Index
 
Royal Navy

Ledger - Pay Lists and Number - 1913 - 1943

With many thanks to Dave M. for this information.


Source : KR&AI (1913) Article 1562 (7):

  • List 5. Military Branch.
  • List 5A. Engineer Branch.
  • List 5B. Artisan Branch.
  • List 5C. Sick Berth Staff.
  • List 5D. Accountant Staff.
  • List 5E. Miscellaneous ratings.
  • List 5F. Schoolmasters in training ships, and seamen riggers.

In ships of complements of below 60 the list should be subdivided thus :

  • List 5. Military Branch.
  • List 5A. All other ratings.

The same course should be followed with regard to the supernumerary lists where the number of supernumeraries borne is large. (See also 728, clause 4.)

8. Marines, pensioners, and officers and men of the Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Fleet Reserve, or Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, are always to be borne on separate lists, or subdivisions of lists, those on any list except 4, 6, 9, 10 and 11, in a sub-division marked respectively M., P., R.N.R., R.F.R., or R.N.V.R.


Source BR31/1938 Chapter XLIX Article 1700 clause 11 and clause 12

  • List 1  Flag officers and their Staff [Officers]
  • List 2  Flag Officers’ attendants - retinue [Ratings]
  • List 3  Officers of the Royal Navy
  • List 4  Officers of the Royal Marines
  • List 5  Ships complement, men and boys
    • In ships with a complement of 250 and above where accounts are kept on board.

    • List 5  Seaman Class
    • List 5A  Engine-room ratings
    • List 5B  Artisans
    • List 5C  Sick Berth ratings
    • List 5D  Accountant ratings
    • List 5E  Miscellaneous ratings
    • In ships with a complement of below 130, the list should be sub-divided thus:

    • List 5 Seaman Class
    • List 5A All other ratings
    • All List 5 lists are further divided into Parts 1 (CPO’s and PO’s) and Part II (ratings below PO)

  • List 6  Pensioners drawing pension
  • List 7  Pensioners not drawing pension
  • List 8  No record of use
  • List 9  Band
  • List 10  No record of use
  • List 11  NCO’s and men, RM
  • List 12  Officers and men borne for service in tenders (Name of tender to be inserted at head of list)

    • List 12 Officers
    • List 12 Men

    [Note for List 12 researchers. In service records downloaded from the National Archives, which were reconstructed from the ledgers, it will often be noted that personnel were serving on List 12, when the name of the mother ship will be detailed, but not the name of the ship on which men may have actually served. It is sometimes possible to discover the ship's name from BMD certificates and the census, but not very often - but this may sometimes explain why the census shows a man serving on ship A, whereas his service record shows him serving on ship B.]


  • List 13  Permanent supernumeraries borne in addition to complement. (The nature of service for which allowed and borne to be specified)

    • List 13(I) If shore establishment to be entered in 13(I)
    • List 13(II) Kroomen, etc., on 13(II)

  • List 14  Supernumeraries borne for temporary service, full pay leave, closing accounts, etc., (nature of service to be specified). Reserves under training to be listed separately in the appropriate section of the ledger as follows: -

    • List 14 RNR (Officers)
    • List 14 RNVR (Officers)
    • List 14 RNR (ERA’s)
    • List 14 RNR (Seamen)
    • List 14 RNR (Stokers)
    • List 14 RFR
    • List 14 RNVR (Men)
    • List 14 RNASBR

    • List 14* Men undergoing detention

  • List 15  Supernumeraries borne for disposal, taking passage, etc.
  • List 16  Supernumeraries lent from other ships (nature of service to be specified)
  • List 17  Supernumeraries borne for victuals only, full allowance.

    • List 17 RAF Officers and men of the RAF borne for Fleet Air Arm duties. 

  • List 18  Supernumeraries borne for victuals only, standard ration only under Article 1817, clause 2(h) or persons marked "Run" under article 589 pending final discharge, or recovery, or "waiting trial for desertion" (Article 1522). Article 1817, clause 2(h) – Offenders awaiting disposal.
  • List 19 Men undergoing imprisonment or detention (Articles 557 and 558) not vicualled.
  • List 20 Indulgence passengers

    • Canteen staff are to be shown on a separate section of List 20. They are not borne for pay or victualling.

Source BR31/1943 Chapter XLIX Article 1700 clause 11 and clause 12

  • List 1  Flag officers and their Staff [Officers]
  • List 2  Flag Officers’ attendants - retinue [Ratings]
  • List 3  Officers of the Royal Navy
  • List 4  Officers of the Royal Marines
  • List 5  Ships complement, men and boys
    • In ships with a complement of 250 and above where accounts are kept on board.

    • List 5A  Seaman Class
    • List 5B  Engine-room ratings
    • List 5C  Artisans
    • List 5D  Sick Berth ratings
    • List 5E  Miscellaneous ratings
    • In ships with a complement of below 250, and in ships not bearing their own accounts.

