POST ARCHIVING REPUBLISH

POST ARCHIVING REPUBLISH

Hello, and I should really say Hello Again, specifically in relation to all the many files taken off-air for archiving since the August/September period of 2015.

You may be pleased to learn that the archiving has now completed [December 2016], and more importantly, that because of popular demand, those files are now going back on air.

Not all files were taken down, with a steady 600 + stories remaining extant throughout [that was after a culling which saw the end to near on 200 stories which I have since used on my other sites], but what were, and are now to be reinstated, cover the following main topics, some in great detail:-

a.  the HERBERT LOTT story

b.  Files on Malta

c. The story of the naval warrant officer, approximately from the time of the Glorious First of June, until 1983 when I left the service after having been a quasi-warrant officer for seven years.  I say 'quasi' because my title was 'fleet chief' and it took upwards of seventeen long years before Their Lordships decided that it wasn't a quasi-rate but a real rate, and added a little dignity to the individual wearing the Royal Coat of Arms.  Did it really matter?  Yes, and for me personally on three occasions. The first time [which covered several occasions] was in the U.S.A, on naval visits incorporating shore accommodation, when our flag-admin insisted upon telling our American friends that the manifest included 1 rear admiral, 1 commander, 4 lieutenant commanders and three warrant officers. On arrival, with the exception of the admiral, we were all accommodated in the wardroom because in the USN, a warrant officer is a commissioned rank far removed from an enlisted man. Time after time, right across the USA and up and down its many coastal bases, we had to explain that we were considered to be warrant officers across our side on the pond, but for cross-referencing [known as Equivalent Ranks], we were enlisted men and rated as MCPO [Master Chief Petty Officers] to be billeted in the Chief's Mess.  At the time of Lord Mountbatten's royal ceremonial funeral in 1979, we, the coffin bearers party consisted of 1 officer, 3 CPO's plus others, all junior rates, were relocated from Portsmouth to London to continue our training in situ.  This is what the RSM of the Second Battalion of Scots Guards billeted upon Chelsea Barracks was told, and he and his men would be the main street liners stationed in the Mall and across Horse Guards Parade out on to Whitehall. Eventually, whilst enjoying each others company, it was revealed that he was junior to me having been promoted to WO1 in 1977 and as the RSM at the beginning of 1979, and he was surprised that I was noted as one of the 3 listed CPO's, stating that could never happen in the army. Incidentally the other two chiefs were both CRS's namely N.E. Davies and D. Timmington, both of who were dressed as seamen in square rig acting as coffin bearers. Finally, but now very much tongue in cheek, I note that the qualifications for becoming a full member of the RNCCA [Royal Naval Communication Chiefs Association] have been rewritten wef September 2016. There is a sizable list of who qualifies, and an equally long list for those who can lay claim to becoming an associate member. The lists are precise, detailed and pukker, but quite surprisingly there is no mention of the FCPO rate on either. In our time, we were never called or addressed as warrant officer, and the vast majority of the early promotions left the service with FCPO on their discharge papers, quasi-warrant officers to the last.  However, I always explained away the rationale of my title which was well received and fully understood by most. During my time as the Standing-Officer-of-the-Watch in HMS Mercury we were visited by Lord Louis Mountbatten. During one of these visits he asked me about my job, my rate and my love [or otherwise] for the service - Lord Louis could be very direct!  Spontaneously, I gave him my spiel and said:- "Well Sir. An admiral of the FLEET [emphasised] is top-dog of the upper deck and the Royal Navy.  It is perhaps fitting therefore that a top-dog of  the lower deck also has in his title the word FLEET [emphasised].  Since you Sir, transcend all admirals, then I too transcend all CPO's to become top-dog of the lower deck, and I can live with that.  My captain smiled [I think] and Lord Louis pondered a while - then saying nothing, nodded his head as wise men are known to do,  satisfied that I was as happy as can be with my lot and that I had answered his question succinctly. This story in three separate parts, was recently removed from the site, but is now reinstated and appears in its former slot, namely on the PORT SIDE of the site.

d. the Communications Branch per se

e. HMS GANGES

For those of you who never saw the original files, please read and I hope you learn and enjoy some of them.

For others, if you can remember, there are changes in some areas but the stories are essentially the same.

The warrant officers story is as much about the navy as it is about a group of  middle-managers. It has been much used as a reference source by many, individuals and organisations.

