1940 - 1946


It was agreed between the Belgian Government in Exile and the British Government that, from the start
all officers would be incorporated in the Royal Navy Reserve (RNR) or the Royal Navy Voluntary Reserve (RNVR).

The difference being that those with a naval background were incorporated in the RNR, the others in the RNVR.

NCO's and seamen were incorporated in the Royal Navy "Belgian Section".



All Belgian officers in the RNR and the RNVR wore the British Rank Insignia.

Shoulder board and sleeve insignia


Commodore 2nd Class / Captain / Commander

Lieutenant-Commander / Lieutenant / Sub-Lieutenant / Warrant Officer


Sub-Lieutenant RNR Geluyckens   Lieutenant RNR Petitjean



All NCO's and seamen also wore the British Rank Insignia.

NCO's and Seamen
Shoulder board and sleeve insignia

Chief Petty Officer / Petty Officer / Leading Seaman
Badge Petty Officer, normal dress.   Badge Leading Seaman, normal dress.



Petty Officer Lucien Morlion.

Leading Seaman RAGAERT Georges
with his DSC he received for heroic actions
at Dunkirk 1940.






All officers wore the same cap insignia.

Cap Insignia Officers

Commodore 2nd class, Captain and Commander had the peak of their cap embroidered in the front with oak leaves .

Commodre 2nd Class, Captain, Commander / Lieutenant-Commander, Lieutenant, Sub-Lieutenant, Warrant Officer

NCO's and Junior Ratings had different cap badges.

Cap Insignia Petty Officers and Seamen

Chief Petty Officer   Petty Officer   Lower ranks except
seaman, stoker, etc.


Belgian Petty Officer
watch the cap and sleeve insignia
(picture collection Johnny Geldhof)
  Belgian Cook
watch the cap insignia
(picture collection Johnny Geldhof)

Several cap tallies were worn by the seamen of the RNSB.

The first one they wore was the one of the training camp at Skegness : HMS Royal Arthur.

Afterwards most of them wore the cap tally "HMS" due to the war regulation which forbid to wear the name of the vessel.

Some exceptions were allowed, such as "HM Destroyer" and "HM Minesweeprs", because no name was included.

Cap Tallies used by RNSB

Cap tally worn by the seamen of the corvettes HMS Godetia and HMS Buttercup.

Cap tally worn by the seamen of the 118th Minesweepers Flotilla.

Cap tally worn at the training camp at Skegness.

Some Belgian seamen were assigned to British destroyers and wore the above cap tally.


Leading Stoker
with cap tally "HMS Royal Arthur"
(picture collection Johnny Geldhof)
  Seamen with cap tally "HMS"





All the Belgian NCO's and seamen wore a armtitle "BELGIUM".

Red letters on a naval blue background.

Officers did not wear this title as they were incorporated in the RNR and the RNVR.

Until november 1944 the title was worn on both arms.

From the end of November 1944, i.e. when the new recruits from liberated Belgium arrived at HMS Royal Arthur,
only one title was worn, on the right arm.


"BELGIUM" worn by seamen

"BELGIUM" worn by NCO's and junior ratings




Telegraphist  wearing the "BELGIUM" arm title





In 1945 after the end of the war the badge was worn on the uniform.

The main purpose was to show that the bearers were members of the Belgian Navy and not of the mailboats of the Belgian Ministry of Transport.


Belgian Navy badge


Woven badge



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