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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 August 2017]

  • 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 2017]

  • 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 27 July 2017]

  • 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 January 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  22 January 2018)

  • 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 & articles...



More reminiscences...


  • The Reverend William Elliot, a Georgian Naval Chaplain *NEW**
    Based around his Journal covering March 1808 to November 1814 this new section gives some insight onto the role the Naval Chaplains who served during the Napoleonic Wars. The original journal is available as a PDF, as is the full transcript. A third, small document contains genealogical information and service and church positions held.

  • 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.

  • In search of Mike Cumberlege
    Robin Knight describes the life and death of an unsung British hero Lieutenant Mike Cumberlege D.S.O.* R.N.R.
    [Last updated: 13 February 2018]

  • Lieutenant Pearce Trewhella Lovelock DSC, RNVR
    One of the first RNVR officers to see active service, Lt. Lovelock commanded several small ships and spent most of his service with the Eastern Fleet operating out of East Africa and Ceylon in minesweeping trawlers.

    [Last updated: 09 August 2016]

  • WRNS Ldg Officer's Steward Lois Lade
    A short piece about Lois; time as an 'immobile' Wren working at HMS Vernon (R) in Brighton during WW2


More  people...

Miscellaneous items and photographs:


  • H.M.S. ENTERPRISE delivers Emperor Haile Selassie *NEW**
    A collection of 10 images showing H.M.S. ENTERPRISE delivering Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and his forty-six person entourage to Haifa on May 8th 1936.

  • 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.

  • Photographs from the album of Petty Officer Cyril Poole
    Cyril served on HMS Berwick in the mid 1930s on the China Station.   He was lost when HMS Wryneck was sunk April 127th 941.

  • Officers of the WW1 Cruiser HMS CONSTANCE taken in 1918

  • A collection of pictures showing HMS WARSPITE on  D-Day

  • Veteran returns to former HMS SIMBANG, 65 years on

    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  24 July 2017]


  • 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?

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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.


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Content last modified:

13 February 2018



Latest additions & amendments:

Book Review Updated November 2017


Recent activity


FAA Bases

R.N.A.S./R.N.A.R.Y. Sembawang Added January 2018

R.N.A.S. Sembawang 1st Commission gallery Added January 2018

R.N.A.S. Abbotsinch Modified December 2017
RAAF Iwakuni Modified December 2017


RN Air Squadrons

1700 ASR Squadron - history and personnel list are now completed February 2018

1700 Squadron - The RN's newest squadron formed in October 2017 added January 2018

898 Squadron + Crew list updated July 2017


RNRA pages

Information about applying for lapel badges/emblems
and medals issued by the UK Ministry of Defence
updated) August

The Reverend William Elliot, a Georgian Naval Chaplain Added August


RN Escort Aircraft Carriers

HMS KHEDIVE Updated October 2017

HMS KHEDIVE Gallery Added October 2017


The MONAB Story

M.O.N.A.B. 3 Gallery Updated August 2017


The British Pacific & East Indies Fleets

L.C.(Q) 389 updated January 2018



Read news and details of all updated content via our Blog page



Latest post: May 2017


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