Sailors in British Navy today (Friday) received their last ration of rum - a daily tradition in the service for over 200 years.
CU Rum being poured into barrel
SV Water being added
SV Officer checking mixture
CU Rum being mixed
SV Ratings queueing for tot (2 shots)
CU Rum poured into glass
CU Rating drinks rum
SV Group of ratings comment on new rule
TRANSCRIPT (SEQ 8)
SPOKESMAN: "It's stupid. Definitely stupid. As I said before, this is a tradition and the Navy runs on traditions and they've done away with it."
ANOTHER: "It sort of breaks the day up. Breaks the monotony up".
ANOTHER: "It makes you hungry and you can eat the food". (laughter)
ANOTHER: "It takes a lot of doing to eat the food" (laughter)
ANOTHER: "It appeals to you once you've seen the food. You go down there and have a look at the food and you'll realise why we drink the tot".
ANOTHER: "When you come off the morning watch it's just the thing to set you up".
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Sailors in British Navy today (Friday) received their last ration of rum - a daily tradition in the service for over 200 years.
The origins of the rum ration date back to the time when the British fleet first overran the Caribbean Islands where they found a plentiful supply of the liquor made from molasses.
From then on, seamen on the lower decks were issued with a daily tot of rum diluted with two parts of water.
British sailors were told that the rum issue was to be discontinued as a result of an Admiralty decision some eighteen months ago. From tomorrow (Saturday) the rum will be replaced by a daily issue of three cans of beer - but for many regular seamen things will never be the same again.
At a farewell party on a British ship at Portsmouth, a group of ratings had this to say about the disappearance of their daily rum: