Tradition – Gun Salutes

It is not often that you will hear a ship fire eleven guns and then immediately follow the eleven guns by firing a further seven.  Tradition where has it gone, or do we now just make it up as we go along.

HMNZS ENDEAVOUR decommissioned last Friday and as part of the ceremonial put in place for the decomissioning a gun salute was ordered.

This comment is not to take anything away from the decommissioning of ENDEAVOUR she was a fine ship and served the RNZN well. But, On Friday as ENDEAVOUR entered harbour for the last time, PHILOMEL fired an eleven gun salute,  This salute was fired on behalf of ENDEAVOUR as the Senior Officer was physically located in PHILOMEL, and then, PHILOMEL immediately followed by firing a salute of seven guns to the Commanding Officer of ENDEAVOUR.  Not only did PHILOMEL fire an even number of guns (18) but this make a mockery of the entire salute.

Who is advising the Command now on Ceremonial Issues, certainly not the Communicators?   Tradition has certainly gone out the door on this occasion.



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8 Responses to Tradition – Gun Salutes

  1. Nick C says:

    Yep, sez it all. Make it up as u go!

  2. MOLE says:

    Could she have had a Flag Officer on board>

  3. Fred Wilson says:

    Totally agree that the inmates are in charge of the asylum. Endeavour, like all tankers, was never a designated saluting ship. Philomel only ever fired gun salutes on behalf of NOCA/Comauck/Marcom and gun salutes were never fired to the CO Philomel. Whoever is advising on ceremonial also clearly can’t count, which makes the Stores Branch the prime suspect. There seem to be plenty of advisers on the correct procedure for hugging trees, but the powers that be refuse to acknowledge that their corporate knowledge on correct ceremonial has disappeared. All they need to do is to ask someone, like a veteran who does know, for help and I am sure it will be gladly given. The chance of the RNZN asking for help – yeah right!

  4. gunther says:

    This doesn’t suprise me one bit. After reading what the Commodore had to say in the latest Navy Today re walking down the jetty at the naval base and what he saw, and didn’t do. It starts at the top. Why has it come to this? Tradition and what we knew as a navy has long since gone. I remember Arthur Venus used to hold his head in his hands talking about ceremony and flags, and what should have been done but wasn’t, instead something adhoc is put om its place.

  5. Chook says:

    Mole, stick to your payslips!!!!!

  6. bill bartlett says:

    From my recollection of “ceremonial”,the requirement is , as Endeavour is not fitted out for firing a gun salute to the Senior Officer (in this case C.O Philomel ), prior orders (from above) would have been for Philly (being fitted) to fire the eleven gun salute on Endeavour’s behalf, then shortly afterwards fire the “return salute” of seven guns to which the C.O of Endeavour is entitled.
    Simple aye? Odd, but that’s how it is. Perhaps embarking a GI complete with crew, guns,& ammo before entering harbour is not an option.(safety reasons)

    • bill bartlett says:

      Further to my last, the Endeavour’s 11 gun salute is accorded to the Commodore Auckland or wotever he is called now, not to the CO Philomel

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