Over recent years and assisted by donations from members, the WSS Archive Digitisation Committee has been scanning material from the WSS Chatham Library and Archive. Back numbers of its monthly journal Marine News have been digitised from its first issue in 1947 to 2011 when it went from paper to digital. Similarly back numbers of its quarterly journal Warships have been digitised from 1965 to 2014. The late Noel Bonsor compiled meticulous records of transatlantic liner sailings from the 1840s to 1960s, including shipping companies such as Cunard, White Star, Canadian Pacific, U S Lines, Hamburg Amerika. The resulting large files of jpg and pdf images have already been made available on CD, priced by year, company etc.
More recently naval records compiled by the late Jim Colledge (for many years editor of Warships) have been digitised as pdfs. Jim spent years researching in the Admiralty Library and typing up the results. Among these are his summaries of Pink Lists, which show the location and squadron of every significant Royal Navy warship (and often Commonwealth warships) from 1805 to 1979. Example below. Other series include Coastal Forces, Losses, Disposals.
A selection of Jim’s summary Pink Lists are now being made available, free to WSS members. The first batch comprises the lists from 1939 to 1945, typically at monthly intervals. To download these, WSS members should go to here.
Ian Buxton MBE
Chairman, Archive Digitisation Committee