Officers of HMS Calliope 1890 (catalogue reference: COPY 1/400)

What are these records?

These records, in series ADM 340, consist of over 5,000 selected officers' service records for men and women serving in the Royal Navy, Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and Women's Royal Naval Service.

Some contain information about service dating back as far as c 1880 (and possibly earlier still in a few cases), while others detail service through both World Wars and into the 1950s.

At present only the cards are available to download (pieces 1-150). We hope to release the service records held in files during 2012.

How do I search the records?

You can search the records in Discovery, our catalogue, by filling in the form below.

You don't need to complete every field to find a record.

Please note, your results will show all instances of the term(s) you searched for within the record descriptions, as this is currently a keyword search.

What information do the records contain?

The information in these records can include:
  • name
  • date of birth
  • place of birth
  • rank
  • date of seniority and promotions attained
  • training undertaken
  • names of ships served on, with dates of joining and discharge from each ship
  • period of time served
  • home address
In some instances an officer may have more than one card.

What do the records look like?


The image you receive will contain both the front and reverse of the card.

The top of the card contains an officer's name, date of birth, place of birth, previous service, rank, and date of seniority. The lower section of the card records any obligatory training undertaken and a list of ships the officer served on.

The reverse of the card contains a list of ships served on, retainer pay and any voluntary training undertaken.

To get an idea of what the records look like, see the record of William Holmes Hossack below (catalogue reference: ADM 340/70)

Record of William Holmes Hossack (PDF, 0.59Mb)

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

If you cannot find a card for an officer it may be because:

  • the officer died before records were systematically kept
  • the officer's record you are searching for is held in the files which have not been digitised yet
  • you should be searching for a Royal Navy rating, rather than an officer

You can try the following alternative records series as alternative sources of information:

Related guidance

Royal Navy commissioned officers

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