Click on thumbnail for larger image.

Religion in the Navy

Catalogue number 108073

The Royal Navy at Royal funerals, King George V

As a young man, the future King George V was destined to be a Navy man and up to the death of his elder brother in 1892 he had a full naval career travelling all over the world. On his death in 1936, it was decided that because of his naval career plus the fact that it is the Senior service, men of the Royal Navy should draw the coffin on a gun carriage through the streets of London.

8.1cm x 12.5cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 64013

The funeral of King Edward VII, 1910

As the coffin of King Edward VII leaves Westminster Hall in 1910, sailors in Sennet hats are drawn up in double ranks either side of the avenue. Behind the gun carriage is a riderless horse with the King's riding boots reversed and fixed in the stirrups as a military honour to the departed commander.

24cm x 13.9cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 99014

The funeral of Blunt Pacha, 1909

When present in a foreign port or detailed to represent the British nation, a delegation of officers and men would assist at the funeral of a local dignitary. Here a small delegation is present in the funeral cortege of Blunt Pasha. Blunt Pasha was an Ottoman officer of British origin who died in 1909 and was given a state funeral in Istanbul.

24cm x 13.9cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 107059

A Royal Navy funeral, Malta 1932

When a death occurred ashore, the person could be buried in a military or civil cemetery. This photograph shows a funeral procession in Malta, 1932. Officers with black arm bands lead the procession with other officers carrying wreaths. There is a Royal Marine officer and maybe Army officers just in front of the civil personalities.

24cm x 13.9cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number ****

Large funeral procession in an English town

This is a large procession going through the streets of an English town, we can see two gun carriages each with coffins being drawn by sailors in Sennet hats (the Sennet hat was removed from the kit list in 1921). Men of the Royal Marine Light Infantry line the route with their rifles pointed barrel down as a sign of mourning. Midshipmen and sailors carrying wreaths head the procession of several hundred men. It may be the funeral at Haslar of the men lost when H.M.S. Gladiator sank in 1908.

24cm x 13.9cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 108072

Funeral on the China station

The funeral procession has arrived at the cemetery and it looks as if the wreaths have been carried on three gun carriages with the coffin on the fourth gun carriage. A military band is playing and the sailors lining the route bow their heads with reversed rifles resting on the left boot. The funeral may be taking place in one of the Chinese naval bases, many of the people looking on appear to be Asian. [Graham Thompson has tentively identified the location as Wong Hai Chung Road, Hong Kong with the Hong Kong cemetery to the left and the back of the racecourse to the right.]

8.1cm x 13cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 55048

Funeral of a French Admiral, 1912

The hearse is about to leave the home of a deceased French Navy officer, the family are standing on the terrace. The sailors have their rifles reversed and several officers head the procession.

Postcard addressed to Louis ... military nurse expressing thanks, franked Toulon, 1912

13.6cm x 8.5cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 49060

Bringing home the body of Admiral Courbet, 1895

Admiral Courbet of the French Navy died in Taiwan as a result of a cholera infection in 1885 and his body was brought back to France for a National funeral. These two photographs show the battleship Bayard at Suez and with the yardarms tilted as a sign of mourning. Other commercial ships in the port are doing the same.

27.5cm x 21.6cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 54005

Bringing the body of Admiral Courthile ashore, 1930

Rear Admiral Courthile was with the Escadre du Nord aboard the battleship Massena anchored in the bay off La Rochelle when he died unexpectedly at the beginning of June 1903. This photograph shows the ship's cutter carrying the coffin being towed into the harbour at La Pallice. The public line the quayside and men raise their hats as the cutter goes by.

9.1cm x 6.1cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 44078

1. Funeral in Wei-hai-wei, 1926

The officers and men of a warship form a close-knit community and when one member dies, there is a well-dignified and important service for the deceased. This series of photographs, including a portrail of the deceased, shows the funeral of a 20 year old stoker who died of shock on H.M.S. Hawkins whilst at Wei-hai-wei in 1926. (1) The band of the Royal Marines will play the funeral music. (2) The Captain and his officers are present. (3) Part of the ship's company. (4) The coffin is draped with the Union Jack and one of the sailors appears to be carrying the pith helmet of the deceased. Chinese people are watching the event. (5) The priest leads the coffin bearers through the cemetery gates of the British Garrison Burial Ground. (6) The coffin has been placed in the grave and part of the three-volley salute has just been fired, note the smoke just left of center and the rifles showing between the two large crosses. (7) Men, probable of the same watch or mess mates of the deceased, gather round the grave to say prayers. H.M.S. Hawkins was a heavy cruiser with a peacetime compliment of 690 officers and men.

13.2cm x 8.2cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 44079

2. Funeral in Wei-hai-wei, 1926

13.2cm x 8.2cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 44080

3. Funeral in Wei-hai-wei, 1926

13.2cm x 8.2cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 44081

4. Funeral in Wei-hai-wei, 1926

13.2cm x 8.2cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 44082

5. Funeral in Wei-hai-wei, 1926

13.2cm x 8.2cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 44085

6. Funeral in Wei-hai-wei, 1926

13.2cm x 8.2cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 44083

7. Funeral in Wei-hai-wei, 1926

13.2cm x 8.2cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 40169

Royal Navy chaplain, H.M.S. Prince George

Large warships such as the battleship H.M.S. Prince George (launched 1885, decommissioned 1920, compliment 672) had a chaplain on board, he is shown here sat on the casing just right of center. His role was to provide spiritual and moral support to the ship's company and in war, he would be part of the medical team. The officer front row sat on the casing under the port gun looks like Captain Ernest K. Loring which dates this photograph from between February to March, 1916. Note the terrier to the right of the casing.

13.2cm x 8cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 79054

Chaplain to the Prince of Wales, H.M.S. Renown, 1922

The chaplain who accompanied the Prince of Wales on his world tour in 1922 on board H.M.S. Renown can be seen fifth from the left of the Prince of Wales (second row, just right of center) with no cap on. The photograph was taken towards the end of the cruise, probably in the bay off Toulon.

20.7cm x 14.8cm Printed image


Catalogue number 49011

Roman Catholic priest on board the French ship Primauguet, Shanghai

This photograph of the ship's company shows the Roman Catholic priest in his black gown sat with the officers on the French heavy cruiser Primauguet, flagship of the French Naval Force in the Far East, at Shanghai, probably in 1932.

Credit: Skvirsky Photo, Shanghai

24.3cm x 18.8cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 68072

Sunday church service at sea

Sunday prayers was an integral part of the life on board a warship. Here the officers are in dress uniform and part of the ship's company is gathered on the quarter deck of a Royal Navy battleship to follow the service given by the chaplain. There is a large group of Royal Marines to the left plus a band and to the right we can see a young midshipman. Strangely, the Royal Marine officers have their caps on whilst everyone else has taken theirs off.

13cm x 7.9cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 108112

Prayers on board a German battleship

This photograph shows a church service on board a German battleship. Once again there is a band and the officers are in dress uniform.

13.5cm x 8.8cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 45126

Sunday service, U.S. Navy training center

Sunday church service at a U.S. Navy training center was also the occasion to get to see family - see sailor far right sat between two women - and, perhaps, the charming sister of a fellow trainee!

13.3cm x 6.8cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 55003

1. Burial at sea

These two photographs are taken from a burial at sea on board a Royal Navy battleship. In the first photograph, the body sewn up in sailcloth and covered with the Union Jack has just slipped off the raised board. The second photograph is of the three-volley salute, the flag is at half-mast and "Admiral Watson" is marked with a cross by the gun turret. A second cross marks the position of the sender of the photograph. This is probably Admiral Watson, Commanding Officer H.M.S. Valiant in 1933. The awning stays are out so the ship must be somewhere where it is hot and sunny….not Scapa Flow!

12.6cm x 7.5cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 55002

2. Burial at sea

Verso: "Firing the volley and sounding the last post. x shows Admiral Watson x shows myself" in black ink

12.9cm x 7.8cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 109063

Burial at sea on the U.S.S. New York, 1910

A burial at sea on board U.S.S. New York. The group committing the body to the sea was usually made up of men from the same mess as the deceased.

12.8cm x 7.6cm Printed image


Catalogue number 109062

Firing the salute

The body has been tipped into the sea and someone is checking that it sinks - see man just after the saluting party - and the volley salute is being given by Marines of this U.S. Navy ship.

12.8cm x 8cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 107028

S.M.S. Emden

This photograph shows the coffins of three men to be buried with fully military honours. The scene may be on the S.M.S. Emden after the attack and sinking of the French Navy torpedo boat Mousquet in 1914. Thirty six of the crew were rescued but three died and were buried at sea by S.M.S. Emden. Note the man behind the Petty officer by the guard rail, he may be part of the captured French crew.

14cm x 9cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 108071

Memorial service at sea

This Royal Navy warship appears to be in some sheltered anchorage so it is most unlikely that a burial at sea is underway. More likely it is a ceremony in memory of the loss of a ship - probably H.M.S. Royal Oak in Scapa Flow. The officers are in dress uniform and we can see the chaplain just right of lower center with, behind him, a group of Royal Marines. Judging by the size of the quarter deck, the ceremony may be taking place on a destroyer.

Verso: "Burial at sea. C 1920" in pencil

13.1cm x 7.9cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 27048

1. Memorial service for the loss of the Bouvet

During the attempt to force a passage through the Dardanelles in 1915, the French battleship Bouvet hit a mine, heeled over and sank in less than 1 minute taking with her 648 men. This series of photographs taken in 1919 shows the ceremony held on board the French battleship Jean Bart to honour the memory of the lost ship.

Recto: "The ship's company of the Jean Bart gathered on deck listen to the prayers given by the priest (x) for the victims of the Bouvet just over the place where she sank." In French

7.5cm x 4.9cm Gelatin silver print

Catalogue number 27048

2. Memorial service for the loss of the Bouvet

Recto : "The Chief Bugler (+) awaits the order from the Commander on the bridge to sound the salute. - 12th May 1919. The ship's band plays Chopin's funeral march. - the guard presents arms.-" in French

11.3cm x 8cm Gelatin silver print