Hammock hoist plea

Preserved Nissen huts at Camp 21.

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In 1903 a candidate for the Parliamentary elections was talking to a large crowd outside the dockyard gates in Portsmouth. A solemn-faced sailor put his hand up to ask a question.

‘Tell me,’ he said, ‘if I vote for you will you insist that the admiralty supply the shorter members of the navy, like myself, with ladders to get into my hammock?’

It appears that hammocks were all slung at the same height above the deck and it was okay for the taller men, but shorter men had a problem hoisting themselves up and on to their hammocks.

There were cheers and laughter but no assurance from the candidate.