fitter [Airframes & Engines]
23. Crown above letter 'E' below - CPO Aircraft Mechanic [Engines]
24. Crown above letter 'E' below - Chief Airman Fitter [Engines]
25. Crown above letter 'E' below - Chief Airman Fitter [Engines] [lrp]
26. Crown above letter 'E' below - Chief Air Fitter [Engines] [lrp]
27. Crown above letter 'E' below - Aircraft Mechanic 1st class [Engines]
28. Crown above letter 'E' below - PO Airman Fitter [Engines]
29. Crown above letter 'E' below - PO Air Fitter [Engines]
30. Crown above letter 'H' below - CPO Aircraft Handler
31. Crown above letter 'H' below - CPO Aircraft Handler 2nd class
32. Crown above letter 'H' below - Aircraft Handler 1st class
33. Crown above letters 'MET' below - CPO Meteorological Observer
34. Crown above letters 'MET' below - CPO Meteorological Observer 2nd class
35. Crown above letters 'MET' below - Meteorological Observer 1st class
36. Crown above letter 'O' below - Rating Observer [Completed Training]
37. Crown above letter 'O' below - CPO Ordnance
38. Crown above letter 'O' below - Chief Airman Fitter Ordnance
39. Crown above letter 'O' below - Chief Airman Fitter Ordnance [lrp]
40. Crown above letter 'O' below - Chief Air Fitter Ordnance [lrp]
41. Crown above letter 'O' below - Ordnance Man 1st class
42. Crown above letter 'O' below - PO Airman Fitter Ordnance
43. Crown above letter 'O' below - PO Air Fitter Ordnance
44. Crown above letter 'P' below - Rating Pilot [Completed Training]
45. Crown above letter 'P' below - CPO Photographer
46. Crown above letter 'P' below - CPO Photographer 2nd class
47. Crown above letter 'P' below - Photographer 1st class
48. Crown above letters 'SE' below - CPO Safety Equipment
49. Crown above letters 'SE' below - CPO Safety Equipment 2nd class
50. Crown above letters 'SE' below - Safety Equipment Rating 1st class
51. Crown above letters 'TG' below - Telegraphist Air Gunner 1st class
52. Crown above - Acting Rating Observer
53. Star above star and letter 'A' below - Aircraft Mechanic 2nd class Airframes
54. Star above star and letter 'A' below - Leading Airman Mechanic Airframes
55. Star above star and letter 'A' below - Leading Air Mechanic Airframes
56. Star above star and letters 'AE' below - Leading Air Mechanic Airframes & Engines
57. Star above star and letter 'E' below - Aircraft Mechanic 2nd class Engines
58. Star above star and letter 'E' below - Leading Airman Mechanic Engines
59. Star above star and letter 'E' below - Leading Air Mechanic Engines
60. Star above star and letter 'H' below - Aircraft Handler 1st class
61. Star above star and letter 'H' below - Aircraft Handler 2nd class
62. Star above star and letters 'MET' below - Meteorological Observer 2nd class
63. Star above star and letter 'O' below - Ordnance Man 2nd class
64. Star above star and letter 'O' below - Leading Airman Mechanic Ordnance
65. Star above star and letter 'O' below - Leading Air Mechanic Ordnance
66. Star above star and letter 'O' below - Photographer 2nd class
67. Star above star and letters 'SE' below - Safety Equipment Rating 1st class
68. Star above star and letters 'SE' below - Safety Equipment Rating 2nd class
69. Star above and below - Air Gunner 1st class
70. Star above letter 'A' below - Aircraft Mechanic 3rd class Airframes
71. Star above letter 'A' below - Naval Airman Mechanic Airframes
72. Star above letter 'A' below - Naval Air Mechanic Airframes
73. Star above letters 'AE' below - Naval Air Mechanic 1st class Airframes & Engines
74. Star above letter 'E' below - Aircraft Mechanic 3rd class Engines
75. Star above letter 'E' below - Naval Airman Mechanic Engines
76. Star above letter 'E' below - Naval Air Mechanic Engines
77. Star above letter 'H' below - Aircraft Handler 2nd class
78. Star above letter 'H' below - Aircraft Handler 3rd class
79. Star above letters 'MET' below - Meteorological Observer 3rd class
80. Star above letter 'O' below - Acting Rating Observer
81. Star above letter 'O' below - Ordnance Man 3rd class
82. Star above letter 'O' below - Naval Airman Mechanic Ordnance
83. Star above letter 'O' below - Naval Air Mechanic 1st class Ordnance
84. Star above letter 'P' below - Rating Pilot [completed flying training]
85. Star above letter 'P' below - Photographer 3rd class
86. Star above letters 'TG' below - Telegraphist Air Gunner 2nd class
87. Star above - Air Gunner 2nd class
88. Letters 'AE' below - Naval Air Mechanic Airframes & Engines 2nd class
89. Letter 'H' below - Aircraft Handler 3rd class
90. Letter 'H' below - Aircraft Handler [Unqualified]
91. Letters 'MET' below - Meteorological Observer [Unqualified]
92. Letter 'O' below - Rating Observer [Completed preliminary training]
93. Letter 'O' below - Naval Air Mechanic Ordnance 2nd class
94. Letter 'P' below - Rating Pilot [Under preliminary flying training]
95. Letter 'P' below - Photographer [Unqualified]
96. Letters 'SE' below - Safety Equipment Rating 3rd class
97. Letters 'SE' below - Safety Equipment Rating [Unqualified]
98. Letters 'TG' below - Telegraphist Air Gunner 3rd class
99. {waa} Air Gunner 3rd class
100.{waa} Probationer Pilot
101. waa} Naval Airman General Duties
102.{waa} Rating Observer [During preliminary training]
103.{waa} Telegraphist Air Gunner [During preliminary training]
104.{waa} Naval Airman or Naval Air Mechanic [on Entry]

