Many changes have taken place over the years in the Royal Navy. Once we enjoyed a tot of rum issued at noon every day, that’s now long gone. Not such a bad thing when we think of sailors running nuclear powered submarines. Uniforms have changed, we wore black caps in winter and white in summer, now its white year round. The Royal Navy was once an exclusive male domain, girls joined the WRNS (Women’s Royal Navy Service) and strictly operated on shore. They wore a different uniform and their badges were blue. The joke in those days was, How can you tell a wren from a Sailor???? wrens wore doubled breasted jackets. The biggest change of the century, in fact, maybe the biggest change in any century was women going to sea. Many sailors do not think this is a good idea, many sailors wives do not think it is a good idea. I can’t speak from experience as I have never sailed with females aboard ship. I have also never sailed in a ship when rum wasn’t issued either. I suppose a combination of rum and women might have been a problem. In today’s Navy I believe women can play just as important a role as their male counterparts. The last RN ship I sailed on was HMS Ark Royal (1990 all male crew) and talking with a couple of the ships officers I learned the more difficult issue was fast becoming the finding of suitable or willing crew to do the more menial tasks required aboard ship. Most new recruits are joining with university degrees or at least college education, mopping the deck or head is not part of their expectations or ambitions. Seems to me today’s RN is a much more complicated navy than it was in my day. But I must admit Its fun to sit onshore and speculate about the many difficulties of today’s navy. It brings to mind what we often said about another matelot in difficult times. “Tough Titty Jack” I’m inboard.
The good old days, gone for ever!!!!
God Bless and keep reading.
Join 220 other subscribers