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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

 Following the initial parachute drops at Maleme (West) and Canea (Middle) Group East, comprising of Fallschirmjager Regiment 1 and 2nd battalion FJR2, prepared for their descent on Crete. Charged with the capture of Heraklion and its aerodrome, their departure was postponed until late afternoon due to the repairs and refuelling needed for the returning Junker 52 transports.

The Second Wave, Greece, 20th May 1941 by David Pentland. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00
 An ignominious end for an Albatros C.III demands an act of compassion by a British medical team who are first on the scene of a crash in the early years of World War 1.

Not All Landings Are Good Landings by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £750.00
 During a patrol on 6th July 1918, Christiansen spotted a British submarine on the surface of the Thames Estuary. He immediately turned and put his Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 floatplane into an attacking dive, raking the submarine C.25 with machine gun fire, killing the captain and five other crewmen. This victory was added to his personal tally, bringing his score to 13 kills by the end of the war, even though the submarine managed to limp back to safety. Christiansen survived the war and went on to work as a pilot for the Dornier company, notably flying the giant Dornier Do.X on its inaugural flight to New York in 1930. He died in 1972, aged 93.

Kapitanleutnant zur See Friedrich Christiansen by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
Half Price! - £37.50
 Outnumbered and outclassed, the aging Gloster Gladiators of 112 Sqn nonetheless put up a spirited defence in the skies above Crete as Germanys Operation Mercury gathered momentum in the Spring of 1941.  Here, shark-mouthed Messerschmitt Bf.110s of ZG.76 menace a lone Gladiator during an evening encounter.

Impossible Odds by Ivan Berryman. (B)
Half Price! - £30.00

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

Bug Killer by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £75.00
 Hurricanes of 607 County of Durham Squadron diving down and attacking Heinkels over the Needles on the Isle of Wight, after a raid on the southern coast. 607 squadron were stationed at nearby Tangmere from the start of September 1940 and saw continuous action throughout the Battle of Britain until the 16th October, when it withdrew to Scotland having raised its total victory to 102. Also aiding in the pursuit are Spitfires of 602 City of Glasgow Squadron based at Westhampnett.

Hurricanes Over the Needles by Graeme Lothian. (Y)
Half Price! - £240.00
 The Hawker Hurricane powered by the powerful Rolls Royce Merlin engine is shown in combat with Luftwaffe aircraft during the Battle of Britain. The Hurricane played a major role in the aerial victory along with its companion the Spitfire.

Merlin Roar by Anthony Saunders. (F)
Half Price! - £50.00
 Group Captain Billy Drake in Hurricane JX-P of No.1 Sqn scoring his first victory, an Me109 during the Battle of France, on 20th April 1940.

Billy Drake - First of Many by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £85.00

 

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

B103AP.  HMS Royal Sovereign and HMS Warspite departing Malta by Ivan Berryman.

HMS Royal Sovereign and HMS Warspite departing Malta by Ivan Berryman (AP)
Half Price! - £25.00
DHM1307.  Queen Elizabeth at Southampton by Ivan Berryman.

Queen Elizabeth at Southampton by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £50.00
 Fully dressed and resplendent, HMS Hood is pictured preparing for King George Vs review of the Fleet in July 1935 as other capital ships take up their positions around her. Ramillies can be seen off Hoods port bow, Resolution astern, whilst just beyond her boat deck, the mighty Nelson gently nudges into position.

HMS Hood During the Fleet Review of 1935 by Ivan Berryman (AP)
Half Price! - £25.00
USS Maddox engaging North Vietnamese torpedo boats with 5-in gunfire, August 2nd, 1964, in the Gulf of Tonkin.

USS Maddox by Randall Wilson (AP)
Half Price! - £50.00

 The submarine depot ship HMS Maidstone is pictured off Hong Kong with a quintet of British submarines alongside for replenishment, namely (left to right) an S-class, a U-class, a T-class and two more U-class.

HMS Maidstone by Ivan Berryman (AP)
Half Price! - £25.00
With her mizzen top already gone and her sails aloft having received severe punishment, Victory breaks through the line behind the French flagship Bucentaure, delivering a shattering broadside into her stern.  So severe was this opening fire that the Bucentaure was effectively put out of the rest of the battle, although Admiral Villeneuve himself was to miraculously survive the carnage.  Beyong Victory can be seen the French Redoubtable, which is receiving fire from Victorys starboard guns, and the Spanish San Leandro is in the extreme distance.  Most of Victorys stunsails have been cut away, but it was her stunsail booms that became entangled with the rigging of the Redoubtable when she put her helm to port and ran onto her.  Admiral Nelson fell shortly afterward, having received a fatal wound from a musket ball fired by a French sharpshooter in Redoubtables mizzen fighting top.  The Temeraire can be seen approaching the fray to the right.

Trafalgar - The Destruction of the Bucentaure by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £15.00
 To increase the strength of the US fleet in the Pacific during the critical early months of the war, USS Indiana went through the Panama Canal. On the 28th of November 1942 USS Indiana joined Rear Admiral Lee's aircraft carrier screening force. For the next 11 months, USS Indiana helped protect USS Enterprise and USS Saratoga, which had been supporting the US invasion on the Solomon Islands. On the 21st of October 1943 USS Indiana went to Pearl Harbor, but after only a couple of weeks left to support forces designated for the invasion of the Gilbert Islands. The battleship protected the carriers which supported the Marines during the bloody fight for Tarawa atoll. Then, in late January 1944, she bombarded Kwajalein for eight days prior to the Marshall Island landings on 1st February 1944. USS Indiana collided with the battleship USS Washington while refuelling destroyers, killing several men. Temporary repairs to her starboard side were made at Majuro and USS Indiana returned to Pearl Harbor on 13th February 1944 for additional repair work. The painting shows USS Indiana with one of the two carriers she protected.

