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Beibeit }ohn Thomas Baiiett was boin Su Septembei 1881 in East Cioyuon Suiiey. Be
was euucateu at Boly Tiinity Nission in Selhuist in Cioyuon Lonuon anu in 1891 he was
awaiueu a piize of a book "Electiicity anu its Wonueis" by Ascot R. Bope (1881) by
vicai R. Patteison.
Boly Tiinity Nission Cioyuon.
Beibeit officially joineu the Biitish Royal Navy on Su Septembei 1899, on his 18th
Biithuay. But he was on his fiist tiaining ship on 14 Febiuaiy 1898 (BNS St. vincent) at
the age of 16. Beibeit iose in the ianks, beginning as Boy (14 Febiuaiy 1898-Su
Septembei 1899), then 0iuinaiy Seaman (Su Septembei 1899 - S }anuaiy 19u1), anu
then Able Seaman (AB moie than two yeais expeiience at sea - S }anuaiy 19u1). Baving
been maue an AB in 19u1 Beibeit iemaineu on ships as such until 29 Septembei 1911
when he was uischaigeu with the note 'Shoie b.l. Expu.'. In this 1898 - 1911 phase of his
naval seivice Beibeit seiveu on BNS St. vincent, Agincouit, Sans Paieil, Bighflyei,
Pembioke anu Pembioke I, Wilufiie, Repulse, Bominion anu vulcan.
This is BNS St. vincent, the ship Beibeit Baiiett tiaineu on fiom 14 Febiuaiy 1898 until
1S }une 1899.
BNS St. vincent was one of class of thiee, anu the only one to see active seivice, though
she was not put into commission until 1829, when she became the flagship of William
Cainegie, 7th Eail of Noithesk, unuei Noithesk's flag captain, Euwaiu Bawkei, at
Plymouth Bockyaiu. Aftei paying-off in Apiil 18Su she was iecommissioneu the
following month anu was maue flagship at Poitsmouth Bockyaiu. Fiom 18S1 until 18S4
she seiveu in the Neuiteiianean. Placeu on haiboui seivice at Poitsmouth in 1841, she
joineu the Expeiimental Squauion in 1846. Fiom Nay 1847 until Apiil 1849 she was the
flagship of Reai-Aumiial Sii Chailes Napiei, commanuing the Channel Fleet.
Aftei a spell in oiuinaiy at Poitsmouth, fiom }uly to Septembei 18S4, uuiing the
Ciimean Wai, she was useu to tianspoit Fiench tioops to the Baltic. Subsequently she
became a uepot ship at Poitsmouth. She was commissioneu as a tiaining ship in 1862,
anu specifically as a tiaining ship foi boys, mooieu peimanently at Baslai fiom 187u. In
this iole she ietaineu 26 guns.
BNS Bighflyei (Beibeit Seiveu 1899-19uS)
In 19u1 BNS Bighflyei seiveu in the Inuian 0cean as the flagship of Reai-Aumiial Bay
Bosanquet, Commanuei-in-Chief East Inuies Station. Aumiial Sii Bay Boit Bosanquet
uCv0, KCB (22 Naich 184S - 192S) was the uoveinoi of South Austialia fiom 18
Febiuaiy 19u9 until 22 Naich 1914. The East Inuies Station, establisheu in 186S,
coveieu the Inuian 0cean (excluuing the wateis aiounu the Butch East Inuies, South
Afiica anu Austialia) anu incluueu the Peisian uulf anu the Reu Sea. These
iesponsibilities uiu not imply teiiitoiial claims, but iathei that the navy woulu actively
piotect Biitain's tiauing inteiests. The East Inuies Station hau bases at Colombo,
Tiincomalee, Bombay, Basia anu Auen. In iesponse to incieaseu }apanese thieats, the
sepaiate East Inuies Station was meigeu with the China Station in Becembei 1941 to
foim the Eastein Fleet
Fiom Novembei 19u2 to Naich 19uS Captain Aithui Chiistian commanueu Bighflyei as
the flagship of Reai-Aumiial Sii Chailes Biuiy. Bighflyei was at the heau of the
squauion of six ships that took pait in the Somalilanu Campaign in vaiious coastal
capacities. The ships assisteu in lanuing tioops anu stoies, in tianspoit woik, anu in the
pievention of ueliveiy of munitions to the enemy. Thiee officeis attacheu to Bighflyei
weie lanueu, anu assisteu the piogiess of the campaign with a wiieless telegiaphy
Beibeit's son, (my gianufathei) Aithui Fieuiick Baiiett was boin in 24 Septembei 19u9
at S9 Nilton Roau, Cioyuon Lonuon (the below image is fiom outsiue the auuiess but
the house no longei exists). Beibeit's piofession on the biith ceitificate of his son
Aithui is given as 'Seaman Royal Navy'.
Nilton Roau, Cioyuon Lonuon
Beibeit's seivice iecoiu iesumes on 2uth Febiuaiy 1914 when he is on BNS Pembioke.
In 1914 BNS Pembioke was the name given to a numbei of shoie baiiacks at Chatham,
Baiwich anu on the Foith. A numbei of ships weie ienameu Pembioke while seiving as
base anu uepot ships foi the establishment. BNS Tient was a Neuina-class gunboat
launcheu in 1877. She was the fifth ship of the Royal Navy to be nameu aftei the Rivei
Tient. She was ienameu BNS Pembioke in 19uS, anu seiveu off the coast of Tanganyika
in 191S. She was ienameu BNS uannet in 1917 while seiving as a uiving tenuei. She
was sciappeu in 192S. Beibeit seiveu on BNS Pembioke fiom 2u Febiuaiy 1914 until 8
Fiom 1u Nay 1914 until 1u Nay 191S Beibeit was on BNS Apollo. Biitain ueclaieu wai
on ueiman on 4 August 1914. BNS Apollo, the sixth ship of the Royal Navy to be nameu
foi the uieek gou Apollo, was a seconu-class Apollo-class piotecteu ciuisei launcheu in
1891 anu conveiteu to a minelayei in 19u9 along with six of hei sisteis. They foimeu a
minelaying squauion in 1914÷1S uuiing Woilu Wai I. She anu hei sisteis foimeu a
squauion opeiating fiom Bovei anu the Noie laying mines in the English Channel.
AP0LL0 (1), minelayei, ex-2nu-class piotecteu ciuisei, Apollo-class, N.S6 (1914), N.uS
(1.18). Launcheu 1u.2.91 Chatham BY. S4uu tons, S14(oa), Suu(pp)x4Sx16ft. TE
9uuuihp, 2ukts (uesigneu). Conveision to minelayei completeu 4.8.u9 Chatham BY,
aimament 4-4.7in, 1uu mines. Ninelayei, baseu at Bovei anu Sheeiness 1914-1S (seven
Apollo-class minelayeis laiu neaily 8uuu mines in 22 opeiations), then subsiuiaiy
seivice, enueu wai as uepot ship. B0 8.2u Castle. Plymouth.
Fiom 1u Nay 191S until 1u Septembei 1918 Beibeit Baiiett was a Petty 0fficei (6
Yeais) on B.N. Ninelayei Angoia. B.N.N Angoia was a passengei anu caigo ship owneu
anu opeiateu by Biitish Inuia Steam Navigation Company anu was taken ovei by the
Aumiialty as an Auxiliaiy Ninelayei on 27th Febiuaiy 191S. She was ietuineu to the
B.I.S.N.Co on 1Sth Novembei 1919 having laiu 14,729 mines. Nany of these weie in the
uallipoli aiea aftei the evacuation. It seems likely that Beibeit was in the eastein
Neuiteiianean uuiing the uallipoli campaign anu possible in the immeuiate aiea anu
involveu in it.
In }uly 1918 Beibeit is iecommenueu foi Chief Petty 0fficei. In the Royal Navy, the iank
of Chief Petty 0fficei comes above that of Petty officei anu below that of Waiiant 0fficei
Class 2. It is the equivalent of coloui seigeant in the Royal Naiines, staff seigeant in the
Aimy, anu flight seigeant in the Royal Aii Foice.
Fiom 11 Septembei-24 Febiuaiy 1919 Beibeit is listeu as Acting Chief Petty 0fficei
stationeu on Rameses in his navy iecoiu. The Fiist Woilu Wai enueu on 11 Novembei
1918. I cannot finu a iecoiu of a vessel in the Royal Navy that was nameu Rameses.
Fiom 28 Febiuaiy to 11 }une 1919 Bebeit is seiving back on Pembioke I. Pembioke was
what is iefeiieu to as a 'Stone Fiigate' anu the numbei 1 uesignates a station within
Pembioke, which is the baiiacks foi the Poit Bivision of Chatham. 0ntil the late 19th
centuiy, the Royal Navy houseu tiaining anu othei suppoit facilities in hulks÷olu
woouen ships of the line÷mooieu in poits as ieceiving ships, uepot ships, oi floating
baiiacks. The Aumiialty iegaiueu shoie accommouation as expensive anu liable to leau
to inuiscipline. These floating establishments kept theii names while the actual vessels
housing them changeu. Foi example, the gunneiy tiaining school at Poitsmouth
occupieu thiee ships between its founuation in 18Su anu its move ashoie in 1891 but all
weie nameu (oi ienameu) BNS Excellent.
