Royal Marines

Military Funerals

Military Funerals

A military funeral is a memorial given by the military for a serviceman who died in battle, a veteran or prominent military figures. A military funeral may include the firing of a volley of shots as a salute, drumming, a flag draped over the coffin or a guard of honour. In British Army military funerals, reserved arms are carried and the Last Post and Rouse of Reveille are sounded. Any Service personnel who died while serving are entitled to a private funeral or a funeral at public expense. Generally, there is no ceremonial at a private funeral. This normally depends on the next of kin in conjunction with the unit. Military funerals take place with some or all military honours depending on the circumstances. Any salutes of guns are fired after the body has been laid to rest. The Military honours are: – Bearer Party – Pall – Bearers – Insignia Bearers – Escort and Firing Party of Gun Salute – Musical support – Minute Guns Personnel who have served [...]

High Sheriff's visit Liberty Wing

High Sheriffs

A High Sheriff is a ceremonial officer appointed to each county of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Office of High Sheriff is a non-political Royal appointment lasting for a single year. The role dates back to Saxon times, when the ‘Shire Reeve’ was responsible for the maintenance of law and order within the county. High Sheriffs are the oldest secular Office in the UK after the Crown. Today there are 55 High Sheriffs serving the counties in England and Wales. Supporting the Crown is still one of their central roles, but they also lend support to crime prevention agencies, emergency services and the voluntary sector. Each year three nominations are made in a meeting of the Lords of the Council in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice. Every March the meeting of the Privy Council takes place where the Sovereign selects the High Sheriffs. This is known as the ancient custom of ‘pricking’. Male High Sheriffs wear [...]

Military Chaplains

Military Chaplains

A chaplain is a religious representative who is attached to a secular institution such as a prison, military unit or hospital. Originally, the world chaplain referred to a representative of the Christian faith, but is now applied to all faiths and philosophical traditions. The first recorded English military chaplains were priests on board vessels during the 8th century, however, the current form of military chaplain dates back to the First World War. A military chaplain provides pastoral, emotional and spiritual support to service personnel. They often conduct religious services whilst at sea or on a military base and are nominated or commissioned in different ways in different countries. A military chaplain could be an army-trained soldier with theological training or an ordained person who is nominated to the army by religious authorities. The Ministry of Defence employs chaplains in the UK, but their authority comes from their church. The Royal Navy chaplains are sent on a 16 week bespoke training course. This [...]

Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment

Military White Parade Gloves

They are to be worn by RAF and PMRAFNS Officers with a No 1A and 6A service dress, whether or not a sword is being worn, and with No 1 and 6 service dress when a sword is worn. White gloves are to be worn by airmen and women with No 1 and service dress when participating in: State Occasions, Royal Occasions, Guards of Honour, Service Funerals, Sovereign’s Birthday Parades and Guards at Royal residences. White gloves and white webbing may be worn at other ceremonial events but this is usually authorised by personnel before the event. The gloves are made from 100% cotton and have stitching on the cuff with a button. We stock the white parade gloves on our website. Click here to view them.

HMS Queen Elizabeth

Queen to formally commission HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The Queen has formally commissioned the aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth. She was joined by Princess Annie, First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones and Prime Minister Theresa May. It was the first time the Queen had seen the new flagship since Rosyth in July 2014. A commissioning ceremony usually takes place once a ship has completed its sea trials. In this specific ceremony The Queen said a few words and then the commissioning warrant was read. The Blue Ensign has been replaced with the White Ensign. The Blue Ensign has been flying from the ship during trials. The replacement of the Blue Ensign to the White Ensign symbolises the acceptance of HMS Queen Elizabeth into Her Majesty’s fleet. This also makes it an Official Navy Warship. The only milestone left for HMS Queen Elizabeth is the flight trials, which will begin in 2018. The HMS Queen Elizabeth is set to be deployed, with jets on board, in 2021. Her sister ship, HMS [...]

