Junior Training Establishments

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)?


Lantern Swinger
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....



Lantern Swinger
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).
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?


Lantern Swinger
: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.
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:


Lantern Swinger
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!
Ratrat said:
In 62, the Short Covered Way was home to the elite JMEs but we had to suffer JNAMs as Mess Mates.

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.


Lantern Swinger
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?!