INFORMATION FOR PROSPECTIVE MEMBERS
AIMS OF THE CLUB:
1. To confirm daily allegiance to and/or respect for
the Crown by proposing the Loyal Toast to Her Majesty, The Queen.
2. To carry on a revered tradition, sadly ended in
1970, by consuming half a gill of the nearest equivalent to the rum
which was issued to the Royal Navy (i.e. Pusser's Blue Label).
3. To signal the nominal end of the working day at
1800 hrs. local time by a gathering of like-minded individuals who make
up the membership.
4. To provide visiting Royal naval warships with
marine based leisure activities and organise entertainment for the crew
in the Nelsons Dockyard area.
5. To promote and foster friendship and goodwill in
the English and Falmouth Harbour areas through entertainment and social
DATES PROSPECTIVE MEMBERS SHOULD KNOW
1. 1 August 1798. The Battle of the Nile. The
first of Nelson's three major victories. During this battle the French
flagship, L'Orient, caught fire and blew up in spectacular
fashion with heavy casualties, including the French Admiral, Brueys. The
Flag-Captain of L'Orient was the Compte de Casa Bianca, who was
badly wounded in the earlier stages of the fighting. He had taken his
small son aged ten to sea with him.
The pathetic death of this small boy
who "stood on the burning deck" is commemorated in the well
known poem written in 1829. After the battle, the Captain of H.M.S.
Swiftsure had a coffin made for Nelson from L'Orient's
mainmast; it is in this coffin that Nelson is buried in St. Paul's
Cathedral. This victory prevented Napoleon's troops capturing Egypt and
thus advancing towards India.
2. 2 April 1801. The Battle of Copenhagen. It was at this
battle that Nelson disregarded the signal to break off the action from
his Commander-In-Chief, Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, by putting his
telescope to his blind eye and saying "...I have only one eye. I
have a right to be blind sometimes. I really do not see the signal." He subsequently went on to achieve a great
3. 21 October 1805. The Battle of Trafalgar. It was here that
Nelson aboard H.M.S. Victory defeated the combined fleets of
France and Spain, thus removing any threat of invasion by Napoleon and
securing England's mastery of the seas. At the height of the battle,
Nelson was mortally wounded by a shot from the French ship Redoutable.
At 11:35am, the famous signal "England Expects That Every Man Will
Do His Duty" was hoisted from the yards of H.M.S. Victory. Later,
Nelson's last signal "Engage The Enemy More Closely" was
hoisted and flew at the masthead until shot away.
4. 6 November 1805. The sloop H.M.S. Pickle arrived
in England bearing the news of the great victory and of Vice-Admiral
Lord Nelson's death.
5. 31 July 1970. The date of the last daily issue of rum in the
6. 31 July 1991. The Royal Naval Tot Club of Antigua &
Barbuda was formed.
The Royal Naval Tot Club of Antigua & Barbuda
combines the traditional toasts of the officers and the lower deck of
the Royal Navy. In the case of the officers, the toast varied daily; on
the lower deck it never varied. The officers' toasts were - and in fact
still are - made when the port was passed after dinner, while the
ratings singular toast was always made on the issue of the rum ration.
1. Sunday.................Absent Friends And Those At
2. Monday................Our Ships At Sea
3. Tuesday................Our Men
4. Wednesday...........Ourselves (As no one else is liable to consider
themselves with our welfare)
5. Thursday...............A Bloody War And A Sickly Season
6. Friday...................A Willing Foe and Sea Room
7. Saturday...............Sweethearts And Wives (May they never meet!)
1. A very eloquent toast for the beginning of the week.
2. Self-explanatory. A toast to all Navy ships at sea.
3. This was a toast to the often hundreds of sailors that made up the
crew of the ship. The Tot Club has modified this, as we personally don't
have hundreds of men crewing for us! The Tot Club's Tuesday toast is
"To Our Friends".
4. On Wednesdays the officers toasted themselves, as it was generally
felt (not without some reason) that on a three or four year commission
on some foreign station out of regular communication, it was very much a
case of "Out of sight, out of mind, and be damned to them".
5. The Thursday toast originated in the Caribbean during the time of the
Anglo-French Wars, sugar-rich islands, and high death rates due to such diseases
as Malaria and Yellow Jack Fever. The connotation was that one hoped for rapid
promotion by the death of his immediate superior by either battle or disease. To
preserve some modern-day sensibilities, the toast is sometimes given " To A
Bloody War And A Quick Promotion". The Tot Club combines the two to a
double toast, "To A Bloody War And A Sickly Season, A Bloody War And A
6. Again, fairly obvious. This toast was to an enemy willing to give a good and
honourable fight with enough sea room that shoals, etc., did not affect the
7. This toast says it all! And, it must be said that some of our lady members
have been known to substitute "Husbands And Lovers" for the first
part. A variation coined by one of Overseas Members but, unfortunately, never
used is "To Sweethearts and Wives, May They Be The Same Person".
All of the above toasts are followed by the standing toast of
the lower deck. "The Queen, God Bless Her". This form of the Loyal
Toast is unique to the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines; the other services say
only, "The Queen".
In summary, the Tot Club's Daily Toasts are as follow:
1. Sunday.................Absent Friends and Those at
2. Monday................Our Ships at Sea
3. Tuesday................Our Friends
4. Wednesday...........Ourselves! As no one else is liable to consider
themselves with our welfare.
5. Thursday...............A Bloody War and a Sickly Season. A Bloody war
and a Quick Promotion.
