The Life and Mystery of First Officer William Murdoch
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Royal Naval Reserve

  • The Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) is the volunteer reserve force of the Royal Navy (RN) in the United Kingdom. The present Royal Naval Reserve was formed in 1958 by merging the original Royal Naval Reserve and the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR), a reserve of civilian volunteers founded in 1903.

    The original Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) was founded under the Naval Reserve Act in 1859 as a reserve of professional seamen from the British Merchant Navy and fishing fleets, who could/would be called upon during times of war to assist/serve in the regular Navy. The RNR was originally a reserve of seamen only but in 1862 this was extended to include recruitment and training of officers. From its creation, RNR officers wore a unique, distinctive lace consisting of stripes of interwoven chain.

    A number of drillships were established at the main seaports around the coast of Britain and Ireland and seamen left their vessels in the base ports to undertake gunnery training in a drillship for a period of one month annually. After initial shore training officers embarked in larger ships of the fleet (usually battleships or battle cruisers) for a one-year period to familiarise themselves with gunnery and naval practice. Although under the operational authority of the Admiral Commanding Reserves, the RNR was administered jointly by the Admiralty and the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen in the Board of Trade throughout its separate existence.

    Information: wikipedia

William Murdoch's Service Record

Lieutenant William McMaster Murdoch (RNR)'s service record as found at the National Archives (UK) provided here for research and educational purposes only.

The first page of First Officer Murdoch's service record,
courtesy of the National Archives in the UK.
(Click to enlarge)

The second page of First Officer Murdoch's service record,
courtesy of the National Archives in the UK.
(Click to enlarge)

Service record No.: 01378
National Archives Catalogue Reference: ADM/340/100
Name: Murdoch, William McMaster
Place of Birth: Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbright, Scotland
Date: 28 February 1873

Rank: Sub-Lieutenant
Date of Appointment: 1.3.'02
Date of Seniority: 1.1.'02

Rank: Lieutenant
Date of Seniority: 8th of September 1909
Date of Admiralty Notification: 9th September 1909

Finally disposed of: Drowned in "Titanic" 15.4.12

Copyright is held by The National Archives. This service record is provided here for educational and research purposes only. Any unauthorised reproduction for commercial purposes is striclty prohibited.

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Announcement that Murdoch had been promoted to RNR Lieutenant in the London Gazette of September 10, 1909. (Courtesy of Valeria Gallone.)