Indian Navy

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In 1830 the Bombay Marine was renamed the Indian Navy, based at Bombay. The Indian Navy, a combatant force, co-operated with the Royal Navy in policing Asian waters and also carried out regular marine surveys. In 1863 it was disbanded and replaced by two non-combatant marine services based in Bombay and Bengal respectively. In 1877 it was decided to combine the Bombay and Bengal Marines into a new combatant service entitled HM Indian Marine, with Western (Bombay) and Eastern (Calcutta) Divisions - HM Indian Marine was renamed the Royal Indian Marine in 1892 and the Royal Indian Navy in 1934. [1]

FIBIS resources

These records are also available, with images, on the findmypast website.


India Office records at the British Library

FIBIS Chairman Peter Bailey wrote the following about officers in the Second World War, but his advice is generally applicable:

"Generally speaking the Personal Files of those who served as officers in the RIN during the Second World War, are to be found in the India Office Records at the British Library under Catalogue Number L/MIL/16/10 et sequ. However, since there is some chance that the persons concerned may still be alive, you may have to show proof that you are the person concerned or that they are no longer with us and that you are directly related to them. Some records of service for Seamen as well as officers may be available in L/MIL/16/1-9 which cover the period c1840-1947 and an index is available on the open shelves.

Records of leave and duty pay from 1886-1950 are to be found in L/AG/20/13 and leave accounts and records of the payment of gratuities for officers released in the UK from 1945-47 may be found in L/AG/20/13/37-45. Finally, records of service pensions paid to retired officers in the UK from 1886-1968 are in L/AG/21/21 or L/AG/21/11"[2]

Military Department Records

Indian Navy 1838-1859 are available, with images, on the findmypast website.

Marine Department Records

Bombay Marine and Pilot Service Appointments 1822-1832 are available, with images, on the findmypast website.

The National Archives, Kew

Marine Survey of India

The Marine Survey Department was established as a separate Department in 1874. Previously this work was carried out by naval officers.

Persian Gulf 1909–14

A clasp to the Naval General Service Medal (1915), "Persian Gulf 1909–14" was issued for operations against pirates, gun-runners and slavers. This clasp was awarded to an officer on RIMS Palindurus,[4] an indication of the type of operations during this period.

First World War

During the First World War ships of the Royal Indian Marine carried troops and other war stores from India to Egypt, Mesopotamia and East Africa. When mines were detected off the coasts of Bombay and Aden during the First World War, the Royal Indian Marine went into action with a fleet of minesweepers, patrol vessels and troop carriers. The Royal Indian Marine also played a leading role in landing troops in Mesopotamia and their small river craft did very useful work on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.[5]

Many of the duties in Mesopotamia were subsequently transferred to the Inland Water Transport, which was part of the Royal Engineers, in September 1916. Following this, some of the Royal Indian Marine officers[6] were transferred to the Royal Engineers, in addition to other personnel.

Second World War

Related articles

External Links

Historical books online


  1. British Library Royal Indian Marine/Navy IOR/L/MIL/16
  2. British Raj List post dated 19 October 2012
  3. Martin Moir, A General Guide to the India office Records 1996
  4. Melhuish, Arnold. Royal Indian Marine - Medal Index Cards Great War Forum 01 February 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  5. Abstract of a paper "Royal Indian Marine in the First World War" by Kalesh Mohanan presented at the India And The Great War Conference at The United Service Institution of India, New Delhi: 5-7 March 2014, now an archived webpage.
  6. mbloy [Michael]. Royal Indian Marine - Medal Index Cards Great War Forum 29 January 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2016.