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Author Topic: Seaman Richard Simpkin  (Read 8650 times)
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Richard Kramer
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« on: May 30, 2009, 02:50:12 PM »

My great grandfather Richard Simpkin was in the Navy and was an Ex-apprentice.  Not sure of his service time but I believe he served on the USS Oregon and have his white jersey top with the figure 8 knot on the front and a gold stripe on the left shoulder stitching.  (Not sure what this stripe means) My grandmother his daughter told me that he fibbed about his age so he could enlist.  I have lots of photos from his time in service and many are of him wearing kimonos somewhere in the pacific, Japan.  He did alot of uniform repairs while at sea and saved up enough money that when he finished his service he was able to settle down and buy a house.  Later in life he was a printer press prototype woodworker.  He made the wood version of a printer press machine prior to it being made into steel.  I wish to know if there is a website that features all the names of men who served as ex-apprentices and time of their service.  I can also provide copies of photos of him while in service and pictures of the jersey that I have.

Any help would be appreciated.

Richard Kramer
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cwwhite
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2009, 04:41:56 PM »

Richard, no where is there an available list of apprentices.  I am not even sure if the National Archives have everyone that served.  I am very much interested in your ancester's service.  My goal is to have a working searchable database that includes all that served, but what I have is very sketchy.  What time frame did Richard Simpkin serve and do you have any documentation that you can scan.  I can make a special webpage just for him.  Below is the listing from the National Archives and Records Administration.

http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/024.html#24.3.3

Textual Records: Certificates of consent for minors, 1838-67. "Apprentice papers," 1864-89. Journal of enlistments, U.S.S. Allegheny, 1865-68. General record of apprentices, U.S.S. Portsmouth, 1867-68. Records relating to apprentices and apprentice training methods, U.S.S. Sabine, 1864-68. Register of enlistments, 1864-75.
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Richard Kramer
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2009, 04:41:27 PM »

Ok,  More info on Richard Simpkin,  tatooed big time, born 1883-1947.  Lied about his age to join the Navy and from his dress uniform he was a navy apprentice boy, So if he lied about his age then he may have been 14 at the time which would make the year 1898 or 1897.  What I dont know is how long one has to train prior to landing on a ship.  How do I get scanned images to you or anyone else that wants to add to website?

Prior to his enlistment he was sent to English relatives in England with his sisters, once he got to England, the sisters weret aken in and he was sent back to America, upon arrival back home he realized that he was not wanted so he lied about his age to get into the Navy.  I guess the long boat trip to England and back was enough to get him hooked on ship life out on the open sea.  What I would like to find out if he was on the USS Oregon when it was sent to Cuba, I will check with relatives to see if I can verify.

Richard Kramer
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PC1 P.J.McK.,USN(Ret)
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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2009, 07:30:42 PM »

  What I dont know is how long one has to train prior to landing on a ship.  How do I get scanned images to you or anyone else that wants to add to website?
Richard Kramer

I recommend reading the book BLUEJACKET by YNC Fred J. Buenzle, USN (Ret.) for more information about life in the Navy of the 1890's. Chief Buenzle was RADM William T. Sampson's yeoman.

There is another book The Making of the New Navy. (I'm not sure if this he title is correct and I regret that I don't know who the author is.) It provides a lot of details about the making of the Navy between the Civil War and WW2.

If I stumble on some other books or articles, I'll update this post accordingly.
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