Catalogue description Records of Royal Marines

Details of Division within ADM
Reference: Division within ADM
Title: Records of Royal Marines

Records of the Royal Marines.

Correspondence of the Royal Marine Office is in ADM 201; letter books are in ADM 56 - ADM 63, ADM 191 and ADM 200. General Orders and Standing Orders for Brigades are in ADM 64

Records of the Marine Pay Office are in ADM 96. Records of the several divisions are in ADM 81, ADM 183, ADM 184, ADM 185 and ADM 193. Records of detached units and other miscellaneous records are in ADM 193. War diaries, 1939 to 1945, are in ADM 202. Unit newsletters of the post Second World War period are in ADM 301

Lists of officers are in ADM 192. Records of marines' services are in ADM 157, ADM 158 and ADM 159, and indexes to registers of service and attestation forms are in ADM 313. Annual inspection reports are in ADM 276

Date: 1688-1983
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Board of Admiralty, Royal Marine Office, 1850-1964

Physical description: 26 series
Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
Administrative / biographical background:

By an order in Council of 28 October 1664 a regiment of 1,200 land soldiers, known as the Admiral's Regiment, was raised 'to be distributed into His Majesty's Fleets prepared for Sea Service'. Thereafter other regiments were drawn off for sea service from time to time, but it was not until 1694, when two Marine regiments were formed, that soldiers were recruited exclusively for sea service.

On 16 May 1702 a separate Marine Pay Office was established: it continued to exist until 1831, when its duties were transferred to the Accountant General. Until 1755 the size, number and existence of regiments depended on the exigencies of war; they were disbanded altogether between 1713 and 1739 and again from 1745 until 1755, since when there has been a continuous establishment.

The early marine regiments had been under the direction of the Board of Admiralty only when afloat, but the new force called the Corps of Marines authorised in 1755 was placed under the sole control of the Board and was on a permanent footing. The new corps had no regimental structure, but was organised into numbered companies, which for administrative purposes were distributed among the three (later four) divisions or depots. The Marines were designated the Royal Marines by Royal Order of 29 April 1802. A Deputy Adjutant General was appointed in 1825 to administer the Royal Marines and his office became known in 1850 as the Royal Marine Office. He was under the superintendence of the Second Sea Lord.

In 1755 the Marines were formed into three divisions, based on Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth. A fourth division was established at Woolwich from 1805 to 1869. Each division consisted of several infantry companies; these were numbered and their location can be determined from the Navy List and from ADM 192. From 1804 there was an artillery company in each division and in 1862 these were amalgamated to form a separate artillery division, the Royal Marine Artillery, based on Portsmouth (Eastney). The infantry companies were designated Royal Marine Light Infantry in 1855. The Portsmouth Division RMLI was in barracks at Gosport between 1862 and 1923. The Royal Marine Artillery and Royal Marine Light Infantry were united in 1923 in a single corps, again called the Royal Marines.

A depot was set up at Walmer, Kent, (later known as the Royal Marines Depot, Deal) in 1862 and a Reserve Depot was formed in 1939 at Exton, near Lympstone in Devon; the latter became the Royal Marines Infantry Training Centre in 1946. In 1947 the divisions were superseded by groups, incorporating all Royal Marines establishments in their areas. The Chatham Group was closed down in 1950.

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