Battle Honours of RN ships & Naval Air Squadrons
What are they and why they are awarded
Battle Honours awarded to HM ships and Fleet Air Arm squadrons are
intended to foster esprit de corps among the ships companies and so
take a personal interest in the wartime exploits of their ships and
past ships of the same name. They are recommended by the Battle
Honours Committee to the Navy Board. Battle Honours are awarded for
successful war service, not just a record of service.
Battle honour board
As warships do not carry regimental colours, battle honours are
instead displayed on a battle honour board. This is usually a solid
wooden board (traditionally teak) mounted on the ship's
superstructure, carved with the ship's badge and scrolls naming the
ship and the associated honours, and either left completely
unpainted, or with the lettering painted gold.
The actions and campaigns listed as Battle Honours are displayed on
a scroll, mounted in a suitable position in the ships which are
eligible for the Honours. Battle Honours are normally shown in BLOCK
LETTERS, with Single-ship and Boat Service actions listed in lower
case between inverted commas. This allows the distinction between a
Fleet Action named after a place and a single ship of the same name.
e.g. CHESAPEAKE 1781 and 'Chesapeake' 1813. Battle Honour Scrolls
taken from ships being sold are stored for use in other ships of the
The first honour granted was for 'ARMADA 1588'.
Type of Actions
Honours are awarded for six types of action.
Fleet or Squadron Actions.
Single-ship or Boat Service Actions.
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