Royal Marine Service papers.
My main interest in the RND is the Royal Marine Element. Royal Marines are easy to research at the PRO. Up until 1923 the Royal Marines were split into Royal Marine Artillery (RMA) and Royal Marine Light Infantry (RMLI), the RMA had one depot the RMLI had three. When men joined the Royal Marines they were assigned to one depot (Division) and they had service numbers accordingly, ie CH=Chatham,PO=Portsmouth, PLy=Plymouth and RMA =Royal MArine Artillery. At the PRO there are service ledgers, these books are about 3 feet by 4 feet and bloody heavy and are to be found in ADM159. They are arranged by service number and you can simply order the ledger up and find the number easily. The sheet is a summary of information sent in from the ship which the man was serving, it wasn’t practical to keep lots of paper, these ledgers were kept at the depot and constantly updated. Therefore you get the gist of a mans service. There are other papers, such as attestation or conduct sheets, if the man served on lnad in the RND there was the army B103 form which is the best a historian can hope for as it gives the exact movement of the man. This additional paperwork is found in two places. The Portsmouth men have their papers at the RPO in ADM 157, these are filed by date of discharge, the problem is that these papers have been seriously weeded and very few B103′s were kept. The rest are kept at the Fleet Air Ar Museum at Yeovilton, these papers are fairly intact and you eould have more joy.