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RN in the age of sail - was it as bad as all that?

Invergordon ..
There was also one in the 1920's
I had only vaguely heard of that and reading the wiki entry you realise how petty our major political/economic issues of today are by comparison.

Look at the names of the ships involved, they read like a roll call of the great ships of WWII that we of a later generation made as Airfix models as kids, Hood, Malaya, Norfolk, Repulse, Rodney and the gallant Warspite, and here were their crews walking off singing the Red Flag! Is it any wonder the pound slumped and the stock market crashed? It must have seemed like the End of Times had arrived.

And yet, like the Nore and Spithead, a bit of judicial handling, an acknowledgement of grievances and the quiet removal of a handful of troublemakers and order was soon restored. A very British mutiny indeed.

Right, time to get back on topic.
 
Off at a tangent but still about sail powered vessels “The Last Great Grain Race” by Eric Newby is well worth reading.

It describes his experiences having signed onto one of the last sailing ships carrying grain from Australia, showing the hardships associated with crewing such a ship around Cape Horn. I suspect some of his experiences in the late 1930s were not far from those of the lower deck in the RN in the early 1800s.
 
With regards to mutuny etc - in modern times- although Ive never witnessed, nor heard of actually happening in anything other than apocryphal stories- there was a thing called 'Down hatches' - where a messdeck 'mutinied' by simply closing the hatch and occupants refusing to 'sailor'. Like I said- never heard of it happening in my time.

I do recall though some recollection of- if say a trigger point is reached and for example x% of the ship are under disciplinary action for whatever reason - something I think known as 'ship's investigation' is called and an external senior officer goes through the running of the ship with a fine toothed comb- in order to establish whether the command / heads of department are somehow at fault. I'm unsure on this though - @alfred_the_great will know the definitive answer.
 
Collingwood wrote one of the saddest letters I have ever read. In July 1808, after commanding the Mediterranean fleet in the three years after Trafalgar, he had his portrait painted and sent home to his wife. She wrote back saying it was a poor likeness. This is Collingwood's reply:


I am sorry to find my picture was not an agreeable surprise: I did not say anything to you about it, because I would always guard you as much as I could against disappointment; but you see, with all my care, I sometimes fail. The painter was reckoned the most eminent in Sicily; but you expected to find me a smooth-skinned, clear-complexioned gentleman, such as I was when I left home, dressed in the newest taste, and like the fine people who live gay lives ashore. Alas! it is far otherwise with me. The painter was thought to have flattered me much: that lump under my chin was but the loose skin from which the flesh has shrunk away; the redness of my face was not, I assure you the effect of wine, but of burning suns and boisterous winds; and my eyes, which were once dark and bright, are now faded and dim. The painter represented me as I am, not as I once was. It is time and toil that have worked the change. and not his want of skill. That the countenance is stern, will not be wondered at, when it is considered how many sad and anxious hours and how many heartaches I have. I shall be very glad when the war is over.

Wordsmith
I know exactly how he felt. As a descendant of the good Admiral, the redness of my face is not, I assure you, the effect of wine, but of burning suns and boisterous winds; and my eyes, which were once dark and bright, are now faded and dim. Whisky may have been involved, though.
 
With regards to mutuny etc - in modern times- although Ive never witnessed, nor heard of actually happening in anything other than apocryphal stories- there was a thing called 'Down hatches' - where a messdeck 'mutinied' by simply closing the hatch and occupants refusing to 'sailor'. Like I said- never heard of it happening in my time.

I do recall though some recollection of- if say a trigger point is reached and for example x% of the ship are under disciplinary action for whatever reason - something I think known as 'ship's investigation' is called and an external senior officer goes through the running of the ship with a fine toothed comb- in order to establish whether the command / heads of department are somehow at fault. I'm unsure on this though - @alfred_the_great will know the definitive answer.

There are such things as Ship's Investigations, but I've never heard of them used for such a manner.
 
