Guide to the Records of the Royal Marines Museum (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2019

Collection Summary

Royal Marines Museum
Records of the Royal Marines Museum (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1784 - 1962
Collection Number
23 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

Diary 1841-1845 kept by Lieut. Gerard Montague on HMS Dublin visiting Oahu and Tahiti.

Diary 1945-1946 of Major Alfred C. Hood on a voyage to Australia on the Stirling Castle with returning Australian and New Zealand troops.

Diary 1799-1802 of John Robyns on La Virginie in East Indies referring to captured Dutch ship, description of Island of Ambon, expedition against Ternate, and meeting with the French expedition under N. Baudin.

Diary January-October 1951 of Michael Browne kept as Intelligence Corporal of 42 Commando in Malaya.

Letters 1869-1871 of F.H. Poore written from HMS Galatea giving impressions of New Zealand and Tahiti.

Diary 1913 of A.E. Crosby kept on HMS New Zealand on its world cruise.

Copies of letters 1786-1787 from Major General Arthur Collins to the Admiralty referring to formation and departure of Botany Bay detachment of Marines.

Copies of letters 1786-1792 from the Admiralty to Plymouth Division. Subjects include: formation of a detachment of Marines to accompany ships to Botany Bay; desertion of Lieut. James Morrison; and court martial of Capt. James Meredith at Port Jackson.

Sketches 1884-1889 of Col. Cyril Field drawn while serving with HMS Nelson on Australian Station.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Material selectively filmed at the Royal Marines Museum, Southsea, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1991 (AJCP Reels: M2636-M2637). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

In 2011 the Royal Marines Museum formally became part of the National Museum of the Royal Navy. The museum's galleries are currently closed, pending relocation.

Existence and Location of Originals

Collection originally filmed at the Royal Marines Museum. Royal Marines, Eastney, Southsea, Hants PO4 0PX, England.

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding-Aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2019. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.

Advisory Statement

Maori people are advised that this finding aid contains terms that reflect authors' views or those of the historical period, but which may not be considered appropriate today. While the information may not reflect current understanding, it is provided in an historical context.


Ambon, Indonesia; Army officers; Australia; Baudin, Nicolas; Botany Bay, New South Wales; Browne, Michael; Collins, Arthur, Maj. Gen.; Crosby, A.E.; Dublin, HMS (ship); Field, Cyril, Col.; French in the Pacific; Galatea, HMS (ship); Great Britain; Great Britain. Admiralty; Hawaii; Hood, Alfred C., Major; Indonesia; La Virginie (ship); Malaya; Meredith, James, Capt.; Montague, Gerard, Lieut.; Morrison, James, Lieut.; Naval officers; Nelson, HMS (ship); New Zealand; New Zealand, HMS (ship); New Zealand: visits to; Oahu, Hawaii; Poore, F.H.; Robyns, John; Royal Marines; Royal Navy: Australian Station; Royal Navy: voyages; Stirling Castle (ship); Tahiti; Ternate, Indonesia; World War II


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 398, p.153.

Item Descriptions

Series 11. Books, Documents, 1784 - 15 October 1951

16 items

Subseries 11/12. Manuscripts, 27 July 1789

1 item
Major General Collins Letters, 27 July 1789 (File 11/12/12)
1 item

Copies of letters sent by Arthur Collins, mainly to Admiralty. Filmed selectively.

To David Collins at Botany Bay re political events in England, 27 July 1789 (Item)

Subseries 11/13. Diaries, 13 March 1796 - 15 October 1951

8 items
Lt. Edwin G. Lywood R.M., 1 February 1892 - 28 December 1893 (File 11/13/6)
1 item
Diary on board HMS Garnet (64p.), 1 February 1892 - 28 December 1893 (Item)

Places visited include: Pitcairn Island (shown round settlement by Martha Christian); South American coast.

Lt. Gerrard Montague, 13 May 1841 - 29 January 1845 (File 11/13/8)
1 item
Diary on board HMS Dublin (72p.), 13 May 1841 - 29 January 1845 (Item)

Places visited include: Oahu, Tahiti (visited on board by Queen Pomare).

Major Alfred Cecil Hood, 18 June 1945 - 1 July 1946 (File 11/13/51)
1 item

Autobiography. Filmed selectively.

