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Countries of the British Empire, Dominions, Commonwealth, Dependent Territories and the rest of the World involved with the FAA 1939-1945

View the Commonwealth Secretariat webpage for current information and direct link to Commonwealth countries today in alphabetical order. Links to the Dependent Territories Today. Also see Flags of the World and Flags of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

Fleet Air Arm Naval Aviation Book store now open for gifts

Index of RN Fleet Air Arm Air Stations - Commonwealth & the World
Commanding Officers of the Commonwealth
Naval Aviation Museums in the UK and Commonwealth
Naval Aviation Research in the UK and Commonwealth
Australia and the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm
Canada and the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm
India and the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm
New Zealand and the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm
South Africa and the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm
USA and the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm

The Commonwealth and Dependent Territories - Its history till today
Today's Commonwealth evolved from the handful of British Dominions which were the first Commonwealth members. From Africa to Asia, from Pacific shores to the Caribbean, the Commonwealth's 1.7 billion people make up 30% of  the world's population. The modern Commonwealth gradually evolved out of United Kingdom's imperial past, mainly through decolonisation, the effects of two world wars and changing patterns of international relations. 

In 1867, Canada became the first colony to be transformed into a self-governing 'Dominion'; a status which came to imply equality with United Kingdom. In Australia in 1884, Lord Rosebery, a British politician, described this changing empire as a 'Commonwealth of Nations'. In turn, other parts of the empire followed suit: Australia became a Dominion in 1900, New Zealand in 1907, South Africa in 1910 and the Irish Free State in 1921. The important contribution of these Dominions to the First World War led to their separate signatures on the Treaty of Versailles (1919) and individual membership of the League of Nations. India remained a Dominion under the India Act of 1935 until independence in 1947. 

At the Imperial Conference of 1926, prime ministers adopted the Balfour Report which defined the Dominions as:... autonomous communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations. 

The Second World War and its aftermath changed the face of the modern world forever. It also changed the nature of the British Commonwealth, marking its transition to a multiracial association of sovereign and equal states. That process began with India and Pakistan's independence in 1947. Over the next five decades a number of milestones followed, reshaping the Commonwealth into its present form. 

Today it helps to advance democracy, human rights, sustainable economic and social development within its member countries and beyond. Armed with a common working language and similar systems of law, public administration and education, the Commonwealth has built on its shared history to become a vibrant and growing association of states in tune with the modern world. 

What is the Commonwealth today?
View current information and direct link to Commonwealth countries today in alphabetical order . Links to the Dependent Territories Today

History of the British Empire, Dominions, Commonwealth and Dependent Territories
Timeline 18-21st Centuries.

The British Empire, Commonwealth and the FAA 

Map illustrating the locations of conflicts involving British and Commonwealth forces 1939-1945 

Key bibliographic sources. Includes online purchases (coming soon).

See The Cambridge History of the British Empire (8 vol., 19291963); 
R.A. Huttenback, The British Imperial Experience (1966);
J. A. Williamson,A Short History of British Expansion (2 vol., 6th ed. 1967); 
C. E.Carrington, The British Overseas (2d ed. 1968); 
C. Cross, The Fall of the British Empire (1968, repr. 1970); 
G. S. Graham, A Concise History of the British Empire (1970); 
T. O. Lloyd, The British Empire, 15581982 (1984); 
A. Clayton, The British Empire as a Superpower, 19191939 (1986); 
A. J.Christopher, The British Empire at Its Zenith (1988). 
British Battleships, "Warrior" 1860 to "Vanguard" 1950, A History of Design, Construction and Armament, by Oscar Parkes, Seeley Service & Co., London, 1957
The Horizon History of the British Empire, edited by Stephen W. Sears, American Heritage Publishing/BBC/Time-Life Books/McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1973
The Pax Britannica Trilogy, by James Morris, Harvest/HBJ/Helen Kurt Wolff Book 
Heaven's Command, An Imperial Progress, 1973 
Pax Britannica, the Climax of an Empire, 1968 
Farewell the Trumpets, an Imperial Retreat, 1978
The Black Battlefleet, by Admiral G.A. Ballard, Naval Institute Press, 1980
The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain, edited by Kenneth O. Morgan, Oxford, 1984
End of Empire, by Brian Lapping, St. Martin's Press, 1985
Jutland, An analysis of the fighting, by NJM Campbell, Naval Institute Press, 1986
Atlas of the British Empire, edited by Christopher Bayly, Facts on File, 1989
The British Conquest and Dominion of India, Sir Penderel Moon, Duckworth/Indiana University Press, 1989
Dreadnought -- Britain, Germany, and the Coming of the Great War, by Robert K. Massie, Random House, 1991
Great Battles of the Royal Navy, as Commemorated in the Gunroom, Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, editor-in-chief Eric Grove, Naval Institute Press, 1994
The Royal Navy, An Illustrated History, by Anthony J. Watts, Naval Institute Press, 1994
The British Empire, 1558-1995, by T.O. Lloyd, The Short Oxford History of the Modern World, general editor J.M. Roberts, Oxford, 1996
The Oxford Illustrated History of the Royal Navy, general editor J.R. Hill, Oxford, 1995
The Oxford History of the British Empire. The Origins of Empire, edited by Nicholas Canny, Oxford, 1998 

