General Collection Information
This collection contains records for those who served in the Royal Navy Patrol Service from 1904-1970. Records in this collection are Royal Navy Continuous Record cards, which were updated throughout the serviceman’s naval career. Records are handwritten in ledgers and organised by function and service number.
Using this Collection
The collection includes the following information:
- Service number
- Birth place
- Parents’ names
- Next of kin name
- Relationship to next of kin
- Service dates
- Names of ships
The records in this collection consist of two cards per record. Click the arrow to the right of the image to access the rest of the record.
The Royal Navy originally sorted the cards in this collection by function, then service number. This can give you insights into your ancestor’s role while in the service. Functions can be determined by an abbreviated identifier found before the service number. Common identifiers include:
- F - Fleet Air Arm
- J - Seaman and Communications Branch
- K - Stokers
- L - Officers’ Cooks and Stewards
- M - Miscellaneous
- SS - Short Service, Seamen and Stokers
- SSX - Short Service Seamen
- Pensioners - no prefix
Collection in Context
The Royal Navy Patrol Service (RNPS) was a branch of the Royal Navy which operated during both World Wars. Unlike other branches of the military, the RNPS has roots in the fishing industry. Officers in the RNPS were often recruits from the Royal Naval Reserve who started as fishermen during peacetime. Trawlers, a type of boat that operates by dragging fishing nets across the bottom of the sea, were found to be useful in minesweeping and anti-submarine operations. The small boats primarily worked on the homefront to keep supply lines clear of mines, however; the RNPS was also involved in convoy missions everywhere from the Arctic Sea to the Mediterranean.
The original collection was created by the Ministry of Food and is currently held at the Imperial War Museum. The images in this collection were created from microfilm held at The National Archives.
RNPS Association. “History.” Last Modified 2019. http://www.rnpsa.co.uk/cms/?History
The National Archives. “Admiralty: Royal Naval Patrol Service (Trawler Skipper) cards” Last Modified 2020. https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C16610719