Brickin' It. The Submariners NUMBER ONE THREAD

Discussion in 'Submariners' started by BillyNoMates, May 19, 2008.

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  1. No "Sundodgers" Thread in the Top Ten?

    Okay then. See if you Old'n'Bold can keep
    this alive.........

    WHAT was the most DANGEROUS, Brickin' it
    submarine moment you reckon you have ever
    experienced? Y'know - the type of thing that
    could possibly cause you to either:

    (a). Stop breathin' :whew:
    (b). Start attempting to drink the entire contents of the Atlantic/Wherever. :whew:
    (c). Or just plain top your Eights/Overalls up with a goodly amount of poo. :whew: :toilet:

    Standing by.
  2. Sorry cant tell as its classified. Nearly had to learn russian though.
  3. There you have it! Our threads hardly ever
    make the front page 'cos we cannot tell
    the stories that we all have locked up in our
    heads (and bathrooms). It's all good stuff
    but its all in Big Red Files in GCHQ. So lets
    all go back to telling Newbies that they can't
    use Talcum Powder on submarines eh?
    :thumright: :thumright:
  4. OK Billy as I spent time putting didgit to keyboard a year or two ago. So again here is another excuse to stick it on the forum.

    New Bridge for Old
    (How to re-design an O Boats Bridge)

    One fine day in May 1971 Her Majesties Submarine Opportune SSK20 was quietly weaving along at various depths about two hundred miles south west of the Sicily Isles. Our gain-full employment was to test sonar arrays, which were later to be part of the 2000 series sonar sets. El Capitano feeling bored and unhappy with two thirds of his motley crew tucked up in their smelly pits decides to close up the attack team and practice on a poor unsuspecting passing merchantman that had just happened along our part of the South West Approaches. We tumble out of our bunks and gallop off to the Control Room, looking out of course for a Senior Rate or Officer coming in the opposite direction down the 24-inch wide passage to trample over.

    Oh! me, I was the Leading Hand of the forward mess, Rader Plotter 2 and Navigator’s Yeoman together with various other tasks assigned to me by people various, but I must admit to an aversion to Chief Stokers, GI’s and Jossmen. Arriving at my allotted position on the front side of the back plot, I donned my regulation head set and mike, scooped up various chino-graph pencils, slide rule and assorted protractors. Had the Sound Room and Local Operation Plot loud and clear and off we go building up a picture of the target. The Captain is on the attack or forward periscope, the signalman is shadowing his movements reading off angles and bearings as required. Other than the Captain did not have his cap on back to front it was just like the movies, loads of tense people talking in hushed tones, when required, practicing what they were trained to do, convert a skimmer into a submarine.

    For a reason known only to God and his able assistant our Captain, he, that’s the Captain not God, suddenly stood back from the periscope and says, “I am incapacitated, First Lieutenant take over the attackâ€. Well you could have heard a pin drop or even a Leander Frigate pinging away at Portland, so steps forward the man of the moment Lt. Tom Le Marchant, later to be Captain SM10. Very soon he is gripping the handles of the attack scope and getting into the attack. Old ‘Mr. I Am Incapacitated’ is on the search or aft periscope checking on proceedings. Unfortunately this instrument is four foot shorter than the attack scope so spends a long time under the surface where the Captain can see only a milky green haze.

    The proceedings are now reaching a climax, don’t even go there, and we prepare to fire water shots at the target i.e. fire the water in two empty tubes out, this makes the fore-endies, TAS Weapons ratings, feel involved in the proceedings. Then Tom Le Marchant orders the Coxswain on the one-man band, combined helm and planes, to take us to 200 feet. The bow down angle increases and we had just about reached 100 foot when the most almighty bang and the bow down angle increase. All water tight doors and bulkheads were slammed shut about 2 seconds before the Engineer Officer gave the order. All compartments reported no damage or flooding but we carried on going down.

    Now one of the laws of physics is as a submarine goes deeper the water pressure compresses it, this makes it heavier, which make it go down faster, which compresses it further, this of course makes it heavier. I will leave the rest up to you, suffice it to say; us that had sight of a depth gauge thought well how deep can we go. The ballast pump was pumping away for all it was worth and as we reach 800 foot, well it may have only been 700, the Captain ordered Main Ballast to be blown. Up we popped like a champagne cork no chance of a one all round look on a periscope or sonar search for surface contacts which is normal when coming up from deep. Being the soul who sat just about under the tower I was ordered to test the tower for flooding then open the lower lid. Then open up the upper lid, this would not open fully due to various bits of metal and fibreglass, which had previously been the bridge and front end of our fin. Up goes the outside wrecker, skilled tiffie, to cut away the wreckage so that the OOW and Lookout could occupy the radar mast well as a temporary bridge.

    It was soon discovered that the merchantman, recently out of dry dock, yes a 2-foot by 1-foot new zinc anode was embedded in the fin, had taken off the front upper area of the fin. Later investigations concluded that the 1st Lieutenant had been over estimating the range putting us closer to the target than anticipated. Both our periscopes were well dead and we were ordered to Portsmouth for dry-docking while new scopes were fitted then calibrated.

    Six weeks minimums we were told. Well every cloud has a silver lining, I had been married only four months and lived near Guildford, after bunging the chart correction unit in HMS Dolphin 200 duty free fags to correct my charts, and the staff at Guildford Royal Navy and Royal Marines Recruitment Office a bottler of rum I was duly drafted to the same recruitment office and shown as RA for the only time in my naval career.


    It looked a bit like this Cunuck O Boat. The Canadians follow our training so I am not suprised.


  5. Cookin' with gas now......

    BNM [Non-Contributor/Not-a-Moderator Mode]

    First Brickin' it dit gets a crate...
    or as near a crate as I could find in
    world record time!

  6. Thanks Nutty, no one was better for putting didgit's to keyboard than GUS BRITTON MBE 1922 -1997 Here is just one of the numerous articles he wrote in the SOCA NEWS fore-ends NEWSLETTER

    December 1987

    I hope that you are all fit and well, your families too, and that you are getting out those long johns because it is going to be a cold winter, I think! Cycling to work at the museum from Stokes Bay along the seafront is getting distinctly chillier so... be prepared!

    Now all I have got to do is to think of something to say! The first thing is that the Director of the museum, Commander Compton-Hall is off to China for a month to lecture to the Chinese submariners, an unheard of invitation hitherto, the Chinese being content to keep their submarine and naval life a closely guarded secret. The Director’s latest book “Submarine Warfare, today and tomorrow’, has been translated into Chinese but no royalties have appeared yet! For those of you gentlemen readers who are no doubt under the impression that there are probably only a few clapped out boats in China will be surprised to know that she has the third biggest submarine fleet in the world; one hundred submarines including one that fires missiles and three attack class, so she is a power to be reckoned with. And with that sort of clout who needs to pay royalties?

    Today is the 86th birthday of the Submarine Service (2nd October 1987), the Holland 1 being launched on this day in 1901 and contrary to opinion, Pat Nash was not the coxswain and Bob Pounder the Chief Tiffy! If you have the chance do go and see the Holland 1 because she is being restored by the Community Task Force and she looks marvelous! When she arrived she was in three parts and very forlorn and filthy but now she is absolutely beautiful! The X craft and the German Beaver and the Italian Chariot are also being restored and work is going well on them. They have been stripped to the last nut and bolt and the quality of the workmanship is very good, particularly the Beaver’s engine which was made by Opel, I think. The X craft was beginning to become very dilapidated and letting in water through the pressure hull but these faults too are being remedied.