Also includes education material such as "The Rise and Fall of the British Empire", a CD ROM for use in schools. 
IFHAA Genealogy Course Lesson 9: War records and their use in Family History Research.

Associations and Education
A list of Commonwealth organisations prepared by the Commonwealth Institute. Includes 

British Commonwealth Ex-Services League 
48 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5JG, UK
Tel: 020-7973 7227 - Fax: 020-7973 7308 

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
2 Marlow Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 7DX, UK.
Tel: 01628-634 221 - Fax: 01628-771 208 - e-mail: 

The British Empire & Commonwealth Museum
Clock Tower Yard, Temple Meads, Bristol BS1 6QH, UK.
Tel: 0117-925 4980 - Fax: 0117-925 4983 - e-mail: 

Commonwealth Association of Museums
Secretariat, P O Box 30192, Chinook Postal Outlet, Calgary, Alberta, T2H 2V9, Canada
Tel/Fax: 1-403 938 3190 - e-mail: 

Commonwealth Broadcasting Association
17 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1AA, UK.
Tel: 020-7583 5550 - Fax: 020-7583 5549 - e-mail: 

Commonwealth Countries League
2 Hacketts, Church Lane, Henfield, West Sussex BN5 9NZ, UK 
Tel: 01273 491124 - Fax: 01273 491121

Commonwealth Foundation
Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HY, UK.
Tel: 020-7930 3783 - Fax: 020-7839 8157 - e-mail:

Commonwealth Historians Society
113 Kaka Nagar, New Delhi - 110 003, India
Tel: 00 91 11 462436

Commonwealth Institute
Kensington High Street, London W8 6NQ, UK
Tel: 020-7603 4535 - Fax: 020-7602 7374 - e-mail: 

Commonwealth Library Association (COMLA)
University of the West Indies, PO Box 144, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica
Tel: (1) 876-927 2123 - Fax: (1) 876-927 1926 - e-mail: 

Commonwealth Network of Information Technology for Development (ComNet - IT)
COMNET-IT Foundation c/o Malta IT and Training Services Ltd, Gattard House, National Road, Blata 1 - Bajda HMR 02, Malta
Tel: 356-259 92193 - Fax: 356-259 92701 - e-mail: 

English-Speaking Union of the Commonwealth
Dartmouth House, 37 Charles Street, London W1X 8AB, UK.
Tel: 020-7493 3328 - Fax: 020-7495 6108 - e-mail: 

Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Commonwealth Co-ordination Department
King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AH, UK.
Tel: 020-7270 3000 

Royal Commonwealth Society
18 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5BJ, UK.
Tel: 020-7930 6733 - Fax: 020-7930 9705 - e-mail:

Discussion groups
Commonwealth foundation discussion webpages

Website Directories and Databases
with overviews about the British Empire, Dominions and Commonwealth and Dependent Territories

General British Empire Links and Resources

Fleet Air Arm Museum Yeovilton (UK) Europe's premier naval aviation museum.

IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM the multi-branch national museum of the history of war and wartime life from 1914

This site is an attempt to chronicle the development, equipment and achievement of the British armed   forces, since their inception to the present day. It covers the period from the beginning of the 17th Century when the Royal Navy came into being and the British Army was legislated into existence, upto present day which sees the United Kingdom fielding a small, efficient but overstretched and underfunded army, navy and air force. 

