This is an attempt at getting a Shipmate out during this awful time.
The above has taken over from Hitler for the 'Know your enemy' photo. I wanted the best coloured one for you all as the tv one is quite plain.
I am really hoping you all and your families are keeping well.
There will not be a printed copy due to the use of paper etc and if you can point this out to other members and maybe get their 'younger family members' to show them the pc/ phone that will have to do.
As you know the AGM has been cancelled for this year but on the plus side we may get two tots next year!
CROSSED THE BAR
I have only one notification so far. Stanley Hiller 'Crossed' on 12th August peacefully in his care home. His granddaughter, Amy, let us know. Funeral is at Kent & Sussex Crem at 10.00 am on 4th September. Should more reports come through I will add them on.
The following was supplied by Donald Woods and tells of his National Service time spent in the RN.
National Service in Royal Navy (Mk2) 1952-1954 After leaving school on the day after my 15th birthday in July 1946 I had to go in hospital with appendicitis before I started work at Brook Motors Ltd, the company making the largest number of AC induction motors in England. This was an apprenticeship giving comprehensive work in the factory combined with part time studying at Huddersfield Technical College. The aim of it was to achieve Higher National Certificate in electrical Engineering. As I was deferred from national service until I was 21 and received HNC at the end of my apprenticeship and studies, I was now eligible for it. Having nominated the navy as my choice and after a medical I was duly ordered to report to HMS Collingwood on 15th September 1952. As I arrived at Portsmouth there was a battleship at the berth. I think it was HMS King George V but at all other times it was HMS Vanguard . When I arrived at HMS Collingwood I found I was in the company of a group of similarly qualified men plus a few others, mainly juniors, to make up class 38. We were shown into a dormitory room, (mess) where we all selected our preferred bed space and locker and tried to get to know each other. A Petty Officer came in and introduced himself as PO Stevens one of our drill instructors. He said to call him PO when on duty but “Steve” was ok in the mess and off duty. Over the next few days we were busy collecting various items of uniform and working gear before packing the clothes we came in and posting them back home. Once settled down we started on drills in the shed then marching on the parade ground. When we had got into some sort of order we then got rifles and stated drilling with those. In the mess there were kit inspections where everything had to be laid out in a specific manner or there was much abuse if it was even slightly not correct. It was particularly irritating when the inspection was done sometimes by what I considered to be young kids in officer uniform with a white patch on coat lapel (midshipmen I think) and plummy voices. During the 6 week training we were part of the ship’s crew taking part in things like security or fire duty watches and the morning divisions. We were also given the opportunity to take a trade test to be considered as EA5 and PO. It was a very difficult filing test for which I and about 7 others failed. Only one passed. The test took 2 weeks and as a consequence we were back classed extending our part one training to 8 weeks. We passed out OK on our parade and were then rated as EM2(x) and qualified for the daily grog allocation and the monthly tobacco ration of 200 cigarettes. These were to pay for at very low cost and although I didn’t smoke I was able to sell them at a profit to anyone who did and was running short. Although I knew that this was illegal I had no qualms of doing it as my pay of £7 per week as a skilled engineer at work had gone down to £1-5-0 now(125p). Part 2 training was now more about the job of an electrician with lectures and demonstrations of equipment and practical work in the comprehensive workshops on the site. We had a day out to the gunnery school for practice with live ammunition. This was with old Lee Enfield rifles as these modern AK rifles hadn’t been invented yet! Our training continued up to Christmas when we had two week’s leave. After that it was about 5 weeks when we passed out as EM1(x), available for posting to a ship. I think the postings must have been given out in alphabetical order as I was the last one to get one. I got all sorts of jobs while I was waiting including assisting one of the lecturers. I had plenty of free time too to go on the football ground for both training and matches one of which was against a Portsmouth AFC XL. Not the first team of course but still far stronger than us as they included a Belgian international Marcel Gaillard. I think we lost 7 -0. It was 1953, Coronation year and I was instructed to join a group for street lining duties on the parade. I wasn’t enthusiastic