RN, RM, and RAMC abbbreviations

This guide sheet contains a selected list of common abbreviations and phrases used by either the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, or the Royal Army Medical Corps. This list is not exhaustive. It has updates from our own archive.
[Sources: The National Museum Royal Navy and the British Medical Journal .]
 
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
A.B.H.C. - Advanced Base Hospital Centre (RAMC term)
A.B.H.G. - Advanced Base Hospital Group (RAMC term)
AC Aircraftsman
ACM Aircrewman
AD Artificer Diver
ADD Artificer Deep Diver
A.D.S. - Advanced Dressing Station (Advanced meaning Forward)(RAMC term)
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
B.D.S. - Beach Dressing Station (RAMC term)
BEF British Expeditionary Force
B.M.U. - Beach Medical Unit (RAMC term)
B.N.U. - British Neurosurgical Unit (RAMC term)
BPF British Pacific Fleet
Bty Battery
 
or CELLS Confined to ships’ cells or barracks detention block
Capt Captain
Cas. Casualty
C.A.E.U. - Casualty Air Evacuation Units (RAF/RAMC term)
CASEVAC - Casualty Evacuation (RAF/RAMC term)
C.C.P. - Casualty Colllection Point (RAMC term)
C.C.S. Casualty Clearing Station (RAMC term)
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
C.M.C. - Corps Medical Centre (RAMC term)
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
C.P.S. - Corps Psychiatric Centre (RAMC term)
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
D.U. - Dental Unit (RAMC term)
DW Daily wage
DWS Died on War Service (as opposed to KIA)
 
EW Engineer’s Writer
EX/ service number prefix for Exton 1939-42
 
F.A. - Field Ambulance (this was a mobile medical unit, not a vehicle)(RAMC term)
FAA Fleet Air Arm
FCPO Fleet Chief Petty Officer
F.D.S. - Field Dressing Station (RAMC term)
F.H.S. - Field Hygiene Section (RAMC term)
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
F.M.U. - Field Medical Unit (RAMC term)
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.
F.T.U. Field Transfusion Unit (RAMC term).
 
GD General Duties
G.H. - General Hospital (RAMC term)
G.H.C. - General Hospital Centre (RAMC term)
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.
I.G.H. - Indian General Hospital (RAMC term)
I.S.D.M.S. - Indian Sub Depot Medical Stores (RAMC term)
I.S.S. - Indian Staging Section (RAMC term)
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
 
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
M.A.C. - Motor Ambulance Convoy (RAMC term)
M.A.S. - Motor Ambulance Section (RAMC term)
MCTC Military Correction Training Centre
M.D.S. - Main Dressing Station (of Field Ambulance)(RAMC term)
ME Marine Engineering Branch
Med. - Medical
MEF Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (1915-16)
M.F.T.U. - Malaria Forward Treatment Unit (RAMC term)
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
M.O. - Medical Officer
MOA Marine Officers’ Attendant
MSM Meritorious Service Medal (can be with annuity)
M.S.U. - Mobile Surgical Unit (RAMC term)
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
R.A.M.C. - Royal Army Medical Corps.
RAN Royal Australian Navy
R.A.P. - Regimental Aid Post (RAMC term)
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
S.D.M.S. - Sub Depot Medical Stores (preceded by name of Country)(RAMC term)
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)
S.S. (preceded by Country name) Staging Section - R.A.M.C. casualty evac. term.
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