HMS St.Vincent

Discussion in 'History' started by skyvet, Oct 23, 2007.

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  1. I read with interest the entries regarding Ganges, which set me thinking that there must be a plethera of ex St.Vincent boys on the forum. After all, if you entered as a boy seaman in the old days you either went to one or the other.
    I joined up at St.Vincent on January 7th 1963, and stayed there until Iwas drafted to Collingrad for greenie training in December. There are great similarities between Ganges and St.Vincent routines, and whilst the mast at St.Vincent wasn't quite as high as the one at Ganges, it was just as imposing when you had to climb it for the first time! The winter of 1963 was particularly severe, and I remember snow being on the ground on the day we first scaled the mast. The "safety net" would have been about as much use as a chip slicer had anyone fallen onto it!
    If there's any interest from other former St.Vincent boys, I'd be willing to post some memories of my time there, but I don't want to bore everyone if there isn't!
  2. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    We were taken from Mercury to St Vincents in 1960 to do the mast, an interesting experience.
    From memory the first three weekends, in no particular order, we were taken to an alongside Frigate, St Vincent mast and HMS Victory.
  3. As an ex St Vincent boy I had formed the opinion that I must have dreamt of my year at the Gosport Borstal as there was never any mention of its existance .( OK it closed 40 years ago)
    I was told that only Junior seaman recruits who could both read and write, joined us baby greenies at that fine establishment I remember when doing trade training at Collingwood thinking that we were Jack me lad and treated the older /mature? ex Raliegh recruits with contempt.
  4. Yes I joined at HMS St Vincent . Great place . I had the honour of visiting Ganges with the St Vincent swimming team --was not impressed . Was glad to get back to Gosport.

    There's a St Vincent Association site online but its not as lively as the Ganges one.

    St Vincent front wall and gate are still standing as far as I know--the rest of the place was flattened and a college /school built . Some of the Parade Ground remains but the Mast has gone.

    Happy Days

    :nemo: :nemo:
  5. I went from Raleigh to HMS Ariel (Later renamed Daedalus) in 1963 to start EM(A) course. Four or five members of our course had just arrived from Vincent. All good lads and far more worldly wise on navy matters than us older Raleigh lads.
    Also remember using St Vincents swimming pool for a many years after the place had stopped operating as a juniors establishment.
  6. Used to use the pool at St Vincent when at Collingrad in 74, must have been closed a while by then.
  7. Embarrasssing dit time! There was an old FAA jet on the parade ground near the Naafi, and with a huge parade coming up, as a Badge Junjor, I was detailed off to organise a party to move this veteran of the skies from where it stood to the smaller parade ground round the back.
    This manoever meant pushing the aircraft down the road between the Naafi and one of the accomodation blocks. Now, being a flip to the front, I sent off for a tape measure with which to measure the wing span of said aircraft. When the tape arrived, it wasn't long enough to span the whole aircraft - no problem thinks star Badge Junior - measure one wing, and double it! Easy huh?
    Having ascertained that there would be about 18" clearance, I was confident that with a highly efficient team under my worldly guidance, many Brownie points would soon be mine! With many grunts and much puffing, the team got this reluctant lady to start moving, and all was going so well until we came to the gap between the Naafi and the accomodation block, when my ears were assaulted by a horrible crunching sound as the wingtips forced their way into the two previously mentioned buildings! Star Badge Junior had omitted to measure and add the width of the fuselage to the equation! Oops!
    Never did quite understand why I lost my badge after this event! :thumright:
  8. Joined St. Vincent July '63 and was there for a year before moving onto Collingrad. Many a happy memory learning to be a "seaman" and "mast manning" for special occasions. Was placed on the upper yard, shitting myself.
    Always remember getting 14 days' 9's for throwing a boot at the bugler from the window of Blake block who would insist on standing there to "call the hands" at some ungodly hour!!...'Twas a good shot though, smacked him right round the back of the head!! Drilling with a Lee Enfield 303 above one's head is no joke though... :whew:
  9. Hi,
    I joined St.V in Nov 63 and duly went on to Collingrad for electrical training. Time had wiped out a lot of the sharp memories but reading some of the entries have brought back a few of them. I remember N09'S & 14'S c/w Lee Enfield as bosum pal for the daily stint at the parade ground.
    I would be more than happy to catch up with anybody's dits from their time there or similar.
    I was in Duncan 630 class for my pains.
  10. Welcome onboard Green Thing! We thingies should stick together mate! :biggrin:

    Inferiority complex? ;)

    Greenie, I thought that Forton Barracks were Grade II listed? I have a feeling that several of the buildings are quite historic.

