HMS Ganges... beware ye who enter here

If you could have your time again, would you want to redo your training at Ganges?

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War Hero
First time ever looking at any RN sights. Saw your message. I joined Ganges 30th June 1955 also as a boy telegraphist. the reason i remember the date is that it was my 15th birthday, We got shipped out to Suez in October 1956 cutting short our training by a couple of months. Maybe we boxed each other in the Shotley annexe!
john welcome

St George

St George IOM Boys training 3/5/45 Christmas leave 45 took all kit and returned to Ipswich station, then by the ubiquitous 3 ton Bedford to Shotley where we reopened HMS Ganges as a boys establishment. It had been HO (Hostilities-only) traing during the war
May 46 to HMS Wakeful, Training Flotilla for a twelve-week tour from Rosyth to Oban and back, would cost a fortune today.
Depends on what your previous life was like, but I loved every minute of training.


Im here as my Son (15) wants to join the RN - Wellbeck route AIB soon.
As I side not I went to GANGES in another life as a Police probabtioner 25 years ago. I bet it was something else its its full glory.
I was at Ganges in 1955 and went to visit Shotley in 2005 and was surprised to see police signs near the old swimming baths. Now i know why!


yes I was there in 92 ....Essex, Nolfolk , Herts Suffolk and Cambs police all used it.
Such a shame to see it go the way it did I had 15 happy weeks there


War Hero
1959 and what a bugger Ganges turned out to be. Today lots of those instructors (JIs and Badgeboys included) would be in front of the beak for various abuses, harassment and bullying. I just got on with it. Used to have chats with old Tick-Tock and RPO Salmon gave me my £1 postal order when the max was really ten bob. The one chippy bugger who thought it good fun to make you spar with him in the wash room (Annexe) I met up with in the Far Flung and gave him more than he gave me. If you cracked on and didn't buckle you were okay, but I wouldn't want to do it again. Padre Weekes was always good for a fag and Jim Conroy (PTI) taught me to yodel. Commander was Trick and a good egg. My DO was so unforgetable I can't remember his name, but he ponced around with his handky up his sleeve and a curled lip. Real posh supercilious bastard. The skipper was HS McKenzie who went FOSM. He was quite good too. My instructors were Nobby Clarke and Ted Roe. Roe told me "I don't like you." I told him "I don't give a flying feck!" and I got seven days 9s. He went on to be an SD subby. Engineer commander had been on Amethyst up the Yangtse and was quite sympathetic when he was OOD. They say you never forget the place and I agree. Didn't like it, there are better ways of teaching than violence, but it hardened me up and made me self disciplined. :cool:


Well this seems a good time to see if this site works properly.

Calling anyone out there who underwent training in, upon, within or above Shotley Barracks - HMS Ganges - who served as Staff or who is just damn curious about what many RN ratings endured to transform them from 15 year old schoolboys into MEN (well, sailors, anyway) at the tender age of 16... :roll: pay us a visit. We have a main site now: Please visit: HMS G****S
Was Ship's Company from March 1958 to November 1959. Worked in the Captain's and Pay Office as a Writer. Always conscious of the culture shock for a young lad to go from his Mam's arms to those of a POGI and to a life of never being ASKED to do things but TOLD


War Hero
As a matter of interest how many of you did your 22 and beyond not many I suspect therefore you look back with nostalgia, fcuking hated the place and made certain I never treated any of my guys the same as the youngsters were treated there. Sadists most of them and that's from a 15 year old who was in a council care home before he joined, streetwise to fcuk and kept my head down.
Ganges 67 to 68. Completed my 22. Would I do it again. 'You must be joking'. Twelve months of being shouted at - run here run there. Living with umpteen wanking, farting smelly kids!!!!!!!
Probably made me what I became or at least forged part of me. Like StM. City kid, street wise, kept head down and just got on with it!
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