about this but had to take part in a lot of marching designed to make us fit for the day and to make sure we could hold bladder and bowels for day as we were going to be in position by 6.30am. There had to be no drinking on the night before. Fortunately after about 3 weeks I was withdrawn because I was only 5ft 7ins tall and too small. When I finally got a posting it was to HMS Montclare which I found out was a submarine depot ship usually based at Rothesay on the Clyde estuary but presently anchored on 2 Spithead ready for the Queen’s review of the fleet. With me on the launch taking us to the ship were 3 others from HMS Collingwood, but none of the other NS men. It was quite rough trip out to the ship as the wind was blowing a bit. I wasn’t very impressed when I saw it as it didn’t look much like a warship but I was still glad to get off the launch. We were taken down a range of ladders to what appeared to me to be a large room with a lot of long tables, each of which turned out to be a mess. We were introduced to one which was the electricians’ of which there was about 20 members. I don’t remember much aboutthe rest of the day but when it came to finding somewhere to sling my hammock I was told it was every man for himself and find somewhere. I know it was somewhere cold that I found and that I didn’t sleep well that night. following morning, after divisions, we met the division officer Lt/Cdr(L) Ayeling and the Chief Electrician. They decided in which section we were to work. I was to work in the high voltage section with secondment to the Chief EA. To me the description, high voltage meant 3.3KV or greater and I had no experience of this, my highest being 415volts 3 phase 50hz or240 volts single phase 50hz or some 550 volts 3phase 60hz. I was told not to worry as the high voltage on this ship was 110DC with a small section of 220volts DC. Low voltage was 24v DC for batteries. I was told to report to the Chief EA in the Electrical Artificers’ workshop. On seeing him he introduced me to AE1, Alf Button who turned out to be my guardian angel for the rest of my days while on board. He had intimate knowledge of all the generating machinery in the ship, two driven by steam turbines in the boiler room and one diesel in the engine room. The diesel was only used when one of the steamers was out of action which was quite often. When the diesel was used an EM was required to be on watch with it. The 220 volt supply was another 2 small diesels not requiring a watch keeper. On occasions when I wasn’t working with Alf I was with a PO electrician looking after the general wiring and lighting in the ship. With such a low voltage as 110 I found the easiest way to check the supply was with a wet finger much to the alarm of anyone with me at the time! On the day of the review we were instructed in how to wave our hats as we line the rails giving 3 cheers. It was a very hot day and remember almost fainting but just managing to keep upright before staggering inboard out of the blazing sun. I don’t remember what ship the Queen was on as she passed by but I don’t think it was the Royal Yacht as that wasn’t commissioned until 1954. That came into Rothesay Bay on its maiden voyage (without Her) and tied up on the next buoy to us on the Montclare. At the conclusion of the review the Queen graciously gave the command “Splice the Mainbrace” meaning that a second issue of the rum was given that day! When the review day had passed, the fleet started to disperse but we had run into difficulties. We couldn’t pull up our anchor as the chain had tied itself in a knot by swinging round with the changing tides. It was the next day when a tug came to our rescue swinging us round in the opposite direction to unravel the knots. While we were making this movethe Cunard liner Queen Mary passed by on its way into Southampton on its return from New York. This was a magnificent sight after all the “Grey Funnel Line” ships had gone by. It was late in the day when we started the journey back to Rothesay and it was midnight when we pulled into Portland to refuel. I was on middle watch and getting my first taste of ki the naval drinking chocolate to keep me awake. I thought it was a wonderful drink. It took 3 or 4 days to get round the Scilly Isles and up the Irish Sea in a near flat calm to get to a buoy about 300 yards from shore in Rothesay bay where I spent the rest of my on board service time apart from 2 very short voyages. The first of these was down the Clyde estuary, round the Isle of Arran and back. It was rumoured that this was to preserve custom regulations about duty tobacco but I cannot confirm this to be true. We were fortunate to get back to the berth before the boiler broke down and we were out of steam for a while. It was a cruel rumour that blowing the siren was the cause of the breakdown. After 2 or 3 weeks working with Alf both round the ship and in the workshop, the chief EA allowed another EM and I to sling our