HMS GANGES LEAVE ARRANGMENTS FROM THE START OF WW2 UNTIL 1949........and thereafter.

NOTES RELEVANT TO THIS PAGE

1.  The Admiralty file ADM1/19886 which is discussed below, does, although the subject matter is obviously of pan-navy interest, pertain only to the Establishments HMS GANGES, HMS HAWKE and HMS CALEDONIA/Artificer Training Establishment Rosyth by name/function and not to any other Establishment. Nevertheless, the wording in the loose minutes and letters is explicit and mentions "Boys Training Establishments".  The ruling therefore must apply to all Boys Training Establishments*, although there had been an ongoing verbal discussion and correspondence between the Admiralty and C-in-C Nore, involving the opinions and input of the other home-based Commanders-in-chief, which affected the balance of the outcome shown in EXHIBIT M ONE and M TWO below. For the purposes of this page, I am going to use HMS Ganges as the lead-Establishment. All EXHIBITS are shown in date order.

* except for HMS Wildfire where "Boys - Special" trained. Note that HMS St Vincent didn't give over its boys [like Ganges boys, "Boys - CS"] in favour of the fleet air arm training - pilots, observers, TAG's, air torpedo branch, air mechanics until January 1942, whereas HMS Ganges did so in 1940 to HO's training.  See this page HMS_GANGES_AT_HARWICH, the last paragraph on the page beginning with *However.....for details of "Boys - Special" and "Boys - CS", and also, for specific details, look at this page http://www.godfreydykes.info/THE%20PHONEY%20WAR%201938%20HOW%20TO%20JOIN%20THE%20RN.htm choose Part 1 {pdf.1} page 15  Seaman Class Boys Special Service, and also at page 4 'Terms of Engagement' , and pages 10/11 'Life in a Boys Training Establishment' which mentions HMS Wildfire inter alia.

2.  The action addressees for the intended leave change for Instructors in HMS Ganges are Commanders-in-Chief The Nore {Admiral Sir Harold Burrough}, Portsmouth {Admiral Sir Geoffrey Layton}, Plymouth {Admiral Sir Henry Pridham-Wippell}, Rosyth {Admiral Sir Wilbraham T.R. Ford}, Flag Officer Orkney {Admiral Sir Henry Harwood} and Admiral Air {Vice Admiral Sir Dennis Boyd}, and the Admiralty Confidential letter was N/17695/45.  The first letter dated 21st June1945 started the ball rolling!  Others are copied as information addressees for general naval interest/administration.

3.  The new leave allowances were first used for Summer 1945 leave, i.e., the German war was over, but not so the Japanese war, meaning that WW2 was still raging !

4. HMS HAWKE - mentioned above in Note 1 and again in EXHIBIT B below- was built into the beautiful gardens  of Exbury House which is in Hampshire,  near Beaulieu  and one mile from the shore line of the Solent.  The outstandingly beautiful gardens were created by one of the Rothschild family [Lionel Nathan de Rothschild] and on his death in 1942, the Estate [House and Garden] was requisitioned by the Royal Navy.  It was named HMS Hawke. It was first used for the planning of the Dieppe Raid, an attack on the Germans dug-in around the areas of Dieppe in northern France, which took place on the 19th August 1942 and was an embarrassing miserable failure lasting for barely six hours before a humiliating retreat was called for. Afterwards, it was used for experimental test firings of naval weapons requiring a barracks to accommodate nearly 300 personnel to be built.  Its final naval/military use was in the planning for the D-Day landings [June 1944]  which needs no further comment save to say that unlike Dieppe, this was perhaps the greatest success story of any war yet fought. In both Dieppe and D-Day [Normandy], beaches became household names and icons. Those associated with Dieppe were Yellow, Orange, Blue and Green, and those with Normandy, Utha, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. After the war, the navy stayed on until 1948 when it was handed back to the Rothschild family, opening to the public, fully restored to its original beauty in 1955. If you ever want to engage in natures wonders in the area of flora, visit Exbury Gardens especially in the Spring when the plants trees and shrubs [largely ericaceous varieties] are at their very best.

