Association SIGNAL SCHOOL - Warrant Officers 1950-51 period. Published by SNOW WHITE. Commissioned warrant officers until the mid 1950 [1956] when all changed. Warrant officers were abolished in 1949.  In their place came BRANCH  officers and the officers referred to would have been CCO's - Commissioned Communication Officers - either from the W/T side [old Warrant Telegraphist] and V/S side [old Signal Bosun]. All Branch Officers were always called MR even SCCO's who wore a Sub Lieutenant's stripe. In 1956, these Branch officers were also abolished in favour of the SD [Special Duties] List officer. A CCO wore a ¼" stripe and an SCCO [Senior Commissioned Communication Officer] wore a ½" stripe. In 1956, the CCO became a Sub Lieutenant [SD{C}] and wore a ½" stripe and the SCCO became a Lieutenant [SD {C}] and wore two ½" stripes. The old warrant officers [extant until 1949] came in three sizes all wearing officers uniforms i.e. 4 buttons instead of three, and swords. For example, a WO Tel wore three buttons on each cuff - after ten long years as a WO he was promoted to Senior WO Tel and in addition to his three buttons wore a ¼" stripe above the buttons. If further promoted, it was to become a Commissioned WO Tel in which case he took the buttons down and exchanged the ¼" stripe for a  ½" stripe. He could go on to become a Lieutenant Commander but no further, and both the Lt and the Lt Cdr ranks were prefixed with the word Telegraphist or Signal: thus Tel. Lt or Tel. Lt Cdr. SD officers could attain the rank of Commander. Now the SD officer has gone and officers are of one brotherhood.
General COMIC CUTS - several publishing's "S264C are your comic cuts"
"you can get your comic cuts after having left the navy"
S264A were your comic cuts. S264C was a special report for advancement. Comic cuts were destroyed when you left the navy. Your SC [and Branch History Sheet] the former copied for Admiralty retention, should have been given to you upon leaving. Your medical documents were [if deemed appropriate i.e., you had had a medical problem, a major operation etc] given to the Department of the Government's Chief Medical Officer, who in turn expedites their delivery to your GP Surgery when you first register as a civilian. The annual assessments to be found on the back cover of your SC, are used to summarise your naval character enshrined in your final discharge Certificate [S1560] which you take with you into civilian street. It is signed by the Release Officer in your discharging barracks.  Taking "VG SAT" as the norm, the "VG" only,  is used on this form. This was enclosed in a cover having the naval crown on the front [the S2620].  Also in this cover you will have been given a Certificate of Qualifications [S2616].  This is a much more detailed document giving details of what you were before you joined; what branch you were in in the navy and at what rate; driving licence details; educational record; highest service examinations passed; specialised course of civilian value; decorations awards and commendations, and finally, a summary of your comic cuts.  This certificate is signed by your last commanding officer.
Association SIGNAL SCHOOL - Receiving Morse Code 1950-51 period. Published by PAUL DAYKING "A KBX is an exercise to train operators to receive Morse Code direct onto a typewriter" Form S1246H - Revised October 1947 and extant at Ganges as the WIRELESS HISTORY SHEET for W/T trainees shows that boys were examined in BUZZER Transmitting and BUZZER Receiving, both manually [pencil for receiving]  and in Morse Typing.  Buzzer T, Buzzer R and M Typing were the official titles at HMS Ganges Signal School from 1947 until 1954.  Touch typing, in those days to Winifred Atwell's piano music, was a means to an end, the end being for a telegraphist, to acquire the skills required for Morse typing of Fleet CW Broadcasts.  As such, touch typing skills were not examined or marked and were not recorded on History Sheets. In February 1954, a new training speed was introduced for Morse Typing which was 95% at 22wpm.  Hitherto, it had been 95% at 20wpm. In the early 1950's, the practical standards required and examined for a Sparker were as follows. Morse Reception MMX for manual [with pencil @18wpm] and MKX for typing @22wpm.  Morse Transmission MTX @ 18wpm. Touch Typing BKX [Basic Keyboard Exercise] on a typewriter - used for sparkers initially but an examination subject for buntings. Later in the mid 1950's came the TTX [Teleprinter Typing Exercise] for both buntings and sparkers. Sparkers also had to qualify in the reception of Flashing Light exercises, originally called TLX but later FRX,  but at a lesser speed than  required for Boy Signalmen to qualify.
Across the board! All subjects All publishing's Wouldn't it be a good idea if the Forum had [a] a spell checker [b] a checker covering the three elements of grammar namely Phonology, Accidence and Syntax, oh, and a typing course ?  Lots of GC boys on there, not to mention all the dabtoes, stokers and the other "also ran" members of the ships company.
Association SIGNAL SCHOOL - 1959 Midshipmen start to go to sea again etc. [1] By IVOR.
Gunrooms were abolished in about 1957 when the training of General List Officers was changed and on completion of training at BRNC Dartmouth they went to their first ships as Acting Sub Lieutenants, viz, Wardroom Officers.  Ironic really, because by 1959 the system changed yet again and on leaving Dartmouth they went to sea in the time-honoured rank of Midshipman, but this time into the Wardroom.

[2] By IVOR
Warrant rank, with its thin (half) stripe and titles such as Warrant Telegraphist, Signal Boatswain, Gunner etc was abolished in 1948 and replaced by the Branch List.

[3] By IVOR
In both Branch and Special Duties Lists there were opportunities for suitable officers to be transferred to the General List (which had also been available to the Warrant Officer List).  This was referred to as "Direct Promotion".  Officers were transferred as either Sub Lieutenants or Lieutenants (SD) to the General List in the rank of Lieutenant.


 [1] Midshipmen stopped going to sea in 1954. However, as Ivor states, that all changed again but not exactly as shown. In 1958 Sir Keith Murray and his team had another look at Dartmouth training. The main recommendations -accepted and implemented by the Board in 1961 - were that educational standards should be raised, sea time in the fleet for midshipmen restored, the attempt to integrate and combine academic and professional training abandoned and that engineering as well as electrical specialist should read for degrees. The educational level upon entering Dartmouth was raised to 5 GCE's [2 @ A level] and the need for schooling at Dartmouth was eliminated, giving way to naval training only. Cadets spent one year at Dartmouth and in the DTS, one year at sea in the fleet as a midshipman learning management and seamanship [living in the wardroom], one year back at Dartmouth  for an academic course leading to  professional courses and then back to sea as sub lieutenants. By the end of 1960, the Murray scheme was changed reducing the overall training period by nearly one year ultimately leading to the final stopping of midshipmen at sea in the very early 1960's.

[2] Wrong description of warrant officer's uniform. See the first entry above for correct details. Date should be 1949.

[3] The General list was not established until 1957 [as per AFO 1/56] eight years after the abolishment of the warrant officer.  The highest rank a warrant officer could aspire to was a lieutenant.

Association As above By Mousey
Thank you again Ivor.  Another misbelieve cleared up.  A 'tyrant.'  What worse than some Ganges CGIs and GIs.!
Proves my point about misleading information !
General Naval Topic Make and Mends by
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Make and Mend

Anyone know when the Wednesday Make and Mend was abolished as aid, so called, to help Navy economy and also at same time promised it would be restored when possible. Know it was good for boys when on the larger ships and they only got leave until certain time to have that extra day. Seem to think it was 1947.

Make and Mends were never recorded in KRAI or QRRN [or whatever] as Leave as an entitlement. Make and mend leave was ALWAYS granted as ex gratia leave and as such was not regular leave at any time in naval history.  Originally, Make and Mend Clothes was the pipe and this was always on a Thursday, the rationale being that Sunday was the observed Sabbath leaving a six day week so either a Wednesday or a Thursday was middle of the week. After the cessation of make and mend clothes came a general make and mend and occasionally, a make and mend with leave. The policy was dictated by the local C-in-C and operationally by the CO of the ship.  The make and mend continued to be on a Thursday and made good sense because if leave was granted, shops were nearly always shut on a Wednesday afternoon. For reasons I cannot find in the Admiralty records at Kew, the Thursday became the Wednesday, but still make and mend leave was a privilege not shared by all ships in the same port. However, when in harbour [and for shore establishments] Wednesday was nearly always devoted to sports make and mends when teams and supporter would be landed. When make and mend with leave was granted it was always added to normal night leave with the youngsters returning onboard early the same evening, and the seniors having leave expiring early the next working day. Given that SWE leave started Saturday lunch time, make and mends were never granted prior to LWE or ELWE leave. Admiralty papers,  made manifest in BR 1938 NAVAL RATINGS HANDBOOK [1951]  explicitly state on page 127 top of page under the heading MAKE-AND-MEND, that make and mends are usually granted on every Saturday when circumstances permit  and in addition an extra make and mend may be granted occasionally for organised recreation when the ship is in harbour [remember that make and mends were also granted at sea !].  Again, this Saturday make and mend was for Saturday night leave only. Thus, Wednesday's make and mends were never stopped because they were not routinely given, and they continued for many years well passed the dates mentions in that thread, given only when the CO thought it prudent to do so. Indeed, the navy, as time progressed, became liberal [very liberal] and leave per se was relaxed to such a point that make and mends with leave, if anything, increased well into the 1980 for certain, and possibly beyond that too.
Messdeck RN ships visiting Monte Carlo
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A Cruise around the Med

I experienced a visit to Monte Carlo in 1950 when I was on the Loch Dunvegan. We were accomlanied by the Magpie (CO Lt. Mountbatten). We Boys also found things to be beyond our means however we were fortunate in the we were involved in a lot of functions involving Prince Phillip so we got plenty of freebees. One I particularly remember was a visit to the Casino where we all got a free bet - did not win anything. Printed here as written by "leec".


HRH The Duke of Edinburgh was the CO of Magpie as a Lieutenant Commander not as a  Lieutenant. He was also not a Prince as the writer suggests but an EARL, specifically  Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich. In early 1957 [February] after ten years of marriage and ten years of being HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HM The Queen created her husband to be a PRINCE of Britain, thus becoming HRH Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh.

Prior to his marriage he was a foreign Prince, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark but when nearing  his marriage he ceased using his foreign Princedom and became known as Sir Philip Mountbatten.

His father-in-law to be, King George VI, gave to him the style HRH and the Duke of Edinburgh the day before he married,  and from that day, he dropped the Sir Philip Mountbatten title.

For him to use, or be referred to as Prince Philip in 1950 [a foreign title] as the husband and consort of our Queen would have been an insult to our monarchy. 

Regrettably, his overall story is a classic case of 99% of Ganges boys 'swinging the lamp'. Look at this, taken from the diary of HMS Loch Dunvegan in the period 1950-1953.  No mention of Monte Carlo [whatever] !

1 9 5 0

January                  Laid-up at Devonport


February                Nominated for service in 2nd Frigate Flotilla after refitting.


March                    Under refit by HM Dockyard, Devonport for service.

to                            New Commanding Officer appointed: Commander R F Nicholson Royal Navy.




                1st           Commissioned for service in 2nd Frigate Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet.

                                Departure delayed by malicious damage to steering machinery.


June                        Carried out post refit trials and worked-up for service.

                26th        Sailed to join Flotilla in Malta towing an MFV manned by some of ship's company.


July                         After joining Flotilla took part in Flotilla exercises and visits.


August                  Visited Messina.

                                Nominated for detached duty at Aqaba.


September             Passage to Aqaba for Guardship duty.

                17th        During period as Guardship embarked HM King Abdulla of Jordan to witness weapon

                                firing and ship manoeuvres with HM Frigate LOCH SCAVAIG.


October                  Passage to Malta to resume Flotilla duties after relief at Aqaba.

                                Took part in Flotilla programme including visit to Leghorn.


November              Flotilla duties in continuation.

                                Visited Tripoli with HMS LOCH SCAVAIG.


December              Routine docking in Malta and resumed Flotilla duties on completion.


1 9 5 1


January                  Deployed with Flotilla for exercises and visited Dragonasti with HM Frigate LOCH



February                Took part in Spring Cruiser exercise and visit programme with Mediterranean Fleet.

                23rd        Withdrawn from joint exercise with US Navy ships after machinery defect.

                                Towed to Gibraltar for repair.

                24th        Arrived at Gibraltar.


March                    Planned refit in Malta transferred to Gibraltar

                                Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard.


April                       Under refit.

                27th        Rendered assistance after RFA BEDENHAM blew up after explosion at Gibraltar.

                                (Note : This ship was unloading explosives when a barge loaded with depth charges

                                caught fire. The resultant explosion killed eighteen people and many were

                                injured together with damage to dockside buildings).


May                        On completion of post refit trials took passage to Malta to resume duty in the 2nd Frigate


                                When entering Mellehia to paint ship before commencing Flotilla duty grounded.

                                Sustained extensive underwater damage included loss of propeller blades.

                                (Note : The Commanding Officer was subsequently court-martialled and 'dismissed' his ship.)


June                        Under repair.

to                            (Note : During this period some of the ship's company were sent to provide part of

July                         the crew for HM Landing Ship (Infantry) being taken out of the Reserve Fleet in Malta

                                for service at Basra after Iran demanded that the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company be



August                  Carried out harbour and sea trials


September             On completion rejoined Flotilla.

                                After arrival in Sliema Creek the ship was involved in a series of collisions.

                                (Note : This did little to recover any of this ship's poor reputation as one of the other ships

                                involved was HM Destroyer SAINTES, the Leader of the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla and

                                commanded by a Captain, Royal Navy.)


October                  Deployed with Flotilla in Malta.


November              Prepared to recommission in Malta.

                                (Note : The ship had only been in commission for 18 months as opposed to 30 months, the

                                normal at that time for a foreign commission. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the

                                change was made in an attempt to re-establish her somewhat tarnished image !).

                21st         Re-commissioned in Malta for service in 2nd Frigate Flotilla.

                                New Commanding Officer: Commander R N Rycroft Royal Navy.

                                Rejoined HM Sloop MERMAID (Senior Officer), HM Frigate LOCH SCAVAIG and HM Sloop

                                MAGPIE (commanded by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh) in Flotilla.


 December             Resumed Flotilla duties after maintenance period.


1 9 5 2


January                  Deployed as Guardship at Port Said during Egyptian threats to nationalise the Suez


                                Provided shore landing parties in support of military.

February                Port Said duties in continuation.

                27th        Took passage to Benghazi to resume Flotilla duties.



                11th        Sailed from Benghazi to take part in Mediterranean Fleet exercises.


April                       Fleet deployment with Flotilla in continuation.

                5th          Visited Algiers.

                                Returned to Malta.


May                        Flotilla duties in continuation and visited Messina.


June                        Took part in Mediterranean Fleet Summer Cruiser exercise and visits programme

                                with Flotilla.

                21st         Visited Corfu for 7 days.


July                         Fleet programme duties in continuation.

                3rd          Visited Dragonasti.

                14th        At Navarino with HM Frigate LOCH LOMOND during Fleet Regatta.

                20th        Returned to Malta.


August                  Nominated for return to UK to be reduced to Reserve status.

                                (Note : This decision had been made in view of the planned availability of faster

                                anti-submarine frigates the being converted from Fleet Destroyers.

                                HM Destroyers ROCKET and RELENTLESS were the prototypes).

                                Flotilla duties in continuation at Malta.


September             Deployed at Port Said as Guardship.


October                  Prepared for return passage to UK.


November              Paid-off and de-stored

to                            Began reduction to Reserve status


So what of 1950, in Monte Carlo with HRH [the CO of a ship in company] ?

Is his event TWO FULL YEARS out of date or did his event occur at all ?


Reading between the lines,  is this the original HARRY TATE WARSHIP ?

Across the Board By everyone Many navy subjects Why is it that users of the Forum ask so many wet and stupid questions, when, with a little local research [in their own homes with a computer] they can solve many of their questions?  Take for example, a discussion about the oldest junior rate in the navy who joined at the end of WW1 and was still there at the time of Suez in 1956 and later.  His name was George PARKER and he claimed an association with Mountbatten, which whilst proven not to be true, was nevertheless believed by many in the fleet. Anyway, my point is that they can actually see him on the internet in an old PATHE NEWS movie called "British Navy show of strength - Israel 1957".   It shows the St Kitts and he is on camera talking. I understand that there are two version, a muted one and a sound one - I have the 'sound on' one. Another recent point was a discussion about the 1953 Coronation Fleet Review.  Again, Pathe show a good and lengthy live footage of that review with good quality sound. Just a point, although no doubt it will be lost as I believe that the Forum is all that these morons know about and even then, they cock that up too.
Across the Board By NEARLY everyone By and large, MOST subjects
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Oozlem Bird

Having read most of the rubbish that is being bandied about on the Ganges Association forum and then finding each topic is eventually brought  round to the same old cry baby subject would suggest to Phil that he cleanses, if that the right word, topics when they stray off original. Or is that undemocratic.

At present rate some of the subscribers are definitely Oozlem Birds and others quickly catching up.


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Oozlem Bird

Hi John, if I do that then I will be accused of being a 'censor' I can't win mate, I'm fed up with it all aswell, there is always he who wants the last say Sad

I have always thought that the web was the place to inform but it has become the place to 'have a go' so much so that I am considering making the forum a 'members only' section thus members will have to sign in to read it. If members of the public read our forum, what must they think? I think I know *Sad Crazy Shock Sad

* My underlining.
See below for Comment.
FROM THE ARTICLE ABOVE.  It isn't that the public per se read the forum, but certainly it is read by ex-Ganges boys and juniors who are not members of the Association in addition to those who are Members and are registered as on-line users. It is, without doubt, the worst possible advert for HMS Ganges imaginable, attracting as it does, those of a low academic ability,  typing [or attempting the noble skill] the most inane, witless,  lavatorial, crude and 'oft times offensive garbage.  This recurring garbage [peppered infrequently by inputs from those of a higher academic ability] has become the accepted standard for the Ganges Association, which is a great pity, for it is manufactured by a very small minority of faceless imbeciles, when manifestly,  the vast majority of the Association are men of infinitely better calibre, learning and calling. Mind you, I am not in the least surprised, for isn't it always the 'rabble' who circumvent the needs [and wishes] of the majority of good people, bullying their way to falsely represent the majority - take the Nazi Party, Muslim extremists and who knows, the BNP in the years ahead ?  Whilst a spell-checker would be a useful addition to the Forum [on second thoughts perhaps not,  because they would still use 'their' and 'there' {for example} wrongly] and certainly the definition of FRATERNAL should be indelibly stamped as a DEFAULT, on each opening of the Forum before users are allowed to the thread or to originate a thread. However, by suggesting that the Forum is moved to the Members Only section, merely hides the 'problem' from general view, effectively endorsing the ramblings of the few to offend the many Members who would continue to view it should they choose to do so.  Whilst the webmaster boasts an on-line Membership in excess of 650 and growing {?} why doesn't he ask himself why it is that a tiny fraction of this number - less than 2% which equates to approximately twelve regular users - have purloined his  Forum and he chooses to do nothing about it [nay, revels in it] claiming that to do so would be undemocratic. The truth of the matter is that most of these twelve regular users are his cronies and that friendship is the nearest these people get to GANGES FRATERNITY. In order that my following point is easily understood, permit me a moment to remind the webmaster that the UK is a DEMOCRACY, and providing we have reached the age qualification of enfranchisement we can vote and have a say in the country's affairs - little good it does us !  Of those eligible to vote, an infinitesimal  tiny number of people actually join a political party, and yet, most of us listen to what they say and vote accordingly. All enfranchised people are loyal to the alma mater [the UK] and as such are members, but the vast majority of that membership have no real say in the way the UK is run [politically speaking]. Nevertheless, we all retain a passionate interest in the fortunes and good name of the UK vis-à-vis to other countries, and we are quick to voice or show our disapproval when those in power err [to our way of thinking]. To my way of thinking, the erstwhile HMS Ganges is an alma mater to which many tens of thousands of ex boys and juniors STILL LIVING aspire [and hold dear], and they do NOT need to join a 'party' to fulfil that need to keep their memories alive,  NOR should they be debarred from actively seeking to keep the good name of the alma mater alive and well, and above all RESPECTED if it's reputation is put in harms way by ANY ORGANISATION NOTWITHSTANDING,  yes, even including The Ganges Association.  That,  Mr Webmaster, is DEMOCRACY.   These men are cognisant that other ex Ganges boys and juniors might like to form an Association, a brothers-in-arms gathering where tangible and more tactile relationships can be renewed or  formed. Were that Association to be a qualified success, then clearly many others from the larger former group might have joined. Despite the undisputed good years experienced by the Ganges Association, its numbers have always been small relative to the numbers still alive who passed through the Shotley Gates. For a whole host of reasons, the majority of ex boys and juniors did not join but there was no stand-off, no ill feeling, no pressure brought to bear.  The non-Members were happy with their memories and moreover [and of crucial importance] they were content in the knowledge that boys/juniors who had joined the Association were actively extolling the name of HMS Ganges. On a personal note, I treat my church like that and evidently, so do millions of other Christians.  I don't have to go to prove I am a Christian; I go occasionally and I am pleased to see that the same old standards are held high and enduring. In pragmatic terms, the Christian Church is rather like the Navy - we all belong [in one way or another] but we readily tell others that we were trained at Ganges, St Vincent, Collingwood, Vicky Barracks etc as some mention that they are Methodists, Catholics, Anglicans etc.  We don't take it kindly if somebody rubbishes our 'faith' our 'service' or our 'alma mater'. 

