A WW2 Christmas at Sea

December 08, 2016

A WW2 Christmas at Sea

Since August we’ve been posting about the wave-making stories behind the Submerged Collection, from the origins of indigo dye to the history of the Commando Frogmen. Now that December has rolled around it seems only fitting to take a look at how the men of the Navy celebrated Christmas on the high seas…

1. 23rd December 1941

Decking the Decks | Realm & Empire

Decking the decks! Two sailors carry in essential supplies - the Christmas tree and holly - for yuletide festivities aboard the destroyer flotilla operating in the Battle of the Atlantic.

2. 11th December 1941

All aboard HMS party! | Realm & Empire

The party got started early on board the Destroyer HMS Liddesdale, as sailors in the mess deck get together during a preliminary tune up for Christmas.

3. November 1940

Pudding taste test | Realm & Empire

Not everything happened to the Navy at sea. Bluejackets at the RN Barracks at Devonport gather round to get their first taste of the Christmas pudding from the Chief Cook.

4. December 1941

The Christmas Post | Realm & Empire

Hopefully no "Dear Johns"... Christmas letters from home for the men of the HMS Dunluce Castle, Anchorage.

5. Christmas Day 1941

Dinner is served | Realm & Empire

Dinner is served! Sailors on shore leave at Alexandria are served their Christmas meal by an Officer at the Under Twenty Club.

6. December 1941

Pudding is Served | Realm & Empire

Members of the escort trawler HMS Turquoise getting into the Christmas spirit. The cook emerges from the galley bearing the ship's Christmas pudding, as members of the crew crowd round the hatch to welcome him.

7. Christmas Day 1941

Auld Langs Aye | Realm & Empire

“…And never be forgot”. Christmas Day celebrations when the Captain, Captain H C Bovell, CBE, RN, and officers join in with the ship's company to sing Auld Lang Syne on board HMS Victorious.

8. Christmas Day 1944

Cheers for Victory | Realm & Empire

Here’s to victory! Stoker G A Revell (R Fleet Reserve) drinks to victory in his Christmas tot of rum.

All images presented with thanks to our good friends at Imperial War Museums.


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