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Crossing the line Ceremonies.  Photos and details of the ceremony of crossing the line on naval ships.  Details of the ceremonies that take place on naval ships when they cross the equator, or 'cross the line'.

The details of the ceremony below are from HMS Ajax on its cruise of 1935 - 1937, on the occasion of crossing the equator off the west coast of South America, 1st September 1936.  We have several photos throughout the site taken from various crossing the line ceremonies on many ships.

Crossing The Line Ceremony

The Night Before

 

   Herald.  Ahoy there.  What ship is that and where are you bound?

   Captain.  His Britannic Majesty’s Cruiser Ajax from Bermuda bound for south American Ports.  Who are you?

   Herald. I am the Herald of his Oceanic Majesty, King Neptune, and I wish to come aboard.

   Captain.  I will stop the ship.  Stop both.  My engines are stopped.

 

(Herald appears and bows to the bridge)

 

   Captain.  By what right do you challenge us upon the High Seas.

   Herald.  By command of my Royal Master, Lord of the Ocean.

   Captain.  I crave His Majesty’s pardon, and request permission to enter His Equatorial Domain.

   Herald.  Royal Neptune bids you welcome, together with your crew, but will demand the homage, which is due.  For he Decrees that all who cross the Line must first be shaved and then baptized in brine; save those who having passed this way before and in accordance with our Ancient Law, have shared in our time honoured Mysteries and been presented with The Freedom of the Seas.  Are you prepared to swear to our Recorder, that everybody’s papers are in order?

   Captain.  Nay, Sir Herald, this I cannot do for there are novices among our crew.  Yet everyone is keen to play his part when the good King Neptune gives the word to start.

   Herald.  Tis well.  His Majesty commands that you will cause a muster of all hands to greet him and his court from down below, tomorrow at 0-nine-double-0, at that hour with his Queen Exquisite.  My Lord and Master come to pay his visit attended by his bears and retinue, to see that every novice has his due.

   Chief of Police.  Avast.  Belay, and likewise stop the bus.  Thus far you seem to have forgotten us King Neptune’s Maritime Constabulary, of whom we warn all persons to be wary.  My satellites and I will search the ship to see that no one gives our bears the slip.  All papers will be subject to close scrutiny, and woe to him unwise enough to mutiny.

   Herald.  Silence, Bears.  And now hear one and all, at nine tomorrow we shall pay our call, and so we leave you with this greeting Farewell!  To our next merry meeting.

 

Finis

 

The next day

 

0845.  Clear lower deck.  Everybody aft.  Officers athwart ships, immediately abaft “Y” turret.  Captain and Commander in front.

   0900.  Procession starts from starboard waist.  R.M. Band and Buglers on “X” gun deck.  When the head of the procession reaches the quarterdeck, Buglers sound the “Still.”  Band begins a Processional March and continues until court is assembled in position.

   Captain.  (Bowing of Neptune.)  Our humble Duty, Sire, may we with one accord welcome you and your lovely Queen onboard.  May I crave pardon for my gallant crew for being nearly twelve months overdue in making our appearance at your Court, to pay respectful homage as we ought; but we have been preoccupied of late with certain little business of State, which took us to a much more hostile region where we enlisted in the “Foreign Legion.”  That work completed, we are back again seeking once more to enter your Domain, so bid your Bears “Lay On,” you’ll find us tough, and damned be he who first cries, “Hold, enough.”

   Neptune.  Well spoken, Ajax, I give you hearty greetings for many moons I’ve waited for this meeting.  Upon this Day of days do I renew old friendships, and make friendships new.  Since you sped eastward at your King’s behest I’ve watched you with the keenest interest.  In all your journeying in Eastern waters, in all your dallying with Egypt’s daughters, in all your games, from the day you beat the Hood, I’ve seen you-knew you to be good.  And though tis true you never won a pot from all that fleet, they chose you to be yacht, for no less person than the C-in-C, oh Queen Elizabeth what a blow to thee.  You made firm friends with Officers and Ranks of t’ gallant Twentieth, the Fusiliers from Lancs; while everywhere you’ve been, when you departed someone, somewhere, has been left broken hearted.  And now you’re back once more upon this Station in work and play keep up your reputation, so, when you meet your Admiral and the rest, you’ll impress upon them who is really “Best.”

(Bears growl noisily.)

 

   Neptune.  Silence, ye Bears, forgive the dreadful pun, I know you’re anxious for your little fun.  (To Ship’s Company.)  But ere we start upon our royal sport, methinks I’ll introduce you to my court.  First, me behold.  Neptune is I, the Might, and then my Queen, the peerless Amphitrite.  Now mark ye well my famous Chief of Police.  Who’ll never countenance a breach of peace.  The Motto of his Force is “Get your Man” and tis their boast they carry out their plan.  Nor rank nor size can cause them to desist in arresting any persons who resist.  These will they carry by the shortest path before my Court of justice, then-the Bath!  But meet my Doctor, who, with tasty pills will keep you fit and cure you of all ills, and then our barbers, who with soap and brush, will leave your skin just like a maiden’s blush.  (To Amphitrite.)  Speaking of mermaids, where are our girls today? 

   Amphitrite.  I know the Ajax, so bade them stay away.  These fellows here, their fame has travelled far, and Neppy dear, you know what sailors are.  There is a chance, too, that the pretty dears might give the younger element ideas.

   Neptune.  Ah well, my dear, no doubt you’re quite correct, in all we do we should be circumspect, and this is not the time nor yet the place to be distracted by a pretty face.

   (To ship’s Company.)  My introductions are not yet complete; my bodyguard are hungry for their meat.

 

(Bears growl noisily.)

 

Then when the preliminaries are braved and every trembling novice has been shaved, we pass them from our famous Rocking Chairs to the tender mercies of our Bears.

 

(Bears growl.)

 

Who everlasting seeking for a meal will do their task with energy and zeal.  So, when our Ancient Mysteries you’ve learned and by your grit and courage you have earned our approbation, then it shall us please, to confer on you “The Freedom of the Seas.”

 

(Fanfare of Trumpets.)

 

But other matters we would now attend bring Captain Thomson, an old and trusted friend.

 

(Herald brings Captain Thomson before Neptune.  Announces:

Captain Colin Sinclair Thomson, Royal Navy.)

 

Captain Thomson I am very glad to meet you at my Court again, my lad.  Indeed, I’m proud to clasp you by the hand and compliment you on a very fine command, but in addition to my greetings warm I have a pleasant duty to perform, this being the twelfth time you’ve crossed my border, I now invest you with this Ancient Order.

 

(Presents Captain with “The Order of the Trident.”)

 

   Herald.  Commander John Edmund Sissmore, Royal Navy.

   Neptune.  A Commander’s thankless task, what’ ere his plans is usually to carry someone’s cans; but I appreciate your heart of gold, disclosed when yards of flannel are unrolled, so, in return for all your deeds untold, I give you just another can to hold.

 

(Presents Commander with “The Order of the Periodical Can.”)

 

   Herald.  Commander (E) John Frederick Ward Tamplin, Royal Navy.

   Neptune.  The normal duties of a Chief I find are of a very wide and diverse kind; steam, water, oil, electric power supply and catapults to help those men who fly; addicted to the Cine-Camera, and so to show you how it pleases me I invest you with the Cine (E).

 

(Presents Commander (E) with “The Order of the Cine (E).”)

 

   Herald.  Paymaster-Commander B. H. Bowen, royal Navy.

   Neptune.  Fish is fish and “pi” is “pi,” and ne’er the twain shall meat.  So try to keep them separate and give the lads a treat; and trusting that in future, to do this you will try I invest you with “The Most Exalted Order of Fish Pi.”

 

(Presents Paymaster-Commander with “The Order of Fish Pi,” with “Roll Collar.”)

 

   Herald.  Major E. J. O. Ellison, royal Marines.

   Neptune.  The rumour that has just been going round says, very shortly you’ll be Homeward bound; and though, before, an unkind fate delayed yer I’ll do the best I can for you, dear Major.  This little ship comes from your faithful Corps who wishes you many happy days in store.

 

(Presents Major Ellison with “The Blue Funneller.”)

 

   Herald.  Flight-Lieutenant John Dalyell Stead.

   Neptune.  Often when I’m sleeping in my bed I’m roused by hideous noises overhead, and as tis you who causes me to rise to see a strange contraption in the skies, to make your takings off less difficult, I present to you this little Catapult.

 

(Presents flight Lieutenant Stead with “The Order of the Catapult.”)

 

   Herald.  Petty Officer Harrison.

   Neptune.  By boats of divers things, both real and feigned, a certain reputation you have gained, for when a story teller’s yarn is done you usually cap it with a bigger one; instead of giving you the “Outsize Crumpet” I shall bestow on you this little trumpet.

   Herald.  Able Seaman Parrett.

   Neptune.  From the time this strange old World began I’ve always loved the hearty trencherman.  A man to whom his food is such a joy, he’ll go the second time round the buoy.  Good men like you are few upon this planet so please accept “The Order of the Gannet.”

 

(Presents A.B. Parrett with “The Order of the Hungry Gannet.”)

 

   Herald.  Shipwright Pilcher.

   Neptune.  As Lord of all the Seas, upon my throne I have to lend an ear to many a moan; invariably the answer that I give, “To err human-tis noble to forgive,” So gaze on this, you’ll find it well worthwhile, the order of the everlasting smile.

   Herald.  O Mighty Neptune, the Ocean’s rightful Lord, this ends the list of those you would reward; the court must to the Bath; each at his station all ready to perform initiation.

   Neptune.  From here then, to the Bath, where I will wait to give a welcome to each candidate unless he misbehave; in that event, severe but just will be his punishment.  And when my Court and I have done our task a favour, Captain Thomson, I would ask, that to your merry crew you will extend, today, the privilege of a “Make and Mend.”

