HMS Drake

Who is a Guz rating, are you based onboard or in Drake its self?

I know when I was there, they were building new accomodation, rumours were they were ripping out the temp. accom. backing onto the NAAFI, where 29 co. would stay. Has that been done now?


Still building the new accom. The Senior Rates mess is the old drill shed! The old senior rates mess will go to the JR's.[marq=up]


Lantern Swinger
When I came back from a Foreign in 1979, working at MHQ Mount Wise, I was accommodated in Rodney Block - at that time fairly plush and comfortable. It had the added benefit of a superb view over the Nurses' Quarters and they were a saucy bunch - I'll leave the rest to your imaginations. Certainly made the evenings go fast until Run Ashore time.
Sadly, my happiness was ended when I got my other hook and had to move to a grotty cabin, more like a cell, in the Senior Rates Mess. Seriously thought about asking my D.O. to postpone my elevation for a month or two.


Lantern Swinger
Yes , me too , I lived in Rodney Block 78-80
Some bright spark wanted to mount a pair of bino's permanently to the cabin window sill
I lived in Boscawen block briefly in 76 and that has gone now...
Apparently Hagars was to be moved over to the senior bar and the seniors were to have a new one built. I don't know either but I have a friend who still works in Hagars and I'll ask her.
Hagars has been demolished along with the Block and Naafi that surrounded it, The Bar and the Naafi have moved to the rear of the Senior Rates mess (Cunningham Fraser block). The Senior rates Mess is now in the Drill shed (as was) and new SLA cabins are being built for everyone.
Benbow Block seventh and eighth floors during the late seventies and early eighties. Rounds every other week by some Nigel who had nothing better to do and always disturbing the home brew production. We used to keep the "product" in white plastic bottles with yellow radiation stickers on them. A lot of nosey people used to steer well clear because of it. Though if this knowledge can still cause problems for the brewers then we really didn't do anything like it..............what are we - stupid!
I do remember the block resembled a living entity in the evening, with music to suit every taste blaring out from every window, then the seventh and eighth floors belonged to Swiftsure and it was the time of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Now I'm not saying we all went ashore dressed like Dr Frankenfurter et el but there were some pretty outlandish fashion statements being made and all the lads would be legging it ashore to the RNA over the road or down the strip dressed in whatever passed for the latest fashion as "Jack About Town". One or two of the guys used to wear whatever was not the flavour of the week just to wind the main gate staff up. "Oi where d'you think you're goin' dressed like that?" "Whotcha meeen, I got trousers and shiney shoes on an' shirt, collar n tie with jacket". "Yeah but 'ave you sin yersel man, purple jacket, brown trousers, red shoes a yellow shirt and an orange tie do not a smart matelot make". "Go and get changed". "Grumble grumble, mutter mutter, bleedin' Facists". SO on with the jeans and tee shirt n trainers then, no problem!
Memories are flooding back now and I've gone all misty eyed - as Cher used to sing.....If I Could Turn Back Time!!!!!!!!!! :wink:


I was recently reading a book called 'The Boys Wonder Book of the Navy' published in 1917 and in the section on Naval Nicknames it says Devonport is known as 'Guzzle' (due to the fact the sailors used to Guzzle alot of beer when they came ashore)
I have also been told that Devonport is called 'Guzz' because that was the WW2 call sign of the base.
Is it possible it was given the call sign G.U.Z because it was unofficially known as Guzzle? the book proves it was called this at least as far back as 1917.
The book also says there was no nickname for Chatham but Chatham ratings were known as Chat Rats. Was this still the case in later years ?


Lantern Swinger
If the Drill shed is now the Senior Rates Mess, Where do they hold wet weather divisions ? Or is that thing of the past now ? i.e " Divisions are cancelled due to wet weather "
It's all down to International Radio Callsigns, as any old Sparker (myself included) can tell you. British callsigns start with a "G", the Brazen's was my favourite - GZIT (Gizzit!). The signal tower on the Hoe was GUZZ during the war, and it would challenge every ship entering the sound to identify itself, so all ships had to exchange ID with GUZZ on the way in. Hence why Plymouth is known as Guzz.


So the fact it has been documented as being called 'guzzle' as far back as 1917 is purley coincidence ?
Graybags, I'm not sure they even have dry weather divisions in Drake nowadays as the 'Parade Ground' is actually the main car park for the Base.
Uncle if the book was the 'wonder book for boys' then I think the guzz ---guzzle could've been a bit of imagination from the Author .

The RN was quite into Wireless telegraphy in 1917 and had been for a few years before then.Also in 1917 to publish the WT callsign of Plymouth/Devonport in a book would never have got past the censors.
We were at war with Germany then!!


My point seems to have been missed. I was implying it could have been given the call sign G.U.Z due to the fact it was previously known as 'Guzzle'
Realistically though we will never know unless we can ask the person responsible for assigning calls signs during the war. Which ever war it may have been.
Highly unlikely. The starting letters of International Radio Callsigns were handed out by the London International Radio Convention in 1912. The chances of their hearing that Plymouth was nicknamed "Guzzle", arranging it so that British callsigns started with a G and assigning Plymouth the callsign GUZZ for a laugh are pretty remote.

On the other hand, the chances of Plymouth having the callsign GUZZ in the first place, and Navy Radio Operators referring to Plymouth as Guzz because of this, is about 100%. Because that is, in fact, what happened.

Edit: Oops, shore stations had three letters, so it was GUZ, not GUZZ. My bad.

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