Biblical quotations


It used to be that ships would pass Bilical quotes as a means of short messages ie 2 Kings 4.19 - And he said to his Father "My head, my head" - After a run ashore.
I have the Bluesuit webpage but wondered if there are any others?
Short of carrying a tame Padre does anyone have some suggestions?


War Hero
Think this will be a very intresting Thread :thumright: The Bunting tossers must know loads :salut: ps I will have to get a bible out???


My pal, Vasco, is really good at this and reels off loads of quotes without having to use any reference at all.
He really seriously p****d off some German yachts on the last trip to Lorient - seemed like a useful skill to have
happybonzo said:
My pal, Vasco, is really good at this and reels off loads of quotes without having to use any reference at all.
He really seriously p****d off some German yachts on the last trip to Lorient - seemed like a useful skill to have

Nice dog mate.

Who made thee a prince and a judge over us?
Exodus, 2. 14

CTCRM Training team

Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Exodus, 20. 3 MY NAME IS C/SGT ********

My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
Proverbs, 1. 10 BUGIS STREET

Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?
Proverbs, 6. 27 PISSED UP AGAIN


War Hero
Found a few :thumright:

Darrian Wolffe:
As stolen shamelessly from the Avalon Hill Boards:


Ships sailing in thick fog:
Senior officer to escort: "I hope you find necessary facilities in Belfast".
Escort to SO: "Hope I find Belfast".


From Flag Officer Gibraltar: "Small round object sighted 180 degrees 5 miles from Europa Point. Probably mine".
From Flag Officer Force H: "Certainly not mine".


From cruiser to flotilla upon discovering they were lost in bad weather AND in an enemy minefield:
"What do you consider our position, other than precarious?"


"SOS SOS SOS Maid of Cork. Sinking".


A flagship was inexperienced in ship handling. It signalled "All engines stop" and promptly steamed off.
Junior ship: "What speed are you stopped at?"


British light forces in WW1: "Have sighted enemy battleship bearing NNE distance 2 miles. Am preparing to ram".
A while later...
"Cancel my last signal. Battleship turns out to be a lighthouse".


Ship to ship: "Please send your technical expert to see our foremost gun".
Reply: "Our technical expert can see your foremost gun from here".


Admiral Somerville had a noted sense of humour. At the bombardment of Genoa HMS Malaya was, as usual, flying the Malayan flag as she was a gift from Malaya in WW1. The Malayan flag closely resembled the P&O shipping line.
Somerville to HMS Malaya after her second salvo: "You look like an enraged P&O".


Submarine returning from patrol to home base: "Expect to make base at 1800 hours if friendly aircraft will stop bombing me".


Senior officer to training submarine in apparent difficulties: "What are you doing?"
Reply: "Learning a lot".


Gunboats on a Chinese river with notorious navigation hazards.
The lead ship got around the bend but the second did not follow.
Lead ship signalled: "What is the delay?"
Second ship: "Regret have become a semi permanent feature of the Chinese landscape".


The Bible was much used for signalling in the Royal Navy.
Submarine returning from war patrol: "Psalm 17. Verse 4"

("Concerning the works of men by the words of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyers")


In WW1 HMS Essex was patrolling off the US coast. A foreign vessel was making a complete hash of a signal in Morse code. A US shore station cut in with: "Now try the other foot".


Two destroyers met after a storm. One had been dismasted by the gale.
"How come?"
Reply: "Scraping under very low cloud".


Flower Class corvettes were notoriously lively sea boats. Two were in a severe storm and pitching and rolling all over the place.
One to the other: "Have just seen down your funnel. The fire is burning brightly".


Senior officer to junior ships after he carried out a pre-announced inspection:
"Standing orders provide for overalls being worn for dirty work on board in which category I do not include an inspection by me".


Corvette to passing MTB: "Good luck".
Reply: "Thanks. Actually we rely on skill".


Signal about HMS Phoebe as she left to change commands: "Romans Chapter 16 verses 1 and 2".

(I commend unto you Phebe our sister... that ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh Saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you; for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also".)