  

(Fanfare of Trumpets.)

 

 

H.M.S. Ajax

In Position Lat. 00-00 North

Long 80-35 West.

 

   WARRANT NUMBER 3.   

            Whereas it has been represented to me by a Competent Member of King Neptune’s Maritime Police, that H. STRUDWICK, Leading Seaman:

            CLASS FOR CONDUCT…IRREGULAR

            CHARACTER ASSESSED TO DATE…BOLD AND BAD CLASS FOR LEAVE…ALWAYS OVER THE SIDEDED Act in a manner to the prejudice and good order and Oceanic discipline in that he had attempt t disguise himself with a view to evading His Majesty’s bodyguard, by removing from his face his natural chin covering of seaweed.

            I hereby adjudge him to be GUILTY and sentence him to BE REFUSED ADMITTANCE TO ANY UNDERSEA CABARET FEATURING SHRIMPS AND NYMPHS TO BE LATHERED IN PINK AND TO BE STEEPED IN BRINE UNTIL HE IS BLUE.

           Before awarding the foregoing Punishment, I did NOT investigate the matter, and heard NO evidence in support of the Charge, nor what the accused had to offer in his defence, but I consider the Charge to be substantiated against him.  Taking into consideration that this is the SECOND Offence registered against him in the Conduct Book, I adjudge him to be punished as afore stated.

            Given under my hand onboard H.M.S. Ajax, at the Equator on the First Day of September 1936.

(Signed)

E. J. Dale.

(Chief of Police and Maritime Judge.)

 

List of Characters.

 

                                                                                                      Neptune           S.P.O. Diment

                                                                                                   Amphitrite           A.B. Dunning

                                                                                                        Herald            Mr E.H.H. Rampling, Warrant Engineer

                                                                                             Chief of Police           P.O. Dale

                                                                                                        Doctor            Lieutenant-Commander Lambert

                                                                                       Doctor’s Assistant            Musician Cook

                                                                                      Clerk of the World            R.P.O. Warrin

                                                                        Assistant Clerk of the World           Leading-Seaman Dollery

                                                                                                       Barbers           Chief Shipwright Neville

                                                                                                                              C.P.O. Nunn

                                                                                       Barbers Assistants           Chief Yeoman Signals Harper

                                                                                                                              C.P.O. Higham

                                                                                                                              P.O. Carter

                                                                                                                             A.B. Reed

                                                                                        Court Trumpeters          Musician Marks

                                                                                                                             Bugler Stagg

                                                                                                                             A.B. Leary

                                                                                                  Policemen           Chief Cook Babey

                                                                                                                             Sergt. Hand, R.M.

                                                                                                                             Sergt. Towill, R.M.

                                                                                                                             Cpl. Ambridge, R.M.

                                                                                                                             Leading-Seamen Attrill

                                                                                                                             Marine Howill

                                                                                                                             Marine Poar

                                                                                                                             Marine Grimble

                                                                                                                             A.B. Chappell

                                                                                                       Bears            Surgeon-Commander Davis

                                                                                                                            Paymaster-Commander B. H. Bowen

                                                                                                                            Midshipman Dannreuther

                                                                                                                            Chief O.A. Brittain

                                                                                                                            O.A. Gouldie

                                                                                                                            S.P.O. Balding

                                                                                                                            S.P.O. Siggins

                                                                                                                            S.P.O. Miffin

                                                                                                                            Shipwright Patmore

                                                                                                                            Leading-Seaman Salisbury

                                                                                                                            Leading-Stoker Payne

                                                                                                                            Signalman Spinks

                                                                                                                           A.B. Kimber

                                                                                                                           Stoker Ball

                                                                                                                           Marine Smith

                                                                                   Makers of Regalia            Plumber Fletcher (Crowns and Trident)

                                                                                                                           Mr Rampling

                                                                                                                           C.E.R.A. New

                                                                                                                           E.R.A.Aylmer

                                                                                                                           E.R.A. Carleton

                                                                                                 Painting              Painter Curtis

                                                                 Staging, etc (which collapsed)             Mr Butler (Warrant shipwright) and Staff

                                                                                   Court Costumiers             Cpl Ambridge

                                                                                                                           Marine Howill

                                                                                         State Chariot             Shipwright’s Staff

                                                                                                                          Mr Swales, Commissioned Gunner

                                                                                                                          Sailmaker

Below are photos from various crossing the line ceremonies, taken from our other pages, with links to the original page where they were lifted

HMS Anson - 1945                  Click to View HMS Anson page

HMS Africa             Click to View HMS Africa page

Crossing the Line Ceremony on HMS Africa.

