View Full Version : 'Customs'

07-10-03, 07:28 AM
One of the old customs concerning Marines on board ship is that normally they are messed between the ship's company and the officers.This practice dates back to the Naval mutinies of 1797 when Admiral the Earl of St Vincent,who held the rank of General in the Corps,ordered that the sea soldiers,for whom he always had the highest regard,should mess between the officers and sailors.Only thus could he ensure that the quarterdeck authority would be upheld.

07-10-03, 08:00 AM
It is rare today to hear someone called 'a son of a gun', and anyone employing this expression may be interested to learn that it was a juicy old Royal Naval insult.The expression first came into use when women were allowed on board British warships during their brief sojourns in home ports and in ports abroad.Scenes of debauchery used to take place on the decks of a man-of-war.The gangway had to be kept free,and it was in the spaces between the the guns that the scenes occured.Hence to call a man 'a son of a gun' was equivalent to casting doubts on the legitimacy of his parentage.An definition of a boy born as a result of a tempory mess deck liasion was that he was 'begotten in the galley and born under a gun.Every hair of his head a rope yarn,every tooth a marlin spike,every finger a fish hook,and in his blood right good stockholm tar'. Aye jr

07-10-03, 04:58 PM
To the sailor (spit),Marines are irreverently know as 'Bootnecks' or 'Leathernecks',the later nickname deriving from the leathern tongue they once wore at the juction of the collar of their tunics.At that time they also wore pigtails.In the past they were also known as "turkeys",from the red tunics formerly worn,and 'jollies', which was the original nickname of the Trained Bands of the City of London from which the earliest recruits were mainly drawn; and even 'Bullocks', a reference to the beefy types who largely composed the Royal Marine Artillery. Between 1862 and 1923 when the two arms amalgamated,the Corps comprised the Royal Marine Light Infantry,who wore a thin red distinguishing stripe down the seam of their trousers; and the Royal Marine Artillery-originally formed to take over the handling of mortars in bomb ketches-who sported a broader red stripe on their trousers.They were then known respectively-and unofficially-as 'Red' and 'Blue' Marines,from the latter having worn blue tunics.Aye JR

07-22-03, 11:30 AM
I have a deep respect for HM Royal Marines. In 1982, I was promoted to Corporal by Captain J.J.B. Lear, HM Royal Marines who was an exchange officer in Second Marine Divison. I was out in the field going through Squad Leader School. and the promotion orders were brought out by Jeep. He was unaware of our custom of punching on the new stripes, and "kneeing on" the NCO blood stripe, but he was quickly brought up to speed by the gorillas of the training cadre. Later that evening, I was summoned to his tent, and he poured me a drink. I'll never forget it, as it was damn cold out there by Combat Town. Any idea how his career went after that? Semper Fi.

07-24-03, 10:49 AM
I had the Honor to be briefly associated with the 41 Commando of the British Royal Marines during the Chosin Reservoir battle in Nov.-Dec, 1950. They fought their way up to us on the way down the mountain during the fighting withdrawal to the sea. A number of them have been here to Southwest Florida to visit our Chapter. Thank you, Bootnecks!

07-24-03, 11:34 AM
Cheers Chosinvet51,being one of the 'old and bold 'from that era may I quote the words of Stephen G.Olmstead.Lieutenant General.United States Marine Corps,who as a young PFC with G-3-1 November 28th,1950.States and I quote!

Within this task force,acts of uncommon bravery by the Marines of 41 Commando and G-3-1 were universal.Each roadblock was assaulted and overcome by the time tested principle of aggressive combat inculated in the Marines of both Corps.We suffered severe casualties a third of the task force was killed or wounded in Hell Fire Valley.The chinese were tough veteran fighters the Marines of both Corps were tougher.

A old pal of mine who went through that hell,once said to me,that was one 'bloody'great battle but the combination was unbeatable. Semper Fidelis,and Per Mare Per Terram.Aye JR

07-24-03, 02:05 PM
" the Marines of both Corps were tougher. " - Amen!

In these day of Chobam armor, precision guided munitions, and other high tech gadget that make 'great TV', civilians forget that it is guts that win the day.

It was that toughness of our Marines that enabled them to push through heavily defended Iraqi bridgeheads, with no sleep and a handful of skittles.

And we did it together! Not burning the Commandant's house has bought the Royal Marines hundreds of years of good will! ;) Well, that and covering each other's 6 for all these generations.

07-27-03, 06:50 PM
i don't know people keep bringing up that we burnt down the white house. what is it one mistake and u dont let us forget it. it was a mistake u know the score dont let royal play with matches as fire and bootnecks is not the best combination in the world


07-27-03, 11:45 PM
Tony Blair apologized for it a couple of weeks ago. Water under the bridge.
what irks me is, the Canadians always try to seal the credit for it.

steve evans
08-26-03, 02:54 PM
Wish Tony B'liar would say sorry for being a total ar*ewipe! That pillock needs pulling through with a Christmas Tree!

Aint been on for a while thought I would have a skeg. (still a good forum)

Steve Evans