Now, as everybody in the Ganges Association knows, and it is probable that many others also know, things have turned sour and the GANGES ASSOCIATION is very close to wrecking the good name of the Shotley Establishment. That is abhorrent to non Ganges Association members JUST AS MUCH as it is to those in the Association who are profoundly saddened by the performance of several members particularly over the last two years or so.

Rules to democratise HMS GANGES [1905-1976] - Note NOT THE GANGES ASSOCIATION which is but a part of the HMS GANGES STORY - are not in place and never were. I doubt if they will ever be, and so the aggrieved party, viz, the masses who are not nor ever were Members of the Association, and all those within the Association who are appalled at what has been going on and are duly ashamed of those to blame, should have 'their feet counted' heeding the vote they are now making more voraciously. To an outsider [that is not me by the way] it is patently clear and obvious what the problems are within the Association. The opposing armies must be defeated and thrown out and to start this process, the messenger boys, the spear carriers and the rabble rousers {the brown shirts of Shotley]  must be denied the opportunity to spread their poison  along the conduit of a Form for which the Association is paying for. The closing down of the Forum could be considered to be the Associations "Operation Hummingbird". 

With immediate effect a wise webmaster would withdraw and delete the Forum [indeed any forum for Association users] converting the website into an information platform whereby Committee approved edicts are issued at REGULAR intervals [not like currently, where the very lack of such edicts leave room for doubt, letting in the fallacious gossip and rumours]

I said earlier that we all want other countries to think good things about the UK.  Among those who browse to the Association Forum are other Royal Sailors and not just ratings. What must they think ? Driving the Forum 'underground' doesn't stop non Members from viewing the Membership pages for there will always be those willing to share their sign-on details with others. The Gazette is read by many people not Members of the Association and the so called 'confidential papers' issued by the Chairman and Committee Members are passed to Divisions, and Division have Members who are not Members of the Association so see them anyway. In the ever increasing global communication psyche, the way ahead is dissemination of information and data and not the retrograde step of hiding it except for security reasons [https] and the Ganges Association is not in that ilk. By all means have a password controlled Members area, but don't load the majority of good members with the sewage of few.

If you cut the damaging element [FORUM] and increase bonafide information [EDICTS] you will more than please your overall audience and start the processes of Association recovery.

Finally, in my generalisation of who reads the Forum, I very much doubt whether our President does. Were he to do so, and were he to be made aware of the turmoil within, I wonder if he would stay as the President, and further, what must he say to others when speaking off or on the record about his role in the Association.  I would just love to be 'fly on the wall' when he is briefed by the Chairman !

FROM THE ARTICLE ABOVE.  An Edict from upon high, from the Committee, giving notice that the Forum is to go 'underground' subjecting only Ganges Association Members to witness the continuing spread of poison. Ah well, at least its removal will help to 'clean up' the internet!

Gentlemen, at the Committee Meeting today (31 Oct 09) I proposed that our Forum be hidden from the 'public eye', this was given the full support of committee and observers present. Therefore over the next week or so, if you call up the website and the Forum link is missing, you will need to log in, the Forum link will then appear. Once the Forum is under this security cover, members will be able to leave email address's, telephone numbers etc without fear of them being misused. All 'Rules for the Forum' remain in force.

I will be 'keeping my ear and nose to the ground' so watch the space below in the times ahead.

Monday 2nd November 2009.  Obviously, the webmaster and his guru have attempted to change the Forum from 'overt' to 'covert' and in so doing have created a communication problem. This is what was posted this morning on the Association's site.  "Gents, all would of {sic} experienced problems today, Oli has been working on the site and we appear to have a problem with our host server, therefore, if further problems arise and you can not log in, hold on, we will get there in the end!!!"  I also noted sometime ago that the Ganges Museum also had problems with their host server.  I write three websites [this, the Collingwood Museum and a family site] plus write regularly for four other sites, and in my experience, these downtimes are very rare and usually caused by finger trouble at the origination point or by a small [with few alternative facilities when servers go down] host provider. Finally achieved the change over later in the day although the website doesn't function properly!  Webmaster has a habit of blaming the host [nay, a preponderance to blame] telling us that the host server memory is defective which is the cause of the site being quote      S      L      O      W        unquote.  I could recommend a more reliable host if this is the case, but I know of his host company and they are technically up to speed.  Could it be that the "fill in the blanks" administrators are to blame ? I wonder whether the question of BANDWIDTH has been raised.  Bandwidth [in layman terms] is the space allocated by the host for simultaneous visitors to the site who are of course up-loading and down-loading to and from the site.  To get more bandwidth for more simultaneous users means more cost for the webmaster.  If the numbers signing in have increased* [webmasters own words] since going covert, could that not be in itself, one of the reasons why the website has slowed ?  * Piecemeal, simultaneous or otherwise !

New Ganges Association to be formed.  4.10.09.  It is confirmed that a new Association, to be called "HMS GANGES ASSOCIATION [SHOTLEY] will be formed with a subscription of just £6-00. This message was posted on the Forum.
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New Association

Here it is Iggy, Robbie Robsons reply to my e-mail. I have his permission to put it on the Forum. My only plea is to members. Don't do it, stay with us the real HMS Ganges Association and if you have one carry on enjoying you local division, we will get there in the end.
Baz` You are correct that I have made the attempt to mediate the Association out of the mess it is in from the very start, all to no avail, which in the main is due to intransigence from both sides at the beginning. Now the intransigence is from the Committee, who had the opportunity and would not categorically even try. That will not be viewed very favourably by a court. As I have stated, the last thing I wanted to see is the collapse of the Association that I and many others put so much effort into building, but alas, that time is so very near and as for widening a split, that is already as wide as it will get. I am forming another Association relating to Ganges, as the one I initially joined does not exist anymore. Those who wish to join may do so, provided they are acceptable, as in any organisation. I am not a Member of HMS Ganges Association and have not been so for two years, therefore, I am not a `mutineer` nor a `rebel`. To be either, one needs to be a part of said organisation. In regard to waiting it out for certain personages, whomsoever they may be, to move on, as you suggest, one should remember I was secretary for going on twenty years. I do not wish to be overseen by what I consider to be, in my own opinion, an inept and biased committee for anywhere near that length of time. Nor do I wish to be represented, as a member in an unnecessary court action. Nor do I wish to be part of an organisation which allows its `management` committee to lose in the area of £20,000 with no one held to account. I could go on, but enough said. I already have a sheaf of joining forms and they are still coming in. Seems Mr Athroll was somewhat wrong in my being on my own. I catergorically stated that I would partake no longer on the website and I do not intend, nor ever do, waste my words. Robbie R. 
On a day when our dead in Afghanistan reach the same numbers lost in the Falklands, made that way by the shocking news of five of our boys gunned down in cold blood by an Afghan supposedly on NATO's side, the on-line Forum members are ripping each other apart with even greater venom than was evident before the Forum became covert, like CHILDREN, when young adults are behaving and dying like MEN in a far off country. These people, albeit a tiny majority of the Association, ought to be thoroughly ashamed of themselves, and for the majority of us, they are persona non grata. At the Cenotaph, think well on ALL our Armed Forces serving today, and on the overriding  vast majority of those who have served, and then take pity on this small group. Additionally, the Association Committee, in the guise of the webmaster, should be ashamed of themselves too for allowing this to continue, and despite the protestations of the hapless webmaster, louts and morons do not understand or deserve democracy [take heed of the Afghan elections for instance] so why pretend to offer it to this small group of Ganges [and probably social too] misfits?   
Association By FRED

From overt to covert
FORUM and the lack
of access to non Members who are relatives or friends of former Ganges personnel if not ex Ganges boys/juniors themselves.




Well done Phil - an absolute master stroke.

At one foul swoop you have managed to disenfranchise all friends, relatives and other interested parties who did not have the advantage of actually serving at Ganges but were, nevertheless interested and usually supportive.

And all for the sake of trying to keep the inevitable differences of opinion under wraps.

Do you really believe that people will be fooled into thinking that everything is sweet and light just because the forum is no longer freely available - and do you also believe that any really juicy items will not surface elsewhere, probably suitably embellished, because not all the current members who do have access to the forum are supporters of the current Chairman and Committee.

Life just ain’t like that and the odd contretemps did little or no harm to the Association image. In truth, it demonstrated a robust organisation, full of members capable of independent thought.

Apart from all else - this would have prevented Gwen Scotney and her sister (Baggage) from making their contributions. Under this new ruling, to have a theme on the forum dedicated to Gwen is ludicrous and an insult to her memory.

Couldn't agree more.
Heard on the 'VINE' ! A view point no doubt shared by many,  lamenting the loss of our erstwhile webmaster CLIVE WATTS, forced out by a Dinosaur Committee not willing to embrace Clive's recommendation that 'if it is in print then it should be on the website',  and their reluctance to involve Clive more proactively in Committee matters.  In those days we had but one webmaster who ran a "good show" - now we have two webmasters, one 'technical' {and I may add, doesn't appear to have the necessary qualifications to allow him to become a Member} and one 'administrator'.  One wonders what the cost of this website is [or will be] and just by comparison if and when that data is made known, the cost of my THREE websites, all of them with unlimited data, huge bandwidths [very large files especially on the HMS Collingwood Museum site are downloaded regularly and by several people simultaneously, data bases and interactive pages} and enormously high hit rates, total together including the domain names [three of them] per annum, just over £100 GBP which of course is inclusive of VAT.   Whilst my sites require a great deal of expensive software both Clive's site and this current site require no specialist software at all over and above the basic model which is not of their doing !.

There is no doubt that a lot of work goes into making a website.  There are products on the market already engineered and all the webmaster has to do is fill in the blanks to personalise pre-made web site models. If you go down that route {as Phil Bridge did} you shouldn't use superlatives which might suggest that it is entirely your own work.  We read the following on the new web site back in February of this year [2009]:-

"Welcome to the brand new HMS Ganges Association website! We've Finally launched.

After months testing and creating this site we are ready to show you what a community website should be like!

We hope you enjoy it!"

That would be fair enough IF the preparation work was as hard as is suggested in the middle line, and who says it is what a community website should be like ? That is an opinion of a diligent volunteer [with, as admitted, very little computer experience] and an unknown guru.  It would have been better had we all known the truth, not that that matters EXCEPT WHILST FILLING IN THE BLANKS YOU MISS OUT OUR VICTORIA CROSS HOLDERS !!!  {see also below to the next item} which Clive Watts went to great pains to include.   This is what they might have said, using a little modesty:-

"Welcome to the brand new HMS Ganges Association website! We've Finally launched.

After months testing and creating this site we are ready to show you what we think a community website should be like! We have used a well known and competent company as our web host <Streamline.Net costing no more than £75.00 GBP per annum> and the whole project has been adapted from an original model at <> used under licence from TopNotchThemes.

We hope you enjoy it!"

That sounds about right to me.

Anyway, back to my VINE !


"..............................It is no secret that I think this website, on balance, is still not a patch on Clive’s offering, particularly when one considers user friendliness. It seems to be a case of jam tomorrow. While we now seem to have a significantly higher number of members signed up, the number of regular contributors is still a very low percentage - and I suspect - less than there used to be. Many of the old stalwarts seem to be missing these days.

(On the old website we were able to see usage for ourselves!!!!!).........................................."

Friday November 20th 2009

Although not part of the FORUM but very much part of the Ganges Association [and I have no other place to post it to] this is taken from their minutes of their October 2009 Committee Meeting.

12.        Publicity

Des Kerrigan reported:

12.1      An article has been submitted to the Remembrance Sunday page of the Sunday Telegraph in which the Association submit a ‘Proudly Remembers’ piece for the “Shotley graduates who made the ultimate sacrifice”. Committee agreed the cost of the article. Ganges contingent will be attending Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph. 

12.2      Adverts placed in Navy News and British Legion Magazine about the Association.

12.3      November issue of the Navy News will contain a Reunion 2010 advertising article.

12.4      Chairman stated he was hopeful of an article on Boy Travis Cornwall VC appearing in the near future in an issue of Navy News.


Lee Fleming stated more recruiting ideas were required, with perhaps Divisions advertising in local papers.  The Secretary will write to Divisions.

Any problems with that ?  Well yes.  First and most importantly is the misspelling of the boy's name:  his name is CORNWELL, and secondly, though of no real importance, is that he was not a Ganges boy [though in fairness  they do not say he was] and item 12.4 is probably a way of recruiting more boy's to rally to the flag or cause. In itself therefore, it is commendable.  So, you might wonder why such an innocuous statement would warrant isolating on my part and a publication here.  Well let me tell you,  that had he not have won the Victoria Cross he would be just another naval boy, of no consequence because he didn't go to Shotley. Consider that,  when two of our own Shotley boys who, in two quite different time periods, went off to war, and won the Victoria Cross AND THEY ARE NOT MENTIONED ANYWHERE IN THE HMS GANGES ASSOCIATION SYSTEM. Now isn't that an utter disgrace ?

Wednesday 25th November 2009.  Do you know, today of all days I would dearly like to know if that little old lady ever got her money back ?  £20K was a lot to lose as was the other £20K also lost, but I understand that the Hotel Group won't give it back. Thank God that this person will never handle any of my money ! Mind you, I agree with the Hotel Group and after all why should they. My wife and I with others often have a short UK break with Jack's relatives and believe me, they have some smart hotels in their portfolio.  If they don't keep on making good profits from me, a shrewd person as well as from the many [see them coming from a mile away] idiots around, they might start putting up my charges and that will never do:  I might not be able to take my foreign holidays usually cruising. Unlike the OD's in the Ganges Association I certainly don't need the sea time, but the wife does, and that's that.  I reckon she has already done more than all the 7&5 men in the Association put together!  That brings me to the news of the day, and from several sources I gather that the following statement has been issued. They are doing their very best to commit suicide and this statement is yet another 'nail in the coffin' bringing ever closer the inevitable final and cataclysmic break-up of the Association. Here goes.

It gives me no pleasure to inform you that the result of the court case held yesterday the 24th of November, was a finding by the Judge that the Respondents (Doyle & Hill) were the authors of their own misfortune in that they had been asked, repeatedly, for the documents and had ample opportunity to disclose them before the proceedings were issued. As they didn't the Association was fully justified in issuing the proceedings. This therefore gave rise to their costs liability.  Accordingly, the Judge ordered that the Respondents pay the Association's costs of £1,500 within 14 days.
Mr Doyle's solicitor also asked a question, not really relevant to the proceedings, as to how the Association would be entitled to seek further disclosure. The Judge said we could ask the Trial Judge to enforce the order for disclosure of 17 June 2009 ie under penalty of imprisonment, if Mr Doyle failed to supply what he was required to disclose.    The correct procedure is for us to apply, in these proceedings, for Specific Disclosure setting out the documents which we claim they have still failed to produce.  
It was never our intention to cause eitherIt was never our intention to cause either Mr Doyle or Mr Hill financial loss. In addition to our costs the Respondents will be liable for their own legal team's costs which were set at just under £4,000. Our only aim throughout the whole saga has been to obtain all the documents relevant to Mr Doyle’s dealing with reunions on behalf of our Association throughout the years 2002 to 2007.   Had he and Mr Hill kept to the agreement made in March 2007 and paid over the wrongly banked money by the 2 April 2007 there would have been no need for litigation and no division within the Association. Thus, the difficulties which arose subsequently have all been caused by their failure to do so.
George H Maxfield
Chairman HMS Ganges Associationn

Inevitable that with the split comes the divided loyalties with each group having more spies and fifth-columnists than ever were available to the Kremlin.

Soon after this article was published, the knives were out and venom poured into the wounds of the Association. This venom was so deadly that the webmaster withdrew the thread from the Forum and banned all such reference until June 2010, the month in which the threatened prison sentence will take effect if the documents sought are not forthcoming. True to form [for they have little else to talk about] the result is an extremely quiet, not to mention a very dull,  Forum.

Dickie Doyle then  attempted to tell his side of the story, but his 'mouth piece' was denied to him mainly by the Ganges webmaster whose "no response reticence" left no one in doubt that he in fact ridiculed what Doyle was trying to say. Thus in one foul swoop, the webmaster had swept aside a democratic voice piece {Forum and Doyle} which Clive Watts had spent years building up and had actively encouraged.  On that point, it would seem to me obvious, and indeed it is proving to be, that denied the covert Forum, they would turn to overt emailing when all would observe, in OPEN FORUM the 'dhobying of dirty underpants' inter alia.

However, today the 11th December 2009, a new summary of the recent court case [the summary Doyle was trying to air] came into the public domain, which surprise, surprise, but with a slightly different emphasis, echoes exactly what Doyle wanted to tell us;  us being the "mushroom" members as ex Ganges boys' : note, emphatically, not being just an ex Association member, for one doesn't have to be a member [even ex] of THIS CURRENT GANGES ASSOCIATION   [which some say is corrupt in the extreme] to love and hold dear all that the Shotley experience meant to many thousands of boy's the VAST MAJORITY OF WHOM,  ARE NOT MEMBERS OF THE HMS GANGES ASSOCIATION.  So, whilst playing clever with demons like Thipthorpe, who incidentally I could ruin financially in a Court were I to chose to do so  [so "threat" on Mr Failure in EVERYTHING, naval career, marriage, business [several] etc etc etc]  here, with no personal involvement other than correcting typos and grammar, is that new summary.  I think that it embarrasses not only Thipthorpe  but the Chairman's position also, and that done, should now be ringing bells in the ears of the many hundreds [perhaps thousands] of decent men who are Members of the Association. When the writer of this document fails to punctuate correctly, I have done so on his/their behalf.