5.  The following naval short-hand will be found in some of the EXHIBITS shown below.

Hd of N = Head of Naval Branch = EXHIBIT H ONE/K

D of SC = Director of Service Conditions = EXHIBIT E/H ONE/K

ACNP = Assistant Chief of Naval Personnel= EXHIBIT E/ H TWO

A. & S.groups = Artificers and Seamen Groups= EXHIBIT H ONE

R.N.A.T.E. Rosyth = Royal Naval Artificer Training Establishment Rosyth = EXHIBIT C

D of NT = Director of Naval Training =EXHIBIT N

D of M = Director of Manning = EXHIBIT N/P

T.L.s = Their Lordships = EXHIBIT P

C/C Rosyth = C-in-C Rosyth = EXHIBIT E

INTRODUCTION

The story of the Royal Navy between 1919 and 1939 can be shown as a simple very flat inverted U-shaped curve [like a parabola but not a mathematical parabolic] sitting on a horizontal base line which represents 'war'. The nearer the two extremities of the curve are to the base line, the nearer to WW1 on the left and WW2 on the right we are.  The steep sided uprights would represent on the left, the post-war period {WW1} and on the right, the pre-war period {WW2}. The top of the curve would represent stability and peace [pax Britannica].

Alternatively, we could consider the period to be an on-going state of flux, decreasing as WW1 finished and increasing at the start of and subsequent prosecution of WW2.

Whilst these continuous changes affected the whole of the navy, it affected personnel [conditions of service] as much and often more than any other changes. Obviously human beings and their reaction to change[s] are tangible and can affect the outcome of war much more easily than inanimate materiel chunks of artefact, though of course we couldn't do without them.  There were twenty times more changes in the navy in the period 1939 to 1941 [the navy's annus horribilis] than there were in the period 1931 to 1939 and well over half affecting personnel. From 1941 until our annus mirabilis {the happiest year - 1945} the changes were virtually countless. Most of the changes affected pay, uniforms, engagements, training, rosters, drafting, morale, tobacco, alcohol and probably the most important of all, leave, whether short or long. In a moment, we will cover some aspect on that score. Of the many other subjects [not related to this page] we could touch upon, I will mention just one, namely that of GCB's - good conduct badges. Before the war started in September 1939, only men on pension career engagements, viz C.S., wore three GCB's each valued at 1s and 9d per week in pay terms, a total of 5 shillings and thruppence.  As a point of interest only, another weekly allowance was Grog Money, paid to men over the age of 20 who were declared teetotalers and this was a whole 2.7d per day [not quite thruppence] = 1s 7d per week = 4.0.4d per year.  Hardly worth the effort!

However, back to GCB's [badge money].

From this table

London Pale Ales 1937 1938
Year Brewer country Beer Style Price size package Acidity FG OG App. Atten-uation
1937 Watney UK Pale Ale Pale Ale 7d pint draught 1049
1937 Watney UK PA Pale Ale 8d pint draught 0.06 1012.5 1054.8 77.19%
1937 Wenlock UK Pale Ale Pale Ale 7d pint bottled 0.05 1007.6 1042.2 81.99%
1937 Worthington UK Pale Ale Pale Ale 8d pint draught 1054.3
1938 Barclay Perkins UK PA Pale Ale 7d pint draught 0.07 1011.3 1043.9 74.26%
1938 Charrington UK PA Pale Ale 7d pint draught 0.07 1007.2 1046 84.35%
1938 Courage UK PA Pale Ale 8d pint draught 0.08 1012.7 1050.2 74.70%
1938 Courage UK PA Pale Ale 8d pint draught 0.05 1011.7 1034.8 66.38%
1938 Mann Crossman UK PA Pale Ale 8d pint draught 0.07 1006.5 1052.4 87.60%

