Search Royal Navy Lives at Sea free resource


07 July 2016
Screen-Shot-2016-07-06-at-13.59.50-25085.png Royal Navy Lives at Sea
Search for relatives who served in the Royal Navy during WW1with a unique and growing online resource

Family historians can freely search for their relatives who served in the Royal Navy during the First World War thanks to the launch of a unique and growing online resource.

The First World War Royal Navy Lives at Sea project website at is the result of another fruitful partnership between The National Archives (TNA), National Maritime Museum (NMM) and the Crew List Index Project (CLIP), following the success of their Merchant 1915 Crew List Index Project ( last year. With the help of a team of e-volunteers, this latest project is building a free-to-search database resource relating to all the Royal Navy officers and ratings that served in WW1 based principally on service records held by TNA. Researchers can also find out more about the crews on different ships and at different battles during the conflict.

Launched online in June with more than 3,500 service records free to search, the project commemorates the Royal Navy’s contribution to the WW1 effort through the lives of those officers and ratings who served, and will create the most significant online data resource for the study of the Royal Navy in the war. For the first time researchers will be able to place ancestors in naval battles of the war and study topics such as mortality rates, invalidity and its causes. The information derived from the database can also be used as a platform for accessing other Royal Navy records including ships’ logs (ADM 53), ships’ photographs (ADM 176) and wider naval First World War operational records (ADM 1, ADM 116, ADM 137) at TNA, along with First World War logs and journals (JOD), ship plans (SP) and photographs (HP) at NMM.

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Researchers can expect to find details for every officer and rating who served in WW1, including: name, date of birth, next of kin, service number, town/city of birth, county of birth, country of birth, pre-war occupation, name of every ship/submarine/shore establishment he served in (including dates), rank or rating held, and which battles he served in, as well as cause and date of discharge, where he is buried or commemorated and medals awarded. 

Records will be added regularly to the database until the project is completed for the anniversary of the end of WW1 in November 2018. If you are interested in volunteering to transcribe records, email [email protected].