30 December 2011

WWI rank abbreviations

Another question I get asked a lot is what do the abbreviations that are stamped on WWI medals stand for. The abbreviations on the second line of a star just before the initials and name donates the rank. The third line on the star designates the unit or organisation the soldier belonged to. On the British War Medal and the Victory Medal the naming is around the rim and begins with the number, then the rank, followed by the initials and name and finally the unit. These photos show examples:

The following list of rank abbreviations was compiled by Richard (RWF) of the British Medal Forum who has kindly allowed me to reproduce it here. I have removed those that specifically do not relate to Australia or Great Britain although in some circumstances I have left interesting ranks like 'Cattleman'. The AIF did not use all the ranks listed but many are common on medals issued to British soldiers. I hope that this is a search-able resource for people to use if they are looking for a particular rank that is on a medal.

A-A. FWN. Acting Assistant Forewoman A-FWN. Acting Forewoman
A-N. SISTER Acting Nursing Sister A-P. CPL Acting Provost Corporal
A-SURG Acting Surgeon (3rd Class) A-U. ADTR Assistant Under Administrator
A.A. ENGR. Acting Artificer Engineer A. ADTR. Assistant Administrator
A.B. Able Seaman A. BMBR. Acting Bombardier A.C. Armourer's Crew
A.C. CTR. Assistant Chief Controller A.C. SGT. Acting Colour Serjeant
A.C.Q.M. SGT Acting Company Quarter Master Sergeant
A. COMM. Assistant Commissary A. CPL. Acting Corporal
A.D. COMM. Assistant Deputy Commissary A. FWN. Assistant Forewoman
A. INSPR. Assistant Inspector A.L. CPL. Acting Lance Corporal
A.M.1. Air Mechanic 1st Class A.M. GR.1. Air Mechanic Grade 1
A.S.M. Assistant Station Master A.S. SJT Acting Staff Serjeant
A. SGT. Acting Serjeant A. SJT Acting Serjeant A. SN. MR Acting Station Master
A. SUPDT. Acting Superintendant A. TRSR. Assistant Treasurer
A.W.O. CL.2. Acting Warrant Officer Class 2
A/S. Q.M. SJT. Acting Squadron Quarter Master Serjeant
ACCT. & TR. Accountant & Treasurer ACT. A.M.1. Acting Air Mechanic 1st Class
ACT. AR. MT. Acting Armourers Mate ACT. ARMR. Acting Armourer
ACT. C.M.M. Acting Chief Motor Mechanic ACT. CH. ARM. Acting Chief Armourer
ACT. E.R.A. Acting Engine Room Artificer ACT.L.S. Acting Leading Seaman
ACT. L. STO. Acting Leading Stoker ACT. S.P.O. Acting Stoker Petty Officer
AD. SVT. Admirals Servant ADJ Adjutant ADMIRAL Admiral AGENT Agent
AMT. Q.M. SJT. Armament Quarter Master Serjeant
AMT. S. MJR. Armament Serjeant Major APPCE. Apprentice
AR. CR. Armourers Crew AR. MTE. Armourers Mate ARB. Labourer
ARMR. Armourer ARMR. S. MJR. Armourer Serjeant Major
ART. ENG. Artificer Engineer ART. HVLDR. Artificer Havildar
ARTFR. Artificer ASST. Assistant ASST. BUTCHER Assistant Butcher
