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Remembered Today:

How did they write the time in the Navy?


sassenach

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Re-watching the Hew Strachan series "The First World War" yesterday I noticed a rather unusual way to write the time as seen in a Naval officer's diary. If the time was, say, 1815 it would be written "VI/15 p.m." I don't recall seeing that before. I wonder if this was a "Naval Tradition" or just the habit of that particular man. 

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4 hours ago, sassenach said:

I don't recall seeing that before. I wonder if this was a "Naval Tradition" or just the habit of that particular man

 

Truth to tell, I don't recall noticing that before either.

However, on taking a random page of a random ship's log,

low and behold 

the right hand side 'Remarks' column shows exactly the sort of thing which you have already observed

see the various entries for 0400, 0800, 1600, 1630, 1800 & 2000

ADM%2053-62045-005_1.jpg

Edited by michaeldr
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I seem to remember that it was not unusual for Roman numerals to be used in writing the date at that time, for instance, 25/IX/2020 

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In Michael's example the ship's Navigating Officer, who was responsible for transcribing the entries in the Deck Log into the Ship's Log (which this is) may have had a personal affectation for this method of recording time. (Perhaps a Classical education!) Other examples from this ship and others do not use this notation, which is by no means standard. In particular such Roman notation was not used in signals.

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1 hour ago, squirrel said:

I seem to remember that it was not unusual for Roman numerals to be used in writing the date at that time, for instance, 25/IX/2020 

I've seen the date written thus relatively recently, but never the time.

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3 hours ago, squirrel said:

I seem to remember that it was not unusual for Roman numerals to be used in writing the date at that time, for instance, 25/IX/2020 

 

Hey, that is how I write the date!

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23 hours ago, horatio2 said:

In Michael's example the ship's Navigating Officer, who was responsible for transcribing the entries in the Deck Log into the Ship's Log (which this is) may have had a personal affectation for this method of recording time. (Perhaps a Classical education.....

 

I wonder if this usage was the particular style of a tutor at Britannia, and was picked up there by impressionable cadets?

Edited by michaeldr
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Hew Strachan's work, The First World War, is currently being serialised on the PBS America channel (91). One of this evening's episodes dealt with naval matters, including the rounding up of German cruisers such as the Emden and the Konigsberg in the Indian Ocean, and the battles of Coronel and the Falklands, and some of the accompanying sketch-maps, drawn at the time by officers on shore, definitely showed the convention of denoting hours in Roman numerals and minutes in Arabic numerals.

 

Michael's suggestion of officers having learned this method at Britannia may well be right, but it certainly seems that the example in the original post is not an isolated case.

 

Ron

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