Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Etiquette on British Warships

The Commander does not sit at the head of the table. That place is reserved for the President of the Mess. The Commander invariably sits at his right hand, while the former changes every month.

Etiquette plays an important part on the modern battleship, and the British Navy enforces many little forms and customs. In the wardroom, where the officers and midshipmen dine, the Commander does not sit at the head of the table. That place is reserved for the President of the Mess. The Commander invariably sits at his right hand, while the former changes every month.
Evening dress is a steadfast rule, so much so that the man who has to take a watch after dinner, and who has no time to change, sits at a table by himself. 

The toast of “The King” in the Navy is drunk sitting. Tradition has it that a certain King once proposed a toast and jumping up, hit his head against a beam above. Orders were given, the story goes, that all toasts were in future to be drunk sitting. The “middy” on a warship is just like a fag at a public school, with the officers as his prefects or monitors. Midshipmen have to make themselves generally useful to the latter.—London Answers, 1912

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia