Naval Biographical Database



Apart from a few selected senior officers, little is known of those who served us in previous generations.  The key objective is to populate the database with a much wider and more representative cross-section of naval people - regardless of patronage, status or success.

As the Royal Navy has contracted in size, it is almost inevitable that some more recent biographical detail has been lost.  My objective is to record as much of the recoverable information as possible before it is itself irretrievably lost, and I continue to push for this data to be gathered on a navy-wide basis. 

There is no point in recording the information if it is not made available to historians and genealogists alike.  A number of avenues are being explored to allow for easier and more satisfactory access but all of these options require a significant injection of funding.  The attraction of such support remains an important objective.

There is a necessity to make routine data collection and entry financially self-supporting.

Much correspondence from ships, held in the National Archives, can only be accessed via the name of the Commanding Officer for whom no comprehensive listing has been available prior to the Navy Lists, which are not themselves notoriously accurate.  Work is progressing well towards achieving this key objective.

By careful selection of sources, I am building a record of key events in individual lives, accepting that completeness will depend on the sources entered to date.  It is not my intention to write complete biographies.  I am simply collecting information (and sources), as a composite work of reference - a starting point from which much research, including such biographies, can 'take departure'.

The re-use and/or concurrent use of ship names has necessitated the requirement to establish just which ship the individual served in.  Therefore, a natural ‘spin-off' of this biographical work has been a comprehensive listing of ships, and work continues in this direction.

 © CHD 2010