    Lamptramp63.... I've been reading your posts for ages and have been assuming you were a WREN!!! If you were at St.Vincent, then you must be male! :oops:


    Janner.... they made you adults man the mast??? o_O
  11. I was at St.Vincent too, although I can't speak with any authority about the mast, cause I didn't start there until 83 and it was a school then. The front buildings are indeed still there, as is the swimming pool, which is (was) part of the leisure centre. We had some of our PE lessons in it and it is the coldest pool I've ever been in. The only one I've been in that was deep in the middle and shallow at the ends. Something to do with water polo I believe.
  12. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    Steve, I was a JRO, not all juniors started at G***** if you were over sixteen and a quarter you (as a communicator) went to Mercury after a week or so at Collingwood. I waited until I was old enough to do this to avoid the long training period at the G spot.
  13. I was male at the last time I checked. Joined St Vincent Oct 1963 .Blake 621 class
    I've been thought of as many things in the last 40 + years " F**king English B*stard Polis " being one of the most regular, to be a Double breasted Matelot aint too bad, No apology required
  14. I'm pleased you were a JRO. At least you joined the Elite Branch. But surely you needed at least a year to become proficient in morse? o_O

    Not that I'm in any way biased, of course! (Ex-RNXS Comms Thingy) :biggrin:

    Lamptramp.... Thanks for checking your gender. I'm so relieved! :biggrin: :thumright:
  15. Joined St Vincent in June 1961 427 entry Nozzers Block, what a culture shock that was. Soon settled down after a while, but the regime was quite harsh for some remember getting 9s for some obscure reason and doubling round the parade ground with Rifle held high. Acouple of lads were awarded Cuts for offences and I remember one lad getting a kit muster on the first platform of the mast. Must admit I enjoyed the Seamanship School and the sailing.Took part in the Quadrangular Games against Ganges and hated the place, Although the rivalry between both Establishments is still prelevant today even though they have been closed for years.
  16. HMS St Vincent also accommodated the surplus of young matelots after they had finished thrir part 2 training. Drafted there after UC Basics course in 65. The staff didn't know how to use the extra manpower. Ended up building an assault course and then sent down to HMS Droxford to crew her. Nice time shortly afterwards drafted to a new build leander for the first eighteen month abroad deployment. Best of both worlds Ganges and St Vincent :wink:
  17. Glad to know I'm not the only one who did "continuation training" there. Went there for a month in 68 after finishing at Mercury.

    I can't remember everything we did but I recall putting a Battle class up the trot, going on exped and canoeing in the pool.
  18. Hi can i ask where this establishment was?
    Also see mention of Daedalus can you tell me where this was as I have found a cap tally
  19. HMS St Vincent was located at Forton Barracks, Gosport, originally built for the Royal Marines in 1807. It was commissioned as an RN boys' training establishment on 1 Jun 1927 and there was a closing ceremony on 8 Dec 1968 although the ensign wasn't lowered for the last time until 2 Apr 1969.

    HMS Daedelus was the Royal Naval Air Station at Lee-on-the Solent. It opened in 1917 as an RAF seaplane school and was handed over to the RN and commissioned as a naval establishment on 24 May 1939. Temporarily renamed HMS Ariel from 31 Oct 1959 to 5 Oct 1965, it paid off on 29 Mar 1996 although a retard party remained until 31 Jul 1996.
  20. Thanks you certainly appear to know your you know i am tracking down my late partners career, which is how i have discovered the Daedalus cap tally.Would Heron and Culdrose also be Fleet Air Arm?thanks 4 the links
    Many thanks

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