118509: Royal Naval Reserve service records 1860-1955

This is an online selection of service records of ratings who served in the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) between 1860 and 1955, held by The National Archive.

There are over 148,000 records for this period; they predominantly cover the First World War (1914-1918).

The records include Mercantile reservists, Shetland Royal Naval Reservists (service numbers which include L) and reservists in the Royal Naval Reserve Trawler Section (RNR [T] – service numbers which include DA, E, SA, SB or TS). RNR seamen’s records are prefixed or suffixed with these and other letter codes – for further details on RNR service numbers read K J Douglas-Morris, Naval Long Service Medals 1830-1990 (Kenneth John Douglas-Morris: London, 1991, pp.282-283).

The RNR was established with the Naval Reserve Act of 1859 as a reserve force of seamen, extended to include officers in 1862, and men from deep-sea merchant ships who could be called upon during times of war or crisis to supplement the forces of the Royal Navy. By 1890 there were 20,000 men in the Royal Naval Reserve.

These records are held by The National Archives in series BT 164 and BT 377.

The National Archive’s online catalogue for these records can be accessed at: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/royal-naval-reserve-service-records-1860-1955/#step-three 


Record Type:
Source Type:
Record Maintained by: