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Ednamay
28-08-2009, 13:54
According to my father, this was an annual competition in the Med in the 30s.

I think he competed, as cox'n with crew and ship's boats, several times, and his ship's crew won once; I believe he was on the Nightingale for one but information seems to be non-existent; does anyone have any more information about these events?

Edna

mik43
28-08-2009, 15:35
Hi Edna

You are quite correct exept that it was not just in the Med. It depended where the appropriate Fleet - Atlantic(idc Home), Med etc - was massing in one giant wet parking lot!! The larger ships such as the battleships and cruisers entered two crews - deck and engineroom - so there was a competition within the main competition!! Each ships crew(s) wore different coloured jerseys so that they could be recognised by their respective ships. The 'parking' was normally in two lines so that the races took place between the two lines of ships. It was usually a week long festival occasion.

It was the only time that the RN allowed betting, with the daily Tote odds being signalled around those present each morning before racing commenced.

The eventual winner, ie the ship with the most wins, was then named the 'Cock of the Fleet', why 'Cock' escapes me for the moment!!

Hope that helps

Regards

Mik

Dave Hutson
28-08-2009, 16:13
Good on you Mik,

The only thing you forgot was the lengths some ships would go to to win, i.e. shaving down the whaler until it was almost paper thin then woe betide any poor sole who put his foot thru it.

Many a Jimmy the One had to put his reasons in writing to the Admiral, wonder why it was never the Captain but then it was on his slopchit anyway.

Horseracing was also the other decksport where the tote was permitted provided some of the proceeds went to the Ships Welfare Fund or Charity [Not HMS I hasten to add although she was a good ship [yet another CH]]

Regards

Dave H

tonclass
28-08-2009, 17:48
Wasn't there a 'Cockerel trophy' presented to the winner. Hence the name. I'm sure I've seen a photo of it somewhere?????

qprdave
28-08-2009, 18:04
I think that Cock o' the Fleet/Squadron/Flotilla comes from this

Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke of Gordon KT (18 June 1743 – 17 June 1827), styled Marquess of Huntly until 1752, was a Scottish nobleman, described by Kaimes as the "greatest subject in Britain", and was also known as the Cock o' the North,

SCRG1970
28-08-2009, 19:38
Here is a Cock of the Fleet trophy. Thinkk this was held by Gambia at some stage.

Regards

Gerry

tonclass
29-08-2009, 01:11
I'm sure thats the pic I've seen before !!

astraltrader
29-08-2009, 01:35
There was obviously more than one trophy.

Unless there was a cock-up!!

spruso
29-08-2009, 03:51
I saw a good photo of the "cock" standing on top of B Turret on HMS Barham. It was a very clear photo but I can't remember where I saw it. Someone amongst us may have a copy.
Cheers
Bruce

Stan.J
29-08-2009, 15:32
I may be wrong but didn`t they allow betting on The Field Gun races at the Olympia?

Derek Dicker
29-08-2009, 17:10
Hi all, I was on the Ulysses in 1958/59, we won the cock of the fleet, think it was held somewhere in sycily. The ship was entitled to emblazen the funnel with a cut out cock (male chicken).


Derek (Bunts)

tinduck
29-08-2009, 18:25
Here is the image of Barham with the Cock o'the Fleet trophy on B turret

Dave

NSR
29-08-2009, 19:11
Portland 1947. Fleet Regatta when I did the 3 month Auxiliary Course on Howe, but I can't remember what the other pieces of silverware were for. As a trainee I was not involved except as cheering party.

Ken

Guz rating
29-08-2009, 23:08
Here is the image of Barham with the Cock o'the Fleet trophy on B turret

Dave

Dave wonderful picture of the Barham. I've down loaded it,thanks for posting it.

