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HMS G****S

onions

I joined October the 6th 1959…..why do you ask?

You were kidnapped because you were incasserated.
You were assaulted because you were disciplined for menial offences
You don`t understand that because you are a fcukin cabbage.

I knew I would very quickly be dealing with the “it didn`t do me any harm†brigade and right enough here you all are ….except of course my old friend Nutty who puts forward as a role model some left wing commie bastard who did time for mutiny, then pissed off to live in Russia…….a born leader no doubt.

Ganges was a throwback from the age of pressgangs …it was a way to take school leavers then imprison them by taking away their civil rights ….OK so that’s the way the world was in 1960 but this is 2007 and such places should not be glorified but recognised for what they were and laid to rest…….

A better name would have been HMS Andrew Miller……….


…
 
I had the slightest "bow wave" in both of my caps when I was there in '67 when I got back from school one day both of them had been spiked, one on each bottom bed post.

I also remember one day walking in from class, I was told I had one white front with a crease in it in my locker.......my entire locker had been thrown out onto the deck and walked all over in several pairs of boots or shoes, which mean't I had to clean the whole bloody lot again.

I would love to get hold of the seamanship book we were all issued on joining, this book we used to "measure" where all the creases should go to make all the kit the same size in the locker as you looked at if from the front.

Just my two pence worth.
 
Seaking824 said:
I had the slightest "bow wave" in both of my caps when I was there in '67 when I got back from school one day both of them had been spiked, one on each bottom bed post.

I also remember one day walking in from class, I was told I had one white front with a crease in it in my locker.......my entire locker had been thrown out onto the deck and walked all over in several pairs of boots or shoes, which mean't I had to clean the whole bloody lot again.

I would love to get hold of the seamanship book we were all issued on joining, this book we used to "measure" where all the creases should go to make all the kit the same size in the locker as you looked at if from the front.

Just my two pence worth.

My twopence worth - I joined Aug 75, a 6 weeker. I was 2 weeks past my 16th birthday and I had a choice of Raleigh or Ganges. My father, ex bootneck, my uncle, same, my mother, Wren, all fought in the war, said to join Ganges.

I did - **** was it hard. ****, I wouldn't change my mind if the same option was put forward today. I got a thump bigtime in the gut by the Chief GI for failing to do cap drill (off 2,3, down) in the drill shed.

Iranian sailors were being trained at the same place (pre downfall of the Shah) and I remember being told that if any of those buggers (!) came along to ask us to a party, let him know so that they could sort it out.

At the end of 6 weeks, the Chief and POGI took us over to Harwich and got us drunk before passing out parade (Mountbatten took the passing out) and they said we had taken the toughing up process well and they were chuffed with their class.

I know this is nothing compared to the older Ganges boys - but yes, I have nothing but thanks to Ganges because it carried weight that I was a Ganges boy in my navy development. And, it has been with me ever since in a positive way in civvy life.
 
UncleAlbert said:
onions

I joined October the 6th 1959…..why do you ask?

You were kidnapped because you were incasserated.
You were assaulted because you were disciplined for menial offences
You don`t understand that because you are a fcukin cabbage.

I knew I would very quickly be dealing with the “it didn`t do me any harm†brigade and right enough here you all are ….except of course my old friend Nutty who puts forward as a role model some left wing commie bastard who did time for mutiny, then pissed off to live in Russia…….a born leader no doubt.

Ganges was a throwback from the age of pressgangs …it was a way to take school leavers then imprison them by taking away their civil rights ….OK so that’s the way the world was in 1960 but this is 2007 and such places should not be glorified but recognised for what they were and laid to rest…….

A better name would have been HMS Andrew Miller……….


…

So if he had been "some right wing fascist bastard who put down a mutiny, then pissed off to live in Bermuda as a tax exile he would be…….a born leader no doubt."

UA did they send you direct from the Juvenile Court screaming and kicking or were you dragged from your nice middle class detached house in the leafy lanes of Berkshire in the dead of the night. Surely you did not volunteer to be kidnapped, imprisoned and assaulted. Maybe your middle class English predilection for for being beaten manifested itself at an early age and you thought this is for me. Perhaps the only boy to join Ganges for sexual reasons.


Nutty
 
Yes Ganges was hard...but no harder than life for my parents during the 1926 strike or WWII. I look back at life in Ganges with pride and can now laugh at incidents like Shotley Routine unjustly awarded.......doubling up and down Laundry Hill and Faith Hope and Charity because of some clown in the class opening his mouth......scrambling for a biscuit and some kye early morning. A former class mate and I were reminiscing when we met up again a couple of weeks ago.....Ganges was good for boys who were prepared to keep their nose clean and prepared to work at their tasks. It certainly didn't harm me.
 
