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Looking for my deceased fathers naval records


Hi there,

I hope you are well in these tough times. I am wondering if you can help me!

I am looking for naval records of my father Frederick Allen Leslie Wheatley who I believe was in the Navy (and we think submariners). His DOB is 29, January, 1919.

We believe he served from when he was 16 (so 1935) until 1951 or so (we believe)…

That’s all I know, I don’t know his rank, any posts or anything about his time in the forces unfortunately!

Kind regards,

Janet Crook (using my grandsons email)


War Hero
Hello, Janet

You will need to complete two forms and submit them - you will find them both by clicking the following link.

You need the Next of Kin Form and the Royal Navy/Royal Marines form.

Although it's possible to find some details for people who served earlier, during the Great War, for instance, service records for years roughly after the mid 1920s are still held by the Ministry of Defence and are only available upon application.

It should be possible for you to receive them if you submit the forms I have indicated.

If you need any further help, do say so.



Thank you so much.

This obviously costs a bit (which i am happy to pay) but are you aware of any free resources i should try first?




War Hero
Super Moderator
if you believe he was a submariner you could try asking on this site, someone may know of him to give a you what branch he was in and what rate he held which will refine the search.



War Hero
Thank you so much.

This obviously costs a bit (which i am happy to pay) but are you aware of any free resources i should try first?



I think that the problem with the free resources, Janet, is that the Ministry of Defence won't allow these more recent records to be released to them. Ultimately, it's about protecting confidentiality. There is a small possibility that someone who served from the mid 1930s to the mid 1950s might still be alive and it would be wrong for that person's Service Record to be released for all and sundry to see.

There is such a thing as the Navy List, which lists Officers and which is a volume which has continued into the modern day. I've had a quick scoot around and couldn't see him immediately.

By the way, was Frederick born in Dublin?


War Hero
@soleil and @WreckerL thank you both so much - i will investigate both routes.

He was born in Dublin, yes why do you ask?

I do a lot of research, Janet - I've spent the last 6 years tracing 150 soldiers and sailors who completed an embroidery for a Cathedral during the First World War - and so I have an account on Ancestry which I dip into most days.

One of the databases Ancestry offers is the Navy List and this means that I can check names on the list very easily via it - when I tapped in Frederick's name, Ancestry said that he was born in Dublin.

I also have a subscription to the British Newspaper Archive - if I should see anything there about Frederick, I will add to your thread. Sometimes local newspapers of the period carry items about men who are serving in the Armed Forces.
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