All sections of the GANGES files are of interest, some, particularly page 15 of the HMS GANGES story, is a study in history which you shouldn't miss! This story, above all others, has been a much used reference source, and to some it is heavy going, whilst for many more, a study aired on a subject never before told or researched and much appreciated, if not overdue: it was written and first published about twelve years ago in 2005. Sadly, much of what people know about Shotley has come down the route of lamp-swinging by wild assertions of personal bravado and so-called feats of achievements transcending the ramblings even of people like Walter Mitty. The true story of Ganges has been ignored by the establishment which is geared, like it or not, to tell the naval story notwithstanding, from the officers point of view. Boys, for very obvious reasons, were at the bottom of the pile, socially and navy-wise, and as long as the conveyor belt ran smoothly and boys dropped off the end into a ship, paper records were not necessary, or, if they were kept at all, of no importance to posterity and were routinely destroyed without account when time expired. The beauty of history, in whatever form, is that it never expires, indeed it grows and is nurtured for our benefit: not so unfashionable past events, which cannot be classed as history, although in certain cases artefact remains when infrastructure and documentation has perished.

Inevitably, because many pages were written years ago, there will be those which you may consider irrelevant and out of date. Bear with it/them for the total sum of the site has many internal links, so by cancelling a page, I run the risk of dropping important links and signposts data to data. Thanks.

As far as is possible given the sometimes overspill of subject matter from one story to another, I have grouped the five subjects separately in the following list,  colour-coded for ease of recognition starting with HMS Ganges assigned the colour green.

Green HMS GANGES RED MALTA BLUE HERBERT LOTT ORANGE COMMUNICATION BRANCH PURPLE WARRANT OFFICERS




 
1.   GANGES MAST 1042 SATURDAY 11TH JULY 2009
2.   MY HMS GANGES CAPTAIN
3.   HMS GANGES AND THE PLAGUE
4.   THE HEALTH OF THE NAVY IN 1936 - of general interest
5.   BOREDOM CAN DO FUNNY THINGS   - of general interest
6.   THOSE WHO HAVE PASSED THROUGH THE GATES OF HMS GANGES - of general interest
7.   THE DARKER SIDE OF HMS GANGES
8.   HMS_GANGES.htm
9.    ../GANGES MY GOODBYE1.htm
10.   GANGES BOYS - DEATH THROUGH MISADVENTURE
11.   GANGES AND SHOTLEY NAVAL BURIAL GROUND - of general interest
12.   GANGES COMPENDIUM 1
13.       HMS GANGES MAST3.wmv     Speakers required for some parts of the animation. You can benefit by speeding up the assembly and disassembly of the mast by pulling on the 'play progress bar' which ordinarily slowly moves left to right during the play period, but be careful so as not to miss other detail requiring default speed, i.e., the text parts and the music. Good luck!

I realise that I have over-egged the picture showing the devils elbow and the climbing-route for boy's routine training. I have made another little animation which addresses that point or error shown just below. Watch the dotted line route the boy's took in the animation below in 13,  followed by the continuous flashing  line. They climbed to and through the top [note not the top of the mast,  but the area of the mast known as the top - see diagram] back to ground level and safety. For those that didn't like heights or were adversely affected by vertigo, it could be a frightening experience.  However, unlike some aspects of training one didn't pass or fail the challenge, nor could a refusal [or a rescue from a failed attempt] affect the progress of one's training e.g., being back-classed to cover that training module over again in a new class behind your curricular-timing.  Swimming on the other hand had to be achieved at all costs, and non-swimmers had a hard time fitting in backward-swimmers training sessions in their own time, usually very early in the mornings but often twice a day. Not being able to swim could result in a back-classing, and although eventually a non-swimmer completed his shore basic training and was drafted to a sea-going ship, his promotion chances were zero until he mastered the skill. Obviously, he was also a potential threat to his fellow ship-mates, for should the vessel sink, they would be almost duty bound to save his life. Hardly the 'spirit' of naval camaraderie 
when [begging forgiveness for the pun],  we are all in the same boat, and were expected to pull our weight for the good of all.  Dying by falling from the MAST whilst in training = one; dying in the swimming pool whilst learning to swim in training = more than one!

 

