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Royal Navy  Books


When I was on the Massive

When I was on the MASSIVE does not only contain, 'When I was on the Massive’ jokes, but encompasses the entire gamut of Royal Naval humour, from standard jokes to the harsh and vulgar, bawdy songs and poems, through to saucy and offensive tales of Jack's runs ashore.

The songs, limericks, and poetry, known as ditties, are those often sung in bars, and less salubrious establishments around the world, many have become Jack's favourite songs, such as ‘I wonder, yes, I wonder', ‘Magic Moments’, and 'Zulu Warrior’.

Royal Navy sailors love to reminisce about their time in the mob. Often an old salt can be seen with a tear in his eye as he thinks of all the ships and shore bases which no longer exist, his old oppos, and those whose souls are still on patrol.


Jack's Dits 2More Tales from the Mess, continues spinning humorous yarns, fables, anecdotes, and hilarious jokes, interspersed with a further flurry of ditty's, quotes, and oddities which will entertain and amuse, along with some which will evoke fond memories.

The cutting humour, absurdity, and preposterous farce, which frequently contains obscenities, is regularly sexually explicit and often vulgar are repeated here, in Jack's Dits 2 as it reflects the bond between messmates within the comedy of its content.


It is, in a large part, the sharing of such humour between the men who served which made the Royal Navy the best navy in the world.

There is an adage which states, 'That many a true word hath been spoke in jest', and this is true of Jacks Dits2, where honest, accurate historical attitudes of our society during such times are recorded within the oft flippant telling's, and the mirth and merriment, of these stories.


With hundreds of men, tons of military paraphernalia, complicated machinery, technological equipment, weaponry, stores, and various other forms of kit, you could be assured that not every day was straightforward and undemanding.

Equipment failed. People made mistakes. Accidents and mishaps occurred. Personalities and characters clashed. Add to this mix the activities of matelots on a 'run ashore' in those far-flung, unsavoury and questionable seaports.

Include beer, spirits, wine, women and song into the equation and the resulting concoction is a wonderful hothouse for the creation of imaginative narrative.

The goings-on, from both aboard and ashore, created astonishing accounts of events to be told at stand easy or after a watch; when the exaggerated telling's of the day's happenings would be shared in the mess square.


This book is not one that simply and only harks back in nostalgic fashion to the past, Jack's Dits is an authentic validation, a historical record of royal naval social history; one told by the voices of those who served.

It is a true and genuine recording of life during the Royal Navy's heydays, the late 1950's through to the earlier part of the 1980's.

The Pussers Cook Book

The Pussers Cook Book contains the most popular and loved traditional dishes from the Royal Navy’s Galleys.


Woven between the recipes are facts and tidbits about the food, the cooks and general life aboard ship.


Along with the recipes, this book aims to preserve a segment of British history that is fading, all too quickly, into the grey sea-mists of oblivion.

Pussers cook bookEBook.jpg

The Andrew, Jack & Jenny


Unlike the civilian nicknames we get labelled with; those our classmates called us at school, the one's various work colleagues may apply to us from time to time, or the ones our siblings find amusing, a military nickname has greater significance, it holds a value only fully comprehended by our contemporaries.


Arguably, the Royal Navy has the most entrenched tradition among the services for bestowing nicknames, names not only for each sailor but for places, equipment and actions. This book, The Andrew, Jack & Jenny, focuses primarily on the names given to each skin and essence the moment they became a matelot.


Royal Naval nicknames are not chosen by the recipient, they are bestowed, irrevocably, by custom and tradition. Yet, each sailor soon becomes attached to their 'new' name, which grows into a large part of their identity, even influencing their character.


It soon becomes the name which is spoken with pride in answer to the question "Who are you?"



Neptune and the Pollywogs documents the Royal Navy's history and Ceremony of Crossing the Line.

This is an in-depth study of the most traditional of seafaring initiation ceremonies.'Neptune and the Pollywogs' examines the rites historical roots, follows its chronological evolution, formalities and observances, and the parts and characters used in the ceremonies historic and modern-day practice.

Produced in association with

The Royal Navy Research Archives


HMS Tiger, Chronicles of the last big cat, is a large hardback, glossy, full colour, fully illustrated book which traces the Tiger from her 'laying down' in John Browns Shipyard, through Norvick, the 'Tiger Talks' off Gibraltar and onwards, past conversion,  to Rio, Singers, Honky Fid, Oz and more, right up to her sad last days of neglect on the Trotts, until being towed to Spain for breaking.


But, unlike many ships, this is not the final chapter of the Tiger, the ships spirit now resides 'Down Under' with a former naval dental surgeon...


Packed full of photographs of the ship's company, the daily chores and many of the places the Tiger visited, this book has become the account of our personal history, our legacy and a moving memoir to pass down through the generations of our families.


When future generations ask, what did you do in the Navy? they shall be able to see, to read and understand what our lives were really like and know what we did.


HMS Tiger is published by TOAD Publishing and printed by Peecho on behalf of Paul White.

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