Focus On... Women in Uniform
Focus On...
home page
home page
* Women's Royal Naval Service - Sources  
Nurses in the Crimea
Nurses in the British Army
Almeric Paget Military Massage Corps
Scottish Women's Hospitals
Women's Royal Naval Service

1. Introduction

2. Profile

3. Sources

4. Further Reading

Women in WWII

Background Information

The best source for information about the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) is the Royal Naval Museum. The history of the WRNS can be viewed or used for research by appointment at the Royal Naval Museum, HM Naval Base (PP66), Portsmouth, Hampshire, P01 3NH. Tel: 023 9272 7576.
Website: WRNS Collection

Along with information from the Royal Naval Museum, some of the information used in the introduction article was sourced from the National Archives.

WRNS Service Records

The National Archives holds Registers of Appointments of Officers (Short Service) [catalogue reference: ADM 321National Archives' Catalogue], Personal Files of Officers (Short Service) [catalogue reference: ADM 318National Archives' Catalogue], Ratings’ Registers of Service [catalogue reference: ADM 336National Archives' Catalogue] for women in the Women’s Royal Naval Service during WW1.

To find the record of service or registers of appointments for an officer in the Women’s Royal Naval Service for the period 1917 – 1920 you need to visit the National Archives in Kew and head for the microfilm reading room. For visitor information see the "planning your visit" section of The National Archives website.

Once you are at The National Archives in Kew
For record of service (ADM 318) go to the catalogue (bookcase 28-31) and find the list that includes ADM 318. The list is alphabetical with a list of numbers to the right. The numbers are called ‘piece numbers’ and identify the individual record. In the case of Evelyn Mary Mackintosh the number is 169, making the full reference for her service records ADM 318/169National Archives' Catalogue.

For registers of appointment (ADM 321) go to the catalogue (bookcase 28-31) and find the list that includes ADM 321. These records provide details of appointments, promotions and termination or transfer of service. The list is arranged by period of appointment and so may require a little more time to search. Make a note of the reference number in the left column, this is your film number

In both cases now go to the locations table for instructions on how to get your microfilm. ADM318 microfilm is located in row 1, drawers 38 and 39. ADM321 microfilm is located in row 1, drawer 40.

Then take the film to a microfilm reader. There are instruction sheets available in the reading room for the microfilm readers and despite looking like something from a B-movie, they really are quite simple to operate.

If you are unable to visit Kew you may want to employ an independent researcher.

Death Certificate
Provided by the Family Records Centre
For more information on obtaining certificates please see our births, marriages and deaths topic.

Record of Commemoration
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) commemorates WWI female casualties, including numerous WRNS. Evelyn Mackintosh is one of numerous WRNS commemorated by CWGC. You can use the CWGC website to search their database for service people.

Other useful information sources

Births, marriages and burials for China

Evelyn Mackintosh was born in China, so a search via the General Register Office for her birth certificate would produce no results. However the Guildhall Library have an index of some of the returns of births, marriages and burials for China. For further details please contact:

Guildhall Library

Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum is the museum of everyone's story: the history of modern war and people's experience of war and wartime life in Britain and the Commonwealth.
Website: Imperial War Museum


Search Discovery for records held by more than 2,500 archives across the country.

 Next - Nurses in the British Army
The National Archives Newsletter Icon

Send me The National Archives’ newsletter

A monthly round-up of news, blogs, offers and events.