GENUKI Home page
United Kingdom and Ireland United Kingdom
and Ireland

Marine and Naval Ratings Service Numbers

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 the new pay code of the early 1930s was introduced.

(W) - World War 2 only

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
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 .

(W) - World War 2 only

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

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

Return to top of page

Valid HTML 4.0!
Note: The information provided by GENUKI must not be used for commercial purposes, and all specific restrictions concerning usage, copyright notices, etc., that are to be found on individual information pages within GENUKI must be strictly adhered to. Violation of these rules could gravely harm the cooperation that GENUKI is obtaining from many information providers, and hence threaten its whole future.

[Last updated: 8 Apr 2004 - Brian Randell]
Hosted by Mythic Beasts Ltd.