ASST. CK. Assistant Cook ASST. FRN. Assistant Foreman
ASST. LNDRYMAN Assistant Laundryman
ASST. PAYR. Assistant Paymaster ASST. SGN. Assistant Surgeon
ASST. STD. Assistant Steward ASST. TD. Assistant Steward
ASST. STO. Assistant Stoker ASST. SURGN. Assistant Surgeon
B'SUN Boatswain B. ART Boy Artificer B. BUGR. Boy Bugler
B. CK. Boy Cook B.K.M.S. Battery Quarter Master Serjeant
B.Q.M. SJT. Battery Quarter Master Serjeant B.S. MATE Blacksmiths Mate
B.S. MJR. Battery Serjeant Major B. SHAWISH Bash Shawish
B. SMITH Blacksmith B. SVT. Boy Servant B. TEL. Boy Telegraphist
BAKER Baker BANDMASTER Bandmaster BAR TDR. Bar Tender
BARBER Barber BD. CPL Band Corporal BDN. Bandsman BDR Bombardier
BDMR Bandmaster BDSM Bandsman BDSMN Bandsman
BED. STD. Bedroom Steward BGLR. Bugler BK. S. MJR. Barrack Serjeant Major
BKR. Baker BLK. Blacksmith BLKS. MTE. Blacksmith's Mate
BLKSTH. Blacksmith BLRMKR. Boilermaker BLYR. Bricklayer
BMBR Bombardier BMKR. Boilermaker BNDSMN Bandsman
BNDSMN Bandsman BOAT HD. Boat Hand BOATSN Boatswain
BOSN. Boatswain BOY Boy BOY. SIG. Boy Signaller
BOY. TEL. Boy Telegraphist BOY 1 Boy 1st Class BR Bearer
BRIG. Brigadier BRIG. GEN. Brigadier General BRUGL Bugler
BUG. Bugler BUGLR. Bugler BURG Burger BUTCHER Butcher
C. OF. H. Corporal of Horse C. CENSOR Cable Censor
C. DVR. Crane Driver C.E.A. Chief Electrical Artificer
C.E.R.A. Chief Engine Room Artificer
C.M.M. Chief Motor Mechanic C.M. STKPR. Chief Medical Storekeeper
C.P.O. Chief Petty Officer C.P.O. MECH. Chief Petty Officer Mechanic
C.P.O. WR. Chief Petty Officer Writer C.Q.M.S. Company Quarter Master Serjeant C.Q.M. SJT. Company Quarter Master Serjeant
C.S. MJR. Company Serjeant Major C. SJT. Colour Serjeant
C. SMITH Copper Smith C.Y.S. Chief Yeoman of Signals
CAMP. SUPDT. Camp Superintendant CAPT. Captain
CAR. CR. Carpenters Crew CAR. MATE Carpenters Mate CARP. Carpenter
CARPR. Carpenter CASHIER Cashier CATTLEMAN Cattleman
CD. CK. Commissioned Cook CDR. Commander CDR. Conductor CFN. Craftsman
CH. ARM. Chief Armourer CH. ART. ENG. Chief Artificer Engineer
CH. BOSN. Chief Bosun CH. BSN. Chief Bosun CH. CAPT. Chaplain Captain
CH. CK. Chief Cook CH. ENG. Chief Engineer CH. GEN. Chaplain General
CH. GNR. Chief Gunner CH. OFFR. Chief Officer
CH. S.B. Chief Signal Boatswain CH. SH. CK. Chief Ships Cook
CH. SHPT. Chief Shipwright CH. SIG. Chief Signalman
CH. SKR. Chief Skipper CH. SPT. Chief Shipwright CH. STO. Chief Stoker
CH. WR. Chief Writer CH. Y.S. Chief Yeoman of Signals
CH. YEO. SIG Chief Yeoman of Signals CHKLR. Chuckler CHLRNTR Chlorinator
CHMN Chinaman (Labourer) CIV. Civilian CK. Cook CK. MTE. Cooks Mate
CL. MIL. Military Assistant CLERK Clerk CLK. Clerk CLKR. Caulker
CMPDR. Compounder COL. Colonel COL. COMDT. Colonel Commandant
COMM Commissary COMP Compounder COMMR. Commander
