1928 and other sad YEARS!
and other sad YEARS!
For some inexplicable reason, this story "died" with the death of this poor boy, one Alfred Herbert Hickman and whilst there has always been a story about a death, it has become a story without substance or a title. At no stage in Ganges folk law has this boys name, or the actual incident been recorded or mentioned, leaving many thousands of boys speculating and adding their own interpretation of the story. As an act akin to 'clutching at straws', Ganges Association personnel quite wrongly chose an arbitrary date somewhere between 1907 [when the Mast was erected] and 1976 [when the Establishment closed down], and stated [put into print] that this would be the date for the story with no title or substance. If they had tried a little harder, they might have chosen 1941 instead of 1944 which would have been exactly half way between erection and closure. Moreover, to add insult to injury [to the memory of this boy] they had to have a victim. Members of the ships company didn't climb the mast, so their victim had to be a trainee. In the WW2 years, any boys at Ganges [and there were very few, the vast majority, nay, perhaps all, were in HMS St George over in Douglas the Isle of Man] were heavily outnumbered by men training as Hostilities Only sailors, and since they had already decided that 1944 was the year, they completed their picture by adding in the silhouette of a man, an unnamed HO. Had it not been for my research, it is probable that the status quo would have existed to the final days of the Association which will occur in approximately 35 to 40 years time or sooner!
Exactly the same is true for the deaths of others surreptitiously enshrined in the title of the page!, - in all there are five of them:-
Alfred Herbert James Hickman
Gordon Ernest Lindsey
From my research, I have decided that the Ganges site, irrespective of how it is re-developed, should have incorporated into the new site, a MEMORIAL to these five persons. It didn't happen, regrettably!
On the assumption that the swimming pool building will be demolished and taking heed of the promise made recently [February 2009] by the developers to keep the mast as an integral part of the new "retirement village", underneath which there may be a paved or pebbled area into which no pedestrians are allowed, I propose the following as a suggestion.
That five small garden areas be created with seating, where residents of the new village can sit and reflect having an excellent unrestricted view of the restored mast in all its glory, each garden to be named separately after the boys and men above.
See also this page for details of each death GANGES BOYS - death through misadventure