Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I served in the Naval Service and am now in hard times, how can I get help?

The best thing to do is to contact SSAFA at

SSAFA Forces Help
19 Queen Elizabeth Street

Tel: 0845 1300 975

They will send a caseworker to talk with you.  He or She will check your eligibility to be helped, financial position and any other relevant info.  They will then contact those charities that may be able to help, in order that the burden on charities can be shared.  See the FAQ about Naval Charities for further details, but all (including the RNA) will require a SSAFA Form A before making a grant.

Q: My partner served in the Naval Service are they entitled to a pension?

This can be a very complex area to understand.  the best thing to do is to ring the Veterans Help Line on 0800 169 2277.  the link below will give you a good idea of the schemes available.  Do feel free to ring the RNA HQ if this is too confusing and we will try to put you into contact with the right person.

Q: My relative who served in the Naval Service has just died, how can I recognise their service at their funeral?

Many people like to mark Service in the RN or RM with a union flag draped over the coffin. The use of a white ensign is nornally reserved for serving personnel, but this is not a stricly enforced rule. Local branches or funeral directors can normally help find a flag, but they are easy to buy on-line. A Bugler (at no cost, dependant on availability) to sound Last Post-call-RM Band Booking-02392 547552. Almost all personnel who have served at sea will have been used to the Naval Prayer.  Here are some suggestions:


1 The Naval Prayer O eternal Lord God, who alone spreadest out the heavens and rulest the raging of the sea; who hast compassed the waters with bounds until day and night come to an end: Be pleased to receive into thy almighty and most gracious protection the persons of us thy servants and the Fleet in which we serve. Preserve us from the dangers of the sea and of the air and from the violence of the enemy; that we may be a safeguard unto our most gracious Sovereign Lord King Charles and his dominions, and a security for such as pass on the seas upon their lawful occasions; that the inhabitants of our Islands and Commonwealth may in peace and quietness serve thee our God; and that we may return in safety to enjoy the blessings of the land with the fruits of our labours and with a thankful remembrance of thy mercies to praise and glorify thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

2 The Naval Collect Go before us, O Lord, in all our doings, with thy most gracious favours and further us with thy continual help that in all our works begun, continued and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy Name and finally, by thy mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

3 Nelson’s Prayer May the great God whom I worship, grant to my country, and for the benefit of Europe in general, a great and glorious victory; and may no misconduct in anyone tarnish it; and may humanity after victory be the predominant feature in the British Fleet. For myself individually, I commit my life to him that made me, and may his blessing alight on my endeavours for serving my country faithfully. To him I resign myself and the just cause which is entrusted me to defend. Amen. Amen. Amen. Before the Battle of Trafalgar, 1805

4 The Naval Hymn

Eternal Father, strong to save, Whose arm hath bound the restless wave, Who bidds’t the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep: O hear us when we cry to thee For those I peril on the sea.

O Christ, whose voice the waters heard, And hushed their raging at thy word, Who walkedst on the foaming deep And calm amidst the storm didst sleep: O hear us when we cry to thee For those in peril on the sea.

O Holy Spirit who didst brood Upon the waters dark and rude, And bid their angry tumult cease And gave, for wild confusion, peace: O hear us when we cry to thee For those in peril on the sea.

O Trinity of Love and power Our brethren shield in dangers hour; From rock and tempest, fire and foe Protect them whereso’er they go: Thus evermore shall rise to thee Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

5 Sir Francis Drake’s Prayer O Lord, when thou givest to thy servants to endeavour in any great matter, grant us also to know that it is not the beginning but the continuing of the same until it be thoroughly finished that yieldeth the true glory; through Him who for the finishing of thy work laid down his life, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
6 The Service Eternal Lord God, ruler of the earth and sky, Be pleased to receive into your protection all who go down to the sea in ships and work upon the waters. Preserve them in body and soul: Prosper their labours with good success; In times of danger be their help and defence and bring them safely into port; Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

7 Our Ship Almighty Father, look, we pray you, upon this ship and grant that all who live and serve in her may be true to the example your Son has set for us. Take from us all selfishness and jealousy which may prevent unity and fellowship. This we ask for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

8 The Royal Marines O eternal Lord God, who through many generations has united and inspired the members of our Corps, grant your blessing, we beseech you, on Royal Marines serving all around the Globe. Bestow your crown of righteousness upon all our efforts and endeavours, and may our laurels be those of gallantry and honour, loyalty and courage. We ask these things in the name of him whose courage never failed, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Amen.

