SPLICE THE MAINBRACE
With the Royal British Legion, Kyrenia Branch at the Crows Nest in Karaman
Most naval establishments worldwide have been conducting this event over the last few weeks including HMS Excellent, the most senior and oldest naval establishment, a stone frigate situated in Portsmouth harbour.
To that end all serving and former Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel are cordially invited to a ‘Splice the Mainbrace’ event being organized by the Vice-Chairman of the RBL Kyrenia Branch and ex Royal Marine bandsman Les Evans.
The event will take place at 3pm on Tuesday, August 7 appropriately at the Crows Nest in Karaman and will be officiated by the Commanding Officer of HMS Excellent, Commander Paul Jones RN.
Commander Jones has a holiday home in Dogankoy and is a frequent visitor to the TRNC where he is currently on holiday.
He said: “I am delighted to assist the RBL Kyrenia Branch, of which I will be most happy to join on retirement from the Navy, in carrying out Her Majesty’s wishes and I have brought along a Bosun’s pipe to assist in the event.”
“I thought perhaps your Navy people may wish to replicate the events of the UK by having a ‘tot’ of rum – for interest the tot issued for ‘Splice the Mainbrace’ is 62.5 ml of rum (equivalent to approx 3 and bit pub optics) but you are not forced to drink it all!”
Commander Jones also added a little bit of history for our readers to enjoy:
HISTORY & TRADITION – originally ‘Splice the Mainbrace’ was an order for one of the most difficult emergency repair jobs aboard a sailing ship which normally took place in the heat of battle. The mainbrace was the largest and heaviest of all running rigging, enemy gunners commonly aimed for the rigging during naval battles with the mainbrace being the prime target. If the mainbrace was shot away, it was usually necessary to repair it during the engagement as the ship was unmanoeuvrable without it and would have to stay on the same tack. Splicing in a large run of hemp was strenuous work, generally the ship’s best Able Seamen were chosen to carry out the task. On completion of the task those men alone were rewarded with an extra ration of rum or grog. Eventually the order ‘Splice the Mainbrace’ came to mean that the entire crew would be issued with an extra ration of rum, and was given on special occasions: after victory in battle, the change of a monarch, a Royal birth, a Royal wedding or an inspection of the Fleet. An extra ration was deemed a great privilege.