|Date made||c 1919|
First World War, 1914-1918
Brass plaque with George V's end-of-war message to Royal Navy
An oval-shaped brass plaque surmounted with a Naval Crown. There is a small hanging screw in the back of the plaque. Impressed on the face is the text of a message sent by Ki ng George V to the First Lord of the Admiralty to mark the cessation of hostilities after the signing of the Armistice in Novermber 1918. The text reads, 'NOW THAT THE LAST AND MOST FORMIDABLE OF OUR ENEMIES HAS ACKNOWLEDGED THE TRIUMPH OF THE ALLIED ARMS ON BEHALF OF RIGHT AND JUSTICE, I WISH TO EXPRESS MY PRAISE AND THANKFULNESS TO THE OFFICERS, MEN AND WOMEN OF THE ROYAL NAVY AND MARINES, WITH THEIR COMRADES OF THE FLEET AUXILIARIES AND MERCANTILE MARINE, WHO, FOR MORE THAN FOUR YEARS HAVE KEPT OPEN THE SEAS, PROTECTED OUR SHORES, AND GIVEN US SAFETY.
EVER SINCE THAT FATEFUL 4TH AUGUST, 1914, I HAVE REMAINED STEADFAST IN MY CONFIDENCE THAT, WHENEVER FORTUNE FROWNED OR SMILED, THE ROYAL NAVY WOULD ONCE MORE PROVE THE SURE SHIELD OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE IN THE HOUR OF TRIAL. NEVER IN ITS HISTORY HAS THE ROYAL NAVY, WITH GOD'S HELP, DONE GREATER THINGS FOR US, NOR BETTER SUSTAINED ITS OLD GLORIES AND THE CHIVALRY OF THE SEAS.
WITH A FULL AND GRATEFUL HEART THE PEOPLES OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE SALUTE THE WHITE, THE RED, AND THE BLUE ENSIGN, AND THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN THEIR LIVES FOR THE FLAG.
I AM PROUD TO HAVE SERVED IN THE NAVY. I AM PROUDER STILL TO BE ITS HEAD ON THIS MEMORABLE DAY.'.
The message on this plaque was sent to the First Lord of the Admiralty by King George V to commemorate the signing of the Armistice in November 1918. The message was then despatched to all navies of the Empire. Plaques such as this, incorporating the King's message, were made as a patriotic souvenir of the occasion and were possibly displayed in naval establishments throughout Great Britain and the Empire.