Sub-Lieutenant (Royal Navy)

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Sub-Lieutenant is the lowest commissioned rank in the Royal Navy, excluding those commissioned from the "Lower Deck". Midshipmen, having completed their many years of training in the naval colleges and training ships, were promoted to the rank of Sub-Lieutenant, which was senior to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant and equal to a Lieutenant in the British Army.


The title of Sub-Lieutenant was substituted for that of Mate by Order in Council of 16 April, 1861. At that time a Sub-Lieutenant ranked with a Lieutenant in the British Army.[1]


In 1856 a Mate was given "1 bar of ¼ inch Cord round the cuffs".[2] In March 1863 the renamed Sub-Lieutenant was given one stripe of ½-inch lace.[3]


  1. The Navy List (January, 1862). p. 285.
  2. Docket dated 4 April 1856. The National Archives. ADM 1/5675.
  3. Memorandum No. 32 dated 26 March 1863. The National Archives. ADM 1/5832.