QUOTE:    Statement by John Outing Ganges 1952/3 class 252 at Radio. M No 5180 after consultation with W Snowdon LLB.


I consider it somewhat necessary to write to the membership to give a true record and update of the court case Parker Maxfield v Doyle Hill in the matter of “Failure of disclosure” of bygone reunion documents and accounts for the association ;  the case is drafted and presented by ordinary member Thipthorpe the Legal 'rep for the Association ; Doyle and Hill are represented by Mr William Snowdon LLB a solicitor from S Wales.


The complete membership has received a communication from the Chairman, Maxfield indicating a completely untrue state of affairs regarding the case for expenses at the 24th  'Nov at the London Court. In the first instance he should not have drafted the communication he published on the Forum as being the PLANTIVE on the charge sheet this could be construed as, ‘IN CONTEMPT OF COURT’ by publishing events before they are drafted by the court.


In the event, on the 24th November, Mr Thipthorpe and the Association were criticised by the Lady Judge for the use of a Barrister at a previous hearing who cost the association some £5,000.00. She stated that the association were RIPPED OFF. Also the accountants used by the association costing £1500 were unnecessary as this should have been done in the annual accounts. The costs claimed by Mr Thipthorpe were too high and down graded to £9.50 per hour (rate for an unqualified person).   In total the Association costs were set at £8,500.00 and to Mr Doyle’s and to Mr Hill's relief, these were awarded to the Association with a cost of £1,500 to Mr Doyle and Co.

This is a true statement of facts.


I am at a loss to see the amount of capital that has been depleted from the Association funds from the hand of the Association's  Legal Representative as (a) some £20.000 to the last reunion and AGM because of failure to read the legal contract, and  then, the  above £8,500.00 in legal fees, with  nobody knowing the reason for why this gross incompetence has been allowed to continue in the  midst of formal Committee accountability.  I would respectively {sic} respectfully [suggested] suggest a Sub Committee be instructed to investigate the accounts of the Ganges association and the expenditure over the last three years where we see the capital account has in fact decreased from £118K down to below £50K. these figure look even worse if the bequest of some £24,000.00 or so is taken into consideration!


We now come to the Proposed 2010 AGM and reunion at the Adelphi Hotel Liverpool.

The Adelphi Hotel is part of the Britannia Group of Hotels of which I use frequently and therefore receive many mails with costs and week end costs.

I would respectively {sic} respectfully [suggested] point out the usual cost for a long week end at this group is £29 to £42 per day for bed and Breakfast and evening meal, this equates to approximately £90 to £120 for a week end Friday/Sunday,  but you must pay for lunch usually £15 to £20. At the Liverpool Hotel car parking amounts to £15 per day. For most of the lads on a Pension this venue will be expensive to take the wife with you and the weekend will cost you £400.00 plus on top of that it is going to be a bit crowded in Liverpool that weekend as Half of London will be there to see Liverpool hammer Chelsea, with Liverpool Lime Street Station just up the road!


Alternatively: -


Look at Pakefield in E Anglia near Shotley remember?


Cost per head £140.00 which includes all meals, free car parking, a trip to Shotley Museum, and some good clean East Anglican  air, the evening entertainment is something not to be missed. So get organised and give Mr Doyle a call or e mail to confirm your place. This is a true Ganges meeting therefore no lawyer’s lower deck or otherwise – just people. In the true spirit of associations this one is a reunion for ex Ganges boys who care about the association and the forward course of events.


 Book early as we are limited to 600  UNQUOTE


You will see this event advertised in the Navy News during February and March 2010
Sunday 14th December 2009 @ 2100.

Hello again.  After a relaxing weekend with friends [Saturday evening dinner party out and a luncheon party here today with good wines {Châteauneuf-du-Pape Domaine de la Charbonniere} I am now ready to respond to an email received this evening from an unknown {I presume man} from North Yorkshire near Knaresborough.

As any writer will tell you, it is flattering when people read ones work and bother to comment upon it.  Conversely, it is worrying that because of indifference, ambivalence or contempt people do not bother. So, I start off by saying a big thank you to the few who bothered to respond to this page.

Two correspondents in particular caught my eye although note was taken of the 'amdrams' and the flowers, but  the reason for it  is not quite understood. The first of these was George Athroll. After my lightening-quick meet with him, I later learnt that he was the quintessential 7 and 5 leading seaman and after that,  an active trades unionist, clearly with an inferiority complex.  I recall that I met him just the once and for less than one minute, in which he said "you must be the nozzer know all".  I was less than pleased especially when I had been invited to the Museum at Shotley by a colleague of his, a fellow volunteer who knew me from my Service career and also knew of my current HMS Ganges researches.  I do believe that I showed my anger at being so addressed but  had the good manners for the sake of my host not to retaliate.  Subsequently, at a later date, we exchanged emails in which I said [or implied] that he was a "an old hand who knew nothing".  His flowing assessment of my persona is impressive but one which none of those who do know me would agree with. The issue at hand was that "researching per se" didn't necessarily only involve sorting paraphernalia already in the Museum by virtue of gifts, but also involved delving into dusty envelopes and boxes in the bowels of the various national places of archives chiefly in the London areas. For some reasons best know to himself, he took umbrage.  The second 'eye catcher' was Peter Flicker.  Peter, good to see that a 72 year old is learning new tricks and I wish you well in that pursuit. However,  two attempts to post a simple text {pdf} with typos does not auger well and is par for the course given that I remember your lack lustre performance as a killick sparker in boats.  In your learning phase of webpage writing/designing [incidentally I use the latest software Microsoft Expression with a machine running Windows 7 for my family genealogy website, and Microsoft Front Page with Windows XP Pro for my Collingwood Museum site and for this site also. I am therefore au fait with CSS pages et al, but thanks for the lesson anyway. Your analogy with my 'steam driven websites' viz the bi-plane, has prompted my wife to call me the "Biggles of Ganges"} always remember that when writing web pages it is what one says [original stories] that count and not the tools one uses to make those stories. Take note that one does not get a GOOGLE NUMBER ONE RATING unless the site is worthy of such a position, and if you Google "NAVY THINGS" and chose the first offered URL namely NAVY OPTIONS you will see all that is written on the naval side of this site. Being a consummate professional naval communicator I won't bother to pursue the point with somebody who chose not to shine [as a communicator] and perhaps in other naval areas also!

Trivia now over, I come to my main point which is the 'missing of the wood for the trees' bit.  Those who bother to read the pages of my GANGES COMPENDIUM will get a well rounded view of my real input into telling the Ganges story which, albeit to my uncertain knowledge, no one has ever attempted before.  I ask yet again, why have our two Victoria Cross holders and the Ganges Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum been left out of the post February 2009 website?  The failure of your responses to mention this point to the webmaster or indeed just to mention it, surely 'tars you with the same brush which has been used to tar the webmaster', telling me that "the crap" I write, by inference, includes words like McKenzie VC, Magennis VC and the National Arboretum.  Whilst it might not be possible to add graphics [jpeg, gif, flash etc] to the Ganges website home page which in itself is a clumsy shortcoming if this were the case, it must be  possible to add a text file with if necessary a link to a page showing the desired detail.  At a time of heightened awareness of military 'things' chief of which is Afghanistan, when the nation follows every story particularly of bravery {see my page KATE NESBITT - THE NAVY IS VERY PROUD OF YOU just for example], the bloody Ganges Association disowns their two heroes, and they remember, are holders of the ultimate bravery award, the Victoria Cross.

I will keep up the pressure on the webmaster and his so-called IT expert [as I currently am doing with our Government - see my page WW1 SURVIVORS - WHO COUNTS AND WHO DOESN'T] until he relents.  As an incentive to do so for clearly he has no pride in doing so voluntarily, I will offer him a quid pro quo. Once the situation has been righted to add to the site what Clive Watts had on his site namely the requested data in the pen ultimate paragraph above, I will take down this page from my Ganges Compendium.  The ball is in your court MR Webmaster.  Good day to you all.

1945 on Monday the 14th December....sorry last posting should have been the 13th....bloody good luncheon party with too much wine possibly........

I received this this evening from out of the blue. 

Boys who joined the navy‏
From:  alan turner (
Sent: 14 December 2009 19:40:49
To: deleted on purpose !!!!!
Dear Mr Dykes
Our dad was at the Ganges as an instructor in 1952 and in 1953 he was awarded an honour for his involvement in helping with the east coast floods and saving many lives in Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex, for which he had to go to Chatham for an admiral to pin his medal on his chest. His medal is called a British Empire Medal and he was so proud of it. Dad has now left us, but reading your web pages I want you to know that he liked most of all to look at what was being said on the Ganges Association net, which Chris, Tricia and I continued looking at afterwards just in case we saw his name mentioned. He was in the war as a sailor on the HMS kg5 and was a petty officer in 1950 at Pembroke Kent. We never did see his name but his memory, medals and papers are still with us. Tricia my youngest sister told the man in charge of the net just a few weeks ago about dad but he didn't respond. We all know that 1943 is a long time ago now and many like dad will be dead. Thank you. Al

How sad !

A response to one of HMS Ganges' leading Forum correspondents; the doyen of all things naval and seemingly manly !

During my 30 year naval career I made many friends with members of the Whale Island fraternity, this especially so when I was given one of the leading roles in the Royal Funeral of Lord Mountbatten in London in September 1979. 'Gunbusters' have always been charismatic figures in the royal navy and when it matters, they are always the best possible advert for the navy when viewed by non-naval audiences. The 'machine' which turns them out is so well oiled and calibrated that there is no such thing as a boring old stick-in-the-mud, quiet  GI.  Were there to be such a person, it would be a paradox.  I even understand that the Association has one, although I don't know him nor have I ever had the privilege to meet him.  Like all branches {no less than my own} they are a proud bunch and more than punch their weight in the everyday running of the senior service. I wonder how proud they would be of one of their branches' lowly spear-carriers using somebody's surname as innuendo and degradation?

My family is called DYKES and we are aware, regrettably, that that name is linked in America in some perverse and inexplicable way to lesbianism.  I have yet to work out why it should be so. Notwithstanding that awareness, I wanted you to know that we are a proud family and in no way, now or in years gone by, has that unwanted association ever affected our way of life. DYKES' fought in both Boer War, WW1 and WW2 with still residing in CWGC Cemeteries, a grandpa and a great uncle  {not to mention my own 30 year career with presences at Suez, Cyprus, Aden and Borneo} and both my paternal grandmother and my own dearest mother went to their graves not even knowing what a lesbian was:  such was their worldly experiences as girls of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.  All the women in the family are 'normal' i.e., they are heterosexual, and all of them I love, honour and cherish to bits.  My lovely daughters-in-law carry that name and one of them hails from Atlanta Georgia USA.  Neither is embarrassed about being called Mrs DYKES and my three sons {and grandchildren} bring honour and pride to the family in just about everything they do. My darling wife of nearly 48 years is also a DYKES, or more fittingly Mrs Beryl Ann DYKES.  For many years Beryl was a State Registered Nurse but has long been retired, now just 'the wife' and a worshipped 'granny'.  Nurses always called a bowel movement a 'motion', and we both used to laugh when the song "show me a motion" {Boney M} was played over the airwaves. Normal people sometimes get a tummy ache and have to move their bowels for relief.  It is most disappointing if the result is a small motion [you know, a little sausage] when you were hoping for a big banana, because the latter invariably brought the relief you sought and you were kindly towards it and grateful - I sometimes used to feel sorry for it as I flushed it away for it had made me feel a lot better.  On the other hand, the little sausage was treated with contempt and dispatched without remorse.  In sending you, Mr Gunsweeper, my best Christmas wishes, I ask you to think on whether you might be the equivalent to that little sausage, an irksome non-event and moreover I beg you to remember or learn,  that the pen is always mightier than the sword.  Have a happy Christmas and to your dear wife and loved ones I send you my very best wishes and respect.  P.S. If you don't understand these words or the irony in them, get some civilised and educated person to interpret them for you.

...........................and a same day response for Peter Flicker.  Peter, sensing you wanting your revenge, I consider it prudent to come clean on the erstwhile Godfrey Dykes Consultancy Limited. This will circumvent your need to go to your sewage works with the proverbial stick. Godfrey Dykes is recorded at Companies House as "Ceased Trading".  Ceased Trading means quite literally what it says - the owner has retired or sold up.  The clientele list, the goodwill and the bulk of the equipment of Godfrey Dykes Consultancy Limited was sold to the  Electronics Security Division of an International Security Corporation, i.e., to an American Company.  The transaction was concluded in 2000 at a time when we said goodbye to our employees {six of the nine went to work for the buying company]  but I stayed on as in-between for my clients vis a vis the new company and to serve the clients who didn't want to have the new company's services, until 2002. At that stage I sold the remaining company equipment to a fledgling 'sweeping' company.  The buying price was generous and the tax man got his share at source.  The company stopped trading  with a clean bill of health for VAT, Corporation Tax, Personal Taxation, Class 1A National Insurance Contributions, BIK's, FURBS, severance pay, other perks and Pensions and had no debts whatsoever.  I left with an ex gratia gift of my company car, an almost brand new BMW 750iL registration number 1GYD [the G and the Y being the first and last letter of my Christian name] and my wife, the Company Secretary took her car under exactly the same Inland Revenue rules which was a BMW 525 tds Tourer.  The Companies Tax Offices were in Portsmouth and the Companies Accountants were Barter Durgan and Muir of Lavant Street  Petersfield who oversaw the winding up of the company.  There - you wondered and now you know. I still have 1GYD on my car which is again a BMW but a humble Series 5 saloon now. Oh, by the way its a lovely blue colour and a fast, very fast V8.  Best regards and have a very Merry Christmas.
.........and finally for today Tuesday 15th December 2009....this from the Public Relations Officer of the HMS Ganges Association.
Date: 12/15/09 20:25:07
Des Kerrigan.....................
And I am not afraid or ashamed to put my name to anything that I see as a  detriment.
.........................CLARK.........................G T F O ...................we don't the likes of you or your kind.

Oh so smooth, so delicate, but oh so fitting for the current Committee of the Ganges Association. Look backwards to my comments for another 'smoothy' of the Association, the Gunbuster, in whose temporary and brief naval career, spent most of his time ashore and when not that, asleep in the Burma Road ostensibly "watchkeeping as the watch on deck".  Note too his total lack of penmanship, and his vulgar, bullying ways with the use of a kind of English language which seems alien to me. What are his qualifications and PR skills to enable him to be called the Associations PR Man?  Is this a joke or what?  Was the Chairman embarrassed to be a CC ? When for God's sake, are the current Committee Members going to realise that hundreds, nay potentially thousands of men,  will not respond to such so-called leadership of foul mouthed louts hell bent on self destruction?  The Chairman's silence implicates him to the full in this demise, so let us not allow him to choose the high ground because he is partly to blame for  his inept leadership and lack of guidance. His lack of leadership coupled with the recalcitrance of the webmaster to continue to ignore the "spirit" of the Association in his website are just two current examples of the shame the Association brings, not just to the memory of Shotley Gate but  to the wider naval audience.  Kerrigan's  appalling grasp of the English language is astounding,  and so many errors in such a short blurb can only, surely, be the result of inebriation !  For me, I have to say that first impressions count and I see in this man a lamentable inadequacy which could only be considered acceptable by a corrupt ex-boys' outfit.  Little wonder that the upper deck treated such boys/men with such contempt which I in my turn, acquiesce with totally.

Final post for this year!

On Friday 18th I attended the Solent Division Christmas Dinner/Dance at the Golf Club at Southwick - the old HMS Dryad. Wonderful evening with wonderful food and company. The Chairman, John Smith was well on-form as were other splendid Committee Members and the whole evening for Members, Associate Members, Ex Members and Guests was a credit to the organisers and enthused the  Spirit of HMS Ganges.  There can be little doubt that the south coast boy's are the very best and to my wife and I, it was worth every mile it took [there and back] from Suffolk to be present. I met many friends there and actually sat on the same table with Nobby Clarke and his wife. 

Now back home I will continue the process of reading the near 800 emails I have received in the past few weeks from addressees around the world all commenting upon the Association and its leadership and all except two, supportive.  Most are absolutely appalled by the attitude of the Association Committee and many Members in not revering the Associations heroes or the Association National Memorial.

Today Sunday I travelled to St Mary's Parish Church in Bury St Edmunds Suffolk to sign the book of condolence for the death of Britain's 100th soldier to die in Afghanistan, Adam Drane,  a local Suffolk boy in the Anglian Regiment. Whilst there I said a prayer for his parents and family.  He will be buried from this church this coming week on Wednesday 23rd December and I will attend.  Whilst doing that I wondered whether he, along with all his dead colleagues who have done brave things for their country, will be forgotten  in the foreseeable future and whether their sacrifice or deed of bravery would have been in vain.  In our media-enriched world of communications one might say that would be improbable given the grief felt by the nation for each and every fallen soldier today, but it has happened to our boys, boys who {militarily} also came from Suffolk, from Shotley Gate, whose memory has now no meaning and therefore is not revered.

To the many tens of scores of decent like minded ex Ganges boys I send you my Christmas Greetings.

The funeral of Adam Drane was a desperately sad and gut-wrenching event to witness, played out in a massive Parish Church in West Suffolk. The Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk was present [HM The Queen's representative] as was a full Bishop.  Masterminded by the Anglian Regiment with many of the 1st Battalion present in uniform, the event was dignified with a military bearing few regiments could have possibly bettered. The church was packed and so the service was broadcasted out to the street where many hundreds had gathered to witness the arrival and leaving of the hearse. After the service, the family took Adam away to be buried privately in the churchyard of a nearby village, later to return to the town to the Mayors hosted reception for all family and close friends; for all who had touched Adam's life in whatever way and to all members of the Anglian Regiment which were not otherwise actively deployed.  The regiment is called the VIKINGS and I was impressed by the many tens of ex-Anglian boys, all wearing the regimental tie and smart suits [but now with longer hair than the average infantry man is allowed to wear] who had bothered to return to the county to say their farewells. I thought it appropriate and fitting that I should show you the funeral programme in the following pdf file.  Before I show you that file, this is the last paragraph of an email written by a Canadian women from New Brunswick:-

One last thought for the day:
Only six defining forces have ever offered to die for you.

1. Jesus Christ.
2. The British Soldier.
3. The Canadian Soldier.
4. The US Soldier.
5. The Australian Soldier.
6.  The New Zealand Soldier.

One died for your soul, the other 5 for your freedom.


NEW SUBJECT:  I started this page to help correct the inaccuracies of what on-line members of the Association were posting on the Forum. I no longer do that simply because the volume of inaccuracies and naive childish statements is too great. See you next year.


Welcome to 2010 and my first posting,  so let me wish you a Happy New Year. Another year older and for me, hopefully, I see my 72nd birthday.

Today [the 4th January 2010] is the first working day and what is good for the 'workers' is good for us, the 'retired' so off to work on my webpage.

