HMS ST Vincent

Discussion in 'Bases / Shore Est' started by scouse, Mar 21, 2008.

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  1. they reckon Ganges was a lot worse than ST Vincent/ boy it was hard there at Gosport remember the J/I kicking the steel bin down the flight of stairs 0500 hrs the first morning as a 15 yr old nozzer who had just signed on for 12yrs / guys getting 12 cuts/14s rear man to the front/ couldnt wait to leave the place the next 11yrs were/ a doddle in comparison / jake jive and jellybabies/
  2. I could never quite get get my head around Boy Entry. I worked in Ganges Sick Bay as a POMA and thought then, and still do, what a bloody awful place it was to put a young boy. My father-in-law was a SD Gunner who had been a DO in St Vincent, and he was a peppery, hard old bastard. My interview with him for the hand of his daughter was something I will never forget. Give him his due though, he had joined as a Boy in 1927 and had seen it all; Warrant Gunner during WW2, and a SD commission afterwards. Perhaps he was an example of what Boy entry was all about; he often said to me that treated his Boys with a lot of "knuckle" and a little bit of kindness. He merely passed on what had happened to him. It could never happen today; 20 year olds are still boys, as for girls, don't get me started!!
  3. Ganges "may" have been tougher but S.Vincent was no stroll in the park,I joined there aged 15 in 63 and signed on for 12 ( 9+3) wihin minutes of arrival.There was no way out without a medical or dishonourable discharge. The first punnishment warrant I witnessed was there for a boy having been on the trot for a few weeks and was Dishonourably Discharged (at 15 ? get real).We used to wear pussers dirks on a lanyard but this was stopped after another boy cut off his pinkie (finger) to get out, at the same time I witnessed a boy in my mess slash his wrists for the same result.It was described as doing a year in Borstal without having commited any crime.The instructors were in the main WW2 or Korean vets and were only treating us in the manner they were treated when enlisted.
    Would I do it again? I learned a lot from the experience,how to look after myself both physically and domestically and to this day even after 38 y of marriage still do my own washing/ ironing an art I taught my 3 boys so they are not dependant on a woman apart from for the obvious.
  4. hi lamptramp i joined 62 L/065 Captain Micheal Tufnell was the skipper then /treated the boys band to a day out at Brighton his missus giving us all2/6 to spend thought it was a Kings ransom at the time/ remember / Sunday divisions boys band and the royal marines band/ guard leading off with Burma Rifles playing/ their goose stepping band major in the wheel and his patten leather shoes /probably my only good memories of the place
  5. In 63 it was a Capt Aldous who had a couple of daughters who could even beat the bromide in the tea.( at 15 and locked in St V anything could turn you on).I remember the outcry from the ships co when the blue liners were increased from 2s 4p to 2s 6p, Daily divisions, musical PT /one division over the mast and especially the full ceremonial every sunday. sea jerseys worn under no8 shirts,kit musters with the duty pig walking down the middle of your kit and kicking the gear over the mess.But the thing I remember most was the day Kennedy was assasinated, we mere 15yo were cacking ourselves thinking WW3 was about to unfold.
    It is a shame that posters on this site seem to ignore St,Vincent and harp on about Ganges,fair enough from those who were boys there but some who never even went there wax lyrically about a place they never experienced. Boy training in the RN was physically and mentally hard if the modern male /female recruit remember what they were like at 15 and imagine if they could survive away from kin without telephones/ e-mail internet and todays electronic toys.
  6. remember Capt aldous relieving Capt Tufnell who had to resign in a hurry think he socialised on a lavish scale from the capt house being upper/class gentry and racehorse owner/ he to had a couple of daughters if i remember correctly one Meriel who was the first woman jockey to ride a winner on a horse called Scorched earth (you can tell i follow the nags) remember payday? 15 shillings a week /dobie days at the laundry scrubbing all your kit wih a bar of pusser hard/the devils elbow/ and the bugelar sounding revielle rock on seasonal leave morning/the cough and drop on the first day back/ then write on the school blackboard with days to go again /cruel times i think on reflection
  7. how nice to hear from some old St.Vincent boys,makes a change from your run of the mill Ganges lads,not that theres anything wrong with a bit of Ganges skin.It wasn't a dawdle in the 60's by any means but by god it made men of us boys equal to any Ganges man Ihave to say. 45 years since I was there and it seems like yesterday and what I learned I never forgot,I work with disengaged young people now as a behaviour specialist and to reiterate "wardmasters" remark about todays youth, little pussies at 19 and 20 years old these kids don't have a fcuckin clue about life or the living of it,they hardly realise they're born yet. My 2 sons were able to look after themselves domestically by the age of 13 and now they are approaching the big 40 and still look after their families in the same way. the lads that come on our training prog get taught the same skill we were taught at St.Vincent and when they leave us they frequently return to say thanks for putting them on the right track. YES pusser rules as far as I'm concerned,an experience I wouldn't have missed for the world

    UP SPIRITS.................SPLIEEEEEEEEERS!!!!!!!!
  8. Yes it is nice to hear from some St Vincent guys.

    Joined there in June 1956 -----parents signed their rights over to the RN as my guardian as it was then till 18 ??

    Kit issue and bedding issue and haircut---- short back and sides with the emphasis on the short. New entry block and name stamp on all kit items and then being shown how to do embrodiery chain stitch to sew your name . Pay ------it was less than what I got from my 'paper delivering round'
    Class instructor was an WW2 CPO QA1 --survived the sinking of Eagle and was mad keen on fast dressing --and rig changes last /slowest doing laps around the parade ground .
    Early morning dhobi-----pussers hard and each item being held up for inspection before you could finish ------late or slow you missed your breakfast --the yellow peril and stodgy porridge .