    The really hot news is that the museum is hoping to acquire the conning tower of the E17 which under the command of Lieutenant Commander Moncrieffe ran aground off the Dutch coast in the first war. The whole tower has been lifted off and subject to negotiations it will come here to the museum or to Dolphin, the former I hope. HMS Sultan is going to strip it and reassemble it so eventually we will have a brand new looking conning tower from an E class submarine! Personally I .am very pleased about this because from the various letters we have, Moncrieffe was a charming man and very concerned for his crew, even after they had left the Royal Navy, not always a common feature in the class ridden Royal Navy of the first war, or after.

    Today I have had offered to the museum, a U-boat engine from the first war which is in Majorca and a ditty box belonging to the boy telegraphist who was killed when the L55 was lost in the Baltic. By chance, only yesterday morning I was in Haslar cemetery and saw the memorial to the crew of the L55 whose bodies were given back to this country by the Russians. Actually I only went into the cemetery to see if someone was spinning me a yarn when he said that Admirals are buried together, captains together and surgeon captains and commanders are all in their own little plot. But it is true, there are the admirals, rear admirals, vice admirals all together, waiting for the pearly gates to open! I didn’t have time to see where two badge submarine signalmen are buried but I suspect it is under the tree next to the gent’s toilet! Off the top of my head I think that L55 was still going strong in the sixties, charging up various things In Sevastopol, and talking of things Russian, which I wasn’t, Russian submarines in the second war operated from Balaclava! Just spitting distance away is where the Light Brigade did its party piece by going down a one way street, taking the left fork instead of the right! Still soldiers have solid ivory heads so what can one expect?

    From the Navy News I see that Mallett block has been opened. It was one of my suggestions I might casually warble, Jan Mallett being the only person to get three DSMs in the Submarine Service. I never met him but! believe he was quite a character! We already have Selby block named after Gordon Selby who had two DSMs to match his very charmed life! When he left the Truculent I left the Truculent! Great boat, great skipper, Andy Chalmers, great wardroom and crew and great coxswain! Make and mend every day when we were in Portland which was just about every day! Sad end for a beautiful boat!

    But back to museum news, we had a gentleman call the other day (well, he was a killick stoker if that isn’t stretching imagination a bit). It turns out that he was everyone’s idea of these underwater characters. I will not give his name but he was a survivor from Umpire he had been in boats before the war, in S boats in Malta where his description of a stoker, one of three brothers who were in submarines, two of them lost, making a duff, having a blow back and then continuing unconcernedly with his pastry making even had me reaching for the smelling salts! I asked him to put down every little thing he could remember about submarine life but apart from saying he was in S boats before the war and a survivor from the Umpire, most of his story consisted of hopping from one brothel to the other in the South of France! He took time off to tell how he and his friends ashore from some boat or other were jeering at the reservists coming in to Plymouth. Some elderly three badgeman with a moustache thumped his mate so he said “You hit my mate! Now try hitting me!†and that is the last thing he remembered! Anyone reading this is asked to put down all he remembers about submarines in as much detail as possible but if you could leave out all the sporting moments, unless it has a bearing on your submarine career, I would be pleased. I am particularly keen to find out if anyone did trials with the three or four boats fitted as minelayers, the mines being laid through the ballast tanks. It is a fact that some boats were fitted but the idea was quickly shelved. Ray Gritt for producing such a professional work. It takes quite a lot of hard work to produce so have a drink on me, Ray, the next time you see me! You may be interested to know that a copy goes into the files of the Imperial War Museum, along with regimental histories etc each issue.

    Gordon Selby rang up from Australia to wish everybody well at the SOCA reunion and to submariners generally! OK I’m orf, I have two weeks dirty dhobeying to catch up with! Cheers!

    Gus Britton
  7. Bl_ue

    What a great idea to ressurect one of the late Gus Britton's posts from the old SOCA News. As you correctly point out this guy was a one-off original character and an excellent ambassador for the submarine service. Gus was such a mine of information that it wouldn't be a bad idea to post some of his 'Greetings From Gosport' articles on RR as an ongoing thread.

