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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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AVIATION PRINTS

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

 Viewed from the cockpit, Lancasters of 617 Sqn <i>Dambusters</i> form up at the beginning of their perilous journey to the Ruhr Valley on the night of 16th May 1943 when the Möhne and Eder dams were breached under the codename <i>Operation Chastise</i>.

617 Squadron Outbound to the Ruhr by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £700.00
 An SAS team is picked up by a U.S. Army Special Forces Blackhawk helicopter after a successful operation against the Taliban.

Extraction - Afghanistan 2011 by David Pentland. (AP)
Half Price! - £85.00
 Equipped with the experimental <i>Monica IIIE</i> detection device, Hawker Tempest EJ535 was deployed to the Fighter Interception Unit at Newchurch for evaluation in July 1944.  Originally developed as the AN/APS 13, <i>Monica</i> had been intended as a rear-looking device to warn crews of attacks from behind.  Now modified to face forward, it became a valuable aid in the battle against Hitler's terror weapons, notably the V-1 Flying Bomb.  In the hands of the Fighter Interception Unit's then Commanding Officer Joseph Berry, this became a winning combination with no fewer than 52 <i>Doodlebugs</i> falling to Berry's guns – on one occasion, seven V1s being shot down by Berry in a single night.

Bug Killer by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
Half Price! - £90.00
The last purely British fighter aircraft to be used by the Royal Air Force, the Lightning offered a truly massive performance advantage over existing equipment when it was introduced into squadron service in 1960, achieving level flight speed of around, 1400mph. The prototype known as the P1 had flown in 1954 but production aircraft were not available until 1959, a long gestation period but perhaps understandable with such an advanced machine with many untried, new features. The painting shows an F1A of 111 squadron taking off from its base at Wattisham. The remarque drawing shows an aircraft of 56 squadron Firebirds in 1963 when they were the official RAF aerobatics team for that year. 337 Lightnings were produced, serving with nine squadrons of the Royal Air Force before being supersede by the Phantom and Tornado.
BAC Lightning by Keith Woodcock.
Half Price! - £20.00

 In one of the finest portrayals of the Avro Lancaster, Moonlight Run depicts the aircraft of Fl. Lt. Mickey Martin (ED909 AJ-P) at the moment of release of the Wallace Bomb during the Dams raid on the Ruhr in 1943. With only the gentlest of moonlight rippling over the dark water of the Mohne, this dramatic picture plays homage to the impossible low altitudes and high speeds that were necessary to complete successfully their heroic mission. A stark and refreshing treatment of a subject at the hearts of all aviation historians.

Moonlight Run (Dambusters) by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00
 A sight never to be repeated. Concorde G-BOAE gracefully drifts above London with Buckingham Palace immediately below, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, the River Thames and the London Eye in the middle distance. On 24th October 2003, the world said goodbye to this elegant airliner, bringing to a close almost thirty years of commercial supersonic travel.

Concorde over London by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00
 Douglas C-47s of the 439th Troop Carrier Group from Upottery, East Devon, try to hold steady amid a barrage of flak and anti aircraft fire as troops of 101st jump into the unknown above Normandy on the night of 5th / 6th June 1944.  These aircraft are of the 94th Troop Carrier Squadron.

Hell Below Us by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £30.00


Search Party Reaction by David Rowlands. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00

 

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 heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire is brought up to sink the blazing wreck of the Bismarck with torpedoes at around 10:30 hours on the morning of May 27th 1941.  The once proud German ship had been ruthlessly pounded into a twisted and burning wreck by the British battleships Rodney and King George V.  HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Maori combed the area of the sinking for survivors, between them picking up a total of 110 out of an original complement of 2,300

HMS Dorsetshire (The End of the Bismarck) by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
Half Price! - £25.00
HMS Glowworm, burning severely after receiving hits from the mighty Admiral Hipper, is depicted turning to begin her heroic sacrifice off the Norwegian coast on 8th April 1940. Hugely out-gunned and already crippled, Glowworms captain, Lieutenant-Commander Roope rammed his destroyer into the side of the Admiral Hipper, inflicting a 40 metre rip in its armour belt before drifting away and exploding. 38 British sailors were rescued from the sea and Roope was awarded a posthumous VC for his bravery, the first earned by the Royal Navy in WWII.

