Promotion in the Royal Navy brought extra privileges and pay so was normally highly sought after. To achieve promotion a sailor had to have completed both the requisite period of time and the right qualifications. Sometimes a sailor was felt to be doing so well that he might be identified as being suitable for advanced promotion, allowing him to complete the process in a shorter period of time than was usually the case. All these decisions were influenced by the sailor’s conduct and it was up to his duty officer to keep detailed records about a man’s service so the correct decisions about promotion could be made. This information was recorded on a special card form that went with a sailor from unit to unit and tonight we have an example for a sailor who was serving as an aircraft mechanic:A sailors rating, i.e. rank, and his trade qualification were separate qualifications and it was possible, if unusual, for him to be highly qualified in his trade but due to poor conduct to still be rated as just an ordinary seaman. The back of card explains the various criteria for a sailor’s promotion and the different recommendations that a divisional officer could make on a man’s readiness to be advanced:This card was used at HMS Daedalus the aircraft training base on the Solent. There are only two entries on the form and I suspect that the sailor in question here was a national serviceman so only served for a very short period of time:This particular form dates from 1948, but I suspect something similar would have been used in the Second World War as a way of identifying talent and ensuring swift promotion for those who met the criteria. These forms were held in a ship’s office and given back to a sailor when he transferred to his next posting or when he was released into civilian life. The record being seen as a useful piece of evidence to a civilian employer of the man’s good character and hard work.