    If you can't find all of them I have quite a collection here that you could use ( just PM me and I will scan them for you). Looking at them now raises a laugh as Gus didn't bother with paragraphs, spaces or too much punctuation as he was determined to get as much info as he possibly could on both sides of a sheet of A4 lol. I'm sure most of the old hands would thoroughly enjoy reading his dits again and they would be a source of wonderment to our newbies from a man who was the real deal.

    Yours Aye

    Red Sailor
  8. Here's a poem by Gus Brittons old oppo 'Fog' Elliot which says it all.
    It originally appeared in the SOCA News and was recently re-posted in the Merseyside SA newsletter 'Submariners Times' in January this year:

    Memories of Gus Britton

    He was a man of many talents;
    he would take on any task
    If you were after information,
    he was the one to ask.

    Any queries about the Navy,
    or submarine affairs.
    He would give you all the answers,
    no graces and no airs.

    He was a matelot with a purpose,
    no thought of power or gain.
    Like when he swam the Solent
    and jumped from an aeroplane.

    The brass hats never bothered him
    he gave his honest views
    These could be serious or comical,
    they were in the SOCA News.

    The Sub Museum at Gosport,
    it owes him quite a lot.
    Any questions or any problems,
    he’d be there like a shot.

    At the October Reunions,
    he would be there sure as fate.
    Shaking hands with one and all,
    calling everyone shipmate.

    Who is this bloke you are asking,
    was he really one of us?
    There was only one who fits the bill
    Gus Britton – Good old Gus.

    by ‘Fog’ Elliot HM/S Unseen

    Red Sailor
  9. shippers - that is feck all

    i have a story about brickin it that will put you sub-surface boys to bed with nightmares.

    picture the scene, gloomy friday pm about 1500 sometime in the mid 90's. its as gloomy as a steward on a namet course. me and my oppo are revising forr our aircraft exams which are due next week. the duty senior rate has completed all his jobs and wants a baby tiff to stay behind. neither of us are volunteering so we decide to settle on a game of uckers (ludo for GS)

    it starts very good - snake eyes for me. jammy c*nt, im already slipping into my civvies and the barmaid back home. i've jam-rag blobbed on his doorstep and done a wonderful blob changeover. all thats left is the run in.

    deep breath

    im red and yellow hes blue and green. i've 2 reds home when he offs me the six-throwing tw*t. i got two reds back in the house. the yellows dont blob quite so nicely and i lose a yellow.

    fast forward about 40 rolls from him and i'm getting dangerously close to blobbing. he's got a blob at the end of his chute, my two reds right behind him with a yellow approaching fast, he has a loafer ready to get me on the inevitable mixy which is approaching fast. it comes down to a final throw. roll a one with either dice and mixy, two and above he has too move, i'm free for the run.

    the word has ghone around the squadron like wildfire, the senior rates are urging us on to kill, the aircrew are crowding round like peados in a nursey. the CO makes his way to the front give us a war pep-talk.

    i launch the dice, they spin in the air, my hearts on edge, my stomach dives like a wrens hand in a cookie jar. the dice hit the board and come to as stop. a 2 and a 3,

    the noise from the crowd is like a grenade going off, in a scene reminiscent of Top Gun final scene i'm hoisted aloft by the pilots - a new deity in the squadron.

    he rolls and splits i gobble a green (no not as in the stoker way - gobble a green). its one piece each left.

    he's out, i roll 4 him double 6, he stalking up behind me like a Royal marine at a transvestite meeting, my armpits are like a swimming pool, i'm sweating so much i'd squeak when i walk. he left with 11 to get and its my turn. i pray to god and allah with all the fervour of an MEO with a busted fridge and shaft. 6, 3 again 6, 4 and then 6,1. i need 8 to win. the CO offers me a commision, anything to stop me hawking myself to 1SL as the fleet travelling uckers champion.

    i get the squadron's best looking wren to kiss the dice with her freshly shaved fanny lips, win she says and my mum will suck you off whilst she lick my punani. the tension is unbearable - i need a nervous shit as bad as the time my boss caught me wanking into his mug.

    i roll, i score double 4,

    victory and fame are mine assured, the rest is history

  10. Look even the airy fairies are trying to help by posting stories of exciting board games. I can't be Uckers cos its played under some strange Fleet Air Arm rules which have never been ratified by "The International Association of Uckers you F-ucker-s" with committee members from Royal, Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Australian Navy, Royal New Zealand Navy. and South African Defence Force.

