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Title:ENTERTAINMENTS ON BOARD HMT DILWARA 14 - 29 JULY 1945 [Allocated Title]
Film Number:ABY 127
Other titles:ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
Summary: Scenes of entertainment activities onboard the troopship HMT Dilwara.
Description: A tug-of-war; Indian Other Ranks (ORs) versus British Other Ranks. The Indian ORs are defeated. Second tug-of-war; Sergeants versus Officers. The officers are defeated. British ORs watching the contests. Personnel embarking from landing craft at Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Close-ups of the feet and legs of the men engaged in the tug-of-war. 'Horse racing' on deck; the horses are wooden silhouettes with pole handles that run along the race track according to the rolls of a dice. A crossing-the-line ceremony. A sailor dressed as King Neptune arrives with large false beard and trident before taking his seat. He is accompanied by an officer with a roll of toilet paper and a bell. A man is lathered and then 'shaved' with an oversized comedy razor. Another is given a 'haircut' with an oversized comb and pair of scissors. Men are dunked in a tank of water before swearing allegiance to King Neptune and being handed a certificate of initiation. A third tug-of-war; Sergeants versus Ship's Crew. The ship's doctor acts as referee and the Captain (Captain Sampson) and the Officer Commanding Troops (Major Hartley) watch the contest. Crewmen heaving. Crowd shots. Close-up of the certificate issued to King Neptune's initiates. Close-ups of some of the winners of a drawing competition held on board, including humorous cartoons and a drawing of a large country house.
Production Details: Air Ministry, Directorate of Public Relations (Production sponsor)
Royal Air Force Film Production Unit (Production company)
Elsee (Flying Officer) (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Royal Navy, DILWARA (MV), troopship (regiment/service)
Keywords: Colombo, Ceylon (geography)
Indian Ocean (geography)
Welfare and recreational activities and services, Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event)
Royal Air Force 1939-1945 (theme)
Burma 1942-1945 (theme)
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 697 ft; Running time: 8 minutes
Notes: The 'crossing-the-line' ceremony is a continuing tradition observed when inexperienced sailors cross the Equator for the first time. The ceremony typically involves a ritual public humiliation sometimes with a degree of more-or-less good-humoured physical violence. An oath of allegiance is sworn to King Neptune due to his position as god of the sea (Neptune being the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Poseidon). This custom is typically a naval tradition, but the close-up of the certificate includes the phrase 'Per Ardua Ad Neptunus', a corruption of the RAF motto 'Per Ardua Ad Astra' ('Through Struggles to the Stars'), suggesting some of the initiates might be airmen.