CONDR. Conductor CONST Constable COOPER Cooper
COPPER SM. Copper Smith COX'N Coxswain CPL Corporal
CPL. MECH Corporal Mechanic CPL. MJR. Corporal Major
CPR Cooper CPTR. FMN. Carpenter Foreman CR. SGT. Colour Serjeant
CTN & TRP. DK. STD. Canteen & Troop Deck Steward
CTN. ASST. Canteen Assistant CTN. CLK. Canteen Clerk
CTN. MGR. Canteen Manager CTN. SR. Canteen Server
CTR. Controller CYC. Cyclist
D. ADTR. Deputy Administrator D. COMM. Deputy Commissary
D. CTR. Deputy Controller D.H. Deck Hand D. HD. Deck Hand
D.M. & LIEUT. Director of Music & Lieutenant D. RDR. Despatch Rider
DENT. SURG. Dental Surgeon DISPENSER Dispenser DK. ENG. Deck Engineer
DK. STD. Deck Steward DKYN. Donkeyman DMR Drummer DNKYMAN Donkeyman DR. Driver DRDG. MTR. Dredging Master DRESSER Dresser
DRM. MJR. Drum Major DVR-A. WHL. Driver Acting Wheeler DVR. Driver
DWR. Driver DYMN. Dairyman
E.A. Electrical Artificer E. ERECTOR Engineer Erector
E.L. & ST. S. MJR. Engineer Ledgerkeeper & Storeman Serjeant Major
E.M. Electrical Mechanician E.R.A. Engine Room Artificer
E. ST. S. MJR. Engineer Storekeeper Serjeant Major ENG. CAPT. Engineer Captain
ENG. COMMR. Engineer Commander ENG. CR. Engineer commander
ENG. DVR. Engine Driver ENG. DVR. Engine Driver ENG. LT. Engineer Lieutenant
ENG. LT. CR. Engineer Lieutenant Commander ENG. S. LT. Engineer Sub Lieutenant
ENGN. Engineman ENGR'S. STRKPR Engineers Storekeeper ENGR. Engineer
ER-SGT. Engineer Serjeant EX. CHEF Extra Chef
EX. S. MJR. Experimental Serjeant Major
F. CADET Flight Cadet  F.M. Field Marshal
F. OF W.S. MJR. Foreman of Works Serjeant Major FAR. CPL. Farrier Corporal
FAR. CPL. MJR. Farrier Corporal Major FAR. S. MJR. Farrier Serjeant Major
FARR Farrier FARR. S/MAJ. Farrier Serjeant Major FLR Follower
FLT. S. LT. Flight Sub Lieutenant FLWR. Follower FMN. Fireman
FRGMN. Forgeman FSHMN Fisherman FSR Fusilier
FT. PAYR. Fleet Paymaster FT. SURG. Fleet Surgeon FTR. Filter
FWN. Forewoman
G.M. SRVT. General Mess Servant G.R. CK. Gun Room Cook
G.R. STD. Gun Room Steward G.R. SVT. Gun Room Servant
GARR. Q.M. SJT. Garrison Quarter Master Serjeant
GARR. S. MJR. Garrison Serjeant Major GDMN Guardsman
GEN. SVT. General Servant GENERAL General GN. Gunner
GNGMN. Gangman GNR Gunner GNR-A. BMBR. Gunner Acting Bombardier
GSR. Greaser GUARD Guard
H. CPTR. Head Carpenter H. KDR. Head Conductor H. KPR. Horse Keeper
H. SMITH Head Smith H. WCHMN. Hydraulic Winchman H. WDR. Headman Warder
H/SMIT Shoeing Smith HD. Hand HD-TRANSLATOR Head Translator
HDMN. Headman HDMN. S.B. Headman Stretcher Bearer HKPR. Housekeeper
HMRMN. Hammerman HON. LT. Honorary Lieutenant
HOSP. ATT. Hospital Attendant HRDSMN. Herdsman HSMN Horseman
I. AGENT Intelligence Agent I.BEARER Indian Bearer
ICE MECH. Ice Mechanic ILLALO HDMN. Illalo Headman
INSPR. Inspector INSTR. CKY. Instructor of Cookery