The attack on the Admiral Hipper by HMS Glowworm by Ivan Berryman (Y)
Half Price! - £70.00
Germanys U-boat fleet had almost brought Britain to its knees in the First World war, twenty years later the story was very similar. the German U-boat arm came perilously close to cutting the lifeline that crossed the Atlantic between North America and Britain. in the early years of the war Donitz realised that keeping his U-boats at sea for as long as possible would greatly increase their chances of success. here U-93 (left) and U-94 take fuel from the auxiliary cruiser Kormoran whilst in the mid-Atlantic during 1941

Dawn Rendezvous by Anthony Saunders (P)
Half Price! - £2900.00
 Arguably the most iconic moment in British naval history, <i>HMS Victory</i> is depicted just moments from firing her devastating opening salvo into the stern galleries of the French flagship </i>Bucentaure</i> at Trafalgar as Nelson's flagship enters the fray at approximately 12.30pm on October 21st 1805.  Beyond <i>Victory</i>, in the extreme distance through the gun smoke, Collingwood's <i>Royal Sovereign</i>is engaging the <i>Santa Ana</i>.  To the left of the painting, the French <i>Neptune</i> and Spanish <i>San Justo</i> can be seen with <i>Redoutable</i> immediately beyond <i>Victory</i>, trying vainly to close the gap.  <i>Victory</i>, already shot to pieces, is about to wreak her terrible revenge on the <i>Bucentaure</i> in the foreground where Vice-Admiral Villeneuve can be seen on the poop deck - wearing the green corduroy pantaloons.  Nelson was surely the nemesis of Villeneuve, who had been summarily humiliated some seven years earlier at the Battle of the Nile and Nelson's tactics would again win the day for His Majesty's navy, albeit at the tragic cost of Nelson himself.

Nemesis by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £6500.00

 A pair of F18 Hornets overfly the Nimitz-class carrier USS Dwight Eisenhower (CV-69) with the surface combatant USS Arleigh Burke (DDF-51) off her port bow.

USS Dwight Eisenhower by Ivan Berryman (P)
Half Price! - £2900.00
 Launched in March 1984 and commissioned into the Royal Navy in October the following year, HMS Tireless (S88) was the third of seven Trafalgar Class SSN submarines and is depicted in the Arctic waters near the polar ice cap in 1991.

HMS Tireless by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £700.00
The Atlantic ocean was the lifeline between Britain and America, as well as millions of tons of raw materials, GIs were also transported over in all manor of hastily converted liners.  Protecting the troops from marauding u-boats and German surface ships was of paramount importance to the allied fleets.  Although USS New York spent a good deal of the war in the Atlantic, she also participated in the Torch landings off North Africa and took part in the Pacific campaign, seeing action at both Iwo Jima and Okinowa.

Escort for the Troops - USS New York by Anthony Saunders
Half Price! - £50.00
The Battle of Trafalgar was fought on a calm, almost windless day, on 21st October 1805.  Nelsons revolutionary battle plan was to cut apart the larger Franco-Spanish fleet of Vice-Admiral Villeneuve by sailing in two single column divisions directly at right angles into the combined fleet and thus rendering almost half of the leading ships useless until the could turn and join the fight, which in such calm conditions could take hours.  The battle raged for five hours in which time not one British ship was lost, however, Nelson would tragically lose his life at the very moment of his triumph, a triumph which rendered the British Navy unchallenged in supremacy for over a century.  Here HMS Mars passes between the French ship Belleisle on her starboard and the French ship Fougeux on her port, firing a murderous hail of gunfire at both ships.  Also shown in the painting on the left hand side is the Spanish ship Monarco and the French ship Pluton.

The Battle of Trafalgar - Mars Breaks the Line by Anthony Saunders. (AP)
Half Price! - £60.00

 

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

 Panzer v Ausf. D Panthers of SS Panther Division Das Reich make their debut during the initial stages of the German summer offensive for Kursk. This unit with others of the SS Panzer Korps made the deepest advances into the well-prepared Soviet lines. Complete success however, was to elude them when outrunning their supporting divisions at Prokhorovka they were forced to halt for six days.

Operation Zitadelle by David Pentland. (GS)
Half Price! - £250.00
 Richard Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III), after the Battle of Tewkesbury, 4th May 1471. Banners are of Richard Duke of Gloucesters White Boar and Sir John Stafford Of Mordaunts (created Earl of Wiltshire by Edward IV) coat of arms.

