An unidentified sailor visiting a shrine in Colombo
A photograph showing an unidentified sailor visiting a shrine in Colombo in Sri Lanka circa 1930. Between 1900 and 1945 ships had to go into port frequently to replenish supplies of fuel and fresh food. During a peacetime show-the-flag cruise, sailors could expect to rotate ashore in large numbers at almost every port of call. Many naval ratings went to sea because they were eager to see other lands and meet different peoples. Sailors went to cinemas, theatres and to dance halls. They also walked or bussed around foreign cities or ports.