Diary of voyage to Australia via Panama in Stirling Castle with returning Australian and New Zealand troops, 18 June 1945 - 1 July 1946 (Item ff.99-118)

Subjects include: ill discipline of Australian troops; reception at Wellington given by acting New Zealand Prime Minister; Duke of Gloucester comes on board at Darling Harbour to welcome Australian troops; journey to Newcastle to camp at Gan Gan; news of atom bomb at Hiroshima; description of Gan Gan camp inhabited by kookaburras; change in orders due to collapse of Japan; camp struck and handed over to Australian Army; return to Aden; recall to Australia to evacuate camp at Moore Park; sailed to United Kingdom on Arawa.

Lt. J.T. Haverfield, 18 August 1846 - 14 June 1855 (File 11/13/57 A)
1 item
Diary on board Constance and Trincomalee (120p.), 18 August 1846 - 14 June 1855 (Item)

Constance: 1846-1849; Trincomalee: 1852-1855.

Places visited include: 1846-1849 Falkland Islands; Valparaiso (played cricket against local team); Sandwich Islands (June 1848); description of Honolulu Harbour, native dress, food, levee held by Kamehameha III - presented gifts from Danish King, local produce, American visitors; Vancouvers Island; 1852-1855 St. Vincente; Valparaiso; Vancouvers Island; Honolulu (Oct. 1854) - American ships in harbour; Valparaiso.

John Robyns R.M.L.I., 13 March 1796 - 17 October 1834 (File 11/13/61)
1 item

Diary of service on various ships. Filmed selectively.

On La Virginie in East Indies, 9 November 1799 - 14 February 1802 (Item ff.41-72)

Places visited include: Straits of Malacca - recaptured merchant ship from French; Prince of Wales Island; Malacca; voyage through Celebes - trading with natives food for buttons and old iron; captured Dutch ship; Amboyna - description of island - natural resources, monsoon, marriage ceremony; nutmegs, cloves; Bouro Bay - vegetation, white ebony trade, natives, flora and fauna; Ternate; Amboyna - relief convoy arrives (21 Nov. 1800); expedition against Ternate (Feb. 1801); Kema Roads - fertility of soil, local intoxicating drink, native customs; return to Amboyna; met with French expedition of discovery under M. Baudin - had explored North West coast of New Holland (23 Oct. 1801); Timor; voyage to Macao; Malacca; Prince of Wales Island - natural resources, bird nests harvested by Chinese; Madras.

Corporal Michael Browne 42 Commando R.M, 28 January 1951 - 15 October 1951 (File 11/13/70)
1 item
Diary of service in Malaya. (47p.), 28 January 1951 - 15 October 1951 (Item)

Subjects include: Stationed at Ashby Road camp, Ipoh, Perak; his job as Intelligence Corporal of 42 Commando; the Ibans of Sarawak; air strike on bandit camp in Juang area; eruption of Mt. Lavington; disciplining troops; malaria; farewell speech by Brigadier Hardy; exercise Memory II; rain; jungle operations; his philosophy of life.

F.H. Poore, 4 May 1869 - 3 January 1871 (File 11/13/74)
1 item

Filmed selectively.

Letters written from HMS Galatea (33p.), 4 May 1869 - 3 January 1871 (Item)

Subjects include: Visits to Nelson, Christchurch and Auckland - impressions of New Zealand; game introduced on Kawon Island; visit to Tahiti - native ceremonies, visit from Queen Pomare; Sandwich Islands - comparison with colourful Tahiti; Japan; Hong Kong; Singapore; cricket match at Penang; Calcutta; Wellington - Parliament sitting, discussion of Maori problem; Sydney.

(Poor xerox of typescript.)

Pte. John Copp, 1867 - 1883 (File 11/13/76)
1 item

Filmed selectively.

Journal on Thetis on Pacific Station and to end of journal. (28p.), 13 May 1879 - 1883 (Item)

Places visited include: Pitcairn Island; Tahiti; Sandwich Islands.

Subseries 11/14. Albums, c.1908-1913

1 item
Pte. G. Moyse, c.1908-1913 (File 11/14/36)
1 item
Scrapbook from HMS Cambrian, c.1908-1913 (Item)

Photographs of Mt. Wellington; Brighton, New Zealand; La Perouse; Sydney; Hobart; and crossing line ceremonies in HMS Devonshire 1908.

Includes: press cuttings re Cambrian and Commander G. King-Hall's farewell on leaving Australian stations, 4 Oct. 1913.

(Some very faded photographs.)

Subseries 11/21. Unofficial Unit Diaries/Log Books, 1913 - 1942

2 items
HMS New Zealand. Diary of Her World Cruise by RMB 1477, A.E. Crosby, 1913 (File 11/21/21)

Subjects include: Circumstances of building of New Zealand by New Zealand Government; biographies of personnel; details of ship and crew.