    So get some stories up about how you crunched a boat or I will repeat the story of how I rammed Norway with the Truncheon.

    Now I am sure that some of you own a black cat or even panther.

    Wot about you lads that were on the Massive she must have sunk some small island at some time. Even a story how they tried to change Nottingham from DD to SS.

  11. I think this qualifies as a candidate for a separate Uckers thread. I believe that this is the first running commentary I have ever read on uckers. Never thought mixiblobs could be so exciting! :razz:

    Sorry for changing the topic. A very interesting thread.
  12. Thanks Red, I have a collection of Gus's dits. Here another cracker from SOCA news: December 1995

    A very Merry Xmas to all my readers, to those RAF poofters in a Wellington who bombed us (Tribune) on Xmas Day off Algiers and to the press-ganged chef of Uproar, Eddy Fagen of Liverpool, who didn’t know the innards of chickens, even those stolen from the Yanks at Maddalena, had to he removed before cooking, and had me spewing my heart up on Xmas Day 1943, en route to the French Riviera. Still, I get seasick on the Gosport Ferry, so can’t really blame Eddy, whose one claim to fame was that when he was on the Pandora and she was being bombed alongside at Malta, took cover under a railway truck alongside, only later to find that it was full of explosives! If his cooking of chicken was not exactly cordon bleu, his bread making was even worse! His rolls could be used for cannon balls! The odd cockroach or two found in them added to the flavour!

    On a serious note, today is the day in 1942 when the P48, a U class submarine was lost with all of her 34 crew off the Tunisian coast, so some time during Xmas raise a glass and toast the memory of the crew of the P48 and all of our submarine friends, known and unknown, who were lost in boats.

    On the subject of U class submarines, I confess I made a grave error in saying that P39 was still alongside the wall at Lazaretto and two members of her crew, Leading Telegraphist Ray Steggles and her Coxswain, Gordon Selby, contacted me and in a most gentlemanly way said that I was wrong. P36 was the boat that went down alongside the wall and the wreck was moved and dumped in 1958. P39 was bombed alongside, was taken over to the dockyard, bombed again and then towed round to St Pauls Bay, where she was cannibalized and then, like her sister P36, dumped at sea.

    Talking of P36, her Stoker P0, Fred Matthews, has written a book called ‘Sailor.! Stoker! Oddball!’ which describes the sinking and that of the Medway when he went swimming, and also of his days in the Levant Schooner Flotilla, which engaged in all sorts of naughtiness in Turkish and enemy held Greek waters. The cost of the book is £7.99. So, if you want to help an ex-­submariner, send £9 to cover postage and packing to the Museum.

    Another book of interest is ‘War beneath the Sea’, by Peter Padfield. Vice Admiral Troup has read it and is very enthusiastic about and said that is the finest book of its kind, embracing submarines of all nations in the second war, and well worth reading. As he was Tubby Linton’s Jimmy on Turbulent and Skipper of the Strongbow, he speaks with some authority. The book is £25, so you had better ask your wife or the family to get you a copy for Xmas! The publisher is John Murray.

    Joe Brighton, who got a DSM and Bar, one on Porpoise and one on Tally Ho, wrote a sixteen page account of life on Porpoise which, as you know, was a minelayer. It is a marvelous story, which really brings back submarine life and includes how mines were laid by these big lumbering boats, of which there were six and of which only Rorqual survived. He gives a vivid description of being depth charged which tallies with that account written by Joe Blamey, who was her Chief Tiffy and also got a DSM and a DSC. To my non-submarine readers I should explain that the DSM is a rating’s medal, whereas the DSC is a officer’s award.

