The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity in partnership with the Royal Naval Association hosted a ‘Black Tot Day’ lunch for 100 naval veterans on board HMS Belfast, with Pusser’s Rum providing the ‘Tot’…

Black Tot Day marks the anniversary of the end of the daily rum ration, issued by the Royal Navy until 31 July 1970. Up until then, it was tradition for the call of “Up Spirits” to be followed by the issue of the tot of rum to each sailor. It was abolished in 1970 after concerns that regular intakes of alcohol would lead to unsteady hands when working machinery.

This special event provided an opportunity to bring together serving sailors and marines with those of yester year, reminiscing and sharing sea dits over a tot. Veterans who may be experiencing loneliness or social isolation, will also benefit from being referred to services and activities that will address those issues going forward.

Alasdair Akass, RNRMC Director of Marketing and Fundraising, said: “When you stop to consider the huge numbers of beneficiaries the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity is here to support – every sailor, marine and their families for life, probably about three quarters of a million – then it is likely that there are a significant number who need our support but are unaware of the help that exists for them or are reluctant to ask for help.

“We are all here today to celebrate the tradition of gathering together for a tot and a good yarn. Many bonds of friendship were forged in this way and maybe continue to this day. We would like to find innovative ways of bringing folk together, so that we, as a community, can support one another.”

If you know of a Naval Service Veteran or a group which could benefit from support in the form of a small grant from the RNRMC, please contact Jo Miles on 023 9387 1532 or email jo.miles@rnrmc.org.uk

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