Rum goings-on in the Internal Economy of the Royal Navy in the 20th century

Home Forums Nautical Research: 1830 – Present Day Rum goings-on in the Internal Economy of the Royal Navy in the 20th century

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #2384
    Malcolm Lewis
    Participant

      I enjoyed Elinor Romans’ article [in the current edition of The Mariner’s Mirror, Vol 94 February 2008, p79 et seq] and hope she is a subscriber to The Members’ Area.

      I recall the First Lieutenant’s dismay as a tug came alongside and demolished our unofficial Algerine minesweeper’s gangway ladder as we docked in a gale in Malta. It had cost a lot of favours with the dockyard and made us feel a big ship. To us it was known as a ‘rabbit’, not a name used by Elinor.

      It would be interesting to know if other navies had similar ‘economies’ even though they did not have rum as a bargaining chip.

      I believe many officers’ careers were blighted by ‘rum’ misdemeanours.

      #2385
      Frank Scott
      Participant

        ‘Rabbits’ in the RN refers to any gifts, and also to anything that has been ‘acquired’ unofficially. The verb ‘Rabbit’ is used as in ‘I’m off to do some rabbiting in the dockyard’ or ‘we rabbited that nice chair when we were last up in Rosyth’. ‘Rabbit-work’ is any work done on an unofficial basis. A ‘Rabbit run’ is a run ashore to buy presents, and it is also used to describe the leads for any unofficial wiring in a ship (for TVs etc). I may say that Rabbits continued to be acquired & Rabbit work done long after the rum ration had gone – I missed the rum era by a couple of months only, but working round the system continued.

        Not sure about the reference to rum blighting officers careers, as rum was not issued to officers (except for splice the mainbrace).

        #2386
        Anonymous

          I know about rabbits, the article is very compressed. Glad people enjoyed it though.

        Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
        • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.