How to look for records of... Royal Naval Reserve personnel
How can I view the records covered in this guide?
What do I need to know before I start?
What records can I see online?
What records can I find at The National Archives at Kew?
What records can I find in other archives and organisations?
What other resources will help me find information?
Did you know?
Only a small sample of service record for Royal Naval Reserve ratingssurvive for the period 1864 to 1908.
The Royal Naval Reserve was established in 1859 and was made up of experienced officers and seamen from deep-sea merchant ships.
A rating is the most junior class of seaman in the Royal Navy – these are below officers in seniority.
From 1914-1916 a number of RNR officers and ratings served ashore in Flanders as infantry and formed the Royal Naval Division. In 1916 the Division was transferred to the army as the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division.
Service records for Royal Naval Reserve officers after 1920, and for ratings after 1955, are held by the Ministry of Defence. Only the subject of the record, or next of kin, may request access to them.