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Naval Traditions and Culture

Naval traditions and culture encompass a wide range of activities, events, and objects, often unique to naval service. Some, like the ?crossing the line? (meaning, the equator) ceremony, are old and well-established, while others, such as gun shield art, related directly to Second World War experiences. Many reflect companionship, commemoration, recreation, or esprit de corps.

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Dining in the Wardroom, HMS Puncher
Dining in the Wardroom, HMS Puncher

Taken following a dinner aboard the Canadian- crewed aircraft carrier HMS Puncher, this informal group portrait shows officers in the ship's wardroom.

A living and recreational space for the ship's officers, the wardroom is used to host formal dinners. Taken after the food has been cleared from the table, the photograph captures a number of traditions associated with such dinners, including the passing of port, in decanters like those at the head of the table (centre), for the drinking of toasts. While formal "mess dress" is standard for such dinners in peacetime, these officers are "making do" in wartime by wearing black ties with their service dress jackets.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19820422-025

Dawn Gun Stations in HMCS Pictou
Daisy Mae, HMCS Mayflower
HMCS Westaskiwin's Gun Shield Art
HMCS Shawinigan's Gun Shield Art
HMCS Rosthern Insignia
Ship's Badge, HMCS Inch Arran
Concert Party, HMS Canada
Jam Session at Sea, Seamen's Mess
"Crossing the Line" Ceremony
Boxing, HMCS Swansea
Naval Wedding, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Royal Canadian Navy Rum
"Beatty" Toby Jug
"Jellicoe" Toby Jug
Jewellery Box
Christmas Trees, HMCS Border Cities
Dining in the Wardroom, HMS Puncher
Model 6-inch Naval Gun
Model Cannon
Royal Naval College of Canada Rugby Game
Shearwater Flyers National Football Championship, 1957
Sunset Ceremony
Anniversary Celebrations, Quebec City
Dockside Religious Service
"Piping the Side"
Bosun's Call
Ship's Bell, HMCS Swansea
Ship's Bell, HMCS Inch Arran