1958-


1951-1956

1956-1958

1951-1956

1956-1958

1951-

1951-

1951-1956

1956-

1951-

1951-

1939-1945
1945-1948
1948-1949

1949-1951
1951-1956

1956-1958
1948-1949

1949-1956
1956-1958
1958-

1958-

1948-1949

1949-1951
1951-1956

1956-1958
1948-1949

1949-1956
1966-1958
1948-1951
1951-
1948-
1948-1951

1951-

1948-

1945-1948

1948-1949
1949-1951
1951-1956

1956-
1948-1949
1949-1956
1956-
1945-1948
1948-1951
1951-
1948-
1948-1951
1951-

1948-

1945-1948

1939-1945
1948-1949

1949-1956

1956-1958

1958-

1948-1949

1949-1956

1956-1958

1945-1948
1948-
1948-

1948-1949
1949-1956

1956-

1948-
1945-1948

1948-

1939-1944
1948-1949

1949-1956
1956-1958
1958-

1948-1949
1949-1956
1956-1958
1945-1948
1948-
1948-

1945-1948
1948-1949
1949-1956
1956-

1945-1948

1948-1961
1945-1948

1939-1945
1956-

1945-1948
1956-
1956-
1945-1948

1956-
1945-1948
1956-
1945-1948
1945-1948
1945-1948
1939-1944
1945-1954
1944-1948
1945-1948
1945-1948
1956-

Twin-bladed airscrew with Crown above and letter 'O' below 1. CPO or PO Air Mechanic Ordnance.
2. CPO or 1st class Skilled Air Mechanic Armourer
-


-



3.   Crown above letter 'A' below - CPO or PO Air Mechanic Airframes
4.   Crown above letter 'E' below - CPO or PO Air Mechanic Engines
5.   Crown above letter 'F' below - CPO or 1st class Skilled Air Mechanic [Fitter]
6.   Crown above letter 'L' below - CPO or PO Air Mechanic Electrical
7.   Crown above letter 'R' below - CPO or 1st class Skilled Air Mechanic Rigger
8.   Star above star and letter 'F' below - Skilled Air Mechanic 2nd class Fitter
9.   Star above star and letter 'F' below - Leading Airman [Skilled Air Mechanic Fitter]
10. Star above star and letter 'O' below - Skilled Air Mechanic 2nd
class Armourer
11. Star above star and letter 'O' below - Leading Airman [Skilled Air Mechanic Armourer
12. Star above star and letter 'R' below - Skilled Air Mechanic 2nd class Rigger
13. Leading Airman [Skilled Air Mechanic Rigger]
14. Star above letter 'A' below - Leading Air Mechanic Airframes
15. Star above letter 'A' below - Air Mechanic 1st class Airframes
16. Star above letter 'E' below -  Leading Air Mechanic Engines
17. Star above letter 'E' below - Air Mechanic 1st class Engines
18. Star above letter 'F' below - Skilled Air Mechanic 3rd class Fitter
19. Star above letter 'F' below - Naval Airman Skilled Air Mechanic Fitter
20. Star above letter 'L' below - Leading Air Mechanic Electrical
21. Star above letter 'L' below - Air Mechanic Electrical 1st class
22. Star above letter 'O' below - Leading Air Mechanic Ordnance
23. Star above letter 'O' below - Air Mechanic Ordnance 1st class
24. Star above letter 'O' below - Skilled Air Mechanic Armourer 3rd class
25. Star above letter 'O' below - Naval Airman Skilled Air Mechanic Armourer
26. Star above letter 'R' below - Skilled Air Mechanic Rigger 3rd class
27. Star above letter 'R' below - Naval Airman Skilled Air Mechanic Rigger
28. Letter 'A' below - Air Mechanic Airframes
29. Letter 'E' below - Air Mechanic Engines
30. Letter 'L' below - Air Mechanic Electrical
31. Letter 'O' below - Air Mechanic Ordnance
32. {waa} Air Mechanic [Unclassified]
33. {waa} Pilot's Mate

