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31st July

Black Tot Day 1970.

Was the last day Royal Navy Sailors were issued with their daily rum ration which was called the “Daily tot” In 1740 Admiral Edward Vernon made changes to the previous amount of drink ration British Sailors were given as it used to be a gallon and required a large amount of storage space this was cut back to half a pint of rum per sailor, but then developed into drunken and disorderly behaviour. 1740 changes lead to the rum being diluted with water in the ratio of water to rum 4:1 two servings a day. 1824 it was halved to ¼ pint rum per day Around 1850 it was halved to 1/8 of a serving of rum some officers were withdrawn from this ration in the late 1800s and into the end ofww1. However in 1969 and MP for Woolwich East, Christopher Mayhew who questioned if alcohol was appropriate given the high standards of efficiency complex machinery and systems that lives depended upon and demanded correct functioning skills. This turned into  what became in 1970 the “Great Rum Debate by another MP Jame Wellbeloved for Erith and Crayford who did not want the ration to be withdrawn. 31st of July 1970 was the last rum ration served. Some Sailors wore black armbands, buried tots at sea. A commemerative stamp was also issued.

Some flash photography

HMS Belfast on River Thames bit of history and story about some unused Rum.

 

 

 

 

 

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