which comes from this website http://forums.pubsgalore.co.uk/showthread.php?12610-Shut-up-about-Barclay-Perkins-Maclays-Beers-1938-1939 you can see just how many pints an 'old' sailor could have bought with his badge money! Nine pints @ 7d each. Any or all of the those GCB's could have been taken off the erring sailor, so it was quite a harsh punishment to lose all three. Badges in those days were awarded after 3 years, 8 years and 13 years, so a man serving on a CS engagement who didn't sign on for pension never saw his third badge at the very end of his 12 years [not that he would have worn it anyway for by that time he would have handed in his uniform]. It wasn't until after the war in the very late 40's that the system changed to after 4 years, after 8 and after 12 years.  However, the next reward for good conduct and long service for both the 3/8/13 system and the 4/8/12 system remained at the after 15 year point, when a medal was issued along with a cash gratuity, for many years set at 20.00.

LEAVE - GENERAL

It was always too easy to forget that leave in the Royal Navy was a privilege and only given if the deployment of the ship would allow for it. In non-sea going ships and shore establishments it was less likely that leave was curtailed for operational reasons! Over and above that, the privilege of leave was used as a punishment to deny leave to those ratings who had a less than satisfactory character, when leave for all others* was granted: this restriction was called "second-class for leave". 

*Leave was never given to the whole ships company at one go, but only to sections, other sections being allowed ashore when others had returned, 'till all had had their share. Leave in the Royal Navy is defined as follows:-

1. Liberty -  all leave of under 24 hours duration,
2. Short Leave - all leave which is not Liberty which is under 48 hour duration e.g.,  Short Weekend Leave [SWE],
3. Long Leave - all leave which is over a 48 hour duration e.g., Seasonal Leave, Long Weekend Leave [LWE], Extended Long Weekend Leave [ELWE].

This picture is taken of one of my leave pages in my Naval Pay Book [S.43A Part 1] issued to me on leaving HMS Ganges in 1954, and is shown here to amplify types of leave taken.

On the first of my leave pages, it shows many movements brought about by several short drafts, in foreign parts: Lascaris and Aphrodite, drafts afloat for the Suez War, plus 42 days annual leave taken more or less as LWE's with only a few LONG/SEAS leaves. My period 1954 to 1959, which included joining submarines, was fraught with instability !

The types of leave shown on this second page as LONL and SEAS {Long and Seasonal} which are one and the same and in the case of 1960, in order of Easter, Summer and Christmas leave which totaled 3 x 14 = 42 days - stable year?

Thereafter you will see these abbreviations:-
LWE/LWEL = Long weekend leave
EXLWE = Extended Long weekend leave
LEAVE= In this case 1 days compassionate leave
FDL= Foreign draft leave in this case to Canada for 18 months
FSL = Foreign Service Leave after 18 months in Canada
Cycle Leave=A submarine name for Seasonal Leave working in harmony with other operational submarines
The entry "Seas" alongside the dates 10-12-65 to 28-12-65 which, although not recorded, had an EXLWE added on bringing us back on the 2nd January 1966 should have been recorded as FDL, this time to Singapore.
On return home from Singapore, I got a massive [but overdue] 91 days leave shown as FSL [77 days + 14 days Seasonal leave] 12.4.68 to 12.7.68. However, I was also due 28 days
RENL Leave = Reengaging leave for signing-on for more service [struck out] but couldn't be spared, so had to delay it to another time. Note that I returned to my submarine on the 12-7-68  and just over 1 month later went on 1968 Summer seasonal leave. My final leave on this page was Christmas 1968 [20.12.68 to 6.1.69 = 17 days, shown as LONL/SEAS [10 days] with 7 days added for a LWE and PH = Public Holiday [Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day].