1939-1948


1948-1949



1939-1948

1939-1948

1948-1949

1939-1948

1948-1949

1948-1949

1949-1956

1948-1949

1949-1956

1948-1949

1949-1956
1939-1948
1944-1948
1939-1948
1945-1948
1948-1949

1949-1956

1939-1948
1945-1948
1945-1948
1945-1948
1948-1949

1949-1956

1948-1949

1949-1956

1939-1948
1939-1948
1939-1948
1939-1948
1943-1948
1949-1956

Four-bladed airscrew with Crown above 1. Aircraft Mechanician below 1st class -


2.   Star above letter 'A' below - Leading [or above] Air Fitter Airframes
3.   Star above letter 'E' below - Leading [or above] Air Fitter Engines
4.   Star above letter 'L' below - Leading [or above] Air Fitter Electrical
5.   Star above letter 'O' below - Leading [or above] Air Fitter Ordnance
6.   Letter 'A' below - Air Fitter Airframes
7.   Letter 'E' below - Air Fitter Engines
8.   Letter 'L' below -  Air Fitter Electrical
9.   Letter 'O' below - Air Fitter Ordnance
10. {waa} Air Fitter [Unclassified]

1948-


1940-1948

1940-1948

1940-1948

1940-1948

1940-1948
1940-1948
1940-1948
1940-1948
1943-1948

Bomb 1.  {waa} Rating employed on bomb disposal duties - 1941-1948
Crossed shackle and marline spike - Crown above star below 1. CPO [Boom Trained] 1st class -

2.   Crown above - CPO [Boom Trained]
3.   Crown above - CPO [Boom Trained] 2nd class
4.   Crown above - Boom Trained Rating 1st class
5.   Star above and below - Boom Trained Rating 2nd class
6.   Star above letters 'BD' below - Chief Rigger [Boom Defence]
7.   Star above letters 'BD' below - Rigger [Boom Defence]
8.   Star above - Boom Trained Rating 3rd class
9.   Star above - Boom Trained Rating, Star
10. Letters 'BD' below - Rigger's Mate [Boom Defence]

1951-

1948-1951
1951-
1948-
1948-
1941-1948
1941-1948
1948-1956
1956-
1941-1948

Stockless anchor crossed by eagle and tommy gun. 1.  {waa} Combined Operations personnel - 1942-1946
Spider's web crossed by lightning flashes with Crown above and star below 1. Radar Plot Instructor
2. CPO Radar Plot Rating 1st class
-

-

3.   Crown above and two stars below - Plotting and Radar Instructor
4.   Crown above - CPO Radar Plot Rating
5.   Crown above - CPO 2nd class Radar Plot Rating
6.   Crown above - Radar Plot Rating 1st class
7.   Star above and below - Radar Plot Rating 1st class
8.   Star above and below - Radar Plot Rating 2nd class
9.   Star above - Radar Plot Rating 2nd class
10. Star above - Radar Plot Rating 3rd class
11. Star above - Radar Plot Rating, Star
12. {waa} Radar Plot Rating 3rd class
13. {waa} Radar Plot Rating

1944-1951

1951-

1951-

1948-1951
1951-
1948-
1944-1948
1948-
1944-1948
1948-1956
1956-
1944-1948
1956-

Dividers with letter 'M' below 1. Seaman [Meteorological Branch] -


2.   {waa} Navigator's Yeoman

1946-1948


1944-

Ship's wheel with Crown above encircled by laurel 1. Coxswain
2. CPO Quartermaster 1st class who has served as a Coxswain
3. CPO Coxswain
-

-

 

-

4.   Crown above star below - CPO 1st class  Quartermaster
5.   Crown above - CPO Quartermaster
6.   Crown above - Quartermaster 1st class
7.   Crown above - CPO 2nd class Quartermaster
8.   Crown above - PO Coxswain
9.   Star above and below - Quartermaster 2nd class
10. Star above - Quartermaster 3rd class
11. {waa} Quartermaster

1948-1951
1948-1951

 


1951-

1951-1964
1948-1951
1948-1951
1951-1964
1951-
1948-1951
1948-1951
1946-1948

Crossed torpedoes. vertical harpoon, coil superimposed with Crown above, star and letter 'C' below 1. CPO 1st class Underwater Control -