    Jimmy James, who was a survivor from Sahih and an escaped POW, tells of his adventures in Italy with partisans and being on the run from the Germans and his escape to Switzerland. His account is nine pages long. If you want copies, send a donation to the RN Submarine Museum, which will help cover costs. Anything between £2.50 and £5 will do. The depth charging of Porpoise was quite a classic and the scenes from that great film ‘Das Boot’ will give some idea of what they and many boats had to endure. Fortunately British boats never got the poundings that U-boats got, where the people up top hung on like terriers and distributed depth charges and hedge hogs with accuracy and generosity. I found it rather unpalatable, but never as dramatic as one U-boat, whose number I don’t know, which had one of her crew crouching down on the bridge watching this aircraft come over and drop bombs and saw one of the diesel engines come up through the pressure hull! All very unpleasant!

    I have been reading material from the SOCA secretary and other bits of bumph and find that S0CA delegates meet in March in London and that their fares are paid for out of SOCA funds. I also learn that the cost to SOCA is about £1000, which the Association can ill afford. Surely this meeting in March can be held over the annual SOCA reunion in October and the money left in the Association funds? The French, German and Italians hold their delegates meetings during their annual get togethers and we should follow suit. I believe that Hull and Teeside voted for this reasonable course of action but the votes were for the practice to continue. If the business of sending delegates to London on which, dare I venture to say, is a bit of a jolly combined with SOCA business, continues then the next ten years will see the loss to SOCA of between £10,000 and £15,000. Either last year or the year before the funds were so low that the treasurer had to borrow money from the £10,000 that was raised by my swim to the Isle of Wight and back to suhsidise the fares. The money was repaid, but I personally am not happy about this borrowing from a fund that is for emergencies only. So, I suggest that all branches take a vote at their next meeting to have these March meetings cancelled forthwith and that the delegates meet at Blockhouse during the Annual Reunion. Let’s not wait until next March to have delegates vote on this and lose another £1000. I’m not too well up on red tape procedure, rules and regulations, but the bottom line is that SOCA cannot afford £1000 a year on business that can be more efficiently carried out at the Annual Reunion. I suggest that you inform either Maurice Perratt or our President, Rear Admiral Whetstone, on what you think.

    Talking of money, you will be interested to know that the bucket passed round during the Reunion to obtain money for names to be put on the Vandal Memorial raised £480, so many thanks. I have about £200 given by various people and Scottish SOCA, the driving force behind the scheme, have another £400 +, so I think we are well on target for the memorial.

    Before you put your wallet away there is another appeal to your generosity. Medway SOCA are going to raise funds to have a bronze memorial in memory of the civilians and crew of the Truculent who were lost in their Parish, the Thames estuary, in 1951. The memorial will be in the building that was once the chapel in Chatham Barracks and, of course, money is required. Truculent was my favourite boat during my modest thirteen years in submarines, even more so than my two war time boats. She was a very happy boat with Andy Chalmers as her Skipper, AEW Mason her very droll First Lieutenant, Lt. Davis and Sub Lt. Ellis and Lt. (E) Stevenson the other officers. Her Coxswain was the redoubtable Gordon Selby, who had the reputation amongst us sailors and stokers of knowing everyone’s official number off by heart! In 1948 and 1949 we spent a happy time trolling in and out of Portland Harbour, day running, and life was good. When we took the boat to Chatham for refit we were, the majority of us, broken hearted to find that we had been drafted to Alliance. Truculent, to me at least, had a certain feminine quality about her and leaving her was like leaving the arms of some charming girl, and hearing of her loss was quite shattering. Leading Signalman Johnson, who relieved me, was amongst the many people who were washed away in the freezing January waters of the Thames, and others who had stayed with the boat were lost. So, gentlemen, a small donation made out to ‘The Truculent Memorial Fund’ and sent to me, will be appreciated. There will be a service in January in memory of Truculent, to be held in the Medway area. Ring me for details — 01705 589985.

