RNAS service record

What are these records?

These are the service records of officers who served in the Royal Naval Air Service during the First World War. They can also contain details of service before the First World War.

This collection, in series ADM 273, consists of the records of approximately 7,500 men.

Many officers transferred from the Royal Navy. You can trace their previous service in the Royal Navy officers' service records.

What information do the records contain?

The officers' records contain:

  • date of birth
  • marital status
  • name and address of next of kin
  • previous occupation
  • service history in the HM forces (air and naval)
  • RAC (Royal Aero Club) certificate number and details
  • appointments
  • notations by the Air department (accidents, meritorious work, for example)
  • confidential reports (ability, remarks on character, promotion assessments, for example)

How do I search the records?

You can search the records in Discovery, our catalogue, by using the search box below.

This is a keyword search so your results will show all instances of the term(s) you searched for within our catalogue descriptions for these records.

  • Use AND to find more than one term in a description
  • Use "quotation marks" to find exact phrases

What do the records look like?

Charles Butler's service record The records take the form of an entry in a book, spread over two pages.

Click the sample image on the right to view part of Charles Henry Butler's service record.

Why can't I find what I am looking for?

If the officer you are looking for went on to serve in the RAF try searching the RAF officers service records 1918-1919.

The officer may not have served in the RNAS. You can trace an officer's career in the published Navy Lists.

Related Guidance

Royal Naval Air Service ratings