Army & Navy Ranks
Different regiments in the British Army have had, over the years, different titles for men of the same rank in other regiments. To make things slightly more complicated, some have different spellings of the same rank.
For instance, in most regiments, the ordinary soldier was called a Private, but in artillery regiments was a Gunner. A Driver or a Fitter was also a soldier of the lower rank in the artillery, but specialised in driving the horses, or fitting spare parts to the guns. So Driver and Fitter were both ranks and job titles. In the Royal Pioneer Corps, troops without a specialism were Pioneers.
Artillery regiments had Lance-Bombardiers and Bombardiers instead of Lance-Corporals and Corporals. In other regiments, a Corporal could be promoted to Lance-Sergeant.
The spelling ‘Serjeant’ was the official spelling of the rank of Sergeant for many years. It persisted in many regiments as well as in the Royal Naval Division. This force was, interestingly, made up of Royal Navy and Royal Marine reservists and volunteers who were not needed for service at sea as the navy was full, and some officers were transferred from the regular army. In 1916, after heavy losses, the division was transferred to the full control of the Army. Battalions formed from naval reservists were named after famous historical commanders, such as Drake and Hood. Royal Marine reservist battalions were named after ports such as Plymouth and Chatham.
British Army Ranks
Warrant Officer (Class I & II)/Sgt Major
Royal Navy equivalent
Junior Seaman/Ordinary Rating
Chief Petty Officer
Admiral of the Fleet