Useful Sources

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Within the UK there is a wealth of information resources on naval and maritime history. Below are a number of reference sources, which aim to help you begin your navigation of the subject.

Naval Biographical Database -

This is an on-going private enterprise. Information is gathered from a variety of primary sources and currently covers the period 1660- 1800s on Flag Officers, Captains, Warrant Officers and Yard Officers. A search facility and further information on current coverage and cost is available on the website.


Service records

Ratings Pre 1924, WRNS WW1 records, Officers 1756-1917 and all ship records: National Archives (PRO) Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU Tel: 020 8876 3444 (Documents online:

Ratings 1924-39, Officers 1906-1982, WRNS 1939-1955, Reservists WW2 : Director of Naval Personnel, Navy Search, TNT Records Management, PO Box 7814, Tenton Point, William Nadin Way, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE11 1EG Tel: 01283 227912 or 227913

Ratings Post 1939, WRNS Post 1956: DNPers Disclosure Cell, MP G-2, Room 48, West Battery, Whale Island, Portsmouth PO2 8DX

Officers aged under 60 & still serving/retired: Officers’ Mobilisation Division, Room 171, Victory Building, HM Naval Base Portsmouth PO1 3LS

Medal entitlements: available only to next of kin on written request.

Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA)

(Joint Personnel Administration Centre) MoD Medal Office Building 250 Imjin Barracks Gloucester GL3 1HW


National Archives -

Naval Biographical Database -


Website: Maritime And Coastguard Agency

Merseyside Maritime Museum -

National Maritime Museum -

National Fisheries Heritage Centre (trawler histories): Alexander Dock, Great Grimsby, Lincolnshire, DN31 1UZ

Commonwealth War Graves Commission -

Imperial War Museum -

Royal Navy -

Science Museum -

Veterans Agency -

National Register of Archives –

Australian National Maritime Museum -


National Archives of Canada -

Maritime Museum of British Columbia –

The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic -

United States of America

National Archives of the United States of America -

Naval Historical Centre -