The Cold War Soviet fleet had a sense of humour. HMS Londonderry was chasing a Soviet vessel and the Soviet vessel was pulling away.
The Soviet signalled in halting English: "You are lagging behind. Recommend you connect additionally a washing machine to the shaft of your ship".
HMS Londonderry replied: "I am running on washing machines at this speed. My main engines are still in reserve".


The former Soviet navy regarded the Black Sea as a private lake and disliked naval intrusions. In the early 1960s a British destroyer flotilla entered the Black Sea and the Russians rushed some cruisers out at high speed and closed in...
Russian cruisers signalled urgently: "What are you doing in the Black Sea?"
Reply: "Twenty-one knots".

A Soviet 'trawler' had been shadowing a NATO exercise for several days taking notes and gathering SIGINT.

As the ships queued up to refuel a British frigate signalled her: "Do you require refuelling?"

Reply: "Not if your exercise finishes on time".




The U.S.S. Constitution (Old Ironsides) as a combat
vessel carried 48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers
and men. This was sufficient to last six months of sustained operations at sea. She carried no evaporators (fresh water distillers).

However, let it be noted that according to her log, "On
July 27, 1798, the U.S.S. Constitution sailed from Boston
with a full complement of 475 officers and men, 48,600
gallons of fresh water, 7,400 cannon shot, 11,600
pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum."

Her mission:
"To destroy and harass English shipping."

Making Jamaica on 6 October, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300
gallons of rum.

Then she headed for the Azores, arriving there 12 November. She provisioned
with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine.

On 18 November, she set sail for England.

In the ensuing days she defeated five British men-of-war
and captured and scuttled 12 English merchantmen,
salvaging only the rum aboard each.

By 26 January, her powder and shot were exhausted.
Nevertheless, and though unarmed, she made a night
raid up the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. Her landing party
captured a whiskey distillery and transferred 40,000 gallons of single malt
Scotch aboard by dawn.

Then she headed home.

The U.S.S. Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February 1799, with no
cannon shot, no food, no powder, NO rum, NO wine, NO whiskey and 38,600 (of 48,600) gallons of stagnant water.



Supposedly the transcript of a radio conversation of a U. S. naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995. Radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations on 10-10-95 [USN has issue a press release asserting the incident never happened].

Americans: "Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision."

Canadians: "Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision."

Americans: "This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, DIVERT YOUR course."

Canadians: "No. I say again, you divert YOUR course."

Americans: "This is the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, the second largest ship in the United States Atlantic Fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers, and numerous support vessels. I demand that you change your course 15 degrees north...that's one-five-degrees North, or counter-measures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship."

Canadians: "This is a lighthouse. Your call."


American intelligence predicted that an IJN submarine, I-1, would make a resupply run to Guadalcanal on the night of January 29, 1943. Consequently, two RNZN corvettes, Kiwi and Moa, were ordered to intercept her. The I-boat showed up right on schedule, and a couple of depth charge attacks quickly knocked out here engines and forced her to the surface.

The Japanese captain gamely attempted a gun action which accomplished nothing other than the death of his first string gun crews, whereupon Lt. Commander Bridson, commanding the Kiwi, ordered up full speed and pointed her bow at I-1. The Kiwi's engineer quickly objected to the tactic (possibly noting the I-boat was almost twice as long and three times as heavy as his corvette), but Bridgson replied, "Shut up! There's a weekend's leave in Auckland dead ahead of us." Kiwi struck the I-boat, holing her, and then backed off.

Seeing his tactic work once, Bridson decided to ram a second time, crying "Hit her again! It'll be a week's leave!" This second attempt only struck a glancing blow, so with a new motto of "Once more for a fortnight!" Bridson ran Kiwi OVER the hull of I-1, causing her to spurt out oil. Satisifed that the I-1 was doomed and with his own guns now too hot to fire, Bridson withdrew Kiwi to let Moa finish up the IJN sub, though not before the Japanese had tried their own hand at ancient naval tactics.