Leave was given in terms of days per year, and that could be used by choice in two ways. First a man could take long leave - a series of days running consecutively usually in blocks of seven, or in long weekend leave from Friday teatime until Monday morning.  Other short leave was available in the form of a short weekend from Saturday lunch time to Monday morning, and much later on, but certainly not until the mid 1950's, extended long weekend leave which had variants like Thursday teatime to Monday morning or Friday lunchtime to Monday lunchtime.  It didn't matter how you took your leave allowance [if and when available] as long as you didn't go over the number of DAYS allowed. There were cases, as we will see, when no weekend leave of whatever sort could be taken, so a man was limited to a week or a couple or weeks at a time, this repeated at other parts throughout the yearly allowance. A typical pattern was leave at Easter, Summer and Christmas. Special leaves were granted for ships in harbour whose crews [or part thereof] maintained sea-watches to maintain the ships services or the operational readiness. Typical of these were the engine room and electrical branches and the communication branches. After their stint, they were allowed ashore on "watchkeepers leave" which was designed to terminate ready to be back onboard to start the afternoon watch [1200-1600] the next day for a new stint.  Their leave expired at 1130, half an hour before their duty started at 1200,  and this leave was colloquially known as a "seven beller". The naval way of indicating/coordinating time throughout the ship was to strike the ships bell, the reverberations from which were transmitted over the ships tannoy system. During the forenoon, the first bell indicated the half hour [0830], the second the hour [0900] etc through 0930, 1000, 1030, 1100, until the 7th bell at 1130, culminating for that watch with the 8th bell at 1200. In truth, the vast majority of watchkeepers 'warmed the bell' and returned onboard their ships well before 1130 in good time to change into the relevant uniform, have their tots of rum and their lunch before going on watch for the afternoon shift.  Above all else where leave was concerned, it was known as one of the best morale boosters and whenever possible the ships commanding officer would be generous, within the rules set by the admirals, giving as much as possible.  The saying "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" was always a true and relevant saying in the navy, and by being generous with leave, Jack was transformed into a happy boy.

That general rule of thumb is manifest in the story of this page with its supporting Exhibits with one notable exception and one champion of the leave rules.  EXHIBIT H TWO below, to which we will return later for the detail therein, has two signatures on the bottom of the loose minute, the first being that of the ACNP [Assistant Chief of Naval Personnel] and the second of CNP [Chief of Naval Personnel] and Second Sea Lord. ACNP is a rear admiral and CNP is an admiral. ACNP concurs with the contents of the loose minute agreeing on an INCREASE in leave allowance, but the "grumpy" old admiral questions why extra leave is required asking why the current six weeks granted to HMS Ganges Instructors is not "quite enough" already. ACNP was Rear Admiral Harold Richard George Kinahan and CNP was Admiral Sir Algernon Willis.  The former became a vice admiral and was knighted with a KCB and the latter became an admiral of the fleet with a GCB. Their Lordships were ill at ease at being pressured for extra leave, with the Second Sea Lord and C-in-C Nore at the extremities of pro and con.   The champion of the leave cause can be seen in EXHIBIT C paragraph 3,  where the Captain of HMS Caledonia the ATE Rosyth, explicitly asks for leave to be returned to pre war levels citing that the war with German was over: VJ day was yet to come ! Just for interest, at this time the First Sea Lord was a major naval hero of WW2, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew. B. Cunningham, later in September 1945, to become Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope. 

LEAVE IN 1938

In 1938, boys in Boys Training Establishments were given leave at Easter [2 weeks] Summer [3 weeks] and Christmas [2 weeks] BUT they were only given TWO FREE travel warrant to their homes and back.  However, they were also given a yearly warrant during their time as boys in the navy whether in a training establishment or not.  This paid for the travel of their third leave when in a boys training establishment. The seven weeks of leave did not allow for any form of other types of leave, except for the occasional afternoon local leave which was taken on some weekend afternoons and the precious half-holiday {meaning half day}, granted each year on HM Birthday with leave. There were many rules often differing in the various foreign stations each dictated by the various Commanders of the Station, but we will stick with the Home [UK] Stations for the norms. In most seagoing ships at Home, 42 days [6 weeks] per annum was the allowance. Before sailing for foreign stations 10 days leave was granted to all and on return [often after 2½ years] 22 days were allowed. In April 1939, a food allowance was paid to all men on long leave to pay for their food - it was 15s 9d per week. Being an Instructor in a boys training establishment did not increase a mans leave allowance, although the allowance was only really noticeable when the boys were away on their three week Summer leave, with no boys to train, to cook for, to pay etc. Although the instructors were actually in HMS Ganges during that extra week of boys leave, they did little as when compared with the boys being there.  Throughout their time, even this extra summer week, they were not allowed leave over and above their allowance - 42 days, and their duties were such that they had to take leave in multiples of seven days with no room in the training programme for short/weekend leave as previously explained. That statutory leave allowance was extant from just after WW1 and went right through my time in the Service [1953-83] and as far as I am aware is still the rule today. What changed in the early 1950's was the liberal and generous attitude to short leave, where, if you could be spared, could be every weekend, a mixture of long and short weekends. Now, in the 21st century, short leave is the norm, and if you are not required onboard, go ashore, and the words long and short weekends are dropped. It is conceivable that the weekend leave taken with permission but considered gratis, could double the 42 days annual allowance. The navy did not lose out but the men gained! Once the boys had left their boys training establishment their leave too dropped to 42 days.

