Val the Gal

Lantern Swinger
Call me sentimental, but I'm wondering if anyone else remembers a non-com or officer who was a good influence on them when they were young and green? A certain P.O. was our most popular instructor, reg force but didn't seem to mind drawing the short straw to teach communications to the first platoon of female cadets in the Canadian Naval Reserve. He made no bones about the fact he was a member of AA (not the Automobile Association). I was a bit of a wild thing. He told me I had a mouth like a bilge water rat. Also drew me aside one day to comment on my drinking. "When all the lights go out, girl, remember me." Many years later, I did. Saved my life.


Was it the two faced dickhead who made me work all hours or the one that gave me shed loads of M&M (not sweets) for digging out, uumm I will have to think on that one?:confused4:


I once worked with a two and a half crabfat <spit> that I would have run through brick walls for. Now I slate the RAF at every opportunity and for good reason. However this chap was the epitome of leadership. Did things for the right reasons, finger on the pulse, saw the big picture, strategic thinker, risk aware but not risk averse, looked after all ranks, proactive, encouraged input from everyone and gave a ****ing good bollocking.

Absolutely wasted as an RAF Harrier pilot. I like to think that he's now in a position to make positive change to the MOD and it's personnel, sadly he probably got the rope pulled across in front of him for being mega.

Not a hero, but the most complete leader I've ever worked with.
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OK, if we're being serious, the chap I'd single out came at the end of my career, so not as asked for in original post.

Also a two and a half, though he was an RO2(?) I think. Not a reserve but a two and a half still wearing rig due to his appointment I believe. Whatever, I didn't question it, even if I'd wanted to I wouldn't have. Think he was an SD RS/CRS.

Three of us; the boss (^him^), a Chief dabber and I were the permanent staff in the RNR New Entry at Raleigh. We were augmented by an RNR officer and SR plus a phase one instructor for the courses.

He was the epitome of the 'firm but fair' ethos. He cared passionately about the trainees (a passion which rubbed off on we other two) but did not suffer fools at all.

The event which sticks in my head the most was when an RNR CRS (who coincidentally I knew from when I was in MOD and used to go to Stamford Bridge now and then - purely through football, not the RN/RNR) was adrift on the final morning. This bloke was a right old 'wide-boy' and fancied himself something rotten. He'd been down the Lights and tried to impress us all with 'all-night-in' dits when he eventually turned up (still pretty pissed).

My opposite number advised me to vacate my office (next to the boss) when the miscreant was 'interviewed'. When he came out about twenty minutes later he was actually in tears. A forty-year old man. That is what you call a bollocking.

That may come across as a tad harsh, but the bloke had let everyone down and deserved it in my opinion.

His 'nice' side was even pretty firm. I was due outside so had a few bits and pieces to sort out and when such 'bits and pieces' cropped up he 'ordered' me to stop what I was doing and go and sort it out. Effectively even bollocked me into helping myself.

Also got me out of all divisions as I was 'working for him' (usually down the pub on a Friday afternoon) though to be fair I did repay with with voluntary weekends on Dartmoor to ease the load - but walking round the moor is a fair swap for standing around on a car park in my opinion.

Sorry, bit rambling, but bottom line is that he always got the best out of everyone, his staff, the temporary staff, and most importantly, the trainees. Scary ****er, but completely professional and an honour and pleasure to serve with.
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Eng. Lt.Harry Ryall,R.N. Harry was the Engineer Officer on Eskimo '72-'74. An SD officer of the old school, Harry had it all. He could be a right strict sod on occasion but he had a great sense of humour, a compassionate ear and was ever patient with the younger, greener lads who needed help or advice. We were a pretty wild bunch on Eskimo but we were Harry's lads and woe betide anyone, officer, senior rate or whoever who dared to give his boys an unjustified hard time. Hard but fair was Harry, he came up the hard way, through the ranks, I'd bet there's not many like him in today's Navy.
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