With the Nipponese captain and gun crew all dead or wounded and the Kiwi already in the process of converting herself into a ram, the I-boat's navigator rushed down the ladder into the conning tower crying "Swords, Swords!" This unusual command resulted in the first lieutenant and then the navigator himself emerging on deck with edged weapons in hand. When the Kiwi tried to ram the I-boat again, the navigator, a famous swordsman in Japan, jumped at the New Zealand corvette with the evident intent to board and capture her single-handly. Fortunately for all concerned, he misjudged his leap, and succeded only in briefly capturing a small section of the Kiwi's railing. He was later captured himself by the Moa.


The following takes place on one of the first 10 corvettes built in Canada early in World War II. Intended for the Royal Navy, these particular Flower-class corvettes were commissioned in Canada and delivered to Britain by Canadian crews. On arrival there the original plan was to decommission them and send the transit crews back to Canada before transferring them to the RN. Circumstances of the war forced a change; the vessels were kept in Royal Canadian Navy commission complete with their delivery crews and assigned to operations.

On arriving at Greenock on the Clyde, near Glasgow, they refuelled, restored, and then were sent to a shipyard to be completed. During this period the crew alternated between leave and training at shore establishments.

With the corvette fitted out and with more armament, its crew took it to Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, off Scotland's west coast, for workups. RN sea-training personnel at His Majesty's Ship Western Isles, the command ship there, had the job of bringing ships' companies up to peak fighting efficiency.

For a month the crew was put through every possible scenario and drill, surface action, antisubmarine attack, air attack, abandon ship, collision, boarding party, landing party, damage control, etc. When the training staff was finally satisfied that the ship had reached the required level, the top brass came aboard to evaluate. A sort of passing out, so to speak. For three days the crew was put through its paces. During the exercises senior officers circulated about the vessel making every effort to intimidate and cause as much confusion as possible.

During a combined simulated air raid and submarine attack, one of the officers came around the after-canopy where a depth-charge crew struggled to load a 300-pound charge on the thrower. Tossing his hat to the deck in the middle of them, the commander shouted: "That's an incendiary bomb! What are you going to do about it?"

Without a moment's hesitation, a young ordinary seaman drew back his foot and, with a shot that would make any soccer player proud, sent the hat sailing over the guardrail. The astonished commander watched helplessly as his hat, weighed down by its heavy gold braid, made its way down to the muddy bottom of Tobermory Bay.

Finally, some British OFR's:

- His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of curiosity.
- I would not breed from this Officer.
- This Officer is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a
definitely won't-be.
- When she opens her mouth, it seems only to change whichever foot was
previously in there.
- He has carried out each and every one of his duties to his entire
- He would be out of his depth in a car park puddle.
- Technically sound, but socially impossible.
- This Officer reminds me very much of a gyroscope always spinning around
at a frantic pace, but not really going anywhere.
- This young lady has delusions of adequacy.
- When he joined my ship, this Officer was something of a granny; since
then he has aged considerably.
- This Medical Officer has used my ship to carry his genitals from port to
port, and my officers to carry him from bar to bar.
- Since my last report he has reached rock bottom, and has started to dig.
- She sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve
- He has the wisdom of youth, and the energy of old age.
- This Officer should go far and the sooner he starts, the better.
- In my opinion this pilot should not be authorized to fly below 250 feet.
- The only ship I would recommend this man for is citizenship.
- Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a
- This man is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.
- Only occasionally wets himself under pressure.

I dunno if I got all of those, but still a good read. And the one with the Cnadians and Americans on collison course is just awesome!

The topmost section of naval signals is from Captain Jack Broome's book, Make a Signal!. Well worth a read. That doesn't even have all of the best ones.

Broome himself was quite a character: "HMS Veteran served in the Norwegian campaign in 1940. While there, her bridge was adorned with a huge stuffed hippopotamus head, acquired by Broome from Formby Golf Club during a spree ashore."

It's worth noting that V&W class destroyers like HMS Veteran had open bridges, so it would have appeared to the casual observer that a hippopotamus was on watch.

Funny only because no one died

A sailor serving aboard HMAS Empress got to send the memoriable signal "Have shot myself." to the rest of the Australian Fleet when somehow she succeeded in shooting her A turret off with the guns of her B turret



- This man is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.
- Only occasionally wets himself under pressure.

