Old Naval Words and Sayings

Deckhead_Inspector said:
My favorite old naval word is the old name of the "Cut Splice" before the "n" was removed from between the "u" and the "t". If you don't believe get hold of an old copy of BR 67 (pre 1968 I think.)

My 1937 version, disappointingly, lacks the "n"!

cut.jpg


I see there's a book on Amazon with all this sort of thing in, as well.
 
I think that the brass monkey saying is "cold enough to freeze the balls on a brass monkey". When the weather was wet and cold the cannon balls froze to the monkey and couldn't be removed. So, what about "taking the gilt off the gingerbread"?
 

andym

War Hero
wardmaster said:
I think that the brass monkey saying is "cold enough to freeze the balls on a brass monkey". When the weather was wet and cold the cannon balls froze to the monkey and couldn't be removed. So, what about "taking the gilt off the gingerbread"?


The aforesaid "Gingerbread" refers to the sometimes very ornate carvings on ships sterns in the era of Wooden ships.These were gilded (usually at the Skippers own cost)and under certain conditions it would lift as it had been incorrectly applied, trapping moisture,which would then freeze thus lifting the gilding.
 

Seaweed

RIP
Book Reviewer
Green rub - refers to being given a piece of brightwork to clean which has been long neglected, therefore green with verdegris.
 

Jack77

War Hero
I had always believed that 'two, six, heave!' came from the order to run out a gun. Thinking about it however, surely these guns would have been too heavy for just two members of the crew to run out?
 

andym

War Hero
Jack77 said:
I had always believed that 'two, six, heave!' came from the order to run out a gun. Thinking about it however, surely these guns would have been too heavy for just two members of the crew to run out?

maybe in Henry 8th days they were a lot smaller,so only needed a few in a gun crew?I think a 32 pounder had 3 men each side.


Just found this site.
http://www.cronab.demon.co.uk/gen1.htm

The gun`s crew for the great guns consisted of six men,

1. The Captain of the Gun.

2. The Second Captain.

3.The Loader.

4. The Sponger.

5. The Assistant Loader.

6. The Assistant Sponger.


Up to nine more men, depending on the size of the gun, were required to man the breeching ropes, which checked the recoil, and to man the tackles for running out and training. They also performed the duties of firemen.
 
I think numbers 2 and 6 pulled the gun back into the gun port ready for firing using blocks & tackles on the bulkhead. The recoil would have already thrown the gun inboard, so it only took 2 men to pull it back.

However, according to one of the guides on HMS VICTORY, there's some debate about whether it was numbers 2 and 6, 2 and 4 or 3 and 4.
 

Seaweed

RIP
Book Reviewer
In about 1960 Frank Trickey (who had an ancestor serving the guns at Trafalgar and was the first SD List Commander), then a S/Lt SD Gunner, was given a truck and some sailors and told to collect a cannon from Victory, bring it back to Portland and lay on a firing demo for Portland Navy Days [!!]. He got the drill from the National Maritime Museum & duly performed.

He repeated this with a small brass cannon (desk-top size) and a thunderflash in the wardroom at Whaley in 1963. V. impressive with Frank singing out all the oprders in turn -
e.g.

'Run out the gun!'
'Two, Six, Heavy!'
'Prick the Cartridge!'
'Cartridge pricked!'

Two and Six are the numbers of the tackles used to run the gun out again after reloading.

Frank was at the Table one day as a DO. One of his sailors was in the rattle. Captain: 'What about this man, Mr Trickey?' Frank: 'Just another mouth to feed, Sir, just another mouth to feed.'
 
Frank Trickey was one of the great characters of the RN, he was the parade gunner at BRNC during my time and was greatly respected by Cadets and SLts alike. He always sent a message to our re-union dinners which was always appreciated by all.

A great man.
 
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