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The Royal Navy Research Archive aims to provide access to a range of web pages related to RN ships, establishments, units, and personnel, primarily from the start of World War One through into the 21st century. Content includes articles, short histories and the reminiscences of the men and women who served in the Royal Navy, WRNS, and Royal Marines.

Links marked   are to material  produced by others but hosted by the Royal Navy Research Archive.


Web Sites:


  • The MONAB Story - a history of the Mobile Naval Air Bases of the Royal Navy
    [Last updated  28 March 2014]

  • Royal Navy Escort Carriers - the histories of the 45 vessels of this type to serve with the Royal Navy
    [Last updated  19 January 2014]

  • Fleet Air Arm Bases 1939 - present day **NEW**
    This site covers all Fleet Air Arm establishments, both at home and overseas, including Air Stations, Air Sections, Air Maintenance & Repair Yards, Lodger units at RAF bases,  and training establishments.

    [under reconstruction - last updated  08 April 2014]

  • The British Pacific & East Indies Fleets - the story of the  units of the British Pacific & East Indies Fleets
    [under reconstruction - last updated  05 June 2012]

  • HMS SLINGER - John Lawson's pages devoted to the WW2 escort carrier on which he served during WW2
    [Last updated 23 August 2010]


Short Unit Histories & Articles :

  • HMS VERNON (R) - the story of the Torpedo, Mine & Electrical training establishment  at Roedean, Brighton during WW2

    [Last updated 07 August 2011]

  • HMS KING ALFRED -  the story of the RNVR Officer training establishment at Hove, East Sussex during WW2
    [Last updated 17 September 2010]  

  • The story behind my sea chest *NEW**
    After inheriting a genuine Royal Navy sea chest Dr. Christian Strutz set about tracing its origins. He discovers that was made for Ralph Abercrombie Otto Brown R.N who achieved the rank of Rear Admiral in Queen Victoria's Navy.

  • Admiralty W/T Training School, Brighton
    A short account of the RN school for training ratings of the Telegraphist (Specialist) branch during World War Two

    [Last updated September 19 2013]

  • 'Hove's Adopted Submarine' H.M.S. UNBEATEN
    A short article about the U-Class submarine 'adopted' by the borough of Hove after a successful National Savings 'Warship Week' campaign in the spring of 1942.

  • The Joint Services Schools for Linguists 1951-60
    An article examining the training of RN Coder (Special) and other National Servicemen as they prepared for war as Russian linguists in the 'Cold War' era

  • The Flower Class Corvette HMS FRITILLARY
    A short history of the ship that served in the South Atlantic and Indian oceans as an anti-submarine vessel and  convoy escort.






  • In search of Mike Cumberlege **NEW**
    Robin Knight describes the life and death of an unsung British hero Mike Cumberlege D.S.O.* R.N.R.

  • Lieutenant Pearce Trewhella Lovelock DSC, RNVR **NEW**
    One of the first RNVR officers to see active service, Lt. Lovelock commanded several small ships and spent most of his service with the Eastern Fleet operating out of East Africa and Ceylon in minesweeping trawlers.

  • WRNS Ldg Officer's Steward Lois Lade
    A short piece about Lois; time as an 'immobile' Wren working at HMS Vernon (R) in Brighton during WW2

  • Paymaster Lieutenant Commander Edward N. Hopkns 
    A short account of a naval carrier which began in 1896 and saw him serve in the troubles in Benin , the 4th Boxer Rebellion and the First World War.

  • WRNS Torpedoman Barbara Sugden
    Barbara enlisted in the WRNS with no expectation of what role she would play in the war effort; imagine her surprise when she was allocated to a branch newly opened to women. She was to train as a Torpedoman and soon found herself working on depth charges and gyro compasses, sometimes even at sea.

  • Telegraphist (S) Clifford Dennison
    Trained as a specialist Telegraphist Clifford found himself at a remote radio station in India working as part of the naval signals intelligence organisation based at HMS Anderson in Colombo, eavesdropping on Japanese morse code transmission.

  • Leading Coder (S) Dennis Mills
    Dennis recalls his life in the royal navy as a national service entrant 1952-54, He trained as a Coder (Special) and served at H.M.S. Royal Albert in Germany before his demob and then ten years in the reserves.


Miscellaneous photographs:


  • Photographs from the album of Petty Officer Cyril Poole **NEW** Cyril served on HMS Berwick in the mid 1930s on the China Station.   He was lost when HMS Wryneck was sunk April 127th 941.

  • Officers of the WW1 Cruiser HMS CONSTANCE taken in 1918

  • A collection of pictures showing HMS WARSPITE on  D-Day

  • Veteran returns to former HMS SIMBANG, 65 years on

    Can you identify places, people and ships? Some will be genuine unidentified pictures, some just for fun but either way we hope you'll join in.
    [Last updated  29 January 2012 - new picture added]


  • RN and RM vessels

  • Support Units

  • Air Squadrons


Short histories of individual vessels or details of flotillas, fleets or Task Forces.

  • Training establishments

  • Naval Barracks

  • Naval Bases

  • Naval Air Stations

  • Lodger Units


The histories of Naval shore bases around the globe, from Air Stations to Naval bases and dockyards.

  • Royal Navy

  • WRNS

  • Royal Marines

  • RN Volunteer Reserve

  • Civilian Staff


The stories of men and women who served at home and abroad in all branches of the RN and RM.


Looking for service records or how to claim medals and badges?

Click here to learn where to look for answers



Contribute your own materials to this archive

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If you have written a book on an aspect of Royal Navy history we would be pleased to review it and add it to the archive - please Click here to read the current reviews and for more information.


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Content last modified:

Thursday April 10, 2014 22:17 GMT


Latest additions:

Book Reviews

In the People section:

In search of Mike Cumberlege

in the Reminiscences section:

My experiences as a boy-entrant at HMS ST. George

in the Fleet Air Arm Bases web site:

RNAS Piarco
RNAS Sandbanks

RNAS Puttalam

RNAS/RNAY Tambaram



Visitor No.


Site statistics: June 2013

1,790 pages - 164 users visit the site each day, each viewing 1.40 pages.





This site has been neonate for inclusion in the British Library's Web Archiving Programme and will appear as part of the collection later this year





The story of one man's journey to God during WW2
Author: Mark A. Biggs Click here to learn more




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Copyright  Tony Drury 2005 -2012