    Another sad story for you which proves that being lucky is the most important thing in life, A gentleman wrote to me asking how his uncle was killed. I checked on his card and made a few phone calls and assumed that this is what happened; this rating joined the Andrew aged 15 and a bit and went to Shotley. His first ship was the Royal Sovereign and then the Excellent for gunnery training, then the Suffolk, then Vernon, where he became a Seaman Torpedoman. War started and he was drafted into submarines. He finished his course, stayed in Dolphin for a bit, and went to the Forth, at Rosyth I think at the time, back to Dolphin. He then got two weeks in cells in HMS Victory for sleeping on watch, when he was spare crew in Dolphin, and cells in those days was no picnic. Being in Victory itself was punishment with its Charles Dickens conditions, its bribery and corruption, run by barrack stanchions, but that’s another story. Returning to Dolphin he got a pier head jump to a boat having had, as far as I can see, no time in boats except perhaps a day out in a training boat. The boat shoved off and less than two hours later he was dead with all the rest of the crew of the boat. I always feel sorry to sec cards on file here which show non volunteers going to a boat and being lost, but that is war I suppose.

    For some people joining submarines must have been a traumatic experience, as well as a daunting one. From the reasonable comfort of a battleship to go down that ladder into the fore ends must have been shattering enough, but to be at sea on the surface on the first night with the boat rolling, pitching, dipping and standing on its tail, and the crockery, cutlery, books and clothing washing around on the deck, the hammocks swinging backwards and forwards, furniture creaking or breaking adrift, torpedoes threatening to break their securing bars or wire, must have been a nightmare too many. Then going on watch onto the bridge, into the bird bath with cold water sloshing around in it, up the ladder which is swaying all over the place, and spewing and not caring if you are washed overboard or not, must have had the non volunteer — and the volunteer — wondering what he had let himself in for! The only consolation was the comfort that a Barbour (Ursula) suit gave when those seas were coming solid over the bridge rail. Those poor bastards in destroyers still had pusser’s oilskins, seaboots and a towel round the neck, which did nothing to keep the seas out.

    This newsletter seems to consist of spewing one’s heart up! Sorry about that, but I’m only the driver on this typewriter and I never know what is coming out of it!

    Going back to the Truculent again, I’ve suddenly remembered that we gave an Xmas party onboard for some local orphans and it was decided that Father Xmas should come down the tower. He was a very chubby killick stoker and also the rum bosun back aft. The children, average age about nine, were all in the control room excitedly awaiting the arrival of Father Xmas. He eventually got through the lower hatch, red faced and obviously somewhat Brahms and Liszt. The kids started pulling at his red cloak and the mail sack that contained the toys and I heard him say to one of them ‘Hold on, Chopper, stop pulling on my ******* cloak!’ He addressed everyone as ‘Chopper’ incidentally, sober or sloshed, So no rudeness was intended!

    Most of you must have read that excellent book ‘Send down a dove’ by Charles McHardy. I thought he was dead, but chatting to Wee Willie Hamilton up there in Dundee, I find that he is still alive! Jock Hamilton runs the HMS/M Venturer Association, and I noticed on the members list he sent me that Charles McHardy was a member. Another Venturer had quite a career. He joined boats in 1935, went to China, was on Oswald and Rover, came home, got bored and deserted in August 1938. When the war started he returned and was in boats all the war, including Taku, Thrasher and Venturer and ended up a double DSM! Both were awarded on Venturer with a M in D awarded in Taku. He left the Andrew in 1945, deciding, like many of us, that the peace time RN, with all its pomp, pomposity and ceremony and the unfortunate social gap between lower deck and wardroom all too prevalent in surface ships and occasionally submarines, was too much to endure for the reward of a none too generous pension.

