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HMS St Vincent 07-May-57 26-Jun-58
Boys Training Establishment, Gosport, Hampshire. Oh happy memories of the 5am dhoby. In the nude, cold water with a bar of pussers hard! Not forgetting the “Dartmouth routine” up and over the mast! At the tender age of just 15 this was no picnic!
Robby G in the centre. Bloody fit then. Bloody fat & ugly now!
Robby G ..back row 2nd in from the left
HMS Leopard 21-Sep-58 8-Dec-60
Type 41 Frigate. South Atlantic Station
(Great first Commission, great trip. Skipper hard but fair) Great South Atlantic and S. America run. Including going over a thousand miles up the river Amazon.
HMS Caunton 29-Dec-60 29-Jan-61
Minesweeper, Vernon Squandron, (Took her into refit , transfered to Laleston)
HMS Laleston 30-Jan-61 01-Jun-61
Minesweeper, Vernon Squandron.( Good boat except for the arseole of a “Tiff”!!) A great 6 months until the baby Tiff said the wrong thing! Hello my next draft.
RNDQ’s 02-Jun-61 07-Jul-61
No more said about this one. See the “Tiff” with the black eye!
Got 42 days.. but earned 7 days remission. At the time this was the place to break yer back. “Tiny” the RM was a b*****d! It was the fittest that I had ever been when I left here! This draft was not recommended!!!!
HMS Bermuda 08-Jul-61 01-Jul-62
Cruiser. Flagship, Home Fleet (crabby, but happy!) Went to Hamilton Bermuda on HMS Bermuda with Admiral Hamilton flying his flag! Great trip up the canals to the heart of Amsterdam. Wot Red Light District????
HMS Belfast 02-Jul-62 08-Jul-62
Cruiser (Only on her for a week. Bermuda’s crew relieved her crew) Belfast crew had just returned from a cruise States side. Big drugs bust on her return.
HMS Bermuda 09-Jul-62 19-Aug-62
Cruiser. Back to “Bermadoo” (to destore and into Reserve) Would you believe that the Supply Officer (Cash) had left some dosh in his safe?
HMS Victory(RNB) 20-Aug-62 26-Feb-63
Royal Naval Barracks, Portsmouth. (hated the place.) Could’nt wait to trap a local girl so as to get up “homers” for a decent place to kip! I wonder if she still lives at ?????? If she is I expect it is her teeth in the cup in the bathroom now, and not her mothers?
HMS Hartland Point 27-Feb-63 08-Aug-64
Depot Maintenace Ship, Singapore (another crabby but happy ship) Boats crew, I considered myself master with a Pinnace and it’s “kitchener gear”. Sasebo and “Honky Fid” great runs.
We were never alongside, always in mid channel at a buoy. I recall doing “beer runs” for the men under punishment. A dhoby bucket was lowered over the stern end, into my cutter and I would leap over to Red House landing at HMS Terror, up to the canteen, top the asaid bucket up with “Tiger” beer, downing a pint of “Tiger tops” whilst waiting. Then it was back to the ship for the bucket to be hoisted back inboard, out of the prying eyes of the OOW. Earnt myself a few “call rounds” (tots) when the lads were free from there “under stoppage”!!!!!!!!!!!!!
HMS Excellent 16-Sep-64 18-Dec-65
Billeted at Fraser Gunnery Range, Eastney, Portsmouth. (Gardener and snooker room cleaner,Great draft!)
Ran my clapped out old car on lawn mower fuel, prior to adding oil to the mixture of course!!!!
HMS Mull of Kintyre 18-Dec-65 05-Feb-66
Minesweeper Support Ship, Singapore (real crap ship)
I think this ship remained afloat cos of the sweepers tied up to her, that acted as bouyancy! The Aussie sweepers were berthed on her port side with us Brits getting the better berth to starboard!A few good runs ashore with the Aussies.
HMS Ickford 5 Feb 1966 25 Nov -66
Seward Defence Boat (SDB). Great little boat with a great crew. Left Ickford when the Indonesian confrontation ended. The skipper Lt Duncan Davidson and the jimmy, Lt Pink were brilliant. Paid there way for the regular up-homers booze ups with us RA’s. Only about a dozen ships company on this little boat. Couple of months on MOK before my next draft.
HMS Maryton 26-Nov-66 24-Jan-68
Minesweeper. 7th Minesweeper Squandron, Singapore, (Great boat, shame about the “Jimmy” who had his own personal soft toilet paper, flown out from the UK!!!) The skipper ran her aground twice within twenty four hours. On the second occassion HMS Manxman had to tow us off.
HMS Excellent 25-Jan-68 17-Sep-68
Gunnery School, Whale Island. Portsmouth. (Commanders Runner, stacks of Make & Mends!) Managed to avoid the Duty Watch roster and Divisions…it seems the reg office did’nt know I existed until my draft chit for barracks and release came through. Typical reggies…’eads up arses! So this was a dream draft!
