It is a registered charity with five principal aims:
To engage in and encourage research into the history, uniforms and traditions of the Royal Marines and other aspects of Corps History. The results of research conducted by the Society may be published and shall be offered to the Royal Marines Museum.
To provide a means of communication between persons interested in the history of the Royal Marines.
To stimulate an interest within the serving Corps and general public in the history and development of all activities of the Royal Marines.
To provide a source of historical knowledge and expertise to which members of the Society, the serving Corps, staff of the Royal Marines Museum and others may refer.
To assist in enhancing the collections and historical records of the Royal Marines Museum and introducing them to a wider audience.
With over 300 members, who range from serving Marines to English Heritage, the Society is governed by a voluntary council with six members elected from the membership, an appointed Honorary Editor, Secretary and Treasurer as well as a representative of the Royal Marines Museum and the Commandant General Royal Marines. Membership is open to anyone with a genuine interest in Corps history.
Our funding is derived primarily from member’s subscriptions supplemented by a small surplus from the sale of our publications and other donations. We receive considerable administrative and premises support as well as access to collections from the RM Museum but the RMHS is an independent organisation.
To join, please contact the Museum on 023 9281 9385 or download an application form
Our Society is run by volunteers and we are unable to assist with research enquiries from the general public, please visit the museum or click here for help and advice on researching Royal Marines history
Royal Marines Historical Society
Royal Marines Museum
Existing members include serving and retired Royal Marines, family and military historians, militaria collectors and many friends of the Corps. We all have in common a desire to see the heritage and history of the Royal Marines protected and shared.
Members receive two issues of the Society’s illustrated journal, The Sheet Anchor, which contains articles and news of interest on Royal Marines history. Members also receive a copy of the Society’s annual Special Publication on a particular detailed and well researched topic. Three newsletters are distributed each year.
The Annual General Meeting is held in the Corps Museum at Eastney, Southsea, after which lunch is followed by a talk on a Royal Marines historical subject. Subjects covered over the past few years have included ‘Gallipoli’, ‘Royal Marines in the Gulf War’, ‘Kenneth Alford, Musician Extraordinaire’, ‘The Falklands Campaign’, ‘Commandos in Italy in WW2′, etc. During the AGM the RMHS presents award in recognition of outstanding contribution to Corps history.
For a membership form please contact the Museum on 023 9281 9385 or download an application form.
The annual subscription is currently £22 per annum for mail delivered to UK addresses and £25 for overseas.
Associate Membership is available for organisations interested in the Society’s aims, but this does not carry voting rights.
To apply, please click on the link below to download.
“Plans, Targets and Secrets"—behind the scenes of BBC broadcast on Operation Frankton” by Tom Keene, the documentary maker.
“From Heligoland and Gallipoli to the Basements of Whitehall” An account of a long service Marine who served as Orderly Sergeant to Churchill throughout WW2 based on original documents and written by his son-in-law.
“Drum Majors’ Dress Belts and Staffs.” Reproductions of a series of sketches uncovered at The National Archive based on a survey in the 1920s.
“Sold Out—When RM Officers could sell their commissions 1824-1834” written by Don Bittner, Professor of History USMC Command and Staff College.
“A Naval View of Force Viper’s Operation in 1942” written by a Burmese RNVR veteran.
“Commando Logistics Regiment Crimea Style” A contemporary account of the Corps logistical efforts in the war with Russia previously published by the Globe and Laurel in 1898.
“Shandur—a vignette of life in the Canal Zone” A brief light hearted account of life in the Corps between 1948 and 1952.
Each year we also publish one or two books that deal in more depth with matters of Corps History.
Recent publications include;
“Cyprus Crisis – 1955-56 (The Story of ‘B’ Troop 45 Commando Royal Marines.”
“Royal Marines and the Albert Medal”
“Formative Years, 1803-1806, A Perspective of the Royal Marines in the Navy of John Jervis, Earl St Vincent and Horatio, Lord Nelson.”
‘Vertical Assault, the story of the Royal Marines Mountain Leaders branch’
‘The Long Summer, 45 Commando RM 1963 – 1964, Aden, Tanganyika and the Radfan’
We typically print 500 copies of each Special Publication, 350 are distributed freely to members and the remainder sold to the public by the Museum shop.
Special Publications that are in production include
A Bibliography of Royal Marines History;
Confrontation, recollections from Borneo, a collaborative project by six troop commanders;
The Royal Marines Band Service, a reprint of the collaborative work between the RMHS and the RM Band Service published in 2003.
RMHS publications can all be bought online from the Royal Marines Museum Shop or online by clicking here.
The Short History
Since 2002 we have worked with the Museum, CTCRM and the Learning and Skills Council to produce a Short History of the Corps that is given to each new recruit and young officer. The Short history is now in its third edition – and available to buy online from the Museum Shop.
Graves and Memorials
After creating registers of the Corps’ dead from both World wars we embarked on a project to record and photograph RM graves and memorials around the globe. Over the past three years we have digitalised our collection of 2500 images and are now considering ways to allow public access to this ongoing project.
We have provided equipment and training for Oral History interviewers in support of a joint project between ourselves and the Royal Marines Association. The interviews are deposited with the RM Museum who share them with the Imperial War Museum to provide public access and permanent conservation.
Globe and Laurel Index
Members of the Society are working on an index to the Corps journal, the Globe and Laurel. This is an invaluable source of Corps history, however, it has never been indexed and searches can take many hours. We are currently recruiting volunteers to assist in the digitalisation of the first 60 volumes of the magazine.
Sea Britain Exhibition
In 2005 members of the Society worked with the National Trust to mount an exhibition of the paintings of Captain James Cottell, RM. A veteran of Trafalgar, Cottell made over 140 watercolour drawings that chronicle his 40 years service.
Future Projects and Research
The RMHS is committed to rewriting the Short History on a three year cycle. Oral History and Graves and Memorials are ongoing projects.
We are working with the RM Museum on a book on the history of RM insignia from 1755 to the present day. This has included funding to catalogue part of the Museum’s insignia collection, photography and primary research in the Museum’s archives, the National Archives, at the Naval Historical Branch and the collections of many private members.
Two major research projects are underway – The Indexing of the Globe and Laurel continues and members of the Society are working on a roll of Marine Officers from 1664 to 1783.