Alan.

harry.gibbon
29-08-2009, 23:16
Yes Dave, a wonderfull depiction of a proud ship displaying all it and it's crew has to offer, to all who would care to look... it is great to see the like recorded for posterity. Absolutely lovely! Little h

Ednamay
30-08-2009, 11:34
Gentlemen!!!

I am well rewarded! Keep it going!!

Edna

alanbenn
30-08-2009, 11:57
There's a really good insight into Naval rivalry in this account from a letter sent home by a crew member of Hms Phoebe who won the trophy in 1948, he describes the Kiwi's as fun loving hooligans......

Here's the link... http://homepage.ntlworld.com/r.pavely/Cock_of_the_Fleet_1950.pdf


Regards
Alan

davep
30-08-2009, 17:38
the last time i saw a squadron cock competition was in 1997 when the 5 original sandowns made up mcm3. my ship cromer won it and we had a cock to display on the bridge roof.
i havent seen or competed for it since then, but then since we are continually swapping ships companies around to man the two in the gulf maybe have a trophy with mcm1 crew 7 engraved on it rather than a ships name is less romantic!

Francis Stanley
01-09-2009, 09:34
the last time i saw a squadron cock competition was in 1997 when the 5 original sandowns made up mcm3. my ship cromer won it and we had a cock to display on the bridge roof.
i havent seen or competed for it since then, but then since we are continually swapping ships companies around to man the two in the gulf maybe have a trophy with mcm1 crew 7 engraved on it rather than a ships name is less romantic!
The Portsmouth Squadron of Ton boats had something similar in the eighties when I was on the Iveston we had it for a while and it was also displayed on the bridge roof.

Wafu
01-09-2009, 10:02
I know this should be in the Raleigh thread but a mile pull in cutters was held between us and the Tiffs called "Head of the River" with the obvious connotations I am leaving it at that:p

Ednamay
01-09-2009, 11:02
Wow! What have I started. I love the stories - perhaps I should have joined the wrens and heard them first hand? OR perhaps I should have married into the service?!!!!!

Edna

Wafu
01-09-2009, 11:23
Wow! What have I started. I love the stories - perhaps I should have joined the wrens and heard them first hand? OR perhaps I should have married into the service?!!!!!

Edna

You were right to quit while you were ahead:rolleyes:

spruso
02-09-2009, 01:09
Here is the image of Barham with the Cock o'the Fleet trophy on B turret

Dave

Found a newspaper cutting on BARHAM returning to UK with the COTF on B Turret.
Scroll down the left hand column about halfway down the page.

http://www.worldisround.com/articles/16107/

Cheers
Bruce

Scurs
02-09-2009, 08:35
Wasn't a fleet regatta as such during my time in Andrew (probably due to lack of ships by this time)........do recall that the pulling races at GANGES were something of a religion in Blake Division.........I thought "chucking up party" onboard the MFV as near as I need be involved.

Dave 220 might be able to fill in details for me, but somewhere in 1958/60 we took part in a "Cruiser Regatta" v the Indian Navy ships MYSORE & DELHI. Won it of course!

Wafu
02-09-2009, 11:33
Here is the image of Barham with the Cock o'the Fleet trophy on B turret

Dave
Dave what class was Barham,interested because Barham is a small country town in New South Wales 25 km away across the Murray from us.
Steve

qprdave
02-09-2009, 11:38
Wafu

Barham was a "Queen Elizabeth Class"

Wafu
02-09-2009, 11:42
Thanks Dave, still as clear as mud........can't see the connection:confused:

Wafu
02-09-2009, 11:54
Google tells us that it is mentioned in the Doomsday book and that the Duke of Cumberland was the name of the first pub. Given that Cumberland was known as the butcher and had a good go at the Scots at Cullodon doesn't really give a good reason for the naming of a ship in the Queen Elizabeth Class.I think that we will have to blame "pink gin" for that one.:D

alanbenn
02-09-2009, 12:39
Wafu, Hms Barham was named after Lord Barham, who was controller of the Royal Navy from 1778-1790. The ships badge is taken from the arms of Lord Barham.