14.   THE GRAVE OF BOY FIRST CLASS A.A. KING d.1901
15.   THE CORRUPTION OF DATA CONCERNING HMS GANGES.htm
16,   HMS GANGES' MEMORIAL AT THE NATIONAL ARBORETUM.html
17,   The National Memorial Arboretum and the Ganges Memorial.html  - Note.  I had underestimated the wind noise on the cameras microphone during the filming on this page. You will find it annoying. I suggest that whilst viewing this page you turn your speakers off, conscious that you will need it for other pages!
18.   HMS_GANGES_snippet_first_mast_at_shotley.html
19.   HMS Ganges and after! My first career.htm
20.   GANGES SNIPPETS FROM NATIONAL NEWSPAPERS1.htm
21.   HMS GANGES AS TOLD IN NEWSPAPERS.html
22.   GODFREY_WINN.htm - of general interest
23.   HMS GANGES ANIMATED TOUR (2012_11_19 20_20_07 UTC).gif  Two points to mention here. First, to allow you to read all in the introductory start page, the start is slow so bear with it. Second, for those with a keen eye and local knowledge, you will see that I have misspelled the name of  a local town to which shore leave was granted [occasionally] namely Dovercourt. I have put Dovercoat. Many apologies.
24.   BOYS TRAINING IN THE LAST HALF OF THE 19TH CENTURY.html
25.   ANCIENT MARINER.gif
26. BOY 1st CLASS KING'S GRAVE STONE.swf
27. GANGES_MAST_ROBBED_OF_PROMISED_MONEY.html - of general interest
28.  GANGES TRAINING - WITHOUT THE MYTHS !.htm - of general interest
29.   CLICK HERE TO SEE SOME VERY OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF HMS GANGES - They start on page three but the whole album is interesting. FCRS John [Scouse] Eilbeck was a great and long lasting friend of mine who sadly left us on the 20th October 2012 after suffering much illness and coping with life without his dear wife Valerie who predeceased him a couple of years before. . From the very beginning of his memoirs blog, I have hosted it on my site and in respect to this man, it is still there and will be until I myself pop my clogs.
30.  GANGES FUNDS.gif
31.     Double Click on thumbnail to bring picture to full size showing scrollbars. Summer 1954 and parents open day. We, classes 352 [from October 1953]  and 361 a later recruitment [Rodney 12 Mess] respectively sparkers and buntings, responding to "march on the guard" - Parade officer standing on saluting dais not known. The boys visible enough to either name or class with certainty, twelve in number, seven being  of my class [352 PO Tel Stan Sydes] were as follows:- Front rank - right hand marker Wallace, Cordon, Young, [361], Garrett; rest too ill defined to name.  Middle rank - [361], Butcher, [361], Hallighan. Rear rank - Jack, [361], [361]. Guard Commander [361] and class instructor [just visible behind Jack], was Chief Yeoman Pattison [361]. I was in the rear rank at number 7 position, a fact that sticks in my mind because once fell in and sorted "tallest on the flanks shortest in the centre"  the order was given "from the left [the position of the marker] number" and each man in the front rank yelled out his number in turn. Men stood immediately behind the front man [middle and rear ranks] knew their number from what he had shouted out, very loudly and crystal clear. Knowing one's number was very import when "dressing-up" to achieve a perfectly straight line for senior officer inspection and when marching. Once a feet-shuffling movement had been completed, a rating [usually a senior rating] would stand at the end of each line [rank] in turn looking along its length. If he saw a man out of line, he would shout out the number of that man and then tell him what to do to straighten the line, for example '7 dress up or dress back' and when he was in the correct position the man controlling this function would shout 'well'. Once marching began, it was up to each individual member of the phalanx to keep in step and maintain his dressing. 
32. boy entrants into the royal navy - report.pdf
33. HMS GANGES CHRISTMAS 1937 PAGE
34. HMS GANGES KEEPSAKE 
35. GANGES BULLSHIT 
36.  OLD AND RARE GANGES PHOTOGRAPHS 
37. hms ganges mast 
38. NAVAL TRAITORS 
39. GANGES FOOD 
40.  BOY TELEGRAPHISTS 
41. GANGES MAST VISITED BY ANGLIA TV 18 FEB 2009 
42.   HMS GANGES BOMB PLAQUE 
43. RECRUITING_JUNIORS_-_ARE_THEY_REALLY_TESTED ? 
44. WHEN IS A BUTTON BOY NOT A BUTTON BOY ? 
45. CAPTAINS HOUSE - HMS GANGES 
46.  GANGES and FOOD POISONING 
47. A MEMORIAL TO FOUR GANGES BOYS 
48. NAVAL DISCIPLINE WHEN SHOTLEY BEGAN 
49. THE SAD DEMISE AND DEATH OF BOY SEAMAN HODGKINSON 
50. STREET NAMES IN THE FORMER HMS GANGES 
51. Boy Telegraphist's Story WW1 Submarines 
52. TOO MANY BOYS AND NOT ENOUGH SHIPS 
53. The cost of training boys for the Royal Navy in 1926  - with a calculator which can find the cost of your training dates.
54. ADMIRALS_AND_THE_USE_OF_RN_IN_THEIR_TITLES 
55. CIVILIAN WAGES AT HMS GANGES BEFORE WW1 
56.  RHEUMATISM IN YOUNG GANGES BOYS 
57.  AND AFTER GANGES TRAINING ? 
58. HMS GANGES ON BBC RADIO 4 26.05.09 AT 1500.htm (2012_11_19 20_20_07 UTC).html
59. When BOYS gave way to JUNIORS 
60. KNOWING OF THEM BUT DO THEY KNOW OF US  - of general naval interest
61. A 1991 Visit to the old Alma Mater 
62. SURVIVAL OF SUFFOLK LISTED BUILDINGS [GANGES MAST] IN DOUBT 
63. A GANGES MAGAZINE 
64. HMS GANGES FEMALE ? SURELY NOT ! 
65. HMS GANGES ASSOCIATION AND ITS TROUBLES
66. Ganges Association Demise
67. THIPTHORPE_STRUCK_OFF_SOLICITOR_SNAP_AND_DEJA_VU
68. COLLAPSE_OF_GANGES_ASSOCIATION
69. GANGES FORUM
70.   HMS GANGES MAST 4TH NOVEMBER 2009 - A BBC Radio Programme
71.   T.S. ARETHUSA
72.   RN COMMUNICATORS TRAINING USING 12 INCH 78 RPM GRAMOPHONE RECORDS
73. BARNARDO
74. ANOTHER_CLEAROUT  - Two files in one here { viz 'Another Clear Out' and within, 'Naval Files of interest [Men and Boys]' } and both 'naval' historically of interest - Both of interest pan-navy.
75. MY_GANGES_KIT_AND_ITS_MUSTER
76. THE_SHOTLEY_MAGAZINE_A_COMPARISON
77. TheMassedBandsofHerMajesty'sRoyalMarines_TheCelebration_MastManning.mp3 - Used for HMS Ganges ceremonial mast manning
78. PICTURES_KNOWN_TO_HAVE_BEEN_IN_HMS_GANGES
79. SNIPPET_ABA - Amateur Boxing Association as applied to boxing in HMS Ganges
80. CAPIC- Captain of HMS Ganges wearing two hats 1946-1957 and at other times before that.
81. AN_ARTICLE_OF_CLOTHING_IN_A_RATINGS_KIT
82. HMS_GANGES_A_DESPERATELY_SAD_AND_MOVING_STORY_r
83. SHOTLEY_GATE_HAD_A_GOOD_BUT_MISGUIDED_CHAP_WHO_FELL_FOUL_OF_MOD_AGENCIES WHOSE TASK IT WAS TO PROTECT THE BEST INTEREST OF HMS GANGES
84. DAPHNE_[_AKA_]_DAFFERS_THE_DEMON_DOHBY_DEVIANT
85. THE_CHURCHES_OF_HMS_GANGES
86. GANGES LEFT FOOTERS.htm
87. GANGES - THE COMPLETE ENVIRONMENT OF THE ESTABLISHMENT
88. HMS GANGES FIX.swf
89.  




