Sword transport to BRNC?

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by ferriterod, Aug 12, 2010.

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  1. I'm off to Dartmouth in the coming intake of September 13th. Living in Northern Ireland, I was optimistic about bringing my car with me, but have just had permission refused.

    Instead, I'm flying with Ryanair. This poses the problem of how to transport my sword (which has just been handed down by a very kind uncle) to BRNC. I doubt Ryanair will take it as baggage, and even if they did, can I trust them?!

    Does anyone know if Royal Mail will carry it?

    Any thoughts/experience/advice is/are very welcome. Cheers!
  2. For the two or three times you will get to use it, you'd be better off just using an issue one. It will just create hassle and you will probably have to keep it in the armoury where people will fcuk about with it. When you eventually pass out get one of your family members to bring it and let them worry about the transport probs.

    Edited to add: If you really must take it use TNT, I use them for gun parts so a sword shouldn't pose any snags.
  3. Parcel Force perhaps ?
    Providing they are well packed, and insured to be on the safe side.

    I have had two sabres that were transported to me by a seller - no problem experienced, and no damage to the goods when received.

  4. Having survived 32 years as an RN officer without a personal sword, I'd say save yourself the hassle at BRNC and just draw one from the armoury when required as 2DD advises. After passing out, you will always be able to claim pints from people like me who ask to borrow it for weddings but official occasions for wearing it will be few and far between unless/until you become a flag lieutenant or military/naval attaché somewhere.
  5. I've just passed out and the swords are in a pretty shoddy state. But you don't get to touch them until the second term anyway so I defo wouldn't take it with you until then. You'll then be able to have your car or, as suggested, your family can bring it with them.
  6. Another point of note is the fact that your uncle's sword will most likely be an older style Wilkinson or other decent maker. This is great for showing off and a nice conversation piece, but the sad reality is they need a lot of care and it will need to be polished a lot. The new style swords, while vastly inferior in quality, are a staybrite material and will make your sword look dull, old and scruffy in comparison.

    Do you want to spend all night polishing and still be the only one on parade with a dull looking sword?

    Nice old pattern sword, presumably like yours:

    Gopping new style one:

    Edited to add: Before you get any ideas, I'm not and never have been an RN Officer, but I did work in a lot of RN armouries and with a lot of drill pigs. I also like big fcuk off shiny blades.
  7. But you said, re the picture of you wearing the Brazil shirt, that you were a 2 1/2!
  8. If you are starting in Sept DO NOT BOTHER BRINGING YOUR SWORD

    Really, do not bother. You will at no point in your first 14 weeks need it, and it will be an unnecessary embuggerance both during rounds, and on the plane. You won't do sword drill until the final 4 weeks of your second term so worry about it then.

    Don't bring it, and see you at Totnes on the 13th... I'll be the devilishly handsome one....
  9. I was talking about my cock size.

    In feet.
  10. Hey WBD, how's your summer leave going? I'm already bored and so looking forward to my EXTA. 6 weeks is too long!...ok, I shouldn't be complaining!
  11. OI - it's going great, and no don't complain, enjoy it while it lasts! I managed to duck out of the EXTA list thankfully so its all mine. Where you going?
  12. I'm off to Bavarian Surprise so properly dipped in :) You're basically in for several more weeks when we get back too aren't you? Are you A or B flight?
  13. B Flight, got the job of collecting the New Entry from the Station and then acting as Sea Parents for the first two weeks. Then get a load of AT done while we wait for our grading slot!

    winner :D
  14. Why are RN officers issued with these long and narrow blades instead of a proper heavy, curved cutlass? Surely that would be more appropriate?

    Edit : OK I've answered my own question : we're stuck with these gay looking straight ones because those were the last pattern issued. Still . . .

