View Full Version : Admiralty Orders 1911

19-04-2008, 01:03
I shouldn't, I shouldn't ... but I'm going to ... ;)

post this snippet which the Admiralty Librarian sent to me on Thursday.

Admiralty Weekly Orders, 1911

117. Men wearing Trusses not to act as Helmsmen or Quartermasters

A case having arisen in which a ship’s compass was deflected from 3◦ to 7◦ by the proximity of a person wearing a truss which had become highly magnetised, it has been decided that no man who has to wear a truss is to take the duty of helmsman or quartermaster.

19-04-2008, 11:18
That is, dare I say it, a pretty serious matter. Considering how important the ship's compass is to dead reckoning (navigation without regular sun and star shots) the slightest deviation could be critical - and if you don't notice the deviation you could end up like the crew of an RN ship in WWI who left port and thanks to the compass going awry steamed in a circle and beached back they they started - after eight hours!


20-04-2008, 16:36
Oh dear .All sorts of connotations sprang to mind when I read this.A few risqué ones at that.For instance one should not be wearing ones truss when navigating a safe harbor.;) Sorry KC if that warrants an "Off Caps". but it amused me. Maybe someone else can add to that.

20-04-2008, 22:55
What's been puzzling me is ... how would it happen in the first place? The magnetisation, that is ...

21-04-2008, 00:06
That's a good question! How did a truss become magnetised? It seems very odd to me.

21-04-2008, 09:43
A memory seems to be "Two disimilar objects and a relative movement between the two creates a magnet"?????

21-04-2008, 11:05
If two metals that can be magnetised (e.g. iron) are rubbed together, magnetism will occur. It's far more pronounced if one of them is a magnet in the first place.

The rubbing must take place in one direction only.

Can we assume that the wearer of the the truss wriggled a lot? A hellofa lot?

21-04-2008, 14:00
I may be wrong but in those days weren't the trusses made from an arm leading to a lead core pad wrapped in leather. I'm not that old I just remember seeing one in a museum;)

21-04-2008, 14:24
I daresay that like any consumer item a truss would have been available in infinite varieties even in the 1910s. Based on my limited understanding (they dealt with my hernia a different way!) of a truss, I can imagine some having wire inside leather to give some extra support - which could prove a problem. However, the history of trusses is not my specialty!

I'll amend that - I have ability to go on google books and search a lot of books which aren't available for download in this country, and I just searched it for wire-wound trusses - apparently there were a few in the latter half of the 19th century!


24-08-2011, 19:06
What's a truss ?. :confused:

25-08-2011, 18:48
This medical dictionary describes what a truss is and why it is needed.


25-08-2011, 19:11
Of course, another way of making a magnet is to take a magnetic material, align it North/South, and hit it sharply with a hammer. Could this give someone a clue?

25-08-2011, 19:25
up until 5 years ago there was here in Guernsey a Truss fund , the purpose of this fund was to provide the money to buy a Truss for any one who needed a Truss but was unable to afford one , as it had not been used for many years it was decided to end the fund