HMS GANGES MAST MANNING.

To STOP it from running continuously, right click on the picture [when running] and de-select the tick in the Loop box. If you want to see it again, click on the REFRESH button on your browser or right click and choose the word refresh.

Switch it off [Back Button] when finished otherwise when an automatic or manual refresh occurs on other parts of this large page,  you will hear the audio.

  Click Here to start  
90. HMS_GANGES_TREASURER_GOES_TO_PRISON
91. GANGES_BOYS_AND_THE_USE_OF_MORSE_CODE_BY_HAND
92. Pre WW2 Naval recruiting offices pre_ww2_naval_recruiting_offices.htm
93.


For all intents and purposes, the badge on the bedspread is the equivalent of the proverbial W D  [War Department] stamp found on just about everything and anything small enough to be stolen or used for an unintended purpose.
A pussers bedspread, used and issued in all  non-sea-going pan-navy bedding [sleeping] requirements except for trainees in Part 1 training establishments,  including hospitals, DQ's [though not cells], both genders, officers and ratings.  

Within the scope of the picture you see here, the colour [grey-blue] is accurate.

The design was simple and repetitive except that in the middle and biased towards the top [so the bedspread could not be used up side down or wrong sided]  was a badge, very obviously an officers cap badge, but is it?

Without explaining it all over again here, have a look at this page http://www.godfreydykes.info/RN_BUTTONS_AND_BADGES.htm
On this page you will see that we use one of two royal crowns for our buttons and badges, depending upon the monarchs wishes. In 1953 Queen Elizabeth chose the St Edward's Crown whereas her father George VI had used the Tudor Crown. That led wrongly, to sailors calling the former the Queen's Crown and the latter a King's Crown.

The bedspread has a St Edward Crown, but that doesn't mean its was designed during the reign of a female monarch, which given issue dates, could have been either Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth, the consort Queen's discounted.