USS Indiana, First Tour of Duty by Anthony Saunders. (YB)
Half Price! - £230.00
HMS Ark Royal IV - Flagship of the Flag Officer Aircraft Carriers - a mobile airfield and a most impressive sight as she launches a Phantom from one of her catapults. She had a standard displacement of 43,000 tons, a beam of 168 feet, and was 846 feet long. Ships company numbered 2,570 and her Air Group consisted of Phantom Interceptors, Buccaneer strike and Gannet AEW aircraft together with Wessex SAR and Sea King ASW helicopters. She served her Nation and the Royal Navy for 23 years and sailed 800,000 miles of valuable service, finally being decommissioned in 1979.
Ark Royal by Philip West (AP)
Half Price! - £140.00

 

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

DHM709.  Men of the United States Navy During the Battle of Lake Erie 1813 by Chris Collingwood.

Men of the United States Navy During the Battle of Lake Erie 1813 by Chris Collingwood.
Half Price! - £45.00
 Showing Napoleons position at the La belle Alliance, during the Battle of Waterloo, in the distance you can see Wellington.

The Battle of Waterloo by Sir William Allen (B)
Half Price! - £25.00
 Flanked by his Companion heavy cavalry, Alexander, King of Macedon, led the charge which broke through the left wing of the Persian army, and forced Darius, the Great King, to flee the battlefield. Persian success against his own left wing forced him to delay his pursuit of the routed troops, but by the end of the day the battle was won, and the heart of the Persian empire lay at his feet.

Alexander at Arbela, Plain of Gaugamela, Iraq, 331BC by David Pentland. (YB)
Half Price! - £295.00
 Icy rain adds its misery to the bitter conflict on Drumossie Moor. In the shadow of the Black Isle, two English ships on the waters of the Moray Firth, await the outcome of the decisive battle. Pounded by Cumberlands gunners and raked by steady musketry, the Princes brave men can make no headway. Although the Irish and French regulars refuse to give ground, the Jacobite lines gradually disintegrate. Tired, cold and hungry men flea past Culloden House for the relative safety of Inverness. On the Scottish right the Argyll Militia, supported by Hawleys Dragoons, tear down the walls of the Culwiniac and Culchunaig enclosures in an outflanking attack. Avochies men offer some resistance but Major Gillies McBean stands alone on the breach. He cuts down more than a dozen Argylls, including Lord Robert Kerr, who lies mortally wounded, but his foes are too many. The hero eventually falls to a vicious cut to the forehead, his thigh bone is also broken. Despite the cries of a mounted officer to save that brave man, the major is ruthlessly bayonetted, his back against the wall. The victory is complete and nothing more can be done. In the distance, the Young Pretender is forced to abandon the field and Scotlands hope of claiming the British Throne.

Battle of Culloden by Mark Churms. (Y)
Half Price! - £35.00

<b>Ex display prints in near perfect condition. </b>

The Charge of the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons at Tolnay by William Barnes Wollen. (Y)
Half Price! - £25.00
 Shows the French Cuirassiers of the 2nd Empire of Napoleon the 3rd.

Le Drapeau by Edouard Detaille. (Y)
Half Price! - £25.00
<b>Ex display print with one small dent and a couple of scratches, which may be slightly noticeable once framed. </b>
Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanual Gottlieb Leutze. (Y)
Half Price! - £25.00
DHM554.  Sergeant 23rd Pennsylvania Infantry Zouaves 1863 by Jim Lancia.

Sergeant 23rd Pennsylvania Infantry Zouaves 1863 by Jim Lancia.
Half Price! - £20.00

 

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

 With his typical degree of accuracy, Martin Smith has produced this fantastic portrait of David Coulthard, smiling as he walks towards his car in anticipation of a forthcoming race, every detail in his papers showing.
David Coulthard by Martin Smith
Half Price! - £40.00
SFA18.  Going Home by Chris Howells.

Going Home by Chris Howells.
Half Price! - £65.00
 Eddie Irvine.  Jaguar-Cosworth 2002
Green Giant by Michael Thompson.
Half Price! - £25.00
 The English football team for 2002.
England by Peter Deighan.
Half Price! - £50.00

 Eddie Irvine and Johnny Herbert.  Jaguar Cosworth R1s

Return of the Cat by Michael Thompson
Half Price! - £25.00

Legends of English Football by Robert Highton - Gold Edition. (Y)
Half Price! - £248.00
B46. Damon Hill/ Williams FW.16 by Ivan Berryman
Damon Hill/ Williams FW.16 by Ivan Berryman
Half Price! - £40.00
 The legendary Welsh rugby union captain Gareth Edwards is brought to life in the triple portrait. Gareth Edwards is revered in Wales and considered one of the finest players ever. in part of the montage he is shown going over for a try against England.
Gareth Edwards by Darren Baker. (AP)
Half Price! - £150.00

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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