Royal Navy Civil Branch Ranks

Royal Navy Civil Branch Officer Ranks 1805-1918

The titles of the civil branch officers of the Royal Navy changed many times in the 1800s, as did their standing in relation to the military or executive branch ranks. The following table shows the years each rank was in use, ending in 1918 when a standardized system based on executive rank titles was put in place. The rank structure of each branch was organized independently of the executive branch, and so there were sometimes more than one civil rank per military rank. The table covers only commissioned ranks and those that led to commissioned rank, it does not show the various warrant ranks.

Key:

Masters, Navigating Branch

Surgeons, Medical Branch

Pursers, Paymasters, Accounting Branch

Engineer Branch

Military/Executive Branch

Civil Branches

1805

1807

1814

1824

1825

1837

1840

1842

1843

1846

1847

1852

1855

1856

1859

1861

1863

1864

1866

1867

1873

1875

1877

1878

1879

1881

1886

1887

1892

1900

1902

1903

1904

1908

1911

1913

1914

1918

Vice Admiral


Medical Director General

Surgeon Vice Admiral


Engineer Vice Admiral

Rear Admiral


Medical Director General



Inspector General over 3 years

Inspector General

Surgeon General

Surgeon Rear Admiral


Paymaster Rear Admiral


Engineer Rear Admiral

Commodore 1st Class


Inspector General under 3 years


Commodore 2nd Class


Medical Director General

Inspector General


Captain of 3 years seniority


Deputy Inspector General of Hospitals & Fleets

Deputy Surgeon General



Paymaster-in-Chief



Inspector of Machinery over 8 years



Chief Inspector of Machinery


Captain under 3 years seniority


Staff Captain



Medical Inspector of

Hospitals & Fleets


Surgeon Captain


Staff Surgeon



Paymaster Captain


Inspector of Machinery under 8 years

Engineer Captain

Commander


Master of the Fleet

Staff Commander



Physician

Inspector of Hospitals & Fleets

Deputy Inspector of

Hospitals & Fleets

Surgeon

Staff Surgeon

Staff Surgeon

1st Class

Fleet Surgeon

Surgeon Commander


Secretary to Commander-in-Chief

Paymaster over 15 years

Fleet Paymaster

Paymaster Commander


Inspector of Machinery

Chief Engineer over 15 years

Chief Engineer over 10 years

Fleet Engineer

Engineer Commander

1805

1807

1814

1824

1825

1837

1840

1842

1843

1846

1847

1852

1855

1856

1859

1861

1863

1864

1866

1867

1873

1875

1877

1878

1879

1881

1886

1887

1892

1900

1902

1903

1904

1908

1911

1913

1914

1918

Lieutenant of 8 years seniority,

Lieutenant Commander (from 1914)


Navigating Lieutenant over 8 years



Staff Surgeon

2nd Class



Surgeon

Staff Surgeon

Surgeon Lieutenant Commander


Paymaster 8 to 15 years

Staff Paymaster

Paymaster Lieutenant Commander


Paymaster



Chief Engineer 8 to 15 years

Chief Engineer under 10 years

Chief Engineer

Engineer Lieutenant over 8 years

Engineer Lieutenant Commander


Staff Engineer


Lieutenant


Master

Navigating Lieutenant


Surgeon

Assistant Surgeon over 6 years

Surgeon

Surgeon Lieutenant


Purser

Purser and Paymaster

Paymaster

Paymaster under 8 years

Assistant Paymaster over 12 years

Assistant Paymaster over 4 years

Paymaster Lieutenant


Assistant Paymaster over 8 years

Assistant Paymaster 6 to 12 years



Chief Engineer

Chief Engineer under 8 years

Engineer over 8 years

Engineer over 6 years

Engineer

Engineer Lieutenant under 8 years

Engineer Lieutenant


Engineer under 6 years


Mate,

Sub-Lieutenant (from 1861)


Second Master

Navigating Sub-lieutenant


Assistant Surgeon

Assistant Surgeon under 6 years



Clerk

Passed Clerk

Assistant Paymaster

Assistant Paymaster under 8 years

Assistant Paymaster under 4 years

Paymaster Sub-lieutenant


Assistant Engineer

Engineer

Engineer under 8 years

Assistant Engineer

Engineer Sub-lieutenant


Assistant Engineer


Midshipman


Master's Assistant

Navigating Midshipman



Clerk

Paymaster Midshipman


Assistant Engineer 1st Class



Assistant Engineer 2nd Class


Volunteer 1st Class,

Naval Cadet (from 1843)


Volunteer 2nd Class


Naval Cadet 2nd Class

Navigating Cadet



Assistant Clerk

Paymaster Cadet


Engineer Student


Boatswain, Gunner


Engineer



1805

1807

1814

1824

1825

1837

1840

1842

1843

1846

1847

1852

1855

1856

1859

1861

1863

1864

1866

1867

1873

1875

1877

1878

1879

1881

1886

1887

1892

1900

1902

1903

1904

1908

1911

1913

1914

1918

Sources:


All text and images © Justin T. Broderick, 2013 unless otherwise indicated.