The Jack Clegg Memorial Database of Royal Naval Division Casualties of The Great War

This database is an accurate and comprehensive register of the deaths of servicemen from the Royal Navy who served in the Royal Naval Division (RND) in the Great War, compiled from original service records and all other sources listing RND casualties.

As the title suggests, this database is dedicated to the memory of CH/19403 Private John (Jack) Clegg RMLI, 1st Royal Marine Battalion, Royal Naval Division, who was "wounded and missing" at the Battle of the Ancre 13/11/16. The author, Jack Marshall, is the great nephew of Private Clegg.

Definitive Roll of Honour for The Royal Naval Division

Originating from a desire to list the names of all those killed with Private Clegg in the 1st Royal Marine Battalion on the Ancre 13/11/16, this database has been compiled in order to "set the record straight" and provide a definitive Roll of Honour for the RND.

This database effectively rewrites the Royal Naval Division casualty lists, due to the great many errors and omissions discovered during research and compilation. Over the last six years, well over 100 cases were forwarded to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the names of approximately 70 RND servicemen have now been added to their Registers.

The Royal Naval Division

The Royal Naval Division (RND) was a unique formation in World War 1, raised by the Admiralty to serve in their then traditional role as Infantrymen fighting "shoulder to shoulder" alongside their Army comrades in an emergency.

The RND originally consisted of three Infantry Brigades (two Naval and one Royal Marine) of twelve Battalions (eight Naval and four Royal Marine). As the war progressed, casualties and a lack of recruits forced the RND to steadily reduce their Naval personnel establishment.

Two Naval Battalions were disbanded in June 1915, the Royal Marine Brigade and two Royal Marine Battalions were disbanded in August 1915, two more Naval Battalions were disbanded in February 1918 and one Royal Marine Battalion in April 1918. At the war's end, the Royal Naval Division"s Naval strength maintained only two Brigades of five Battalions (four Naval and one Royal Marine Battalion).

The British Army and The Royal Naval Division

The Army supplied the shortfall in Battalions and Brigades to the establishment of the Division from July 1916 onwards.

The Royal Naval Division was regarded as an elite unit, tasked with the \"hardest nuts to crack' on the battlefield. Its personnel were inspired by great British Naval traditions, a high reputation and a personal sense of pride in their Battalion and Division.

Their reinforcements were drawn exclusively from the pool of men at their Base Depot. Those recovered from sickness or wounds went back to their original credits via the Base Depot/reinforcement camp, unlike the Army, who (except for the Guards Divisions) regularly dispersed men from one regiment to another via their Depots.

The branches of the Royal Naval Division

The list below shows all the branches of the Royal Navy which served in the RND:

• Royal Navy (RN)
• Royal Naval Reserve (RNR)
• Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR)
• Royal Marines (RM)
• Royal Marine Light Infantry (RMLI)
• Royal Marine Artillery (RMA)
• Royal Marine Band (RMB)
• Royal Naval Auxiliary Sick Berth Reserve (RNASBR)
• Royal Fleet Reserve (RFR)

Any ex-serviceman of the Royal Naval Division up to 1926 is included

The "Esprit de Corps" engendered by service in the Royal Naval Division extends to this database. The brotherhood and pride felt by the men of the RND lives on today amongst their descendants and Naval enthusiasts alike.

As a result of this, the normal restrictions of World War One casualty rolls (cut-off-dates, cause attributable etc) have been widely expanded and/or disregarded. The death of any ex-RND serviceman up to 1926 is regarded as premature, regardless of whether the man's death was attributable to service, aggravated by service, or not attributable to service.

They lived only a short time to enjoy their hard-fought Peace. Those who qualified for the 1914 Star with the RND are given particular attention in this respect, as they constituted the original establishment of the RND in 1914, but they are only part of nearly 500 unrecorded deaths of ex-RND men in the early post-war period (or within our stated limits) and all were thought worthy of note.

The Royal Naval Division Casualties records extend as far as 1942

In some instances of cause attributable to service, or of distinguished gallantry, the closure date has been extended as late as 1942. One prime example of this necessity are those men who entered Lunatic Asylums from service, suffering in their madness until death, the last dying in the Royal Naval Lunatic Hospital, Great Yarmouth in 1939.

The Royal Navy and The British Army in the Royal Naval Division records

The following categories of men are listed in the RND database:

The Royal Navy

• All Naval servicemen who died in Royal Naval Division service 1914-1919.
• All Naval servicemen who died after leaving the Royal Naval Division, aboard ship, ashore, or after discharge from Naval service up to 1926, with special dispensation in individual cases up to 1942.

The British Army

Although a large number of Army troops served in the 190th Brigade of the Royal Naval Division, this database deals only with personnel from the various branches of the Royal Navy.

There are exceptions to the 'Naval personnel only' rule which allows the inclusion of Army service personnel as follows:

• Army troops who died whilst serving in an otherwise exclusive Naval Battalion or unit;
• Ex-Naval/Royal Naval Division personnel who transferred for service in the Army or Air Force;
• Army officers drafted/seconded to the Royal Naval Division for service, often in a senior capacity, with Naval and Royal Marine Battalions.

Acknowledgments

Deserving of Special Mention:

Thomas S Muirhead, in providing countless hours of reading, checking and research, thereby achieving the highest standard of accuracy, both in data and in the English language. Tom Muirhead is the son of Chief Petty Officer Jack Muirhead DCM RNVR, Hawke Battalion 1915-1919.

Neil York, in providing countless hours of research for thousands of RND servicemen, thereby running up his phone bill and blood pressure, but nevertheless ensuring the great depth of detail provided in these cases.

Julian Sykes, in providing an initial database consolidating various sources, thereby saving me six months' typing.

Mrs Jan Keohane and the staff of the Records Section of the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton, the saviours and beating heart of RND records.

Also thanks to:
Tony Froom; Pat Gariepy; The Imperial War Museum; Don Kindell; Andrew Marsh; The National Archives; Alan Osborn; Capt. Chris Page RN; Len Sellers; William Spencer; Capt. Roy Swales RN(rtd); Kyle Tallett; Ian Wilson.

SOURCES
The Imperial War Museum RND Rolls of Honour.
The Red Cross Wounded and Missing Lists 1915-1918.
"The Cross of Sacrifice" by S.D. and D.B. Jarvis.
"With Full and Grateful Hearts" by the RM Historical Society.
The Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton.
The National Archives
"RND. Royal Naval Division, Antwerp, Gallipoli and Western Front 1914-1918." by Len Sellers.
"The Globe and Laurel" Royal Marines Journal 1915-18.
"Nelson at War 1914-1918" by Capt. Roy Swales RN(rtd)
"The 1914 Star to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines." by W.H. Fevyer and J.W. Wilson.
"The Diaries of Pte. Horace Bruckshaw RMLI." by Martin Middlebrook.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
"The Royal Naval Division." by Douglas Jerrold.
"Command in the Royal Naval Division." by Capt. Christopher Page RN.
"The Hood Battalion." by Len Sellers.
"Gallipoli as I saw it." by Joseph Murray.
"Call to Arms, from Gallipoli to the Western Front." by Joseph Murray.
"Britain's Sea Soldiers, The History of the Royal Marines 1914-19." by Gen. Sir. H.E. Blumberg CB RM.
Plus a countless number of private letters and diaries of RND servicemen.