RN and RM abbbreviations
This guide sheet contains a selected list of commonly abbreviations and phrases found in Royal Navy & Royal Marines Service Records from various periods. This list is not exhaustive. It has updates from our own archive. [Source: The National Museum Royal Navy.] A Absence (where not covered by something more specific) (A) Air Branch A/ or Act. prefix for temporary rank AA Anti-Aircraft AAC Anti-Aircraft Corps AC Aircraftsman ACM Aircrewman AD Artificer Diver ADD Artificer Deep Diver AEM Air Engineering Mechanic AG Air Gunner A/G I Anti-Gas Instructor AM Air Mechanic Armd Armoured A/S OW Anti-Submarine Officer’s Writer AWOL Absent without leave Battn, Bn Battalion Bd Band (eg. Bd Cpl, Bd Sgt) Bde Brigade Bdr. Bombardier, junior non-commissioned rank Royal Marine Artillery 1804-1923 BEF British Expeditionary Force BPF British Pacific Fleet Bty Battery C or CELLS Confined to ships’ cells or barracks detention block Capt Captain CCAC Commando Cliff Assault Centre Cdr Commander Cdre Commodore CG Captain of Gun CH/ service number prefix for Chatham Division CHU Commando Holding Unit C.M. Courts Martial CMWTC Commando Mountain Warfare Training Centre CO Commanding Officer Commd Commissioned COPRA Combined Operations Pay & Records Administration (including RM Landing craft crews 1939-46) Coy Company CP Civil Power Cpl. Corporal CPO Chief Petty Officer CR 1/2/3 Control Rating & class CS Continuous Service C/Sgt Colour-Sergeant (sometimes Col.Sgt) CSM Company Sergeant Major CTCRM Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, Lympstone, Devon. Formerly ITCRM. CW Commander’s Office Writer DAMS Defensively Armed Merchant Ships (1914-18) D Detention (in RN or other military Detention Quarters) Sentence of Detention required a Punishment Warrant and was for a period of upwards of 28 days. Could be remitted by up to 7 days and recorded as ‘awarded’ or ‘served’ D Discharged DD Discharged Dead (usually written in red pencil or heavy black ink) DEMS Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships (1939-45) Demob. Demobilisation followed by release class and date DEPOT Deal Det Detached, detachment Div, Divn Division: Chatham (Ch), Portsmouth (Po), Plymouth (Ply) D/Maj. Drum Major DP Detained Pay DW Daily wage DWS Died on War Service (as opposed to KIA) EW Engineer’s Writer EX/ service number prefix for Exton 1939-42 FAA Fleet Air Arm FCPO Fleet Chief Petty Officer Flt Flight - Either as part of a rank, e.g., Flt Lt (Flight Lieutenant) OR as in Ship’s Flight, the part of a naval air squadron assigned to a ship FO Flying Officer FP Field Punishment, usually followed by a number that would refer to a set discipline tabled in King/Queens Regulations, and with days forfeited GD General Duties GLW Gunnery Lieutenant’s Writer GM Gunner’s Mate HBL Home Base Ledger (personnel within the UK) HDML Harbour Defence Motor Launch Hd.Qtrs Head Quarters (usually followed by Division) H.O. Hostilities Only (1939-46) I of M Instructor of Musketry ITC Infantry Training Centre (also CTCRM, Lympstone, Exton, etc.) JSAWC Joint Services Amphibious Warfare Centre K.I.A Killed In Action KR &I/QR & AL King’s/Queen’s Regulations and Admiralty Instructions L Leading – as in LAM Leading Air Mechanic, etc Lab A Laboratory Assistant L/Cpl. Lance-Corporal (also L/Sgt) LH Leading Hand LR Layer Rating LRLC Lead Rates’ Leadership Course (2 week course which is not mandatory for advancement to Acting Leading Rating) LS Leading Seaman LS&GC Long Service & Good Conduct Medal LSP Length of Service Pay LSR Long Service and Reserve engagement Lt, Lieut Lieutenant Lt Cdr Lieutenant Commander LFX/ service number prefix for Fleet Air Arm, Lee-on-Solent M Medical Branch Maj Major MCTC Military Correction Training Centre ME Marine Engineering Branch MEF Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (1915-16) M.I.A. Missing in Action M.I.D. Mentioned-In-Despatches MNBDO Mobile Naval Base Defence Organisation Mne. Marine, entry rank of Royal Marines from 1923 onwards MOA Marine Officers’ Attendant MSM Meritorious Service Medal (can be with annuity) MTD Mechanical Road Transport Driver MTI Military Training Instructor MTM Mechanical Road Transport Mechanic NA Naval Airman NAS Naval Air Squadron NGSM Naval General Service Medal NCO Non Commissioned Officer Non-CS Rating entered for non-continuous service NP Naval Party NS Non-sea-going or New System (O) Observer OM Oberser’s Mate On Passage aboard ship or transport but not part of detachment ORA Operating Room Attendant OS Old system P Prison (civil prison sentence) (P) Pilot P or Prob. Probationary Pay F Pay forfeited (punishment) PCG Lump sum