The telling point is not necessarily the crown or the laurel leaf surround but the anchor design beneath. Below is the current naval officers cap badge note the anchor and its chain which is also worn on a ratings badge in fore and aft rig. In Victorian times the Admiralty also used badges and flags for its support functionsImage result for rn officers cap badge - stores - victuals -
 munitions - dockyard - courts and others. The anchor on the bedspread is devoid of chains [a naval or military combatants symbol] and has in lieu two, almost crude wires or ropes each with a loop, freely hanging top to bottom. It is symbolic of the department tasked with supplying hammocks to the ships company for use both ashore in barracks or afloat in hulks or sea going vessels, and 'fine' bedding for officers. The specific department is not known except that it would have come under the Pursers Department, but it is a device from the last quarter of the 19th century designed and supplied for officers use only. It is known that the Tudor Crown is heavier than the St Edwards crown, and the diminutive Queen Victoria choose it to avoid stressing her slender neck.
94. THE_CHANGES_IN_LEAVE_ALLOWANCE_POST_WW2_HMS_GANGES_INTER_ALIA
95. SAY_A_PRAYER_FOR_THE_SOULS_OF_NAVAL_BOYS_WHO_PERISHED_IN_WARS
96. GANGES ALL IN ONE GO
97. 1953 North Sea rape of thousands of miles of coast line which killed many [in the low thousands] in England, Netherlands and Belgium.  The sea on the nights of the 31st January and the 1st February was unimaginably angry and totally destructive, in the case of the UK,  from East Yorkshire  all the way down to Kent, which at 355 miles, has the longest coastline in the east of England.  I am sometimes asked whether, in my researches I come across the involvement of HMS Ganges in assisting with the repairing of sea walls etc and on humane duties to mitigate the distress of those who suffered so much, losing loved once, pets [as large of shire horses {Suffolk Punch}] and every material thing they had worked hard to acquire. It could have led to a total lack of morale, but the British, being British, circumvented that by a response on a near equal basis to the war years, still raw in many peoples minds. Well the answer is this. The responses from the emergency services, the armed forces, the comfort services [Salvation Army, VAD, WVS, WI, St Johns ambulance brigade, Churches and other sanctuaries inter alia], was so swift and in such great numbers backed up by international support never mind national support from all areas of the UK but mainly from areas east of London] that HMS Ganges and its boys were not deployed directly and as such training continued as near normal. Some senior members of the Ganges complement either volunteered or were offered, and they were directly involved at the scenes of disaster. Sandbags were filled by Ganges boys in situ, and subsequently transported to distribution centres behind the lines and used as required. Ganges plans were drawn up to make available, if needed, accommodation, washing facilities, the provision of hot cooked food, but above all else, safety. No doubt for evacuated children, schooling would have been on offer too. Thinking only about the armed forces, two things happened of significance. Firstly 18,500 British service men and women, with all their equipment [earth movers and bulldozers to the fore] - 11000 soldiers, 5500 airmen and 2000 sailors/marines - were immediately deployed within hours, with close behind, US service personnel from one camp and then Canadians from another. All worked with an 'army' of civilians to address the shoring up and strengthening of sea defences, restoring power or providing massive generators, setting up field hospitals or sending surgeons and medical orderlies to assist in the nearby hospitals and mortuaries.  There was such industry that even Churchill, with all his oratory powers couldn't, when speaking in the house, cover to thank and to give praise for.  While all this was being enacted in the UK, the War Office sanctioned a near equal amount of troops to go to the aid of those Europeans living in the low countries of the Netherlands and Belgium who were far worse off that we in England were. The British army did themselves and us Brits, great pride and the thanks were universally recognised. Many died in these countries but many were saved by the British aid. Lastly on this brief snippet, Chatham and Sheerness  were the lead players in the naval contingent coming from HMS Pembroke and ships in the bases and from the dockyards themselves with all their skills, transport and facilities, and overall supplied nearly 3000 men. However, whilst away from their base in the Nore at Sheerness, those left behind witnessed the full strength of the devastating storm.  In a dry dock high and dry on the keel blocks was a Castle Class frigate HMS Berkeley Castle undergoing a docking. Behind her was the traditional caisson holding back untold hundreds of thousands of gallons of water when all of  sudden, the river waters rose and undermined the watertight integrity of the caisson causing  the dock to take a massive surge of water  [when normally, at an undocking, the water is controlled to a steady trickle as it were] and the vessel to flounder and be thrown as though it were a mere piece of driftwood onto its side. As it did so, the capsized ship was flooded causing the connected service, particularly the shore supply, to short, creating panic in many quarters.   This is a picture of the Berkeley Castle at its final rest position after the caisson was replaced and the dock pumped out. Cables in pulling positions were connected on the port side at many points and fed to dockside steam capstans. Later on, the dock was again control flooded, and when the water was deep enough and the ship was bobbing on it, the capstans pulled it upright and straightened its position ready to drag it out of the dock. After some repairs the ship was put in the Chatham reserve fleet, and three years later in 1956, she was taken to the breakers yard, for, as we sailors say, to make razor blades out of her.