Nearest to a proper mutiny since the 30’s was probably HMS Decoy.
JJ Black who was on the naughty step at the time was given it with the remit to ‘sort her out’. The Skipper had lost control of the ship, the Officers were no better, and the crew were a rebellious rabble ‘muttering uneasily in the messdecks’.
he came aboard, relieved the weak Skipper, then went through the HODs with a dose of salts, iirc, most were relieved, went through the Senior Rates, then sorted out the Stokers Mess, the source of much of the problems. The old man said half the crew were either dismissed ship, charged or on defaulters.
A good example of how a ‘nice’ Skipper can be walked over by the crew and breed an unhappy ship, while someone hard as nails but utterly fair like JJ could turn it into a happy one with a fierce pride.
 

cymraeg

War Hero
In the modern context, you did.

As a young man how much was the idea of adventure a draw to you?

From my time it seemed to be a major part, along with the idea of a well-paid job with prospects.

The prospect of losing one’s life didn't really get a look in.

Every young gentleman should have a few years of adventure before settling down. Puts a lot into perspective.

Live learn love make mistakes and try to learn from them. Push hard and you will be amazed at whats within reach.

Well worked for me and will be the advice to my son.
 
Any detail on that? I enjoy a good mutiny.

Here you go.


(Court Martial - HMS Cochrane, Rosyth, Scotland – August 18th 1970)


A court martial here today was told of “hilarious” happenings on board the minehunter HMS Iveston at Ullapool, Wester Ross, on July 6. Five naval ratings charged with talking part in a mutiny were said to have acted out a pirate scene with the name of characters from Mutiny on the Bounty being mentioned and Irish rebel songs sung outside the officers’ wardroom.


The court martial is the first of its kind in the Navy since 1954.


Witnesses stated that the alleged mutiny ended after four hours with four of the men being led peacefully from the ship by three Ross-shire policemen.


Charged with taking part in a mutiny on board HMS Iveston at Ullapool are Edward Griffiths etc etc


Able Seamen Griffiths is also charged with assaulting Chief Petty Officer Stanley Templeton, and with the four others is accused of disobeying orders. All five have pleaded Not Guilty.


In a circumstantial letter read to the court it was stated that AB Griffiths complained about the condition of the bacon! on the ship and was told that the galley was locked.


He was told by CPO Templeton, the coxswain that any request would have to be put through proper channels He was ordered to go below.


AB Griffiths, it was alleged, then grabbed the coxswain with one hand and struck him with the other.


At midnight Petty Officer Quinn went to the mess deck with orders from the first lieutenant that the men should turn in.


Griffiths, Kirkbride, Smith, O’Malley and Bowers were talking together in groups” , the circumstantial letter continued “Suddenly one of them said: “Let’s have a mutiny”
The name Fletcher Christian and Captain Bligh were mentioned in a hilarious way, and the five men then acted humorous mutinous pirate scene for almost two minutes.


According to the letter, the five men organised a sit-in protest. After some time police arrived at the request of the ship’s officers.


When a Petty Officer went in the pantry to make coffee for the police and himself, Griffiths said: - “You’ll find the milk in the hat”. The petty officer then noticed that milk have been poured into an officer’s cap which was sitting in the sink!
 
Here you go.


(Court Martial - HMS Cochrane, Rosyth, Scotland – August 18th 1970)


A court martial here today was told of “hilarious” happenings on board the minehunter HMS Iveston at Ullapool, Wester Ross, on July 6. Five naval ratings charged with talking part in a mutiny were said to have acted out a pirate scene with the name of characters from Mutiny on the Bounty being mentioned and Irish rebel songs sung outside the officers’ wardroom.


The court martial is the first of its kind in the Navy since 1954.


Witnesses stated that the alleged mutiny ended after four hours with four of the men being led peacefully from the ship by three Ross-shire policemen.


Charged with taking part in a mutiny on board HMS Iveston at Ullapool are Edward Griffiths etc etc


Able Seamen Griffiths is also charged with assaulting Chief Petty Officer Stanley Templeton, and with the four others is accused of disobeying orders. All five have pleaded Not Guilty.


In a circumstantial letter read to the court it was stated that AB Griffiths complained about the condition of the bacon! on the ship and was told that the galley was locked.


He was told by CPO Templeton, the coxswain that any request would have to be put through proper channels He was ordered to go below.


AB Griffiths, it was alleged, then grabbed the coxswain with one hand and struck him with the other.


At midnight Petty Officer Quinn went to the mess deck with orders from the first lieutenant that the men should turn in.