hammocks in the workshop at night. The chief himself also slept there, but in his office. This solved my problem of finding somewhere and it was left on a night as I felt very uncomfortable in the mess deck area. When I had worked with Alf for a week or two, he started to call me “Slinger.”When I asked what was the reason, he said that it was the naval nickname for anyone called Wood (as Nobby is for anyone called Clarke.) After a fire in the galley we had to do a considerable amount of re-wiring to get the place in temporary working order but it was too big a job to make a permanent rewire and left for the dockyard. After removing some trunking to get to the burnt out wiring we found it crawling with cockroaches and had to clear these before we could run new wires. There must have been these insects in other parts of the galley too as it was not unusual to find bodies in the soups. Rothesay was a Glasgow holiday resort and it was now getting busy as the season approached but I didn’t go ashore so very often, and when I did, it was either to the cinema or the Regal ballroom. I wasn’t a great dancer or fan of Scottish country dancing but watching was interesting and passed the time on. I usually went with one of the older EM’s who liked his cups of tea so we passed on from one café to another. In the pubs, the up and coming drink was lager and lime and we had one of these now and again but I shudder at the thought of drinking this now. There was also a NAAFI canteen and bar available when submarines were with us. When I wasn’t working with Alf on the generating machinery there was plenty of routine work to do replacing lamps and fuses and locating earthing faults. There was fault on a lamp in the boiler room over one particular boiler that I never found all the time I was there. The stoker PO in there was forever chasing me about it but I couldn’t even find the fuse box supplying it. When I was with all the recruits who joined together, we were told that with our qualifications, we would be eligible for promotion to leading rate after 1 year’s service. The anniversary of joining was September 15th and on this date our division officer Lt/Cdr(L) Ayeling confirmed this promotion to Leading Electricians Mate LEM(x) allowing me to put an anchor badge on my left arm with the unofficial title of “Hookie.” A proud moment!! Only 1 of the older EM’s in the mess showed any resentment to me being promoted over him but I took no notice of his comments as I realised he had a good argument having been aboard this ship and others for at least 3 years. With this promotion I was given charge of the electricians’ workshop which was located on "A’ gun deck. It was a good space about 4 metres long a 2 metres wide with a work bench welded on to one of the bulkheads. Besides our own division officer, there was another Lt/Cdr(L) who was more connected to the submarines but we still saw plenty of him. He was actually a more likeable man than our own officer and when he saw our new workshop he asked if I slept there. When I told him of my arrangements in the EA workshop, which were much better than the mess deck, but a bit inconvenient at times as I could only get in when the chief EA was present, he suggested I got a bunk welded to the bulkhead opposite the work bench. When I told him I thought it was a great idea he said he would arrange it, which I thought was another great Idea as he would have more influence than me. As he was a man of his word a PO and stoker from the engineering department turned up with welding equipment and suitable materials and fixed up 4 bunks at 2 levels with 2 in line at each level. They were on hinges so they could be strapped up in the day and let down at night. As I was in charge of the workshop I was able to invite 3 others to join me. We were able to leave the bedding on during the day when they were folded away. We had the convenience of not having to sling a hammock each day plus the comfort. Things were fairly normal up to 2 weeks before Christmas when I was working alone in the area of the 220volt generators. I got a bit too close to the switchboard and accidentally touched the trip switch disconnecting one of the generators. I had been working with Alf on a previous occasion when we had connected them to run in parallel so I thought I knew how to re-connect them myself. I don’t know what I did wrong but it caused an explosion and I took the full force of it on my hands and arms.I managed to get myself to the sick bay where the damage was found to be mainly on my right hand with just the thumb and first finger clear. Both arms were burnt up to the elbows, most seriously on the right. Fortunately my face and eyes had kept clear of the flash. (On a previous occasion at work I had encounted a similar accident [not my fault] when the flash had caught my eyes and blinded me for 2 days). I was detained in the sick bay overnight and released back to the mess the next morning where the others