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Old 04-04-20, 08:08 AM
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Guzzman Guzzman is offline
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Location: Nottingham
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Default Royal Naval Motor Boat Reserve

Like others on here I'm inclined to think that the metal RNMBR badge is a fantasy piece, but everytime I say that there is always someone who says 'I have one and its genuine'! I don't like to cause offence but I still believe they are all fakes.

Has anyone ever seen a picture of one actually being worn? There are lots of images of personnel wearing the cloth badges, so how come there are none of them wearing the metal ones? And there are literally thousands of them on the market!

And I thought it might be of interest to provide a very little background information on the RNMBR.

The RNMBR had its origins in about 1910 when a debate began in the civilian yachting press concerning the desire of many yachtsmen to form some sort of volunteer organisation by which they could offer up the services of their craft, and themselves, in the event of hostilities. It was recognised that this sort of service would likely be in the form of local coastal patrol support for the regular navy.

Eventually the Admiralty agreed and in early 1914 they created a Motor Boat Reserve under the auspices of the RNVR. A training programme was proposed, as was an organisational system. However, very little had been achieved before the outbreak of war in August 1914.

With the commencement of hostilities everything changed. Small power boats were chartered and their owners given commissions as temporary officers in the RNVR. These officers enrolled their own crews, who were supplied with a Service Certificate. The RNMBR was affiliated to the RNVR for reasons connected with statutory powers, but was administered separately. Its duties were "for services during the War, for patrol and despatch work, etc., or such duties as the Admiralty may from time to time direct." Officers and men came under the Naval Discipline Act.

Organised into sections around the coast, the RNMBR craft served as 'trot boats' for the Fleet and for inshore and river patrol. Several of these craft crossed the Channel and assisted the Army where fighting was near canals or rivers. In September 1914 the Yacht Patrol was organised to patrol British coastal waters. Some of the officers and men on board these yachts were members of the RNMBR. Later other converted yachts were taken through the French canals to the Mediterranean.

Many of the craft used by the RNMBR were not really suitable and they were eventually replaced by a new class of Motor Launches (ML's). These were manned by the RNVR - many of whom had originally been members of the RNMBR. Eventually the RNMBR title was dropped and the men and boats became fully incorporated into the Auxiliary Patrol of the RNVR.

Pete
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