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Festive feast for junior rates

8 December 2017
The festive spirit arrived early at HM Naval Base Clyde when senior personnel headed to the Junior Rates’ Mess to participate in an age-old Christmas tradition on December 5.

Captain Craig Mearns, Captain of HMS Neptune, along with fellow officers and Senior Rates, rolled-up their sleeves, donned their aprons and got busy serving Christmas dinner to around 450 junior sailors and marines.

Turkey, beef and gammon with all the trimmings, expertly prepared by Babcock Catering staff, was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Traditionally, while at sea, officers would serve the Christmas meal to those who would be on duty over the festive period to show their appreciation and to give galley staff the day-off. 

The occasion also gave us time to reflect on the tremendous sacrifice being made by members of the armed forces deployed around the globe who will be separated from their loved-ones this Christmas in order to help keen us safe.

Captain Mearns

On some ships the tradition was taken even further, with the most junior sailor on board switching places with the Commanding Officer for the day and issuing orders to his shipmates.

“It was great to see so many sailors and marines get into the festive spirit,” said Captain Mearns, “there were lots of cheerful people and some outstanding Christmas jumpers on display.

“The occasion also gave us time to reflect on the tremendous sacrifice being made by members of the armed forces deployed around the globe who will be separated from their loved-ones this Christmas in order to help keen us safe.”

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