laughed about it when they realised I was ok. They also rallied round helping me to wash and dress. I asked one to write to my mother to inform her that I couldn’t send her my weekly letter as I had injured my right hand. I had an invitation to a friend’s wedding on the day before my Christmas leave was due to start and had put in a request to start my leave a day earlier and return a day earlier so when I went before him I was dressed and bandaged. I assured him that I would be ok to travel so my request was granted. I was dressed by my mates who also packed a bag holding my luggage to hang over my shoulder. I managed ok until I got to Glasgow when I felt a bit vulnerable crossing from St Enoch’s station to Central station. Fellow passengers helped me remove my jersey on the train and dress me again when we got into Leeds arriving there about 2.30am. As it was another 5 hours before there was a train to Huddersfield I went out to try to hitch a lift. Being in uniform was a good help as I was soon picked up by a lorry driver on his way to Manchester. He dropped me off at a convenient spot giving me about a 20 minute walk to get home. I had to knock hard to arouse my mother and brother to let me in where they were sympathetic towards my injuries and let me get to bed quickly. I was up early to get to the wedding and act as usher in the church. I was able to relax for a few days and find a doctor with connections with the navy. He examined me and referred me to the local hospital for treatment. I was also able to convince him that I would be unfit to travel back and further treatment would be better done at thehospital. He provided me with a sick note to send so I got 2 week’s extra leave out of it. The SBA chief was annoyed with me when I got back but his complaint had no impression on me. I had a brush with a seaman PO who was in charge of a group using a hoist moving goods down to a store. I was needing something from the same level to come up to the workshop and it would save a lot of time and effort if it could be taken up on one of the reverse trips of the hoist. My polite request was refused in a very bad manner so my answer to him was given in similar tones which perhaps poured doubts on his parentage. He reported me for a disciplinary charge which came to our division officer who got the two of us together to find out what the problem was. I explained that as having worked in an environment where there was cooperation between departments and good manners were paramount, I was not used to being spoken to in terms of abuse even if it was not possible to assist. The manner that this man had spoken to me did not give me any enthusiasm to further a navy career. The PO couldn’t give an explanation for his refusal to help me and why it had been done in such a bad manner. The most frightening thing in my naval career(?) and possibly in my life occurred when I was called out as duty electrician to see to the lights on the liberty boat. It was wild stormy night with waves thrashing half way up the side of the ship. The launch wasn’t berthed at the end of the accommodation ladder but tied up from a beam on the ship’s deck. The only way to get down to it was down an un-tethered wet rope ladder. I don’t know how long it took me to get down to the launch but moving from one rung to the next was a challenge in itself. I replaced the blown bulb which was the only fault, and then my way back up the ladder with the same problems. The coxswain of the launch was a great and welcome help when to grab and let go, both climbing up and down the ladder. The climbers’ rule of 4 limbs-3 have to be attached at all times, was always in my mind. I was never more thankful when I finally got my feet on the deck again. The next incident of note was when a long weekend of leave came up and I decided that I could get home and back in time to enjoy it. As I was getting on the large launch being used as the liberty boat, the aft section was full meaning I had to walk on the wet gunwale to get to the next forward section. It was very slippery and I lost my footing and fell overboard. It was quite frightening as I am almost a non-swimmer and between a 20 ton launch and a 25000 ton ship but thankfully there were many hands reaching out to lift me back on board. After laughing, they told me that as my head went under the water, my hat floated off but my head came up directly under it. It is cold in the Clyde in February!! I had to go back on board the ship to make a complete change of clothing and catch the next liberty boat. The lads who slept in the workshop with me looked after the clothes and got them dried while I was away. It wasn’t a complete change of clothes as I only had the one hat which shrunk while I was away and I had to buy a new one. The second outing of the ship was just before Easter 1954. We made our way down to Liverpool and went into dry dock for a bottom scrape. Half the crew had already gone away on leave so lot