Currently 770 pages of content across all sites. Earliest material relates to 1808 - 1814, latest material relates to the1970s.

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  27 April  2020]

  • 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  19 November 2018]

  • Royal Navy Air Squadrons 1938 - present day **NEW**
    Since 1939 there have been nearly 250 Naval Air Squadrons, including 100 second line training and support squadrons, 137 first line squadrons and 12 Reserve units. Some have enjoyed long serve, some several incarnations, others were short lived but performed a vital role. IN the 21st century there are 19 with one new squadron to commission soon, 809 for the new Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. Squadron histories will be added as they become available.
    [Last updated 24 November 2018]

  • 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 15 December 2018]

  • The British Pacific & East Indies Fleets - the story of the  international mix of men on the Warships, Auxiliaries, Naval air squadrons, and Shore bases involved with the war against the Japanese -  later referred to as the ‘Forgotten Fleets’
    [ Last updated  27 April  2020]

  • 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:

More histories...

More articles...



More reminiscences...

Personal diaries & journals:

More diaries & journals


  • Captain Ernest Stevenson, OBE, RN 1874-1925 *NEW**
    His story is one of naval service from Aden to the Zambezi, the Cape of Good Hope to the China Station, and most points in between. He entered the RN at the age of 15, joining the training ship HMS BRITANNIA on January 15th 1889; as a Naval Cadet he joined HMS IMPÉRIEUSE on the China Station. he retired as a Captain in March 1923 and died at Wei Hai Wei on June 19th 1925. PDF

  • Behind a notice*NEW**
    The story of K.19516 William John Bowtle, RN, Stoker 1st Class, killed in action on 4th January, 1918 PDF

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

More  people...

Miscellaneous items and photographs:


  • HMS OCEAN 1951 - 53
    A collection of photographs, mainly from the private collections of CPO Baker and Able Seaman Hiles, showing the ship and her squadrons from commissioning at Malta to the end of the Korean war. Includes IWM film 'Korean carrier'.

  • BOMB ALLEY by Anon
    A short poem written by a crew member of the destroyer HMS Partridge recalling her experiences with Malta convoy duty in June 1942.

    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  16 July 2018]

More items...



  • 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

Click here to learn how


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.



Featured Book


Available now on Amazon

The latest work by author Paul White in conduction with the Royal Navy Research Archive




Content last modified:

04 May 2020



Latest additions & amendments:


The MONAB Story

This site was relaunched on New Year's Day 2020. The new version is a fully responsive mobile & Tablet friendly site, with both revised and additional content added. This project marks a move away from our previous web design methods, which are no longer fit for purpose, and this new design will be rolled out for all RNARA sites over the next year.


The British Pacific & East Indies Fleets

Relaunched April 1st 2020 the second of our 5 sites to be refurbished using the new mobile & Tablet friendly templates. This site also contains some updated content.



Captain Ernest Stevenson, OBE, RN 1874-1925 Added September 2019

Mystery Photo page updated April 2020


FAA Bases

R.N. Air Section Pembroke Dock Added March 2019

  R.N.A.C.T.E. Maharagama Added March 2019

RNAS Lossiemouth Added February 2019

RNAS Gosport Added February 2019

RNAS Schofields Added February 2019

RNAS Maryborough Added February 2019

RNAS Nowra Added February 2019

RNAS Jervis Bay Added February 2019

RNAS/RN Air Sect Kai Tak Added February 2019

R.N.A.M.Y. Archerfield Updated February 2019

R.N.A.S. Bankstown Updated February 2019

R.N.A.S. Henstridge Added January 2019


RN Air Squadrons

1846 Squadron gallery updated September 2019

765 Squadron  - history and personnel list completed March 2019

764 Squadron  - history and personnel list completed March 2019

1701 ASR Squadron  - history and personnel list completed February 2019

721 FRU - history and personnel list completed February 2019

722 FRU - history and personnel list completed February 2019
723 FRU - history and personnel list completed February 2019

724 squadron - history and personnel list completed February 2019

Visitor No.




Help support the site

If you find this site interesting and informative can you make a small donation? towards its continued upkeep?

Click here to learn how you can



Join the Mailing List and
automatically receive  our newsletter
Enter your name and email address below:
Subscribe Unsubscribe

Click here for help with  the subscription process



Search this site

Click the small X next to the search button to close search results




Help For Heroes supports those Navy, Army and Royal Air Force servicemen and women wounded in the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, both directly and through its support of other service charities.




This site is now  included  in the British Library's Web Archiving Programme

The archived version may differ from the live one where major updates have been carried out


Why not sign-up for the

The RN Research Archive Forum offers a digital community where users can post questions, start discussions or share their experiences and resources with others.

CLICK HERE to access the Forum


To contact the webmaster CLICK HERE

Site tested with


  Internet Explorer 7





  Firefox 2