Nutty said:
UncleAlbert said:
onions

I joined October the 6th 1959…..why do you ask?

You were kidnapped because you were incasserated.
You were assaulted because you were disciplined for menial offences
You don`t understand that because you are a fcukin cabbage.

I knew I would very quickly be dealing with the “it didn`t do me any harm†brigade and right enough here you all are ….except of course my old friend Nutty who puts forward as a role model some left wing commie bastard who did time for mutiny, then pissed off to live in Russia…….a born leader no doubt.

Ganges was a throwback from the age of pressgangs …it was a way to take school leavers then imprison them by taking away their civil rights ….OK so that’s the way the world was in 1960 but this is 2007 and such places should not be glorified but recognised for what they were and laid to rest…….

A better name would have been HMS Andrew Miller……….


…

So if he had been "some right wing fascist bastard who put down a mutiny, then pissed off to live in Bermuda as a tax exile he would be…….a born leader no doubt."

UA did they send you direct from the Juvenile Court screaming and kicking or were you dragged from your nice middle class detached house in the leafy lanes of Berkshire in the dead of the night. Surely you did not volunteer to be kidnapped, imprisoned and assaulted. Maybe your middle class English predilection for for being beaten manifested itself at an early age and you thought this is for me. Perhaps the only boy to join Ganges for sexual reasons.


Nutty

It is worth noting the Admiral commanding at Invergordon stated that the mutineers complaints were well founded, and to a large extent was responsible through both his representations to the Admiralty and in the way he 'controlled' the mutiny for the main demands being met. As a result he was held by the Admiralty to be to blame for the mutiny. One may put down Wincott for being a 'commie bastard' but many do believe the mutiny at Invergordon was justified and I would certainly not put Wincott down for being involved. After all would any one hear accept the 10% cut they did accept never mind the 25% they mutinied over.
 
Seaking824 said:
I had the slightest "bow wave" in both of my caps when I was there in '67 when I got back from school one day both of them had been spiked, one on each bottom bed post.

I also remember one day walking in from class, I was told I had one white front with a crease in it in my locker.......my entire locker had been thrown out onto the deck and walked all over in several pairs of boots or shoes, which mean't I had to clean the whole bloody lot again.

I would love to get hold of the seamanship book we were all issued on joining, this book we used to "measure" where all the creases should go to make all the kit the same size in the locker as you looked at if from the front.

Just my two pence worth.

Seaking,

I'm happy someone else has experienced the indignity (and cost of replacing) their cap being spiked on the bedpost for having a bow wave, there has been a a bit of scepticism about this on previous posts.

Fortunately I didn't have my locker trashed, I even managed to keep it protected when a grad class decided to raid the nozzer messes !

Our Class Instructor told us that the bell creases were a paybook width for both 7 & 5 creases.

Locker sizing, we had the size of the Seamanship Manual (Pt 1 even !!) spine to measure white fronts, PJs etc to ensure uniform sizing and location within the locker.

There were some bad times at G'spot but all in all I enoyed most of my time there particularly the expeds, maybe I was lucky not to have bullies in my class, or a bullying Class Instructor (except for the little nazi JI in the Annex!!)

:)

ps You can get the Naval ratings Handbook, in paperback, from the HMS Belfast Museum, which is where I replaced mine (thanks to a younger brother and his scissors).
 
UncleAlbert said:
O dear ……down to personal insults is it …that’s sad.

UA

O Dear .......... down to personal insults is it...that is so sad maybe them that live in a glass house should not throw stones. May I suggest it was your good self who started the trend.

I quote you "puts forward as a role model some left wing commie bastard who did time for mutiny, then pissed off to live in Russia…….a born leader no doubt." unquote I was not insulted but I am sure Mr Wincott would have been.

I rest my case My Lud. GUILTY

Nutty

Petard and Hoist springs to mind.
 
Yeah yeah….boring git….

To get back to topic…..I don`t dispute that many friendships were forged at Ganges but I would suggest that was due more to sharing hardships than to an affection for the place…
Ganges was a holding tank and this was borne out by the fact that it closed soon after the school leaving age was raised to 16…. The place was a prime example of mans inhumanity to man …..strange that some people accept this sort of treatment thinking it makes them somehow special …..boy they must have very narrow lives…I sincerely hope that we never see the like of it again …….

BTW there seems to be some derision as to the future of the mast…..
Give me 3 good men… a 7 tonner and a chain saw and I would be happy to sort it.
 
Len Wincott's book is a good read. He claimed that he started the Mutiny because he was so tired he sat down on the deck and all the adult ratings followed him. After the reading of the Articles of War this must have been a truly terrifying experience.