Ahh, I'm going to remember those two!

Funny stuff, though I think the Lighthouse jokes were 'naval legends'.



War Hero
Better ones :thumright:
Navy to embed Biblical references in their signals. Examples of such exchanges include the following:

From a submarine returning from war patrol to the flotilla Captain:
Psalm 17, verse 4 "Concerning the works of men by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the path of the destroyers"
Reply to signal received by an officer, congratulating him on his promotion:
Psalm 140, 2nd half of verse "They have set gins for me"
Situations when Bible quotes were used were many and varied. These occasions might include:

When a ship collided with the jetty while docking:
Proverbs 22-28 "Remove not the ancient landmark which thy fathers have set"
When a ship was not keeping proper ‘station’, station being the location to which a ship or fleet is assigned for duty:
Psalm 77-19 "Thy way is in the sea and thy path in the great waters and thy footsteps are not known"
Proverbs 4-26 "Ponder the path of thy feet and let all thy ways be established"
To reprimand someone who hadn't followed instructions properly, or disobeyed them entirely:
Job 31-11 "For this is a heinous crime, yea it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges"
Proverbs 8-33 "Hear instruction and be wise and refuse it not"
To request a report on a particular action or event:
Revelations 1-19 "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are and the things which shall be hereafter"
To give direction:
Deuteronomy 2-3 "Ye have compassed this mountain long enough, turn ye northward"
To chide someone who was overly concerned with promoting his own career or prospects:
Psalm 75-6 "For promotion cometh neither from the east nor from the west not from the south"
When one ship said goodbye to another ship:
Acts 21-6 "And when we had taken our leave of one another, we took ship, and they returned home again"
The content of such Biblically-based messages was often light-hearted, but it could also be serious:

In the case of a victory at sea:
Psalm 18-37 "I have pursued mine enemies and overtaken them, neither did I turn again until they were consumed"
By way of a warning against rebellious behaviour by crew members:
Philippians 3-14 "Do all things without murmurings and disputings"
Whether the intention was to praise, rebuke, or simply to entertain and enlighten, the practice of using Biblical quotations for messaging and signalling was a clever way of getting complex ideas across in a succinct fashion.

Quotation in full:
"Be not deceived, evil communications corrupt good manners"

Copyright © 2000-2008 CFB Esquimalt
Hey Scouse
What part of Biblical Quotes slipped past?
Amusing nonetheless.

Edit: OK, ok. Submitted before your second post appeared. I'll take the stick. :thumright:
'Fear God, Honour the King'.... motto above long covered way at the G-Spot... (1 Peter 2:17)... A good motto Maxi! :thumright: ;)

This passage was also recited by the Archbishop of Canterbury during Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation on 2 June 1953.


This is cracking stuff, just what is needed
I did like
His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of curiosity.quote] both of which would apply to my pal
I don't why I still sail with him because he has got me into so much trouble over the years

- I would not breed from this Officer.
I wouldn't be surprised if Mrs V. came out with something like this

edit for spelling


War Hero
Don't know about biblical quotes = short messages.

I do remember the Dolphin Codes. Only wish I'd kept a copy now!!!!!


Book Reviewer
Waspie said:
Don't know about biblical quotes = short messages.

I do remember the Dolphin Codes. Only wish I'd kept a copy now!!!!!
They are on the forum somewhere, someone put them up a while ago
And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
Jonah, 2. 10

Frog Squad about to say farewell to the sundodgers!

The wages of sin is death.
Romans, 6. 23

Always use a condom.

Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein.
Proverbs, 26. 27

The heads are located left of the big oak tree.


War Hero
Non biblical Signal. Dreadnought and Submarine. Heading out to sea on excersise. Dreadnought to Sub " I am making 23 knots care to join me? .Reply from sub to Dreadnought " I am about to dive! you care to join me" :thumright:


War Hero
Waspie said:
Don't know about biblical quotes = short messages.

