I carried one of them aboard the British Monarch in 1962 (Harrisons of Clyde) for the Chief Steward, we got a tot every Sunday Night,he told me full it cost 15/- in the old proper money and 5/- of that was deposit on the Carboy,twere either five or seven gallon, I cant remember now, think it was watered about five to one,that's a lot of rum for 75p and you got 25p deposit back on the empty.
When the RN stopped issuing the daily "tot" of "Pussers" rum in 1970 these flagons were bought by a private company and put up for sale to the public. I bought one in Gibraltar but cannot remember how much I paid for it. It was strong stuff and needed a bit of water in it. Thus ended an old naval tradition which fell foul of politician Barbara Castle's breathalyser law. One tot was enough to put people over the legal limit and in the shore establishments many drivers would have lost their licences.
I have no idea what the red band signifies and I do not remember tot issues in the RFA. I doubt also that the embarked RN flights had an issue.
The ending of the rum ration was also felt in the RNLI lifeboats. After many hours at sea on a lifeboat service the coxwain would give each crew member a tot. After the stuff became unavailable Martell brandy was its replacement but I expect that this has now stopped too. I think they call it progress.
Winston Churchill referred to Royal Naval "tradition" as nothing but "rum, bum, and baccy." Well, the rum's gone and no doubt the baccy is frowned upon these days. At least they've still got ... er ..., but I digress ...
The army ships., i.e. Landing Craft Tanks Mk 8's carried on with rum issues for some time after the RN stopped and from the self-same type casks. The reasons for issuing were based, I believe, on adverse weather conditions in the field, translated to adverse weather or particular conditions at sea.
We did not water down the tots. Perish the thought.
Nothing quite beat the issue of a tot, and a piece of cake after completing a game of football on the beach at St Kilda at 2200, in summer time. In inclement weather, of course.
The Army must have had very lax accounting procedures!
On the only occasion I can recall getting one, after repairing as RAS rig in a blizzard somewhere up north, I think it took an exchange of signals with HQ to approve the issue.
Thanks for all the information, much appreciated. Only time I got a tot was after tank diving eg:- http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=13680
4 Bells and then a wipe down with a paraffin soaked wad. We must have been mad.
The RCN,of course, also followed the 'up spirits' tradition. I can remember pulling an empty flagon out of the harbour at Esquimalt while exercising a whaler. The smell of rum was still overwhelming despite it having been submerged for a period of time..