Deeps

Royal Navy Circa 1962/74

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Any former Royal Navy out there I,m a former Ganges boy 1963 56 Recruitment Joined at Carrington Street recruiting office with Alan Saxton (Beeston ) and Tony Wilde (Gringley on the Hill )

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I remember the recruiting office on Carrington Street, when did it close.

I suggest you put a list of names in this thread.

Google will soon index them, and they will be found by anyone searching for themselves.

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I had a mate in Clifton who went in during the times you mention, name was Malcolm Lightfoot, The only badge I remember was "The Raleigh" which I think was a training ship.

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Hi

Thanks for your response I don,t know the person you refer to however HMS Raleigh was the RN training base for new recruits over the age of 17 it is located at Torpoint in cornwall the training was of 16 weeks duration whereas HMS Ganges was the training base for Juniors ( Boys aged from 15 to 17 at Shotley Gate Nr Ipswich in Suffolk Training at Ganges was 12 months duration.

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Deeps, knowing of your interest in the Royal Navy I thought that you may be interested in this. My dad's brother Sto. 1d. John Booth served on H.M.S. Hogue. It was a steam ship built in 1900. On the 22nd September 1914 it was attacked by a German submarine, U-9, and sunk. John Booth lost his life. I have a photo of him and also the Scroll from the King to commemorate his sacrifice. This morning I have been looking for information on H.M.S. Hogue and have found a photo of the ship being attacked. It was sad to see the photo knowing that my relative was on the ship.

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Hi Michael

Thanks I have an interest in all things to do with Submarines especially those about personnel I will look through my stuff and see what I have on the sinking of the Hogue especially the stuff on U boats and their exploits. By the way did you get my e mail about meadow lane and its streets?

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I've just checked and there is nothing there from you Deeps. Try re-sending it and hopefully I'll get it. Regarding H.M.S. Hogue I just typed the name into the search engine and clicked on Wikipedia.

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I have a picture of my dad and some of his mates, they were HMS Raleigh, Ark Royal and HMS Eagle around Late 50's and Early 60's I don't know if he was in there long enough to know you or anyone else, maybe some of you are even in the picture.

My dad is second from the right on the front row. John Gilbert, his mates knew him as "Reg", or "Butch".

6930852612_d67a986cdb_z.jpg

dad in navy2 by GH0ST1958, on Flickr

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I was quite intrigued to read this, I had two Uncles serving on carriers during WW2. My mothers brother, Eric, served in the Pacific on board HMS Illustrious, he survived the campaign, just. My dad's brother was on an escort carrier on North Atlantic convoy duty including the dreaded run to Murmansk.

The reason I'm replying to this though is for those of you who may have trained at HMS Ganges. Perhaps you know that it closed as a Naval establishment in 1976, was then used as a police training centre until 2001 then closed permanently, sadly becoming increasingly derelict and vandalised while arguments over various schemes to redevelop the site have taken place, the 17th being 'approved' last November. When I first started coming down to Essex we visited Shotley and watched all the terrifed looking cadets being run out on to the piers at the double for sailing lessons, these have all fallen into disrepair now. The saddest sight is the famous mast used for the infamous Button Boy ceremony. This 143ft high mast from a 19th century warship was used to train the cadets in the art of mast climbing, there's a spectacular film of the ceremony on Youtube dating from the 60's. The youngest cadet had to climb to the top and stand unaided on the 'button' situated at the very top, for this dubious pleasure I think he received a silver sixpence from the OC. I last saw the mast 2 years ago and it was a sad sight, the rigging was rotten and one of the yardarms had fallen to the ground. I gather that any development of the site requires the mast to be repaired, restored and to form the centre piece of it all, I would imagine that any of the original timbers would be too rotten to be used now, it should have been dismantled and stored when the base was closed in 1976.

The other interesting place is the nearby Shotley church. Situated on it's own down a track the atmospheric graveyard looking over the sea contains 201 naval war graves from 1914-18, 34 from WW2 plus 13 German personel from WW1, it's a very special place, I often wonder whether the 'Button Boy' who once fell from the top of the mast is buried there.

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Hi Firbeck

I visited the old Ganges sight recently and what a sad sight it was The HMS Ganges Association is attempting to get the Mast listed status and to have it renovated. The Mast Manning ceremony you describe was an annual event and took place on Parents day the Mast manning team for the ceremony were selected from 2 of the 12 Divisions in Ganges with one division manning one side and the other the other side the Button Boy was selected from one of the divisions. Practice took place every day for months before in all weathers. In my year(1963) the divisions were Duncan and Grenville with the Button boy coming from Duncan I was fortunate enough to be a member of the team positioned on the lower yard. Youtube also has a film made by Blue Peter with John Noakes as a member of the team

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I joined HMS Fisgard in January 1964 in class S50. Went to HMS Collingwood in January 1965 then transferred to the Royal Australian Navy in October 1965.

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Hi Coughdrop 

I was really interested to read your post

During my time in boats in the early 60s I along with lots of other Submariners was offered the chance to transfer to the RAN when they were building their own Submarine service using Oberon class submarines they had built in the UK. Lots of Aussie submariners served on our boats. The decision not to transfer is one I have regretted eversince especially now as I visit Sydney regularly to see my son who lives there and works in Neutral Bay where HMAS Penguin was the S/M base

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