I do remember the Dolphin Codes. Only wish I'd kept a copy now!!!!!
:thumright: found them

Long, hard and full of seamen
Forum Index ->Submariners


Joined: Mar 01, 2007
Posts: 120
Location: Desk
Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:33 am Post subject: Dolphin code


Any one remember this

1. Your last surfacing procedure was:
a. First class.
b. Surprisingly good.
c. Understandably awful.
d. Indescribable.
2. I presume you got your ticket in a raffle.
3. For the last serial you could have used any fishing vessel.
4. My battery is:
a. 100%, I will simulate a Nuclear Submarine if you wish.
b. 75%, I will simulate a Nuclear Submarine for a short time if you wish.
c. 50%, I will not simulate a Nuclear Submarine, regardless of your wish.
d. 25%, I wish to simulate a Conventional Submarine, and will hot-pipe if you wish.
e. DEAD, I hot-pipe now, regardless of your wish.
5. I was unaware that medical standards had been revised. You must be blind as a bat.
6. During the last action you displayed noticeably suicidal tendencies.
7. Once again you have demonstrated a commendable ability to practise basics.
8. The last serial was so bad that we watched a double feature.
9. Your exercise instructions are simple. Simply awful.
10. I am unable to act as evasively as I wish.
11. I am unable to act as unevasively as you wish.
12. I am surfaced (surfacing) because:
a. I must make repairs.
b. I wish to bale out water.
c. Your chances of locating me are negligible otherwise.
d. I wish to barbecue the next meal.
13. I must temporarily withdraw from the exercise because of difficulties with:
a. Technical systems which are to difficult to explain.
b. Battery/motors/generators, I no go right.
c. Sonar, I no hear right.
d. Ingress of water, I no float right.
e. Fire/smoke, I no breathe right.
f. Personnel, I no lead right.
14. Please accept my apologies for failing to make the assigned rendezvous. My reason is as follows:
a. The navigator is a Newfoundlander.
b. I was doing something else at the time and didn't think you'd miss me.
c. I erroneously assumed that you would be where you said you would be.
d. My navigational equipment has not been updated since the Boer War.
15. If you don't ask me to raise more masts I won't ask you to fly with your wheels in the water.
16. Your last attack is assessed as follows:
a. Excellent, within 500 yards.
b. Good, within 1000 yards.
c. Marginal, 1000 to 2000 yards.
d. Poor, over 2000 yards.
e. Awful, over 3000 yards.
f. Unmeasurably distant.
17. It is difficult to believe that you and I are operating in the same ocean.
18. Your message (Date/Time/Group ________):
a. Appears to have been drafted hastily.
b. Does little to foster good relations.
c. Is a shining example of illiteracy.
d. Is not held by this unit.
e. Is held by this unit, but we wish it wasn't.
f. Requires the sort of reply I am not used to making.
g. Was a crippler.
h. B.O.H.I.C.A. (Bend over here it comes again).
19. When we were surface sailors we also used to do silly things.
20. If you decide to graduate to advanced exercises, please hire a different submarine.
21. If you ask me to fire another smoke, I'll scream.
22. Submarines never cheat and rarely lie.
23. It's a pity that in wartime we d be on the same side.
24. Your approach to the problem was impossible but tactically sound.
a. Your helicopter frightened me.
b. Your helicopter didn't frighten me.
c. I frightened your helicopter.
d. I wasn't aware you had a helicopter airborne
a. Thank you for your valuable assistance.
b. Had assistance been rendered, I would have been thankful.
c. No, thank you, I do not require assistance.
d. Please do not render assistance, I need your help like a hole in the head.
27. You have been on task for several hours. You must be suffering terribly from crew fatigue.
28. We have been on task for several weeks. Next week we will probably begin to suffer from crew fatigue.
29. Tracking without attacking is the commonest form of military masochism.
30. I suppose the worsening weather will mean you'll have to stop the war.
31. The adverse weather is affecting us greatly: The movie projector has tipped over twice.