Richard III by Chris Collingwood. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00
 It is August 1944, barely two months since the Allies landed their first troops on the beaches of Normandy. After the failed Operation Lüttich (codename given to a German counterattack during the Battle of Normandy, which took place around the American positions near Mortain from 7 August to 13 August, 1944 ) The German Panzer Divisions were in full retreat, The British and American Generals believed it to be critical to halt them before they cauld regroup. Caught in the Gap at Falaise, the battle was to be decisive. Flying throughout a continuous onslaught, rocket-firing Typhoons kept up their attacks on the trapped armoured divisions from dawn to dusk. The effect was devastating: at the end of the ten day battle the 100,000 strong German force was decimated. The battle of the Falaise Pocket marked the closing phase of the Battle of Normandy with a decisive German defeat. It is believed that between 80,000 to 100,000 German troops were caught in the encirclement of which 10,000 to 15,000 were killed, 45,000 to 50,000 taken prisoner, and around 20,000 escaped . Shown here are German Tiger I tanks under continues attack by Royal Aoir Force Typhoons.

Taming the Tiger by Geoff Lea. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00
 Banikju, Northern Helmand, Afghanistan, 2007. A team from 42 Royal Marines Commando break into a suspected hostile compound during <i>Operation Volcano</i>.

The Hole in the Wall Gang by David Pentland.
Half Price! - £70.00

 Depicting soldiers of the French Second Empire dreaming of the victorious French Army of the Napoleonic period.
La Reve (The Dream) by Edouard Detaille. (Y)
Half Price! - £30.00
At 0620 hours covered by a brief barrage from 1000 guns, the tanks of C and F Battalions in MkIV tanks advanced alongside the men of the British 12th Division against the impregnable German Hindenburg line at Cambrai.  Supported in the air by 4 RFC squadron flying ground attack missions, the general offensive had broken through 3 trench lines and penetrated 5 miles on a 6 mile front by lunchtime.  Although these gains were not exploited and later retaken by a German counter offensive, Cambrai showed the full potential of the tank on the battlefield.

Battle of Cambrai, France, 20th November 1917 by David Pentland. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00
 Men of the US 381st Infantry Regiment, 96th Division supported by the tanks of 763rd and 713th Flamethrower Tank Battalions, during the assault on Yaeju Dake. This escarpment, known as Big Apple was the last in a series of tough Japanese defence lines on the south of the Island.

Taking of Big Apple, Okinawa, 10th - 14th June 1945 by David Pentland. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00

1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment at Audregneis, 24th August 1914 by David Rowlands. (Y)
Half Price! - £195.00

 

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

A montage of moments from the outstanding Welsh 6 Nation Championship Grand Slam Victory of 2005.
The Perfect Year - Wales Grand Slam Champions 2005 by Darren Baker. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00
 It was Saturday 4th May 2002, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.  Wonderful goals by Ray Parlour and Freddie Ljungberg for Arsenal were too much for their London rivals Chelsea to capture the FA Cup.  Four days later, on Wednesday 8th, Arsenal rode into Old Trafford.  This time a goal by Sylvain Wiltord on his 100th appearance for the club was enough for Arsene Wenger's team to overcome Manchester United and clinch the Premiership title, maintaining a record of scoring in every league game of the season.  For the second time in four years under their long-serving and inspirational captain Tony Adams, Arsenal had performed the classic double of English football, the third in their history making 2001-02, a season never to be forgotten.

The Double 2001 / 2002 by Gary Keane. (Y)
Half Price! - £65.00
 2003 World Superbike Champion, Neil Hodgson with James Toseland in his slipstream.  British World Superbike - June 2003. 
Battle of Britain by Dave Foord.
Half Price! - £130.00

Beckhams Golden Generation by Darren Baker. (Y)
Half Price! - £75.00

 A quartet of Ferrari 801s are warmed up at Rouen-les-Essarts.  French Grand Prix 1957.

Thoroughbreds in the Paddock by Ray Goldsbrough.
Half Price! - £75.00
B45. David Coulthard/ Williams FW.17 by Ivan Berryman

David Coulthard/ Williams FW.17 by Ivan Berryman
Half Price! - £40.00
 Three Steps To Heaven pays tribute to one of the greatest strikers to play for Liverpool and in particular, the historic Cup treble in 2001. It contains details of the FA Cup triumph over Arsenal, Worthington Cup win over Birmingham City and the unforgettable 5-4 defeat of Spanish side Alaves to complete the cup treble and bring back the UEFA Cup to Merseyside.

Three Steps to Heaven by Robert Highton. (Y)
Half Price! - £72.00
 The English football team for 2002.
England by Peter Deighan.
Half Price! - £50.00

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