    This Dutch one looks far more business though. Not hard to bling it up.
  15. In keeping with strict class divisions and misplaced ideas of chivalry dating back to knights of yore, officers were supposed to fight officers while sailors were supposed to fight sailors. In extremis, officers could fight sailors if they ran out of appropriate adversaries but woe betide any sailor who confronted an officer unless invited in writing. The French, of course, could never be trusted to abide by any rules and this accounts for Nelson suffering his mortal wound at the hands of a sale fusilier marin.

    The gentlemanly wielder of a sword was meant to use deft-looking movements to deliver a sophisticated form of death or injury with the point of his weapon, whereas the lowly wielder of a cutlass was meant to use its edge in a suitably rough, hacking fashion. As intended, this meant that officers, who had more delicate dispositions than their subordinates, suffered less disfigurement in keeping with their lofty status whereas jack tar was expected to proffer and sustain the odd dismemberment and remain jolly despite his hideous injuries. At the end of any engagement, severed limbs and other body parts were collected and given decent burial. This explains the origin of the traditional naval expression, "All hands on deck."

    A detailed history of the naval sword is provided in the following Naval Review article but it only repeats what I've said in a more scholarly manner:

    Two hundred years for the Naval Sword

    The Naval Review also contains this anecdote by Vice-Admiral Sir Louis Le Bailly:

    [quote='Naval Review Vol. 80 No. 4 Oct 1992"]Naval Swords

    NEXT to cavalry sabres, naval swords are sometimes difficult to cope with.

    My predecessor in the USA, aware of the tangle apt to occur, used to board his Sedan when on official visits carrying his sword separately. He then armed himself by attaching the various catches and awaited his arrival, the red carpet, the US Marine Guard and Band and the usual bevy of receiving officers. It was unfortunate that on one occasion, on arrival, the door was opened by an enormous USN crewman, the Guard presented arms, the band played and the Sedan started to move off, carrying with it my predecessor whose sword straps were entangled in the seat belt. Frenzied cries eventually stopped the Sedan before he was dragged; but this was a part of my turnover I never forgot.

    My own experience was less notable. Having given away one of the several trophies presented by our Fleet Air Arm to the US Navy at 0900 one summer's morning, I partook, perhaps less enthusiastically than the young Lieutenants destined to take me to the airport, with that type of Martini that only Americans can mix. After one false turning we arrived at the airport as the steps to the (commercial) aircraft were being raised. Shrieking hysterically I boarded the plane to be met by a 'Sky Marshal' with a drawn pistol and terse instructions to give him my sword - or else!

    After explanations I was sat down and given a strong Scotch reviver by the stewardess: but the 'Sky Marshal' sat across the aisle and my sword was locked in the pilot's compartment. I noticed a couple of obvious Brits but the combination of Martinis and Scotch brought about blessed sleep until Washington DC, when my sword was returned once I had disembarked.

    A fortnight later the William Hickey column, informed no doubt by the British passengers, headlined British Adrniral Surrenders his sword. Two weeks later some smart reporter noticing my daughter's engagement wrote in the same column, British Admiral who lost his sword now loses his daughter.

    All this came back to me when I happened to notice that in all the photos of senior officers (and more junior ones too) when walking or marching that appear in Navy News or the Press, only the First Sea Lord holds his sword properly at 'the carry'. The remainder always seem to hold it by the hilt as the army do with curved cavalry sabres.

    A small point but it looks untidy.

    LOUIS LE BAILLY[/quote]
  16. I'd rather be old and scruffy than a shiny arriviste.....
  17. Interesting link Naval Gazer.

    From that site :

    Last one on the right has the best looking blade.
  18. SWORDS?? 'What do you think this is, the middle ages?Only girls fight with swords these days..(Stephen Fry, AKA The Duke of Wellington,. Blackadder 3)
  19. Thanks all for the replies - seems like having a personal sword is a nice thing, but only a pain in the ass for the first term. Thus, I'll probably wait to the second term and bring it across in the car.

    See you on the 13th WBD - I'll be the one trying not to look nervous!

    P.S. It's a Gieves and Hawkes sword, which was bought new in the 70s. It does look pretty scruffy until it gets a good clean!

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