Rum rations, a British naval tradition inherited by the Royal Canadian Navy, were a staple of daily sailor life. Upon entering the Royal Canadian Navy, men were given the option of a rum ration or comparable pay. Underage sailors would draw wages until they came of age and were allowed to receive their ration. When given their ration of "grog" (rum tempered with water), the men would consume it in front of an officer to prevent the rations from being hoarded. The rum was not given in large quantities, but was thought to help keep a sailor going through the cold nights on the Atlantic and steel him against the many horrors of war.
Rum rations, a British naval tradition inherited by the Royal Canadian Navy, were a staple of daily sailor life. Upon entering the Royal Canadian Navy, men were given the option of a rum ration or comparable pay. Underage sailors would draw wages until they came of age and were allowed to receive their ration. When given their ration of "grog" (rum tempered with water), the men would consume it in front of an officer to prevent the rations from being hoarded. The rum was not given in large quantities, but was thought to help keep a sailor going through the cold nights on the Atlantic and steel him against the many horrors of war.

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items used in the distribution of rum rations

Various items used in the distribution of rum rations by the Royal Canadian Navy including a rum pump, grog measure, spirit stoppage book, rum keg, and a bottle of Royal Canadian Navy Rum

The Naval Museum of Alberta

© The Naval Museum of Alberta


Learning Objectives

  • Develop an understanding of the participation and role of Canada’s Navy in the World War II.
  • Examine the contributions, sacrifices and experiences of individuals who participated in naval events during World War II.
  • Identify the locations in which Canada’s Navy operated during World War II.
  • Evaluate the weapons and technology involved in the war at sea.

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