This business of having to be onboard with nothing to do, and then being pushed to the limit of their endurance in training contact-hours once the boys were back in training, became a bone of contention among the Instructors, and representations were made to the Commanding Officer by the senior Instructors from the wardroom and from the CPO's Mess. Representations were made by the Commanding Officer to the Port Admiral, in HMS Ganges' case, C-in-C Nore down in Chatham. However, given the prosecution of the war and the fatigue on both minds and bodies, the quite legitimate representations were quietly shelved, and everybody knuckled down and got on with the defeat of the much hated Hun.

LEAVE DURING THE WAR

Leave during the war changed regularly  and was to say the least, complicated. In the good old days before WW2, leave was very generous, but as the war progressed and the reactions to it became know, it was adjusted and re-adjusted  to meet the ever changing face of hostilities and many privations were imposed. By March 1944 leave for the staff's in the boys training establishments had been reduced and restricted to 33 days per year with no add-ons.  No restrictions were imposed on boys in training establishments who continued with the pre-war allowance of 7 weeks per year. Training INSTRUCTORS and Training SUPPORT STAFF'S whilst working together, were very different in their commitments and hours worked in the overall training role. To be an instructor meant a total commitment for long and exacting hours of work being with the boys in everything they did for virtually the whole day except for when they were fast asleep in their beds. Support functions were the gymnasiums, signal school, seamanship school, gunnery school, academic school with all its Instructor Officers, the pier/jetty staff and others. In the July of 1945 with HMS Ganges still full of adult HO's and hardly a boy in sight at Shotley, the pre-WW2 HMS Ganges representations had finally got to the desks of those who ran the navy, the various Directors each reporting direct to a Sea Lord, and in the case of personnel, it was the Second Sea Lord. This page and the file it covers [ADM 1/19886] shows the 1945/46 letters and loose minutes which brought about a major change in the treatment of and rewards [incentives] given to the many PO's and CPO's who formed the army of Instructors at Shotley.

 

LEAVE IMMEDIATE POST WW2

Was there ever a good time for boys to train at HMS Ganges ? Yes, in the late 1940's, but why ? Because the leave allowance increased by two full weeks a year taking annual leave from 49 days to 63 days.  

STATUS OF SENIOR RATES [Chiefs and Petty Officers] at HMS Ganges.  Senior rates were drafted to Ganges [or chosen as such after an initiation period once in the Establishment] as either an "Instructor A" or "Instructor B". Instructor A's taught syllabus subjects and amongst other places, could be found in the seamanship school and the signal school.  Instructor B's were assigned their own class and arguably, had the toughest and most demanding of jobs.