INTER. Interpreter INTERP. Interpreter INTR. Interpreter
J.R. Junior Reserve J.R.A. Junior Reserve Attendant
K. DMR. Kettle Drummer
L. & S. INSP. Land and Ship Inspector L-CPL Lance Corporal
L-DFDR. Lance Dafadar L. BMBR Lance Bombardier
L. CK. MTE. Leading Cooks Mate L. CPL. Lance Corporal
L.D.H. Leading Deck Hand L.M. Leading Mechanic
L.P.M. Leading Patrol Man L. PTR. Letter Painter L.S. Leading Seaman
L. SIG . Leading Signalman L. SJT . Lance Serjeant L. STO. Leading Stoker
L. TEL Leading Telegraphist L/C Lance Corporal LABR. Labourer
LG.BTN. Leading Boatman LG. C. CREW Leading Carpenters Crew
LIEUT. Lieutenant LNMN. Lineman LPTMR. Lamptrimmer LT. Lieutenant
LT. COL. Lieutenant Colonel LT. CR. Lieutenant Commander
LT. GEN. Lieutenant General
M.A.A. Master At Arms M.B. Motorboatman M. CYCLIST Motor Cyclist
M.E. Mechanical Engineer M.G.P. Machine Gun Porter M. GNR. Master Gunner
M.M. Motorman Mechanic M. MECH. Motor Mechanic
M.S. FMN. Machine Shop Foreman M.S. MJR. Mechanist Serjeant Major
M.T.S.T.C CLK Motor Transport Supply Corps Clerk
M.W. TEL. O. Marine Wireless Telegraph Operator MAH Orderly
MAJ. GEN. Major General MAJOR Major MASON Mason MATRON Matron
MEC Mechanic MECH. Mechanic MECH. S. SJT. Mechanist Staff Serjeant
MESS MARSHAL Mess Marshal MESS STD. Mess Steward MID Midshipman
MIDS Midshipman MLDR. Moulder MLWRGHT. Millwright
MMN. Machineman MR. Mister MR. GR. Master Gunner
MSTR. MECH. Master Mechanic MT. DVR. Mechanical Transport Driver
MTE. BKR. Bakers Mate MTR. Master MTR. BOY Motor Boy
MUS. Musician MUSN. Musician N. CONST. Native Constable
N. NURSE Nursing Nurse N. ORDERLY Nursing Orderly N. SERJT. Native Serjeant
N. SISTER Nursing Sister NAFAR Private NSG. SISTER Nursing Sister
NURSE A.I.F. Nurse
O. BDR. Lance Bombardier O.C. Officers Clerk O.C.S. Officers Chief Steward
O. KPL. Lance Corporal O.R. SJT. Orderly Room Serjeant
O. TEL. Ordinary Telegraphist O/SERS Lance Serjeant OFF. CK. Officers Cook
OFF. ST. Officers Steward OFFICE SUPDT. Office Superintendent
OILER & GR. Oiler & Greaser OPTR. Operator
ORD. Ordinary Seaman ORD. CLK. Orderly Clerk OVERSEER Overseer
OX. DVR. Ox Driver
P.A.T.I.G. Personal Assistant to Inspector General P. AGENT Political Agent
P. FLT. OFFR. Pilot Flight Officer (Probationary) P.H. SUPDT Superintendent
P.M. SJT. Provost Marshal Serjeant P. MATRON Principal Matron
P. MJR. Pipe Major P.O. Petty Officer P.O. CK. Petty Officer Cook
P.O.M. Petty Officer Mechanic P.O. MTR. MECH. Petty Officer Motor Mechanic
P.O.S.M. Petty Officer Stoker Mechanic P.O. TEL. Petty Officer Telegraphist
P. STD. Pantry Steward P/NURSE Probationary Nurse P/NURSE Probationary Nurse
PAYM. Paymaster PAYR. LT. CR. Paymaster Lieutenant Commander
PAYR. S. LT. Paymaster Sub Lieutenant PBY. NURSE Probationary Nurse
PEON Peon PILOT Pilot PILOTS ASST. Pilots Assistant PIPER Piper
