Photograph of group of Royal Navy ratings (Catalogue reference: DEFE 2/103)

This is a brief guide to researching records of Royal Navy ratingsRating - a seaman ranking lower than an officer. These are the most junior class of seamen in the Royal Navy. after 1923Service recordsservice record - a document recording the career of an individual in the armed forces for this period are currently held by the Ministry of Defence.

This guide will help you to find out if the information you are looking for exists and, if it does, where to find it or more information about it.

  • What do I need to know before I start?

    • Try to find out:

      • the name and rank of the person
      • the name of the ship(s) the person served on
      • a date range of service
  • What records can I find at The National Archives at Kew?

    • The National Archives has limited records relating to Royal Navy ratings after 1923.

  • What other resources will help me find information?