Was there ever a good time to be an instructor at HMS Ganges. Yes, even more so! in 1946, after the return to Shotley of boys from the Isle of Man [HMS St George] Instructors annual leave was raised to the same level as for the boys, ie from 6 weeks [42 days] to 7 weeks [49 days]. Then as the leave for boys was increased from 2x3x2 [Easter x Summer x Winter] to 3x3x3, so too was the Instructors subject to them not being required for duty. Obviously instructors didn't start their leave until the boys were gone, and they had to be back on duty well before the boys returned from leave, but the leave was real and generous.........UNTIL ! - CLICK HERE FOR BOOKMARK   Read the bookmark and then click your back button to come back here

1945 LETTER/LOOSE MINUTE ACTIVITY - 

The pre-war pending trays had been taken down and dusted, and the subject of arduousness in boys training establishments was re-visited at naval staff level. Arduousness throughout WW2 had been continuously recognised and rewarded, but better, less demanding days, were ahead for the fleet at large. Not so for the boys training establishments unless certain grievances were aired and put to right.

This was begun in June 1945 and the final papers were recorded under N11598/1946.  That file was eventually passed onto the National Archives at Kew for posterity and given their file name as ADM 1/19886.  It remained undercover and out of the public domain until 1977.

The catalyst for changing leave entitlement came as early as the 21st June 1945 when the CO of N.A.T.E/Rosyth [HMS Caledonia], no doubt after a consultation with the Chief of Staff [COS] to the C-in-C Rosyth sent a letter to his C-in-C which is shown as EXHIBIT C.  In it he points out that the war had restricted leave to the staff of the NATE and that before the war, leave was more generous, exactly the same as that allowed for the trainee artificers.  He wanted to know whether leave [Summer 1945] could revert back to the pre-war levels bearing in mind that Germany had been defeated. The 8th May 1945 was the generally accepted date of the VE day it being the day of the German surrender, so he was hot-off-the-mark to say the least. On the 26th June 1945 C-in-C Rosyth forwarded the letter to the Admiralty for favourable consideration - See EXHIBIT D EXHIBIT E shows the letter in the Admiralty system, where you can clearly see that it was read and actioned by DofSC, ACNP.  The C-in-C Plymouth  was next to act with his letter of the 27th June to the Admiralty, with an enclosure of an update of his Commands General Orders - see EXHIBIT F, EXHIBIT G ONE and EXHIBIT G TWO.  On the 30th June the Head of Naval Branch Department introduced a loose minute headed 'Referred for Remarks' EXHIBIT H ONE and EXHIBIT H TWO concerning the leave of boys, artificers and their instructors but NOT staff's.  It wasn't released until the 5th July until it was possible to obtain the 1944 letter on war leave to attach to the loose minute. It only had four addressees the last one being the Second Sea Lord himself, the Chief of Naval Personnel. The first to respond was the DofSC, the very man who had first read EXHIBIT C.  He heartily agreed that Instructors should have the same leave as the boys, namely seven weeks per year. He further hints that this extra one weeks leave over and above what other senior rates in the Fleet are allowed would encourage current and new instructors to volunteer for more, yes, arduous duties, but this time with 'perks'. His loose minute got the full backing of all very senior addressees except for the top man himself, the Second Sea Lord who wrote on the minute

"I should have thought 6 weeks, viz one week less than the pupils, is quite enough."

The usual delays and feet-dragging are evident in this file, because the C-in-C Rosyth had to signal Admiralty [Restricted Message] asking for an answer to the Captain of HMS Caledonia letter seeking advice about long leave now the war in Europe was over - remember the EXHIBIT C ?  See EXHIBIT I.  Admiralty, using a [Confidential Message ?] signalled back to give permission for the first ever Instructors leave - EXHIBIT J

EXHIBIT K - attempts to bring all the C-in-C's onboard with Head of Navy Branch sending a proposed draft letter to DofSC for his agreement. This loose minute says "A signal has been sent to C-in-C Rosyth as the matter was urgent.  He is referring to EXHIBIT C and it only took him a bloody month to answer after being prompted by C-in-C Rosyth. Back to the loose minute, he also writes "There is attached draft of a suggested letter to all the C's-in-C amending A.L. [Admiralty Letter] No 1682 of 16th March 1944 - see EXHIBIT L

1946 LETTER/LOOSE MINUTE ACTIVITY

The following rationale formed the basis for C-in-C Nore letter of the 31st July 1946, written at a time when HMS Ganges was once again back training boys, seamen and communicators only.