I have two subjects to publish, one, my continuing theme of the Victoria Cross and the other, some as yet unpublished details concerning the Ganges Association versus Messer's Doyle and Hill in November last year. However, before I begin just a word about my site concerning HMS Ganges history. In 2008 and 2009 I spent many hours {hundreds of them} and a great deal of money researching HMS Ganges and revealed a great deal of the story never before available in the public domain both at Shotley and at Mylor. I also uncovered the original maps and plans of RNTE Shotley and its costs between the years of 1903 and 1905 amended in 1907 when the mast was added to the establishment as the prime icon replacing the Giants Stride.  Everything was handed to you as ex Ganges boys' on a plate so to speak, but it was either snubbed, abused or ridiculed. For that reason, out of many tens of web pages and many tens of thousands of words [often supported by graphics and animations] I have withdrawn all but this page from the site, leaving the history pages to sincere devotees of HMS Ganges history but available only on request.  Those criteria necessary to qualify for access are many and searching,  thus ensuring that my work will be valued and acknowledged as unique, unless that is, someone in the foreseeable future repeats the research processes with the same diligence and focus.

I have received the following documents which the originator wanted published on the Ganges web site.  However, that was either refused or considered too embarrassing for the HMS Ganges Chairman and Committee. Therefore, since I strongly believe that the subject-matter should be viewed, I will publish it here. Both letters are as received so I am not responsible for the grammar, spelling, or E&OE, the latter the accepted abbreviation for "Errors and Omission Excepted"  The second letter is more important than the first but read them in this order, the order received.


New Years message to the Chairman and Co


A New Year message to the Chairman and Co re the mail/message recently put onto the Forum regarding the court case at 24th Nov 2009. Max Parker V Doyle Hill costs therein


Mr Maxfield in his reply to my previous communication, having sent the text of his article firstly to the Legal Representative to scrawl and complete has indicated that,
the Judge in the Parker Maxfield V Doyle Hill case was, cognizant in her duties with information given to the only solicitor at the hearing, once again more lies and unsubstantiated
contents, why would Mr Doyle’s solicitor Lie? I have requested that Doyle sends to the Chairman a copy of the letter from his solicitor outlining the true facts and not as stated
in the article by the Chairman and the legal representative.


The Chairman failed to mention the fact about the Barrister who has been paid £5,000 when, as stated by the Judge, a solicitor could have organised this case
for £500.from your funds,
but sounded off about the hourly rate for a non compliant non qualified persons acting in court being £9.25 and not £9.50. Quite right, we will
all now breathe a sigh of relief for saving £20.00 well done Mr Chairman, Pity where such a large amount was let to escape the wisdom and eyes of all concerned, yes the
£20K paid to the last AGM Venue due to numbers failure, how incompetent that the legal rep can spot a difference of 25pence yet can miss a twenty grand legal document.
It leaves us all dumfounded, well the intelligent members who understand what £20k look like!!!


The total cost at Nov 24th is as stated with-in my last message I would advise a copy of the letter from the solicitor acting for Doyle and Hill will be put onto the web page soon,
However the Ganges association is still being conned into vast expenses chasing a non existing supposedly fraud case listed in the court as Quote Failure of Disclosure Unquote,
whilst letting some £28,000 pass down the line unnoticed. Where, we all ask, has all the expenditure been from 2006 to 2009 when the account (Ganges) depleted from £118k
down to below £50K? Is this correct or incorrect?


At this time I would ask all the membership to remember the Shotley Museum for Ganges in East Anglia, together with the time and capital that Mr Doyle and his wife have donated
to this cause, were it not for their time and effort, there would be no museum. All should remember this, even more so when reading the utter nonsense put about by the
committee with the pen
of the non elected legal representative, Mr Doyle’s efforts even got a mention in the Navy news well done lad


Finally I wish you all, young and old, happy and miserable Bs a happy prosperous new year with good health and happiness, if you want a really good laugh go to Pontins in
the spring with Mr Doyle and all the lads its going to be very interesting and yes we can all go back to Shotley for a historical look at the old place and the museum so get it organised.   

Kind Regards


John Outing

The second letter is from Messers Doyle and Hill Solicitor.

J Doyle,

16 Park Hall Crescent

Castle Bromwich


B36 9SN


    Your ref:

Our ref: DOY001.1

Date:  26th November 2009


Dear John,


Re:          HMS Ganges (‘the Association’) v John Doyle and Geoffrey Hill

                Central London County Court PAD03254


Following our recent telephone conversations I am writing to set out a report of the proceedings that took place on Tuesday of this week.


The Decision

The  conclusion of the  judge  was that you had unreasonably failed to respond to the Association’s requests to provide them  with copy  documents over  a long  period of time and that as a  result
they had been left  with  no alternative other than to make an application to the Court under  CPR 31.16 for an order  for pre action discovery. I  was not  surprised by the  findings it  is 
consistent  with the advice that I gave  you at the  outset of this matter.



In the circumstances the judge then went on to consider what order for costs would be appropriate to be made. The judge   concluded that although the Association would be entitled to
recover its costs of the application a substantial part of the claim for  costs  was disproportionate to the remedy  sought and  should be disallowed. In particular the judge disallowed the
Association’s claim for  costs against you in respect of their accountant’s fees of £1,437.50,  180 hours of the estimated 200 hours work that Mr Thipthorpe had made  a claim in respect of
and  most of their  counsel’s fees of £4,550 all of  which  will have to  be borne  by the Association itself. She did allow £250 + vat of the claimed counsel's fees. What the judge did
specifically say was that she felt that the Association had been 'ripped off' by their barrister and that she would have expected a solicitor to have been able to prepare this case for them for £500.  


She ordered you to make a payment of cost in the total sum of £1,500 within 14 days. The £1,500 costs that have been allowed were in respect of £1,000 (including the court application fees)
in relation to the total £7,835.30 claimed up to June of this year and a fixed sum of £500 in relation to the attendance before the court on Tuesday.  I have to conclude that  you have got off
fairly  lightly in respect of the  amount  of costs ordered to be  paid  by you. Please let me know how you intend to satisfy this order within the 14 day period.


Further actions

As I have informed you Mr Thipthorpe has stated to me on a number of occasions that he does not consider that the you have fully complied with some parts of the order. However,
notwithstanding that they have now had the papers for some 4 months they have as yet failed to fully particularise the specific matters where they allege you may have failed to
give the information required.  I have invited Mr Thipthorpe to send to me a schedule specifying any documents that he says may have been omitted from the disclosure bundle
before any further steps are taken by him and has agreed to do so.


When we  spoke in the summer  you  informed me that the  substantial  documentation  in the boxes  supplied  to me represented all of the  documentation  pertinent to this
application. I have made a statement to this effect to the court.  During our recent telephone conversation you have indicated that there may be further documentation in your loft.
In the event that we  receive a further schedule from Mr Thipthorpe you will need to let  me have  a sight  of all relevant documentation in your  possession as if there is proven to
be  a failure to  comply   with the  consent order the  consequences  will be  far  greater than the £1,500 contribution to costs that   has been ordered this time  around. I will be 
able to  fix the position if you have the missing documents but  it  will be a ‘one off’ opportunity to do so and that opportunity    must not  be squandered as the  consequences
of  non  compliance  will be  severe.


I hope the above clarifies the position for you but if you have any queries then please do not hesitate to contact me.


In the meantime I am enclosing a note of our fees for having acted for you in relation to this matter. You will recall that we did submit an interim invoice for payment earlier this year
for which have received payment) this covers all other work to date.


Yours sincerely



The polarised views of the members of the Association especially those pointing to Mr Thipthorpe will now have to accept the truth of the matter, or alternatively call into question
the legal sincerity and honesty of Commercial Legal Solutions.  Mind you, it offers the temptation to Thipthorpe to throw a few more of his threats around of suing.

My second story is about the Victoria Cross, a subject which I have touched upon above on this page.  I have mentioned to many establishments and to eminent people the Ganges official position on the Victoria Cross and they have all been shocked and dismayed.  Make no mistake, my website is read much more widely than the parochial Ganges website is, and this includes schools and colleges.  My eldest grandchild is a boy, Billy, and in August last year he became a 15 year old.  Whilst I don't believe he will ever become a member of the Armed Services, he is nevertheless extremely interested in my naval career especially that I joined the navy when I was 15.  Imagine my shock when he told me that as part of one of his GCSE he had studied a module specially made for the understanding of the Victoria Cross which was widely used in schools and was available on the internet as a downloadable package. He told me about Jack Cornwell and about James Magennis [although he wasn't aware that James, like me, went to Ganges] and he knew who the youngest and the oldest VC winners were by name and action. Bless him, he knew so much and proudly showed me his study notes and his personal school computer programme on the subject. The two youngest winners of the VC, two 15 year old army boys figured hugely in his project as did the older naval boy Jack Cornwell. I was humbled to know that he knew so much and yet the vast majority of ex Ganges boy's know so little about Ganges Boy's who became winners of the VC.  Don't YOU think that is tragic?  Quite recently Bill and I went to the IWM London, where incidentally I told the staff of the policy of HMS Ganges not to recognise its own VC holders. One man told Billy that he mustn't worry about not being remembered by HMS Ganges because he will always be remember here at the IWM.  Bill's face was a picture when he viewed the exhibits in the VC and GC section of the Museum. He saw a Ganges captains VC [Rear Admiral Godfrey Place]; the VC  of Albert McKenzie an ex Ganges boy and he was delighted to hear that I knew the man who wrote the book about the story of James Magennis {George Fleming himself an ex Ganges boy} and how his son's sold his VC because they needed the money and so it wasn't on view for us to see. His face lit up when I told him that a man called Lord Ashcroft had rescued the VC [had purchased it] for the good of the country and HRH The Prince Charles was personally involved. We then saw the VC of Jack Cornwell and I told him his story.  Bill, I could see was moved to hear it. We saw so many other VC's also that day and I was proud at how my young grand son had handled our visit. On the way home, I asked him if he knew anything about Afghanistan.  He was quick to tell me that since the campaign started in 2001 many men {and a woman} had been killed and that no fewer than THREE men had been awarded the Victoria Cross.  He correctly named them as APIATA, a New Zealand soldier  in 2004 - BUDD British Army 2006 Posthumously - DONALDSON, an Australian soldier in 2009.   Earlier we had visited the IWM at Duxford and viewed the submarine section specifically referring to Captain B C G Place V C RN.  Again I told them about HMS Ganges being in almost denial of the award.  Recently, whilst at the National Arboretum researching and filming the HMS Ganges Memorial, I made it known that the HMS Ganges Association did not recognise their own VC holders.

As stated above, many schools and colleges now study the Victoria Cross in great detail.  This is the website from which one can download the full teaching pack - highly recommend that the HMS Ganges Association Website and the HMS Ganges Association Museum download  this pack and start to learn, hoping that very soon they might catch up with the average 15 year old still at school. 

Up until 2010,  I carried an evolving story about the increasing number of deaths in Aghanistan.
Then, when the dreadful little war was all over for British combatant troops by 2014, that lovely newspaper, The Telegraph, put together a video showing a selection of deceased personnel from the first year [2002] to the last [2014] I then decided to shift over to the new video. I mention this because you may wonder at how, in the  chronological  order of my forum publishing's,  I am able to show  a story written in 2014 in a 2010 slot!

9th January - sent to me by email


Developer Title
Posts: 125
Joined: 31-03-2009


CRS John Daley JX 14552.  Joined Ganges on 7th Aug 35 and/or possibly joined Benbow Div., 31 mess, Class 178 or 179 on 23rd Jul 35 and became a sparker, finally retiring as a CRS in 1959. Ships and subs served on plus commencing dates are shown below..

Ramillies 1937
Southhampton 1937 - sic
Halcyon 1939
Norfolk 1939 (Matasa w/t stn) -sic
Gloucester 1939 - 1940
Lanra 1940 (suggest you look at lanra) using search facility.
Mansfield 1942
Boscowen 1942
Dolphine (1942) suggest training sm - sic
Cyclops 1944
Turpin 1945
Golden Hind 1946
Trump 1948
Tiptoe 1949
Montclure 1951 -sic
Cumberland 1958

Has anyone knowledge of Matasa W/T Stn?  e.g. where it was located etc.?

Whilst his grandaughter has his official papers she would be grateful for any memories or stories about him.  I understand that there is a member of the Association who has an official number within 10 of John’s.  I will arrange contact if anyone wishes.

Have a look at two of my pages Integrate Themeset {for submarine Turpin} and ALLEN_ABRAHAM_CORNELL {for Matara W/T NOT Matasa W/T}. Other sloppy spelling mistakes are:-   Southampton; Dolphin; Montclare.

The appalling and sickening ignorance of those who post to the Forum

Notwithstanding my quest to get the Ganges Association to recognise [and to show that they do so on their website] the Victoria Cross holders who were trained in Ganges, they now have the effrontery to associate Cuts/Caning with Leading Seaman MAGENNIS repeat MAGENNIS Victoria Cross, with some other imaginary urk who [if he ever existed] was clearly an OD's hero.  OD's heroes, to the vast majority of us,  are in fact anti-heroes and do down rather than enhance the imagine of HMS Ganges.  Leading Seaman MAGENNIS joined HMS Ganges in June 1935 and if these people had bothered to read the book MAGENNIS VC, they would know that MAGENNIS got through Ganges without being caned. These people are nothing more than ignorant b*******

Monday 25th January 2010

Heard on the Vine.  Shep Wooley has or is in the process of resigning from the Association.  The 2010 AGM at Liverpool has only currently approximately 30 odd bookings!  Is it a goer or not, and if not, will it be another financial disaster the second in a row ?

Wednesday 27th January 2010

Mac Brodie, a much respected, trusted and man of proven managerial competency added to which his long and faithful service to the Ganges Association, has been appointed as the President of the Solent Division.  THE quality division with A quality President.  Well done to Smudge and to his fellow electors and well done to Mac for accepting this appointment. Nobody doubts the QUALITY of the Ganges Association President but we do of the Ganges Association Committee, and we need a glazier to change the windows through which we see the Association Committee from opaque to translucent glass, in order that we might see transparency in the way things are run on our behalf.

Tuesday 9th February 2010

I am told that things are now civilised on the Forum and that is pleasing to hear. Does it mean that the 'trouble makers' have left it and a new group has taken over who are more representative of a typical Ganges Boy ?  Whatever, it is good to know that civility is the order of the day instead of rancour.

I understand that a question about PAY in 1955 was recently raised.

The answer given was perfectly correct although lacking in detail. The following data comes from various BR's/Pay Regs and QR&AI/QRRN of that period.


On Ledger

Rate/Age/Qualification Pay per day Pay per week Paid weekly pocket money Main leave pay Fortnightly pay in cash Maximum amount boys allowed on their person

a. Boy 2nd class/Junior 2nd class

2s 6d - 5s 0d 15s 0d - 10s 0d

b. Boy 1st class/Junior 1st class

3s 6d - 7s 6d 20s 0d - 15s 0d

c. Boy at aged 17½

7s 0d - 10s 0d 30s 0d - 20s 0d

d. Instructor Boy

3s 6d 9d 10s 0d 25s 0d - 20s 0d

e. Boy in Draft Class

3s 6d - 10s 0d 20s 0d - 15s 0d

f. Boy from date of being drafted away from training establishment below aged of 17½ to part complement billet or additional to complement

7s 0d - - As appropriate for long leave granted £4-18-2d -

g. Leading Boy

As for rate 3d Paid with pocket money As for rate - As for rate

h. Petty Officer Boy

3s 6d 6d Paid with pocket money 20s 0d - 15s 0d

i. Band Boy Bugler

As for rate + 3d per day, 1 shilling of which is to be paid with pocket money - As for rate + 1s 0d As for rate - As for rate

j. Band Boy Silver Bugler

As for rate 3d over and above that daily rate paid to a bugler As for rate + 1s 3d As for rate - As for rate

k. Band Boy Drum Major

As for rate  - As for rate +  1s 3d As for rate - As for rate

l. Marksman [85% in .22 and 80% in .33 firings] Badges only, gratuitously issued.

As for rate - As for rate As for rate - As for rate

m. Coxswain [Passes a practical examination in the handling of boats under oars and sail] Badges only, gratuitously issued.

As for rate - As for rate As for rate - As for rate

n. Call Boys [Boys who qualify may be given Calls and those who excel may be given chains, both gratuitously issued]

As for rate - As for rate As for rate - As for rate
The difference between a boys basic pay and his weekly pocket money was banked for him in a POSB [Post Office Saving Bank] account. A prudent communications boy [though perhaps a thoroughly boring and unadventurous boy] could amass what was then a large sum of money in his one year [approximately] as a 1st class boy. A very simple case is calculated as follows to the nearest £:- 365 days @ 3s 6d = £64.  52 weeks - 9 weeks for leave = 43 x 7s 6d = £16 of weekly pocket money in Shotley. 3 leave periods each of 20s totalling 9 weeks = 6.66s per week pocket money.  Total pocket money paid = £19. Residue into bank = £45.

Quite surprisingly these pay rates were extant from 1949 until 1955 and then in 1956 the pay scales looked like this:-

Junior 2nd class 4s 6d/ Junior 1st class 6s 0d/ Junior at 17½ 9s 0d


Money flowed throughout the Boys Training Establishments with rewards on all sides !

This is the 1952/1955 money go round.

As you are about to see, 1954 went down in HMS Ganges history as a year without precedent throughout the period 1906 to 1976, namely its entire history - in short, more boys ran away from HMS Ganges in 1954 than at any other time and transcended the numbers returned by HMS St Vincent by a huge margin. .  I was in Ganges for the whole of that year training to be a Boy Telegraphist, a fifteen month course. In those days, only seamen and communicators trained in Ganges, the former undertaking just a twelve month course: as such we boy's were a continuation of the bluejackets, which the Admiralty abolished the day they let  in a non seaman/communicator type into the holy grail of Ganges as was ,for training non-op's room personnel. I was an AC {Advanced Class} boy, better able to cope with academic school work than boys who were graded as GC [General Class}. A little later on the GC classes where split into GC {U} Upper and GC {L} Lower where all but for GC{L} could be trained as communicators.   So, I start with a little cameo of my Ganges time showing my rapid promotion {!} from Boy 2nd Class to Ordinary Telegraphist which includes my very first ship, HMS Tintagel Castle {Commander CARRINGTON RN} based on Portland in Dorset - soon after, I was whisked away to join HMS Tyne {Captain BENNETT RN} for the Suez War of 1956.  Before I continue, have a look at this page, then click on your BACK button to return to this page when finished BOREDOM CAN DO FUNNY THINGS.  Note that my passing out results were signed by "DOD" who was my names sake, viz, Lieutenant Commander D.O. Dykes Royal Navy the OIC of the Signal School [whose death was very sadly published in the March 2009 Navy News, and anybody trained at Ganges in the years 53-55 as a boy telelgraphists will have the identical entry on their 'history sheet' to mine but of course with different marks possibly],  and that I was awarded TWO MONTHS accelerated advancement, the maximum, {in recognition of my overall results - i.e. a FIRST CLASS PASS} which meant that I was advanced to the Able Rate {to a Telegraphist} earlier than the norm, so effectively gaining extra pay on the higher pay band - the difference between 'ordinary rate' and 'able rate'.  This, incidentally, occurred when I was in the carrier HMS Eagle in 1957 {Captain Michael LE FANU RN who had been my second Captain of HMS Ganges - and was so when I left - the first being Earl CAIRNS} and, as you will have read in the "Boredom.......Things" file above, was a grand total of FIVE MONTHS accelerated advancement leading to a rather large pay day.