Click here for photo purchasing options

HMS Revenge - 1941                Click to view HMS Revenge page

KING NEPTUNE VISITS H.M.S. REVENGE

 ON the occasion of her crossing the “Line” on Thursday, September 4th, 1941, H.M.S. Revenge was honoured by a visit from His Most Mythological Majesty King Neptune of the Deep, an event which, for forty-eight hours had been looked forward to with great anticipation, and it must be confessed in some cases with great trepidation.

 At 18.00 on the previous evening His Majesty’s Herald arrived with a message of welcome to His Majesty’s Domain , and to inquire into the state of the ship’s ledger.  This last proved to be in a deplorable state, as no less than nine hundred men had failed to make the crossing.  The Herald also gave permission to keep going without stopping the engines, this was greatly appreciated, especially by the Engine Room Department, who were thus saved the bother of starting them again.

The King was expected to arrive on board at 10.00, and at 09.30 the Guard and Band of the Royal Marine Messdeckdodgers’ Association was paraded under the command of Colour Colonel Jackson.  This officer is very well loved by his men, who appeared to be afraid that he would tire himself out during his inspection.  This observation is based on the fact that several of them were heard to remark, “Sit down, Tom!”

After the inspection, an “exhibition” slow march was given by the Band, and what an exhibition it was.  Never in the annals of history has it ever been done before as it was done that day.  The mass of spectators looked on in amazement, and everyone agreed that the Band had brought the difficult art of slow marching up to a high standard of inefficiency.

Whilst the sweet strains of the troop were filling the air, the Guard were proving to all and sundry that they were true individualists.  This they were doing by means of the many and varied forms of stand at ease they were using.  The only “Wren” among them, Cpl.  Dorothy Dix-On, looked very graceful at the end of the line, but she rather spoilt the effect by having her “Teddy Bears” too loose, thus affecting the usually svelte lines of her figure.

As the Guard began to look bored, the gallant Colour Colonel decided to give them a march round.  He inquired whether the Band could play up 73rd. St., but the Bandmaster informed him that he thought there were only 52 of them so it was decided to just march round the Quarterdeck.  At the debonair officer’s sharp word of command the members of the Guard moved smartly, some in one direction and some in another, but the C.C., being an expert card player, soon shuffled them out again, and they moved off behind the Band, which was playing the march “H.M. Jollies,” at least so I am informed.  The general effect of the march was somewhat marred by a sudden rain storm which came from a hose in the hands of an over enthusiastic “matloe,” who apparently was unaware that there would be plenty of water for everyone before the day was out.

Promptly at 10.00 King Neptune, accompanied by his beautiful (and plentiful) Queen Amphitrite, arrived on board, followed by a large retinue of Courtiers, Police, Barbers and Bears.  His Majesty went straight to the Bridge, where he welcomed the Captain and invested him with the Order of the Whistle While You Work.  This is an unique order and has seldom, if ever before, been presented to a British Naval Officer.

After leaving the Bridge the King made his way to the Quarterdeck, where, amid much cheering, the Guard managed to present arms.  The Band played the salute (“You’d be far better off in a home”) twice, once before the present, and once after it.  This was done to assure his Majesty that they really meant it.  Their Majesties then inspected the Guard, the Queen stopping to whisper into the shell-like ear (sometimes known as the flop-lug) of our “Jenny Wren.”

When the inspection was finished, the King mounted the dais which had been erected for the occasion.  This awe inspiring structure had been built by that well known firm of contractors, Messrs. Martin & Co., Unlimited.  It was a magnificent piece of work, being modelled on the famous gallows at Pentonville, a place well known to many members of the firm.

A pleasing addition to the structure was the model swimming pool at the rear, which, whilst not quite up to Beverly Hill standards, was at least capable of holding a lot of very wet water.

Upon mounting the dais His Majesty immediately held an investiture, the first name called being that of the Commander.  Amid loud cheers, he was awarded the Order of “The Hairy Marys, 1st Class,” an order which he really deserves.  After the presentation the Commander made a short speech and called for three cheers for Their Majesties.  These were given with a will, the King receiving them with his usual dignity, whilst the Queen acted with a becoming modesty seldom seen outside the purlieus of the Old Kent Road.

Crew of HMS Revenge dressed up for crossing the line (Sea Hag and Neptune etc)

 

Sea Hag Neptune barber and company HMS Revenge crossing the line 1941.

The next name was that of Lieut.-Commander Wright, who, having crossed the Line on thirty-eight previous occasions, was very fittingly presented with the  “Freedom of the Seas.” Alas, the honour was too much for this hoary old shellback.  Taking his freedom too literally, he kissed the Queen.  This act of “lese majestie” caused a loud cry from the Police.  With a rush and a scramble, these gallant lads, under their able Chief Wilkie, appeared on the scene and arrested the cringing culprit, who later received the punishment he had earned.  On looking through the records, it appears that the offender is a hopeless character, as it has been found necessary to duck him on each of his crossings.

