Service Number Information (R.N. & R.M.)

Royal Navy:

The numbers of ratings consisted of a Prefix indicating their Port Division (responsible for their training, promotion and manning of ships), a forward slash, a Main Letter denoting their trade, and a 4 - 6 figure number. An additional letter "X" after the main letter indicates that the rating was engaged after the new pay code of the early 1930's was introduced.

Prefix Letters
Home Port Divisions C Chatham
D Devonport
P Portsmouth
LT Lowestoft (W)
R Rosyth (W)
Overseas Port Divisions MALTA Malta
A Alexandria (W)
Fleet Air Arm FAA (W)
L Lee-on-Solent

(W) - World War 2 only

Main Letters
Long Service
(12 years plus optional 10 years to qualify for pension)
J Seamen and Communications
K Stokers and Mechanicians
L Officers' Stewards, some Officers' Cooks
M Others -Artificers, Electrical, Supply etc
N NAAFI staff (W)
F Fleet Air Arm
Short Service
(7 years plus 5 years on Reserve)
SS Seamen and Communications
SK Stokers
SM Miscellaneous
SF Fleet Air Arm



Royal Marines:

Some Royal Marine numbers had prefix letters as shown below (e.g. PO/1327) and sometimes there was a letter after the number indicating their trade.



CH Chatham Group
PLY Plymouth Group
PO Portsmouth Group
EX Exton (W)
RMB Royal Marine Bands
RMP Royal Marine Police

(W) - World War 2 only

Royal Marine Police guarding dock yards and depots had group prefixes as shown above with main letters "RMP" (e.g. PO/RMP12345).


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