PKRMN. Packerman PATER Plater PLATER LABR. Plater Labourer
PLM. Plumber PLTR. Plater PNR Pioneer PNR. CPL. Pioneer Corporal
PNR. SJT. Pioneer Serjeant PORTER Porter PROF. Professor
PROV. SERS. Provost Serjeant PTE. Private PTR. Painter PTYMN. Pantryman
PURSER Purser PYMSTR. Paymaster Q.M. Quarter Master
Q.M. & CAPT. Quarter Master & Captain
Q.M. & LIEUT. Quarter Master and Lieutenant
Q.M. CPL. MJR. Quarter Master Corporal Major
Q.M. SJT. Quarter Master Serjeant Q. SIG. Qualified Signalman
R. ADMIRAL Rear Admiral R.K.M.S. Regimental Quarter Master Serjeant
R.M. & LIEUT. Riding Master and Lieutenant R.P.O. Regulating Petty Officer
R.S. MJR. Regimental Serjeant Major R. WDMR. Reserve Wardmaster
READER Reader REF. ENG. Refrigeration Engineer
REFG. GR. Refrigeration Greaser RES. WD. MTE. Reserve Wardmasters Mate
RES. WDMSTR. Reserve Wardmaster RESVT. Reservist REV. Reverend
RFLM. Rifleman RFMN Rifleman RFN. Rifleman RFM. Rifleman
RT. REV. LORD BISHOP Right Reverend Lord Bishop RVTR Riviter
S. & C. SMITH Shoeing and Carriage Smith S.A. SGN. Sub Assistant Surgeon
S. ASST. SGN. Sub Assistant Surgeon
S. A. S. I. M. D Sub Assistant Surgeon Indian Medical Department
S. ATTDT. Smoke Attendant S.B.A. Sick Berth Attendant
S.B.P.O. Sick Berth Petty Officer S.B.S. Sick Berth Steward
S.B. STD. Sick Berth Steward S. BR. Stretcher Bearer
S.C.P.O. Stoker Chief Petty Officer S.C.P.O. Supply/Stores Chief Petty Officer
S. CONDR. Sub Conductor SD. S. SJT. Saddler Staff Serjeant
S. HD. Spare Hand S.LT. Sub Lieutenant
S.M.P. Special Military Probationer S. MJR. Serjeant Major
S. MJR. (A.C.) Serjeant Major Artillery Clerk
S. MJR. INSTR. Serjeant Major Instructor S.O.O. Ship's Ordnance Officer
S.P.O. Stoker Petty Officer S.Q.M. SJT. Staff Quarter Master Serjeant
S.R. Senior Reserve S.R.A. Senior Reserve Attendant S.R.N. SISTER Nursing Sister
S.S.A. Ships Stewards Assistant S.S. ASST. Ships Stewards Assistant
S.S. MJR. Staff Serjeant Major S. SERS Staff Serjeant S. SJT. Staff Serjeant
S. SJT. MJR. Staff Serjeant Major S. STH. Shoeing Smith
S.T. MKR. Saddle Tree Maker S. TAALIM Battalion Serjeant Major
S. TAYIN Battalion Quarter Master Serjeant S. TYPIST Steno Typist
S.V. Staff Nurse S/MAJ Serjeant Major S/NURSE Staff Nurse
SADR Saddler SAIL MTE. Sailmakers Mate SALN. BRMN. Saloon Barman
SAN. INSPR. Sanitary Inspector SAR. Sarwal SAWAR Sower
SCHOOLMASTER Schoolmaster SCMN. Sculleryman
SD.Q.M.-CPL. SGT. Saddler Quarter Master Corporal/Serjeant
SDLR. Saddler SEEDIE Seedie SEN. RES. Senior Reserve SEP. Sepoy
SERS. Serjeant SGLN Signalman SGLR Signaller SH. CPL. Ships Corporal
SH. STD. Ships Steward SHAWISH Serjeant SHMKR. SJT. Shoemaker Serjeant
SHPT. Shipwright SHPT. APPC. Shipwrights Apprentice
SHPT. LT. Shipwright Lieutenant SHUNTER Shunter SIG. Signaller
SIG. BOY Signal Boy SISTER Sister SJT. MECH. Serjeant Mechanic