UA, I always thought you were older than Higgy, but no, you're younger, a mere sprog. When I originally started researching the G Spot I did a preliminary survey of ex-Ganges inmates who were members of RNA Uxbridge, who had been there from the 1950s to 1970-71. I emphasised the need to be objective and not resort to rose-tinted recollections nor to play down any hardships. The resulting data surprised me. The consensus was that whilst the regime was tough and at times cruel, none thought that under the circumstances nor in the context of the time, that they were badly treated. All appreciated the training they had received there, which frankly stunned me. I have read extensivly on the subject and, as you know, early wrongly made assumptions about child sexual abuse, etc, at Ganges which proved to be due to a misunderstanding of hygiene norms and the extent of deprevation amongst many of those who volunteered to join the RN. I have also studied the recruitment literature and various Captain's memoranda and letters now deposited at Kew. The recruitment literature which I thought would be deeply misleading in fact simply skips over topics which might have frightened off boys from volunteering in the first place, but are not dishonest in what little they do say. The Captain's Memoranda in some cases makes more disturbing reading, but in the context of the time is perhaps less shocking than for my generation - if not, then at least one highly decorated Skipper from before Mike LeFanu's time as Captain exhibited disturbing (by today's standards) sadistic tendencies.

I don't think you could say you were kidnapped or imprisoned. Unlike school, where one was in effect held captive and suffered, you did volunteer to join. With school my father told me I had to put up with it - it would make a man of me. Erm, well he was wrong there! :lol:

When you join any Service organisation you expect to subject to strict discipline and petty regulations that appear excessive from civvy street. As it happens when I volunteered for the ROC at the age of 16 in 1979 I fully expected to have Ganges style treatment meted out to me, but took a philosophical stant that it would only be during basic training. As it turned out I was profoundly wrong. The training was informal and fun and took place in the Monitoring Post I was assigned to.

Still I look forward to your autobiographical memoirs, even if they do give me nightmares. Eek!

PS: I'd like to see The Mast outside the National Maritime Museum with a permenant exhibition to show the public what really went on at places like Ganges. With Roy Claire in charge I might yet suceed - though I'd probably need to fund it!
 
UA, for your information,

I volunteered to join the Navy. So:-

1. I was NOT kidnapped or incarcerated.
2. I do NOT recall being physically kicked or beaten.
3. Read your own statement about personal insults. For your information
I AM NOT A FCUKING CABBAGE.
 
UncleAlbert said:
O dear ……down to personal insults is it …that’s sad.

Read my blog


I really don't think I will waste my time. Even that I have 24 hours a day 7 days a week free, it would still be a waste.

Nutty
 
NozzyNozzer said:
dunkers said:
Actually I quite honestly think I would like to have gone there! But then maybe I'm a sadist, very naive, or both... the very strict discipline aside (then again how else do you keep 2,000 15-year-old lads in order) it does sound good. I bet the camraderie and sense of pride you got there was wonderful. And in terms of employment - a very stable "job", where else can you get that now.

One question... how did anyone manage not to fall off the button? Surely vertigo would have had an effect? Was it slippy? Very small?

I never got up that far - scared of heights! Did the minimum I could get away with with and burned my hands on the way down (so desperate to get down the first time, see) for which I was, of course, punished - self inflicted injuries!

Ganges with less harsh discipline, with punishments tailored more to the boy concerned might have been more appropriate, but not without creating its own problems of inconsistency and perceived unfairness. I must admit that I'd love to redo Ganges now knowing what I do, but miss out on the really humiliating bits - quite happy to have strict but fair staff, just not ones that take pleasure in publically humiliating you several times a day, day-in, day-out for my first few unhappy months! The professional training was great (apart from sore knuckles when learning to type properly - it's just natural to want to look at the keyboard :roll: ). Discovered my love of dinghy sailing, sculling, archery (imagining certain instructors were in the firing line) and some more violent sports involving accidentaly clobbering other people with sticks in the name of sport :lol: :lol: Pity none of them were instructors! I knew I got my masochistic tastes somewhere! :twisted: (I still like the supposedly "genteel" sport of croquet - don't be fooled - played properly it's just like hockey for the less physically able! - didn't learn that at G though, not being Wardroom. If the lawn's drenched then it's almost like water hockey, if it's icy, then its similar to ice hockey - what more could you ask?!! :lol: ).

39 recruitment Nov 72
you centainly wern't the only one, after being marched over from the annexe to complete the naval swimming test (PTI's with boat hooks) we were march up to the base of the mast which was huge when your five foot nothing.
The instructor asked quite nicely to my relief who was afraid of heights, I raise my hand nievely thinking he was going to let me off this but says off you go take your time, I go up rung by rung scared witless. I get half way to the first stage and he shouts "right the rest of you up" so I had this hurd of boys racing up after me, it worked I had no choice but to get there going through the inside bit.
 

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