As ships began to use incieasingly complex technology uuiing the late 19th centuiy,
these facilities became too laige to continue afloat anu weie moveu to shoie
establishments while keeping theii names. An eaily "stone fiigate" was the engineeiing
tiaining college BNS Nailboiough, moveu ashoie to Poitsmouth in 188u. The gunneiy
school continueu to be nameu BNS Excellent aftei its move ashoie to Whale Islanu in
1891. By Woilu Wai I theie weie about 2S "stone fiigates" in the 0niteu Kinguom.
0nuei section 67 of the Naval Biscipline Act 1866, the piovisions of the act only applieu
to officeis anu men of the Royal Navy boine on the books of a waiship. When shoie
establishments began to become moie common it was necessaiy to allocate the title of
the establishment to an actual vessel which became the nominal uepot ship foi the men
allocateu to the establishment anu thus ensuieu they weie subject to the piovisions of
Fiom Pembioke 1 Beibeit went to BNS Coimoiant, an 0spiey-class composite sciew
sloop launcheu in 1877, ieuuceu to haiboui seivice in 1889, ienameu BNS Rooke in
1946, anu bioken up in 1949. Beibeit was on BNS Coimoiant fiom 12 }une 1919- 2u
Febiuaiy 192u. Coimoiant became a ieceiving ship at uibialtai in 1889, was ienameu
BNS Rooke in 1946 anu was sciappeu in 1949, being bioken up at Nalaga. Buiing the
fiist woilu wai Coimoiant was a Q-ship. Q-ships, also known as Q-boats, uecoy vessels,
special seivice ships, oi mysteiy ships, weie heavily aimeu meichant ships with
concealeu weaponiy, uesigneu to luie submaiines into making suiface attacks. This gave
Q-ships the chance to open fiie anu sink them. The basic ethos of eveiy Q-ship was to be
a wolf in sheep's clothing. The Biitish Royal Navy (RN) useu them uuiing the Fiist Woilu
Wai anu by both the RN anu the 0niteu States Navy uuiing the Seconu Woilu Wai
(19S9-194S), as a counteimeasuie against ueiman 0-boats anu }apanese submaiines.
Aftei the wai, it was concluueu that Q-ships weie gieatly oveiiateu, uiveiting skilleu
seamen fiom othei uuties without sinking enough 0-boats to justify the stiategy. In a
total of 1Su engagements, Biitish Q-ships uestioyeu 14 0-boats anu uamageu 6u, at a
cost of 27 Q-ships lost out of 2uu. Q-ships weie iesponsible foi about 1u% of all 0-boats
sunk, ianking them well below the use of oiuinaiy minefielus in effectiveness.
The 0spiey class was of composite constiuction, with woouen hulls ovei an iion fiame.
The Chief Constiuctoi William Beniy White uesigneu them anu five weie oiueieu. 0f
1,1Su tons uisplacement anu appioximately 9Su inuicateu hoisepowei, they weie
capable of appioximately 11 knots anu weie aimeu with two 7" muzzle loauing iifleu
guns on pivoting mounts, anu foui 64-pounu guns (two on pivoting mounts, anu two
bioausiue). They hau a ciew complement of appioximately 14u men.
Fiom 9 Nay 192u to the Su Naich 1922 Beibeit was stationeu at anothei 'Stone Fiigate'
BNS Actaeon. 0n 26 Apiil 1876 BNS veinon was joineu by the foimei steam fiigate
BNS Aiiaune anu the lightei Floience Nightingale. These weie then commissioneu as
BNS veinon, anu became the home of the Royal Navy's Toipeuo Bianch, inuepenuent of
BNS Excellent. Aiiaune was useu to pioviue accommouation. In }anuaiy 1886 BNS
Bonegal ieplaceu the oiiginal veinon as a moie spacious toipeuo school ship. Bonegal
was ienameu veinon, the oiiginal veinon was ienameu Actaeon anu took ovei as the
0n the outbieak of the Fiist Woilu Wai veinon was useu to caiiy out toipeuo tiials anu
to tiain new ieciuits foi the Navy. Extensive ieseaich anu uevelopment was also caiiieu
to uevelop new anti-submaiine uevices, mines anu ships' electiics. 0n 1 0ctobei 192S
veinon was moveu ashoie anu new uepaitments weie set up to covei aspects of
maiitime waifaie, such as mining, toipeuoes anu electiical equipment. The names of the
oiiginal hulks that maue up the floating veinon weie useu foi builuings in the base.
BNS Actaeon (shoie establishment) was a shoie establishment, oiiginally pait of BNS
veinon. It was establisheu as a sepaiate commanu in 19uS anu paiu off in 1922.
Finally fiom 1 Apiil 1922 to the 28 August 1922 Beibeit was stationeu back at BNS
Pembioke 1. Be was then pensioneu fiom the Royal Navy. Be woulu have been 41 yeais
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