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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.

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 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.
    [Last updated  28 October 2014]

  • 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  05 September 2014]

  • Fleet Air Arm Bases 1939 - present day
    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  11 September 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 :






  • Able Seaman Alfred Walter Noel Langrish - Sussex Division RNVR & the Royal Naval Division *NEW**
    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) **NEW**
    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 Cumberlege
    Robin Knight describes the life and death of an unsung British hero Lieutenant Mike Cumberlege D.S.O.* R.N.R.
    [Last updated: 22 May 2014[

  • 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: 19 July 2014]

  • 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

  • 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.


Miscellaneous items and photographs:


  • BOMB ALLEY by Anon *NEW**
    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 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  10 November 2014 - 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:

Saturday November 29, 2014 21:44 GMT


Latest additions:

In Miscellaneous items and photographs:


In the Short Unit Histories & Articles  section:

A Brief History Of 853 Royal Naval Air Squadron, December 1943 - May 1945

In the People section:

Able Seaman Alfred Walter Noel Langrish - Sussex Division RNVR & the Royal Naval Division

Sub Lieutenant (A) William Anthony Clarke, RNVR (P)

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:

R.N.A.S. Ponam

R.N.A.T.E. Forton Barracks

R.N.A.S. Squantum

R.N.A.S. Quonset Point

R.N.A.S. Brunswick

R.N.A.S. Lewiston

R.N. Air Sect Beaulieu

R.N.A.S. Burscough



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




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