Hms Cumberland was named after the county.

Regards
Alan

Wafu
03-09-2009, 11:37
Wafu, Hms Barham was named after Lord Barham, who was controller of the Royal Navy from 1778-1790. The ships badge is taken from the arms of Lord Barham.

Hms Cumberland was named after the county.

Regards
Alan

Alan I have a lot to learn, and thought I knew much. A young lad in the SES said, "Steve please don't die until you have taught me all you know"
I might have found a way to immortality:D
Thanks mate, much appreciated
Steve

SCRG1970
21-03-2010, 16:28
Came across this pc of a very fine trophy "Cock of the Fleet" held by HMS KING EDWARD VII in 1914. One of the earliest photos I have seen, which begs the question when was it first instigated ??

Regards

gerry

mik43
22-03-2010, 15:45
Good pic of a trophy Gerry. Hopefully we might get some more. Any idea if 'this' trophy is still around or has it been recycled??

Mik

twist
22-03-2010, 16:03
HMS ZENITH .Won the first cock o the fleet after the war at portland 1945/1946 , i was in the stokers whalers crew .Also we went to Portugal with the home fleet first after the war with the Nelson, a gantry was made for the public to view the nelson which collapsed under weight,i think some people was killed & the navy lads went to the rescue of survivers .At the same time the english football team was to play portugal but was unable to fly owing to bad weather so the navy whipped up a team from the fleet , and we got thrashed but it was a good day we was very welcome .
Twist

Paddy
22-03-2010, 18:31
Came across this pc of a very fine trophy "Cock of the Fleet" held by HMS KING EDWARD VII in 1914. One of the earliest photos I have seen, which begs the question when was it first instigated ??

Regards

gerry

Many Many moons ago when I had a cushy number in Portsmoute reserve fleet (when we had one), HMCS Bonaventure visited portsmouth over the xmas and new year.
It is aparently a good old canadian tradition when visiting naval ports over the new year to chalenge the opposing (I thought they were on our side) navy to a bit of a dust up.
This took the form of bolting a wooden cockerel to the funel and inviting all comers to take it.
The claim being that they were COCK SHIP.
They lifted their gangways and manned the fire hoses all round the ship.
But they did not bank on the poor sportsmanship of jack when he is wet.
Some very wet matelot's simply cast off her mooring lines and went home.
I gather she was fotunate that it was slack water but desperate messengers had to go and extricate intoxicated tug skippers from pompy pubs just on the srokes of new year.
Who else remembers it?, were any of you wet that night?.
I saw a vision of DQs when I saw the first line go and returned on board PDQ warning the QM as I passed over the gangway that the officer of the watch might have a request for help before he had a time to get properly tipsy.
IT was big in the papers next day.
Paddy

SCRG1970
22-03-2010, 18:34
Good pic of a trophy Gerry. Hopefully we might get some more. Any idea if 'this' trophy is still around or has it been recycled??

Mik

No idea Mik but an interesting question. I believe there is a trophy store in HMS NELSON but havent a clue what they have or how to access it. I do remember the odd items coming up at Admiralty sales. Portsmouth Naval museum may know what exists..any members out there ???

Regards

Gerry

steve roberts
22-03-2010, 19:36
Hi Mik.I have no Idea of what may have happened to this trophy.It's unlikely to be in HMS Nelson's Trophy Store,as that usually only deals with items belonging to specific ships.If the RN Museum don't know,the only other idea may be,that it is held in HMS Cochran's wardroom???.Regards Steve.:confused:

Ednamay
23-03-2010, 11:10
Hello, lads
I am delighted to see the Cock o' the Fleet surface again - thought he had perished under the waves!
Please continue your explorations, I should love to hear some more stories about the Fleet competitions. I know my father was on Warspite in 1931 but I don't think it was then he coxed the winning crew, I think it was later; I am only just getting started on his doc's, I am still writing up a narrative based on my brother's doc's.
Edna

Vboat
23-03-2010, 19:30
I remember seeing a similar trophy being awarded to my sons intake at Raleigh(Tiffs late 2001) when his division ( Sherval Div ) won it for somthing or other sorry I cant remember what. It was in full colour and a fair size, the First Sea Lords wife had her hands full I recall.