2.   Crown above two stars below - Torpedo Anti-Submarine Instructor
3.   Crown above star and letter 'D' below - CPO 1st class Seaward Defence
4.   Crown above star and letter 'W' below - CPO 1st class Underwater Weapons
5.   Crown above star and letters 'WA' below - CPO 1st class Underwater Weapon Armourer
6.   Crown above star below - Torpedo Anti-Submarine Instructor
7.   Crown above star below - CPO 1st class Torpedo Detector
8.   Crown above letter 'C' below - CPO 2nd class Underwater Control
9.   Crown above letter 'C' below - Underwater Control 1st class
10. Crown above letter 'D' below - CPO 2nd class Seward Defence
11. Crown above letter 'D' below - Seaward Defence Rating 1st class
12. Crown above letter 'W' below - CPO 2nd class Underwater Weapons
13. Crown above letter 'W' below - Underwater Weapons Rating 1st class
14. Crown above letters 'WA' below - CPO 2nd class Underwater Weapon Armourer
15. Crown above letters 'WA' below - Underwater Weapon Armourer 2nd class
16. Crown above - Torpedo Anti-Submarine Instructor
17. Crown above - CPO Torpedo Detector
18. Crown above - CPO 2nd class Torpedo Detector
19. Crown above - Torpedo Detector Rating 1st class
20. Star above star and letter 'C' below - Underwater Control Rating 2nd class
21. Star above star and letter 'D' below - Seaward Defence Rating 2nd class
22. Star above star and letter 'M' below - Mine Defence Rating 2nd class
23. Star above star and letter 'W' below - Underwater Weapon Rating 2nd class
24. Star above star and letter 'WA' below - Underwater Weapon Armourer 2nd class
25. Star above and below - Torpedo Detector Rating 2nd class
26. Star above letter 'C' below - Underwater Control Rating 3rd class
27. Star above letter 'C' below - Underwater Control Rating, Star
28. Star above letter 'D' below - Seaward Defence Rating 3rd class
29. Star above letter 'M' below - Mine Defence Rating 3rd class
30. Star above letter 'W' below - Underwater Weapon Rating 3rd class
31. Star above letter 'W' below - Underwater Weapon Rating, Star
32. Star above - Torpedo Detector Rating 3rd class
33. Letter 'C' below - Underwater Control Rating
34. Letter 'D' below - National Service Rating trained in Seaward Defence
35. Letter 'W' below - Underwater Weapon Rating
36. {waa} All Torpedo Anti-Submarine Ratings except Instructors

1965-


1951-

1951-1956

1965-

1963-

1948-1951
1951-1952
1965-

1965-
1951-1956
1951-1956

1965-

1965-

1963-

1963-

1947-1948
1948-1951
1951-1952
1948-1952
1951-

1951-1956

1951-1956

1951

1963-

1948-1952
1951-1956

1956-
1951-1956
1951-1956
1951-1956

1956-
1948-1952
1957-
1950-1956

1957-
1947-1948

Diagonal lightning flashes with letters in centre with Crown above and letters 'AL' centre and star below 1. Chief Electrician [Air] [hrp] -

 

 

2.   Crown above letters 'AO' in centre star below - Chief Ordnance Electrician [Air] [hrp]
3.   Crown above letters 'AR' in centre star below - Chief Radio Electrician [Air] [hrp]
4.   Crown above letters 'CE' in centre star below - Chief Control Electrician [hrp]
5.   Crown above letter 'L' in centre star below - Chief Electrician [hrp]
6.   Crown above letters 'OE' in centre star below - Chief Ordnance Electrician [hrp]
7.   Crown above letter 'R' in centre star below - Chief Radio Electrician [hrp]
8.   Crown above letters 'RE' in centre star below - Chief Radio Electrician [hrp]
9.   Crown above letters 'AL' in centre - Chief Electrician [Air]
10. Crown above letters 'AL' in centre - Chief Electrician [Air] [lrp]
11. Crown above letters 'AL' in centre - Electrician [Air]
12. Crown above letters 'AL' in centre - PO Electrician [Air]
13. Crown above letters 'AO' in centre -Chief Ordnance Electrician [Air] [lrp]
14. Crown above letters 'AO' in centre - PO Ordnance Electrician [Air]
15. Crown above letters 'AR' in centre - Chief Radio Electrician [Air]
16. Crown above letters 'AR' in centre - Chief Radio Electrician [Air] [lrp]
17. Crown above letters 'AR' in centre - Radio Electrician [Air]
18. Crown above letters 'AR' in centre - PO Radio Electrician [Air]
19. Crown above letters 'CE' in centre - Chief Control Electrician [lrp]
20. Crown above letters 'CE' in centre - PO Control Electrician
21. Crown above letter 'L' in centre - Chief Electrician
22. Crown above letter 'L' in centre - Chief Electrician [lrp]
23. Crown above letter 'L' in centre - Electrician
24. Crown above letter 'L' in centre - PO Electrician
25. Crown above letters 'OE' in centre - Chief Ordnance Electrician [lrp]
26. Crown above letters 'OE' in centre - PO Ordnance Electrician
27. Crown above letter 'R' in centre - Chief Radio Electrician
28. Crown above letter 'R' in centre - Chief Radio Electrician [lrp]
29. Crown above letter 'R' in centre - Radio Electrician
30. Crown above letter 'R' in centre - PO Radio Electrician
31. Crown above letters 'RE' in centre - Chief Radio Electrician [lrp]
32. Crown above letters 'RE' in centre - PO Radio Electrician
33. Star above letters 'AL' in centre star below - Leading Electrician's Mate [Air]
34. Star above letters 'AL' in centre star below - Leading Electrical Mechanic [Air]
35. Star above letters 'AO' in centre star below - Leading Ordnance Electrical Mechanic [Air]
36. Star above letters 'AR' in centre star below - Leading Radio Electrician's Mate [Air]
37. Star above letters 'AR' in centre star below - Leading Radio Electrical Mechanic [Air]
38. Star above letters 'CE' in centre star below - Leading Control Electrical Mechanic
39. Star above letter 'L' in centre star below - Leading Electrician's Mate
40. Star above letter 'L' in centre star below - Leading Electrical Mechanic
41. Star above letters 'OE' in centre star below - Leading Ordnance Electrical Mechanic
42. Star above letter 'R' in centre star below - Leading Radio Electrician's Mate
43. Star above letter 'R' in centre star below - Leading Radio Electrical Mechanic
44. Star above letters 'RE' in centre star below - Leading Radio Electrical Mechanic
45. Star above letters 'AL' in centre - Electrician's Mate [[Air] 1st class
46. Star above letters 'AL' in centre - Electrical Mechanic [Air] 1st class
47. Star above letters 'AO' in centre - Ordnance Electrical Mechanic [Air] 1st class
48. Star above letters 'AR' in centre - Radio Electrician's Mate [Air] 1st class
49. Star above letters 'AR' in centre - Radio Electrical Mechanic [Air] 1st class
50. Star above letters 'CE' in centre - Control Electrical Mechanic 1st class
51. Star above letter 'R' in centre - Electrician's Mate 1st class
52. Star above letter 'R' in centre - Electrical Mechanic 1st class
53. Star above letters 'OE' in centre - Ordnance Electrical Mechanic 1st class
54. Star above letter 'R' in centre - Radio Electrician's Mate 1st class
55. Star above letter 'R' in centre - Radio Electrical Mechanic 1st class
56. Star above letters 'RE' in centre - Radio Electrical Mechanic 1st class
57. Letters 'AL' in centre - Electrical Rating [Air]
58. Letters 'AL' in centre - Electrician's Mate [Air] 2nd class
59. Letters 'AL' in centre - Electrical Mechanic [Air] 2nd class
60. Letters 'AO' in centre - Ordnance Electrical Mechanic [Air] 2nd class
61. Letters 'AR' in centre - Radio Electrical Rating [Air]
62. Letters 'AR' in centre - Radio Electrician's Mate [Air] 2nd class
63. Letters 'AR' in centre - Radio Electrical Mechanic [Air] 2nd class
64. Letters 'CE' in centre - Control Electrical Mechanic 2nd class
65. Letter 'L' in centre - Electrical Rating
66. Letter 'L' in centre - Electrician's Mate 2nd class
67. Letter 'L' in centre - Electrical Mechanic 2nd class
68. Letters 'OE' in centre - Ordnance Electrical Mechanic 2nd class
69. Letter 'R' in centre - Radio Electrical Rating
70. Letter 'R' in centre - Radio Electrician's Mate 2nd class
71. Letter 'R' in centre - Radio Electrical Mechanic 2nd class
72. Letters 'RE' in centre - Radio Electrical Mechanic 2nd class

