Newly digitised records complete story of naval careers
These particular documents are records of service specific to ratings and will potentially enable researchers to complete the careers of any Royal Navy Rating who enlisted before 1923 and served after 1924. For those that joined after 1926, service records remain at the MoD.
One example is Joseph Baldock, from Portsmouth, who served on HMS Despatch during 1926. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for service at Wanhsien on 5 September 1926 with his name appearing in the London Gazette (now The Gazette) on 6 May 1927. The records go on to show that he continued with his naval career and served in the Second World War.
William Spencer, records specialist at The National Archives said: ‘This is a major step forward for those looking to complete the record of service of pre-Second World War naval ratings. Now that these records have been digitised and made available, it is easier to cross-reference information and get a clearer, picture of naval careers.’