6. Friday...................A Willing Foe and Sea Room
7. Saturday...............Sweethearts And Wives - May they never meet!
All are followed by "The Queen, God Bless Her".
In the Royal Navy the Mismuster was an issue of rum given to an
individual who had, through no fault of his own, missed the main rum issue. In
the Tot Club a Mismuster is sometimes called when a Member is late through no
fault of his own or in the event of a special celebration.
The Member wishing to
call the Mismuster must first seek approval for the Mismuster from Tot Club
Officers present. Once this has been obtained, he or she must then approach each
member present to invite him to join in the Mismuster. The person calling the
Mismuster is required to drink a full Tot; all others accepting the Mismuster
are allowed up to half a Tot.
When everyone has their rum the Steward will call
for those partaking to "Cleanse your palate, please", he
will then hand over to the person calling the Mismuster to explain his or her
reason for doing so. he or she then proposes the stand-by toast, "To The
Wind That Blows, The Ship That Goes, And The Lass That Loves A Sailor. And, The
Queen, God Bless Her!" This is always the same, irrespective of the day.
"Black Mass" is celebrated on Sundays. It originated
from the Senior Rates' rum issue in the Royal Navy. A typical issue for a mess
of, say, 26 men, would be for the messman to collect the rum issue for the whole
mess. If everyone in the mess was "G" (i.e. they were all Grog and not
"U" - under age (under 20), "T" - temperance, or
"R.A." - rationed ashore) and no-one had had their tot stopped for
medical or punishment reasons, then the issue would be three two (i.e.. 3 pints,
2 tots) as each tot was 1/8 of a pint or half a gill. The issue was exact. This
resulted in the last man having a short tot, as with the best will in the world
there was bound to be the odd drip and, of course, the rum would also coat the
tot measure and rum fanny *
To overcome this, typically a tot of water would be added in the mess for every
pint of rum. There was now some left over. This was known as the
"Queen's", as it didn't belong to anyone and was considered to be the
property of the Crown. This was usually illegally bottled and kept until the
following Sunday when a discreet notice on the mess notice board would announce
that "Black Mass" would be celebrated at a certain time. Anyone in the
mess at the appointed time would be entitled to an equal portion of the
The toast at Black Mass is always the same, consisting solely
of "The Queen, God Bless Her"
* The word "Fanny" in the Royal Navy denotes any
largish tin or metal container. The name came from the time of the first issues
of tinned, or canned, food in 1820. The main victualling yard was at Deptford on
the River Thames near London, and one of the first issues coincided with the
particularly gruesome murder of a seven year old girl called Fanny Adams.
Sailors believed that her body was chopped up and processed with the rest of
their food and issued in tins which became known as 'Fanny Adams' or 'Fannys'.
THE FOLLOWING IS FOR INFORMATION OF ASPIRING MEMBERS
The Tot Club has been granted permission to wear the White
Ensign of the Royal Navy on the Dockyard flagstaff on certain occasions during
the year. These are as follows:
16th January (1780) First Battle of Cape St. Vincent.
Admiral Sir George Rodney. Out of thirteen Spanish ships, only four ships of the
line and two frigates escaped. The rest were sunk, burnt or destroyed.
14th February (1797) Second Battle of Cape St. Vincent.
Admiral Sir John Jervis. Commodore Horatio Nelson, second in command, in H.M.S.
Captain, 74, boarded and carried the Spanish San Nicolas, 80, and
then the Spanish San Josef, 112. Nelson described this action as his
"patent bridge for capturing enemies". Jervis was made Earl St.
Vincent and Nelson was knighted.
2nd April (1801) Battle of Copenhagen.
12th April (1782) Battle of the Saintes. Admiral Sir
George Rodney. Sir Samuel Hood, second in command. This prevented the French
landing an army in Jamaica. It was also the first time the tactic of breaking
the enemies' line and subsequently crossing the "T" was deliberately
21st April (1926) Birthday of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II.
1st June (1794) Admiral Lord Richard Howe
("Black Dick"). "The Glorious 1st of June". Tactically, a
great victory as Howe took six prizes and sank a seventh, without loss to the
English. Strategically a victory for the French as the convoy the warships were
protecting made France with a cargo of American grain and relieved a famine.
2nd June (1953) Coronation of H.M. Queen Elizabeth
1st August (1798) Battle of The Nile.
11th October (1797) Battle of Camperdown. Admiral Adam
Duncan. First Fleet action after the mutinies of Spithead and the Nore, in
which the Dutch, who had been forced to join Napoleon, were heavily defeated off
Camperdown on the coast of Holland.
21st October (1805) Battle of Trafalgar.
Tot Club Officers and their V.H.F. call signs are as
|Chairman and Founder
|President and Founding Member
|Secretary and Treasurer
The remainder of the Full Members are:
Andy Burridge, Tim Degarve, Roger Gardiner, Bob
Hackett, Henk Hagelstein, Philip Owen, Darren Thompson.
Prospective new members should make a point of reading the rules
of the Club during their probationary period. These are known as the
"Standard Operating Procedures", a copy of which is normally to be
found in the Tot Club register book.
All new members will be charged a basic joining fee of
EC$100. (Editor's Note: the equivalent of approximately US$ 37.50) In the case of
Overseas Members this includes their first year's membership. All new
members receive a T-shirt relevant to their type of membership. If this shirt is
worn at Saturday tot they will receive their tot for EC$3 instead of the normal
EC$5. Any new member joining is expected to call a Mismuster.