Places visited include: South Africa; Melbourne; Napier; Auckland; Dunedin; Hokitika; Picton; Russell; Suva; Honolulu; Canada; South America; West Indies.

(Xeroxed manuscript.)


'A Long Commission' HMS Leander, New Zealand by CH 24587 Sgt. A.G. Sargent RM, 1937 - 1942 (File 11/21/24)

Sgt. Sargent volunteered for service in New Zealand Branch of Royal Navy in 1937. Journal gives details of service on Leander and voyage to New Zealand via Panama Canal; visits to Oeno Island, Henderson Island; Pitcairn - performance by RM Band; Auckland - hospitality; voyage round New Zealand - New Plymouth, Lyttleton, Wellington; exercises with Royal Australian Navy at Jervis Bay; Centennial Regatta at Hobart; surveying islands for projected trans-Pacific air route - Phoenix Group of islands, Christmas Island; voyage to Tonga; Tahiti - 'champagne cheaper than beer'; Bora Bora - native dance; taking detachment of New Zealand Army to guard cable on Fanning Island; war declared; taking emergency rations to Campbell Island in case of need by shipwrecked mariners; landing guns at Suva; New Zealand Centennial celebrations - re-enactment of landing of Captain Hobson RN in 1840; taking troops to Fremantle; joining Red Sea fleet; action in Gulf of Aden; joint action with RAN Yarra; refitting in Bombay; action off Mauritius, in Red Sea and Mediterranean; return to Australia and New Zealand (10 Sept. 1941); official welcome at Auckland; escorting American ships to and from Phoenix Islands; return to England.

(Faint xeroxed typescript.)


Subseries 11/51. Files Originating from Divisions, 1784 - 1789

2 items
Chatham and Plymouth Divisions Letterbook, 1784 - 1789 (File 11/51/1)
2 items

Copies of letters from Major General Collins to Admiralty. Filmed selectively.

Correspondence, 14 October 1786 - 9 March 1787 (Item ff.345-402)

Subjects include: That over two hundred men have volunteered to go to Botany Bay; disquiet among men that Admiralty consider it might be necessary to call upon officers on half pay list; Lt. Creswell to go to Botany Bay; withdrawal of arms for the detachment; embarkation has gone smoothly.


Collins to Admiralty re request for Lt. Pownoll to serve in New South Wales. (1p.), 20 May 1789 (Item f.640)
General Collins' Orderly Book, 1786 - 1787 (File 11/51/5)
3 items

Filmed selectively.

The Officers belonging to the Botany Bay expedition to receive the arms of the said detachment from the Quartermaster tomorrow morning. (1p.), 19 February 1787 (Item)
The formation of the Botany Bay Detachment (1p.), 7 March 1787 (Item)

Details of names, pay, ships allocated to, supplies.

Detachment for Botany Bay to embark tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock (1p.), 8 March 1787 (Item)

Subseries 11/52. Files Pertaining to Divisions, 1785 - 1792

2 items
Admiralty letters to Plymouth Division, 1785 - 1787 (File 11/52/2)
1 item

Copies of letters from the Admiralty to R.M. Plymouth. Filmed selectively.

Admiralty letters to Plymouth Division, 8 October 1786 - 11 June 1787 (Item ff.128-186)

Subjects include: formation of an establishment of Marines to accompany ships to Botany Bay 'for the protection of the settlement intended to be made there as well as for preserving good order and regularity amongst the convicts'; the taking of wives and children to Botany Bay; that the officers chosen to go are not to exchange without permission of Admiralty; Captain Coutts to go to Botany Bay; firearms; Lt. Creswell has volunteered; Lt. J. Furzer has volunteered; allotment of Marines to ships; supplies of checked shirts; issuing of light clothing; that Marines are to embark before convicts; desertion of Lt. James Morrison.

Admiralty Letters to Plymouth Division, 1787 - 1792 (File 11/52/3)
3 items

Filmed selectively.

Admiralty to Collins, 13 May 1789 (Item)

That a 1st Lt. is to proceed to New South Wales in Guardian to replace Lt. Maxwell who has to return to England for his health.

Admiralty to Collins, 22 May 1789 (Item)

That a New South Wales Corps. is to be raised to relieve the Marines.

Admiralty to Collins, 1 August 1792 (Item)

Encloses a copy of: 28 July 1792: Major Ross (London) to Admiralty re court martial of Captain James Meredith at Port Jackson. (2p.)

