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  World War 1 at Sea


Links to main World War 1 pages:
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Merchant Navy
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HMS Swiftsure, battleship (Photo Ships)

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For any researcher of the Royal Navy in World War 1, the ideal would be to have access to records describing every vessel and what it was doing on any given day. This would be a huge undertaking, and need careful thought and planning on how best to set about and maintain a sensible database.

A start has been made using more readily available information, including the log books of over 300 World War 1-era warships and auxiliaries, totalling 300,000 pages. A "Quick Reference Guide" has also been compiled from Admiralty Pink Lists

These, together with other Data Lists are listed in the right-hand column.


Sources may vary, errors creep in, and these errors can be repeated time and again. Information should therefore be cross-checked whenever possible, and sources quoted. Also note that ship characteristics e.g. armament, crew size etc., often changed during their careers

Researchers are invited to start with Ships of the Royal Navy - Warships, Auxiliary Patrol vessels, Support vessels (link on the right), which has been compiled as an index to Dittmar and Colledge's voluminous researches published in "British Warships 1914-1919", by Ian Allan 1972.

The Location/Activity Data Lists on the right can then be checked for further information. These are believed to be as accurate and authoritative as possible.

More information may be found in both published sources and on the internet, but again cross-checked wherever possible and sources listed or quoted.

Main abbreviations: ABS - armed boarding steamers; BS - Battle Squadron; BCS - Battlecruiser Squadron; CS - Cruiser Squadron; DF - Destroyer Flotilla; LCS - Light Cruiser Squadron; TB - torpedo boats; TGB - torpedo gunboats

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revised 5/1/15