 This picture specifically the third entry, "Boy Tel -  6 to 15 February 1955" is LEGEND for any ex Ganges Boy and worth a short explanation. At this point, our training has officially finished and we are released from attending classes and doing all the "nasty" things we have been made to do over the past 15 months or so.  In one weeks time [approximately] we would leave Ganges for the last time -hooray, hooray, hooray - and join our first ship at sea. Therefore, in this one week we are more-or-less free spirits and could [and did] lord it over every other 'poor' boy still under training. We wore our Number 3 blue serge suit but without a collar as dress of our day, along with brown canvas shoes, and that jumper had our branch badge sewn on the right arm which we made sure all the other 'poor' boys recognised and acknowledged - Seamen boys joined the fleet as 'general part-of-ship fodder' and qualified in gunnery, radar or torpedo/anti submarine warfare when in the navy proper: they therefore left Ganges without badges on their jumpers.  This period was called "DRAFT CLASS ROUTINE", a most enviable position to be in, and it gave us cart blanche to push into the queues for food, the NAAFI Canteen or the cinema.  Whilst we remained at all times in awe of the training staff, other boys not in the Draft Class who had formerly been our peers, were now looked down upon as mere  B O Y S, peasants with still a great deal to learn about the navy {!! unlike us !!}, diffident  and ill at ease in our presence. Although from different divisions, we were just one of several Draft Classes waiting for our first sea draft. Before I leave this introduction I thought that I would complete the circle of my 'achievements' whilst at Ganges.  In BR1938, my issued copy of the Naval Ratings Handbook dated 31st October 1951, I have written the following on the amendments page:-

10.09.54 352 Class Gunnery Finals PASS 10.11.54 352 Class AC School Finals PASS 07.12.54 352 Class Pre W/T Finals PASS
25.01.55 352 Class Gymnasium Finals PASS 03.02.55 352 Class W/T Badge Finals PASS 10.02.55 352 Class Kit Finals, Captain Roberts RM, Rodney DO.  PASS

Ganges added one entry only to a trainees Service Certificate [S459] which was always VG SAT [Very Good character and Satisfactory as a 'trained' trainee leaving basic training]. My Ganges assessment was signed by Captain Michael Le Fanu RN. In addition just the one entry was made upon the ratings 'comic cuts' immediately before being drafted to sea to his first ship - [S264a] and this is mine. The reference that I play "rugger a bit" is a bit mean seeing that I played regularly for the Royal Rodney's as 'stand-off' but never shone and this is what he probably meant!  As for the "minor sickness" he is referring to a badly cut leg, an injury sustained whilst climbing over a gate which had barbed wire attachments when out on a Divisional Cross Country Run, at which time, for a short period only, I wore No3's instead of No8's and was classed as "Light Duties" or was that a "sickbay skate" ?  I was excused boots and gaiters [so no parade ground training] and of course PT, wearing as my footwear a pair of brown canvas shoes which all boys were issued with - the nearest thing the navy had to slippers !  The entry is signed by George W GLYDE RN {no, not Bush !} and he was a Commissioned Gunner and the second DO of the Royal Rodney's. I am lucky in that I have every document written about me from Ganges to my leaving to pension [30 years worth] - including medical/dentist documents, kit issues, permanent and temporary, general service and submarine services, courses and my results, pay documents, etc. The bottom line in the picture below is the first line of my first report from my first ship, HMS Tintagel Castle.


Whilst on the business of SCHOOLING and TECHNICAL TRAINING [the latter, W/T, V/S or Seamanship] let us spend a little time on the Passing Out Grades [1st, 2nd and 3rd - the University Degree equivalents of a 1st, a 2-1 and a 2-2] and for that matter the Passing In Grades also. In this section too, I will touch upon the PRIZES that Ganges boys could win as well as other interesting snippets.

Ganges took two types of recruits, the ones from the high street recruiting offices and the ones from the Nautical Schools. The high street recruit was given an intelligence/aptitude test before being accepted and that assumed the boy had the very basic minimum to get through the gates of the Annexe at HMS Ganges but not necessarily that he would last the first day there before being considered by the 'Ganges System' as unsuitable.  During the first few weeks in the Annexe a more detailed test would ascertain whether the boy was suitable, and how he would respond and cope with either of the two levels of academic training given at the establishment. If at the academic test his score was above a certain level he would have been considered suitable for the ADVANCED CLASS [AC] syllabus, and if below, for the GENERAL CLASS [GC] syllabus. Subsequent to this test and the sorting procedure, it was always possible to change syllabus if a boy was not coping with the school work, or, but on few occasions, a GC boy was reassessed upwards to join an AC class. However, it was found necessary to further sub-divide the GC classes into GC[U] and GC[L] as explained above, but if assessed as a GC[L] boy, the only technical training he could undertake was that of the boy seaman: all other academic groups could be either boy seamen or boy communicators, visual or wireless. Once sorted into academic groups, boys could now volunteer to become either seamen or communicators which would dictate their technical training, and indeed, with rare exceptions, the branch they would enter into when in the royal navy proper on leaving the training establishment. Boys were chosen to be trained as communicators after a very basic aptitude test which any boy who had been in the Scouts and who had the slightest understanding of the Morse Code would have passed.  Once selected as a communicator trainee, boys stated their preference for either the Signalman side or the Telegraphist side after watching a small instructional film followed by a lecture. Boys who didn't make the grade set for a Telegraphist [nearly always because of the ever increasing speed of the Morse Code] were re-classed to Signalman or to Seaman.

In 1937 an OU Book [Official Use] called "The training of boys', their welfare and fleet requirements" was superseded  by a BR [Book of Reference] called "Training Service Regulations".  This book laid down the rules which governed the running of Ganges for many years   On the 8th July 1952 that book was superseded by a re-write of the 1937 edition {plus amendments] which was called "Boys' Training Instructions 1952".  The 1952 edition tweaks the rules of the 1937 edition and adds new rules and regulations in the light of experience gained from WW2 and from the intervening training years from 1937 until 1952. This book became known as the 'bible' and was used in both St Vincent and Ganges, where all in the BR applied to Ganges and all except for the Communications Syllabuses applied to St Vincent. In addition to the 'bible' each Establishment had its own 'mini bible' and Ganges recorded her boys academic and technical achievements in a series of T.S. "rough books" and documents printed and issued by the Admiralty.  All of the following data comes from the 1952 edition of "Boys' Training Instructions".  However, as stated, we are going to look at the academic and technical sides of training only but don't worry for I have published the BR as part of my research work as a webpage. In 1966 the BR was again rewritten and republished this time as "Juniors' Training Instructions". I have copies of all four books.

In the paragraph above, viz "Ganges took two types of recruits....." we have seen the route taken by a boy who had left school at the age of 15 and who on average, had joined the navy at the age of 15¼.  The navy took what they were given, but ideally the navy wanted as many 'bright' or 'clever' boys as it could get.  The system in the public sector denied boys [if they were able] of any leaving qualifications other than a written final school report from the headmaster. The normal school leaving qualification was called a School Certificate {known as a School 'Cert} which was only available to Grammar School boys or boys from Technical Colleges and those usually at the age of 16 issued by national authority: the equivalent to today's GCSE certificates. To achieve this requirement for 'clever' boys, the navy looked to the many Nautical Schools who had recruited much younger boys {typically when aged 13} ostensibly to be trained for a sea-going career.  These schools also followed a national curriculum with added modules biased towards naval matters, so the navy put it to the owners of the Nautical Schools that a further 'bias' on academic teaching would benefit both sides [owners and the navy] and that 'bias' manifested itself by fine tuning the national curriculum to the standards required for an AC boy at either Ganges or St Vincent.  Boys from the Nautical Schools joined the navy in exactly the same way as did boys from ordinary schools except that boys from Nautical Schools could be 4 foot 10½ inches tall whereas all others had to be 4 foot 11 inches. However, as soon as they joined they undertook an examination which included school work, squad drill, seamanship and swimming, and if they passed with 60% or more they became first class boys on entry. For each boy so passing with the exception of the Royal Hospital School Holbrook, the navy would give his Nautical School the sum of £20,  and if more than 40% of the boys from that school  passed the navy exam, the School would receive £30 for each boy.  In addition, further gratuities were paid to the Nautical Schools as follows:- for each boy who entered but didn't pass the AC exam who had been in the Nautical School for at least eight months prior to joining would be paid £5, and for those who had been in the School for eighteen months £10, but this was only for the twentieth boy and upwards recruited from any one of the Schools  in the financial year. Again the RHS Holbrook did not receive this gratuity but the £20/£30 and the £5/£10 gratuities were paid to T.S. Arethusa, T.S. Mercury, T.S. Indefatigable, T.S. Parkstone and the National Sea Training School.  The more boys the better both for the navy and the Nautical Schools. The boys themselves did not go unrewarded for passing the AC entrance examination. Prizes were awarded annually to the best boys who passed the AC exam as follows :- Royal Hospital School Holbrook three prizes of £3, £2 and £1 - all other Nautical Schools two prizes of £3 and £1, where the £3 prize could be a book or an object of lasting value chosen by the winner, and the £2 and £1 prizes were to be in the form of naval books of interest. Before leaving the subject of prizes which to date have been solely for boys recruited from Nautical Schools, there were several other prizes awarded during boys training to all comers. For classes who collectively achieved high marks in either school or technical studies a prize of 1 shilling [5p] was given to each boy in a GC class and 1 shilling and 6 pence [7½p] to each boy in an AC class, a V/S class, a W/T class and a Seamanship/Gunnery class.  For Religious Studies/Knowledge, a prize of up to 7 shillings and 6 pence [37½p] could be awarded to one boy in each class who attains the highest mark in this subject: religious education was given each fortnight and self study gratuitous issue books were made available.  In the case of an Anglican it was the Common Prayer Book and the Holy Bible; for the Non Conformist faiths the Methodist Book of Service or the Holy Bible/Hymnary, and for the Catholics, the New Testament [Vulgate Edition] and BR413, a Guide to Heaven. Finally, there was The Royal Society of St George's Prize awarded each term in Ganges and St Vincent to the boy considered by the Commanding Officers to have made the most progress in that term.  The prizes were books of naval interest.  Other prizes for sport are not included here.

The system of "classing-up" was that Seamen GC classes were from 1 to 99; Seamen AC classes 101 to 199 and Communicators 201 to 399 where signalmen took ODD numbers [361 for example] and telegraphists took even numbers [352 for example]. All Divisions had a mixture of AC and GC/seamen and communicators, but class designations for communicators were not always as straight forward as were seamen designations.  In 1953, some communication classes had an alphabetic suffix and examples were known as 260A, 260B, 260C/ 270A, 270B, 270C/ 280A, 280B, 280C.  To further confuse the situation AC classes were 260A, 260B, 270A and 280A, whilst GC classes were 260C, 270B, 270C, 280B and 280C.  Later on, the general rule {though not always followed} was that communication class beginning with the figure 2 were GC and those beginning with a figure 3 were AC.  Class numbers were reused of course, so many of you might have been in the same class designation though separated by many years.  Seamen would train for 5a + 36b + 0c + 3d + 9e = 53 weeks [1 year] and Communicators for 5a + 36b + 15c + 1d + 12e = 69 weeks [1 year 4 months] where in both cases a = new entry training/b = main course a mixture of school and technical training/c =  extensive technical continuation training/d = work ship/e = leave.  Incidentally, all that much loved parade and rifle drill the vast majority of those ex boys still living today {2010} endured, was conducted using BR 1834 [1949] then called "RN Handbook of Parade and Rifle Drill".  In 1972 the title of BR 1834 {1972} was changed to "RN Handbook of Ceremonial and Drill" and the 1949 version was superseded.

The passing-out grade from either Ganges or St Vincent was graded under Article 0315 of the "Boys' Training Instructions 1952" as amended by Admiralty Fleet Orders [AFO's].  The number of subjects [on a boy telegraphist Wireless History Sheet - Boys' Examinations] is 10 and each carries 100 marks, a total of 1000 marks. Radio Theory and School 'required' marks are not shown on my record but I am reliably told that they were 60.  If you add together the ten subject marks you need to achieve to get a basic pass mark,  they totalled  765 marks: below that total mark is either a failure or a partial failure. Marks of 765 to 840 was a THIRD CLASS pass and gained no accelerated advancement. Marks of 841 to 915 was a SECOND CLASS pass and gained ONE MONTH accelerated advancement. Marks of 916 to 1000 marks was a FIRST CLASS pass and gained TWO MONTHS accelerated advancement.

Thursday 11th February 2010

I was told today that the Pakefield Reunion is on track for 300 bums on seats but that only 1 in 20 {180} members of the Association are going to Liverpool. No financial penalties like last time but 'thin on the ground' sums it up. Pity really. It would also appear that some aspects of the Associations finances are worrying, but then again, literally thousands of organisations in the UK are experiencing the same.  It is time to tighten the belt and a good place to start might be the Association web site costs. It is mooted as being £150 and that is very expensive indeed unless it is for a two year period then that would be reasonable.

17th February 2010.

Just COMING to tell you that I

am GOING away to write a large client's brand new website. Will pop in every now and again if I have any news to tell you. Yours aye.


20th February 2010


You will already know about my subject title.  However, I have made a little PDF file which contains the Actual Official Refusal [with no appeal - nasty!] and as importantly, the REASON WHY is was TURNED DOWN. It's back to the 'drawing board' for the Developers so a few more years yet before the fate of the site is fully [and truly] known. As for the preservation of the MAST....well who knows ? Read this GANGES PLANNING REFUSAL.pdf

26th February 2010

I have received quite a few emails from people wanting to know how to use the Internet to source HMS Ganges material and I have sent many answers, the last to a chap called JEFF SMALL, an ex Ganges Boy. Google I know [but other search engines do the same] have many categories and each one will deliver information in different orders.  This is crucially important because if your were to type into your browser JUST 'HMS Ganges' or 'Ganges' [though that will invite lots of Indian web pages] you would have to search through countless pages to find the detail you seek.  If on the other hand AFTER typing in HMS Ganges you added a SEARCH PARAMETER, you will stand a better chance of getting what you want even though you are still offered a list of pages to sort through and some of the pages are the same in many of the Categories. For example here are a few of the available categories: SPORT - HEROES - TRAINEES - FAMOUS TRAINEES - FORUM - SADNESS'S etc. Also, pages with multiple content [several sub pages] can be discovered by opening a prime page with a near-fit title to the subject you are looking for, and a classic case of this [there are many examples across the internet] is to look at my much visited page on HMS Ganges. Key in HMS GANGES FAMOUS TRAINEES [but there are no famous people in this story;  they are in my other stories] and on the bottom of page 1 you will find HMS GANGES - AT FALMOUTH. Open the page and scroll to the very bottom where you will see that the prime page has 17 sub pages. Since page 1 is the Title only, click on page 2 to start the FULL STORY of HMS Ganges. I trust that this helps Jeff [and others] which serves to amplify what I have said in my emails.  Remember, you are guaranteed perfect viewing if you use the latest version of the Internet Explorer browser.  I am mailing pictures of HMS St George in a separate email. Take care.

26th February 2010

.......and, what about this ?  Wrens climbing the mast !


Question: Why did the two officers [lowest ratlines] has appropriate footwear and the others not?

For all you thousands of COMMUNICATORS out there, an opportunity to wander down memory lane.  Have a look at SIGNAL_SCHOOLS_OF_THE_ROYAL_NAVY
11th March 2010

A TREAT, at least for some of you!

In my many pages about the official history of HMS Ganges, and above on this page too, I have mentioned the all important 'BIBLES' which were the New Entry Training Manuals, the written words which controlled every wakening moment of our time in HMS Ganges. To refresh you memory I repeat here what is printed above, namely :-

In 1937 an OU Book [Official Use] called "The training of boys', their welfare and fleet requirements" was superseded  by a BR [Book of Reference] called "Training Service Regulations".  This book laid down the rules which governed the running of Ganges for many years   On the 8th July 1952 that book was superseded by a re-write of the 1937 edition {plus amendments] which was called "Boys' Training Instructions 1952".  The 1952 edition tweaks the rules of the 1937 edition and adds new rules and regulations in the light of experience gained from WW2 and from the intervening training years from 1937 until 1952. This book became known as the 'bible' and was used in both St Vincent and Ganges, where all in the BR applied to Ganges and all except for the Communications Syllabuses applied to St Vincent. In addition to the 'bible' each Establishment had its own 'mini bible' and Ganges recorded her boys academic and technical achievements in a series of T.S. "rough books" and documents printed and issued by the Admiralty.

Later, in 1956 the rules were rewritten again, this time to rid the Rules of the word 'BOYS' to be replaced by the word 'JUNIORS'. Then, in 1961 came a major rewrite to reflect the changing times, heralding in a more liberal punishment system, the introduction of other branch boys into the Establishment, and the lessening of the standards that had been the norm since training was restarted in 1946. This set of Instructions lasted until 1966 when virtually all branches trained at Ganges.  In 1966 a larger [in terms of pages but not size of book] set of Instructions were issued followed by another major change [Change 1] effective from 1968.  This edition lasted until 1972 when the school leaving age was increased from age 15 to 16 when the final edition was published. This reflected that Ganges would be for Part I training only sending their juniors to Fleet Establishments [Schools] for Part II training much reducing the course time required at Shotley.

I have all these editions in my Ganges Library, but I thought that here, on this page, you might like to view one of them, namely the Ganges Training Instructions extant from MAY 1966 through [with the integral Change 1 which is a pen and ink correction with a major page substitution section] to 1972.

Therefore, if YOU were at Ganges in the period 1966 to 1972 have a look at these. Because of the size of the document, I have scanned the 1966 rules as SCAN 1,2 and 3 and Change One, effective 1968, as SCAN 4.

I was the Radio Supervisor in Submarine AURIGA in the Singapore Squadron [S/M7] in 1966 when Morse Code was for many, as important as it had always been. Imagine my horror [and that of others] when we remember that Junior RO's in Ganges were achieving results like this


when we 1953 boys left Ganges doing MMX's at 25 wpm on a typewriter and transmitting Morse manually at 18 wpm ? This picture of Page App. 9-1 comes from Scan 3 below. Enjoy.

SCAN 1 - Start to end of Chapter 5 - Page 5-3.pdf --- SCAN 2 - Chapter 6 to Appendix 5 - Page App 5-12.pdf --- SCAN 3 - Appendix 6 to List of Effective Pages Change No1.pdf --- SCAN 4 - Change 1 [1968]  Pen and Ink corrections and page substitutes.pdf

11th March 2010

Because of a huge popular demand, all my Ganges pages are now readily available for browsing. Hitherto, for those not in the know, my pages were only available on request for serious Ganges historians or to ex Boys' who have a genuine interest {i.e., non-lamp swinging} in the old alma mater.  Just to remind you, they are easily available as a group from this page GANGES COMPENDIUM 1.  Don't forget, you must use the Internet Explorer browser [latest version] to enjoy these pages.  Enjoy.

12th March 2010

Had a good look around the new SRO site at the images of HMS Ganges. Excellent tool for photographs and well done to all who helped create it.  However, it lacks depth and there is little point trying to do searches if you are looking for 'historical evidence' although I don't believe that was ever the intention of the Museum.  As always, if you haven't sent a picture of yourself, your class, your time at Ganges to the Museum, then there is little point of trying to find yourself [your picture] on this site unless of course, a fellow mess-mate has sent in his pictures. The sheer number of photographs available on the site is impressive, but that in itself leads to teething problems and petty mistakes which will need to be amended in due course to make the site watertight ! I found several but will mention just two.

1.     McKenzie returns 4 items.  Picture SHHMG:A5719 is wrongly endorsed in that McKenzie was not a Boy Seaman when he won [and was awarded] his VC.  He was aged 19 and an Able Seaman.

