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Would you like to share your mementoes of the ships you served in?
How about that commissioning book tucked away and probably just gathering dust?
We would really make good use of them on this website.
If you have anything to share then contact Dave Axford

Copyright remains with the original authors and photographers.




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The Royal Navy Today - 2001 Edition
(RN Promotional brochure)
This is a PDF file (1,089,113K)


How about an engraved stand for your bottle of rum?

A special coaster for someone special...

Get your desire fulfilled from




Swing the Lamp


Notes for Clients
Charter Statement
Territorial Army
and the Reserves


Royal Navy


MMS, BYMS's, 6thMCMS, Achates, Achilles, Aisne, Ajax, Albion, Antrim, Ark Royal, Arrow, Axford, Berwick, Blackwood, Britannia, Cassandra, Cavalier, Chatham, Cumberland, Dainty, Daring, Dunkirk, Eagle, Endurance, Euryalus, Exmouth, Fearless, Gambia, Glamorgan, Goliath, Gurkha, Hampshire, Hermes, Hood, Implacable, Invincible, Juno, Kent, Keren, King George V, Kirkliston, Lion, Mohawk, Montserrat, Newcastle, Nubian, Plymouth, Protector, Revenge, Scarborough, Sheffield, Somerset, Thyme, Triumph, TroubridgeTyne, Valiant, Victorious, Wave,

The Destroyer Memorial 1939-1945


Royal Navy


What is a Sailor?,  Why I like the navy, What is a Matelot? The Sailor's 10 Commandments, David Axford, Vic Cliffe, Dave Hutchinson,
The Legend of H.M.S. GANGES

A warm stroke from shore to ship: naval homages to Hong Kong's female side-parties

by Jo Stanley






(Ships taken up from Trade)


Shore Establishments

Ganges, Raleigh, St Vincent, 

Historic Ships

Heritage Protection Bill,

In Loving Memory

A.J. Frederick, 



  • What is it like serving in the Royal Navy?

  • What do sailors actually do?

  • Do you go anywhere interesting?

  • Which trades and skills are taught?

  • Is it ever boring in the Royal Navy?

  • What do you do when you're at sea and not on watch?

  • What's the food like?

These are just some of the most frequent questions a sailor gets asked. Choose any ship's commissioning book from the library and you'll find all the answers and more to the questions above. See how the many branches of the Royal Navy onboard ship defend our nation. See also the differences between serving on big ships and small ships. What sports they play. The help given by Royal Navy ships to countries requiring aid due to earthquakes, hurricanes etc. Well worth reading is the account of Ark Royal's 'Crossing the Line' (Part 8) ceremony, which gives a full description of this traditional occasion when crossing the equator.
I'm sure you'll find more than a few surprises along the way. For instance, did you know that the "Mighty Hood" was the first British warship to have a purpose built chapel onboard?

Queen's Colour for the Royal Navy

The spirit of a Service, Corps or Regiment are symbolised by the Colours. Colours is a general term that describes any flag that is flown to denote nationality, body of people or a place. The Queens Colour for the Royal Navy is specifically a special double folded silk White Ensign measuring 44 inches (1.17metres) by 36 inches (1.07 metres) in length with a crown and Royal Cypher as well as a gold and blue silk cord and gold tassels that are 42 inches long. All Queens Colours presented to the Royal Navy are standard in design and size and therefore never vary, unlike the Colours of the Army, which carry battle honours and the design varies from regiment to regiment.

Previous Colour presentations to the Fleet were in 1926 by King George V and then again in 1969 by our present Queen Elizabeth II.
Queens Colour 1969.  Plan of position of ships of the Western Fleet at anchor off Torbay 1969.

A new Queens Colour was presented to the Fleet by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday 23rd July 2003 in Plymouth Sound.

Consecration of the Queens Colour is enacted before and after service. The custom for the previous Colour is for it to be laid up after service in a sacred or public building. After the special ceremony on 24th July 2003, the old Queens Colour was laid up at the Church of St Nicholas in HMS Drake, Devonport.


  Clive Baker's Photo album of HMS Terror and Singapore

Restored 10" Lamp and message pads

Picture Gallery of Warship Paintings

Kirkliston, Cassandra, Daring, 

Picture Gallery of Life at Sea Paintings

Bridge Wireless Office, 



The South Atlantic Medal
Association (1982)
PO Box 82

Cutty Sark Tall Ships' Race

Portsmouth 2002


Open the bottle for a taste of the very best

Pusser's Rum


RN Bans Historic Toast to 'Wives and Sweethearts'

Political Correctness has reared its ugly head once more, causing the Royal Navy to ban another of its oldest traditions, as it no longer reflects the gender balance of the Senior Service.

From Saturday 23rd June 2013, for the first time in 200 years, RN officers onboard ship will no longer utter the traditional Saturday night toast to 'Our Wives and Sweethearts'.