1951-

 

 

1967-

1951-

1969-

1951-1969

1969-

1951-1969

1969-

1948-1951
1951-
1948-1955
1955-
1967-

1967-

1948-1951
1951-

1948-1955
1955-
1969-

1969-
1948-1951
1951-1969
1948-1955
1955-1969
1969-

1969-
1948-1951
1951-1969
1948-1955
1955-1969
1969-
1969-
1948-1955

1955-

1967-

1948-1955

1955-

1969-

1948-1955

1955-1969

1969-

1948-1955

1955-1969

1969-

1948-1955

1955-

1967-

1948-1955

1955-

1969-

1948-1955
1955-1969
1969-

1948-1955
1955-1969

1969-

1947-1948
1948-1955
1955-
1967

1947-1948
1948-1955
1955-
1969-
1947-1948
1948-1955
1955-1969
1969-
1947-1948
1948-1955
1955-1969
1969-

Ship's propeller superimposed on three-spoked throttle wheel with Crown above 1. Mechanicians 2nd and 3rd class - 1948-
Post Horn with Crown above 1. CPO Royal Naval Volunteer [Postal] Reserve [RNVPR] [lrp] -

 

2.   Crown above star below - CPO RNVPR [hrp]
3.   Crown above star below - CPO RNVPR [hrp]
4.   Crown above - CPO RNVPR [lrp]
5.   Crown above - PO RNVPR
6.   Crown above - PO RNVPR
7.   {waa} RNVPR Rating
8.   {waa} RNVPR Rating

1951-1959

 

1951-1959
1959-
1959-
1951-1959
1959-
1951-1959
1959-

Open code-book crossed by lightning flash with the letter 'E' on right hand page. 1. Coder Educational -

2.   With the letter 'S' on right hand page - Coder [Special]
3.   {waa} Coder RNVR

1954-1966

1953-1966
1954-1959

Generator end crossed by lightning flashes with Crown above and letters 'AL' in centre 1. Electrical  Mechanician [Air] 2nd or 3rd class
2. Electrical Mechanician [Air] 4th class
-


