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Royal Navy Traditions in other Navies

Has anyone got any good dits about Royal Navy Traditions in other Countries Navies. My understand and experience is that Australia and New Zealand have kept a lot of the traditions (even some the RN have disposed of) but Canada and South Africa have decided to plough their own furrow.

It is interesting also to note the Traditions that are maintained in India, Japan and the USA that have Royal Navy origins.
 

jambosun

Lantern Swinger
One that I know of is a drinking game which could have given rise to the phrase 'to take sombody down a peg or two'. In HMS MONMOUTH we had a Peg Pot which was a huge tankard with pegs spaced evenly down the inside. The Pot was much wider at the bottom than the top and the object of the game was to challenge the opposite team to drink a certain amount in one, in effect taking them down a peg or two. It's easy at the start but as you get lower you are drinking much more and it becomes a struggle. When we played it against a Canadian ship they were obviously well practised and we were the ones who were taken down. Still a good quick way to get pissed though!

As well as traditions, just about every Navy in the world has their officers uniforms based on the RN. Pipes using the Bosun's Call is still routinley practised in several navies.
 
It was Winston Churchill who famously said that the traditions of the Royal Navy are Rum, Sodomy and The Lash. Well the tot is no more and I'm told that, unfortunately, flogging is no longer encouraged. That leaves sodomy, which by now is probably compulsory. :roll:
 

Squirrel

Lantern Swinger
I've noticed that Junior ranks of most other navies wear the blue collar with a number of stripes around it. Now as a sprog in Raleigh, I remember being taught that the 3 stripes on a pussers collar were to denote Lord Nelson's 3 great naval victories. That being the case, have other countries' navies just knicked the design because it look rather dapper?
 

Jack77

War Hero
When I joined the RAN I was told that the collar was to stop tar from a pigtail staining your jumper, the 3 stripes around it commemorated Nelsons victories at Copenhagen, the Nile and Trafalgar, the silk was actually a gunners sweat rag stained black by gunpowder smoke and the lanyard was to hold a knife. The bells had 7 creases for the 7 seas and were designed to be rolled up easily for scrubbing the deck and could be used as a life bouy by tying off the ends.

Easy to see that all this came from the RN originally and we even dressed females in it from about 1990, but sadly the tiddley, tailor made rigs are no more. Junior rates now wear a shirt and tie on most occasions with a bastardised version of the old rig brought out on ceremonial occasions. :sad:
 

grefs

Lantern Swinger
Jack77 said:
The bells had 7 creases for the 7 seas and were designed to be rolled up easily for scrubbing the deck and could be used as a life bouy by tying off the ends.]

Depending on on your height the bell bottoms had either 7 creases, as you have said, or if you were shorter, 5 creases, for the 5 oceans.
 

Six_and_a_Half

Lantern Swinger
I always understood that the lanyard was supposed to be used for the firing of the ships cannons.

Also I was told that Nelson's victories had nothing to do with the three stripes on the collar. When the square rig first came into the Navy, sailors made their own collar and would sew one, two or three white stripes in as they choose. It wasn't until the 1850's that it was decided to standardised the collar at three stripes, since this one was most popular.

Jack77 is sadly correct about the bastardised rig. Traditionally the trousers were turned inside out for ironing to protect them, hence the creases were inverted, and the creases up the side were to fold the trousers down.

Today the trousers have 'normal' creases and no creases up the side.
 

PartTimer

War Hero
Jack77 said:
When I joined the RAN I was told that the collar was to stop tar from a pigtail staining your jumper, the 3 stripes around it commemorated Nelsons victories at Copenhagen, the Nile and Trafalgar, the silk was actually a gunners sweat rag stained black by gunpowder smoke and the lanyard was to hold a knife. The bells had 7 creases for the 7 seas and were designed to be rolled up easily for scrubbing the deck and could be used as a life bouy by tying off the ends.

Easy to see that all this came from the RN originally and we even dressed females in it from about 1990, but sadly the tiddley, tailor made rigs are no more. Junior rates now wear a shirt and tie on most occasions with a bastardised version of the old rig brought out on ceremonial occasions. :sad:

JRs in the RN now wear the tropical shirt - a step down from the old white front, but a step up from wearing 4s which had increasingly become prevalent.
 

sulzer

Lantern Swinger
Bell Bottoms: In an old Seamanship Maual (1932?) it stated that the creases could done using the "loom of an oar" presumably this was done on the upperdeck!
 
PartTimer said:
Jack77 said:
the silk was actually a gunners sweat rag stained black by gunpowder smoke and the lanyard was to hold a knife.


Wasnt the silk a comforter, given to sailors by there sweethearts as a reminder of there loved one ?

And the Lanyard a yard of string to fire the cannons ?
 
The Royal Navy and the Royal Netherlands Navy share the same Church Pennant comprising the colours of their ensigns.

gb~chpnt.gif
 

Deckhead_Inspector

Lantern Swinger
Well I think it is safe to say that any Navy that wears "blue" uniforms follows the RN. The origins of which have absolutely nothing to do with the colour of the sea. Legend has it (officially any way) that the King was rather impressed by the blue and gold hunting garb of a lady at court so he decided the navy should dress like that.

(The airforce wear light blue because there was a lot of cloth of that colour lying around in Lancashire after the Russian Revolution and the army wear brown because they like playing in mud. They wear red because Cromwell put the New Model Army in it because it was cheap.)

Thankfully the french and german navies never quite developed the tradition of winning a battle.

The Imperial Japanese Navy was very Pusser in its organisation.
 
Deckhead_Inspector said:
Thankfully the french and german navies never quite developed the tradition of winning a battle.

Quite right about the Frogs but the Imperial German Navy didn't lose too badly at Jutland.
 
Over here on the Western Shore we were taught that the RN was the basis of US Navy Tradition.

The links are enclosed so any interested may see if any RN traditions are on the US site..

One of the many U.S. Navy Terminology links

A third page...

Navy Blue: From .. Origin of U.S. Navy Terminology, a second link Blue has not always been "navy blue." In fact is wasn't until 1745 that the expression navy blue meant anything at all.

In that year several British officers petitioned the Admiralty for adaption of new uniforms for its officers. The first lord requested several officers to model various uniforms under consideration so he could select the best. He then selected several uniforms of various styles and colors to present to George II for the final decision.

King George, unable to decide on either style or color, finally chose a blue and white uniform because they were the favorite color combinations of the first lord's wife, Duchess of Bedford.

Black neckerchief. Black in memory of Lord Nelson

I'm sure that there are many more..

We have broken tradition in a few areas.. The mention of these are academic observations and not intended to be taken personally.
We hold our liquor better and are better looking on average.


:grin: :cool: :grin: :cool: :grin: :cool: :grin: :cool: :grin: :cool: :grin:
 

Heart-of-Oak

Badgeman
Squirrel said:
I've noticed that Junior ranks of most other navies wear the blue collar with a number of stripes around it. Now as a sprog in Raleigh, I remember being taught that the 3 stripes on a pussers collar were to denote Lord Nelson's 3 great naval victories. That being the case, have other countries' navies just knicked the design because it look rather dapper?

Oh I thought it was sponsored by Adidas :lol:
 
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