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Author Topic: One for Seacommander? Why is grog called 'grog'? And does it taste any good?  (Read 1864 times)

Offline P-Kasso2

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Not just for Seacommander if he's off busily splicing the main-brace somewhere...open to all...

This question just came up over Sunday lunch when a very charming old Lewes lady and her son (my mate Dom Ramos, who is a muralist) came to lunch off Mrs P-K's juicy roast lamb.

Over the cheeseboard, the conversation touched on Dom's mother's friendship in the late Thirties with two old dreadful Lewes bats called "The Byng-Stampers".

Apparently these sisters, two notorious old lithographer pioneers and arch-harridans, were direct descendants of Admiral Byng (hence their great surname)...Admiral Byng, naval hero with the honour of being still the only British naval admiral ever to be court-martialled and shot for not engaging the French fleet with enough enthusiasm.

(He was the man about whom Voltaire wrote (in Candide) that "In this country, it is wise to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others."

Anyway...

Dom's mother has just sold for squillions a whole sea-chest full of Admiral Byng's letters she inherited to some smooth Cork Street dealer.

(As she said "Well that pays for my new  bathroom and kitchen and plenty left over for the wine merchant!").

But enough of the naval background...

Dom was convinced (as only he can be) that it was your Lord Nelson who was the man who cut down the seaman's rum ration (from a pint and half a day! or something then).

And he said that Nelson had diluted it by half and that's why it was called grog then and why it is still called grog even today.

I said (spluttering goat's cheese to the wind) that I was pretty sure I'd heard something totally different.

I said I thought there was an Admiral Grog or something...real name or nickname, I'm not sure...and it was this Admiral Grog who did the dastardly deed and why grog still bears his name.

Who is right, please? It's not a major contention just it'd be nice to know.

Why is grog called 'grog' and what is the inside track?

And does it actually taste any good?
« Last Edit: 12 May, 2013, 07:13:23 PM by P-Kasso2 »
"I live in hope"

Offline antonymous

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You are correct.
Old Grog, nickname of Edward Vernon (1684-1757), British admiral who wore a grogram (q.v.) cloak and who in August 1740 ordered his sailors' rum to be diluted.

The army were also allocated a rum ration but which was rarely issued - but on a couple of very cold winter exercises in Germany c 1960 the quartermaster coughed up - and it was pretty awful stuff - but alcohol and free to boot!

PS
The naval diving school HMS Vernon was located on the site of what is now a tourist attraction.
                                                                             

A lot of people didnt know that - I grew up about half a mile away.
« Last Edit: 12 May, 2013, 07:43:30 PM by antonymous »
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Sometimes it'svice versa"

Offline P-Kasso2

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Hee hee!

I knew it! Infallible as ever!

So he always wore a grogram? You had a q.v. in your answer, Ant, but I saw no 'what' for me to 'vide'. So I looked it up.

It's an overcoat!

Made of a coarse (often stiffened) fabric made of silk, mohair, wool, or a blend of them. Sounds quite a dapper dude.

Well here's a snap or two I found of your Admiral Grog aka Vernon...is this a grogram he's wearing? Looks like any other frock coat in the first pic to me. Maybe Pic 2 is a grogram?




Anyway back to our grog...Key question No. 1... does it taste any good?

And, KQ No 2...Was my friend also wrong in saying that sailors (before having their rum 'groggified') used to get a pint and a half a day?

How on earth did we manage to stagger our way to an empire?

Must all have been groggy.
"I live in hope"

Offline antonymous

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Anyway back to our grog...Key question No. 1... does it taste any good?

And, KQ No 2...Was my friend also wrong in saying that sailors (before having their rum 'groggified') used to get a pint and a half a day?
The answer to Key Question #1 was contained in my answer viz:
"The army were also allocated a rum ration but which was rarely issued - but on a couple of very cold winter exercises in Germany c 1960 the quartermaster coughed up - and it was pretty awful stuff - but alcohol and free to boot!"
« Last Edit: 12 May, 2013, 10:09:25 PM by antonymous »
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Offline P-Kasso2

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Do / did the Army call it grog too?

Where is our salty Seacommander when we really need him? Overboard? Playing with the fishes?

Pipe yourself onboard at once SC. That is an ORDER!
"I live in hope"

Offline antonymous

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Do / did the Army call it grog too?


Yes I believe we did call it grog. (BTW It was contained in a small wooden cask - probably left over from the Napoleonic wars by the taste of it!)
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Sometimes it'svice versa"