C-in-C Nore argued a point that C-in-C Portsmouth couldn't, and the winning of this point affected the leave [season and short] that was granted to HMS St Vincent as opposed to HMS Ganges.  The point C-in-C Nore made to the Admiralty was that Ganges was built out in the wild whereas St Vincent was an integral part of a good sized town. Shotley had no access to public transport whether by rail or by road; it has only the sparse accommodation which could be provided from the public purse [MQ's] for there were no suitable rentable properties and there were no easy options for giving short leave [weekend afternoons] for there was no infrastructure in Shotley, just one village shop/post office and one public house and one was out of bounds period and the other was discouraged. Later on, in the 60's, Shotley got a civilian tea shop but that too had restricted access for Junior trainees as much as any reason to encourage them to spend their money on tea and sticky buns in the Establishments NAAFI shop. In St Vincent's case, a few pedestrian steps through the main gates gave access to a busy and industrious town with every conceivable facility to hand including a bus station, a railway station, a cross-harbour ferry [chained in those days] giving access to another much bigger public transport infrastructure [bus/train] and  a vast array of civilian accommodation available for rent [called hirings] with naval MQ's available if necessary. A Shotley boys afternoon leave to say Felixstowe or Dovercourt designed to last for four hours, would use up two hours getting there and back by a Ganges based MFV, launch or steam pinnace. In Gosport, that same four hour period of liberty could be maximised as three and  three quarter hours outside the gates and a quarter of an hour walking from the gates to their mess. Likewise, when not required for duty, instructors could spend time ashore for short leave either as a short weekend or a long weekend to spend time with their wives and families. None of that was possible in Shotley after WW2 with so few MQ's available and where very few instructors could get home on a satisfactory basis. Clearly, as was argued, Shotley Instructors had drawn the short-straw and clearly they had to be treated differently.  C-in-C Nore's proposal designed as a panacea for the 'Ganges Problem', as you will read, was to give ALL in Ganges 49 days seasonal leave PLUS as much short leave as possible [long and short weekends which largely went unrecorded].  This privilege was not recommended for ALL in St Vincent, just to Instructors, BUT THEIR weekend leave was on a formal basis, recorded and limited, so it was deducted from their annual leave allowance.    EXHIBIT M ONE and M2 shows C-in-C Nore's letter. In paragraph 6 he says "I strongly recommend....." but that did not win the day in the Admiralty.  EXHIBIT N shows C-in-C Nore's letter doing the rounds in Admiralty signed off by the Second Sea Lord and the relevant Directors of Service Conditions, Manning, Training and Navy Branch. 

EXHIBIT O and P shows loose minutes written by various Directors within Admiralty directly responsible for personnel, namely Director of Service Conditions, Director of Naval Training and Director of Manning. Note the comments about squatters, which were war displaced people and an influx of gypsies most of Irish decent. It is not recorded whether any major naval shore establishment was affected by these nomads, but certainly several naval premises were temporarily abused, requiring their eviction. These are interesting comments, especially the get-out clause shown in paragraph 2 on EXHIBIT P.  However, to a Director, they were quite happy to have Instructors + Boys in one category and ALL others [which included training support staff's] in a separate category when it came to leave. Instructors + Boys could be granted equal leave {7 weeks}, but ALL other categories had to adhere to Fleet norms {6 weeks}, even though this led to an Establishment during the Summer leave period, full of ships company personnel and support trainers, indeed all comers except for trainees and their dedicated instructors, with virtually nothing to do but to twiddle their thumbs!

In EXHIBIT Q the Head of the Navy Branch sends all the comments collected up to the 5th September 1946, onwards and upwards for discussion at Board level, agreeing, or concurring with the Director of  Manning in EXHIBIT P.  It is difficult to decipher the hand writing in this Exhibit but the purport states that Instructors are allowed up to a maximum of 49 days in a year only to their particular arduous duties. This extension of the standard 42 days leave is not to apply to the ships company.

