Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Sunday, 1 June 2008

The Glorious First of June

The_%27Defence%27_at_the_Battle_of_the_First_of_June%2C_1794When the haze lifted on 1 June 1794, Admiral Howe's fleet engaged the navy of Revolutionary France for the first time in what became the largest sea battle in the French Revolutionary Wars. Although it was henceforth decreed by the Royal Navy that the First of June would forever be 'Glorious', it was not a decisive victory since the French loss of seven ships was mitigated by the fact that their grain convoys from America to France made their destination, thus preventing an outbreak of famine in the Revolutionary Republic.

It is interesting to note that the Naval General Service Medal was a campaign medal approved in 1847, for issue to officers and men of the Royal Navy and was retrospectively awarded for various naval actions during the period 1793 to 1840, provided the applicant for the medal was a surviving claimant. One surprising claimant was 54-year-old Daniel Tremendous McKenzie, who had been born during the battle of the Glorious 1st of June on board HMS Tremendous, and was duly awarded the medal 54 years later for a battle fought on the day he was born!

Which brings me to the expression "son of a gun". This came about during the Age of Sail when ladies such as Mrs McKenzie were in transit on His Majesty's ships and needed to give birth, the only place available was to have a part of the gun deck between two cannons, screened off, for the birth to take place, hence the expression:- "son of a gun". Now you know.


Anonymous said...

From the previous threads I'd like to say a few words in David Byers' defence, as a fellow Gen-X Australian, and as a fellow veteran of the efforts to build up ACM in the early 90s, and prepare for the referendum. (No David we don't know each other but we know a few people in common from those days. I still give some money to ACM and plan to go to the next overpriced lunch at Parliament House).

David's assessment about the future of the monarchy in Australia is correct, in my opinion (low-key, constitutional but not symbolic), but so is the view of others here that the monarchy in Australia will survive the boomers fairly healthily - partly because of Australia's massive constitutional inertia, and its survival via William and Harry in contemporary celebrity culture.

However, non-Australians might not be aware that the monarchy has absolutely ZERO establishment cred - it is very much a sort of Anglo cultural shorthand for what Brits demographically call "C2s" or an American variation of lower-middle class "soccer moms", in Australia. No one the Queen meets in a receiving line these days in Australia is a monarchist - we even have openly republican governors!

But Rudd knows a referendum would sink without trace (the published polls tell us that), and these days I think even a plebiscite would too. If he is silly to back a referendum, the conservative/minimalist republicans from 99 (Julie Bishop, Greg Craven, etc) would flock to the No campaign, and my guess is that they would eventually conclude that the "least worst option" in order to block direct-elect was no longer minimal republicanism, but the Crown itself.

But David you're right - this website, while a jolly jape, is a bit overdone for mainstream Australian tastes. Having said that I quite like the flags on the right hand side!) And it's always funny to read Yanks big-up the Royals.

Anyway, top website - and David, from a fellow Aussie who believes in the cause - hang in there, you've been a champ for a long time. We'll be ok.

Si's blog said...

Ran across your blog when I Googled Glorious First of June. Made a post about it on mine yesterday.

What really made me run up the White Ensign was being a fan of O'Brian's books. They always seem to be be draining bottles in salute to the Glorious First. And Jutland made it more than just a coinkidink (Jimmy Duranteism for coincidence). The fickle finger pointed to this being a date to live in our memories - and to display a salute and drain a bottle to all Admirals of the White.

Si's blog said...

ps. Fascinating blog. I'll be back.

Beaverbrook said...

To the first commenter I say welcome and confirm quite unapologetically that we do overdo it here, and deliberately so. What would be the point of a monarchist blog that wasn't in the slightest bit cavalier about its tastes. Thank you for boosting the flagging spirit of Mr. Byers.

To the second commenter, the only other blog across the entire sphere to actually have remembered the Glorious First, I must say like the cut of your jib: 'I have seen tbe enemy and he is us'.

Lord Best said...

To my shame for the first time in five years, after becoming aware of the Glorious First, I forgot it. In my defense, I do have a shocking cold.
Happy, and not at all surprised, to see that the Monarchist remembered it. I feel a little less guilty.