HMS Victory(RNB) 18 Sept 68 19-Oct-68
Royal Naval Barracks, Portsmouth. For release.
Civvy Street 20-Oct-68 01-Feb-71
Southern Gasboard, doing Gas Conversion (town gas to North Sea natural gas) Working away from home AGAIN but the money was good. Missus said that I might as well stayed in the mob…that was when I saw her of course. I did’nt realise how well she could nag…so thought hard on my next decision!!
HMS Pembroke 02-Feb-71 28-May-71
Missed the mob, could’nt stand wifes nagging, so rejoined RN.
RNB & Supply School. (Changed branch from Seaman Gunner to “Jack Dusty”)
HMS Dolphin 29-May-71 04-Apr-72
Submarine Base, Gosport. (Brilliant, stacks of “Duty Frees” from my diesel boat oppo’s) Those O boat boys were great!
I Was Duty SA when the “Artemis” sank at her moorings. Had just issued her with the new style N0 8’s (polyester) that morning, she was to do trials with them.
Three lads were trapped on board the sunken sub but eventually managed to escape in immersion suits through the forward escape tower. It was great to see those lads heads pop up in the water when they escaped some 13 hours later.
Nobby G front right…when I had hair!
HMS Tiger 05-Apr-72 27-Oct-74
Cruiser. Home Fleet. (Probably the worst & filthiest ship that I ever served on) Albeit the skipper was good. Believe it or not, so were the “Reggies”! If MEM Danger ever reads this…can he please return the exotic movies that the Jack Dusty’s loaned him as they are over due at “Porn Rentals” sorry..”.Block Busters”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
HMS Dolphin 28-Oct-74 05-Sep-76
Submarine Base, Gosport. ( Once again another great “rabbit” draft!!!) Stuck away in “Dolphin 2” furniture store, just me and my mate Paddy C. No more tales here just in case I incriminate him/us?
HMS Devonshire 06-Sep-76 24-Oct-78
Destroyer (GMD). (Great draft. Shame about the Commander (S) though!!) He did not appreciate me welcoming Sohia Loren to Anigua and kissing her!! I do think he was jealous. If I ever see him again, I will give him a kiss.
On a Saturday Skippers rounds, ( I was Killick of the mess) the Captain spotted a small caravan type beer fridge in the mess. He asked where he could get one and after explaining the routine at 29 Returns Store, he later crossed my sweaty palm with 6 fag coupons. The deal cost me 200 fags …so 400 profit. That day we won the cake (again) for best mess!
HMS Sultan 25-Oct-78 26-May-80
Engineering School. (Another good shore base) The chippies in the foundry were great , for perloining a ships crest of ANY ship for returned favours!!!! Some excellent fresh water fishing can be found within the old fort of HMS Sultan.
HMS Glasgow 27-May-80 23-Aug-82
Destroyer. Type 42 ( Brilliant ship, great skipper, great lads) We were the first ship to arrive in the TEZ (total Exclusion Zone) at the start of the Falklands war. Bombed and survived.
this is a recording that I made whilst closed up at Action Stations. Glasgow was the first ship back home to the UK at wars end.
No tales from this draft, most of the witnesses are still alive!!!!
HMS Nelson(RNB) 24-Aug-82 09-Mar-84
Royal Naval Barracks, Portsmouth.
(Last chance to get my “Rabbits” before civvy street!!)
So there you have it…been there…seen it…done it It is now time to bid farewell to living in messes the size of a broom cupboards, two days on one wave, Duty Frees, mates you had and those you lost. Officers that had no idea and those that were brilliant. Ships that were happy, ships that were just happy and crabby and those that were just s**t. Divisions, taking orders, stoppage of leave, short weekends and NOW, WRNS that go to sea…at last we do have a real ships bike and not the old “red devil” with dodgy breaks and erratic steering.
So I bid this fine service adieu and join the real world, with nothing to look forward to but reunions where once again one will be reminded of the “GOOD TIMES”
Pub trade until I took early retirement in 1997. Villas in Spain, Bermuda, Seychelles and a couple of Swiss Bank accounts. Oh! come on, being a Jack Dusty was’nt that good!!!!! I enjoyed my naval career and must have done, as my last skipper said (Captain Hoddinot..) when I left HMS Glasgow “PO, reading your service docs, I must say that I have never read anything like them, please assure me, that when the time comes, you will donate them to the Imperil War Museum”..I think he was the only skipper who was’nt walking behind me with a pair of scissors with an eye on my rate and badges!!!!!
Think about this one… how many of you ditched all that pusser gear at home when it was coming up to your retirement…. me….I hired Pickfords to do the job. The house still retained the Battleship Gray though, due to the shortage of boot topping and yellow primus!
15 Years & 6 months on sea going ships,
includes months of wheeling and dealing at No. 29 store?
12 Ships/Boats & 11 Shore Bases
Oh! Happy daZe!