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Eddystone - Eyes


"Eddystone Lighthouse" The first Eddystone lighthouse was built of wood by Mr Winstanley 1696 - 1699. It was destroyed in a storm in 1703, killing Mr Winstanley. The second was completed in 1708 - made of oak and stone - but was destroyed by fire in 1755. The third, entirely of granite, was built by John Smeaton 1756 - 1759, but in 1877 was taken down as it was found that the rock on which it stood was becoming undermined. The top of this tower now stands on Plymouth Hoe. The fourth (present) lighthouse was built on a nearby rock 1879 - 1882. It is 133 ft. high to the centre of the lantern.


"The Commander Egerton Prize" Founded 1901 in memory of Commander F.G. Egerton who was mortally wounded on 2nd November, 1899, in the defence of Ladysmith. The interest on a sum of money given by the relatives is used to provide the prize which is awarded annually, at the discretion of the Admiralty, to the officer who, when qualifying for Gunnery Lieutenant, passes the best examination in practical gunnery.


"Scrambled Eggs" Sailors' slang name for the oak leaves embroidered in gold on the peak of a senior Officer's uniform cap: Officers more often use the word BRASS. The cap-peaks of Commanders, Captains and Commodores 2nd class are embroidered along the forward edge only: those of Commodores 1st class and Admirals all round the peak. Oak leaves on the cap-peaks of senior officers of the Engineer, Supply and Medical branches replaced plain gold braid there in 1918: silver anchors replaced plain gold anchors in their cap-badges at the same time.


"Eight-Up" A naval signalman's warning to other signalmen that someone senior is approaching. Flag 8 means "Enemy in sight." "Pieces of Eight" The Piece of Eight was an old Spanish silver coin - the piastre or dollar - equal in value to eight reals. In its day the real was worth about sixpence. It seems possible that from the 8 of the Piece of Eight comes the S sign.


"The Electrical Branch" Instituted in 1946; formed primarily from volunteers from the former torpedo branch (which, used to combine both torpedo and Electrical work) when that branch absorbed the former A/S branch and became the T.A.S. branch.


A common slang name for a laxative, see NUMBER: OYSTER


"St. Elmo's Fire"


On Officer's Cap Peaks


"The Bitter End" The extreme end. The inboard end of the hempen anchor cable which was secured to the bitts. "Fag End"To `fag' is to separate or tease out the strands of a rope; thus the fag end is the extreme end. This expression has no original connection with cigarettes.


"Engineer Officers" The Senior Engineer officer of a ship - usually Commander (E), though in small ships it may be a Lieutenant (E) or less - is by custom known to officers as THE CHIEF: his immediate subordinate is known as THE SENIOR (ENGINEER). The first corps of naval engineers was started in 1835: they ranked after the Carpenter and had 3 ranks - 1st 2nd and 3rd. In 1047 the ranks were changed to Inspector of Machinery, Chief Engineer, First, Second and Third Engineer. Changed in 1886 to Chief Inspector and Inspector of Machinery (R.A. and Captain), Fleet Engineer (Odr) Staff Engineer (Senior Lieutenant). Changed in 1904 to the executive rank titles prefixed "Engineer". "Training of Engineer Officers" Introduced in 1910, the Selborne-Fisher scheme of training gave common training to executive and engineering officers. It comprised 2 years at R.N.C., Osborne, 2 years at R.N.C., Dartmouth and 8 months in a sea-going training cruiser before the officer went to sea as a Midshipman. Approximately one-third of the time under training was devoted exclusively to Engineering, and, in addition, about 6 months of the Midshipman and Sub-Lieutenant time was spent under the Engineer Officer of the ship. Officers volunteered to specialise in Engineering when senior Sub-Lieutenants or junior Lieutenants and then received a course of 8 months at R.N.C., Greenwich and one year at R.N.E.C., Keyham. This scheme was superseded in 1922 when officers selected specialisation on promotion to Midshipman and then did a four years' course at Keyham; Engineer officers' training was on these lines (with a few minor modifications) until 1951, the present scheme having been introduced in 1948. The present scheme provides for a period at Dartmouth followed by a period in the sea-going training ship, followed by a period as Midshipman (E) in a seagoing ship of the Fleet. Then comes 2 years' Basic Engineering Course at Manadon/Keyham, short Divisional course at Portsmouth, then service in a sea-going ship of the Fleet to obtain Watchkeeping Certificate. This is followed by specialised engineering training ashore (Marine, Air - or Ordnance-Engineering).

Nelson's Signal at Traflagar - "ENGLAND EXPECTS THAT EVERY MAN WILL DO HIS DUTY" Lieutenant John Pasco, who was acting as Flag Lieutenant in the VICTORY at the Battle of Trafalgar, related the following: His Lordship came to me on the poop and, after ordering certain signals to be made, about a quarter to noon, he said `Mr Pasco, I wish to say to the fleet "England confides that every man will do his duty", and he added "You must be quick for I have one more to make, which is for close action. I replied, `If Your Lordship will permit me to substitute "expects" for "confides" the signal will soon be completed, because the word "expects" is in the vocabulary and "confides" must be spelt'. His Lordship replied in haste and with seeming satisfaction "That will do, Pasco, make it directly." In the inscription on the base of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, the word "that" is erroneously omitted. The signal was made in Sir Home Popham's code of "Telegraphic Signals or Marine Vocabulary", published in 1803; 3 flags (2,5,3) denoted the code group for ENGLAND; 2,6,9 for EXPECTS; 8,6,3 for THAT; 2,6,1 for EVERY; 4,7,1 for MAN; 9,5,8 for WILL; 2,2,0 for DO; 3,7,0 for HIS; 4 for D; 2,1, for U; 1,9 for T; and 2,4 for Y. (Note that in the signal alphabet that V proceeded U and J was omitted). The "Telegraph Flag" was also flown to denote that the signals were to be decoded by means of Popham's Code. Shortly after the signal had been hoisted, the second signal "Engage the Enemy more closely" (flags 1 & 6) was hoisted.


"E.N.S.A" The Entertainment National Service Association - a department of the N.A.A.F.I. responsible for the provision of entertainment to the Forces in wartime.


Pronounced "ENS'N" in the Royal Navy. "Red, White and Blue Ensigns" The Red Ensign was introduced into the Navy in 1625 and was being worn by merchant ships soon afterward; in 1674 it became the legal and recognised flag of the merchant service. In about 1650 the Royal Navy was using all three ensigns; the fleet was divided into Red, White and Blue Squadrons, each commanded by a Flag Officer of the appropriate colour and his ships were ensigns or pendants of that colour. All three ensigns remained in use in the Navy in his manner until 1864 when the Red Ensign was made the exclusive `property' of the Merchant Service. The White Ensign was then reserved for the Royal Navy, and the Blue Ensign for the then newly formed Royal Naval Reserve. The Blue Ensign may now be worn by merchant ships commanded by an officer of the R.N.R. with at least six more R.N.R. persons in the complement. The blue ensign defaced is worn by ships belonging to various government departments. The R.N. Minewatching Service is also authorised to use the blue ensign defaced. The white ensign may be worn by ships of the Royal Yacht Squadron. All yachts wearing flags other than the normal red ensign must be in possession of a special Admiralty warrant authorising this.


"Eyes of a Ship" The eyes of a ship are the extreme bows. The name comes from the ancient custom (still maintained in the Orient) of painting eyes on each bow so that the ship could see where she was going.

"Fisher's Eyes" Sailors' slang name for Tapioca