Procedures during the ceremonies of Colours and Sunset

#1
I am in the Canadian navy and rather interested in ceremonial evolutions. I'd like to know what the RN does at colours and sunset (to see how much we differ from you).

In particular, I'm wondering if colours is often done at the same time as divisions (as it is sometimes in Canada) and, if so, what changes in the whole evolution.

If there is a RN publication online that says these things, that would be helpful, too.

PS. I hope this is the correct forum for this question. I suppose colours and sunset are current affairs in that they happen every day....
 
#5
Thanks for the replies. As for the second part of my question, is colours ever conducted during divisions. If so, are they brought to attention and faced aft at the same time as the guard would be in the Wikipedia entry?
 

McHammock

Lantern Swinger
#7
SailingInstructor said:
Thanks for the replies. As for the second part of my question, is colours ever conducted during divisions. If so, are they brought to attention and faced aft at the same time as the guard would be in the Wikipedia entry?
Only place I've been when Divisions have taken place at same time as colours was BRNC (Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth). Procedure then was for Officer's i/c each division to salute in time with officer conducting colours. We didn't all face the mainmast though.

Think on a ship (if it ever happened) Divisions would probably be faced aft (as all personnel are supposed to face aft during colours).

Any GI's out there to give the BR reference ???
 

FlagWagger

GCM
Book Reviewer
#8
McHammock said:
SailingInstructor said:
Thanks for the replies. As for the second part of my question, is colours ever conducted during divisions. If so, are they brought to attention and faced aft at the same time as the guard would be in the Wikipedia entry?
Only place I've been when Divisions have taken place at same time as colours was BRNC (Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth). Procedure then was for Officer's i/c each division to salute in time with officer conducting colours. We didn't all face the mainmast though.

Think on a ship (if it ever happened) Divisions would probably be faced aft (as all personnel are supposed to face aft during colours).

Any GI's out there to give the BR reference ???
Not a GI, but Colours / Sunset is conducted iaw QRRN with the procedure detailed more fully in FLOOS (or it was when I did my CY course).
 
#9
In the Canadian navy, colours are combined with ceremonial divisions as follows (excerpted from HMC ship's manual of ceremonial):

Shipboard ceremonial divisions shall proceed as follows:

a. the Quartermaster pipes “Hands fall in by departmentâ€;

b. departmental co-ordinators shall size, then shoulder dress their departments in two ranks, then stand them at ease, turn about and wait for the department head;

c. on arrival of the department head, the departmental co-ordinators will bring their department to attention and make a report to the department head on the numbers at divisions and any absentees;

d. the departmental head inspects each rank in succession, departmental co-ordinator orders “Front rank, one pace open order - march†for each successive rank;

e. the departmental co-ordinator salutes the department head and orders “One pace step back - marchâ€;

f. the departmental co-ordinator shoulder dresses then stands the department at ease, and takes up position on the right flank of the department;

g. the department head stands department at attention and marches up to two paces in front of the Executive Officer salutes and reports their department;

h. the department head returns to the front of the department and stands them at ease;

i. the Executive Officer brings the ship’s company to “Attention†on arrival of the CO, then turns about, makes the report and requests to carry on with “Coloursâ€;

j. the XO orders the ship’s company to face aft or in the direction of the Ensign is to be hoisted, e.g. “(ships name), facing aft, right, left and about turnâ€;

k. on completion of Colours, the XO orders “(ships name) facing inboard, right, left and about turnâ€, then stands the ship’s company at ease and announces which department will be inspected by the CO or inspecting officer;

l. the department head brings the respective department to “Attention†for the inspection;

m. the XO on completion of the inspection reports to the CO and requests presentations be made or for permission to carry on with prayers;
n. prior to the commencement of prayers, the XO orders, “Remove headdress, stand at ease, stand easyâ€;

o. on completion of prayers, the XO orders, “Attention, replace headdress, stand at ease, stand easyâ€, then orders “Attention†reporting to the CO and asking if he wishes to address the ship’s company;

p. the XO stands the ship’s company at ease for the duration of the address; and

q. on completion of the address, the XO orders the ship’s company to “Attentionâ€, and then falls out the officers, chiefs and petty officers, and instructs departmental co-ordinators to take charge.
Not having been posted to a ship yet, I've no idea why it should matter whether the CO gives permission (para "i") or not to proceed with colours, given that the ship is supposed to follow SOPA's timings.

In posting this thread, I wanted to find out if the RN had a less strange way of carrying this out. Not combining the ceremonies seems extremely sensible.
 

silverfox

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#10
The ceremony of Colours and Sunset are only performed at the appropriate moment in the day. There is no equivalent to the one described.

The only time a ship's company would be fallen in as you have described, would be when a ship is accepted from the builders. The ship would have done its initial sea trials and passage from the shipyard to its naval base under the Red Ensign. On arrival in her base port the ship's company are mustered on the flight deck and in a simple ceremony the Red Ensign is lowered and the White Ensign hoisted.

Any help?
 

wet_blobby

War Hero
Moderator
#11
why does Jack insist on doing "sunset" when the weather is still good enough for sun bathing....surely he should wait till the sun sets.....?

I know its about changing over from day routine to night routine but thats just a timing issue.
 

silverfox

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#12
he does wait, until the time of natural sunset goes beyond 2100, when it is done at that time to avoid dragging on into the silly hours.
 
#14
Its to show that the officer of the day has the ultimate power.

Ensign sentry "Sunset Sir"
Officer of the day "Make it so"

Only then has the sun permission to set.
It has always been thus.
 

silverfox

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#16
wet_blobby said:
SF, when I was on Fearless it always seemed to happen at 1800, I take it this was the captains shout then?
no idea why that should be.... when alongside the timings are taken from the Senior Officer Present Afloat (which would quite likely be Fearless) but then she would take it from Semaphore Tower..

Can't help in this case
 

wet_blobby

War Hero
Moderator
#17
silverfox said:
wet_blobby said:
SF, when I was on Fearless it always seemed to happen at 1800, I take it this was the captains shout then?
no idea why that should be.... when alongside the timings are taken from the Senior Officer Present Afloat (which would quite likely be Fearless) but then she would take it from Semaphore Tower..

Can't help in this case
Ok mate, no worries, I guess I'm still sore after all these years at having had to keep hiding whilst sunbathing at 1800. :oops:
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#18
Funny that- I frequently had to do Officer of the Day duties onboard as a senior rate. I always said "Make it snow". It never did- just shows you need to have commission, s'pose.
 
#19
silverfox said:
The ceremony of Colours and Sunset are only performed at the appropriate moment in the day. There is no equivalent to the one described.

The only time a ship's company would be fallen in as you have described, would be when a ship is accepted from the builders. The ship would have done its initial sea trials and passage from the shipyard to its naval base under the Red Ensign. On arrival in her base port the ship's company are mustered on the flight deck and in a simple ceremony the Red Ensign is lowered and the White Ensign hoisted.

Any help?
And if you are billy-no-mates you get to stand at the pointy end doing the Union Jack all on your own. I was that stoker! :oops:
 

dhobyitch

Lantern Swinger
#20
Ninja_Stoker said:
Funny that- as a CPOMEM I frequently had to do Officer of the Day duties onboard. I always said "Make it snow". It never did- just shows you need to have commission, s'pose.
I always wanted to 'blow soot' at Colours but never had the guts.
 

Similar threads

Top