Topic: Battle Honours
"Battle Honours"—Source of Pride
Ottawa Citizen, 19 January 1957
Displayed on ornamental shield plaques in suitably prominent positions on board many warships are "battle honours," otherwise known as battle scrolls. The record the engagements and battles in which ships have participated and are a source of pride to all those serving in the ship, recording as they do the deeds of those who have gone before. It is the Navy's practice to perpetuate in new construction the names of ships with a good record of service. Accordingly, some ships of the Royal Navy have battle honours going back for hundreds of years. The battle honours on board HMCS Magnificent (aircraft carrier) recall, for example, series of battles in which the first Magnificent, a 74-gun ship-of-the-line, took part. These include a series of fierce engagements between Admiral Rodney's British West Indies Fleet and a French fleet under Admiral de Gutchen in 1780 and the Battle of the Saintes, off Dominica, in the West Indies in 1782, between fleets under Admiral Rodney and Admiral DeGrasse. The battle honours of HMCS Crescent have an even longer listing and date back to the time of the Spanish Armada in 1588. But those of older ships of the Royal Canadian Navy are for the most part of comparatively recent origin, recording their exploits in the Second World War or off Korea.