Royal Marines

The Royal Marines

The Royal Marines are the amphibious troops of the Royal Navy and one of the world’s most elite commando forces. They are held at a very high readiness in order to be able to respond quickly to events around the world. The Royal Marines were formed in 1755 as the infantry troops for the Royal Navy, however, they do have roots right back to the formation of the English Army’s Duke of York and Albany’s maritime regiment of Foot in 1664. The adaptable light infantry force are trained for rapid deployment and are capable of dealing with threats worldwide. The Royal Marines are split into different units: 3 Commando Brigade 1 Assault Group Royal Marines 43 Commando Royal Marines (or previously the Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines) Special Forces Support Group The Corps receive training on various things: amphibious warfare, arctic warfare, mountain warfare, expeditionary warfare and its commitment to the UK’s Rapid Reaction Force. Their training is the longest and one of the most physically [...]

RFA Cardigan Leading Royal Navy Ships in the Middle East

Royal Fleet Auxiliary

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) is a civilian manned unit delivering operational and logistical support worldwide for tasks undertaken by the Royal Navy. Some of these include warfighting, counter-piracy, disaster relief and counter-narcotic operations. The RFA is a support force aiding the Royal Navy and allows them to conduct global maritime operations. As well as its primary role of supplying Royal Navy ships with fuel, ammunition and supplies, it also transports Army and Royal Marine personnel and supports training exercises. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary has aviation training ships and hospital ships in its fleet along with landing ships. RFA officers wear Merchant Navy rank insignia with naval uniforms but are under naval discipline when the vessel is engaged on any war-like operations. The RFA was established in 1905 originally to provide coaling ships for the Navy. It wasn’t until the Second World War when the Royal Fleet Auxiliary really came into its own. The Royal Navy really depended on it as often [...]

HMS Queen Elizabeth in Rosyth Dockyard

HMS Queen Elizabeth is ready for Sea trials.

As Britain’s largest ever warship,  it’s been an anxious and exciting wait for the launch of HMS Queen Elizabeth as it finally left its dockyard in Rosyth to head out for sea trials. The 65,000 ton aircraft carrier squeezed through an exit with only 14 inch clearance on either side. After nearly a decade-long build, this marks the latest milestone for the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Class carriers, which have cost more than £6 billion pounds, the other being HMS Prince of Wales. One of the Royal Navy’s warships will be escorting HMS Queen Elizabeth while its commanders try out the North Sea and Moray Firth. Shore-based helicopters will also be on the lookout for any submarines trying to sneak a peek at Britain’s new warship. 1,000 sailors and contractors will be aboard testing the vessel for the next six weeks. 650 doors and hatches on the vessel have been checked for fire safety and to check they are water tight. Multiple [...]

Rope Walk

The Rope Walk

While in the modern industrial era rope is manufactured on a dedicated rope-making machine, traditionally it was made using what’s called a ropewalk. A ropewalk is a long straight narrow lane where long strands of material are laid out before being twisted together to make rope. The word walk comes from the fact that ropewalks were often extremely long and required that the workers literally walk up and down as they threaded each strand or ply on to the ropewalk machine’s spinning hooks. Some workers even used bikes if the rope walk was especially long. Ropewalks were notorious for being hard sweatshops but also a considerable fire hazard as the hemp dust generated was highly flammable and burned angrily. Rope used to be essential for sailing ships such as HMS Victory which required over 20 miles of rope. The ropewalk at Chatham Dockyard still produces rope and has an internal length of 346m. In 1790, when it was constructed, it was the longest [...]

HMS Ocean

HMS Ocean

Did you watch the HMS Ocean documentary ‘Warship’ on Channel 4? The show captures Britain’s biggest warship as it sails to the Gulf to lead the US Naval Combined Task Force 50. HMS Ocean is now 20 years old and weighs up to 28,000 tons. The fleet flagship of the Royal Navy was launched into sea in October 1995 and has a capacity of 40 vehicles and 830 Marines. She is designed to support amphibious landing operations and to support the staff of Commander UK Amphibious Force and Commander UK Landing Force. The ship can carry up to six Apache AH1 helicopters operated by the Army Air Corps as well as helicopters for the RAF. HMS Ocean is also capable of limited anti-submarine warfare activities, supporting afloat training and acting as a base facility for other embarked forces including counter-terrorism units. HMS Ocean is described as a ‘floating village’ with a hospital, bank, gym, pubs and shops on board to accommodate its [...]