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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

 Flt. Lt. John Alexander Cruickshank in his consolidated Catalina. Winning his Victoria Cross for sinking U-347.

Sinking of U-Boat 347 by Tim Fisher.
Half Price! - £22.00
 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
 The afternoon of 25th July 1940 was a desperate one for the already exhausted fighter pilots of the RAF defending the South coast of England.  As convoy CW8 made its way through the English Channel, sixty JU.87 Stukas and forty JU.88 bombers launched a brutal attack on the ships below, backed up by fighter cover of over 50 Messerscmitt Bf.109s.  Eight Spitfires of 64 Sqn (Kenley) were scrambled, together with twelve Spitfires of 54 Sqn (Hornchurch) and Hurricanes of 111 Sqn from Croydon.  The British pilots found themselves massively outnumbered, but nevertheless put up a spirited fight against the teeming enemy.  This painting shows Spitfires of 54 Sqn entering the fray, the pilots scattering as they choose their targets and go after the JU.87s. To the right of this, Bf.109Es of JG.26 are roaring in to join battle, whilst Adolf Gallands aircraft engages a Hurricane of 111 Sqn.

A Day for Heroes by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £95.00
 Britain's highest scoring Typhoon ace, Wing Commander J R Baldwin sweeps above Utah Beach on a sortie in support of the Allied forces' drive into mainland Europe following D-Day in June 1944.  He is shown flying one of his personal aircraft, Typhoon 1b MN935 'JBII'.

Wing Commander J R Baldwin by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £75.00

 Under the watchful eye of his more experienced tutor a trainee pilot gets his first taste of the Spitfire Mk.IIa, airborne from Tangmere early in 1941. the nearest aircraft is P7856 (YT-C) which enjoyed a long career, surviving until 1945.

The Fledgling by Ivan Berryman. (E)
Half Price! - £95.00
 Developed from the Supermarine Seagull, the Walrus was to prove itself a useful and capable workhorse in almost every theatre of the Second World War. Here, HMS Rodney despatches her Shagbat from the catapult atop C turret.

Ships Company by Ivan Berryman (Y)
Half Price! - £40.00
 R-Robert was dramatically retrieved after nearly forty years on the bed of Loch Ness in Scotland. It is being restored at the Brooklands Museum.

The Loch Ness Wellington by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
Half Price! - £65.00
 Byron Duckenfield and his 501 Squadron wingman struggle to get airborne in their Hurricanes as the spectacle of the scrambling squadron draws a group of passing motorists out of their vehicle to witness the thunderous noise of the aircraft.

501 Sqn Scramble by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £275.00

 

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

 Mitsubishi G4Ms of 27 Kanoya Kokutai begin their devastating attack on Force Z off the north east coast of Malaya on 10th December 1941. Both Repulse and prince of Wales were lost in the attack, while their accompanying destroyers remained to pick up survivors among them HMS Express which can be seen off HMS Repulse starboard quarter.

HMS Repulse with HMS Prince of Wales Under Attack by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
Half Price! - £55.00
The English fleet pursued the Armada up the English Channel and, as darkness fell, Vice Admiral Drake broke off and captured the Spanish galleon Rosario, Admiral Pedro de Valdes and the crew.  The Rosario was known to be carrying substantial funds to pay the Spanish Army in the Low Countries.  Drakes ship had been leading the English pursuit of the Armada by means of a lantern.  By extinguishing this for the capture, Drake put the fleet into disarray overnight.  On the night of 29th July 1588, Vice Admiral Drake organised fire-ships, causing most of the Spanish captains to break formation and sail out of Calais . The next day, Drake was present at the Battle of Gravelines.  English losses were comparatively few, and none of their ships were sunk.

Grenvilles Revenge by Brian Wood.
Half Price! - £95.00
 HMS Intrepid embarks some of her landing craft during the Falklands conflict of 1982.
HMS Intrepid by Ivan Berryman
Half Price! - £15.00
 The largest and fastest of all the ships that took part in the Battle of Jutland, the elegant battle cruiser HMS Tiger was launched in 1913 and is easily recognisable by the unusual position of Q turret just aft of the third funnel, She is shown about  to pass beneath the Forth Bridge as she departs Rosyth for a sea trial

HMS Tiger by Ivan Berryman
Half Price! - £15.00

The USS Colorado holds the all time record of 37 consecutive days of firing at an enemy and the record of 24 direct enemy air attacks in 62 days both while at Okinawa.

USS Colorado Okinawa by Anthony Saunders. 
Half Price! - £50.00
B103.  HMS Royal Sovereign and HMS Warspite departing Malta by Ivan Berryman.

HMS Royal Sovereign and HMS Warspite departing Malta by Ivan Berryman
Half Price! - £15.00
HMS Ark Royal after a recent refit, rejoins the fleet in 2001.

HMS Ark Royal by Ivan Berryman (AP)
Half Price! - £25.00
 HMS Vanguard in company with HMS Indefatigable.

HMS Vanguard by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £500.00

 

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

VAR437.  England Welcomes Henry V by Robert Hillingford.
England Welcomes Henry V by Robert Hillingford.
Half Price! - £20.00
 A Voltigeur corporal, 2nd battalion, 4th regiment etranger, Holland 1813.

