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Richard Francis Warren 
Richard Francis Warren was born in Dublin on 04/06/1897 according to his Continuous Service sheet in the Royal Navy (ADM 188/710) and this is confirmed by his baptismal record which was held two days later at Dalkey Church of the Assumption 
Richard joins the Royal Navy as a 17 year old Boy on 14/06/1914 at Devonport and is given the Continuous Service number of J31555, the ‘J’ prefix signifying the ‘Seaman’ branch rather than a Stoker, Domestic or any other of the RN branches. 
A summary of his career from available records gives us the following:- 

04/06/1914 – Joined at HMS Vivid II, a part of the Royal Naval Barracks at Devonport. At this date (his first engagement) he is described as being 5ft 21/2 in tall, 32 inch chest, light hair, fair complexion and blue eyes. 

02/08/1914 – Posted to HMS Impregnable, the training establishment at Devonport.
27/01/1915 – Promoted to Boy 1st Class on completion of initial training and posted back to the Devonport Barracks (HMS Vivid I) to await posting. This period would also cover his period of movement to join his first ship.
27/02/1915 – Posted to the cruiser HMS Pelorus at Gibraltar:-

HMS Pelorus was the nameship of the Pelorus class of third class cruisers. At the start of the First World War she was on patrol in the Bristol Channel, but before the end of 1914 she had been sent to the Mediterranean, where she formed part of the Gibraltar Patrol (with ten torpedo boats and two armed boarding ships). She was perhaps not the ideal patrol vessel, for from March-May 1915 she was detached at Palma in the Balearic Islands, watching a suspicious German steamship known to be equipped with a wireless set. In the summer of 1915 the Pelorus was back with the main Gibraltar patrol, but the patrol did not even detect the German submarines U 35 and U 34 as they passed through the straits of Gibraltar on the way to the eastern Mediterranean. 

04/06/1915 – Promoted to Ordinary Seaman on his 18th Birthday. Richard also engaged for a period of 12 years of service from this date at which he is described as being 5ft 71/2in tall and with a 341/2 inch chest – he seems to have been eating well! 

13/12/1915 - Posted to the sloop HMS Cormorant which at that time was the ‘receiving’ ship at Gibraltar – i.e. Richard was ashore awaiting a further posting or on shore duties.
30/12/1915 – Promoted to Able Seaman. 

01/06/1915 – Richard is shown as joining ‘Century’ at this date under the command of HMS Egmont, which was the naval base at St. Angelo in Malta. ‘Century’ was the Royal Navy name for the ‘PENHALLOW’, a decoy or Q-ship, chartered collier (Admiralty No. Y3.301). Built 1913, 4318grt. In service 10.15-23.5.17, armament is not listed, other name CENTURY. This ship eventually came to grief when it was torpedoed in June 1918. 

In World War I the term "mystery ship" originally referred to a submarine decoy vessel. These ships were developed because of the large loss of shipping caused by German U-boats in the opening months of the war. It did not go unnoticed that the submarines preferred to attack unescorted, older and smaller vessels by using surface gunfire thus preserving their torpedoes for larger vessels or warships and extending their sea cruise durations. Thus it was conceived that a vessel, such as a coaster, if provided with a concealed armament, could meet a surfaced submarine on fairly equal terms. The vessels chosen, code-named Q-ships by the Admiralty and also known as Decoy Vessels and Special Service Ships, were comparatively small, ranging in size from 4,000 tons to small sailing ships, old and made to look poorly maintained. Their outward appearances were indistinguishable from ordinary merchantmen. When attacked, the Q-ship would allow the U-boat to come as close as possible before dropping the disguise, raising the White Ensign (a requirement of international law), and opening fire. The sinking of about 30% of the U-boats destroyed by surface forces by this method proved its success. In the early part of the war when successes were highest the number of such vessels was limited but, later as the numbers increased, the Germans became aware of the operation and successes declined. One source has been quoted that there were as many as 366 Q-ships, of which 61 were lost during the war, nearly all the larger vessels being torpedoed without warning. The first success was in July 1915, when a converted coaster of 373-tons, the Prince Charles, sank U36. The first Q-ships, the British Victoria and the French Marguerite, went into service in November 1914. In addition to the cargo vessels, colliers, and other ships listed, a large number of small sailing vessels ( mainly schooners and brigantines ), fishing vessels ( trawlers, drifters, smacks, et cetra ), a tug ( Earl of Powis ), a salvage vessel ( Lyons ), the lighter X22 and other minor craft were employed as Q-ships. 
The Q-ships armament, usually consisting of one 4-inch ( 102 mm ) and two 12-pdr guns, was disguised in various ways : behind hinged bulwarks, inside dummy superstructures and deck cargoes, and even inside dummy boats. The ships adopted greater secrecy and elaborate disguises. They changed their disguises and names from time to time, some vessels having had as many as five different names. Many ruses were developed to convince the U-boats that vessels were genuine. These included disguises for the crew - men made up as black merchant seamen, the captain's " wife ", and in one crew the ' cook ' was equipped with a stuffed parrot in a cage. Also a simulated abandon-ship routine was operated whereby half the crew, nicknamed the " panic party ", would leave ship while the other half would remain hidden aboard to man the guns. When it became apparent that the decoys were likely to be torpedoed, their holds were filled with buoyant material to keep them afloat. Other methods adapted included the trawler+submarine plan. A trawler put to sea towing one of the older submarines, submerged, and connected to it by telephone. If a U-boat surfaced the trawler engaged its attention while the submarine was released for attack. The first success of this scheme was in June 1915 when the trawler Taranaki with submarine C24 sank U40 off Aberdeen. This method provided employment for the older A, B, and C classes of coastal submarines. There was only one purpose-built Q-ship, the Hyderabad. This was a 600-ton vessel, launched in 1917, with a very shallow draught to allow torpedoes to pass under the ship and armed with one 4-inch, two 12-pdr, and one 2 1/2-pdr guns, two 18-inch torpedo tubes, four depth charges and four A/S howitzers, all, except the 2 1/2-pdr, concealed. 