Dave Hutson
23-03-2010, 19:47
I think the "Cock of the Fleet" died when we no longer had a "Home Fleet" and "Mediterranean Fleet". Pride in one's ship still existed but something was now missing.

Who was the last holder I wouldn't presume to guess or where it resides now.

But what I do remember was the rivallry that existed to win this trophy, the teamwork that went into it and the pride associated with competing.

Many a Skipper/Jimmy had to put their reasons in writing why their whaler's hull became so thin.

Dave H

harry.gibbon
23-03-2010, 22:26
Re HMS Nelson Trophy Store:-

Just to refresh memories (although the search facility may have done so;)) here is a posting I made earlier:D

http://www.worldnavalships.com/forums/showpost.php?p=92324&postcount=8

Little h

mik43
24-03-2010, 16:42
Thanks for that Little h, it is all good stuff but it doesn't include an actual inventory of what the Trophy Centre actually holds!! One would hope that such fine trophies as these would be kept, but.......

Anyone got a contact who can actually find out whether they are still around and better still get some pix????

Mik

sierra hotel
16-09-2011, 16:43
Quite curious as I was asked some questions about this, and I vaguely remember seeing some pictures somewhere of 'Cock of the Walk' roosters
mounted on RN turrets for what award, purpose was this? Is the practice still carried on today? How far does this go back, and what was the sculpture made of? Crew get extra liberty for this??

Destroyerman
16-09-2011, 18:28
Sierra Hotel,

my only experience of this was during 2nd Frigate Squadron "regatta" in 1958.

The squadron held this pulling race in the squadron 27' whalers and the winning ship whaler and crew was awarded a similar trophy, which was hauled to the masthead and spotlighted proudly. I believe it was called "Cock of the Fleet" and was a localised thing.

However, it was up to the other competing (losing) ships companies to retrieve this trophy at dead of night, an evolution that five of us from HMS TEAZER carried out successfully in Portland harbour.

We returned onboard at 02:00 drenched to the skin from protective fire hoses on board the winning ship (HMS MALCOLM I believe), but not before one of our lads had taken a "wet" from the quartermaster's kye and tossed his mug overboard. One of our raiding party was jetted off the aft boom and Jacobs ladder into our whaler sustaining a minor injury.

But the "Cock of the Fleet" trophy proudly found its way to our masthead, and the MALCOLM's Commanding Officer couldn't do a thing about it, after all, we were senior ship in the squadron.

So I suppose a similar contest may have been carried out with gunnery shoots and drills within other squadrons, flotillas etc.

Sandy.

Rob Hoole
16-09-2011, 21:31
This thread (http://www.rnpatrolservice.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=95) on the Harry Tate's Navy forum (which I also frequent) casts some light on this subject.

brian james
17-09-2011, 06:59
HMNZS Blackpool won 'Cock of the Fleet' in 1966 in Singapore..From memory for winning Rugby Union Final...It was one thing to win it but a fierce 'battle to keep it..!!

Ednamay
17-09-2011, 15:21
I started a thread a while ago (Cock o' the Fleet) where you can find a number of contributions. My father was on Warspite '28-'31 in the Med, and at some point they won the cock trophy in the annual regatta. I think he was cox of the boat that won - he was a lightweight, the oarsmen were 'heavies' (so he said) but that's a longtime ago!

I believe someone said the original trophy is in the Naval Museum, Portsmouth Dockyard; must brave the Solent to check one day!

Edna

jbryce1437
17-09-2011, 16:38
Both threads merged.