 -


3.   Crown above letters 'AL' in centre star below - Electrical Mechanician 1st class
4.   Crown above letters 'AR' in centre star below - Radio Electrical Mechanician 1st class
5.   Crown above letter 'L' in centre star below - Electrical Mechanician 1st class
6.   Crown above letter 'R' in centre star below - Radio Electrical Mechanician 1st class
7.   Crown above letters 'AO' in centre - Ordnance Electrical Mechanician [Air] 2nd, 3rd or 4th class
8.   Crown above letters 'AR' in centre - Radio Electrical Mechanician [Air] 2nd or 3rd class
9.   Crown above letters 'AR' in centre - Radio Electrical Mechanician [Air] 4th class
10. Crown above letters 'CE' in centre - Control Electrical Mechanician 2nd, 3rd or 4th class
11. Crown above letter 'L' in centre - Electrical Mechanician 2nd or 3rd class
12. Crown above letters 'OE' in centre - Ordnance Electrical Mechanician 2nd, 3rd or 4th class
13. Crown above letter 'R' in centre - Radio Electrical Mechanician 2nd or 3rd class
14. Crown above letters 'RE' in centre - Radio Electrical Mechanician 2nd, 3rd or 4th class
15. Star above letters 'AL' in centre star below - Electrical Mechanician [Air] 4th class
16. Star above letters 'AL' in centre star below - Electrical Mechanician [Air] acting 4th or 5th class
17. Star above letters 'AO' in centre star below - Ordnance Electrical Mechanician [Air] acting 4th or 5th class
18. Star above letters 'AR' in centre star below - Radio Electrical Mechanician [Air] 4th class
19. Star above letters 'AR' in centre star below - Radio Electrical Mechanician [Air] acting 4th or 5th class
20. Star above letters 'CE' in centre star below - Control Electrical Mechanician acting 4th or 5th class
21. Star above letters 'OE' in centre star below - Ordnance Electrical Mechanician acting 4th or 5th class
22. Star above letter 'R' in centre star below - Radio Electrical Mechanician 4th class
23. Star above letters 'RE' in centre star below - Radio Electrical Mechanician acting 4th or 5th class
24. Star above letters 'AL' in centre - Electrical Mechanician [Air] 5th class
25. Star above letters 'AR' in centre - Radio Electrical Mechanician [Air] 5th class
26. Star above letter 'R' in centre - Radio Electrical Mechanician 5th class
27. Letters 'AL' in centre - Electrical Mechanician Apprentice [Air]
28. Letters 'AO' in centre - Ordnance Electrical Mechanician Apprentice [Air]
29. Letters 'AR' in centre - Radio Electrical Mechanician Apprentice [Air]
30. Letters 'CE' in centre - Control Electrical Mechanician Apprentice
31. Letters 'MA' in centre - Electrical Mechanician Apprentice [before categorisation]
32. Letters 'OE' in centre - Ordnance Electrical Mechanician Apprentice
33. Letter 'R' in centre - Radio Electrical Mechanician Apprentice
34. Letters 'RE' in centre - Radio Electrical Mechanician Apprentice

1953-


1969-


1953-1962

1953-1962

1953-1962

1953-1962

1967-

1953-

1969-

1969-

1953-1969

1969-

1953-1969

1969-

1960-

1969-

1967-

1960-1969

1969-

1969-

1969

1966-1969

1969-

1960-1969

1960-1969

1966-1969

1960-
1967

1960

1969

1960

1969-

1966-1969
1969-

Parachute with wings 1.  {waa} Parachutist This badge was authorised by AFO 708 of March 1959 for Communication Branch ratings who satisfactorily completed the parachute training course at the RAF Parachute Training School and were attached to the Independent Amphibious Observation Unit, Royal Artillery. The badge, which depicts a parachute with wings may still be worn after the ratings cease duty with the Regiment unless withdrawn for refusing to jump or being absent without good cause from a parade specially ordered for parachute jumping. The following badge was worn with the associated uniforms:-
a.  Gold on blue, silver parachute - No1's
b.  Red on blue - Blue naval uniform other than No1's
c.  Blue on white - Naval tropical white uniform
d.  White on khaki serge - Khaki serge uniforms
e.  White on K/D - K/D uniforms.

Parachute badges may also be worn by ratings who have qualified in other Services provided that:-
a.  they have completed a basic parachute course at a recognised
     RAF Parachute Training School and been subsequently on the
     strength of an airborne unit which required them to drop by
     parachute, or
b.  they have made the parachute jump in operations against the
     enemy, or
c.  they have not had the privilege of wearing the badge withdrawn
     for refusing to jump or being absent from a parade specifically
     ordered for jumping.
The badges are worn in the same positions as flying badges.

1959-
Trunnion bearing containing letters 'WM' and crossed by gun and torpedo with stars above and below 1. Weapon Mechanician 4th class -


2.   Crown above - Weapon Mechanician 2nd and 3rd class
3.   Star above - Weapon Mechanician acting 4th and 5th class
4.   {waa} Weapon Mechanician Apprentice

1964-


1964-
1964-
1964-

Seacat Missile 1. {waa} Seacat Aimer [worn on right cuff] - 1968-
Pilots badge, with silver anchor and cable of silver embroidery surrounded by a laurel wreath of silver embroidery superimposed on the wings of an albatross.

