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While investigating facts about Royal Navy Ranks and Royal Navy Ships, I found out little known, but curios details like:

When George Washington died in 1799, the British Royal Navy was ordered to lower their flags to half mast. The London Morning Chronicle opined that ‘The whole range of history does not present to our view a character upon which we can dwell with such entire and unmixed admiration’.

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Nancy Bentley, who was enlisted into the Royal Australian Navy at age 6. Australia's 'first' female sailor, she was enlisted so that the ship's doctor could provide medical assistance to her after she was bitten by a snake. She served 6 days and her official rank was 'mascot'.

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In my opinion, it is useful to put together a list of the most interesting details from trusted sources that I've come across answering what is the royal navy. Here are 50 of the best facts about Royal Navy Login and Royal Navy Jobs I managed to collect.

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  1. The Royal Navy admitted their ships would be empty if they discharged "all the men with homosexual experience". Investigations in the 1960s reveal hundreds of British naval officers were sexually involved with other men, so for national security, discreet homosexuality was mostly ignored.

  2. After France surrended in June 1940, the Royal Navy sailed down to Algeria to seize the bulk of the French navy. When the French refused to surrender control of the ships, the Royal Navy open fired, destroying the fleet and killing 1300 French sailors

  3. A sailor who wishes to grow a beard in the Royal Navy has to submit a ‘permission to stop shaving’ form. He is then allowed two weeks to ‘grow a full set’ before he presents himself to the Master at Arms who will decide if his beard looks stupid or is respectably full enough to be permitted.

  4. When George Washington passed away in 1799, the British Royal Navy lowered its flags at half mast. The London Morning Chronicle stated that ‘The whole range of history does not present to our view a character upon which we can dwell with such entire and unmixed admiration’.

  5. Royal Navy Submarines will, to this day, fly the Jolly Roger when returning to port. This is in response to an Admiral declaring that submarines were “underhanded, unfair and damned un-English” and all submariners should be “hung as pirates”

  6. Winston Churchill, along with many of the Royal Navy's highest ranking men, came very close to death after the ship they were on was fired at by a U-boat with 3 torpedoes. All three struck the hull of the ship, but all failed to explode.

  7. The HMS Black Joke, which was previously a Brazilian slave ship called the Henriquetta. It was captured by the Royal Navy and repurposed to chase down slave ships, ultimately freeing hundreds of slaves during her five-year career.

  8. The head of the United Kingdom's Royal Navy is called the First Sea Lord.

  9. Blackbeard was remarkably judicious in his use of force. In dozens of eyewitness accounts, there is not a single instance in which he killed anyone prior to his final, fatal battle with the Royal Navy. “I haven’t seen a single piece of evidence that Blackbeard ever used violence against anyone.”

  10. A cat named Simon served on a Royal Navy ship in 1949, and received a medal for raising morale, killing off a rat infestation and surviving cannon shells during his service. Hundreds attended his funeral when he died from infected wounds.

royal navy facts
What are the ranks in the royal navy?

Why join the royal navy?

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15 year-old World War One Royal Navy officer Wenman Wykeham-Musgrave, having survived being torpedoed on three different ships within one hour, all of which sunk, swimming to each after abandonment of the last. Musgrave went on to survive the war and live a full life until 1989.

A cat that served on the Royal Navy sloop HMS Amethyst. The cat received the PDSA's Dicking Medal after surviving injuries from a cannon shell, raising morale, and killing off a rat infestation. - source

Simon the cat, a feline aboard Royal Navy Ship "The Amethyst" was awarded The Dickin Medal for gallantry under fire. The gallantry? He protected the ship's food supplies from an infestation of rats. - source

The Royal Navy served sailors daily rum rations until 1970. The last day of rum was called Black Tot Day. Sailors wore black armbands and ships held mock funerals for tots of rum.

A Royal Navy diver, also working for MI6, disappeared on an inspection of a Soviet Navy cruiser. A body was found without head and hands soon after. - source

When was the royal navy at its largest?

In 1910 a group of students from Cambridge darkened their skin, donned turbans, and presented themselves to the British Royal Navy as ambassadors from Abyssinia. They conducted an inspection of the fleet, bestowed honors upon British officers, and spoke in a Latin/Greek gibberish.

How many ships does the royal navy have?

Tattoos among sailors became popular in order to help Americans prove their ID to avoid impressment into the Royal Navy. They also helped to identify bodies lost at sea.

The British Royal Navy (at substantial cost) established a fleet of ships known as the 'West Africa Squadron' which would patrol the west coast of Africa, capturing slave ships. This fleet is estimated to have captured 1,600 slave ships and freed 150,000 African slaves between 1808 & 1860.