The British Pacific Fleet: 15 August 1945 
The East Indies Fleet: 15 August 1945
United States Lend-Lease aid to the British Empire 

Commonwealth Forces: These pages are a tribute to the Commonwealth soldiers who have given served with both British and multi-national efforts to combat the forces arrayed against freedom. They have served in every major conflict since the formation of the Dominions of Canada, Australia and New Zealand in the last years of the 19th and the first years of the 20th Century. From the shores of Gallipoli and the Trenches of The Great War to the desert fighting of World War Two, the battle for Crete in 1941 and onto D-Day and the island-hopping campaign against the Japanese. 

These pages contain links to the battles they fought during the two World Wars and to Britain's Small Wars where their involvement in conflicts between 1945-1992 forms part of that site. These pages also contain links to various sites related to the Commonwealths Armed Forces, listed by Country. 

 "Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth" website, a major resource designed to make some sense of military history and help you navigate the web.   This site strives for comprehensiveness, bringing together all internet resources pertaining to land forces that were at any time part of the British Empire or Commonwealth. Naval and air forces are not included, with the exception of their more notable land force elements (e.g. Royal Marines, RAF Regiment), and a link or two to main Ministry sites by way of explaining how land forces fit into the overall armed forces structure of each country. There are several thousand links on these pages. The focus is generally on manifestations of the British regimental system throughout the world. 

 The Commonwealth War Graves Commision was established by Royal Charter in 1917. Its duties are to mark and maintain the graves of the members of the forces of the Commonwealth who were killed in the two world wars, to build memorials to those who have no known grave and to keep records and registers. It maintains graves and memorials in some 150 countries throughout the World. 

Debt of Honour Register and database of the Commonwealth War Graves Commision. This Register provides personal and service details and places of commemoration for the 1.7 million members of the Commonwealth forces who died in the First or Second World Wars. (A record some 60,000 civilian casualties of the Second World War is provided without details of burial location.) 

The British Empire website: The British Empire is the largest formal empire the world has ever known. As such, its power and influence stretched all over the globe; shaping it in all manner of ways.This site is not a rigourous academic site! This site is dedicated to analysing the history of the British Empire: The triumphs, the humiliations, the good that it brought and the bad that it inflicted. For better or worse the British Empire had a massive impact on the history of the world. It is for this reason that this site tries to bring to life the peoples, cultures, adventures and domination that made the Empire such a powerful institution. The site has a complete section on the histories and composition of the Armed Forces: the Land Forces, Sea Forces and Air Forces. 

The Sun Never Set on the British Empire, circa 1937
A short history and dates of possession of tyhe British Empire colonies and Dominions. Includes a 81.9K animated GIF file of locations and time zones of the British Empire, 1937. 

Commonwealth Secretariat
Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HX, UK
Tel: 020-7839 3411 - Fax: 020-7930 0827 
NGO Desk Tel: 020-7747 6125 - e-mail: 
Information & Public Affairs Division Tel: 020-7747 6385 - Fax: 020-7839 9081 
The Secretariat is the main agency through which the Commonwealth countries work together. 

The British Empire and Commonwealth Museum is under construction in the famous Brunel railshed in Bristol. The Museum's first galleries include an exhibition titled "Together: The Commonwealth at War 1914-1953", a collection of photographs illustrating the vital wartime role played by men and women from Australia, Canada, India, Jamaica, New Zealand, Nigeria, Malta, South Africa, and many other Commonwealth countries.  If you'd like more information, please contact the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum Project Office, Clock Tower Yard, Temple Meads, Bristol BS1 6QH, U.K. 

The Commonwealth Foundation: Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HY, UK. Tel: 020-7930 3783 - Fax: 020-7839 8157 - e-mail: 
The Foundation promotes professional co-operation and works closely with non-governmental organisations. It makes grants to assist professional people to take part in conferences, study visits and training attainments within the Commonwealth. 

The Commonwealth of Learning is an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning/distance education knowledge, resources and technologies. COL is helping developing nations improve access to quality education and training. 
COL's library service On-line access to COL's Information Resource Centre catalogue
Commonwealth schools network: Commonwealth Electronic Network for Schools and Education CENSE 

The Institute of Commonwealth Studies is the only Postgraduate academic institution in the United Kingdom devoted to the study of the Commonwealth. Its purpose is to promote inter-disciplinary and inter-regional research on the Commonwealth and its member nations in the fields of history, politics, economics and other social sciences, and in subjects like development, environment, health, migration, class, race, and literature. 
The ICS Library is an international resource holding more than 160,000 items, with particularly impressive Caribbean, Southern African and Australian holdings and 200 archival collections. 

