The story of HMS Venomous

OfficersRatingsV & W Class destroyersWhat's NewBuy the BookLinksHome

Obtaining Service Records for Officers and Ratings
in the Royal Navy and RNVR

Download records online from the National Archives

Service records are transferred to the National Archives (TNA) at Kew for download by visitors. If a person was born more than 116 years ago you can be confident that the record will be in the National Archives but I have found records for persons born a few years after this date. If you locate the record  and register with TNA you can during the Covid pandemic download it online without charge instead of paying the 3-50 per record charged in normal times. No charge is made if you obtain a Readers Ticket for the National Archives and visit in person.

The search page on the website of TNA: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/advanced-search

Find "Words":
Alongside "all of these words" enter the full name of the person whose record you hope to find (including middle name if known)

Search "for or within references":
Alongside "any of these references" enter ADM (for Admiralty)

Click on SEARCH
If the name is common and there are too many records restrict by date range.

For further details visit this page: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

Applying online to gov.uk
for service records:


If you fail to find the service record at The National Archives and you were their immediate next of kin when they died (for example their spouse, parent or child) then you can apply online for a copy of their service certificate.

It costs 30 to apply for each record, which is non-refundable. The fee covers research and administrative costs. There’s no fee if you were the person’s spouse or civil partner at the time of their death, or a parent if there was no spouse or civil partner.

You need to know the person’s full name and date of birth. If you have the person’s service number, this can be used to find the correct record quicker.

You’ll also need a copy of the person’s death certificate. If you do not have the death certificate. You do not need a copy of the death certificate if the person died in service or was born more than 116 years ago.

Applying online for Royal Navy (including Royal Marines) service records:

To apply online, you’ll need a:

    digital copy of the death certificate of the person you’re requesting the records of in the correct format (PDF, JPG or PNG)
    debit or credit card

You will not get the record straight away. Your request will be sent to the Royal Navy (including Royal Marines).

Please note that where an officer had previously served as a rating both service records as rating and officer will be supplied.
There is no need to make separate applications.

The story of HMS Venomous is told by Bob Moore and Captain John Rodgaard USN (Ret) in
A Hard Fought Ship
  Buy the new hardback edition online for 35 post free in the UK
Take a look at the Contents Page and List of Illustrations

Holywell House
Holywell House Publishing
88 Holywell Hill, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 1DH, Britain
Telephone: +44 1727 838595
contact online