Family Relatives tell us they just digitised the most comprehensive online collection of Royal Navy Lists covering intermittent years from 1847- 49, 1882 and 1913-1945.
More than 2 million names are included in the Lists which date from the mid – 19th Century (or the Eleventh Period in Navy History) when Britain was involved in a number of conflicts. Regular readers at the SoG will be familiar with the Navy Lists of Officers as the Society’s run of these books goes back to 1756. These records of commissioned officers of the Royal Navy dating back 163 years have been published online for the first time by Familyrelatives.com
The Royal Navy has played a central role in Britain ’s history for centuries. It is the oldest of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and is the Senior of the three Services. Founded by Henry VIII a professional and national naval force was in existence when King Charles II came to the throne in 1660. At the time he inherited a huge fleet of 154 ships and it was the beginning of the Royal Navy as we know it today.
British ships and sailors were symbols of the nation’s dominance until the 20th Century but this dominance was driven not only by great naval supremacy and naval leaders but by Britain ’s industrial advance and technology which helped to shape the future of warfare. From the beginning of the 19th century until well into the 20th century it was the most powerful navy in the world at a time when Great Britain was the world’s only superpower.
The Navy List runs like a catalogue of history – The Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, the occupation of Beijing and Egypt all of which involved the supply of troops and the protection of troop transports and much later conflicts such as the Boer War and the forcing of the Dardanelles in the First World War.
The Navy Lists contain the details of all Royal Navy and Royal Marine commissioned officers on the Active List of those serving at the time of publication. It was said that every Captain in the Navy had a copy of the list as he was always anxious to know the exact status and seniority of other officers he met.
The information covers every aspect of both Royal Navy and Royal Marine officers whether Active, Retired or on the Reserve Lists, from the date they entered the Service. The List of appointments range from navy and marine cadets to Admirals of the Fleet. Masters and Commanders are featured alongside Physicians, Paymasters and even wounded officers. There is even a section on officers dress regulations, awards and decorations. An important part of the records is the Lists of Ships in the Navy with their Commanders and Officers names as well as Commissioned Packet Ships and Revenue Vessels, together with captured prize ships and their bounties.
For example the 1934 List of Ships and Vessels includes Submarines of the Royal Navy, also the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy arranged in their various classes, their Officers and present Stations. The lists also include RAF Units for Naval Cooperation which was extensive at the time.
The following detailed information is also disclosed:
The type of ship and where deployed, the Displacement Tonnage, the indicated horse power or shaft horse power and the main armament. (This excludes field guns and machine guns used by the navy as an auxiliary land force as in the siege of Ladysmith).
The Name and first names of Officers is shown with an initial denoting his qualification for duties i.e. G for Gunnery duties, T for Torpedo duties, N for Navigating duties, S for Signalling Duties, W/T for Wireless Telegraphy duties, or I paid as an Interpreter. The dates shown are the dates of first appointment to a ship and where two dates are shown for a Marine Officer, the date in brackets indicates when his current sea time commenced.
An example of the search results screen for the Navy List search on Family Relatives can be seen below
Family Relatives is one of the free genealogy websites available in the Society’s Library