Tireur D Elite by Mark Churms. (P)
Half Price! - £2000.00
The Brethren of the Coast or the Brethren, was a loose coalition of pirates and privateers also known as Buccaneers who operated during the 1600s and 1700s in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico and also in the Atlantic Ocean.  They were a syndicate of pirate captains with letters of marque and reprisal who regulated their privateering enterprises within the community of privateers.
Brethren of the Coast by Chris Collingwood. (Y)
Half Price! - £40.00
 Cheux, Normandy, 25th June 1944.  Royal Armoured Corps Recce troops of the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division set up a temporary observation post to locate 12th SS Panzer Division positions, prior to Operation Epsom.  The 15th Division comprised of 9th Cameronians, 2nd Glasgow Highlanders, 7th Seaforth Highlanders, 8th Royal Scots, 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers, 6th King's Own Scottish Borderers, 10th Highland Light Infantry, 2nd Gordon Highlanders and the 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

Enemy in Sight by David Pentland. (P)
Half Price! - £700.00

Battle of Crecy.  One of the battles fought during the Hundred Years War, on 26th August 1346. On 12th July Edward III landed in Normandy with his army and marching north plundered the countryside. King Philip VI assembled an army to stop Edward and tracked them across the Somme River. When Edward reached Crecy he stopped and ordered his army to take up defensive positions. King Philip surveyed the English positions and decided to postpone his attack until August 27th. However, the French vanguard pressed forward too far and so committed the entire army to the battle. The hired Genoese crossbowmen began the assault but came under severe attack from the English longbows and so fled to the rear. King Philip then ordered his cavalry to charge resulting in a huge loss of horse and man under the barrage of arrows which rained down on them. By the end of the night after several unsuccessful assaults the French army was reduced by a third and King John of Luxemburg was dead. Edward then turned towards Calais.

The Black Prince Before the Battle of Crecy by Mark Churms.
Half Price! - £20.00
<b>Slightly noticeable mark on the image - hence the low price of this item. </b>

AD43 by Chris Collingwood. (Y)
Half Price! - £27.50
 Vielsalm, Belgium, 22nd December 1944.  Men of the 508th PIR, along with the rest of the 82nd Airborne Division were rushed to the Ardennes and deployed in an attempt to halt the onslaught of 6th SS Panzer Army, specifically Kampfgruppe Peiper.

Holding the Line by David Pentland.
Half Price! - £70.00
 M2A4 and M3 tanks of A Company, 1st US Marine Tank Battalion. move out from Henderson Field to support the perimeter from Japanese attacks.

Guadalcanal by David Pentland. (Y)
Half Price! - £295.00

 

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

Whilst flat-racing enthusiasts may argue which horse was the best Derby Winner, artist Peter Deighan was deciding for himself, he made a short list of six.  His canvas entitled Derby Winners depicts these six. They include the great Shergar, who ran the fastest Derby in history and won by a record ten lengths.  Also included are Golden Fleece, Reference Point, Teenoso, The Minstrel and the fantastic Nashwan.  Any of these could be classified as the greatest.

Derby Winners by Peter Deighan.
Half Price! - £120.00
Monte Carlo - June 1st 2003 and Juan Pablo Montoya put in an outstanding drive, pushing his Williams BMW to victory in the Monaco Grand Prix. His triumph in what is possibly the most prestigious race of the season allowed him to celebrate his first win since Italy in 2001.

Harbour Master by Gerald Coulson. (Y)
Half Price! - £82.50
 Marlboro McLaren Mercedes MP4/11. 1996.
David Coulthard by Michael Thompson.
Half Price! - £25.00
 Richard Burns and Robert Reid.  Subaru Impreza WRC 99
Rain or Shine by Michael Thompson
Half Price! - £30.00

 Jacques Villeneuve.

The Maple Leaf Maestro by Stuart Coffield
Half Price! - £20.00
 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
 England 1 Germany 0, Euro 2000.  On the 17th of June 2000 England once again faced their old nemesis Germany in a Group A qualifying match at Euro 2000.  England entered the game knowing that they had not defeated Germany in a competitive match since the famous World Cup victory in 1966.  Germany made four changes to the side that had drawn with Romania including the introduction of midfielder Sebastian Deisler, whilst England had been forced to replace Tony Adams and Steve McManaman with Martin Keown and Dennis Wise due to injury.  As expected the game started at a frenetic pace and Jancker made things difficult for England's central defenders early on with his height and strength.  England appeared to be lacking cohesion and allowed Germany to take control of the game.  Deisler brought the German crowd to their feet with a clever run down the right hand side and minutes later Hamaan had their first strike on goal which was hit directly at David Seaman.  England were looking for a flash of inspiration and it was very nearly delivered as Michael Owen managed to meet Phil Neville's cross with his head but only managed to direct the ball on to the post.  Paul Scholes in typical fashion drove a ferocious volley, which was tipped just over the bar, and suddenly it appeared that England were beginning to find some weaknesses in certain areas of the German side.  At the interval little separated the two sides however, England started the second half with a steely determination.  After just seven minutes David Beckham earned his side a free kick in a very dangerous position on the England right.  With good movement from the forwards in the German area Beckham swung a speculative cross into the six yard box.  Owen, beaten by the pace, failed to connect but man of the match Alan Shearer anticipated the kind bounce and without hesitation headed the ball back across Kahn and into the right hand side of the German goal.  The England captain had broken the deadlock and instilled in his side the belief that they could finally defeat their oldest rivals.  Germany threw everything they had at England but Keegan's team were equal to the task in every area of the pitch.  As the final whistle blew a huge roar erupted from the England supporters as Alan Shearer's goal had ended over thirty years of frustration and sealed his place in the history books as one of England's greatest ever strikers.

Perfect Finish by Peter Cornwell.
Half Price! - £50.00
 Valentino Rossi on his way to a seventh Moto GP World Championship in the 2009 season on his Yamaha, scoring thirteen podium finishes, including six race wins, leaving him 45 points clear of his nearest rival.

Valentino Rossi by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £525.00

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

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