SKP. Skipper SKTR. Skutter Rifleman SLMKR. Sailmaker
SLMKR. MTE. Sailmakers Mate SMITH Smith SMN. Seaman
SMN. RIGGER Seaman Rigger SNR. Signaller SOL. CLERK Soldier Clerk
SOWAR Sowar SP. AM. MTE. Supply Armourers Mate SPR Sapper
SQ. CPL. MJR. Squadron Corporal Major
SQ. Q.M. CPL. Squadron Quarter Master Corporal
SQ. Q.M. SJT. Squadron Quarter Master Serjeant
SQ. S. MJR. Squadron Serjeant Major
SR. ASST. SGN. Senior Assistant Surgeon SRN Sarwan
SR. N. SISTER Senior Nursing Sister SRGT. Serjeant SRVR . Surveyor
SRVT. Servant ST. PAYR. Staff Paymaster STD. Steward
STDESS. Stewardess STEW BOY Steward Boy
STH. Q.M. SJT. Smith Quarter Master Serjeant STKPR. Storekeeper
STKR. Storekeeper STN. MR. Station Master STO. Stoker
STO. P.O. Stoker Petty Officer STORES SUPDT. Stores Superintendent
STPR. Strapper STRKPR. Storekeeper STRMN. Storeman
SUB. CDR. Sub Conductor SUB. CONDR. Sub Conductor
SUPDT. Superintendent SUPDT. CLK. Superindending Clerk
SUPT. Superintendent SUPVR. Supervisor SURG. CAPT. Surgeon Captain
SURG. GEN. Surgeon General SURG. LT. Surgeon Lieutenant
SURG. PROB. Surgeon Probationer SWPR.
T-NURSE Temporary Nurse T.2. CPL. Transport 2nd Corporal
T. ATDT. Transport Attendant T.C. CTR. Temporary Chief Controller
T. ORD. Telephone Orderly T.Q.M. DAF. Transport Q.M.Dafadar
T. SJT. Transport Serjeant T.W.O. CL.1. Transport Warrant Officer Class 1
T/CPL. Transport Corporal T/SGT. Transport Serjeant TE. Telegraphist
TEL. Telegraphist TKT. CLK. Ticket Clerk TMPY. NURSE Temporary Nurse
TP. Q.M. SJT. Troop Quarter Master Serjeant TP. S. MJR. Troop Serjeant Major
TPR. Trooper TR. Trimmer TR. CK. Trimmer Cook TR. DR. Transport Driver
TRP. CK. Troop Cook TURNER Turner TYPIST Typist
U-ADTR. Unit Administrator
V-ADMIRAL Vice Admiral V.A. Victuallers Assistant V.ASSTT Vetinary Assistant
V.A.R.N. Victuallers Assistant R.N. V. ADMIRAL Vice Admiral
V.C.P.O. Victualling Chief Petty Officer V. CAPT. Veterinary Captain
VEN. ARCHD. Venerable Archdeacon VETY.ASST Vetinary Assistant
VLCNZR. Vulcanizer VOL. Volunteer
W.O. CL.1. Warrant Officer Class 1 W.O. CK. Warrant Officer's Cook
W.R. CK. Ward Room Cook W.R. OFF. SVT. Ward Room Officers Servant
W.R. ST. Ward Room Steward W.R. STD. Ward Room Steward
W.R. SVT. Ward Room Servant W. SRVT. Ward Servant
W.T.O. Wireless Telegraph Operator W/SERS Acting Serjeant
WATER CARR. Water Carrier WCHMN. Winchman WGHMN. Weighman
WGNR. Wagoner WHLR. Wheeler
WHLR. Q.M. SJT Wheeler Quarter Master Serjeant WKR. Worker WMN. Wireman
WR. Writer WR. CK. A. Ward Room Cooks Assistant WSHRMN Washerman
WT. Warrant Electrician WT. ENG. Warrant Engineer
WT. MECH. Warrant Mechanician WT. TEL. Warrant Telegraphist
WTCHMN Watchman WTK. Mechanic WTR. Writer
Y.S. Yeoman of Signals YEO. OF SIG. Yeoman of Signals

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