In addition to the converted merchant ships there were 40 Flower class sloops and 20 PC- boats. The PC-boats were completed as Q-ships, disquised as coastal freighters and differed from regular service PC-boats. None were lost in the war. The Flower class sloops were designed on merchant ship lines thus making them easily adaptable for conversion to Q-ships, 39 being completed as such while the other was converted after being torpedoed. These all 
had single funnels, and as the merchant ship silhouette was left to the builders, variations were many. The " Flower-Q's " were employed mainly on convoy and anti-submarine work. Nine were lost during the war. 

01/01/1917 – ‘Century’ has returned from the Mediterranean to Portsmouth as Richard is shown as being at the shore base HMS Victory I as of this date. 

21/02/1917 – Richard re-joins ‘Century’.
01/03/1917 – Richard joins the Gunnery School HMS Excellent at Portsmouth. 

11/04/1917 – Traded as ‘S.G.’ or Seaman Gunner. 

27/04/1917 – Traded also as ‘R.T.II’ or Range Taker 2nd Class. 

02/05/1917 – To HMS Vivid, the shore base at Devonport. 

27/05/1917 – Richard joins the ‘Q’ Ship ‘Mavis’ which leaves Devonport at the end of the month for the Atlantic.
She was torpedoed off Wolf Rock on 03/06/1917 by U-29:- 
26/06/1917 - To HMS Vivid I, the shore base at Devonport. 

27/10/1917 – Richard joined the sloop HMS Arbutus at Devonport. 
The British Navy sloop Arbutus HMS, acting as a special service vessel, was torpedoed by German submarine UB-65 in St. George ´s Channel in very rough weather on December 16th, 1917. The sloop, which was under command of Cdr. Charles H. Oxlade, R.D., R.N.R., carried a complement of 93. Had the weather moderated it is possible that the vessel might have been saved. She foundered with the loss of Cdr. Oxlade and another officer and seven ratings. 
01/01/1918 - To HMS Vivid I, the shore base at Devonport. There is a note on the CS sheet that new certificates were issued at this time as his originals would have been lost. 

17/03/1918 – Richard joins HMS Gunner, the naval base at Granton, near Edinburgh.
23/08/1918 – Reduced to Range Taker Class 3. This classification appears to have gone up and down spasmodically throughout his career. 

01/04/1918 – Joins the Q Ship ‘Fresh Hope’ – an image of the crew of this ship can be found here along with the ship itself among whom is certainly Richard:- 

Richard Warren - Second row second right
19/01/1919 – Richard joins the Hunt Class minesweeper HMS Zetland which is under the command of HMS Gunner, the naval base at Granton, near Edinburgh. 
01/07/1919 – HMS Zetland comes under command of HMS Pekin, the shore base at Grimsby. 

01/12/1919 – Richard is posted to HMS Mistley, another Hunt Class minesweeper under command of HMS Blake (a destroyer depot ship based at Portsmouth). His WW1 medals (1914-15 Star, British War & Victory) were issued to him on this ship. 

01/01/1920 – HMS Mistley, is now in Scotland under command of HMS Gibraltar (Depot ship for the Shetlands). 

01/04/1920 – HMS Mistley, is now at Portland under command of HMS Victory XI (Depot ship at that place). 

12/07/1921 – Richard is paid off to HMS Vivid I, the shore base at Devonport. 

19/11/1921 – Richard joins HMS Cairo -  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Cairo_(D87)
This ship was present on the East Indian station from 1921 to 1924. 

08/03/1924 – Richard is paid off to HMS Vivid I, the shore base at Devonport. 

27/08/1924 – Posted to HMS Walker under command of HMS Columbine (Depot ship at South Quensferry). -  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Walker_(D27)
01/12/1925 – Promoted to Leading Seaman. 

05/05/1927 – Richard signs to complete a complete pension of 21 years. 

01/01/1928 - Richard is paid off to HMS Vivid I, the shore base at Devonport. 

Sadly there are no more service records available to us in the public arena. It is known that Richard was on the Battleship HMS Malaya http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Malayawhen he is recommended for a Long Service & Good Conduct medal in 1930 and the medal was issued on this ship. 

By 1937 Richard is present on the HM Royal Yacht Victoria & Albert as he is on the 1937 Coronation medal roll as a Petty Officer on that ship. 

Unfortunately the CS continuation card in ADM 363 shows only that Richard re-entered service on 30/05/1938 and mentions that he was present at HMS Royal Arthur – a shore base at Skegness -
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Royal_Arthur_(shore_establishment) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Royal_Arthur_(shore_establishment)
It is advised a request is made to the MoD for his continuation sheets (if they exist) and if these can be passed on I will endeavour to complete this to the end of WW1.