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
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.ukfor 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
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).
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.