Family history

Discussion in 'History' started by claimedbear, Mar 26, 2008.

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  1. Hello everyone,
    I was wondering if anyone can please help by pointing me in the right direction? I am trying to trace the service numbers of two people (now deceased)who served in the Royal Navy in WW2.
    A) My father who was an officer who served on HMS Warspite
    B) My partner's father who joined the RN in 1942 & served on HMS Belfast
    Any help would be much appreciated.
  2. A bit more info needed, a name or two for instance.
  3. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Re your father, Naval Officers used not to have numbers. You can trace your father's career through the Navy List, runs of which are available in the National Archives in Kew and in Portsmouth public library (& elsewhere I suppose).

    Once you have the ship names you can start either by looking to see if anyone has written up that ship's history or by chasing through the indexes of The Official History of the War at Sea (SW Roskill, HMSO). For Warspite see also Cunningham's autobiography 'A Sailor's Odyssey'.

    TNA at Kew has ships' logs & also Captains' Reports of Proceedings, and lots of other correspondence etc. You can also try the Admiralty Library in Portsmouth which has some manuscript accounts by various people of various things, and very helpful staff.

    When cruising the Navy Lists, see if any of the other officers became famous later - they may have left autobiographies.

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