We have added a new UK collection of Royal Navy Officer Patrol Service Cards to our archives. These cards are dated 1904-1970 and can provide insights for those who served in the Royal Navy Patrol Service (RNPS). These records were created from microfilm held at The National Archives, with the original paper records located at the Imperial War Museum.
The RNPS was a branch of the Royal Navy whose origins date back to the Great War when the British Admiralty first realized the threat of mine warfare. The RNPS operated during both the First and Second World Wars.
The RNPS had roots in the fishing industry. Officers in the RNPS were often recruits from the Royal Naval Reserve who started as fishermen during peacetime. They were accustomed to operating the winches and warps used by trawlers as they dragged their fishing nets across the bottom of the sea. During times of war, with fishing fleets inactive, the trawlermen were utilized for minesweeping and anti-submarine operations.
The RNPS operated a flotilla of small auxiliary vessels, primarily along the British coast. They protected coastal waters, merchant ships, and accompanied naval convoys in all theatres of war, including the Arctic and the Mediterranean.
The records in this collection consist of two cards per record. They are organized alphabetically by name and include additional information such as:
- Name of parents
- Physical description
- Service dates
- Names of the vessels
- Additional details and remarks.