How to look for records of... Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve personnel
How can I view the records covered in this guide?
This is a brief guide to help you research someone in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Many records are online, but it is important to note that not all records survive. 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?
What records can I see online?
What records can I find at The National Archives at Kew?
What records can I find in other archives and organisations?
What other resources will help me find information?
Did you know?
The Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve was established in 1903 and was made up of volunteers who served both on-shore and at sea. It was merged with the Royal Naval Reserve in 1958.
The Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve also administered the Mine Clearance Service (MCS), although men came from all branches of the Royal Navy. The MCS was established in 1919 to clear all sea mines.
Not all Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve records have survived.
A rating is the most junior class of seaman in the Royal Navy – these are below officers in seniority.
Some service records are held by the Ministry of Defence. They are not open to the general public, though next of kin may request access to them.