32. If you're so good why aren't you in submarines?
33. Submariners do it deeper.
34. Submariners think deeper.
35. Deep down you know it makes sense.
36. Submariners are super.
37. Submariners have bigger balls.
38. Diesel boats forever.
39. Black is beautiful.
40. Breaker one nine, this is rubber duck, I think we got us a convoy.
41. Ten Four.
42. Please be gentle, this is my first time.
43. We think the water has been sufficiently ensonified. Maybe you should try something else.
44. You have the uncanny ability to complicate a very simple exercise.
45. Intelligence is a God-given gift. Doorknobs are man-made. Mental midgets only have God's love. Is my point clear?
46. After working with you I now realise why some animals eat their young.
47. My CO and XO can out drink your CO and XO.
48. When someone is as good as me it's hard to be modest.
49. Happiness is 500 ft in force 12.
50. With friends like you, who needs enemies?
51. Don't knock a stern shot until you've fired one.
52. If you provide the fresh water, I'll provide:
a. Soap.
b. Towels.
c. 60 dirty bodies.
d. Whiskey.
e. All of the above.
53. G.O.Y.A. (Get Off Your Arse)
54. D.B.S.F.W. (Don't Be So * Wet)
55. B.U.F.F.S. (Buck Up For * Sake)
56. P.P.P.P.P.P. (Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance)
57. S.M.F. (?)
58. With sub-killers like you around, I look forward to a long life.
59. Missed me again.
60. Can I go home now?
61. We may be small but we're slow.
62. My bite is worse than my bark.
63. I was delayed in returning to periscope depth because:
a. A large whale was holding me down.
b. I forgot to vent my depth gauge.
c. I was waiting for the last reel to finish.
d. I had to resolve my plot.
e. I wasn't sure if I knew that you knew where I was.
f. I wanted to annoy you.
64. Many thanks for:
a. Your kind hospitality.
b. The newspapers.
c. The skin books.
d. Nothing.
65. Excuse me sir, but I think you have confused me with someone who gives a damn.
66. My reports/reply/message/letter was (will be) late for the following reason(s):
a. Writer's cramp.
b. Typewriter unserviceable due to overheating.
c. My priority list didn't coincide with yours.
d. We didn't think you'd notice.
e. I plain forgot.
f. The XO plain forgot.
67. R.P.C. for:
a. Noon cocktails.
b. Informal operational discussion.
c. Post-exercise punchup.
d. Light meal and refreshments.
e. Sarnies and sludge.
68. M.R.U. because:
a. I am otherwise operationally committed.
b. I am otherwise socially committed.
c. Your last such event was disastrous.
d. I am unable to maintain your pace.
e. I don t want to come.
69. W.M.P.:
a. You offer so few invitations I can't afford to pass up this one.
b. Let's do it again.
c. for a short time.
d. For as long as you'll have me.
e. With bells on.
70. Your social event was:
a. First class. Thank you.
b. Disastrous, as expected.
c. One which should never be repeated.
d. Most detrimental to health.
e. A crashing bore. Better luck next time.
71. Unbelievable. Will advise Mr. Ripley.
a. Very well done.
b. Well done.
c. Well done. Sort of.
d. Not well done.
e. Badly done.
f. Very badly done.
g. Don't do it again.
73. Have lost the bubble. Will retrieve.
74. Bubble found.
75. What can I say?
76. Reason(s) is (are) as follows:
a. I goofed.
b. XO goofed.
c. Somebody goofed.
d. Inattention, for which some son-of-a-bitch will pay.
e. Temporary decline in usual high standards.
f. Another example of usual low standards.
g. I thought I could get away with it.
h. Misdirected malapropism.
i. Lapsus lingae.
77. This port is:
a. Fantastic. Better not send surface ships here.
b. Outstanding. Can we come again?
c. Reasonable.
d. Not the sort of place Submariners should visit.
e. Hostile.
f. Only good for storm avoidance.
78. Wish you were here.
79. Bet you wish you were here.
80. Glad you're not here.
Skimmers do it deeper but they only do it once.


Thanks everyone; that's something to be getting on with.
I had forgotten about Jack Broome's book, "Make a Signal!". Amazon have it so I shall try and get a copy.

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