Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Saturday, August 31, 2019

The King—God Bless Him!

This past 16 August was International Rum Day. The Royal Navy's sailors of the High Seas Fleet benefited from the tradition of of a daily rum ration dating back to 1655, shortly after the invasion of Jamaica by the Royal Navy. The daily tot became codified in 1731 but was later watered down, affectionately named "Grog." The rum ration was abolished on 31 July 1970 and is now commemorated on "Black Tot Day" every year. 

Source National Museum of the Royal Navy


  1. I’ll bet they never said “bottoms up!” when they got their rum ration. :-)

  2. Rum was very much a form of currency in the navy. My father served in WW2 and often traded rum for favours. You were not permitted to bottle it but he did and brought it ashore for family at home. It was traded for periods of duty so that he could get ashore. Similarly cigarettes that were in short supply at home came in handy. When faced with a queue at the bus station he would ask the driver to slow down at the corner after leaving the bus station. As it drove past he would hop on and hand a packet of 10 fags to the conductor to share with the driver.