Junior Training Establishments

Discussion in 'History' started by NozzyNozzer, Mar 9, 2006.

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  1. I have created this forum to discuss issues specifically relating to JTEs (what my pongo friends call Boys' Service), though this will of course be mystifying to modern RN personnel, who I understand can be ABs at 16?!? (Some mistake surely?).

    I want to start off with a question to those of you who were at HMS Ganges in the late 1960s. I have a friend who was an inmate there from 1967-68 as a Junior Stoker, living on the Short Covered Way. I was asking him about his experiences of the Laundry and discovered that he only remembers going there twice :? , to wash sheets. He thinks he and his messmates may have done their dhobeying in the Mess. Before you reached the steps on to the Polished Deck there were the heads on the left, I recall, and something on the right, possibly the showers? Was it done here perhaps? My friend was a skimmer/target so I doubt they were undergoing the pre-Submarine Dhobeying Course (SuDs :wink: ). Could it have reflected less rigourous standards for JMEMs or Short Covered Waymen, or were JROs just expected to maintain much higher standards than everybody else (as the Elite)?
  2. I was in Drake Division in the Short Covered Way from May 1967. After a reorganisation it became Duncan Division, but we all remained in our messes - I was in 37 Mess, 4th on the left (bottom of the SCW). I too can only remember an initial first visit to the main laundry - all subsequent dhobeying being done in the washroom which was first on the left in each mess. If I remember correctly, the second left was the drying room. Showers and heads were to the right of the passageway.

    btw, this is an Anson mess in 1969....

  3. In 62, the Short Covered Way was home to the elite JMEs but we had to suffer JNAMs as Mess Mates.
  4. Oh - the Anson picture above..... Anson Div was NOT, of course, in the SCW, but the only pic I have of a Ganges mess.

    While I was a JRO in Drake (37 Mess), there were EMs in 39 Mess and WAFUs in 40 Mess (at the top). Quite why it all became Duncan Division is now beyond me, but they were generally Seaman gents (dabbers).
  5. PS We were Benbow Division
  6. Hi Geoff,

    I'm pleased to hear that dhobeying was still practiced in the 1960s Andrew. I was quite concerned that sub-aquatic habits were being instilled in the younger generation before they had time to develop all those additional skills that baby sailors learn(ed) :) I expect that these days the PO does the washing, the Chief the wringing out and the Skipper hangs them up to dry :!: whilst the Nozzer looks on and shouts (not too loud) 'get yer back into it, lad/lass', or maybe things haven't progressed that far... yet?
  7. :oops: I Think I've made a mistake Sir,I only meant get the ferry from Harwich."shut up you little shite your in the navy now"Welcome to Ganges november 1962.Six weeks in the annexe learning to call everbody Sir.including the cat which was a she.'OH' we struck lucky there,I,m sure Blackcatting had its origins at Ganges!

    Next of to 22 mess Grenville division in the long covered way.Six naval airmen and the rest mechanical engineers.(are'nt I polite)

    Nice chief stoker,not a rivet in sight.Shortarse chief handler who wished to be taller(difficult unless we stretched him from the neck up).

    Remember the laundry well it was across the road from our mess.

    dhobey day collect yer kit go over strip off bollocky and do the dhobey
    and the little shitbag would throw it on the deck and you start all over again.
  8. Our Dhobey days began at 5 in the morning ---and you had to have your dhobying bag hung on the end of your bed .

    One guy didn't have a bag hanging on his bed one morning --Po Instructor asked [shouted] why haven't you got any dhobying lad
    Reply haven't got anything dirty --sir

    3 seconds later the kids whole kit was on the messdeck floor --scooped out of the open locker by the PO [in those days your kit was always stowed folded seamanship manual sized with name showing and locker doors open for viewing]

    You have now LAD ---!!!

