As its minute hand touches the routine time for calling all hands he nods, the marine strikes the bell with a thunderous clash, the Quartermaster's pipe sets up a high-pitched squealing wail throughout the ship, and the ship's buglers sound off Reveille.
Father-and-Mother of a Hullabaloo All over the ship there starts at once the father-and-mother of a hullabaloo. " None of them lack lung power, and their combined chorus would waken the dead.
We Begin our Day with the Morning Watch Let us then start "while it is yet dark," in the small hours of the morning watch, with the Officer of the Watch drinking a steaming cup of hot cocoa in the shelter of the after-turret, and the Quartermaster doing the same thing at his desk in the greater shelter of the quarter-deck screen doors.
Someone passes the word to the engine-room to "start the fire-main": streams of water are soon cascading everywhere.
Squads of sailors in seaboots with hard scrubbers scrub steadily and evenly across* (*Scrubbing across the grain makes more noise than scrubbing with the grain and therefore conveys the impression (entirely false) of great effort!
He must make the most economical use of the hands available during working hours, dealing in "bodies" rather than in the "paper-strength" of his complement, for there are always men away on leave and attending "courses" somewhere or other.
He must allow for a number of men being detached from ship routine for the various training duties required by the gunnery and torpedo officers.
The design and framing of the ship's routine is the sale prerogative of her Executive Officer.
As "Chief Housemaid" he has to set aside adequate time for his ship to be cleaned, swept and garnished.
"Crushers" and Boatswain's Mates hail the waking sailors with "All 'ands, All' ands; Roust out and shine there, roust out and-shine! Still some of the older hands do not stir: they cock a wary eye over the canvas lip of their hammock and tuck down for "just another snore." Rude hands, however, seize the hammock and shake it: ruder backs get underneath it and bump it - and in the end all are out on the deck, dressing.
Then a scramble for a wash, the hammocks are unslung, lashed and stowed away in the hammock bins, under the bitter eye of the Duty Mess Deck Petty Officer, and the night is over.
The Chief Boatswain's Mate checks over with the Captains of Tops that all are present - and along the deck comes the Commander himself, his feet thrust into short sea-boots, and with a muffler round his neck - up at the same time as his men and waiting to detail them to the various jobs that will keep his ship fighting fit and clean.
The Boats' Officer has one or two early jobs to be done in his boats, and the Commander allocates "one hand from each part" to him; the Chief Gunner also has a few outstanding jobs, and the Commander says Carry on the Gunner's Party.
- Royal Navy Organisation - Casualties - killed, died, missing - 1,000 Warship Service Histories - Convoy Escort Movements - Battles, Major Warship Losses - Naval & Military Campaigns - Navies Daily, 1939-42 - Admiralty War Diaries So far we have chiefly contented ourselves with viewing the ship and its officers and men "off service," that is to say, in their own quarters and virtually off duty. Everything that goes on in a ship has its basis in routine.