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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

DHM683.  Alouette III Helicopter of Rhodesian Fireforce 1979 by John Wynne Hopkins.

Alouette III Helicopter of Rhodesian Fireforce 1979 by John Wynne Hopkins.
Half Price! - £50.00
Junker Ju87B-1s of 7 Staffel, Stg 77 swoop down to attack coastal targets. This opening phase of the Battle of Britain was to prove very costly for the Stuka squadrons as they found they could no longer operate unescorted against the RAF.

Stukas over England, South Coast, July 1940 by David Pentland.
Half Price! - £30.00
 A sad, but magnificent sight on 24th October 2003 as the last three British Airways Concordes bring commercial supersonic travel to a close, as they taxi together to their final dispersal at Heathrow.

Concorde Farewell by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £15.00
  D for Donald of 270 squadron, Royal Air Force, out of Freetown, West Africa operating in the Atlantic Ocean. It was during routine operation search that D for Donald surprised U515 on the surface and immediately attacked the submarine. U515 in putting up stiff resistance blew a large hole in the hull of D for Donald and the magazine of the starboard side 0.5 twin Browning was hit and the subsequent shrapnel wounded both blister gunners. U515 escaped but was sunk by an American naval hunter group a year later. D for Donald limped back to base and managed to make the beach before it would sink completely.
Catalina Attack by John Wynne Hopkins (B)
Half Price! - £80.00

Dakota G-AMPZ (formerly KN442) of Air Atlantique resplendent in the commemorative livery of RAF Transport Command heads out across the English coast, back to Berlin?  Still flying more than 50 years after serving valiantly on the Berlin Airlift, this aircraft carries out the bulk of the airlines passenger charters.  These prints are signed by the current crew.
Perpetual Motion II by Robert Tomlin.
Half Price! - £55.00
 A pair of De Havilland Mosquito NF. MkII night fighters of 23 Squadron, based at Bradwell Bay, Essex in 1942.

Night Raiders by Ivan Berryman. (C)
Half Price! - £110.00
 The night of the 16th May 1943 saw 19 modified Lancasters of the specially formed 617 squadron set out to breach the Ennepe, Eder, Mohne and Sorpe dams in Westphalia, Germany. The mission was led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson.

The Dambusters by Graeme Lothian.
Half Price! - £35.00
Gerald Coulson said of this painting : <i><br>How very fortunate to be in a position to paint aviation as a result of direct experience.  This aeroplane has been featured in many of my paintings.  The fact that I have flown this machine for years and still do probably has something to do with it.  It is, of course, the de Havilland Tiger Moth, one of the greatest aeroplanes in the world.  Not one of the most comfortable, nor noted for its crisp handling qualities.  It is, nevertheless, a delight in which to be aloft over a sun-dappled landscape.  With the roar of the Gypsy engine, the slipstream singing through the bracing wires and the sun flashing off silvered wing, what more inspiration does an aviation artist require.</i>

Singing Wires by Gerald Coulson.
Half Price! - £60.00

 

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

 HMS Medway was the first Royal navy submarine Depot ship that was designed for the purpose from the outset. She is shown here with a quintet of T-class submarines on her starboard side, whilst an elderly L-Class begins  to move away having completed replenishment. HMS Medway was sunk on 30th June 1940 having been torpedoed by U-372 off Alexandria.

HMS Medway by Ivan Berryman (AP)
Half Price! - £25.00
On 17th June 1944, 780 miles west of Saipan in Mid Pacific, the Gato class submarine USS Cavalla dives after a lucky sighting of a Japanese Naval Task Force, which included the aircraft carriers Taiho, Shokaku and Zuikaku. The Cavalla then trailed the Japanese, attacking and sinking the Shokaku on the 19th.

A Chance Encounter by Robert Barbour.
Half Price! - £35.00
 The destroyer HMS Kelly passes close to the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign as she escorts a convoy in the Mediterranean near Malta.

HMS Kelly passes HMS Royal Sovereign by Ivan Berryman (Y)
Half Price! - £70.00
 HMS Illustrious slips quietly away from the docks at Devonport, Plymouth with the Fiji class cruiser in the middle distance, 1941.

HMS Illustrious and HMS Kenya at Devonport by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
Half Price! - £75.00

 Showing visible signs of her tangle with British cruisers at the Battle of the River Plate, the German pocket battleship Graf Spee slips into the neutral waters of the Montevideo roadstead for light repairs.  This was to be the last haven for the Graf Spee which was later scuttled at the harbour mouth, her commander Kapitan zur See Langsdorff believing a large British fleet to be waiting for attempted escape into the South Atlantic.

Admiral Graf Spee by Ivan Berryman (AP)
Half Price! - £25.00
 The key to Nelsons victories always lay in his meticulous planning and the Battle of Copenghagen was no exception as he used his fleet to first destroy the Danish floating defences so that his bomb vessels could be brought up to bombard the city itself. The Danes eventually capitulated, but they had fought hard and over 2,000 men had died on both sides before the end of the battle. In this view, HMS Elephant, carrying the flag of Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, dominates the scene as the battle gathers intensity. British ships depicted, left to right, are the Glatton (54), Elephant (74), Ganges (74) and Monarch (74)

The Battle of Copenhagen, 2nd April 1801 by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
Half Price! - £345.00
 Launched on Trafalgar Day, 1960, HMS Dreadnought was the Royal Navy's first nuclear powered submarine, entering service in 1963.  She is depicted here in the Firth of Forth with the iconic Forth Bridge in the background in December 1963 when she was docked at Rosyth for re-coating of her hull and a general examination.

