About | Volunteer | Support
History Project Facebook
History Project Youtube
History Project on Instagram
sponsors
sponsors

On This Day… A Sad Day For The Royal Navy’s Poor Sailors

Written by: George Chittenden : 22 May 2019

It was on this day, 31st July back in 1970 when the Royal Navy issued sailors with a daily rum ration for the very last time, ending a 300-year-old tradition. The Royal Navy’s history with alcohol began all the way back in the 17th century, when sailors were given a daily ration of a gallon of beer. In those days beer was relatively weak and was often consumed instead of water as it was safer to drink. It was also introduced as a way of boosting the morale of the crew and maintaining high spirits during long sea voyages. As the British Empire expanded and sea voyages grew longer the Royal Navy required a longer lasting drink than beer, which often rotted in barrels and took up lots of space in cargo holds. It was in the year 1655 when they finally switched to rum, and half pint of rum became the equivalent.

As you can imagine it was preferred by sailors as it was much stronger than the beer and they now had a way of actually getting drunk. Of course, drunkenness on board naval vessels became a problem, so the ration was formalised in naval regulations by Admiral Edward Vernon in 1740 when he ordered it to be mixed with water in a 4:1 water to rum ratio and split into two servings per day. The tradition of drinking on the job aboard Royal Navy ships continued right up to this very day, back in 1970. The final ration was poured at around 11am as usual in the forenoon watch. Some sailors wore black armbands and some tots were even 'buried at sea'. It really was an end of an era for the Royal Navy

Search

By Era

To 5000 BCE 5000 - 2000 BCE 2000 BCE - 0 0 - 400 CE 400 - 800 CE 800 - 1100 CE 1100 - 1500 CE 1500 - 1700 CE 18th Century 19th Century 1900's 1910's 1920's 1930's 1940's 1950's 1960's 1970's 1980's 1990's 2000's 2010's

By Topic

Royal British Roman North American Egyptian Nautical European Social WW1 Military Viking Asian African Australian South American Political Celebrity WW2 Religion

We promote history by...

offering free articles and videos, providing free history experiences for children in schools and on weekends. Next year we will be visiting hospitals and providing unforgettable experiences to children who really need it and give them a chance to forget their condition, their treatment and their reality. Please join others who support our free projects by giving a small donation. We can only continue our great work with your help.

appealimage

Support The History Project


We are a family owned and operated Removal and International Overseas Shipping company based in DealHave a spare room or property you would like to make some money from? Contact Ally now  Advertise in this spaceTower Print and Design deliver the highest quality print on a whole range of items for a very reasonable priceTCleaning and Support Services, Kents premier eco-friendly, green office cleaning and Facilities Management companyThis wonderful family run company offers bespoke and tailored environmentally friendly Housekeeping packagesAspen Waite helps ambitious companies achieve their goals with quality advice and support, whatever the challenge.Local Lads that cover the Kent area, boasting a 9.9/ 10 on checkatrade.com these lads really give their very best for a very very fair price. ( image attached) phone number cwould be good under construction - 07791101946Local Lads that cover the Kent area, boasting a 9.9/ 10 on checkatrade.com these lads really give their very best for a very very fair price. ( image attached) phone number could be good under construction - 07791101946Local Lads that cover the Kent area, boasting a 9.9/ 10 on checkatrade.com these lads really give their very best for a very very fair price. ( image attached) phone number could be good under construction - 07791101946Deals best-kept secret, nestled in DealWe are a family owned and operated Removal and International Overseas Shipping company based in DealHave a spare room or property you would like to make some money from? Contact Ally now  Local Lads that cover the Kent area, boasting a 9.9/ 10 on checkatrade.com these lads really give their very best for a very very fair price. ( image attached) phone number could be good under construction - 07791101946Sea Cafe Coffee Shop Walmer Green, StrandGo back in time and explore DealHave a spare room or property you would like to make some money from? Contact Ally now  Go back in time and explore DealWellingtons are known for there expertly cooked food and hearty portions, here you will not go hungry. You can watch the ships sail by whilst you eat as Wellingtons is positioned right on the seafrontClock in the old fashioned way and roam DealGot some waste you have been meaning to get rid of? Give Benn a call, heHeritage WindClock in the old fashioned way and roam DealWe are a family owned and operated Removal and International Overseas Shipping company based in DealSpecialist brokers whoAspen Waite helps ambitious companies achieve their goals with quality advice and support, whatever the challenge.Heritage Wind155649328555222202910836341433544238212411184169