With the exception of the royal marines, who adopted light infantry rank insignia from their earliest days, the Royal Navy was slow to introduce distinguishing rate badges for those serving on the 'lower deck'. Even when they were introduced, in 1853, the corresponding introduction of a uniform was still four years away. As for officers, the design and arrangement of buttons also played a part in distinguishing one rating from another.
E.C. Coleman entered the Royal Navy as a 'Junior', and left thirty-six years later as a Lieutenant. A life-long student of the Royal Navy's history, he has published several books on the subject including a two-volume history of the Royal Navy in polar exploration, and a biography of Captain George Vancouver. He has always had a fascination with the wide variations in the royal Navy's insignia. This book follows the first volume of Rank and Rate, which covers officers' insignia since 1856.