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40 years ago..


Lantern Swinger
this day I walked through the gates of HMS Raleigh and started my time in the Andrew. We were the last entry to be issued with the old square rig with bellbottoms. Adding paybook width pleats on the trousers and a separate silk; the first skill to be learned was how not to ruin stuff with a hot iron!

Got to see the fleet at Spithead later in the year from HMS Devonshire (sent from HMS Cambridge for a week whilst under training) & joined my first ship in Guzz just as she was coming out of refit in the autumn. HMS Ajax was a lovely shade of red lead from bow to stern.

As Bosun's Mate rang 16 bells as 1977 became 1978.

Seems like yesterday, not 4 decades ago.
I was at RM Depot Deal working in the infirmary and X Ray dept. Spent every Wednesday afternoon at the Kingsdown range banging away with various weapons and every lunchtime in the True Briton/Lifeboat until 41 Cdo reformed there in '77.
I was on boats course, being drafted to them after the Rusty B de-commissioned.

After being stuck in North Corner for a couple of months, with the small ships canteen next to us, primed my liver for my future career in boats :)
I was just ahead of you in Anson 01s, about to go to 'O' School in Collingwood in a couple of weeks from Pelican Road MCT. Finished in September, I think.

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