E.A. Allen, being the oldest man in the ship, was awarded the Order of the “Hairy Marys, 2nd Class.” This “venerable old gentleman,” as the Clerk of the Court described him, tottered up to the platform leaning heavily on the arms of some of his young messmates.  In a quavering voice, made more tremulous with. emotion and pride, he thanked His Majesty for the honour bestowed upon him.  There was loud applause as the dear old fellow retired to his wheel chair again.

The next award was a “Learners’ Badge,” which was presented to A.B. Sherlock, who had served for twenty-eight years without once crossing the Line.  After being told that he should be ashamed of himself, he was passed into the bath, there to receive his first lesson at the hands, or should it be the paws, of the Royal Bears.  This was the last award to be made, and the King declared his Royal Court of Justice to be open.

The first case before the court was a very serious one.  The First Lieutenant was charged with having dropped his anchor close to the Royal Heads, thereby affecting His Majesty’s health in an unpleasant manner.  The accused did not deny the charge and so it was found proved.  After being dosed by the Royal Physician and being lathered and shaved by the Royal Barbers to make sure he did not pollute the water, he was sent to join his anchor at the bottom of the deep.

The second case was that of the Paymaster Commander who, by failing to keep a sufficient supply of “spuds” in the ship, had caused the Queen to go very short of  “gash.” This case was proved with ease.  One look at the Queen’s wilting form was enough to show that she had gone short of something.  Just as sentence was about to be passed, the Queen, who is full of the milk of human kindness, was heard asking in clear flute-like tones for a reprieve.  Some malicious persons started a rumour that she was afraid she would go still more short if punishment was inflicted, but we prefer to believe that it was her womanly instincts coming to the fore.  Her plea did not avail.  Neptune with his usual high regard for duty, decreed that the punishment should be carried out.  Just as the ordeal was about to commence, the Queen leaned forward and kissed the trembling prisoner on the brow, thus insuring herself against a further shortage.

Now appeared in the dock a fine strapping youth.  It was the Chief Physical Training Instructor.  It was pitiful to find such a fine figure of a man charged with the heinous crime of causing a self-inflicted wound upon his person, but such was the case.  It seems that whilst giving a display of sword swinging, he did, without consideration for the feelings of his audience, cut himself so severely that the blood flowed.  Far from showing shame, this base creature actually looked proud of his deed, and it was with a feeling of great satisfaction that we saw a very fitting punishment meted out to him.

The fourth case was that of S.C.P.O. Ralph Pochon.  This treacherous caricature of Uriah Heep had supplied four bales of cleaning rags, each one of which weighted half a ton.  Naturally, this had caused consternation and dismay among the stokers, who had to carry as well as use them.  Also, he failed to make use of the time honoured naval term “ain’t got none,” an expression he could have quite easily used, as it generally comes automatically to his lips.  It was obvious that the prisoner had dressed himself with care for the occasion, hoping no doubt to influence the court in his favour by these means.  If such was his intention, it failed, and he went the way of all transgressors, much to the apparent delight of several of the crowd.

A sensation was caused when the name of Supply P.O. Phillipson was called.  He did not answer the summons, so Chief Wilkie and his men at once set out on the track of the miscreant, and it was decided to proceed with the next case, which was that of the Chief Yeoman of Signals.

Any one know who the personnel are in the pics, `crossing the line'? Sent in by Ian Size if you know the men seen here contact me at email address ianandjo@shaw.ca 

This was a complicated case, involving three charges (a) that he did offend the ears of his messmates whilst playing “Rummy”; (b) he did fail to make use of the drip tin provided, thereby causing an unpleasant dampness in the mess; and (c) when paying off his last ship he did fly a dirty paying off pennant.  This was another case of a person who seemed proud of his misdemeanours; we hope he was still smiling when the Bears had finished with him.

While the last criminal was paying the penalty of his crimes, a scuffle was heard near the steps leading to the dais.  The Police came in view, dragging with them the struggling figure of Supply P.O. Phillipson, who had vainly tried to hide from them.  He was struggling with the frenzy of despair and foaming at the mouth, but Chief Wilkie and his men are used to tough customers and soon had him at the judgment seat.  He was charged with having issued a pair of tropical shorts with a size fifty-six waist to a lad requiring a size sixteen, and with further aggravating the case by remarking that they would shrink.  This was a clear case of premeditated cruelty, and all present agreed that the punishment he received erred, if anything, on the side of leniency.  This was the last case down to appear before the court, and so the initiation of novices began.

In fear and trembling the poor wretches mounted the steps of the throne.  Most of them with an assumption of bravado came up on their own, others with less nerve, had to be dragged up by the Police.  One and all were treated alike.  A pill or dose of physic from the Physician, a shave from the Barbers, and then hurled to the Bears.  After this they were pronounced “Fully Fledged Shellbacks.”

During the proceedings someone noticed the Instructional Gunner lurking on the top of  “Y” Turret.  Chief Wilkie was informed and proved his guile by sending the vice-squad after him.  He, apparently recognising old friends, climbed down to the deck, where he was seized and conveyed to the place of execution.  What a fight that man put up! It was worthy of a far better cause.  In the end, however, justice prevailed and he went to join his fellow creatures in the tank.

