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What a rum honour
IT was the last trip out to sea on board HMS York, doing her trials off Spit Head for a number of York and District Royal Naval Association veterans.
As a former corporal in the Royal Marines, I was invited to join Commander Cox, the ship’s captain, in his sea cabin.
Assembled in the cabin were a party of young trainee officers, including some from foreign navies, who had no knowledge of RN history and tradition. Captain Cox suggested we might enlighten them by reading from pages of Soldiers Of The Sea, my book of more than 450 stanzas.
The captain’s choice was Nelson’s Blood, a rough explanation of the rum issue in bygone days.
It must have gone down well. After the reading the captain gave his thanks and awarded me with the highest honour that can be presented to a member of the lower deck, a bottle of Pussers Rum. That must be a corporal of Royal Marines’ final and grandest accolade.
Bernard Hallas, Hawthorne Avenue, Haxby , York.