Worn as follows:-

Blue uniforms
1. CPO on cuff of left
    sleeve above
    centre button
2. Other ratings 1"
    from end of left
    sleeve, or, 1"
    above the point of
    the left cuff of
    jumpers with cuffs.
Working Dress
1. Above the left
    breast shirt pocket
TROPICAL
1.
 1" above left
     breast pocket of
     tunic
2.  Or immediately
     above medals/
     medal ribbons.
3.  On junior rate
     jumpers, same as
     for Blue Uniforms
     '2' above.
4.  Not worn on
     tropical shirts or
     white fronts.
 

Rating pilots This was worn by lower deck pilots and but for a few minor [trivial] differences, was the same as that worn by a commissioned pilot. NOTE. The Royal Flying Corps [RFC] and the Royal Naval Air Service [RNAS] merged on the 1st April 1918 to form the Royal Air Force [RAF]. From that date to 1922 the RAF provided the aircrews along with the ground maintenance personnel for the navy's aircraft carriers. In 1924, the "Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Air Force" was formed. In early 1925 naval officers wishing to fly with the FAA of the RAF were trained at RAF flying schools. In that year, in October, AFO 2793 issued details of the first naval pilots badge. All ship borne aircraft and personnel were transferred to Admiralty control in 1937 when the "FAA of the RN" was officially formed, this after many battles between admirals and air marshals, when at one time, the RAF objected to allowing the navy to have CPO pilots stating that they were technically inferior to RAF sergeant pilots. Early in 1938, direct recruiting to the FAA brought in many officers who had learned to fly when short service officers in the RAF or who had qualified at private flying schools. On the 24th May 1939 when nearly two years old, the FAA became fully independent of the RAF. At the start of WW2 the navy were desperately short of aircrew [pilots, observers, telegraphist air gunners] and many ratings were chosen for pilot training and other aircrew tasks. Some remained ratings on qualifying whilst others [and many after two months basic training in HMS St Vincent as naval airmen 2nd class] qualified and became Air Branch officers wearing the letter 'A' in the loop/curl of their top stripe on both sleeves. The navy's aircrews were made up of midshipmen, RN, RNR and RNVR officers; Royal Marine officers; RN warrant officers and rating pilots, the latter taken from the seaman and communication branches.

 

 

1937-1955 when the ratings pilot scheme was put in abeyance. In 1961, four significant things happened. 1. The last national serviceman left the RN. 2. The Nore Command closed. 3. SL Officers were recruited with a minimum of 4 GCE 'O' levels and some became pilots, both rotary and fixed wing. 4. The ratings pilot scheme was finally closed.
Aircrewman. A badge very similar to that worn by a commissioned officer or warrant officer [pre 1949] observer.
Wings with anchor in centre surrounded by a narrow oval of rope with crown above.

 

1.  Telegraphist
air gunner 2nd class.
 

CPO wear badge on both collars in red but single badge for right cuff in blue.
Others wear single badge on right cuff in red and blue.

In 1944, AFO 4024 brought issues of new badges to ratings in the FAA [other than pilots].

2. Telegraphist Air Gunner 1st class - Wings with anchor in centre surrounded by embroidered wreath and crown above.

3. Telegraphist Air Gunner 3rd class - Wings with anchor in centre surrounded by a narrow oval of rope with star above

4.  Naval Airman [General Duties] - Wings with anchor in centre surrounded by a narrow oval of rope. Also worn by ratings under training as pilots, during preliminary and Part 1 observer training, and during Parts 1 and 2 TAG training. These were called Aircrewmen [U]. 

1944-

The original badge of the Royal Flying Corps had wings of a SWIFT; that of the Royal Naval Air Service of an EAGLE, and that of the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy, an ALBATROSS. On formation, the Royal Air Force took the wings of an EAGLE as their badge and that remains their badge to this very day. 

Before Britain had an air force {of any kind}, she had a Balloon Battalion and for ex-Ganges boys, the Annexe at Shotley used to be a Balloon Station. Once the Battalion had been disbanded {for naval use - the army kept it and used it on the battlefields of WW1}, a Central Flying School was opened at Netheravon on Salisbury Plain and the Royal Flying Corps was formed: that was in April 1912.

Ratings have been pilots in the navy from the earliest of times and well before WW1 started. In the early days they served in the RNAS. Ratings who had become trained pilots carried on wearing the uniform appropriate to their branch and rating - usually Class II square rig, but those who joined as ratings for flying training wore Class III fore and aft rig the same as the S&S branch, SBA's and Coder junior rates. Although these badges have been long gone, here is just a small trip down memory lane to show you a few of them.

From left to right, top to bottom -

1.   RNAS CPO Cap Badge
2.   Rating pilot of an aeroplane - worn on right sleeve for PO's &
      below and on collars for CPO's.
3.   Rating Coxswain of an Airship. Worn on collars.
4.   RNAS Armoured car personnel - pin on badge.
5.   Rating RNAS Artisan
6.   Rating RNAS Engineer
7.   RFC Cap Tally
8.   RNAS General Branch
9.   RNAS [Pin on badge] AA Corps

On the 14th February 2003 died Lt Cdr Frederick 'Ben' Rice DSM. He was the first rating-pilot to land on an aircraft carrier, HMS Courageous in February 1939.

