Section of painting of King George VI in Royal Marines officer's uniform (Catalogue reference: INF 3/78)

This is a brief guide to help you with your research into Royal Marines officersofficer - a senior member of staff in the armed forces. Royal Marines records are kept in different places depending on when the Marine served. This guide will help you to find out if the information you are looking for exists, and if it does where to find it.

  • What other resources will help me find information?

    • Printed Army Lists (from 1740) and Navy Lists

      Trace outlines of officers' careers from the information given about Marines officers on full-pay and half-pay in the printed Army List from 1740 onwards.

      Consult published Navy Lists, or the earlier Steele's Navy List, to get an outline of an officer's career from 1782 to date.

    • Books

      Use our library catalogue to find a recommended book list.

      The books are all available in The National Archives' reference library. You may also be able to find them in a local library. You can buy from a wide range of history titles in our bookshop.

    • Websites

      Browse the collection of research documents which are available to download from the Royal Marines Museum website.

      Find an officer in the lists of commissions, promotions and resignation in the London Gazette on The Gazette website.

Did you know?

The Royal Marines were established in 1664 under Charles II. They were called 'the Duke of York and Albany's Maritime Regiment of Foot'.

In 1755 a corps of 5,000 marines was established and grouped into 50 companies under 3 divisions; Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth. No original service records of officers appointed before 1793 have survived however you can often trace their career through other publications. 

The Marines were designated 'Royal' by an order of King George III in 1802.

In 1855 the Royal Marine Light Infantry (RMLI) was formed, followed by the Royal Marine Artillery (RMA) in 1859.

The RMLI and RMA merged in 1923 to form a single Royal Marine Corps.