Once again we see the sloppy staff work in the Admiralty, when EXHIBIT R asks for a reply to EXHIBIT M ONE and M TWO which were written 1½ months ago.

The last loose minute in the file is shown as EXHIBIT S. It points to a letter written on the 16th September 1946 which formalised leave at HMS Ganges as being 42 days for all, except for PO and CPO Instructors and their trainees who were allocated 49 days.

END OF FILE CONTENTS.

This leave was enshrined into KRAI [Kings Regulations and Admiralty Instructions] and associated BR's, but it was also recorded for posterity that the leave given to boys and their instructors should be the same and in synchrony. This, as we all know, was to bode well!

It wasn't long afterwards - written under Document N.T. 97/1948 which became BR 1938 The Naval Ratings Handbook 1951- when boys leave was increased from 7 weeks to 9 weeks {63 days}, giving three equal leaves at Easter, Summer and Christmas of three weeks.  This was at a time when leave to sea-going ships of the Home Fleet and Training Squadrons was 42 days [still] taken in three whacks each of 14 days, and to those serving in UK shore establishments and the Reserve Fleet, 30 days taken in three whacks each of 10 days. Needless to say, the leave of PO and CPO boy Instructors in places like HMS Ganges also went up to 63 days and the gulf between, say a PO serving in HMS Mercury and a PO serving in HMS Ganges on Instructional duties was enormous. BR 697/1952 {Boys Training Instructions 1952} which superseded BR 697/1937, states in Chapter VII [Miscellaneous Instructions] Page 18, Article 0703[f] that Instructors were paid an Instructional allowance of 1s per day <18.5.0d per year>  -  One shilling in 1950 is worth 1.39 today in 2012 = 507.35 pa, and that they are mandatorily granted the same seasonal leave as the boys, i.e. 9 weeks pa. 

Compare that with Article 0704[b] which states that the ships company of a boys training establishment may be granted the same seasonal  leave as the boys at the discretion of the Commanding Officer.  Under this proviso, leave in HMS Ganges became the same for all, and the provision was very soon thereafter to become a norm, with leave regulations and KRAI amended accordingly.  However, it was widely believed by the Instructors that their gains of having the same leave as their boys {their classes} to compensate for their arduous and grueling training contact hours, were wiped out when leave for all in the Establishment became standardised, leading them to say that the Ganges draft for an Instructor was a tough job, whereas, to be drafted/appointed for any other purpose, was a doddle of a job! Back button ?? .......You will come on this section again later on in the body of the page, so the second time around, ignore the back button prompt.

What follows is the content of the NA File presented as Exhibits.

EXHIBIT A


EXHIBIT B


This slip of paper, the first inside the file, shows the outcome and decision taken by the Admiralty. It also shows the first letter/loose minute in the file, the denominator {alongside the word Files} in this case N.17695/45 and the last correspondence as the numerator shown as 'Top Paper' which is N.11598/46
EXHIBIT C



EXHIBIT D


EXHIBIT E



EXHIBIT F



EXHIBIT G ONE



EXHIBIT G TWO



EXHIBIT H ONE



EXHIBIT H TWO



EXHIBIT I



EXHIBIT J



EXHIBIT K



EXHIBIT L



EXHIBIT M ONE



EXHIBIT M TWO



EXHIBIT N



EXHIBIT O



EXHIBIT P


EXHIBIT Q



EXHIBIT R



EXHIBIT S



In summary, after WW2 the lot of a Ganges instructor was not at all bad. Sure, the instructor had long hours, but he had good leave, was at home and ashore hopefully with his wife and family and was paid an instructors allowance. His job, although demanding, was rewarding and he could be proud of his involvement with the beginning of many a sailors life. A good instructor was well respected, I know, I respected mine, whose name was Petty Officer Telegraphist Stanley Sydes.

As a final bonus, I have copied the 1951 Leave Rules and Regulations. This pdf file will not win any prizes [it is not intended to], but all the facts and figures are there and it imparts precise details without omissions.

Look at this file 1951 LEAVE RULES AND REGULATIONS.pdf