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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  07 November 2015]

  • 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  24 March 2016]

  • 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 21 May2016]

  • 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  04 August 2016]

  • 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...


  • Able Seaman Alfred Walter Noel Langrish - Sussex Division RNVR & the Royal Naval Division *NEW**
    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) **NEW**
    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: 22 May 2014]

  • 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

  • WRNS Torpedoman Barbara Sugden
    Barbara enlisted in the WRNS with no expectation of what role she would play in the war effort; imagine her surprise when she was allocated to a branch newly opened to women. She was to train as a Torpedoman and soon found herself working on depth charges and gyro compasses, sometimes even at sea.

More  people...

Miscellaneous items and photographs:


  • HMS OCEAN 1951 - 53 *NEW**
    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  04 August 2016]


  • 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.


Help support the site

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

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Content last modified:

Tuesday August 09, 2016 10:02 GMT


Latest additions & amendments:


Operation Pedestal: the personal account of  P/JX 141451 Leading Signalman James Gregory Fern, D.S.M.


in the Miscellaneous items and photographs section:

The diary of Petty Officer Ernest Arthur Cobb


in the The Royal Navy Escort Carriers web site:



HMS AMEER photo gallery

HMS BEGUM photo gallery





Fleet Air Arm Bases 1939 - present day Web site:


R.N.A.S. Limavady

R.N. Air Section Tafaraoui

R.N. Air Section/R.N.A.S. Takali


The British Pacific & East Indies Fleets Web site:


H.M.L.C.Q. 389


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



Latest post: 03 August 2016


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