    And so it went on--- never bored anyway !!! Only time we got peace was at bed time -lights out and that was only if the other classes decided not to raid us to trash the dormitory.

    Never looked back though --we learned a lot and it did make us self sufficient and confident with ourselves. There wasn't any way to get out of the RN either -- you signed up and stuck with it.

    Yes I am glad I can say that I was a 'junior' [boy] . I don't think the lads of today could be made to do it --too many luxuries at home now and silly
    childrens rights .

    :nemo: :nemo:
  9. I often recall my arrival at St V.Read that son thats your contract if you want to join up sign ear,if you don't you can go back home and all your mates will take the piss cause you couldn't hack it.Kit issue ,bedding issue,haircut."CAN I KEEP MY BEATLES STYLE?????!!!!'' No problem Jock just sit ear son.Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.ouzat me old cocker? FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURK ME WHAT AVE YOU DONE YOU CNUT???
    Over to you P.O.GL KEEEEEEEEEEEP SILENT MY SON YOUR IN MY NAVY NOW...........MOVE IT MOVE IT LADDIE. Lovely day and many more to follow.

  10. When I stayed with Nutty last month went to Ladies' Night and shared a table with one of you lot. All the other blokes (apart from civvy barsteward here) were ex-G Spotters. I think they guy felt very forlorn..... maybe it was having the piss taken out of manning the 14.5 ft mast ;)

    Then again, you seem to have lived in decent accommodation (well it looks like that from the only pic I've seen of Forton Barracks.) Is it true that the JIs brought you breakfast in bed at 0900? :bball: A friend of mine was at Ganges in 1925 and they had to "go over" the Mast BEFORE breakfast, Summer and Winter! Eek!

    I still really cannot believe that people could buy sooooooo much with 12.5 pence! Talk about HYPERinflation o_O
  11. Lamptramp - we must have been shippers, as I joined St. Vincent in January 1963 (55 entry I think it was - my official number started with 072)
    Good memories, despite the weather, which was a particularly cold winter. I remember climbing the mast in freezing weather, wearing the regulations pussers shorts and tee shirt!
  12. remember being admitted to the sickbay with appendicitus /the codine he sent me away with the day before hadnt worked? enter3 badge SBA" can you play darts son " yes sir" thinking hes going to play me at darts. well turn over your the F*****G dart board /as he adminstrated the penicilling injection
  13. Skyvet I joined in October P/077--- so was a nozzer in your time.
    I think the entry requirement for St.V required you to read and write unlike Ganges where either was optional.I remember once complaining to the DO about the quality of the haircut, He agreed it was poor ,so He marched me to the "Barbers?" to get the rest shorn, ended up with what today is a normal haircut for the slapheads. Learnt never complain as you never win.
  14. I was in the last entry for boys, Aug 65. I remember at lunch (dinner) and finding a cockie in my mince'n tatties. Brave boy that I was I went up to the duty PO in the mess hall and said look at what is in my grub. Answer. "Don't fukcing care son, It's an extra 'aint it. Now piss off and complain to cookie if you want". I seem to remember that was about the only time there was virtual silence in the mess hall.

    Also, can you remeber the standeasy's in the mess. or was it just outside it. Milky something and a crusty roll. Or am I getting (more) confused?
  15. I remember just minutes after having signed for the dreaded twelve,and one of the first of my class to arrive,being shouted at by the J.I. to " clear up that shit in the corner", terrified I approached the area not realising that "shit" was an euphanism for any gash. I recall at lights out , when in the row of two tier bunks lined up forwad to aft, the duty P.O. shouting that if you want a "w**k" you will have to all do it together or the noise of the bed shaking will wake everybody up.
    Me naive didn't realise that I hadn't invented Bishop Bashing.
    It was certainly a learing curve for a 15yo from the innocent home counties.
  16. remember the joining up procedure a few weeks before at 7 ST Johns lane Liverpool one of the scousers couldnt p**S in the sample bottle Said to the recrutement chief that if he gave him 1s 1p he would fill the bottle up for him (pint of greeenhalls mild at the time) you probably can guess the reply ! :thumright:
  17. Ermmmmmm! :threaten:
  18. I used to climb the mast at lunch time -----most days just to get a look at the outside world . You could see Portsmouth Dockyard etc.

    Used to 'allot' 10/- [50p] a week to my Mother and she would send it back
    to me so at least I did have a bit more dosh-----for boot polish etc and the odd bag of nutty/packet of cigs from the Naafi canteen.

    Sunday afternoon ashore was to go to Aggie Westons for the tea and free cakes ------highlight of the week :w00t: .

    :nemo: :nemo:
  19. Joined at St.Vincent too..July '63, P/074****, boy was it just great!! Think I held the record there for most day's 9's...72 days in the 365 there, but that's another story. Joined up with a guy called "Drinkwater" and you can imagine the time it took him to embroider his name on the tallies for all his kit! Brain a bit fuddled now, but can remember mast manning (was on top yardarm) and running round that fecking parade ground with Lee Enfield on shoulders or above yer arms...knackering! Start of a great life!!!!!
  20. Saw this artical and it reminded me of the time I spent at St Vincent.I joined in May 63 (P/073) Blake 58 entry. I can confirm that a boy did cut off his "pinkey" with a dirk; he had the bunk above mine. He was so homesick whene he came off summer leave that he went into the heads and chop off came his finger,as simple as that.I still rember his name and where came from; poor bastard. I remember a boy , in the next dorm getting 12 cuts and one pig of a GI who always said "all I want is a bit of endeavour" (the screaming skull). Happy days.

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