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NAVY NEWS, SEPTEMBER 2010


27


What does a name cost?


IN THE July issue you carried a report about the Logisticians reverting to their previous (and better known) job titles after six years of an unpopular name change.


As a taxpayer and aware that defence spending is regrettably going to be cut back, the original idea must have cost a lot of money to introduce and now more money will be spent to make the reversal. The article said that


extensive consultation...” – was there no one whose voice carried weight at the time of the original change to say it shouldn’t have been done? While having a ‘gripe’,


● SA Andrew Stevenson casts over the stern of HMS Albion the last of the gash as the farewell to the tot in July 1970


While most entitled ratings would have been served their tot at ‘Up Spirits’ at around 1100 to 1200 BST on that fateful day, they were certainly not the last to draw their grog or neaters. Mismusters were served in HM ships at around 1600 and were common in training establishments, where the tot was not thought conducive to instruction and learning. While the date chosen by their


THE 40th anniversary, on July 31 1970, of the abolition of the Tot – Black Tot Day – gave rise to national publicity for the last of the original rum now on sale at £600 a bottle – and a few lucky old sea dogs even got to try some!


Lordships was a Friday, and a day when many would be on summer leave, I suspect there might even have been those who chose to ensure they were on second leave so that they could enjoy their tot for one last time and stake their place in naval history.


Many ships would have been in home ports that last day of July, but a few would be at sea and some well to the west of


the last tot? Who drew


the UK, in the west Atlantic, the West Indies and, perhaps, in the Pacific east of the Date Line. I’m not sure if the few naval ratings serving on the staff of SNOWI [Senior Naval Officer West Indies], or in the shore establishments HMS Malabar, in Bermuda, and HMS Saker, in Washington, were allowed to draw their ration.


So the question is who was the last man to draw his tot on July 31 1970, perhaps at mismusters, thousands of miles west of home waters?


I’d guess that it might have been the senior SA(V), the victualling Jack Dusty himself responsible for the accounting and issuing of the precious liquid, if on board a ship, or a Chief Writer or CRS at the two shore bases then in the Americas.


Now at least well into his sixties, and more likely in his late seventies or even early eighties, we should attempt to tot up his name for posterity! – Cdr Mike Evans (never entitled to the tot!) Guildford


See page 8 for the winners of the Woods’ Rum Best Sea Dog Competition – Ed


carried a report a few months ago about one of HM ships having its water-making facilities changed out.


osmosis) will be more efficient than evaporation. When the ship was first built


pay twice. What will be the next double


whammy? The ‘new’ process (reverse


reverse osmosis was standard practice for the new North Sea oilfields being developed. Again, the taxpayer is having to


– Keith Adlam, Cowes, Isle of Wight


...I HAVE long enjoyed your campaign for sense in calling a chef a chef. I wrote to The Economist in


you “after


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June, after they had done a column attacking companies who gave people pompous names for simple jobs. Afterwards I got a letter from Cdre (as he was then) David Steele, top Loggy, telling me that the titles had been reviewed. So well done – a successful campaign, more or less! – Ken Napier, Chairman, Aquitaine Branch RNA, Beaugas, France


(Sorry – Ed)


I HAVE been an avid reader of Navy News since I discovered its existence about 25 years ago, many, many years after I’d left the Navy. However,


I am extremely


irritated by a stupid little quirk that has recently crept into your publication. I refer to silly little comments in parentheses by the editor – childish, fatuous and unnecessary.


I refer to the July edition page 17 and page 20 to name a few. – Glyn Thomas, ex Ganges boy, Wimborne, Dorset


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