credit payment for pay rises during wartime but not paid until discharge PLY/ service number prefix for Plymouth Division PO Petty Officer PO/ service number prefix for Portsmouth Division POLC Petty Officers Leadership Course (4 week course mandatory for advancement to Acting Petty Officer, although possible to complete post-advancement if operational requirements prevented rating from participating before) POW Prisoner Of War PPT Passed the Provisional Test for swimming. Could swim 40 yards in pool with clothes (duck suit) and stay afloat for 3 minutes Prob. Probationary – as in Probationary Flying Officer (WW1) PRTI Physical and Recreational Training Instructor PST Passed Standard Test for swimming. Same as provisional test but in open sea. Pte. Private, entry rank of Marines up to 1923 PURMS Permanently Unfit for Royal Marines Service PVR Premature Voluntary Release PWC Post War Clothing (1939-45) QARNNS Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service QELR Qualified Educationally for Leading Rate QESDL Qualified Educationally for Special Duties List QMS Quartermaster Sergeant (now Warrant Officer 2 or WO2) QR Quarters Rating R run, deserted RAN Royal Australian Navy RCN Royal Canadian Navy RFR Royal Fleet Reserve (c1900-1914) sometimes given as a number prefix RMA service number prefix for Royal Marine Artillery upto1923 RMB Royal Marine Barracks RMB as service number prefix for Royal Marine Band personnel RME Royal Marine Engineers (1939-46) RMFVR Royal Marines Forces Reserve (renamed RMR in the 1960s) RMG Recommended for Medal & Gratuity (see NGSM & MSM) RMLC Royal Marine Labour Corps (1917-19) RMLI Royal Marines Light Infantry (1855-1923) RMMS Royal Marines Military School (Second World War officer training establishment at Thurlestone, Devon) RMP Royal Marine Police (1922-49). Also RMPSR Special Reserve RMRD Royal Marine Reserve Depot RMSAS Royal Marines Small Arms School RMSC Regt Royal Marines Support Craft Regiment RMSM Royal Marine School of Music RMTG Royal Marines Training Group (c1942-46) usually one of four camps in Wales RMTTD Royal Marines Technical Training Depot (Fort Cumberland c1930-1973, then to Poole, Dorset) RNACD Royal Naval Armoured Car Division, also RN Armoured Cars, RNAS Armoured Cars RNAS Royal Naval Air Service 1914-19 RNAS (plus place name) Royal Naval Air Station, e.g. RNAS Yeovilton RND Royal Naval Division (1914-18) RM provided two Battalions & support units. Sometimes referred to as Victory Brigade and RM Brigade 1914-15. RNR Royal Naval Reserve RQ Run, with a query RR Recommended for Re-engagement RM Royal Marines RNSM Royal Naval School of Music (1903-50) RNVR Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve RNZN Royal New Zealand Navy RNZNVR Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve Rt right S Seagoing (s) Indicating short service when placed after service number (1914-18) SAR Search and Rescue S/C Submarine Coxswain SCGM Senior Cook General Mess SDI Submarine Detector Instructor SEAC South East Asia Command (1942-46) SG Seaman Gunner Sgt. Sergeant Shore landed after leaving the service for a non-dishonourable reason Sh T (H/LG) Shorthand Typist (Higher/Lower Grade) SM Submarine Service SNLR Services No Longer Required SO Senior Observer SOS Struck Off Strength Sqn or Sqdn Squadron SP Senior Pilot S&S or S/L Supply & Secretariat or Supply/Logistics Branch SS Special Service (eg SS Bde was renamed 3 Commando Bde) SSV Special Service Vessel Sup. Or Supy. Supernumerary, attached but not on the strength of (e.g.) a unit or ship Supr Superior TAG Telegraphist Air Gunner TC Torpedo Coxswain TDI Telegraphist Detector Instructor Tel Telegraphist Temp or Tpy. Or Tempy. Temporary rank or appointment TG Training Group (see RMTG) TGM Torpedo Gummer’s Mate TLW Torpedo Lieutenant’s Writer TOS Taken on Strength TO(V/S) Trained Operator (Visual Signalling) TO(W/T) Trained Operator (Wireless Telegraphy) Tp Troop TSM Troop Sergeant-Major TTD Technical Training Department (see RMTTD) TTW Technical Training Wing UL Unpaid leave VG Very good V/S Visual Signaller WAR CHEVRONS also known as service stripes, worn point up on lower right sleeve. WE Weapons Engineering Branch WG War Gratuity WO Warrant Officer WOUND STRIPES Two inch lengths of gold or red braid worn above left sleeve cuff. Issued for each time wounded. WRA Ward Room Attendant WRNS Women’s Royal Naval Service WSI War Service Increment paid for years of war service completed 1939-45 WT Wireless Telegraphist WT Waiting trial X Seaman/Operations/Executive Branch XRA X-ray Assistant Yeo Stores Yeoman of Stores Yrs Years
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