    Finally, returning to the question of delegates meeting at the annual reunion instead of the special costly practice of meeting in March, I believe that the rule saying that delegates fares should he subsidised was written in the days before most branches existed, possibly even before Portsmouth joined the SOCA, so the delegate from Penge who claimed 2/6d return railway fare, was regarded as a reasonable person. Claiming an air fare from Scotland goes beyond the spirit of our SOCA forefathers who also wrote into the constitutuion that one of the aims of the Association was to help one another. Without money in the fund, I fear this latter aim is meaningless. There are rules and regulations of course, which no doubt someone will write and tell me about, but with common sense and good will these can be negated by the rank and file members of SOCA saying we don’t want the March meeting. The simple solution is that delegates write and say they cannot attend the March meeting, so honour is satisfied. To those delegates who feel that the March meeting is absolutely essential to the good running of SOCA, I suggest that they pay their own fares. Two weeks ago I went to Liverpool to the North Russia Club anniversary dinner and paid my own fare. I was on income support until recently and I found the money, none too painfully, to pay my own way, since I considered it an honour to be asked and I am sure that those delegates to whom it applies can find their own fare to London and feel honoured that they represent the branch of the Navy renowned for its good humour, generosity, friendship and lending one’s Burberry to your mate to go ashore in!

    Gus Britton
  13. OK, one crunched boat dit coming up!
    Late 80s Orion on her way up top via the scenic route through Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean with a quick stop at Stirling in WA.

    Just to set the mood for the forthcoming deployment the Boss decided to do a snappy underwater look on an unsuspecting merchantman. Luckily for me it was watch changeover and I handed over the planes to the TI and went forward, had a quick breakfast and was snuggled down in my bunk in the forends by 0730. I was just dozing off when I felt the revs increase and told myself how lucky I was that I was not involved in the fun and games in the Control Room, when there was a f##ing great crash, my bunk lifted about a foot and dropped back to the deck. The boat gave a shudder, there was another crash, a few more shudders and all was quiet again.

    By this time the forends watchkeeper was reporting collision forward and I was on my feet surrounded by various bit of debris that had fallen from the overheads and other places, and also by several very anxious 'specialists' whose submarine knowledge was very limited. To their credit none of them panicked, although some looked as if they would rather be anywhere else but here.

    It seems that in the haste to get into position for the UWL the watch navigator had neglected to notice an underwater mountain in our way. I saw the chart later and there was deep water all around except for one shallow sounding, which the course hastily drawn on the chart completely obscured. At least it showed we were on track.

    An unexpected trip into Portland and a check by a diving team flown in for the occasion showed no real damage and we headed on our merry way, with a certain Lieutenant, sadder but wiser, still smarting from the feel of the Boss's size nine up his arse.
  14. Good on you Jack77, so come ye ex boatmen and slugemariners lets have some more interesting underwater history dit's to help liven this forum up.
  15. I've not the time now to relate the story of Swiftsure versus the Irish sea in St Georges Channel....I've got to dash off to work. Later on then!
  16. Polaris Patrol Dit:
    I once got off the morning early and ate the last mushroom for breakfast and the WEO wanted it!!
    geoff(ers) :nemo:
  17. Ok,we tried to tow a Russian warship back from off Turkey many years ago by its anchor chain but it fell off the port foreplane.

    The chain rattled along the entire length of the boat before it broke loose.
    At the same time they were ditching gash over the side and it was hitting the casing and rolling off.

    We swiftly headed out to deep sea,turned round and then went back in again.

    How they didnt spot us I'll never know.

    (It might have happened or it could be a dit)
  18. Couple of interesting depth excursions and close range over passes from those sneaky stealth tankers..can't say anymore than that as still serving
  19. That day we had Cheesy Hammy Eggy for lunch. We were all SO excited
    geoff(ers) :nemo:
    ps did someone want to keep the thread goin'
  20. Luxury,we used to dream of Cheesy,Hammy Eggy.

    We wernt allowed to light the fires on our patrols in case they smelt the cheese cooking! :nemo: :nemo:

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