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Seals and larceny [YAK]

G’day; A little while ago :wink: when I was in the Royal Navy during
WW2 I was ‘volunteered’ to join a party to go to the shore based bond
store to collect the ships rum ration for the following month. Now
each two gallon stone rum jar was encased in wicker, stoppered with a
cork hammered in to the neck coated with red shellac sealing wax,
and the Royal Navy seal impressed into the hot wax.

So we got the rum duly signed for by the senior rating and took it
to a small empty hut we knew of. We applied a little oil and
surrounded the seal of one jar with putty pilfered from the
carpenter’s shop, mixed up some plaster of paris in an old tin, and
poured it into the seal. The plaster set in less than the time it
took to smoke a cigarette, and the sealing wax chipped off the other
jars. We slammed each jar on a pile of sacks, which drove out the
cork sufficiently to remove it. Out came a half pint of rum, in went
a half pint of water, back went the cork. The scraps of wax were
melted over a match flame in a tobacco tin, poured over the corks,
stamped with the plaster master seal - and back to the ship, the rum
jars seemingly intact but each burglarious sailor with a beer bottle
of stolen rum tucked into sea boot stockings and concealed under bell
bottomed trousers. Nobody ever commented on the poor quality of the
rum. Who said sailors are not resourceful?

Cheers for now,
John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua, Nelson NZ

g’day John,

You are truly a man after my own heart, we always knew you were
clever but you have brought the word a whole new meaning.