2.  Cairns returns 9 items. Picture SHHMG:A382 says the image is of Captain Cairns.  It is not ! The Captain is wearing the DSC which Captain Cairns did not have.  The Captain is in fact Captain J F Whitfield DSC RN the Ganges Captain before Captain Cairns in 1951-53.

Whilst I am on my hobby-horse, don't YOU think it is pathetic, BLOODY PATHETIC,  that under Ganges History and thence to VC Holders, the current waste-of-space webmaster can't even show us the photographs of our esteemed VC holders. Perhaps he spent most of his so called naval career in a Recruiting Office, well way from the REAL navy of which he clearly knows very little. It would also be useful information if the correct story about McKenzie was told. In August 1918 the Royal Flying Corp and the Royal Naval Air Service were combined to form the Royal Air Force. Until that time the Victoria Cross was issued with two different coloured ribbons.  The Navy had a B L U E ribbon and the Army, a W I N E   R E D ribbon. McKenzie won his VC during the naval Zeebrugge  Raid in April 1918 and therefore won a VC with a BLUE ribbon.  However, by the time he  received his cross from HM King George V in the late summer of 1918 the blue ribbon had been abandoned and all wore the wine red ribbon. McKenzie died just a few weeks later in October 1918 from the flu whilst in RNH Chatham recovering from the wounds sustained at Zeebrugge aged 19.  The papers on this matter are very interesting and are part of my extensive library.  They can be viewed at the National Archives under the file ADM 116/1811.

14th March 2010

I was a Solent Division man and knew Tony Grimmer as many of you will not have known him.  This then is not a criticism of Tony, far from it, but sometimes mistakes are made which need to be corrected. Tony has passed on and his work for the Association will not be forgotten.  However, he pre deceased the setting up of the new website in February 2009, and that would have been an opportunity to check & correct any errors in the old site rather than just copying them over.  Whilst I don't have access to the Members Only pages, access to the History Section is open to all comers. On the section CAPTAINS of HMS Ganges there are several mistakes which good manners alone dictate that they should be altered if they are to be taken seriously. Apart from the higher ORDERS of the Realm, CB & CMG {which are Companions} being the only applicable ones here, Commanders downwards are always in this order CVO, CBE, DSO, DSC, LVO, OBE, ISO, MVO and MBE. Thus the following entries need to be amended to reflect protocol.

1.   H.H. Rogers OBE MVO     2.   F.R. Corson DSC MVO     3.   E.W. Bush DSO and TWO BARS, DSC     4.   R.D. Franks DSO DSC OBE.
5.   W.G.A. Robson DSO and BAR DSC

As a matter of interest Eric Bush won his DSC in WW1 at Gallipoli and his three DSO's in WW2.

3rd April 2010 - temporary respite from writing my 'Official History of HMS Ganges Book'.

It must be simple, really, to understand how the navy worked, and still does. In my Ganges Gazette Spring 2010 [already passed to me having been read by a pukker Association member] and in particular the Supplement page 4, I found the C O N T I N U I N G error made by all the Ganges Association Committee Officers.  Our President is an Admiral, and therefore there is NO R.N., behind his name.  As for proposal No8 [i]  [also on page 4] this ex-officer should have RN Retired behind his name. I believe that Sir Robert must have been knighted sometime after retiring from the navy and I cannot find any details of that.  In any event, immediately behind his name should be the Order of his Knighthood [KBE for example] although the other possibility is Bt but I don't think he is an hereditary Knight. It would be correct and plain good manners also to approach him to ask him for his Honours. He became an officer in the RN early 1970's and his seniority for lieutenant is the 25th August 1971. However he also has a seniority date of 1st April 1974 for his lieutenancy and it could be that he left the Service for three years between those dates. He was promoted to lieutenant commander 25.08.79; to commander 30.06.84; to captain 30.06.89 and to commodore in 1996.  He is listed as an Executive Officer [X] and as an AWO[A] {Advanced Warfare Officer Above Water.  He retired the next year in 1997. His record for the period 1970 to 1975 is incomplete but after that date, it was as follows:-

1976 Bacchante {Lt} - 1977 Dryad {Lt} - 1978 Arethusa {Lt} - 1979 Centurion {Lt Cdr} - 1980 Dryad {Lt Cdr} - 1981 to 1983 Birmingham {Lt Cdr} - 1984 to 1985 Glasgow {Commander} - 1986 Neptune {Commander} - 1987 to 1988 Edinburgh {Commander} - 1989 MOD London {Captain} - 1990 to 1991 Brave {Captain} - 1992 to 1993 MOD London {Captain} - 1994 to 1995 Dryad {Captain} - 1996-1977 Northwood {Commodore}.

On page 6, I would have thought that the expression alongside the losses {2009 - £13284} should read 'Excess of Expenditure on Income'.  The figures are lamentable and had it not been for that Legacy the loss would have been £38209. The amount charged for the Website is an overt and outlandish rip off, and the sheer gall of the webmaster beggars belief.

5th April 2010

Quite unbelievable that people are asking how they get onto the 'Suffolk Heritage Direct' website and are being given a variety of routes to take. It is all there for you on the Ganges Association web site!  Once on the page {no need to sign in} instead of opening the Forum or the CTB etc etc folders {if you were signed in that is} simply open the Museum [External Site] folder. Then click on PROJECTS; scroll down and click on Suffolk Heritage Direct; scroll down and click on Ganges.  What could be simpler ?

7th April 2010

Just been pointed out to me of another classic !  Postal Ballot papers were designed, proof read, published, despatched, found to be wrong, abandoned by the Chairman who ordered a new design, new publishing, new despatch and of course ALL AT EXTRA COST {especially the massive postage bill} to the Association Funds, and all so close to the AGM when many submitted papers might not make the count. Yet another total waste of Members Subscriptions.  But the sickening thing is that Members of the Committee placed entries on the Forum praising those responsible for the gaffe, couching their words using expressions designed to lead the rank and file of the Association into believing that it wasn't a cock-up; it was all done to order.  The Committee personally should foot the bill for this added expense out of their bank accounts.

3rd May 2010

Back from my travels ! I am told that there is a new round of back-stabbing involving the 'old' Association with only 217 members attending their reunion in Liverpool, and the 'new' Association with a much superior 360 attending their reunion in Pakefield.  Good luck to the 'new' boys.

The Brits [and there are so few of us, unlike down south on both the Atlantic and Gulf sides of Florida] are not the flavour of the month in my part of the States [Destin {Pan Handle} Florida] and if the threats of US Litigation are to be believed, then goodbye BP - the compensation sought  will bankrupt it. 

Talking about incompetent companies and associations, just how do we measure 'success' and 'failure' ?  Well there is no published yardstick because there are many imponderables, but if the figures under consideration were as follows, the vast majority would I feel,  deem the organisation to be less than successful. Take a membership of 3436 and invite them to VOTE, to ATTEND and to USE.  1.7% USE {the association website}; 6.31% ATTENDED {the Liverpool reunion}, and 9.54% VOTED {the only vote,  which is postal}.  Miserable comes to mind, but a better adjective would be pathetic. It can hardly be called a going concern !

Now I turn to a very serious problem, one to add to the three mentioned above. The willingness to PAY FOR THE ASSOCIATION, and the majority who have recently voted with their feet to pay subscriptions at the old rate, shunning the request for a hype up to the new and exaggerated subscription wanted by the Committee. Because of this, the reducing numbers of the membership, the ageing of the membership, the wastage of funds chiefly by the inadequacies and gross incompetence of Thipthorpe baled out by a rather generous legacy, and general complacency, the Committee has now opted to look for MONEY rather than for new old ex Ganges boys who are not as gullible as the Committee are themselves.. This manifests itself by allowing [nay, encouraging] people to join the Association who have no heart for the matter, just a purse, and the purse is desperately needed for survival even though the Committee MUST KNOW that it DILUTES the Association and the memory of every boy who witnessed the Ganges experience.  It is enough to vie with an ex Ganges boy on the other side [Shotley Old Boy versus The Association Boy] but to have to vie with ASSOCIATE MEMBERS who will almost certainly adopt the bigotries of their member-sponsor, is to say the very least, the "THIN EDGE OF THE WEDGE".  *What possibly can associate members contribute* other than MONEY, and MONEY now transcends [in panic mode] even high-value topics like the saving of the Mast.  A submariner would say that "The BUBBLE HAS BEEN LOST" and the ultimate sacrifice has been made by an incompetent and thoroughly inept {and it is proven untruthful} Committee.  

As for the Liverpool AGM, as the Forum would have us believe a good do all round, what about SHEP and the final insults and lies he endured leading to his farewell from the Forum ?  Since Shep, [a diamond, albeit a rough diamond] has now left what of the 'cut glass' crap which remains ?  Will their Woolworths-style regalia [leadership] be respected?  I very much doubt it.  I for one, consider it to be  beneath contempt! 

*..........* UNLESS of course the Associate Member is himself/herself ex Royal Navy/WRNS, in which case he or she would or could bring a much needed quality to the sagging and maligned Association.  It is often forgotten that Ganges, when all is said and done, was but a mere 'naval school'.  There were many other 'naval schools', but right minded people will agree that the common bond is the Royal Navy, THE ROYAL NAVY,  into which sailors from these schools passed on completion of their training.  All of us went to school, by law, at least from 1944, but many completed their schooling and then opted out :  they either didn't acquire an 'education' or chose jobs which didn't require an 'education'. The Royal Navy is no different ! It trained men and women for a CAREER, but how many followed that career and how many opted out and chose a civilian job instead after just a relatively [to the norm of the RN] few years in the Service ?  The Ganges Association has too many of these 7 & 5 and 12 year part time sailors, and bringing in "proper sailors" as Associate Members will enrich the naval aspects of a so called naval Association.


I am told that "ELLIOTS EYE" was mentioned on the Forum referring to the 'loop' or 'curl' above an officers top stripe. It was posted by Frederick RODGERS Somebody said that they had never heard of it before and nor would they in an RN environment.  This expression is used by North American naval officers [CF and USN although the latter do not use the 'EYE',  but is not found in use in the RAN or RNZN] and they claim the following:-

"The executive curl, the ring above an officers' gold lace or braid, is said to date from the Crimean War when it was called 'Elliott's Eye' in commemoration of a Captain Elliot who carried his wounded arm in a sling under heroic circumstances. The term also refers to an eye in a hemp rope, said to be a memento of the Honourable William Elliot, a member of the Board of Admiralty 1800-1801. It is worthy of note that of almost all of the seagoing nations of the world the French and American are the only navies whose officers do not wear 'Elliott's Eye'

It is not used in the RN nor would you find the expression in an Oxford English Dictionary nor in any RN Victorian or Edwardian Seamanship Manual referring to "eyes" in hemp or wire rope. Seamanship manuals before 1837 were generally personally composed books and were not in general issue. Whilst it is true that the curl/loop was introduced in 1856 at the time of the Crimean War, the official RN BOOKS on uniforms viz:-

Badges and Insignia of the British Armed Forces published in 1974 <ISBN 0 7136 1344 0>
Cyclopedia of the British Costumes from the Metropolitan Repository of Fashions 1825
Navy Lists from 1825 until 1966 - Complete Uniform Regulations
Changes in Victorian time were issued by Circulars, then various Orders, then Admiralty Fleet Orders
1879 The very first official illustrated Regulations on Uniforms was published.
Illustrated Uniform Regulations for Officers of the Fleet were published in 1893, 1924 and 1937

do NOT MENTION anything about an ELLIOT'S EYE.

Unofficially, that much used and consulted book 'JACKSPEAK' also is without a mention.

Trying such authoritative sources like the NATIONAL ARCHIVES {NA} or the NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM {NMM} again reveals nothing on this subject !

And finally, and perhaps of the greatest importance is this article direct from a Canadian AUTHORITATIVE source, which fails to mention Elliot Eye and uses instead, the proverbial pan naval words "EXECUTIVE CURL"


Posted by: "Dave Shirlaw"   dave_shirlaww

Tue May 4, 2010 7:50 am (PDT)Tue May 4, 2010 7:50 am (PDT)

Why a small loop of gold braid means so much to our navy

Tue. May 4 - 4:53 AM


The wounds created by the 1968 unification of the three services of the
Canadian Forces are far from healed, but a small step towards reconciliation
was taken on Sunday.

A small loop of gold braid that had adorned officers' uniforms in the Royal
Canadian Navy - abolished under unification - will be resurrected as the
navy marks the centennial of its formation with a string of events
throughout 2010.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay made the announcement in conjunction with
ceremonies in Halifax on Sunday honouring the anniversary of the Battle of
the Atlantic.

In a city like Halifax, the significance of the navy deserves recognition
and respect. Our storied history demands it.

The navy has been a central element in Halifax throughout that history. It
began with the city's rudimentary establishment as a naval base by the
British Royal Navy in 1700s, with the town of Halifax being founded by the
British in 1749. It did not become a city until nearly a century later, with
naval tradition and history already well established.

In the century since the Royal Canadian Navy was founded in 1910, Canadian
sailors have left their home port of Halifax to fight in two world wars, to
patrol our coast and participate in NATO efforts through the Cold War, to
support and fight in anti-terrorism efforts since 9-11 and to aid
humanitarian efforts, among myriad other missions.

That loop of gold braid, known as the executive curl, means a lot. In
addition, MacKay announced the navy will add a new badge to all sailors'
uniforms. The Sea Service Insignia will recognize those who have spent a
cumulative 365 days, or more, at sea.

Unification of the navy, air force and army was discussed and promoted for
several decades before it became reality in 1968 under the Liberal
government of Lester Pearson. The initiative was led by then-defence
minister Paul Hellyer.

The stated aim was to produce a unified defence strategy with a single chain
of command at the top level, respond to continental defence objectives for
North America that were being pushed under NATO and to reduce bureaucratic
redundancies among the three services.

What resulted, instead, was a hostile reaction among the members of the
navy, air force and army from top to bottom, including strong resentment
over losses of identity for the three services.

Hellyer bore the brunt of the criticism, though the integration of the
Forces had also been moved along by his predecessors.

Pearson had advised Hellyer to maintain separate distinctions that would
protect the histories and loyalties among members of the three services. But
the minister pushed ahead with divisive policies, such as a common green
uniform for all Forces members.

Those green uniforms are long gone, replaced by individual uniforms for the
three services. But the history of the navy, including the bitterness that
came from unification, is the reason why that small gold braid is such a big
deal to many navy veterans and current members.

In recognizing the Canadian Royal Navy's role in the critical Battle of the
Atlantic during the Second World War, Rear Admiral Paul Maddison, Commander
Maritime Forces Atlantic, on Sunday paid tribute to the thousands of
Canadian sailors who went to war in the North Atlantic.

By the end of the war, 2,000 sailors and 1,700 merchant mariners had
perished in efforts to keep supply channels open via convoys from North
America to Britain.

"Unlike Vimy, there was no land to hold, no flag to plant, no memorial to
build," Maddison said. "We just went out, did what we needed to do alongside
merchant mariners and we came back, turned around, and we did it again and
again and again."

"We haven't stopped," the admiral noted, in outlining the navy's current
contributions to Canada's defence.

In future, the officers who command Canada's sailors will have one more
thing in common with many of the brave leaders who came before them: a piece
of their naval identity and tradition reflected in a small loop of gold



27th May 2010

Just back from an extended break.

For all you non members, this is the latest missive on the litigation of friend DD and colleagues.




29th May 2010

Just as was predicted in my 3rd May entry [above] I am told that an associate member, a real woman, has now a voice piece on the Ganges Forum to meet and match the other 'girls' [with the specific exception of SOLENT inputs which includes Shep and Smudge] who post their ill thought out  irrational and oft times childish statements to the Forum.  Whilst inputs from ex Ganges WRNS, QARNNS, NAAFI, VAD, RA WIVES would always be welcome for these ladies would be posting from strength based on actual experiences, surely members of the association must feel ill at ease having an upstart female {or should that be ladette ?} interfering in the "hoped for" smooth running of a Forum discussing what are inevitably male topics!  I now hear that some nozzer is recommending that she becomes a full Committee member and claims the Association numbers at reunions are dwindling because of age, cost, distance to travel etc., and that "new blood" like hers,  will somehow 'magic' a panacea for all Association ills.    From my point of view [which I know is shared by many] there is an ounce of truth in his claim, but by far the biggest off-putter to attending Association functions or from joining the Association is the Committee personnel measured over the last six years.  If the Thipthorpe mafia were to be removed in total [that's all, from his spear carriers to his lieutenants] I would rejoin for starters, but as long as there is anybody associated with Thipthorpe remaining in the Association there can never be a secure and sure-footed return to the old type Association and Ganges Spirit, and people like me will stay away.  Finally, why is it so important to have the name Ganges revered beyond a projected year of 2045 {approx} when the last juniors in will be meeting the grim reaper, either manifest in a new ship being given that name or in having young people brought in to stretch the desired perpetuation until they themselves grow too old.  What has Ganges done to deserve this and can it be thought of as a meritorious name/Association like for example the HOOD or the ROYAL OAK Associations whose perpetuations merit all our support and infinitely.  It was a 'school' and only a 'school', for Gods sake, which far from being meritorious was hated by as many as those who loved {or claim to have loved} it.  Some old people are ridiculed by the young [mutton dressed as lamb comes to mind] when they try and put off the inevitability of growing old by face-lifts, hair rinses, other cosmetic surgery etc etc, whereas those [and they are in the majority] who grow old gracefully are respected and more often than not, treated with dignity and understanding of their finite life on earth.  Ganges, by closing in 1976 began the ageing process of ex-boys and the Association, established in 1982 started its ageing process from that date.  We should accept that there will come a time when ALL ex GANGES BOY'S will be 'pushing daises'  and there is really little point of a group of people who meet in the long years ahead to swap stories of what their fathers or grandfathers told them.  Not one of them will have a feel for the subject of HMS Ganges and all will have a different version of what did happen told to them by lamp swinging but well meaning family male members.  By encouraging this so called 'new blood' will not in itself create the perpetuation this nozzer so desires, but it will create a bizarre charade acted out by pathetic "followers".