of Glasgow sea cadets had been grafted in to help out. We just managed to get there before the boiler failed again but that was no problem for us as we were connected to an electricity supply from shore. I say no problem but this supply voltage boosted occasionally causing lamps to blow so we were forever replacing them. The main problem in dry dock meant the heads couldn’t be used so having to “go” involved a 100 yard walk with crossed legs, round the dock to the local facilities. On the second week in dock, the work was completed and the ship returned to Rothesay. As I had gone on leave from there I had to go back by train. While at home on Easter leave the cricket season had started and I managed to get a game in with my own local club. To my surprise and pleasure I found out that the ship had the facility for cricket on the other side of the island at Ettrick Bay. I was delighted when “clubs” (PTI} arranged a session of net practice a few times and then picked two teams and had a practice match. I found myself in the same team as the ship’s captain and actually batting with him. At home we played in a competitive league and batsmen were encouraged to talk to each other loudly, so it didn’t matter to me that the chap at the other end had 4 rings on his sleeve. There was no class distinction there so if I shouted “come,” he came or if I said “stay there,” he stayed. His only comment was why was I wearing no8 trousers? My replywas that I was a national serviceman and hadn’t been issued with any tropical kit but would get my own posted up to me asap.The outcome from this match was that I was appointed captain of the ships cricket team. The team mainly consisted of normal ranks, no officers, but there was CPO steward and two PO’s. I remember a national serviceman signaller who was quite a good bowler. We had 4 games in the rest of the season the first one being in Glasgow played in rain. We wouldn’t have considered playing in conditions like that at home but the opponents insisted we played. I had a carbuncle on the back of my neck and wasn’t very comfortable but we won and I scored 50 runs.The second game we also won but I remember it more for the ‘afters’, rather that the game itself. It was my 23rd birthday and I was duty electrician/crane driver but I got a sub to look out while I was tied up with the cricket. Having a win combined with my birthday we went to the NAAFI to celebrate. Here, the beer and spirits flowed copiously and I was in a bit of a daze when it came time to return to the ship and I wondered how I was going to get on and off the liberty boat, up the accommodation ladder and past the officer of the watch. Fortunately I was able to do all this and even pick up my tot, not having had it in the morning. I was even neat, not grog! I managed to get up to my bunk, falling asleep immediately, knowing nothing until reveille in the morning. However I am informed that at 2.30 am a pipe was made 3 times “duty cane driver close up”. On the 3rd call the EM on watch on the diesel generator realised something was amiss, abandoned his post and went to drive the crane. There had been a party in the ward room and guests were being ferried ashore when the liberty boat and captain’s barge collided resulting in the barge starting to fill with water. The crane was required to hoist it back on board. In the morning I had quite a hangover but when to tot came up at 11o’clock a mouthful cleared it nicely. On some memorial day (Queens birthday?) a 23 gun salute was called for using ‘A’ gun as principal weapon and ‘X’ gun as reserve. ‘A’ gun jammed after 13th shot so ‘X’ gun took over the shooting. When this gun failed too after the 20th shot, fortunately ‘A’ had been freed and just manage to finish the 23rd before jamming again. The result of this episode was the damage caused in the neighbourhood of the gun decks. If it had been a war situation the enemy would have had no need to shoot, our own guns would have caused enough damage! Once again we were forever replacing blown lamps. The good thing about the day was “Splice the Mainbrace” again. Being a depot ship for submarines meant that when not out on patrol they were tied up alongside us and their crews came on board to take advantage of more comfortable conditions. Occasionally we were asked to do work for them and one time I went on board HMS Andrew to change some lights. I only went as far as the bottom of the ladder area and a little bit further forrard (or it could have been aft) but I still had a sense of claustrophobia and thought then, that I wouldn’t have liked to have served on one. This particular boat had the record of being the first submarine to have crossed the Atlantic completely submerged using snorkel. I also worked on one of the miniature 2 man submarines. They were noted for attacking the Battleship Tirpitz, sister ship to the Bismark, anchored in a Norwegian Fjord and a threat to the Arctic convoys by attaching limpet mines to its