Department for International Development
94 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5JL 9HY 
Tel: 020-7917 7000 - Fax: 020-7917 0019 - e-mail: 
The Department for International Development is the UK government department responsible for all aspects of international development policy. Its principal aim is to contribute to the elimination of poverty in poorer countries and to enable poor people to achieve sustained improvement in their living standards. The Secretary of State for International Development is The Rt Hon Clare 
Short MP. 

The Oriental and India Indian Office Collections This is the official website for the British Library's Oriental and Indian section. They hold all the official  documents pertaining to the Honourable East India Company and the subsequent pre-1947 India Office records. The scope of these organisations spread far further than just the Indian subcontinent. The Middle East, East Africa, Far Eastern Asia all had strong connections with the India office.

HG&UW Naval History Information Center. World warship Lists And Photo Gallery from 1913 to 2000
The Center provides warship data as a comprehensive, detailed listing of all the world's battleships, cruisers, aircraft carriers and seaplane tenders, from the start of naval aviation into the 21st century. Every warship, battleship, carrier and seaplane tender ever built or planned is listed, with complete technical data, historical sketches and photographs for virtually every ship. There are nearly 1000 high-quality photos linked to the respective ship histories. This is perhaps one of the most comprehensive websites for information about the ships used by all the World's Navies during WWII and after. Includes details for the American, Australian, Brazilian, British, Canadian, Dutch, Free French, Indian, New Zealand, Norwegian, Polish, South African Navies, ships and links to other web resources.

Warships of the world. This site includes information and links to all the main Allies. 

The Royal Marines Museum (UK) is dedicated to the preservation and presentation of all aspects of Royal Marines history for the education and enjoyment of the general public.

Shearwater Aviation Museum of Maritime Military Aviation (Canada) Home of the Canadian Swordfish

Naval Aviation Museum of Australia/Museum of Flight ANAM (Australia


American National Museum of Naval Aviation


The Royal Air Force Museum, Britain's National Museum of Aviation, celebrates the story of aviation from before the Wright Brothers to the RAF of the 21st Century with one of the world's finest collections of legendary aircraft and associated exhibits. The Museum stands on 15 acres of the historic former Hendon Aerodrome at RAF Hendon, one of the oldest aviation centres in the country. 

NAVAL MUSEUM OF ALBERTA CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA An excellent site showcasing the Naval Museum of Alberta located in Calgary. Good stories and photos, many featuring aspects of naval aviation. The Museum commemorates the prairie men and women who served in the Royal Canadian Navy since its formation in 1910. It is dedicated to the memory of Lieutenant Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC, MiD, RCNVR; the Royal Canadian Navy's only recipient of the Victoria Cross in World War II.

Naval Museum of Manitoba

The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum is a non-profit, charitable organization founded and operated by volunteers. The Museum is dedicated to preservation of the history of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and honoring those airmen who trained and served, and especially those who died while serving their country in the conflict of 1939 - 1945. This is the only Museum in Canada dedicated solely to this goal and we think it is fitting that it is located in Manitoba where so much of the training was carried out.

Canadian war museumThe Canadian War Museum (CWM) is an affiliated museum of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. The CWM has its own collections, its own programmes and its own staff.

Alex's Royal Navy Page Aircraft Carriers of the Royal Navy. Service and class technical details of all RN Aircraft Carriers. Part 1 - 1920-1939 Furious, Hermes, Eagle, Courageous & Ark Royal classes.  Part 2 - 1940-1949 Illustrious, Implacable, Colossus & Majestic classes.  Part 3 - 1950-2000 Audacious, Centaur, Invincible & Ocean classes

HG&UW World Aircraft Carrier Lists And Photo Gallery from 1913 to 2000
The World Aircraft Carriers Lists are a comprehensive, detailed listing of all the world's aircraft carriers and seaplane tenders, from the start of naval aviation into the 21st century. Every carrier and seaplane tender ever built or planned is listed, with complete technical data, historical sketches and photographs for virtually every ship. There are nearly 1000 high-quality photos linked to the espective ship histories. This is perhaps one of the most comprehensive websites for information about the ships used by the Fleet Air Arm and the Commonwealth. Includes a Master list of RN Carriers and an extensive list of links to other web resources. 




Created: 3-04-2001, Last Modified 3-06-2005


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