Any one know who the personnel are in the pics, `crossing the line'? Sent in by Ian Size if you know the men seen here contact me at e mail address ianandjo@shaw.ca 

A note of drama was now introduced into the proceedings.  Information was laid against the Commissioned Gunner and it was decided to charge him.  Although this desperado was known to have a secret stronghold, complete with Lewis and Machine-guns, ammunition, bombs, etc., somewhere in the bowels of the ship, Chief Wilkie and his intrepid men went forth bravely to apprehend him.  This they did without bloodshed and everyone was so surprised that they forgot apparently to make the charge, but as they carried out the punishment, everyone seemed satisfied.

At the hour of noon the King adjourned for lunch.  During this a certain person who had been observed religiously carrying a certificate of crossing everywhere with him, is rumoured to have used the said certificate in mistake for a table napkin.

After lunch the court reassembled and proceedings were resumed.  One of the highlights of the afternoon was when the Police appeared with a man lashed up in a hammock.  It seems that he refused to get out and accompany the Police, so they calmly lashed him up in it and in consequence the hammock as well as the man was initiated.

Loud cheers were given when a young fellow with his arm in a sling volunteered to be initiated.  On this occasion the Bears showed a depth of feeling and consideration that was almost human, if such a term can be applied to such ugly, uncouth beasts.  Incidentally one of the Bears, seemingly overcome by the amount of salt water he had imbibed, imagined that he could fly.  Gracefully he rose out of the bath into the air, only to make a precipitate one point landing on the deck.  He did not damage the deck, so all was well.

The afternoon ended by the Queen making an involuntary swallow dive into the bath, with most of the court landing on top of her.  It was called a swallow dive on account of the amount of water left after she had finished.

On the whole it was a very successful day, the Police only had one failure recorded against them. This was when they failed to SHORT-CIRCUIT the Torpedo Officer. Chief Wilkie, who was on the Quarterdeck keeping in touch with CURRENT events, SWITCHED his men from POLE to POLE.  Time after time they would get a WIRE and would start out POSITIVE that they would get their man. Time after time they came back to SHOCK us with a NEGATIVE report.  Although they were inFUSED with zeal, it mattered not what LINE they took, they could not run him to EARTH, so eventually they had to leave him to stew in his own JUICE.

May we congratulate Lieut.-Commander Wright and his able body of helpers on the splendid way in which everything went off.  They had, very little time at their disposal, but in that time they achieved perfection. A.J.S.

Published in The Magazine of H.M.S. REVENGE. Vol.1 June 1942  No. 2

Donated by Len Rose who was a member of HMS Revenge ship’s company

 

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Click above to see all of our aviation art index - Eight random half price aviation items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Aviation Art Offers

 Designed by the great Ernst Heinkel, the diminutive D.1 was an essential stop-gap that provided the Austro-Hungarian pilots with a front line fighter until they were able to re-equip with Albatros scouts in the Summer of 1917. This little aircraft performed well and was generally held in high regard by its pilots, although it did have some shortcomings, namely that forward vision was extremely limited and the Schwarzloses gun was completely concealed in the overwing pod that made it inaccessible in the air. Most unusual of all was its interplane strut arrangement, designed to reduce drag, which gave it the nicknames Starstrutter or Spider. These examples are shown passing above the German cruiser Derfflinger. 

Brandenburg D.1 by Ivan Berryman. (GS)
Half Price! - £300.00
 The Hawker Hurricane powered by the powerful Rolls Royce Merlin engine is shown in combat with Luftwaffe aircraft during the Battle of Britain. The Hurricane played a major role in the aerial victory along with its companion the Spitfire.

Merlin Roar by Anthony Saunders. (F)
Half Price! - £50.00
 Under the watchful eye of his more experienced tutor a trainee pilot gets his first taste of the Spitfire Mk.IIa, airborne from Tangmere early in 1941. the nearest aircraft is P7856 (YT-C) which enjoyed a long career, surviving until 1945.

The Fledgling by Ivan Berryman. (E)
Half Price! - £95.00
 One of 6,176 Halifaxes built during World War II, NA337(2P-X) was shot down over Norway on 23rd April 1945.  In 1995 it was recovered from the lake that had been its watery home for fifty years and has now been restored by the Halifax Aircraft Association in Ontario, Canada.

Halifax Mk.III NA337 by Ivan Berryman. (C)
Half Price! - £105.00

Our Gal Sal, a veteran of over a hundred ops, returning to base in the summer of 1944.  The peace of the  English country side is broken by the thunder of the mighty four engined bombers and keen observers will spot the rabbit scampering along the country lane as the Forts of the Bloody 100th circle the Airbase. With one engine feathered and showing signs of the gauntlet of Flak and fighters she has had to come through, the crew know they are only moments away from the safety of home.

