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World War 1 at Sea

 

ROYAL NAVY - BADGES of RANKS for OFFICERS, MEN and BOYS

with addendum on Other Branches (RNAS, Medical, Paymaster, Instructor and WRNS) and Warrant Officers

 

Extracts from the Admiralty Manual of Seamanship, 1915

Yeoman of Signals George Smith, 1916 (click to enlarge)

 

 

 

  (click all pages to enlarge)

 

 

 

     
         
         
     
         
 

Lieutenant  John Hunter RNVR (Canada) c 1917
(courtesy Andy Hunter)

 
 
         
         
     
         
         
     
         
         
     
         
         
     
         
         
   
Able Seaman (Gunner) Edward Hales 1914
(courtesy, Frank Hales)
 
         
         
 
Signals Officer, Men and Boys,
light cruiser HMS Cassandra, 1917
   
         


click here for World War 2 Badges of Rank



Other World War 1 Branches - RNAS, Medical, Paymaster, Instructor and WRNS


Royal Navy

 

Royal Naval Air Service

 

Medical Branch (to November 1918, thereafter RN rank with Surgeon prefix)

Accountant Branch (to November 1918, thereafter RN rank with Paymaster prefix)

Naval Instructor Branch (to November 1918, thereafter RN rank with Instructor prefix)

WRNS (approximate equivalents based on standard width sleeve rings, with or without diamonds)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vice-Admiral

-

Medical Director-General

-


-

-

Rear-Admiral

-

Surgeon-General

Paymaster Director-General


-

Director

Commodore

-

-

-

-

Deputy Director


Captain

Wing Captain

Deputy Surgeon-General


Paymaster-in-Chief

Chief Naval Instructor

Assistant Director

Commander

Wing Commander

Fleet Surgeon


Fleet Paymaster

Naval Instructor (over 15 years)

Deputy Assistant Director/Principal (without)


Lieutenant-Commander

Squadron Commander

Staff Surgeon


Staff Paymaster/Paymaster

Naval Instructor (over 8 years)

Divisional Director

Lieutenant

Flight Lieutenant

Surgeon

Paymaster/Assistant Paymaster (over 4 years)


Naval Instructor (under 8 years)

Deputy Divisional Director/Deputy Principal (without)

Sub-Lieutenant

Flying Sub-Lieutenant

Surgeon Probation, RNVR

Assistant Paymaster (under 4 years)


-

Assistant Principal (without)

Midshipman

-

-

Clerk

-

Quarters Supervisor (half-width ring above three buttons)


Cadet

-

-

Assistant Clerk

-

-




 

Warrant Officers

 

Most Royal Navy and Royal Marine ranks are straightforward - Boy to Chief Petty Officer, Midshipman to Admiral of the Fleet, but in the middle are the sometimes puzzling Warrant Officers, a rank that was only discontinued in 2010.

 

Following are a list of what I  believe to be the Warrant Officer ranks existing in the World War 1 period. Any corrections would be appreciated:

Artificer Engineer, Chief Artificer Engineer, Boatswain, Carpenter, Chief Boatswain, Chief Carpenter, Chief Gunner, Chief Signal Boatswain, Gunner, Mate, Mate (E), Signal Boatswain, Warrant Electrician, Warrant Engineer, Warrant Mechanician, Warrant Officer, Warrant Schoolmaster, Warrant Shipwright, Warrant Telegraphist, Warrant Victualling Officer, Warrant Wardmaster, Warrant Writer.

 

Correction with thanks to Jim Kemp, 7 Mar 2013 -  Clerk  and Assistant Clerk were not warrant officers. The Clerk was a Midshipman in the Paymaster specialisation; Assistant Clerk a Naval Cadet in the same specialisation. The rank progression was Asst Clerk to Clerk to Asst Paymaster (later Sub Lieutenant Paymaster).

 

 

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revised  01/08/14


 

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