Detailed research shows what one might have expected.  Of the thousands of service personnel drafted in to assist with the disaster, not one name appeared on the official honours list published in the London Gazette under Supplement No 39834 of Friday 24th April 1953 with official Court release date of Tuesday 28th April 1953. What it does show is name after name of ordinary individuals, firemen, police constables, farm labourers, shop keepers, priest, old ladies with big hearts, the youth of a responsible period, boatmen, ferrymen, and then upwards, to the police sergeants, inspectors and chief inspectors, likewise through the middle and senior management of the fire brigade etc, in great detail. Add to this the exceptional awards given to women serving in the caring services who saved lives by providing sustenance and mega amount of TLC when all was apparently lost - it wasn't, and these women made sure of that.  The awards are a tribute to the locals who whilst never expecting this natural catastrophe, responded like a life-boatman would on being made aware of a potential sea disaster. Service personnel are expected to respond like heroes without reward, and in this duty, they did not shirk their responsibilities. At the very end of the 39834 Court List was a statement to say that many others had been rewarded for "good service" whose names were published in the Coronation Honours List dated 1st June 1953. Well, when I got there to this 1st June list, which is lengthy to say the very least, covering awards for the BEM [Military Division] only. There are many of them and just to give a balance to my story I have collected them and published them in this file . None state what the award is for, so we can't possibly know whether it had anything to do with the 1953 flood, though there is a  possible connection somewhere. If you have a relative from this period and on this very special occasion, then be pleased to see their name, and only you can associate that name with the dreadful 1953 East Coast Floods and the carnage of death and utter destruction which today we might consider to be a local  Tsunami. Look here to see the contents of the Coronation Honours List 1st June 1953 which is Supplement 39863 page 2977 onwards.BEM'S FOR CORONATION HONORS LIST 1ST JUNE 1953 I have including the RN/RM list only which, if relevant, includes, the QARNNS and Wrens: there are umpteen army and air force awards. You cannot of course assume that because you or your loved one isn't mentioned that you were not at the flood assistance: you must assume that he or she didn't shine! 
98. NAVAL BOYS NEWSPAPER PANORAMA
99. All over at last? For communicators, 15 months of slog has been mastered and we are all ready for sea and our first drafts. The group, made up mainly of two classes from different divisions, plus other boys from other classes whose drafts occurred later than did those of their parent class, is called "the Draft Classes" and here we are dressed in our tiddly made to measure best uniforms No1's made on an Admiralty contract by C.H. Bernards and Sons of Harwich towards the end of one's course. The delay in drafting also affected my class which was 352, 12 Mess Royal Rodney's and our instructor is PO Telegraphist Stan Sydes, 5th from right. For that reason there are 11 of us out of a class of 20 going to sea on this occasion - others will be on a different draft class photograph. We joined on the 13th October 1953 and this is late January 1955. Note the guy front rank 3rd from left, and his hat, brushed upwards for port [lift the brush] and downwards for starboard leaving a well defined line running down the centre of the cap in line with the nose and the letter 'A of Ganges on the cap tally. We all did that of course but his cap stands out as a model. Whilst I can't name the other PO or his charges [signalmen, always called buntings after the material used to make the flags which would be their stock in trade], nor the others being drafted piecemeal, I can name the 11 members of 352 telegraphists class, all but one whose name evades me, which are:-
Rear Rank - L to R -  3 = Hallighan,  4 = me, 6 = Garrett, 7 = Morris, 8 = Cordon, 9 = Jack, 10 = Hargreaves.........Middle Rank -L to R - 6 = Butcher, 7 = One of us whose name I have forgotten.........Front Rank - L to R - 9 = Graham [for the main part our Badge Boy], 10 = Binns.  For those of you with a sharp eye, the large ship in the background over to the left  is HMS Mull of Galloway, the resident depot ship.
100. My final offering in this series sums up the very heart of the subject matter, namely of boys service.  TOO_YOUNG_TO_SERVE.htm
101. Ooops, Just found these articles on the 'cutting floor' with no obvious home, so before I leave my boys section, I'll tuck them in here.  
Now back to a more serious tone. Boys have long been associated with the navy in picture/portrait form, and there are lots of these showing admirals in full dress uniform with their young son dressed as a cadet or a midshipman: other examples are more subtle.  I was born at a time when my parents were Edwardians and my grandparents Victorians. Pictures were everywhere, particularly in grandpa's house, but also hung in every place I frequented as a boy from Sunday school, cubs and scouts, school. I have a vivid recollection of staring at the picture called "Bubbles" which hung in the town's Toc-H premises which to me was merely an advert for a soap company called Pears. It was a strange picture, an enigma, something which needed to be explained, and when it was, forever after it used to scare me and I avoided it. The picture was of a boy, the five year old grandson of the artist, and apart from its obvious beauty, its message was of fragility, innocence, life and death, and, like all boys, it was death which captured my imagination. 
Death was indicated by the bubble [or so I thought] one minute alive, floating, tactile, and the next it was gone, dead. It wasn't the case, for the artist had chosen to show plant-pots, one broken in the left foreground whose contents had perished and the other, right foreground with a healthy plant growing in it. As the plants were fragile and vulnerable, so too was the young boys life and innocence, as was the short duration of the life of the bubble floating above his head. The typical gloomy Victorian background said the rest. I next saw this picture now as a copy of the original i.e., without the soap advert, in the Ipswich Methodist Church hanging in the vestry opposite to a well known Victorian picture of Jesus with a lamb. I was there with other Ganges boys to be confirmed. It was there that our Ganges  padre, the Rev Leslie Truelove RN, explained that if we could fast forward, we would see the boy as a full admiral, an officer who served in both world wars, and at the start of WW2, he was the C-in-C Portsmouth. He retired in 1944. His name was Willie James, and for all his life from aged five onwards, he was called "bubbles" He was Admiral Sir William James GCB.