The Veteran by Simon Smith.
Half Price! - £70.00
 Flying his last mission with his old mount, Hawker Tempest EJ762, fresh from repair after being damaged by flak, David Fairbanks found himself embroiled in a fierce battle with Messerschmitt Bf109s on 17th December 1944.  In the course of the combat, Fairbanks shot down two of the enemy aircraft and damaged another before returning safely.

Foob Fairbanks - The Terror of the Rhine by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
Half Price! - £90.00
Douglas C47 Dakotas fly into the landing and drop zone at Renkum Heath, September 17th 1944.

Arnhem by Simon Smith (D)
Half Price! - £20.00
 B-17G 42-37755 NV-A 325th Bomb Squadron, 92nd Bomb Group from Poddington crash landing in Switzerland on 25th February 1944 after sustaining damage over enemy territory after a raid on Augsburg and Stuttgart.

Safe Pastures by Mark Postlethwaite. (Y)
Half Price! - £45.00

 

NAVAL PRINTS

Click above to see all of our naval art index - Eight random half price naval items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Naval Art Offers

 The mighty Bismarck returns fire to the fast-approaching HMS Hood a the start of a battle that would see both adversaries tragically sunk.

Bismarck Replies to HMS Hood by Ivan Berryman (AP)
Half Price! - £25.00
 The Leander class cruiser HMS Orion is shown departing Grand Harbour Malta late in 1945.

HMS Orion by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
Half Price! - £25.00
On 29th and 30th April 1944, while surfaced close to jagged reefs, and Japanese shore guns, the USS Tang rescued 22 downed flyers from Task Force 58s strikes against enemy positions on the islands - This was the largest rescue of airmen by a submarine in the war.  USS Tang (SS-306) would later be sunk by its own torpedo off Formosa, on the 24th of October 1944.

USS Tang, The Life Guard of Truk Atoll by Robert Barbour (AP)
Half Price! - £70.00
Americas first true aircraft carrier, the USS Langley (CV-1) is pictured making way at sea as a pair of Douglas DT-2s pass overhead.

USS Langley by Ivan Berryman
Half Price! - £27.50

 Under tow, HMS Vanguard having left John Brown shipyard, passes Dalmuir ship docks, Clydebank, 1946. HMS Vanguard would be the last British battleship to be built.

HMS Vanguard, Away the Vanguard by Randall Wilson. (Y)
Half Price! - £60.00
 17th February 1943, U-201 with U-69 were ordered to intercept the westbound convoy ONS165. With fuel low U-201 was eventually forced to surface following a depth charge attack and rammed by the Destroyer HMS Fame.

U-201 Deadly Chase by Anthony Saunders. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00
  Down by the bows, the battered Seydlitz returns to the Jade after being heavily involved in the gun line action at Jutland.

SMS Seydlitz 1916 by Randall Wilson (P)
Half Price! - £1800.00
 The German Heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen is depicted in a quiet moment at Gotenhaven in April 1941 whilst engaged in exercises with her consort, the mighty Bismarck that would eventually lead to Operation Rheinubung,. Bismarck herself is alongside in the distance, where final preparations for their foray into the North sea and beyond are being made.

Prinz Eugen by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00

 

MILITARY PRINTS

Click above to see all of our military art index - Eight random half price military items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Military Art Offers

 Robert the Bruces Scots army stand fast as the English knights attack. Robert the Bruce succeeds in defeating the English army at Stirling.  With the full might of Englands army gathered before the besieged Stirling Castle, Edward II Plantagenate is confident of victory. To the west of Bannockburn, Robert Bruce, King of Scots, kneels to pray with his men and commends his soul to God.  Patiently awaiting the coming onslaught in tightly packed schiltroms, his spearmen and archers are well prepared for battle. Unknown to the English, the open marsh of no mans land conceals hidden pits and calthrops, major obstacles for any mounted charge. Despite Cliffords and Beaumonts premature and unsuccessful attempt to relieve Stirling the day before, years of victory have caused the brave English knights to regard their Scottish foes with contempt. So, without waiting for the flower of the forest (archers) to weaken the enemy formations, the order is hurriedly given to attack! With one rush, hundreds of mounted knights led by the impetuous Earl of Gloucester, thunder headlong through the boggy ground straight for the impenetrable mass of spears, hurling themselves into defeat and death. With dash and courage the knights try to force a way through but the infantry stand firm. There is no room to manoeuvre. Everywhere horses and men crash to the ground. Casualties amongst the English nobility are horrific. Bruce seizes the moment and orders the exultant army to advance. The English recoil and are pushed back into the waters of the Bannockburn where many perish in the crush to escape the deadly melee. Edward II, his army destroyed, flees with his bodyguard for the safety of the castle but is refused refuge and has to fight his way south to England. For Robert Bruce and Scotland, victory is complete.

The Battle of Bannockburn by Brian Palmer.
Half Price! - £80.00
 Depicts Henry VIII on his way to the Historic meeting with Francis I of France in 1520.