hull. There was one sub which came back to us with the periscope bent at 90 degrees. It had been in the Arctic and tried to surface under the ice! I operated the crane to assist in the fitting of a new one. There were two other buoys in the bay, one of which was usually occupied by HMS Termagent, the duty escort destroyer and then, for a while, the other was occupied by the Royal Yacht Britannia, there on her maiden voyage. I would have liked to have looked round it but tours like that were not for the likes of us. There were no royals on board at the time. We occasionally had short weekend leave from Saturday dinnertime to divisions on Monday morning, just time to get to Glasgow and stay at the Seaman’s Rest Saturday night. I always got back on Sunday night. There was one weekend when I was happy to have not gone. There was a US Navy ship in the area and a meeting of their crew and British crews were not always amiable. Jolly Jack Tar got a bit annoyed when Loud Mouth Yank started boasting about coming across the Atlantic to win the war for us. The ensuing meeting resulted in a reported damage cost of £5000 to the newly opened NAFFI in Glasgow. Towards the end of my service time on the Montclare I was joined by 3 from the original group I was with in Collingwood. They had been with ships leaving on assignments to the West Indies and could not go with them. Two of them had picked up their leading rate like me but the other hadn’t. I think he had only got the ONC qualification, not the Higher. They all seemed to have had a more thorough experience than me. De-mob time was approaching in August and so, not being sorry to be leaving the ship, I was sorry to be leaving the many good friends I had made. Lt/Cdr Ayeling had left a few weeks earlier and had been replaced as divisional officer by Lt Champion who I found to be a more approachable man. He was a university man not a Dartmouth College type. I was able to make a joke with him when he suggested that I should think about signing on as a regular. Two days before I was leaving he came to say goodbye while I was still working and I had very dirty hands he insisted on shaking them. We had to return to Collingwood to get our release and received rail tickets for the journey. The train from Glasgow was the prestigious Royal Scot that we caught direct non-stop to Euston. In the last few days we had a few procedures to take and the only thing I had to hand in was my hammock, unused after getting my own bunk in the workshop. We were told to keep our uniforms for 12 years as we would be on reserve for that length of time. We laughed at the thought! On the whole I enjoyed my national service, perhaps a waste of time in some sense, but it taught me a lot about life with other people while making some good friends. Unfortunately I have never made contact again with any, but on a visit to Earl’s Court 4 years later to the Electrical Engineering Exhibition, I met an EM who had joined the Montclare a few days before I left. I certainly think I made the best choice when I went for the Royal Navy to do my national service when comparing notes with friends who had been with Army or RAF.
In a recent survey carried out for a leading toiletries firm, people from Glasgow have proved to be the most likely to have had sex in the shower!In the survey, 86% of Glasgow 's inner city residents said that they have enjoyed sex in the shower.
The other 14% said they hadn't been to prison yet.
No one believes seniors . . . everyone thinks they are senile.
An elderly couple was celebrating their sixtieth anniversary. The couple had married as childhood sweethearts and had moved back to their old neighbourhood after they retired. Holding hands, they walked back to their old school. It was not locked, so they entered, and found the old desk they'd shared, where Jerry had carved' I love you, Sally.' On their way back home, a bag of money fell out of an armoured car, practically landing at their feet. Sally quickly picked it up and, not sure what to do with it, they took it home. There, she counted the money - fifty thousand dollars! Jerry said, We've got to give it back. Sally said, Finders keepers. She put the money back in the bag and hid it in their attic. The next day, two police officers were canvassing the neighbourhood looking for the money, and knocked on their door. Pardon me, did either of you find a bag that fell out of an armoured car yesterday?Sally said, No. Jerry said, She’s lying. She hid it up in the attic. Sally said, Don't believe him, he’s getting senile The agents turned to Jerry and began to question him. One said: Tell us the story from the beginning.Jerry said, Well, when Sally and I were walking home from school yesterday ..The first police officer turned to his partner and said, Were outta here!
Sorry but couldn't resist!!!
I hope the last items gave you a smile to try and lift your spirits. Thanks again for Don and his item. Keep well and wearing your mask etc.