Prior to commencing, I would ask you to transport yourself to the year 2025, and imagine that you are sitting in your Club reading the back files of one of our present newspapers. In glancing through the paper, you see the following notice:-


"In flying over London today, Flying Officer John William Jones, in endeavouring to make a forced landing, crashed in St. Jamesí Park. The pilot was seriously injured and his passenger, killed. The Pilot subsequently reported, when in Hospital, that his engine conked."

You will perhaps be puzzled by the expression conked, and you will hail a fellow crony in your Club and ask for enlightenment, and will probably receive a reply of this nature:- "My dear fellow, I donít know. I wish I did, but in those days, nobody took the trouble to write down for the benefit of future generations the meanings of words which were in everyday use."

This is the position in which most students and searchers in the field of old Naval expressions find themselves at the present time.

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