    Happy days :lol: :lol:
  9. Post deleted

    The picture may have copyright
  10. Just remembered that particular 'rate' - the Junior Instructor, or JI.
    On Day 1 I must say he impressed me - 6ft tall, broad chest, seemed a bit 'hard' and had a proper smooth suit. He seemed to know everything and had all the cackle - introducing us (or me, at least) to a new word... "Sh*t'nit!". Took a couple of days to realise that he was just another Junior, but at the other end of the course. And, to boot, a Baby Chef!
  11. Must of lowered the standards at the end of 1962. I left Drake Division 39 Mess Short Covered Way on the 2nd October 1962. All the Division to my knowledge at that time were Seaman with a few S & S Types who also did a full Seamanship Course.

    Still I suppose they had to put the wheel spanner brigade and RN Shore Staff some place. I saw a Airy Fairy's 16 service they other day he spent time on the Plymouth the rest in shore jobs, hardly worth joining up if you do not go to sea.
  12. Any stokers out there from 54 recruitment 12 nov 1964. later 22 mess Grenville division long covered way.If there are, chuck a spanner my way and bring a chockhead back to life. Or its Kye and sticky buns at 40 paces. :wink:

    Did Mr Fisk keep all those photos?!
  13. He gave his vast collection to the National Maritime Museum, all sorted out, and when I last saw them, some 20 odd years ago admittedly, they were all over the place. I asked the then curator, innocently, when the lot might be catalogued and was told that they had more important things to do that worry about photographs of boys! They will not be getting my collection of Ganges memorabilia with that attitude. Now they have an ex-Ganges boy in charge (Roy Clare), maybe attitudes will change.

    There does seem to be this attitude towards Ganges elsewhere. Several years ago the Naval Historical Library held a complete collection of the Shotley Magazines. I found the ones from the 1930's particularly interesting, I recall: some good cartoons. When they relocated from State House they binned the lot :!:
  14. NozzyNozzer,Thanks for the info,its a shame. I'm sure we all remember getting our first photo taken in uniform at Ganges,and then regretting the result at the time! Considering the large part the place played in the history of the Navy it seems to have been treated rather badly.
  15. The Annexe.Now there's a word to instill dread and loathing in any Ganges boy. 8O .The winter of 62/63 was a pretty bad one more snow than the artic.I recall standing under the mast on the parade ground in this weather sewing the red silk into name tags on items of uniform that I had failed to complete in the time given by our Sirs :( After about an hour every thing was getting soggy and it was difficult to see due to the snow.As I was the only junior enduring this fate the novelty value of this seem to amuse my fellow inmates.Anyhow the J.I relented and I was returned to the bossom of my messmates to continue my 'housewife' duties in the warm. :)
    Memory of the Annexe is fainter than that of main camp,maybe due to the shock and confusion of what was going on around on a daily basis.

    One aspect of this was no doors on the heads stall doors,bowel movements were infrequent that first week until you got used to the idea
    that privacy was no longer a part of your life. :oops:

    I cant remember the names of the messdecks in the annexe.Does anyone recall. :?:
  16. The messes changed names quite frequently, from various stories I've heard. I was there in 67 and we had Eagle, Tiger, Dreadnought and another 5 I don't remember.
  17. So much for your first, tentative lessons in teamwork. Obviously the JI had not learned that he should be encouraging those who had finished on time to help you out - though I should have expected your Chief to do this! I just think your JI was enjoying abusing his new found power, a trait he now doubt picked up from some of the NCOs. In 1966-67 they did not make people sew their names in chain stitch any more, or maybe they did for some branches and not others? JROs didn't have to nor JMEMs - at least not those occupying the SCW.

    No doors in the cubicles in the heads - what a hardship. I had heard that this was the case but again it may have varied with which bits of G you were in, or perhaps when you were in!

    It's a pity the BBC documentary on Ganges filmed in 1959-60 (The Navy's Youngest Sailors) didn't show what really went on - it might have actually prevented some kids from leading a miserable existence in the place by detering them from joining in the first place! :idea:
  18. I remember Agincourt - suffered there March 62
  19. I joined April 67 and was a JS in the Annex and a JRO once I crossed the road - Drake Div, SCW - but I certainly did the red chain stitch thing while in the Annex, at least in blue suits, scarf, burberry, No.8s and some other things.
  20. Bloody hell, I'm going senile! :oops: :lol: Does moose milk cure senility?

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