9 The Fleet Air Arm O God, who dwells above the water and has the power to still the raging of the sea, accept the prayers of all your servants who commit their lives to the dangers of the sea and the air. In all their ways, enable them to serve you in a godly and faithful way, and in their Christian lives reflect your glory throughout the world. Through all their journeys, watch over them that they may overcome evil, temptation or anything that harms their souls, so that through all the changes and chances of this life, you will bring them by your mercy to the sure promise of your everlasting kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

10 A Submariners’ Prayer O Father hear our prayer to Thee From your humble servants beneath the sea: In the depths of ocean oft we stray, So far from night, so far from day; We would ask your guiding light to glow To make our journey safe below. Please oft times grant us patient mind, Then ‘ere the darkness, won’t us blind. We seek thy protection from the deep And grant us peace whene’er we sleep. Of our homes and loved ones far away We ask you care for them each day, Until we surface once again, to drink the air and feel the rain. We ask your guiding hand to show A safe progression, sure and slow. Dear Lord please hear our prayer to Thee From your humble servants beneath the sea. Amen.

11 Royal Naval Reserve Almighty God, bless, we beseech you, those who serve in the Royal Naval Reserve. Grant them your grace that they may even be found ready to fulfil their duty and to set forward your will at all times: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

12 Almighty God who wills that all should dwell in safety, we hold in prayer before you all members of the Royal Naval Reserve; remembering them wherever they are throughout the world and the Divisions in which the serve. Grant that through their fellowship of service to our Commonwealth they may find true friends; and being trained to take their part in our defence by sea, may prove themselves enduring, skilled and resolute in war and peace; through him who came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

13 For Other Seafarers We pray, O God for all seafarers as they fulfil the duties and face the dangers of their calling: the officers and men of the Merchant Navy; the Royal Fleet Auxiliary; the keepers of lighthouses and crews of lightships and weatherships; the pilots of our ports; all who carry out the services of docks and harbours; and those who man lifeboats and guard our coasts. Grant them your strength and protection and keep them in the hours of special need; for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.

14 An SBS Prayer We do not seek an easy life. Rather we pray for courage to face every task as and when it may arise. Bless our loved ones and may they know how much we appreciate them. Equip us to resist evil, protect the vulnerable, pursue what is right, with guile to use our strength wisely. And guard us with humility, that we may not think of ourselves more highly than we ought, nor underestimate others. So enrich our knowledge of you our Creator that we may acknowledge the Holy Spirit as friend and guide, for the sake of Christ our Saviour. Amen.

Q: What are the main naval charities, how can I get in contact?

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity
Building 29
Whale Island
[email protected]  or call 023 9254 8093

Royal Naval Benevolent Trust
Castaway House,
311 Twyford Avenue,
T: 02392 690112
F: 02392 660852
E: [email protected]

Royal Naval Association
Room 209
Semaphore Tower
HM Naval Base
Portsmouth PO1 3LT
Fax .............02392 723371
Membership .02392 723747

Royal Marines Association
Building 32,
HMS Excellent,
Whale Island, Portsmouth,
Hampshire PO2 8ER
Tel: 023 9265 1519
Email: [email protected]

The Women's Royal Naval Service Benevolent Trust
Castaway House
311 Twyford Avenue
PO2 8RN Fax:
023 9267 9040
email: [email protected]    
or [email protected]

RN & RM Children’s Fund
Mrs M Bateman or Mrs L Smith
RN & RM Children’s Fund
311 Twyford Avenue
E: [email protected]
T: 02392 639534
F: 02392 677574

Q: Where is my nearest RNA branch?

Go to the Branches tab and the page will take help you find the nearest branch.  If this does not work give the HQ a ring on 023 9272 3747.