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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

WW1 Royal Navy Uniform Identification


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I wonder if anyone can help. I am still trying to find out where my grandfather was born in order to carry on with my family history research.

I have just this last week managed to get a photograph of his marriage.

This was on 23rd November 1918 at West Derby,Liverpool, when his address was given as 45 Douglas Street, Kent.

He is in Naval uniform,a rating I think,I think he was on submarines, or so I have been told.

In the picture he has three stripes at the bottom of his sleeve.He is holding his cap or hat which appears to be navy coloured(I thought sailors hats were white)???I cannot make out the writing on his cap or hat. HMS in gold and then something in blue,could this be the dolphin sign,a feather or the name of his submarine.The hat is in a dark navy colour.

I would appreciate any help please as to his rank etc. I have been to the PRO a few weeks ago to search for his service record but was unsuccesful

Many thanks


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Hi John,

I am quite new to this. Unfortunately I don't have a scanner.Maybe I could ask my son when he comes in if one of his mates could do this for me.


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Both cap tallies with 'HM Submarines' and 'HM Submarine (boat - usually class letter and boat number, e.g. E10)' were in use during this period. Without the photograph, however, it will be difficult to tell. In WW2 'HMS' was adopted as a security measure.

There was no formal badge to identify a man as a submariner until the RN introduced the 'Dolphins' in 1971 (and an unpopular and discontinued cuff badge in the 1960s); although there are examples of unofficial submarine badges dating from 1915 in the RNSM at Gosport, but these were not widely used.


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