30th May 2010

It would appear that THIPTHORPE has accused dear old Shep of being addicted to the limelight and without an Association centre-stage image, Shep is just a common loud-mouthed GI 'muck-stirrer' whose mutterings are commensurate with those of the proverbial lower deck lawyer. That, as we all know is THIPTHORPE'S opinion, but we all know that in addition to Shep giving Association members hours of laughs, good fun and good music, he also has raised many relevant and valid points about [and sometimes against] Association Committee matters/members which clearly needed to be said.  Shep had the guts and presence of mind to say what needed to be said, and I for one support him against THIPTHORPE.  I am not on my own on this matter, for I receive possibly more correspondence [letters, 'phone calls, emails] than ever does the Ganges Webmaster, from people who read my websites [plural] and who, by and large, agree with what  I say, though possibly not with the way that I say it.  This correspondence adds to the social meetings I have with naval friends [many of whom are ex Ganges boy's] who voice a fierce and vehement dislike of THIPTHORPE and his mafia.  As THIPTHORPE so aggressively accuses Shep of 'hugging the limelight', then so many many others readily accuse THIPTHORPE of living in the shadow of guilt for his past and has become "driven" thinking that he will 'escape that past' if he could achieve a resolution [or is it to score a point] to the Doyle/Hill issue.  Notwithstanding whether Doyle/Hill are guilty {and because I am not au fait with the past dealings of these men I have no opinion and remain ambivalent until they are proven guilty } it sours the Spirit of Ganges when a member lives out his wakening moments with venom in his heart pre-occupied with destroying a fellow member [or now, ex member].  If Doyle/Hill are to be destroyed {if that is what is needed because of their claimed intransigence}  it should be the job of a competent authority with a normal business-like dispassionate approach.  I am sure that it is so, that all solicitors, lawyers, magistrates, judges put aside their personal opinions of the accused or alleged miscreants, and deal dispassionately with the facts of the case only. The days of Judge Jeffreys are over and I would have thought that THIPTHORPE would have know that - but then again, he is not a solicitor nor will he ever be [again] so why should he know ?  If the hapless Chairman were to conduct a poll as to whether the Association's rank and file approves of a member-on-member assassination {which I will coin a 'membercide'}, legally justified or not, he would be taken aback to learn that the vast majority of members find THIPTHORPE's unnatural liking for this intended kill, reprehensible and nauseating.  Whether on the line or between the lines, all Shep is asking for is proof to back-up THIPTHORPE's claim of a watertight case, a very reasonable request, but THIPTHORPE with his arrogant and "I know best because I am a solicitor {and he bloody well isn't, but when he was, a very poor one - now just a common old clever-dick} takes the high ground, and moreover, seeks to ridicule Shep [unnecessarily and for a cheap gain] for a simple typing mistake he made. Thank God for men like Shep in our organisation, and may the likes of THIPTHORPE and his relatively few hangers-on be soon gone from our midst.  The Ganges Spirit means that we can all swim safely in the same pool.  Until the sharks and piranhas are caught, removed and destroyed, we will never be able to enjoy the manifestations of that much missed Spirit. 

I leave you all with the word "fraternal" which can be simplified as brotherly love: men [brothers] who have suffered or experienced the same hardships, limitations, deprivations, wastages, hopes, aspirations, disappointments, hey days, and everything heterosexual men share without embarrassment belonging to and fighting for a specific naval creed, ship or organisation.  Why is it that Ganges, and only Ganges, has destroyed their fraternisation whilst all other naval Associations are sincere about their fraternity  and show that in their everyday relationships ?

11th June 2010

Recently I asked the English Heritage for a history of the cost of maintaining the Ganges Mast. Today, I received their answer.

The Ganges Mast is very much like HMS Victory in that the vast majority of what can perished over time has perished, and the original we see today [or what we may see in the years ahead] is not or anywhere near the original except in appearance.  Like the Victory, the Ganges Mast is symbolic and as such should be recognised as 'materially' different but spiritually as important as the day it was put there in 1907*, just as we revere the Victory and associate it with 1805 but not necessarily before that time, its first forty years unspectacular and seldom recorded for posterity.  HMS Victory's restoration has been on-going almost continuously since being dragged from her mid harbour anchorage in Portsmouth to No2 Dock [the oldest dock in the world] in 1922, and the cost of that work is astronomical but mitigated because the artisans are dockyard shipwright employees and the cost has always been defrayed as a 'dockyard' budget event largely paid for by the Admiralty. Moreover, it is the Flagship of CinCNAVHOME and therefore a warship fully in commission.

The Ganges Mast parts which are perishable [rope, wire, wood] - the bottom section is made of steel - have had FOUR MAJOR overhaul's since WW2 and each at a goodly cost to the Admiralty, each carried out by the Riggers, Shipwrights and Artisans of Chatham Dockyard.  Thus there is virtually nothing left of many of the original perishable parts.  The much hoped for forthcoming overhaul, this time paid for by Haylink Limited {reputed to be in the region of £150K} and despite the stated preference of the English Heritage which is that all the work should be done in-situ, to be restored in Cornwall.  Haylink claim that the delay in starting the restoration work is that the country as a whole lacks competent Ship Chandler's, but one assumes that the Cornish Company have fulfilled this requirement of capacity and expertise.

There is a clear [and understandable] urgency to have the Mast repaired and re-erected, but there is no evidence that a long term solution to its subsequent upkeep has been addressed.  This major overhaul will be different to any others in that the Mast is now an ornament and not a functional climbing frame which required first and foremost the welfare and safety of those who climbed her.  The old mast had to be strong to support its own static weight and the combined weights of Ganges trainees which varied enormously.  Given that it will never again be climbed [except possibly as a show-case event] there is no good reason why modern materials cannot supplant the perishable items I have previously mentioned, where white plastic, fibreglass, black nylon for example are used in lieu of wood and wire [to reduce its overall weight] thereafter requiring, say, a ten year cleaning cycle which could be done with crane support..  We would have our cherished icon; health and safety would not be an issue; it would provide a desirable backdrop to any development within the old Ganges site, and beyond, the Shotley Peninsular would have its historic [103 years] focal point.  Above all else, the cost of maintaining the Mast would be greatly reduced and the likelihood of the Mast becoming derelict would be almost impossible.

* In my major research page about the history of HMS Ganges from 1866 HMS GANGES on page 17,  I mention and show the original Shotley drawing and plans of the completed HMTE as at 1905 and later, a revised drawing of the HMTE in 1907 after the Mast had been added, with, in both maps, the Giants Stride as a major feature.  The large maps are framed pictures which hang in my naval museum.

In my posting of the 20th February 2010, I told you that the proposed plan of the building of a 'retirement village' on the Ganges site put forward by the developers Haylink Limited,  had been turned down and that there would be no appeal. Well things changed and an appeal will be heard against the local council's decision during the period 22-25 June 2010 after which the fate of the old alma mater will be known. The local council in Ipswich have seen many proposals since HMS Ganges closed in 1976.  Here are a few of them and these in addition to the proposed 'retirement village'.

a.   1978 - permission REFUSED to allow the site to become commercial which would have involved shops, offices, workshops, museum/exhibition hall, sporting and recreational facilities.
b.   1979 - the Admiralty notified the Council that the Mast would be demolished.  The Council OBJECTED and the Mast survived.
c.   1979 - planning permission was GRANTED for change of use to Motor Transport Museum and Boarding School.
d.   1980 - planning permission was GRANTED for recreational and leisure facilities with associated living accommodation for the new owners Eurosports Village.
e.   1982 - planning permission was GRANTED for erection of extension to Gate House.
f.   1985 - planning permission was GRANTED for use of Parade Ground for occasional caravan rallies.
g.   1986 - planning permission was GRANTED for adjacent Shotley Gate Marina [350 berths] to have holiday housing built [130 apartments] and facilities associated with the existing Eurosports Village and proposed retirement community.
h.   1989 - planning permission was GRANTED for the erection of a three storey building for use as a 44 room police accommodation block.

12th June 2010

See also my entry of 3rd May 2010 above.

The following entry {below my introduction} was sent to me by a friend who is aware of my personal circumstances.

Having a property interest on the Panhandle of Florida on the northern Gulf coast and having family who live there, plus the fact that Yankee-bashing is for a tiny group of British cretins who fail to understand the bond and friendship between our two nations at a time when given the chance, most countries in the world would go for the jugular of their neighbours, such is the hostile volatility of the current political scene.  Having such friends [which is reciprocated] is a sure way of survival, and above that, anybody who takes joy in seeing a most beautiful part of the world temporarily destroyed, has to be the bottom end of that group of cretins.  I was tempted to send this to the States where we have friends at Navy Base Pensacola and Air Force Base Fort Walton Beach, but I refrained full well knowing that this cretin is a loner on this point and that my real point of revulsion is that the webmaster has not struck this entry from the record.  By not so doing, is he playing his ambivalent card or condoning card ?  The entry is disgusting, nay, perverted, and people like this should have their right of access to the Forum revoked, and immediately. The entry is verbatim and the spelling, grammar, syntax and punctuation is sic, and yes, also sick. We, the sender of this data and I, did wonder about the inebriated state of this Saltire flying Ganges Association Member, but at 0557 ?   We therefore deduced that as a boy he had suffered from didaskaleinophobia and so didn't attend !

Developer Title
Posts: 48
Joined: 23-02-2009

B P.Letter to AMERICA

After Obamas' outburst on the T. V. yesterday, here is my thaughts. as a way to say thank you for giving us thousand of shit films, comedy shows, and Mcdonalds. Please accept our 20,000,000 gallons of crude oil- we weren't sure whare you wanted it, so we left it just by Louisiana for you. Lots of love   British Public X Angry


13th June 2010

An admiral's gaffe or is it a straight shot in the foot ?

If this is as bad as he says so, why has he not spoken before [even to the point of resignation] and why has he sat back, drawn his pay, full well knowing that these boys were dying in vain when a reaction from him and his colleagues earlier could have brought this to the country's attention, and the killing could have been temporarily halted [and according to him, reduced] until a new 'war' strategy was conceived ? I thought that senior officers in particular were supposed to be apolitical, but this man sounds as though he is a Tory Stooge. 

In the past,  I have received a personal letter from our President, that being in 1979 when he was a lieutenant and the CO of an 'O' Class submarine, concerning my involvement in Lord Louis Mountbatten's Ceremonial Royal Funeral.  Will the Chairman of the Association ask the President, now a resplendent admiral, to write to and make sure that Rear Admiral Parry is fully aware of the feelings of some of the ex Ganges boy's concerning his statement to the media and the anguish it has caused particularly in the needless waste of life which, had he been an honourable man, could have been avoided.  Moreover, we wish to point out that others before him have made personal sacrifices because they were morally obliged to stand-up and be counted against issues which were not in the common interest of the country, although they did not affect men's lives, at least not directly.  In particular he should remind Admiral Parry of this story THE PROMISED TWO NEW AIRCRAFT CARRIERS, a story of honourable admirals in 1966.  Admiral Parry's outburst  is ill timed and not in the best interest of the country or indeed for the many families who have suffered losses in the Afghanistan conflict seemingly in vain.   I believe that his statement is cowardly and that he appears to be blaming the Labour Party [and praising the Tory Party albeit after just a few weeks of office] when the people to blame are the likes of himself and other senior officers at the MOD, irrespective of the Party in power.

UK's Helmand province mission was 'flawed'

Page last updated at 12:37 GMT, Saturday, 12 June 2010 13:37 UK

British marines in Helmand Helmand province has been a hotbed of insurgency in recent years

The approach to the UK's mission in Afghanistan's Helmand province, in 2006, was flawed, according to a senior military officer involved in planning the deployment of troops.

Rear Admiral Chris Parry said Armed Forces leaders had "immature" ideas and had not expected to fight the Taliban.

But the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the decision to deploy UK forces in Helmand followed "careful analysis".

Most of the UK's 294 Afghan fatalities have occurred in Helmand province.

Rear Admiral Parry was the MoD's director-general of development, concepts and doctrine in 2006, and played a major role in talks leading up to the initial deployment of around 3,300 troops to Helmand - a figure which has since increased to about 10,000.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that those in charge of the mission had based their strategy on memories of missions in Borneo, Malaya and Northern Ireland and senior figures showed "considerable" resistance to "ditching the lessons from the past" rather than adopting the "radical and progressive ideas" which were needed.

He told Today: "At the time, I think we had an immature approach to what is now known as counter-insurgency.

"We didn't realise the complexity and the character of the context in which we were going to fight. In fact, we didn't envisage we were going to fight."

Rear Admiral Parry said the new government is "getting it right" in Afghanistan, adding only that "we need to go further".

An MoD spokesman said: "The decision to deploy UK forces to Helmand in 2006 followed careful analysis and comprehensive discussion within the MoD and across government.

'Local deals'

"The new government has made clear that the mission in Afghanistan is imperative for our national security and its commitment to ensure that it succeeds."

Tory backbencher Adam Holloway, a member of the House of Commons Defence Committee, said the UK's strategy in the province had so far been "fatally flawed" and indicated that he expects Prime Minister David Cameron to shift his approach.

He told Today: "The guy's smart and he wants to get it right ...he has just taken over and you don't necessarily declare your hand as soon as you have started."

Mr Holloway also argued that it is time to seek deals with ousted Taliban leaders to pursue a loose form of local governance.

"The truth is that we have got to bring the people who lost in 2001 - as much of the hardcore Taliban as possible - into the political process and we have got to make a series of local deals with tribal leaders to get them to stop fighting and we have to bring the regional powers on board."

He said the al-Qaeda terror network's presence in Afghanistan had been smashed, and the task now was to separate mainstream Muslim communities from radicals.

20th June 2010

More porkie-pies on the Ganges Forum!

This time about Halifax Nova Scotia and the Booze Laws/Restrictions - although they were indeed restrictive.

The first and most important point about buying alcohol in Nova Scotia Liquor Stores [Halifax, Dartmouth wherever] which were the ONLY places where booze could be purchased outside drinking holes {Taverns - men only} or cocktail bars with the ladies, was that one had to have a residential address and be a bonafide resident in the Province. That, unless you were an RA [Rationed Ashore] on an accompanied draft, ruled OUT RN personnel from getting a ALCOHOL PERMIT/LICENCE.  Moreover, since the majority of men accompanied when serving in the Sixth Submarine Squadron based on Halifax were senior rates or officers, few junior rates had the privilege of buying booze from these Government Sponsored Liquor Stores.  The PERMIT/LICENCE was issued to the parent ship/submarine for the RA Members only, and when one presented the PERMIT at the point of purchase, the Liquor Store Official asked the presenter of the PERMIT for his RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. This was then  checked against the number on the PERMIT before the purchase was allowed to go through.  My nominated Liquor Store was Number 54 [in Oxford Street, the nearest store to my home address which was Pepperell Street in Halifax] and if it was closed then I went without a drink in my home.  Before that, in 1963, my first assigned Liquor Store {first Liquor Permit}  was No 101 in Young Street.

This is my second PERMIT front and back.

First the back.......


Just take note of those rules above which are on the back of the PERMIT. The story on the 'proper Ganges Forum' of a person getting three bottles of spirits and then denied a crate of beer is rubbish.  Irrespective of having ID [passport, RN Identity Card, driving licence etc]  he would not have been able to make ANY PURCHASE without a Canadian Nova Scotia LIQUOR PERMIT, and the contraceptive story.......well, "that does take the biscuit" for a lamp swinging story !

The allowance was NEVER restricted [at least in the period 1963-1965] and there were times when we threw parties in our home when I had purchased several bottle of spirits, wines and beer for the occasions.  The laws were made to get the drunken louts off the streets who, in the early days, could leave a downtown drinking hole and continue home swigging from bottles. The laws were not designed to be party-poopers or to dissuade social drinking which I can assure you was an integral party of Canadian life, and good it was. 

As for Royal Naval Personnel stationed in Halifax [but not for RN ship visits] there was a NATO ruling on privileges and concessions which was also available to other non-Canadian based personnel chiefly USN personnel.  We [including our wives] were granted automatic driving licences [without tests]; granted Canadian child allowance at a time when back in the UK it was only given to second and subsequent children but not the first born; and a whole range of tax exempt [that is central Government tax and Nova Scotia tax] and when not that, an extremely generous discount on just about every conceivable article imaginable. For all types of booze for example, the discount was a whopping 66% which led to some good parties. In the example below, on the 12th September 1963, I made a modest purchase of just two bottles of Johnnie Walker [Red] whisky.  Note the discount and that my receipt shows that it was a NATO purchase.  Note also the breakdown of the fantastic discount viz: Nato $4.02 - PNR {Permanent Naval Resident} $3.72 and Halifax Tax £0.39 totalling $8.13.  On the 'name' line, "RS" was my rate in Submarine Auriga, namely the Radio Supervisor.

......and then the front NAME: G DYKES  ADDRESS: HMS AURIGA Hfx [meaning Halifax]



As for Stadacona - HMCS [the local RCN Barracks - equivalent to HMS Drake for example] wherein lived our submarine crews which were not accompanied, one of the common complaints by our junior rates was that, in accordance with the punitive restriction of booze to be found ashore, the RCN also looked down on too much merriment when onboard in their barrack or ships for that matter.  Going to Bermuda, as we so often did and to the Canteen on the hill at  Ireland Island, was a real treat for our crew because there they could let their hair down, whilst back in Halifax it wasn't the best draft for an unaccompanied person unless you were invited "up homers".

When all is said and done, Nova Scotia means 'New Scotland' and many of its rules were set by the puritan Scot's.  I well remember my time in Faslane [and for that matter across in Rosyth] on a Sunday when all the pubs were shut - dreadful!  Fortunately, in the Compound at  Faslane, years before all the buildings created HMS Neptune, we had a throbbing canteen which 'heaved' on Sundays as much as it did on any other day. The English got things right !!

30th June 2010
An event during HM visit to Canada arriving in Halifax Nova Scotia.

Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2010 19:56:57 +0000


Subject: The Queen unveils new Navy $1 Circulation Coin


Andy, if you're having trouble viewing this e-mail, please click here.
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16th July 2010

As widely forecast, the Association Full Members are reducing in number, and as long as Thipthorpe and his followers remain in pole position the reductions will remain and probably increase.

At this point, the net loss is 201 Members.  That is a lot of ex boys or ex juniors most of whom 'voted with their feet', with a small number who have unfortunately CTB !

I also draw your attention to this paragraph from the Minutes of the June 2010  Meeting

"17.  Benevolent Fund

Alan Evison is a caseworker for SAAFA.  He explained what he does at SAAFA and how it could potentially benefit the Association.  In the Navy there is only one benevolent fund available from the RNA.  The army have individual funds for each regiment.  With the size of our association is this something that we should be looking into?   Martin informed the committee that to differentiate individual needs is extremely difficult.  Discussion took place regarding this and it was agreed that this needs more debate as this is a route that has been looked into previously, but obviously not in depth."

Whilst I do not doubt his sincerity or call his expertise into question [indeed, I admire him for doing such a worthwhile job] I know of two SSAFA Caseworkers, both of whom say that they "do not use the RNA anymore because they rarely give grants nowadays.  The best chance of a grant [or cash help] is from the RNBT."

However, my point is that the statement made says that  ....."In the Navy there is only one benevolent fund available from the RNA." I wonder whether that is the case ?


26th July 2010

Good evening.  This is a file all in the Ganges Association should read.  It strikes deep into the heart of the PROBLEMS the Association has [and will have, unless THIPTHORPE and his 'gang' are manacled and put where all disgraced navy men used to go, to Colchester Correction Centre and thereafter, discharged as SNLR] - but however interpreted, out of the Association.  The article [sic] is signed by a man with an education, and I know that many people in the Association hold high THIPTHORPE as a beacon of a Ganges boy who did well.  Whilst I have never stated it, there are many of us ex Ganges boys' who have far better qualifications than THIPTHORPE could ever have {and that includes me} and did infinitely better than he did in a civilian career, and more importantly, with honest  endeavour. We can, and do, hold our heads high. I commend this article to you, with an added plea for you all to rise up, see the wrong being done to your Association, vote with your feet, and above all else oust the current Committee and Officers of the Ganges Association to clear the ground for a re-think and a re-start.  I have always been taught, even before I joined the navy but hammered home by the navy, that respect is earned, and one cannot possibly look up to anyone who doesn't deserve respect.  Thipthorpe is an example of a man which all aspiring decent men should avoid in that his example in life is not one to admire, and is certainly one which should not be followed except by those who share his modus operandi with others, and especially here, when the others are ex Ganges boys', the overwhelming numbers of which are decent, moral, honest and law abiding men.

The various triangular[1].htm

3rd August 2010

Whilst I understand that some in the Association are still awaiting the arrival of their copy of the Gazette, I have now received no fewer than three copies, all relayed to me by my good friends in the Association.

