Whilst perusing my Saturday Telegraph, I came across a series of letters commenting on a decision by the Royal Navy to market it’s historic and unique ‘White Ensign’, the flag under which our illustrious Royal Navy has fought, died and conquered for the Sovereign and People of Great Britain.
About a year ago, I wrote, in another blog, a slightly whimsical piece to commemorate the death of our greatest Sailor, Admiral Lord Nelson, secure in the knowledge that I would be safe in any exaggeration which I might parody! Check out the reports within the Telegraph’s pages, and find out for yourselves if I was wrong! The exact piece is copied underneath:-
The following conversation is taken from records unavailable for many years after the tragic events of Trafalgar unfolded, but in the light of recent disclosures regarding certain sponsorship deals for the 200th anniversary of Trafalgar, it was deemed timely to reveal them at the present time!
The scene is Portsmouth Dockyard, in the shore offices occupied by Admiral Nelson and his staff, three months before the battle which decided the fate of modern Europe.
Hardy. “My Lord Admiral, good news from the teams out searching!”
Nelson “Searching, Hardy? Searching for what, exactly?”
Hardy “Why, for the extra sponsorship deals that we need to allow a fully-funded fleet to go out once more to search for the French fleet.”
Nelson “I do wish that the Government hadn’t saddled us with keeping all costs associated with the campaign outside the normal funds which have been voted by Parliament!”
Hardy “It was something to do with these new ideas you floated, if you will pardon the expression, My Lord, floated to keep apart the normal campaign expenditures by which we were funded for Copenhagen, the Nile and the blockades, from the your new ideas regarding fleet manoeuvres and tactics. The Admiralty felt that as such proposals such as abandoning the tried and trusted methods such as sticking rigidly to…”
Nelson “Ah yes, Hardy, I remember; they wanted me to agree not to break our line-ahead formation! A member of the Admiralty Board claimed that as I was using ideas which had been the result of these new-fangled discussion and focus groups, and thus bringing untested tactics to the Navy’s battles, they should be funded by private subscription instead of from Navy funds! Yes, I recall the talks. You said ‘good news’ Hardy?”
Hardy “Well, Sir, we have full agreement where the names of the donors can be painted in between each of the gunports, with such titles as “Cornwall’s gunpowder is the best!” and “From the Tudors onwards, Rutland’s Oaks have served England!”. We have almost completed all the negotiations with the major sponsor, but there is one detail outstanding. We need your approval to allow to be flown, immediately below your own flag and that of the Union Flag, all ships of the line should fly a third flag which states, “Only Blogg’s Ship’s Biscuits are good enough for Nelson!”