The toast, which elicits the unofficial response: 'May they never meet!' has been changed because there are so many women officers at sea. The instruction changing the toast to 'Our Families' was issued by the Second Sea Lord Vice-Admiral David Steel.

The toast on Tuesday has also been changed from "Our Men" to "Our sailors".

  • Sunday - "Absent friends"

  • Monday - "Our ships at sea"

  • Tuesday - "Our sailors"

  • Wednesday - "Ourselves (as no-one else is likely to concern themselves with our welfare)"

  • Thursday - "A bloody war or a sickly season"

  • Friday - "A willing foe and sea-room"

  • Saturday - "Our families"


    Royal Navy


    Shiner has published his book
    in paperback, hardback and now
    on this website for your enjoyment

    You can read all of the 344 pages here


    (The following books are on sale in all good bookshops)

    Time for a good read...




    Pull Up a Bollard... HMS Ganges and Beyond


    Chris Neylan


    Interesting account of boys naval training at HMS GANGES and beyond

    Well written in showing what life was like at HMS GANGES in the late Sixties. Those who have been to Ganges will compare the similarities and differences, bringing back many memories of their own. I liked the different chapters being broken up into chunks separated by the logo of a helm, making it easy to pick up and read if only for a few minutes, though I warn you that you'll find it hard to put down. I'm sure those who haven't been to Ganges will be enlightened and find it very interesting too. Once the year's training was over Chris' next draft was to HMS Cambridge where Chris specialised in gunnery. From there his first sea-going ship was to HMS TORQUAY, which was part of the Dartmouth Training Squadron that taught cadets in becoming officers. Next draft was to HMS Gurkha deploying around the Middle East. Final draft was to HMS Excellent that included being based at Fraser gunnery range and HMS St George, oh, and not forgetting a five day remand in Detention Quarters. A really enjoyable read.



    Written by Terry Lowndes, a shipmate. Treat yourself to an excellent read.....


    From childhood in New Zealand to manhood in Britain and beyond. This is a tale of one man's life (Terry Lowndes) as he lived it. Sometimes tough, always entertaining. The Royal Navy stories graphically illustrate the class system which prevailed in the Royal Navy of the sixties and seventies. His life then continues in the tough world of international truck driving in the Middle East, going through places normal sane people would stay away from. And then on to oil exploration work in the Libyan desert. A good rollicking read. Some part of it will strike a chord in every one who reads it. Highly recommended for all ex servicemen. 

    John Crawford
    (EX RN and Retired Cop)


    Written by George Southern BEM (Mil), one of the few survivors...




    Edited by Ian Hawkins, foreword by Len Deighton...


    An anthology of first-hand accounts of the war at sea 1939-1945



    (other than Royal Navy)

    Written by Willaim Ash MBE and Brendan Foley...


    Brendan Foley has written a new book with Bill Ash, a remarkable Spitfire pilot and escape artist, published this week (end of March 2005) in the UK by Bantam Press.

    The easiest way to describe Bill is as a real-life version of the fictional character of Hilts the 'Cooler King' played by Steve McQueen in The Great Escape. In his review of Under the Wire, Alan Plater comments "Bill Ash is the real thing. He makes Steve McQueen look like Jim Carrey". There is much to interest RN fans - Bill flew convoy cover, participated in the Channel Dash attack on the Scharnhorst and escaped alongside his friend Jimmy Buckely RN of the Fleet Air Arm.

    The book is currently available in the UK at 30% off through  - the website also contains some great reviews, photos and an extract from the book. I'm very proud to have been involved with Under The Wire, and hope you will take a look. It is also available at most UK bookshops.

    About the book: Bill Ash lost his US citizenship to join the RAF (RCAF 411 Sqdn) while America was still neutral in 1940. He flew Spitfires in combat in 1941 and was shot down over France in 1942. He crash-landed and was helped by the French Resistance, eventually falling into the hands of the Gestapo in Paris where he was tortured for refusing to give away the names of his helpers.

    He was then sent to a series of POW camps, including Stalag Luft III, made famous by The Great Escape. He helped to lead major tunnel breakouts in camps in Germany, Poland and Lithuania before finally escaping in the last days of the war. He is still alive and well, living in London where he remained after the war and was awarded the MBE for his escape activities.

    Sometimes very funny, sometimes heart-wrenching, Bill describes the humour and humanity that helped ordinary people achieve extraordinary things during the conflict that shaped our history. This week is the UK launch, also Australia and NZ (the book will be available in USA and Canada from October).

    Brendan Foley
    Co-Author with Bill Ash
    Under The Wire













    Abraham Lincoln, Wisconsin, Missouri, 



    Picture Gallery of Warship Paintings

    Cole, Wisconsin,


    People's Republic of