I suppose that like all Associations, the Chairman's page is important because it covers [or should cover] a great deal of material . Whether it did or not is subjective, but for me, upon seeing the 'Ganges Classic' [for it is repeated by all in authority including the Editor although of course exempting the President on every occasion of going to print] I read what followed,  lamenting the ignorance of the Association's front office.

So Mr Editor, in response to the entry bottom left hand corner of page 15, please delete the R.N., after the President's name.  An admiral DOES NOT have R.N., after his name.

See also my entry of the 3rd April on the same subject.

3rd August 2010 - Second Posting


For Remembrance Day 2006, I, John Eilbeck and Tugg Willson all of the Solent Division attended the Cenotaph Service in Whitehall and marched with the Ganges Association.  At a subsequent Solent monthly meeting, and when "any other business" was called by the Chairman Smudge Smith, I voiced my utter displeasure at the way some in the Ganges Association had behaved on that most solemn of all occasions.

The forming-up on Horse Guards Parade was a happy event and there was much banter, chiefly as I was to learn, from Members of the West London Division none of whom I knew. There was also the use of flasks by all around us which isn't all that unreasonable given the time of year and the long wait before marching onto Whitehall.  As in all things of this nature, if there was an abuse, it was carried out by a tiny minority and the matter is really of no significance.

On arrival in Whitehall, that happy bantering mood continued, and yes, the flasks were in evidence which could obviously be seen by the crowds there to pay their respects and they were measured in hundreds, four to five deep on the pavements.

The problems and outrageous behaviour started when alongside our platoon marched Members of the War Widows Association.  This had many attractive young women amongst its Membership, many I suspect, having lost husbands recently in Iraq/Afghanistan and other places of course.  The West London Members started to "chat-up" some of these women and they were clearly embarrassed and I suspect annoyed, for they were there for a honourable reason of great personal sadness to them.  The innuendo was overt and I believe disgusting.  Just behind my marching position was General Peter de la Billière the former Commander-in-Chief of the SAS, there in the St Dunstan Association pushing a wheelchair in which sat a blind old soldier. I was thoroughly ashamed and vowed never to march again with the Ganges lot. 

The march past was un-eventful, led by an ex boy who was not an ex GI whose name I do not recall.  As we approached Parliament Square and there turned right heading for Horse Guards Approach Road just before Birdcage Walk, some began singing "we're a shower of bastards..." and I was appalled.  That stopped before we turned right on the Approach Road.  That day, the Salute was taken by HRH The Princess Royal and her husband Captain Timothy Laurence Royal Navy.  As we passed the entrance to the Old War Rooms, the song again began to be sung only this time by more Members and rather louder, and as we passed the Mountbatten Statue on Foreign Office Green, just yards from the Saluting Dais and I dearly hope out of ear shot of Her Royal Highness, the singing stopped - however, the singing would have been heard by many witnessing the ceremony lined along the pavements.  The march past proper and the saluting was smart and pukker, but the return to the parade ground and the dispersal saw many 'jack mi tickler tape' louts go their several ways, some I understand back to the West London HQ's where no doubt they patted themselves on the back thinking that they had represented HMS Ganges in a just and fitting way.  They were wrong, dramatically so.

On subsequent Remembrance Parades, Tugg and I marched with the RNCA [Royal Naval Communicators Association] and at a later time at the invite of John Eilbeck, with the Yangtse Incident Association, an Association which proudly represented many ships involved at that time in China.

Like the vast majority of marching units, they did it with reverence, dignity and due purpose: the Ganges Association quite literally, insulted the occasion.

P.S. I am reliably informed by more than one person that the leader on this occasion and instigator of much of what was inauspicious was an ex Chief Stoker.


3rd August 2010 - Third Posting

A missive from Dickie Doyle [sic]


Gentlemen of Shotley,

What has happened to the friendly old Ganges Association, now it seems under the control of a despot and his acolytes and it would appear the main object of their being is to squander the remainder of the funds so diligently accrued by the few who gave their time and effort over the previous 25 years of dedicated service and clever stewardship to build up such funds, i.e. reunion monies deposited in a high yield treasurers account (now closed by the un-enlightened) paying several percent above bank rate, in addition not holding unnecessary meetings. With the one’s held at minimum of expense. In addition carrying out most of the mundane tasks themselves without the need engage fee earners to perform these often simple tasks, what ever is required - there is out there somewhere a Ganges Boy or sibling with the necessary skills, willing and able to undertake such tasks!

When reunions were for the ‘Boys’ to meet up with their old class/mess mates or even on the odd occasion old ships or maybe on occasions, their instructor, to mostly swing the lamp and enjoy a glass of what ever beverage that suited their taste – not to sit around for long periods the Saturday evening and listen to the high and mighty pontificate on their progress though life.

Great joy could be had by just walking down the chalet lines at Pakefield on a sunny Saturday afternoon to, see and listen to the reunioneers sitting around the tables etc with cans and/or bottles being consumed, just listen to the conversation or sit in the restaurant at meal times and see the joy on the face of a passing individual with his tray who suddenly spots an old mate – now this is what reunions are all about!

Remember lads we all started from Boy 2nd Class or its equivalent - with the ships cat senior to us – there are one or two exceptions – to what ever we have achieved today – we are all immensely proud of our humble beginnings and our days at Shotley where the one thing we quickly learned was to look after each other – not attempt to persecute and destroy!

Boys, will not call you Gentlemen again, it is high time the sanity returned, whilst we still have a few bob left in the funds, these seem to have been depleted by some 62% (published figures greatly inflated by two bequests running into some £25,000.00 or more) in the last two years all, not helped by the staggering loss at the Sinah Warren gathering of some £20,345.00 – unbelievable, costly error with no one being taken to task – when after some 25 years of reunions each showing a profit – some larger than others – in addition the main funds increasing each year from 1986 until 2006 from a minus figure in ’86 to £118, 2007 (without any reunion money) now standing at some £50,000.00 (true figure less the £25k)if the figures published are to be believed – it is unbelievable that so few can destroy so much in such a short time.

We are not in this epistle to sing our own praises – but and there is always a but – should anyone wish to know the time and effort put in over some 25 years or so go to

Our efforts are here for all to see, the mast still stands albeit in rather a poor state and we have one of the finest museums for a single ship, towards this we put in little or no physical effort mostly due to time and distance, just made certain the necessary funds were available when required.

Dickie Doyle (Ganges 1948-50) Geoff Hill (Ganges 1951)


4th August 2010

I have just been reading a book by Thomas Carlyle called SARTOR RESARTUS.  Thomas Carlyle [below] was a famous Scottish satirical writer essayist and historian and lived from 1795 until 1881 when he died in London. SARTOR RESARTUS was his most famous book and dates from the early 1830's period. I came across this quote which seems to be so relevant for the HMS Ganges Association FORUM.

"To descend into an angry noisy FORUM with an argument that cannot but exasperate and divide......"

How true is that, and the division is manifest.

A Forum can be used in two ways SIMPLEX and DUPLEX. The Ganges Association uses SIMPLEX where everything happens in one medium [on one frequency as it were] namely the Ganges website, supplemented by personal emails . The DUPLEX way is that used here on my website where people read my page on the WWW and then communicate with me by emails, thus using two mediums [two frequencies]. I prefer the latter for I can impose a filter [a band-stop filter] to shut out those I consider to be crude, vulgar and confrontational.  Be it known that I receive more emails than I can really cope with, though I do!  The very word FORUM, whilst readily understood to be a public meeting or discussion house, can also mean in the case of the Ganges Association:-

6th August 2010 - my 48th wedding anniversary: after we were married we went to Canada for two years in the 6th Submarine Squadron based on Halifax Nova Scotia.

To keep you up to date, herewith [an on-holiday bulletin] a missive from the Ganges Association Chairman to the Ganges Forum. This was sent to me by several people - many thanks to you.

Subject: Forum
 In my last statement I announced the committee had granted, at Mr Woolley’s request, time for him to make contact with Mr Doyle and to act as a mediator to obtain the relevant documents to make the imminent court order unnecessary.  The committee agreed a dead line of the 31st July 2010.

The package I received on Saturday the 31st July from Mr Woolley was immediately re-routed at the first opportunity to Mr. Thipthorpe by registered post on Monday the 2nd August. 

Unfortunately, the package only contained a personal letter from Mr Woolley to me and a copy of two letters sent from Mr Doyle to Mr Woolley.  There were no documents whatsoever as described in the Court Order of 19 June, 2009, full details of which were given to Mr Woolley by Mr Thipthorpe at the outset.  Had the copy of those two letters been sent directly to Mr Thipthorpe as was expected, this statement could have been provided earlier.

 I have been accused of giving misinformation in the past.  I do not believe this to be true; however, if I have done so, it has been unintentional and I genuinely apologise.  My intention has been solely to keep members abreast of developments.  Like most of you, I am a lay member having to interpret as best I can the legal reports supplied to me.

We are grateful for Mr Woolley's attempt to assist in resolving this dispute.  We have also noted the condition of Mr Doyle’s health.  In view of this, we have written to Mr Hill, who is Mr Doyle's co-defendant, asking him to relieve Mr Doyle of the duty to disclose and to personally ensure that the terms of the Order of June 2009 are swiftly complied with. 

 George H Maxfield

Chairman HMS Ganges Association


9th August 2010

Picture sent to me of many [if not all] ex Ganges Boy's.  Any takers. Group taken 1962-64 period and consists of sparkers from HMS Caesar and HMS Tiger.


I know so many of  these killick's faces,  but can't name them except for Peter McKenna full career CRS RCI front right, and Pat Garrett [my fellow class mate in the Main in 352 Class 12 Mess Rodney, third from left.

10th August 2010


Seafarers UK

 is the new name for King George’s Fund for Sailors, which has been helping seafarers since 1917. It is an umbrella organisation that awards grants to other maritime charities.

How we work

Seafarers UK is an umbrella charity that gives grants to other charities. If you work for a charity that helps seafarers or ex-seafarers your organisation may qualify for a grant from Seafarers UK. By seafarer we mean someone who is, or once was, in the Royal Navy, Merchant Navy or fishing fleets. We also give grants to charities that help seafarers’ families, including widows and children.

This is their website :   Seafarers


11th August 2010

Fleming ? can he possibly be a proper ex Ganges Junior when he went to Ganges in 1970.....come on now, get real ! It is accepted that the further we go back into the history of Ganges, the tougher it becomes, so that a boy entering this establishment in say, 1947, had it much tougher than I had entering in 1953.  By 1970, that toughness [relatively speaking] had evaporated and it had become [relatively speaking] a 'holiday camp'.  In 1970 they had long ago stopped playing reveille and 'campers' were wakened by an instructor with a cup of tea to the call of Hi-de-Hi which was played on the 'dot' at 0830 but not on weekend days - that was 1030 or thereabouts.

In view of Flemings recent outburst on the Association Forum when he insults the dignity of ill health and the universal support human beings give to one another in times of concern, especially where surgery is the only course for relief, in this case the dilemma now facing Dickie Doyle and his loved ones, I have decided to amend my acronym published on the 4th August 2010 to:-


Fleming, whoever or whatever you are, you and your cohorts are Moron's, pure and simple.


15th August 2010


20th August 2010


Rule 3, a, [i] - Why have certain members of the ships company of HMS Ganges been debarred from becoming full Members of the Ganges Association ?

I am not suggesting that the fine and cultured ladies of the NAVAL VAD  and the QARNNS would want to join such a rag-bag uncouth outfit, but for the education of the Committee, these ladies were UNIFORMED PERSONNEL and for all pragmatic reasons, full Members of the Ships Company. They were not WRNS [as is often thought by ill informed part time royal sailors] and if WRNS are included, so too should these ladies.  In addition to this comment, wouldn't the long time Ganges service of men like Mr Fisk be eligible to join as FULL Members ?

Rule 3, c, [iii]

Why then is THIPTHORPE meddling in LEGAL ACTIONS against Mr Doyle and Mr Hill ?  This rules specifically forbids his to do so !

20th August 2010 [2]

An input by ex Boy Seaman Bernie Corrie, Blake Division 5 Mess, 1951.

From the webmaster. The title BOY ceased to be used in 1956 and was supplanted by the title JUNIOR.


21st August 2010


One of England's greatest men, indeed, for plain and obvious reasons [unless you are an out and out Bible Old Testament bigot] one of the world's greatest men, said this of Australia.


Farewell Australia

You are a rising infant and doubtless someday will reign a great princess in the south

But you are too great and ambitious for affection

Yet not great enough for respect

I leave your shore without sorrow or regret


 Charles Darwin, HMS Beagle, March 1836

21st August 2010 [2]

Sad, no Pompey win, but then again, good old Leeds beating that London rubbish called Millwall !

That said, what about this silly 'boy' [he was a Junior in real life and right at the end of the Ganges period] - JUNIOR  I should imagine in every description.  I don't think that he was born when I joined the navy and his parents would have been in the latter stages of their formal education in 1953.  If anybody wants to accuse me in the same ilk, i.e., they joined in 1936, bring it on for I will readily admit that I too was a mere boy compared with you. 

Spread WHAT ? Spread our BAD NAME around the globe, is that what he means ?  It has to be that !  What other name does the Association have right now because of him and his fellow destructors ?

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  I have to agree with Doug


I have to agree with Doug and Jayne. (No I am not ill)

Anyone wearing our badge or tie wears it with pride and memory of our lost ones.  It also spreads our name across the world.

Lee Fleming Ganges August 1970 19 Rec.




30th August 2010

A definition of the Association's so-called Legal Representative expressed in an Acronym.  For those without a proper dictionary near to hand [not a concise dictionary but preferably the OED] I have explained some of the words used. One has to bear in mind that his name is rather long and the letters not easily given to an acronym which best describes him. The first five letters are read as a group with the remaining letters having gaps between them and read as one-off statements. Because it is an acronym, licence is given to mix and match types of words, so nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, etc are thrown into the melting pot.

Name, letter by letter Acronym Explanation if necessary of word used
T This -
H Haughty -
I Impervious Impossible to get through to - a divider e.g., stops water getting from one area to another and stops the Association becoming as one again by intentionally keeping them divided.
P Pompous -
T Treacher Treacherous, devious, untrustworthy
H Hugger-Mugger Hyphenated word. Surrounded by secrecy and confusion
O Obfuscator Something or somebody who darkens or obscures
R Raffish A disreputable, or vulgar or low person
P Pachydermatous Meaning, being or becoming thick-skinned {PACHYDERM} like a mammal or animal. "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" and they should, because the words are telling him to stop destroying the Ganges Association, for surely, that is just what he and his 'gang' are doing.
E Execration Of curses and expressions of intense hatred for a thing or a person - abominable. His preoccupation of destroying Mr Doyle and Mr Hill comes to mind.

OR..........for GC Boy's who can't cope with long words and no pictures, what about


3rd September 2010

Just a thought for the day !

Sunday 5th September 2010.....and yet another lovely day here in the East.

There are many quotes and wise-sayings to be used for virtually all or any events/occurrences. Today, I turn my thoughts to the Ganges Association and in particular to the well established practice of the bosses and the led, viz Committee Members juxtaposed with the Ordinary Members. Given that we all have dreams and therefore we are dreamers [most of the Ordinary Members dream one day of a sustainable revival of the Association as was a few years ago], this quote is particularly relevant.  I leave you to decide who are the 'vain' and who are the 'dangerous' adding only the expletive attributive "bloody", to the word dangerous.

QUOTE All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible. UNQUOTE

T. E. Lawrence, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom"
British soldier (1888 - 1935)


8th September 2010

A couple of drawings by a pre WW2 Ganges Boy of a GANGES GUARD.

9/11 !  God Bless Their Memory.

From REAL GANGES PEOPLE, the SOLENT DIVISION comes this email, Bob being the Division's Secretary. A hearty BZ and concurrence.

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2010 7:42 PM
Subject: FW: The Truth lets HOPE ((Perhaps in Vain) Will out

Gentlemen, Here we go again but "Shep" has really got his teeth into this now, please support him. At least HE is TRYING to get the matter OUT IN THE OPEN and he IS FORCING THE ISSUE and I firmly believe we have our KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOUR.
Regards, Bob

Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2010 18:20:08 +0100
Subject: The Truth lets HOPE ((Perhaps in Vain) Will out


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By sheppo - 08/09/2010 - 14:56

I have no idea if we know eachother - but everything you say is right
Gentlemen - this is no time for wrapping in - now is a time for digging in  - As Lee says we have waited  too long for an answer and I do believe that they really have no answer - and NO PROOF . Its not DD who is holding out -he's in the hospital - its they who say GUILTY but with no eveidence -  Its the ones who tell porkies and then are allowed to get away with em . And then deny what they have said irrespective of the proof.
It seems to matter no one jot - that I, on behalf of all of you (except Pedlar) continually ask for evidence -
And the Chairman and Mr T - say nothing
I ask how much has it cost  
 And the Chairman and Mr T - say nothing
I asked on Friday afternoon at Liverpool who gave permission for MR T to engage a barrister - MR Parker said "Not I"  MR Jackson said "Not I" The Chairman was there when I asked the question of both committee members - When I asked Mr T at the AGM - he held a piece of paper on high for all the assembled members to see and said it contained the signatures and permission of MR J and Mr P - They said nowt -  and neither did the Chairman who had witnessed their denials                                                                 
I asked the Chairman why he did not intervene - he said   " I can't think on my feet- that fast"
Mr Jackson wrote to me a letter of apology
Mr Parker said nothing - Ironically enough the paper that Mr T held high - was bogus and held no signatures - it could have been a gas bill - I asked to see it - He (Mr T ) told me "NO"   evidently the piece of paper was just to illustrate what a piece of paper looked like.
( I have aired the above so many times and no one seems to be bothered that it was a lie and dishonest and was perpetrated by the very people who are accusing DD for lieing and being dishonest) - So thoughts please
I aksed the same questions at Leicester and the Chairman allowed Mr T to  fob me off again -
Pedlar they won't tell you and won't sort it out - because they have nothing to say - and its too far down the line to just draw a line -
If its to be cleared - as Steve says - it's apologies  and Mr Doyles Money to be paid & then hope Mr Doyles family do not press for  damages -  although I do think that wouldbe personal rather than the assocaition' Some of the insults have been disgusting  and its all been in public on this forum  - so you can't say a big boy made me do it
On the other hand if I am wrong - I ask once more  lets see the proof  from the committeee - 
- have you ever noticed that  treasuer at the time  who agreed the books and the finance   is never  questioned -   I asked him once at Uxbridge - he told me He was acting in good faith - so thats alright then. I believed him - 
Stuart Turner from Stafford wrote a good account on the forum and was shouted down - 200 people signed a petition at pakefield  - most  of them paid up Ganges associaton members - have the committe responded - Ho HO
Why not ? -  Because they sent the letter from Pakefield -
The Chairman does not recognise them although  they are members - we are short of money - you read it in the gazette  - If those 200 decide to pack in its another 2K down in finance - but it seems not to matter to the Chairman and we/you/ the membership are never told such things 
 So before Pedlar says let the poor committee sort it out -  maybe the poor committee could start acting for the good of the whole association - and just tell us simply what they know already & what they intend to do next.
Nice to hear from you Martin - I'll keep the lovebite on hold !

Shep Woolley 1960

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By beansy - 08/09/2010 - 16:55

Thanks Shep ..... Lets hope everyone now BELIEVES YOU >>>