Personnel records of Naval Personnel from Ministry of Defence and Public Record Office sources.
MOD Service Records
Ratings Pre 1924, WRNS WW1 records, Officers 1756-1917 & all ship records:
National Archives (PRO) Kew
Tel: 02088 763444
Ratings 1924-1972, Officers 1906-1982, WRNS 1939-1971 and Reservists WWII:
Director of Naval Personnel Navy Search
TNT Records Management
PO Box 7814
William Nadin Way
Tel: 01283 227912 or 227913
Ratings Post 1939 and WRNS Post 1971:
Navy Command Secretariat 4
Mail Point G2
Tel 02392 628666/667/672
Information is available at www.gov.uk/guidance/the-ministry-of-defence-medal-office
Applying for medals (you have to be Next-of-Kin), medal policy, qualifying periods, contact the Medal Office go to:
For Early Naval Personnel Records
Officers up until 1931, ratings up to 1923, Royal Navy Reserve and voluntary reserve up to 1931 (dates are on joining).
Go to the National Archives on: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk and follow links to RN personnel. The sources of information are huge.
For example, there are 600,000 personnel records of ratings which include year and place of birth, ships served in, rates, official numbers, period of service and date of death (if in service), wounds and, for later entrants, many badges, character/ability, physical appearance.
Officer records include full name, rank, ships, date and place of birth, entry into service, gallantry and distinguished service awards, final date in service and next-of-kin.
Alphabetical list of RN officers who served from 1939 to 1945:
Comprehensive list of RN Coastal Forces
By boat/class/type, identification number, flotilla, base, together with names of senior officers and commanding officers:
For Information on Specific Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs), Motor Gun Boats (MGBs), Motor Launches (MLs) and Harbour Defence Motor Launches (HDMLs). Simply type in the number of the MTB/MGB/ML/HDML.
Photographs of Coastal Forces Boats
For a good selection of MTBs, MGBs, MLs, HDMLs official RN photographs, go to:
There are, for example, 67 photographs of MTBs, 47 MLs and a separate section for the Zeebrugge Raid.
Register of National Historic Ships
Including the Coastal Forces Vessels
The National Register consists of over 200 vessels all of which have historic importance. The vessels have to be at least 33 foot overall, be over 50 years and to be of British build. You can type a name/number into the search facility.
Linked to 1st and 2nd World Wars – Ships, Bases, Personalities
The Imperial War Museum holds a vast archive of material relating to the world wars and all wars of the last century. These archives are made up of photographs, letters, audio interviews and other sources of reference. The collection can be accessed and search results downloaded for personal purposes from:
National Museum of the Royal Navy
The National Museum of the Royal Navy not only encompasses HMS Victory and more within the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, but also the Royal Naval Submarine Museum at Gosport, the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton and the Royal Marines Museum at Eastney.
The website has all visitors need to know, including the dockyard attractions and events, opening times and ticket costs, current themes and temporary exhibition, a reference library of 15,000 images and oral recordings.