Jim

Ednamay
19-09-2011, 11:12
Both threads merged.

Jim

Thank you, Jim.

Edna

whalerman
19-09-2011, 17:35
I remeber in the late 60's there was a fleet sports day sponsored by Brickwoods Brewrey in Pompey,all ships alongside had to enter a team. This is where my memory might be a bit off but I'm sure the Stinkin' Lincoln won and had a large Cock (Brickwoods crest) attached to her foremast. Being on a Type 14 we could only muster a hopscotch team and got beaten by the Dryad Wrens in the first round.

Destroyerman
19-09-2011, 18:20
Nice one whalerman!:D

Bet the Dryad Wrens were not so hot on upper deck Uckers .......

Sandy.

twist
29-09-2013, 20:44
R e cock of the fleet
HMS Zenith won the first cock of the fleet after the war with the home fleet i know because i was in the stokers whalers crew at Portland must have been 45/46 . TWISTER

phill rose
15-06-2017, 14:49
I sent this thread to someone on another site as they had asked a question regarding the "cock".

Does anyone know where all the silverware and trophies end up when a ship goes to scrap?
I seem to recall it being mentioned on the site, and someone said it is all sent of to a warehouse and gradually sold off, along with ships bells.

Can someone confirm this?

jbryce1437
15-06-2017, 15:38
I sent this thread to someone on another site as they had asked a question regarding the "cock".

Does anyone know where all the silverware and trophies end up when a ship goes to scrap?
I seem to recall it being mentioned on the site, and someone said it is all sent of to a warehouse and gradually sold off, along with ships bells.

Can someone confirm this?
I believe there used to be a trophy store in Portsmouth Dockyard, possibly in the charge of PSTO(N) (Principle Stores and Transport Officer (Naval)?, but not sure about now.

Jim

Jan Steer
15-06-2017, 18:07
You are quite correct Jim. In the mid-seventies when doing a 'job' somewhere in London I was tasked with delivering said silver to the dockyard store that you mention. I travelled by train with a deep leather bag (I think it was anyway) handcuffed to my wrist. When I got to the store I was released from the bag and went home for the weekend. These trophies were often loaned out for important dinners when guests needed to be impressed. I should imagine that these objects looked sensational as table centres and so on.
If there are any retired S&S bods reading the thread I am sure that their input will be far more informed than my own offering.

phill rose
16-06-2017, 13:47
Thanks for the replies.

If my memory serves me correctly there was an item on TV a while back, and mention was made of a trophy store which was a tri service effort possibly somewhere in Wiltshire, maybe with the contraction or decimation of the armed forces this has replaced the Portsmouth RN store.

jbryce1437
16-06-2017, 14:38
Thanks for the replies.

If my memory serves me correctly there was an item on TV a while back, and mention was made of a trophy store which was a tri service effort possibly somewhere in Wiltshire, maybe with the contraction or decimation of the armed forces this has replaced the Portsmouth RN store.
Quite possible, but there would have been a big collection of RN silverware. Most, if not all, ships and shore base wardrooms had a collection of silverware which adorned the wardroom tables at mess dinners, etc. It would be interesting to see an inventory of the trophy store.

Jim

tim lewin
19-06-2017, 12:58
As a teenager I went in 1963 with the Dartmouth TS, 17th FS, to Morgat, Brittany, for the Squadron pulling regatta;
Urchin
Venus
Wizard
Tenby
Torquay
I don't recall who won after all this time but I know it wasn't us (Urchin), it was one of the Type 15s so must have been Venus or Wizard, I think Venus. Her ships company mounted a huge painted plywood cock on the bridge top.
I was 16 and slept in the sick bay, I remember the SBA tottering back aboard in the middle of the night and entertaining me with a long series of technicolour yawns into a bucket, interspersed with a commentary on the poor quality of the local vino colapso....

happy times, and a couple of period pictures.