Griffiths, Kirkbride, Smith, O’Malley and Bowers were talking together in groups” , the circumstantial letter continued “Suddenly one of them said: “Let’s have a mutiny”
The name Fletcher Christian and Captain Bligh were mentioned in a hilarious way, and the five men then acted humorous mutinous pirate scene for almost two minutes.


According to the letter, the five men organised a sit-in protest. After some time police arrived at the request of the ship’s officers.


When a Petty Officer went in the pantry to make coffee for the police and himself, Griffiths said: - “You’ll find the milk in the hat”. The petty officer then noticed that milk have been poured into an officer’s cap which was sitting in the sink!
For a good number of years following this, the report of the inquiry into the mutiny was held as a Charge Book and was required reading for officers. It was a relatively minor matter following a good run ashore which kicked it off and it escalated. It was not helped by the fact that the Cox'n tried to take charge of the situation clad in his underwear. It also came out during the inquiry that the CO had hosted a 'gentleman of the road' to dinner onboard the ship during the port visit.
 
Excellent. I hope they were whipped around the Minesweeping Fleet (with leather bootlaces), and if not set adrift in the Minesweeper's Best Pinnace at least made to pander to the Gentleman of the Road's personal needs.

Although the Captain had probably already tended to that requirement.

Such are the Rules as laid down in my own personal craft.
 
Excellent. I hope they were whipped around the Minesweeping Fleet (with leather bootlaces), and if not set adrift in the Minesweeper's Best Pinnace at least made to pander to the Gentleman of the Road's personal needs.

Although the Captain had probably already tended to that requirement.

Such are the Rules as laid down in my own personal craft.
You pander to the needs of tramps? :oops: :rofl:
 
As my father once said: 'Fellating vagrants is no career son... more a hobby!'
 
Oh, sir, you know not what toll has been taken. I am now forced to employ a man of the lower, engineering, orders to facilitate work in the depths of the engine space; kneeling and other physical exertions are now beyond me. I must content myself with supervision and encouragement from the Bridge, with occasional fortifications of French fizzy wine to ensure efficient workings below. It is, sir, a disrating of my proper position, and I feel the shame, deeply.
1.jpg
 
A court martial here today was told of “hilarious” happenings on board the minehunter HMS Iveston at Ullapool, Wester Ross, on July 6. Five naval ratings charged with talking part in a mutiny were said to have acted out a pirate scene with the name of characters from Mutiny on the Bounty being mentioned and Irish rebel songs sung outside the officers’ wardroom.


The court martial is the first of its kind in the Navy since 1954.


Witnesses stated that the alleged mutiny ended after four hours with four of the men being led peacefully from the ship by three Ross-shire policemen.


Charged with taking part in a mutiny on board HMS Iveston at Ullapool are Edward Griffiths etc etc


Able Seamen Griffiths is also charged with assaulting Chief Petty Officer Stanley Templeton, and with the four others is accused of disobeying orders. All five have pleaded Not Guilty.


In a circumstantial letter read to the court it was stated that AB Griffiths complained about the condition of the bacon! on the ship and was told that the galley was locked.


He was told by CPO Templeton, the coxswain that any request would have to be put through proper channels He was ordered to go below.


AB Griffiths, it was alleged, then grabbed the coxswain with one hand and struck him with the other.


At midnight Petty Officer Quinn went to the mess deck with orders from the first lieutenant that the men should turn in.


Griffiths, Kirkbride, Smith, O’Malley and Bowers were talking together in groups” , the circumstantial letter continued “Suddenly one of them said: “Let’s have a mutiny”
The name Fletcher Christian and Captain Bligh were mentioned in a hilarious way, and the five men then acted humorous mutinous pirate scene for almost two minutes.


According to the letter, the five men organised a sit-in protest. After some time police arrived at the request of the ship’s officers.


When a Petty Officer went in the pantry to make coffee for the police and himself, Griffiths said: - “You’ll find the milk in the hat”. The petty officer then noticed that milk have been poured into an officer’s cap which was sitting in the sink!
Nice to see that in the finest tradition of Royal Navy mutinies there was some Irish miscreant in the lower decks involved, spreading dissension and mischief among the loyal Jack Tars.
 

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