Royal Navy

Soldier With Poppy

Remembrance Day 2018

On Sunday the 11th of November 2018 at 11am the country will fall silent to remember those who fought for our country. This day is called Armistice Day, Remembrance Day or sometimes, more informally, Poppy Day. Each year veterans participate in the Cenotaph March Past at the Parade in Whitehall. The red poppy has become the symbol for Remembrance Sunday with poppy wreaths being laid at cenotaphs all over the country to commemorate Britain’s war dead. In more recent years there has been an increased appearance of the white poppy, a pacifist symbol of remembrance. White poppies, according to the Peace Pledge Union (PPU) represent remembrance for all victims of war, commitment to peace and a challenge to the glamorisation of conflict. The white poppy was produced in 1933 by the Women’s Co-operative Guild to symbolise ‘no more war’ and represents all victims of all wars. The red poppy appeal is organised by the Royal British Legion (RBL) and specifically represents remembrance [...]

HMS Pickle

HMS Pickle

There have so far been eight ships named HMS Pickle in the Royal Navy. The most recent being an Algerine-class minesweeper which was launched in 1943. The original HMS Pickle was launched in the 1800s and was a 10-gun topsail schooner. The ship was present at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, under John Richards’ Lapenotiere, but was unfortunately wrecked in 1808. During the Battle of Trafalgar, HMS Pickle was too small to fight but was given the honour of being the first ship to bring the news of Nelson’s victory to Great Britain. In 1995, five replica Baltic packet schooners were constructed. In 2005 one was renamed ‘Schooner Pickle’ and although not a replica of HMS Pickle, this ship took part in the 200 year Trafalgar celebration. Currently the ship is at Hull Marina on the Humber and is kept as a representation of the original Pickle. The anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar is on the 21st October. If you [...]

Medals in wear

How to wear your Medals

The British Armed Forces recognise outstanding personal achievements by giving individuals from the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and British Army various awards and decorations. Medals, ribbons and emblems awarded by HM The Queen are only permitted to be worn by the recipient. Whether friend or family, wearing someone else’s awards is classed as fraud. Ribbons can be worn without the medals themselves, apart from The Orders of the Garter and Thistle. Ribbons are to be worn over the left breast pocket button in the centre of the pocket. The ribbons are worn in rows with the most senior medal worn nearest the jacket lapel or front buttons, and in the top row if multiple rows are worn. The number of ribbons worn in a row depends on the width of the breast pocket, however, if the uniform has no breast pocket then the number of ribbons worn must be no more than five. If there is an incomplete row of [...]

HMS Hurworth

Mine Counter-Measure Vessels

During the 1990s the Royal Navy had two classes of off-shore patrol vessels: Island-class and Castle-class. In 1997, however, these were replaced by River-class which featured much larger vessels. The largest patrol vessel is HMS Protector which is a dedicated Antarctic patrol ship. There are also mine counter-measure vessels currently in service, including: the Sandown-class mine-hunters and the Hunt-class vessels. Hunt-class vessels have mechanical devices known as ‘sweeps’ used for disabling mines, while modern ships are soundproofed to reduce the chances of detonating the mines. Minesweeper vessels differ considerably to minehunter vessels. While minehunter vessels detect and neutralise mines, minesweepers clear open waters containing large numbers of mines.  Both vessels are formally referred to as mine counter-measure vessels (MCMV). There are various Royal Navy bases for the Mine Counter-Measures Squadron. HM Naval Base Clyde and Faslane are two of them. The First mine Counter-Measures Squadron (MCM1) recently received the Surface Flotilla Efficiency Trophy for keeping sea lanes safe from mines. When operating overseas, the [...]

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 Navy Sailors to perform Changing the Guard

Royal Navy sailors are to perform the Changing the Guard, often also referred to as the Changing of the Guard, at Buckingham Palace for the first time in the ceremony’s 357 year history. The sailors will also perform Royal Duties at St James’s Palace, Windsor Castle and the Tower of London. There will be 86 sailors from 45 different Royal Navy ships performing the ceremony after months of preparation at their headquarters in Portsmouth. Lt Cdr Steve Elliott will be Captain of the Queen’s Guard. He is believed to be the first in the Royal Navy since Sir Walter Raleigh in 1587. The Changing the Guard ceremony is usually carried out by one of the Foot Guard Regiments in their red military tunics. 2018 is set to be marked as the ‘Year of the Navy’ which is why there’s a change. The Changing the Guard is the ceremony where one set of guards hands over the responsibility of protecting Buckingham Palace and [...]