Another story which I remember well from my childhood, was that of Rin Tin Tin. I had read bits and pieces about his life and times before his death in 1932 and some comics had picture-strips of him doing exceptional stunts: and in 1949 I  saw a 'B' movie called "The Return of Rin Tin Tin", the famous German battlefield WW1 hero. I remember 1949 well because sometime in that year clothing came off the ration coupons, and my mother was treated to a special dress which grandma had treated her to - such were those days of post WW2 depressions!  Also in 1949 I was into war movies and always loved to see the Krauts and the Japs blown to pieces - I remember the movie "12 O'Clock High".  War movies of those days were credible because many of the stars -Audie Murphy, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, George C Scott, Paul Newman, Kirk Douglas to name but a few had served their country, although John Wayne, who manifestly didn't, was just as popular. As I was writing this, Kirk Douglas turned 100 !

All of you will know the story of "Tintin" and may have seen Tintin movies. Whilst there is a likeness to the name Rin Tin Tin [but no connection] the story has a connection to another British admiral.  His name was  Admiral Sir Richard Haddock  1629-1715, so an officer of great antiquity! ADMIRAL SIR RICHARD HADDOCK
102   A FEW PAINTINGS OF HMS GANGES BETWEEN 1821 AND 1866
103   A HARWICH DITTY 
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104.   HERBERT LOTT NAVAL TRUST FUND
105.   HERBERT LOTT APPEAL
106   HLNTF Original PDF - Support Notes
   
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107.   SIGNAL_SCHOOLS_OF_THE_ROYAL_NAVY
108.   THE STORY OF HMS MERCURY 
109.   ST GABRIEL'S CHURCH HMS MERCURY.htm 
110.   The Court Martial of the C.O. of HMS Mercury
111.   FOR_RN_COMMUNICATION_BRANCHES 
112.   A STORY ABOUT THE UNDERPANTS OF A RN SIGNAL OFFICER
113.   ROYAL NAVAL PRIZES -Although many of these prizes were open to all officers notwithstanding their branch, read the JACKSON-EVERETT prize and the very last entry on the page. 
114.   ROYAL NAVAL COMMUNICATION BRANCH MANAGEMENT c.1970
115.   Royal Navy and the BBC Light Programme
116.   Royal Navy Difference between MERCURY and HERMES
117.   Royal Navy tests endurance for telegraphists
118.   ROYAL NAVY AND THE VERSATILE TEL
119.   SUEZ 1956 THE MORSE CODE YEARS
120.   TELEPRINTER_PRINT_OUTS_OF_FAMOUS_PEOPLE
121  
122.   Wireless telegraphy was already old fashioned in early 1912
123.   RN Signal Schools
124.   HMS_MERCURY_AND_THE_STAFF_OF_THE_SIGNAL_SCHOOL
125   CAPTAIN_SIGNAL_SCHOOL_HMS_MERCURY_1941_TO_1993
126.   ROYAL NAVAL AND BRITISH MARITIME SNIPPETS 2 - This file has much detail about the communications branch, officers and ratings - start browsing at SECTION 14
127.   JUST_A_BIT_ABOUT_RN_COMMUNICATORS_AND_THEIR_THINGS
128   JUST_A_BIT_ABOUT_RN_COMMUNICATORS_AND_THEIR_THINGS_PART_TWO
129.   JUST_A_BIT_ABOUT_COMMUNICATORS_AND_THEIR_THINGS_PART_THREE
130   SIGNAL SCHOOL CHRISTMAS PARTY....pdf - A broadsheet newspaper page event in the West Country. Now; if you are using the IE browser  - use your scroll bars to look for the yellow speech bubble and point your mouse at it to show you where the article to read is situated. If your browser is the wonderful EDGE system you will see the yellow slodge as a RED splodge. In that case see the instructions in story-line 21 above in the Ganges Section for EDGE users.
131.   SIGNAL SCHOOL LOVE MATCH....pdf - A broadsheet newspaper page event which happened in HMS Mercury.  See above for targetting information.
132.   SIGNAL OFFICER - FLAG LIEUTENANT.pdf - in Surgeon Rear Admiral Michael Athroll Farquharson-Roberts' PhD thesis, he says this about flag lieutenants - THE SIGNAL OFFICER S  Admiral Farquharson-Roberts' PhD thesis is hard hitting and compares WW1 officers with WW2 officers the former in bad light, due wholly to their training, attitudes and concepts of command in wartime. In short, WW1 officers, by and large were ineffective whereas WW2 officers were proactive and took the fight to the enemy with zeal at every opportunity.  Additionally, he also wrecks the RNVR claim that had it not been for their officers we might not have defeated the Axis forces at sea.
133   THE GOLDEN MORSE KEY  - A story linked to the 1953 Coronation Spithead Fleet Review
134.  THE LEYDENE ESTATE 
135.    1937 Promotion of Signalmen and Telegraphists to commissioned ranks
   
