|HMS NEW ZEALAND - |
Crossing the Line Ceremony 1919
His Majesty also wishes to thank the Commissioned Shipwright, the Signal Boatswain, and their assistants for rigging and decorating the bath and the stages ; and particularly the members of the First Commission, from whose arrangements the general plan of the ceremony was taken.
(His Majesty has been graciously pleased to permit the inclusion of the ensuing document from among the Royal Archives.)
PROCEDURE ON THE EVENING PREVIOUS TO THE COURT.
9 p.m. - Officers Call, 4 G's (officers muster on bridges).
Clear lower deck. Hands muster on the Fo'csle, P.O's on the Conning Tower Deck.
Boatswain's Mate, on top of conning tower, reports: " Line right ahead, Sir. "
O.O.W. orders, and Boatswain's Mate pipes: " Watch, clear away line."
Hoses turned on up hawse pipes, Very's lights fired, bridge searchlights switched on to bows, and two Bears appear from stage slung over the bows.
Bears, from eyes of ship, hail bridge through megaphone: "Ship ahoy! What ship is that?"
O.O.W. replies: "His Britannic Majesty's ship New Zealand. Who are you?"
Bears reply: "The Emissaries of the Great Sea King Neptune."
O.O.W. reports to Captain and Captain to Admiral, who gives order to stop both.
Bears: " Where are you from, and whither bound ? "
O.O.W.: " We are from Colombo to Albany. "
Bears: " Have you the Great Sea King's permission to enter His domain ? "
Captain: " No. I seek His permission. Will you honour me by taking a letter to His Majesty ? "
Bears: " We will ! "
O.O.W.: " Will you condescend to allow me to conduct you to the Captain ? "
Bears: "We require no assistance."
Bears then proceed to bridge, over "A" Turret to C.T. Deck, and then up Port Ladder to Monkey Island. They present Admiral with a letter of welcome and leave letter for all officers and messes, summoning novices to Neptune's Court the following day. Bears then proceed back over the bows in the same way as they came.
PROCEDURE ON THE DAY OF THE COURT.
After breakfast " Men taking part in crossing the Line to muster on the cable deck." Party will then dress and get ready to come up when ordered ; nobody should show himself until the ceremony starts.
After Divisions, Officers and Ship's Company will muster on the Quarter-deck as follows:
Admiral and Lady Jellicoe
and Mrs. Share
on a raised platform in centre of Quarter-deck.
The remainder of the Officers forward of the platform, the P.O.s abaft the platform.
Remainder of Ship's Company on Quarter-deck, leaving a clear gangway starb'd side from starb'd shelter to midship deck.
Small Marine guard will be fallen in starb'd side of Quarter-deck outboard, ready to salute King Neptune on his arrival on the Q.D.
Band will be fallen :n the after side of the Q.D. ready to march off with the party after Neptune finishes His speech. Neptune will give necessary orders for marching off.
The party will form up in the starb'd shelter behind a canvas screen, and when ready the " attention" will be sounded and screens removed.
Procession will then proceed aft, being saluted by guard as they do so, and halt with Neptune's chariot in front of Admiral.
Neptune then makes a speech and decorates Admiral, Commodore, Captain, and Paymaster-Captain Share.
Amphitrite then makes a speech and decorates Lady Jellicoe and Mrs. Share.
Their Majesties then get into Their chariot and the Officers decorated make replies if they wish, followed by a speech from Neptune.
Party then proceeds by order from Neptune, headed by band playing old sea tunes, on to midship deck and round port side to throne. Band will continue playing until Their Majesties and Court are in their places.
Neptune then sounds the " still " and makes a speech announcing the Court open, and summoning officers and ship's company in order of their seniority to attend.
Novices will go through in the following order:
Ward Room Officers
Gun Room Officers (Subordinate).
Only those who go through will be given a certificate.
The Court will be adjourned at 11.45 and reassemble at 2 p.m.
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