    • List 5A Seaman Class
    • List 5B All other ratings
    • All List 5 lists are further divided into Parts 1 (CPO’s and PO’s) and Part II (ratings below PO)

  • List 6  Pensioners drawing pension
  • List 7  Pensioners not drawing pension
  • List 8  No record of use
  • List 9  Band
  • List 10  No record of use
  • List 11  NCO’s and men, RM
  • List 12  Officers and men borne for service in tenders (Name of tender to be inserted at head of list)

    • List 12 Officers
    • List 12 Men

    [Note for List 12 researchers. In service records downloaded from the National Archives, which were reconstructed from the ledgers, it will often be noted that personnel were serving on List 12, when the name of the mother ship will be detailed, but not the name of the ship on which men may have actually served. It is sometimes possible to discover the ship's name from BMD certificates and the census, but not very often - but this may sometimes explain why the census shows a man serving on ship A, whereas his service record shows him serving on ship B.]


  • List 13  Permanent supernumeraries borne in addition to complement. (The nature of service for which allowed and borne to be specified)

    • List 13(I) If shore establishment to be entered in 13(I)
    • List 13(II) Kroomen, etc., on 13(II)

  • List 14  Supernumeraries borne for temporary service, full pay leave, closing accounts, etc., (nature of service to be specified). Reserves under training to be listed separately in the appropriate section of the ledger as follows: -

    • List 14 RNR (Officers)
    • List 14 RNVR (Officers)
    • List 14 RNR (ERA’s)
    • List 14 RNR (Seamen)
    • List 14 RNR (Stokers)
    • List 14 RFR
    • List 14 RNVR (Men)
    • List 14 RNASBR

    • List 14* Men undergoing detention

  • List 15  Supernumeraries borne for disposal, taking passage, etc.
  • List 16  Supernumeraries lent from other ships (nature of service to be specified)
  • List 17  Supernumeraries borne for victuals only, full allowance.

    • List 17 RAF Officers and men of the RAF borne for Fleet Air Arm duties. 

  • List 18  Supernumeraries borne for victuals only, standard ration only under Article 1817, clause 2(h) or persons marked "Run" under article 589 pending final discharge, or recovery, or "waiting trial for desertion" (Article 1522). Article 1817, clause 2(h) – Offenders awaiting disposal.
  • List 19 Men undergoing imprisonment or detention (Articles 557 and 558) not vicualled.
  • List 20 Indulgence passengers

    • Canteen staff are to be shown on a separate section of List 20. They are not borne for pay or victualling.
    • WRNS personnel on unpaid leave to be borne nominally on List 20 "Officers" or "Ratings". BR1077, Chapter XIII (Leave) Article 241 (Unpaid Leave) Para 11 (Records) refers.

WRNS List Accounts to be kept on a separate section of the ledger clearly headed "Women Royal Naval Service". Pay accounts for all WRNS ratings should be kept on a separate WRNS section of the ledger with its own alphabetic index. BR1077 Chapter X (Pay and Allowances) Article 147 (Accounting Instructions) refers.


Comments regards the Lists and Ship's Book Numbers

N.B. The above lists reflect the fact that, apart from a little tinkering here and there, mostly on List 5, and additions for WRNS and FAA, the Ledger Lists remained much the same for the period in which ledgers were being used - say from about 1878 through to about 1971/3, when they were computerised. Ledgers were being used prior to this, from about 1860, but were known as Ship Record and Establishment Books.

These lists do not reflect the introduction of the Fleet Air Arm or the Electrical Branch into the service, when additional lists were added to List 5 and were further sub-divided, with POs being moved to List II and List III being introduced for Leading Rates and below. Due to the large numbers passing through RN Barracks, and training establishments, particularly during war time, their List 15s often appear to have been sub-divided to cope with this problem, but these sub-divisions would appear to have been particular to that establishment.

Ship's Book Numbers were allocated on a first come first served basis, therefore, the first AB joining a ship will be given number 1 on the Seaman's List and so forth, and the first stoker will also be given number 1, but on the Stokers List, and that number will change if that person changes lists, say if advanced to Petty Officer, or is sent to another ship or establishment.

Lists or Sections of the Ledger

The ledger is divided up into a number of sections for a number of reasons :

  1. To allow the money paid out or deducted, to be allocated according to budget heads.
  2. To breakdown the numbers on a large ship into manageable portions for ledger keepers.
  3. To breakdown the various branches eg Stokers and Seamen etc. into their own ledger sections so that they can be paid separately, and in a manner that suits the ship’s operational routine and the pay office.
  4. In order that Senior ratings are paid separately from Junior ratings, and trainees separately from the Ship’s Company.
  5. In order for Pay officers in Naval Bases or Depot Ships, which might be looking after a number of ships and lesser establishments, to separate those various organisations into manageable portions.
  6. In RN Barracks, especially in wartime, which may be dealing with thousands of ratings a year, allows the ledger to be sub-divided into manageable portions that can be properly administered.

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