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136.   MALTA
137.  C IN C MESSAGE ON MALTA ACCOMMODATION.pdf
138.   MALTA_POLICE_FORCE.html
139.   NAVAL PRISON MALTA 11 OCT 1866.jpg - Look only at the name of the Governor of Malta's Prison. This was Commander Stevens appointment after having been dismissed his ship HMS Ganges at Falmouth for over harsh treatment of boys in his care. An Inappropriate and insensitive new appointment I would have thought. I found this article printed in a diary of Malta May 22nd 1851, fifteen years before Stevens was appointed. Note the excessive harsh punishment for what appear to be trivial crimes. The_Times_1851-05-30 MALTA'S NAVAL PRISON.jpg Sir William Parker became an admiral of the fleet. At the time of awarding this harsh punishment he was C-in-C Mediterranean. He is famous for his fighting prowess and saw a great deal of action against the French, but he also holds another naval record never again equalled. As C-in-C Mediterranean, he was appointed to London as the First Sea Lord [at that time called the First Naval Lord] but took ill on his first day in office. He resigned at the end of that week and returned to his command in the Mediterranean - his tenure 24th July to 31st July 1846, just one week!
140. GOODBYE MANOEL ISLAND MALTA.pdf
141. MALTA RECRUITING OFFICE NOW FLIES THE WHITE ENSIGN.pdf
142.   MALTA_JUST_A_FEW_PICTURES_CORRADINO_ETC
143   MAJOR DEATH IN MALTA
144.   Arrow Themeset
145.   MALTA_AND_HER_SUBMARINES
146.   MALTA Historic gif
147   HMS PHOENICIA MALTA.gif
148.   DISMISSAL_OF_MALTESE_WORKERS.htm - The charge against them was reading books written by well known sympathisers of communism! In his latter years George Bernard Shaw became less enthusiastic about where communism was taking Russia and China
149. NAAFI's_-_THE MOST SPLENDID CLUB EVER - The R.N. had a small base at H.M.S. BYRSA [Naples] for small vessels. Byrsa is an ancient  Carthaginian ruin dwelling town in Tunisia virtually due west of Sicily and not that many kilometers distant. What a difference between those stationed on H.M.S. Byrsa using this NAAFI and those used on the island of Malta using Corradino?
150.   MALTA BROADCAST IN SUEZ WAR
151.   MALTA. ADMIRALTY HOUSE
152.   The_Times_1957-04-02 naval officer whose career foundered wants civilian employment.jpg. According to a website covering lost ships by year, and assuming that this ex-officer took action as soon as possible after his ill luck [running aground]  then we must look at British warships which were sea worthy prior to their demise and destruction. There are only three, one in 1957 and two in 1958, respectively, HMS Taciturn, HMS Barcombe and HMS Decoy, a submarine, a bar-boat and a destroyer.  There were other naval losses but these were ships under tow, which having broken it, the vessels ended up on the rocks. His pompous rhetoric is exasperating indicating that in his opinion he was heading for flag rank! Why show it here in the Malta section ? To date, I've found the advert unique not to mention bizarre and the no obvious to slot, so I simply dropped it in here!
153.   MALTA LAST YEARS OF QUEEN VICTORIA FIRST YEARS OF KING EDWARD
154.   villa_guardamangia.html
155.    MALTA PANORAMA 1.jpg an excellent high resolution picture of the seaward end of Manoel Island  overlooking HMS Phonecia. Use the integral magnifier and your scroll bars for best effect.
   
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156.   The story of the RN Warrant Officer [Incorporating PART ONE]
157. THE ROYAL NAVY WARRANT OFFICER PART TWO
158. THE ROYAL NAVY WARRANT OFFICER PART THREE