Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Trade

Yesterday’s entry dealt with William Guy Carr’s title for his book By Guess and By God. In his book he makes constant reference to “the Trade.” Here is his explanation, taken from his introductory note:

“Throughout this book, the Submarine Service is referred to as “the Trade.” Before the war a term of opprobrium coined by the pukka navy to describe officers who looked more like plumbers’ assistants than spic-and-span naval officers, the name took on a different significance during the war, and was accepted throughout the under-water branch of the service with a certain affectionate regard.”

When I first attended the Submarine Officers Training Course in HMS Dolphin in 1966, the somewhat shambolic state of dress practised by RN officers serving in boats was very apparent to my surface-navy eye. Once on board operational boats, however, we Canadians quickly adopted the Trade's outward characteristics.

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