Sunday, 25 February 2018


Not army, but I couldn't resist re-publishing this piece on flogging in the Royal Navy in the 1860s. The original article was first published in The Navy & Army Gazette on the 6th July 1901:

Apropos of the paragraph on the sea term “Kissing the Gunner’s Daughter,” a correspondent, Mr Douglas White, writes: “Unfortunately I have witnessed a good many men flogged, and also boys, as I joined the Navy in 1862. All men were flogged across the back, and were tied up to a grating that was lashed to the main rigging and to ring bolts on the quarter-deck, and were naked to the waist. The chief boatswain's mate gave the first dozen and the other boatswain's mates according to seniority. It was called 'facing the Carpenter's looking-glass' as the carpenters rigged the gratings. Boys were the only ones that were flogged over the breech of a gun. The boys' cats had only five tails instead of nine. Before a man was made a boatswain's mate, or as soon as he was, he had to practise flogging in the boatswains' store-room over a hammock lashed up. I saw flogging on board the 'Fisguard,’ the ‘Wellesley,' and any amount of men and boys in the 'Conqueror' in the years 1862-63-64-65. The ‘Conqueror' was paid off at Sheerness at the end of February or the beginning of March, 1866, and I never saw any one flogged after that. I may also say that the term ‘Introduced Io the Blacksmith’s Daughter’ meant being put in irons. I left the Navy in 1887, and was a captain of the maintop and a seaman gunner."

Image re-appropriated by alamy who claim copyright.

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