The Royal Navy Research Archive aims to provide
virtual museum, giving access to a range of web materials 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.
are to material produced by others but hosted by the Royal Navy
The MONAB Story
- a history of the mobile airfields of
the Royal Navy - nine Mobile Naval Air Bases and one
Transportable Aircraft Maintenance Yard operated during
the last years of World War 2. Without the contributions
of these units and the men who served in them, British
forces could not have participated in the final stages
of the conflict in the Pacific.
27 August 2017]
Royal Navy Escort Carriers - the histories of the 45 vessels
of this type to serve with the Royal Navy - 39 U.S. & 6 U.K.
built ships, based on merchant hulls adapted to operate
as small aircraft carriers, they saw service in all
theatres of the war, operating in a variety of roles.
[Last updated 19 November 2017]
Royal Navy Air Squadrons 1938 - present day ****
Since 1939 there have been nearly 250 Naval Air Squadrons,
including 100 second line training and support squadrons,
137 first line squadrons and 12 Reserve units. Some have
enjoyed long serve, some several incarnations, others were
short lived but performed a vital role. IN the 21st century
there are 19 with one new squadron to commission soon, 809
for the new Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. Squadron
histories will be added as they become available.
[Last updated 27 April 2018]
Fleet Air Arm Bases 1939 -
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
[under reconstruction - last updated 15 January
The British Pacific & East Indies Fleets
- the story of the international mix of men on the
Warships, Auxiliaries, Naval air squadrons, and Shore bases
involved with the war against the Japanese - later
referred to as the ‘Forgotten Fleets’
Last updated 21 September 2018)
- 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:
More histories & articles...
Personal diaries & journals:
Diary of Gunner August Joyce Halden,
Royal Marine Artillery
Covering December 1903 to August 1906 Gunner Halden records events
during his time on the China Station. Transcript and
Journal of A.B, (Gunner)
William Judson 1908 to 1910 ****
Follows William as part of the crew draft of the
gunboat H.M.S READBREAST on the East Indies Station. From RN
Barracks Plymouth (VIVID) to Bombay and anti-smuggling
patrols in the Persian Gulf from April 1908 until paying off
in March 1910 and his return to H.M.S. VIVID.
,Journal of the Reverend William Elliot,
a Georgian Naval Chaplain
around his Journal covering March 1808 to November 1814 this
gives some insight onto the role the Naval Chaplains who
served during the Napoleonic Wars. The original journal is
available as a PDF, as is the full transcript.
Eleven months aboard H.M.
Formed around extracts from the wartime diary of
Able Seaman (Torpedoman) Harold Machin who served on H.M.
S/M STORM during her service with the Eastern Fleet. The
diary covers the period January to November 1944.
Eleven months aboard HMS
One sailors diary of his first eleven months at sea on
the new Fleet Carrier HMS INDOMITABLE covering September 1941 to
August 1942 - combined with another sailors photographs this
gives an insight into the first year of the ship's
The diary of Petty Officer
Ernest Arthur Cobb
Diary of events during the ill-fated first commission of the
Hawkins-class heavy cruiser, HMS Raleigh on the North
America and West Indies Station, wrecked after only a year
BEHIND A NOTICE
The story of K.19516 William John Bowtle, RN, Stoker 1st Class, killed in action on 4th January, 1918
Able Seaman Alfred
Walter Noel Langrish - Sussex Division RNVR & the Royal
An account of Alfred's time in trhe RN Division based
around the information on his service record.
Transferred to RND November 4th 1914, fought at
Gallipoli and on the Western Front, taken prisoner
in March 1918 he was repatriated in January 1919.
[Last updated: 12 November 2014]
Sub Lieutenant (A)
William Anthony Clarke, RNVR (P)
Known as Tony, or 'Nobby', he joined the navy at 19 and
trained to be a pilot. During his career he flew fighter
panes from HMS ATTACKER and later served with a Fleet
|Requirements unit in the UK.
In search of Mike
Robin Knight describes the life and death of an
unsung British hero Lieutenant Mike Cumberlege D.S.O.* R.N.R.
02 November 2018]
Lieutenant Pearce Trewhella
Lovelock DSC, RNVR
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.
[Last updated: 09 August 2016]
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
items and photographs:
H.M.S. ENTERPRISE delivers
Emperor Haile Selassie
A collection of 10 images showing H.M.S. ENTERPRISE
delivering Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and his
forty-six person entourage to Haifa on May 8th 1936.
HMS OCEAN 1951 - 53
A collection of photographs, mainly from the private
collections of CPO Baker and Able Seaman Hiles, showing the
ship and her squadrons from commissioning at Malta to the
end of the Korean war. Includes IWM film 'Korean carrier'.
BOMB ALLEY by Anon
A short poem written by a crew member of the destroyer
HMS Partridge recalling her experiences with Malta
convoy duty in June 1942.
Photographs from the album of
Petty Officer Cyril Poole
Cyril served on HMS Berwick in the mid 1930s on the China
Station. He was lost when HMS Wryneck was sunk April
Officers of the WW1 Cruiser
CONSTANCE taken in 1918
A collection of pictures showing
HMS WARSPITE on D-Day
Veteran returns to former
65 years on
MYSTERY PHOTOS QUIZ PAGE
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 ]
RN and RM vessels
Short histories of individual vessels or details
of flotillas, fleets or Task Forces.
The histories of Naval shore bases around the
globe, from Air Stations to Naval bases and dockyards.
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?
to learn where to look for answers
Contribute your own materials to this archive
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
to read the current reviews and for more
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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