During times of war and other crises in Britain, men with seafaring experience would be taken against their will by press gangs to become part of the Royal Navy crew. Sometimes they were taken in the middle of the street and would find themselves trapped on a ship and with no hope of escape.

There is a "letter of last resort" on every trident nuclear submarine in the Royal Navy. They are hand written by the PM and destroyed unread every time a new PM is elected. They contain orders for an event where Britain is destroyed, but nobody will know what they are until that time comes

Besides 9/11, the only other attack by an outside force on Washington D.C. was in 1814 when George Cockburn, an admiral in the British Royal Navy, literally walked into the White House, ate James Madison's dinner, drank his wine, and then set fire to the place.

When was the royal navy formed?

Titanic's maiden voyage was delayed due to a collision between the Olympic and the Royal Navy Ship the Hawke, causing White Star Line to salvage parts from the unfinished Titanic to fix the Olympic. The captain of the Olympic at the time was eventually the first and last Captain of the titanic.

The Royal Navy's nuclear-armed submarines run on an outdated version of Windows XP called "Windows for Submarines"

A St. Bernard named Bamse was a mascot of the Royal Norwegian Navy during WWII and was known for breaking up fights amongst his crewmates. He once saved a young lieutenant commander who was being attacked by a man wielding a knife by pushing the assailant into the sea.

A cat named Simon served on a Royal Navy ship in 1949, and received a medal for surviving injuries from a cannon shell, raising morale, and killing off a rat infestation during his service. He died of an infection from his wounds and hundreds attended his funeral.

A cat nicknamed "Unsinkable Sam" who survived 3 separate ship sinkings in both the Kriegsmarine and Royal Navy during WWII

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The British Army developed a salute with the palm facing outwards. The Royal Navy instead adopted a version with the palm facing downwards, as many men working on ships had dirty palms and to display them was disrespectful. The United States Armed Forces would later use the Royal Navy's version.

As part of the British Royal Navy's 'Last Resort Letters', in the event of a catastrophe submarine commanders will verify annihilation of civilised society in Great Britain by checking if BBC Radio 4 is still broadcasting.

In 1862 Japan four British merchants met a procession of a feudal lord's regent while traveling. The merchants did not dismount and show respect, and the samurai cut them down. Britain's claims for compensation were unanswered, which led to naval bombardment of Kagoshima city by the Royal Navy.

The name of the Royal Navy ship HMS Petard means "HMS Fart". A petard is a small bomb that derives its name from middle French for “to break wind.” Pun-loving Shakespeare probably knew this when he wrote “hoist with his own petard” - or to be blasted with his own fart

Prince Andrew, Duke of York served as a Royal Navy helicopter pilot for two decades. The UK government wanted to prevent him from serving in combat during the 1982 Falklands War, but his mother Queen Elizabeth insisted that Andrew fight. The Duke served in anti-missile decoy, ASW, and SAR.

HMS Jervis, a destroyer which served in the Royal Navy during WW2, did not lose a single crew member to enemy action despite having participated in 13 major actions and serving throughout the war.

During the evacuation at Dunkirk, The last of the British Army left on 3 June, However, Churchill insisted on coming back for the French, so the Royal Navy returned on 4 June in an attempt to rescue as many as possible of the French rearguard.

During WWII, the UK Royal Navy converted two ships into floating breweries to provide fresh beer to troops stationed in East Asia.

About British Royal Navy pilot Captain Eric "Winkle" Brown, who flew 487 different types of aircraft. This official record will almost certainly never be broken. He also holds several other records including one for most aircraft carrier landings at 2,407.

The iconic desk used by every POTUS in the Oval Office since 1880 was made from the timbers of a British Royal Navy ship.

British Royal Navy pilot Eric 'Winkle' Brown holds the world record for most aircraft carrier landings - 2,407. The US Navy gave one man the specific job of breaking the record. He got up to 1,600 and then had a nervous breakdown.

During the 1960s the UK air force and navy argued over whether to build a new aircraft carrier. Many ex-Royal Navy veterans believe that the RAF cheated to win the debate, by moving Australia 400 miles on a map to show that land-based aircraft could reach Singapore.

HMS Victory has got the largest crew of any ship in any navy in the world, because all royal navy personal not assigned to a ship or a base are assigned to her even though they may never step foot on her.

The first battle was called the First Battle of Sirte, which took place between the Royal Navy and Regia Marina in December, 1941.

The last surviving veteran of the Crimean War (1853-1856) passed away in 2004. Timothy the turtle served as a mascot in the Royal Navy.

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