Series 13. Paintings, Prints and Photographs, 1879 - 1889

1 item

Subseries 13/3. Prints and Sketches, 1879 - 1889

1 item
Col. Cyril Field. Sketches when serving in England, Egypt and Australia, 1879 - 1889 (File 13/3/28)
3 items

Filmed selectively.

HMS Nelson at Suva (Item f.53A)
A chapter of accidents and a strange deliverance: the true story of a day's shooting in Moreton Bay, Queensland (Item f.53B)

(Rescue of two Italian fishermen whose boat had capsized at mouth of Brisbane River.).

HMS Nelson in Australia, 5 November 1884 - 22 January 1889 (Item ff.60-130)

Sketches include: Scenes on board; German Squadron at Madeira; ceremonies of crossing the line; arrival of new Commander in Chief, Australian station Sydney, 22 Jan. 1885; race between Hanlon and Clifford on Parramatta River, 7 Feb. 1885; departure of New South Wales Contingent for the Soudan (sic.); return and reception of New South Wales Contingent, 23 June 1885; Australian Squadron at Brisbane; visit of Sir Anthony Musgrove to HMS Nelson; Waitangi Falls; Maoris on board; arrival of Rear Admiral Fairfax; German Squadron entering Sydney Harbour; torpedo practice, Jervis Bay; officers of Nelson and Opal leaving for Jubilee Ball, Adelaide 21 June 1887; camp of New South Wales Forces at National Park; Lord Howe's Island; Norfolk Island; panoramic views of Havannah Harbour, Sandwich Island, New Hebrides; French camp at Port Sandwich; counter mining practice in Sydney Harbour; naval and military procession at opening of Jubilee Exhibition, North New Zealand; opening of Calliope Dock, Auckland, 16 Feb. 1880; sporting pursuits on Mud Island, Moreton Bay; gold mine, Ballarat; ruins of Port Arthur; HMS Calliope at Apia; Australian Squadron in a gale off Cape Howe, 1888; HMS Nelson leaving Sydney, 3 Sept. 1888; North East coast of Queensland - Thursday Island; New South Wales Lancer in full dress, 1885.

Series. Other Material, 1889 - March 1962

6 items

Subseries. Captain John Edgcumbe RM. London Spelling Dictionary

1 item

Filmed selectively.

Crew list (File)

Back pages of Dictionary.

List of crew of HMS Adventure 'murdered by savages of New Zealand 17 Dec. 1773' during Captain Cook's 2nd voyage around the world. 'They were all eaten except a head or two, three hands and feet in Grass Cove, Queen Charlotte's Sound'.

Includes: Painting of house in New Caledonia.

Subseries. Parkins Hearle. The Royal Marines in Connection with the Foundation of our Australian Colonies. Maps, illus., c. 1898

4 items

Parts I, II, V, VI only survive. Partly published in the Corp. Journal. The Globe and Laurel 1899-1912.

New South Wales. Compiled from the Historical Records of New South Wales (125p.) (File Pt. 1)

Subjects include: Preliminary preparations in England; the First Fleet; foundation of the colony; natives; early exploration; criminal court; Norfolk Island; New South Wales Corps.

Includes: List of the Marines military establishment; List of officers and Marines with dates of commissions; effective list of non commissioned officers, drummers and private Marines in the four companies doing duty in New South Wales between 1 July - 30 Sept. 1788.

Victoria. Compiled from a paper read by James Backhouse Walker before the Royal Society of Tasmania, 14 October 1889 (File Pt. 2)

The Early History of the Colony of Victoria by F.P. Labilliere, Port Phillip Settlement by J. Bonwick, and Early Historical Records of Port Phillip by J.J. Shillinglaw. (114p.)

Subjects include: First and abortive expeditions under Lt. Governor Collins R.M., 1803-4.

Includes: Garrison orders; despatches.

Queensland. Compiled from the Genesis of Queensland by H. Stewart Russell and from official documents. (16p.) (File Pt. 5)

Subjects include: Founding of Port Essington and Cape York.

Includes: Despatches; nominal list of non commissioned officers and men serving at Somerset, Queensland showing their length of service.

New Guinea. Compiled from An account of the establishment of the British Protectorate over the Southern Shores of New Guinea by Charles Lyne. (16p.) (File Pt. 6)

Subjects include: Proclaimation of the Protectorate at sea and on shore.

Subseries. [Royal Marines]. Royal Marines and New Zealand, March 1962

Subjects include: Marines on the Endeavour; 1st Maori War; New Zealand medals; World War I; the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy; Samoan troubles; Napier earthquake; ceremonies of leaving New Zealand.

(Typescript, 54p.)