The microfilmed service records of Royal Navy
officers in ADM 196 are divided into two series, for executive
officers and warrant
officers respectively. These records usually provide basic
information about an officer's personal life (date of birth,
name of wife, name and profession of father) and more detailed
accounts of his career with the Royal Navy (dates of commissions
and promotions, details of honours, and dates of appointment
and discharge from each ship served). In addition, there are
several series of confidential reports that briefly summarise
an individual's suitability for promotion.
There is no overall name index for the ADM 196 records, and in
some cases, it is necessary to trawl the service records by date.
The date on which a particular officer joined the Royal Navy, as
well as dates of his promotions, can be found in the alphabetical
list of officers in the Navy List (available at The National Archives). For further
information, see our guide to Royal Navy officers’ service records.