HMS Dreadnought S101 by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £700.00
 Admiral Cuthbert Collingwoods flagship the Royal Sovereign comes under intense fire from the black-painted Spanish 3-decker, Santa Ana, and the French 74 Fougueux, just prior to breaking through the Franco-Spanish line at Trafalgar.
HMS Royal Sovereign by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £625.00

 

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

 Hannibal had invaded Italy by taking his army including war elephants across the mountains and into northern Italy. He defeated the Romans in three major battles including Cannae, but he did not take Rome when he had the chance.  Once Rome had strengthened its forces, the Romans invaded Carthage. The second Punic War between Rome and Carthage was brought to a conclusion on the plains of Zama (modern Tunisia) with the Romans inflicting a crushing defeat on the army of Hannibal.

Battle of Zama by Brian Palmer. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00
The Hindenburg Line known also as the Siegfried Line was a vast system of German defences in northeastern France between Lens and past Verdun.  Built over the winter of 1916 and 1917, the high command in Germany believed the Hindenburg line was was impregnable.  But in 1917 during the Battle of Cambrai it was temporarily broken by the British and Newfoundland troops.  Included in these forces were tank units, and the line was successfully breached a number of times during the hundred day offensive by the Allied forces in September 1918. Shown in this painting are the wounded being taken back behind lines by medical personnel as the reinforcements and supplies move forward.

Breaking the Hindenburg Line by J P Beadle. (Y)
Half Price! - £30.00
 The Battle of Marathon 490 BC during the Persian Greek Wars. King Darious I of Persia sent his son in law Mardonius to invade Greece in 492 BC. The Persian Forces conquered Thrace and Macedonia before their fleet was devastated by a storm. Mardonia was forced to return to Asia. A second Persian invasion force crossed the Aegean sea. After conquering Eretria, the Persian Army under Datis (15,000 strong) landed near Marathon. (Marathon is 24 miles northeast of Athens.) General Miltiades, general in the Greek army gathered a force of 10,000 Athenians and 1,000 Plataean citizen Soldiers.

Battle of Marathon by Brian Palmer. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00
 The 11th (North Devon) Regiment at the Battle of Salamanca, 22nd July 1812.

The Bloody Eleventh by David Rowlands. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00

 Lieutenant of the Royal Navy commands marines and crew during a sea battle with the French during the battle of Cape St Vincent.

In the Thick of Battle by Chris Collingwood.
Half Price! - £40.00
 British infantry supported by Warrior armoured vehicles advance into Iraq, February 1991.

The Storm and the Sabre by Simon Smith.
Half Price! - £50.00
<b>Ex display prints in near perfect condition. </b>

The Infantry Will Advance by Carl Rochling. (Y)
Half Price! - £30.00
 Crouching low behind their shields, the warriors of the uThulwans, iNdlondo and uDloko regiments advance around the foot of Shiyane hill. Led by their commander, Prince Dabulamnzi kaMpnade, the main Zulu force attacks the British outpost at Rorkes Drift, 4.50pm, 2nd January 1879.

Into the Fire by Mark Churms.
Half Price! - £30.00

 

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

Europe 18.5 - 9.5 USA.  The K Club, Straffan, Co. Kildare, Ireland, 22-24 September 2006. <br><br>Europe; Ian Woosnam - captain - Colin Montgomerie, Darren Clarke, Luke Donald, David Howell, Sergio Garcia, Paul McGinley, Lee Westwood, Paul Casey, Jose Maria Olazabel, Robert Karlsson, Padraig Harrington, Henrik Stenson. <br><br>USA; Tom Lehman - captain - Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, JJ Henry, David Tomms, Brett Wetterick, Stewart Cink, Jim Furyk, Chad Campbell, Chris DiMarco, Vaughan Taylor, Zach Johnson, Scott Verplank.
36th Ryder Cup 2006 by James Owen.
Half Price! - £110.00
B45. David Coulthard/ Williams FW.17 by Ivan Berryman

David Coulthard/ Williams FW.17 by Ivan Berryman
Half Price! - £40.00
 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
DB006. Michael Schumacher by Darren Baker.
Michael Schumacher by Darren Baker.
Half Price! - £75.00

Steeplechasers competing for the Blue Riband.

Chasing for Gold by Chris Howells.
Half Price! - £65.00
SP4AP.  Desert Orchid by Mark Churms.

Desert Orchid by Mark Churms (AP)
Half Price! - £50.00
From behind 17th green looking back to hotel, clubhouse and 18th hole.

Gleneagles - Kings Course by Mark Chadwick
Half Price! - £20.00
SFA19.  Laytown Beach by Chris Howells.
Laytown Beach by Chris Howells.
Half Price! - £45.00

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