Nov 18, 2022

Discover Your Ancestor’s British Royal Navy & Royal Marines Service During the Inter-War Period of the 20th Century With Findmypast

From the Findmypast Blog:

This week, we have thousands of new Royal Navy records for you to explore.

Though these records stem as far back as 1840, the majority of them are from the period between the First and Second World Wars, meaning you can trace your ancestor’s continuous service in the 1920s and 1930s. Read on to discover everything that’s new.

Our first addition to this collection is 93,000 records strong, spanning 1925-1939.

These records will give the detail you’d expect from a service record – full name, birth year, birthplace and service number. However, it’s key to note that these could also include men who joined pre-1923, having served in the First World War, but then continued their service through to 1929 and beyond. This could help flesh out your picture of how long your ancestor served in the Royal Navy.

Our second set of additions to this collection comprises 29,000 records between 1925 and 1929.

It was after 1925 that the Royal Navy introduced a new payroll system. The Admiralty wanted to distinguish any new naval recruits under this new pay code. These entries continue for many years, in accordance with the service length of each seaman.

In both of these new additions, you’ll find a letter code that aligns with each service number. This code helps define the serviceman’s role on the ship, and goes as follows:

F – Fleet Air Arm.

J – Seaman and Communications Branch.

K – Stokers.

L – Officers’ Cooks and Stewards.

M – Miscellaneous.

SS – Short Service, Seamen and Stokers.

SSX – Short Service Seamen.

Pensioners – no prefix.

To search these records, use the advanced search page and filter to series ADM362 for the 1925-1929 additions, or ADM363 for the 1925-1939 additions. They’re a continuation of our British Royal Navy Seamen 1899-1924 collection, so if your ancestor did join before 1925, you may have already found them here.

This brand-new collection contains nearly 6,000 officer cards spanning 80 years.

Not only does this collection include the Royal Navy, you may also find records from the Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and Women’s Royal Naval Service.

The important thing to note about these records is they will not only give your ancestor’s service number, but also their rank within their corps. As ever, we recommend comparing sources – these records are particularly handy when used in conjunction with our British Navy Lists 1827-1945. You may be able to unlock more depth and detail to your ancestor’s naval story.

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