1912-

Finally a note on the naval STAR of which there are forty listed in the pictures above and of course many more in Column Four. 

Badges were worn on uniforms and much was made about the naval uniform to a new recruit.  For example the lines on a collar, why a lanyard and why a silk and tapes ? Bell bottom trousers and their unique waist fastening involving a fabric cross-over, integral to the trousers, around the waist fastened by a row of three vertical buttons, over which a front flap of material about six inches deep was pulled up over this cross-over and buttoned by a row of four horizontal buttons which was used as a fly and hid the vertical buttons on the cross-over ; no zips in those days !  Kit had to be stowed in a limited space onboard a ship and items of kit had to be folded in a certain way to maximise the use of the space available without damaging the article of kit. Bell bottom trousers were folded concertina-wise with two gauges available. The first was seven creases ironed-in {or steamed-in} at regular and uniform distances from the bottom of the leg to the upper thigh, across the leg {thwartships}, and the other option was five creases.  Clearly, the 'seven' option resulted in a tighter fold and this was used in HMS Ganges at all times.  The 'five' option was often preferred by sailors in the fleet once out of basic training, but for ceremonial occasions [as opposed to liberty] this was dictated by the commander/first lieutenant of the ship or shore establishment.  The seven and five options came from nautical antiquity at a time when there were FIVE recognised OCEANS [Pacific 60,060,868 square miles and the deepest/ Atlantic 29,637,961 square miles and the second deepest/  Indian 26,469,608 square miles and third deepest/ Southern 7,848,295 square miles depth still being argued about/ Arctic 5,427,049 square miles and the fourth deepest - today we only recognise four namely Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Arctic. The word 'seven' in antiquity meant 'several' and the "Seven Seas of antiquity" were known as the Red, Mediterranean, Persian Gulf, Black, Adriatic, Caspian and Indian Sea.  Today, we know of many more and the North Sea, for many years called the German Sea, is considered to be our very own.  The number of seas is so great now that as a reminder only, if we were to enter the Mediterranean through the Straits of Gibraltar, we would be given access to no fewer than five seas without exiting the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal to enter the Red Sea. These are the Aegean, Adriatic, Black, Marmara, Tyrrherian and the Ionian.  Sailors who wore bell bottoms could tell you why they had creases in their trousers but many could not name the oceans/seas involved in the custom/tradition !

Apart from bell bottoms which were stretched to make them larger [when wet, pulled hard down on an up-turned dhoby bucket and allowed to dry];  the heavily bent Blancoed white cap with its tiddly bow slewed as near as possible to be positioned over the left eye {as opposed to the side of the head/cap where it should have been} putting the name of the ship further back towards the rear of the cap {e.g., H.M.S. Knaresborough Castle}; the "can't do without bottle of bleach" for the white front and the blue jean collar; the jumper, so tight that one was knackered when struggling to get into it and which took your oppo to pull the darn thing off when returning from a run ashore, and that much cherished addition of a white silk scarf, centre stage in literally thousands of wedding photographs of "jolly jack". In actual fact, white scarf's were worn by senior rates only whether onboard with night clothing or anytime when ashore with or without Burberry's or great coats, but junior rates were only allowed to wear them when on LONG LEAVE only, never on night or week end leave. Thus, by implication, they were never seen on the person of a junior rate when in a naval port or town.  When worn by junior rates, they were invariably tucked down behind the black silk. All these uniform points were well understood by royal sailors and moreover, regularly abused, sometimes to the point where adding a badge to which they were not entitled or qualified to wear, elevated them [at least in their eyes] towards the status of "sea dad's" !

However, and countless thousands will have been worn on naval uniforms, there will be very few indeed who will know of the ubiquitous naval ratings STAR - NOTE, senior naval officers wear stars on their shoulder straps which are eight-pointed stars. The army wear variants of five-points, seven-points and eight-points whilst the RAF seem not to bother with stars at all !

The naval ratings star has six-points and as we have seen from the table above, it can signify many things. Above all else, in varying degree, it is about competency or seniority, and a senior rate with two stars below his badge [RCI for example - see Telegraphist badge above, column four, No 3 entry] depicts his high achievement within his branch - a proper Sparker as it were.

Stars on naval uniforms are relatively new dating from the late 19th century.  At that time it was decided to use a symbol with a nautical connotation, and the one chosen was the original nautical compass rose used by the Romans.  They used 12-points to 'box their compass'  as we today 'box the compass' using 32-points or higher depending upon the degree of accuracy required. If you study a naval ratings star more carefully,

you will note that from the centre point, the inner circle, there are twelve lines drawn out to fixed points on the outside of the star. The vertical lines point to NORTH and SOUTH respectively while the horizontal lines point to EAST and WEST respectively. The other lines,  moving from NORTH clockwise, are each at 30 distance from the preceding point and thus overall, the rose covers 000, 030, 060, 090, 120, 150, 180, 210, 240, 270, 300, 330.

For some inexplicable reason, the vast majority of naval ratings were never taught this and yet it is clearly documented in naval archives. Now you know !