Field of the Cloth of Gold by Sir John Gilbert.
Half Price! - £25.00
 OT34 Flamethrower tank and men of Col. Krickmans 6th Guards Tank Brigade take part in the Soviet counter attacks of 13th-27th September in defence of the southern factory district of Stalingrad before the final offensive in October.

Motherland, The Battle of Stalingrad, September 1942 by David Pentland. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00
 Vielsalm, Belgium, 22nd December 1944.  Men of the 508th PIR, along with the rest of the 82nd Airborne Division were rushed to the Ardennes and deployed in an attempt to halt the onslaught of 6th SS Panzer Army, specifically Kampfgruppe Peiper.

Holding the Line by David Pentland. (AP)
Half Price! - £95.00

 Panoramic view of the battle fought between the French and the Austrian armies on 14th June 1800.

Battle of Marengo by Louis Lejeune (B)
Half Price! - £25.00
DHM229.  Crossing the Ford by H Bellange.
Crossing the Ford by H Bellange.
Half Price! - £30.00
 Showing Napoleons position at the La belle Alliance, during the Battle of Waterloo, in the distance you can see Wellington.

The Battle of Waterloo by Sir William Allen (B)
Half Price! - £25.00
DHM598P.  Ensign of the 17th regiment of Foot, American War of Independence 1779. by Jim Lancia.

Ensign of the 17th regiment of Foot, American War of Independence 1779. by Jim Lancia (P)
Half Price! - £1050.00

 

SPORT PRINTS

Click above to see all of our sport art index - Eight random half price sport items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Sport Art Offers

B40. Jean Alesi/ Benetton B.196

Jean Alesi/ Benetton B.196 by Ivan Berryman
Half Price! - £40.00


Lester Piggott by Gary Keane. (Y)
Half Price! - £45.00
B47. Eddie Irvine/ Ferrari F.310. by Ivan Berryman.

Eddie Irvine/ Ferrari F.310. by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £40.00
 A cricketing genius, Sir Garfield Sobers excelled at all aspects of the game.  One of his most memorable moments being the six consecutive sixes hit off one over. 

Sir Garfield Sobers by Gary Keane.
Half Price! - £60.00

 England 1 Germany 0, Euro 2000.  On the 17th of June 2000 England once again faced their old nemesis Germany in a Group A qualifying match at Euro 2000.  England entered the game knowing that they had not defeated Germany in a competitive match since the famous World Cup victory in 1966.  Germany made four changes to the side that had drawn with Romania including the introduction of midfielder Sebastian Deisler, whilst England had been forced to replace Tony Adams and Steve McManaman with Martin Keown and Dennis Wise due to injury.  As expected the game started at a frenetic pace and Jancker made things difficult for England's central defenders early on with his height and strength.  England appeared to be lacking cohesion and allowed Germany to take control of the game.  Deisler brought the German crowd to their feet with a clever run down the right hand side and minutes later Hamaan had their first strike on goal which was hit directly at David Seaman.  England were looking for a flash of inspiration and it was very nearly delivered as Michael Owen managed to meet Phil Neville's cross with his head but only managed to direct the ball on to the post.  Paul Scholes in typical fashion drove a ferocious volley, which was tipped just over the bar, and suddenly it appeared that England were beginning to find some weaknesses in certain areas of the German side.  At the interval little separated the two sides however, England started the second half with a steely determination.  After just seven minutes David Beckham earned his side a free kick in a very dangerous position on the England right.  With good movement from the forwards in the German area Beckham swung a speculative cross into the six yard box.  Owen, beaten by the pace, failed to connect but man of the match Alan Shearer anticipated the kind bounce and without hesitation headed the ball back across Kahn and into the right hand side of the German goal.  The England captain had broken the deadlock and instilled in his side the belief that they could finally defeat their oldest rivals.  Germany threw everything they had at England but Keegan's team were equal to the task in every area of the pitch.  As the final whistle blew a huge roar erupted from the England supporters as Alan Shearer's goal had ended over thirty years of frustration and sealed his place in the history books as one of England's greatest ever strikers.

Perfect Finish by Peter Cornwell.
Half Price! - £50.00
 Marlboro McLaren Mercedes MP4/11. 1996.
David Coulthard by Michael Thompson.
Half Price! - £25.00
The painting portrays the Manchester United midfielder and England Captain David Beckham celebrating after scoring from a trademark free kick.

Seven by Robert Highton. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00
 Peter Deighan has superbly captured Jimmy White, John Parrot, Stephen Hendry, James Wattana, John Higgins, Ken Doherty, Ronnie OSullivan and of course the centrepiece, a magnificent study of former World Champion Steve Davis as he Ponders his next shot.  A must for all snooker rooms, clubs and players of this wonderful game.

Kings of the Baize II by Peter Deighan
Half Price! - £80.00

Everything we obtain for this site is shown on the site, we do not have any more photos, crew lists or further information on any of the ships.

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