Tracing service records of men who served in the Royal Navy


If you know the name of the serviceman, you may be able to order his naval service records. This answer comes in three parts:


1. For up-to-date/accurate instructions on obtaining naval records for individuals who enlisted between 1873-1928, please consult the following online leaflet at the Public Records Office: Royal Navy: Ratings Entering Service Between 1873 and 1923. You can also submit enquiries to: 

Reader Information Services Department, Public Record Office, 
Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Surrey TW9 4DU
(Telephone: 020 8876 3444) 

2. For information on obtaining naval records of a relative who entered the service between 1928-1938, submit written enquiries to: 

Ministry of Defence, CS (R)2A, Bourne Avenue, Hayes, Middlesex, UB3 1RF 
Telephone: 020 8573 3831, ext 341/342 

3. For information on obtaining naval records of a relative who entered the service after 1938, submit a written enquiry to: 

Ministry of Defence, H.M.S. Centurion, Grange Road, Gosport, Hampshire, PO13 9XA 

You should also understand that if the serviceman in question is still alive, then only he can obtain the information (unless he grants you permission in writing). Also, you should know that this can be a long process (up to 6 months), costs 25 and that you will need documentation to support your request.

(Information correct as of  22nd June 2003)