Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Youngest sailor and Captain stir the pud

23 November 2016
The traditional Christmas pudding stir has taken place at HMS Raleigh to kick start the preparations for the festive season.

Captain Ellie Ablett, the Commanding Officer of the base, and the youngest sailor, Recruit Oliver Rance, aged 16, were invited to stir the mix by ESS, the company that provides catering services at the establishment.

Capt Ablett said, “Traditions underpin the Naval core values that we aim to instil here at HMS Raleigh and having members of the ship’s company involved in traditions, like stirring the pudding, fosters camaraderie, particularly when we are deployed in difficult circumstances and away from home.  

"On Christmas Day at sea the Captain and the Officers serve dinner to the ship’s company and we’ll be maintaining that custom here too. It’s a great opportunity to thank people for their hard work.”

Recruit Rance, from Portsmouth, joined the Royal Navy just two weeks ago and is following in the footsteps of his elder brother.

Traditions underpin the Naval core values that we aim to instil here at HMS Raleigh and having members of the ship’s company involved in traditions, like stirring the pudding, fosters camaraderie, particularly when we are deployed in difficult circumstances and away from home

Captain Ellie Ablett, Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh

He said, “I was a little bit nervous to stir the pudding, but I think it’s quite important to carry on traditions. Training is going well so far. Maintaining my kit is a bit of an issue, but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it.”

The pudding mix currently contains currants, raisins, sultanas, chopped glacier cherries and mixed peel, together with a dash of rum.  Other ingredients, such as suet and flour, will be added over the coming weeks. The pudding will be served at part of the Christmas dinner on Tuesday 13 December.  

Neil Harvey, ESS Chef Manager, said, “We’ll be catering for around 600 on the day. As well as the Christmas pudding there will be other choices.

"It’s one of a number of functions we cater for in the lead up to the Christmas season and this one is probably the biggest. Normally everyone enters into the spirit of the occasion and it’s a good atmosphere.”

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.