RN Officer Selection & Training - 1967 Style

A friend has drawn my attention to these Pathé News films describing RN officer selection and training in 1967, the year he joined the RN. I can hardly believe they were filmed only four years before I too joined BRNC Dartmouth.

Watch, laugh and weep. This was when we had three Type 12 frigates dedicated to the Dartmouth Training Squadron (DTS) with at least one other in reserve. Coincidentally, I spent three hard-working/hard-playing months floating around the Mediterranean in HMS SCARBOROUGH, the ship featured in the film.

Incidentally, the fictional episode towards the end of the second reel featuring a TON Class coastal minesweeper's diving team is not a million miles away from the sort of thing that happened during the Indonesian-Malaysian Confrontation 1962-66 (link).Enjoy.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
The odd familiar face there. I think the Parade Gunner is Bill Dungate who organised the Mountbatten funeral. Can someone with sharper eyes read the pendant number of the CMS? I made it out as M1130, my old and beloved Highburton.
Seaweed - She looks like HIGHBURTON (or 'Higgy B') to me as well although she never participated in Confrontation.


Laid Down:
21 January 1953
Built by: J I Thorneycroft, Southampton

Completed: 21 May 1955 Time to Build: 28 months (First Deltic Ton)
Commissioned: 21 May 1955 for 105th Minesweeping Squadron based at Harwich
Years Fully Operational: 18

Outline of Operational Career
9 Aug 55 - Joined 105th MSS at Harwich

Aug-Sep 56 - Escorted Inshore Minesweepers to Malta
Oct-Nov 56 - Escorted Inshore Minesweepers to UK
1957 - Long Refit at Chatham
1958-59 - 50th Minesweeping Trials Squadron at Port Edgar
Nov 59 - 50th M/S Trials Squadron moved to Portland
1 Oct 62 - 50th MSS renamed 3rd MSS.
Jan-Apr 65 - Crew commissioned CARHAMPTON in Aden Emerg.
1972 - In Reserve at Gibraltar. Commissioned for FPS in Oct.
1973-1976 - Fishery Protection Squadron based Port Edgar

Significant Events
23 Aug 55 - Visited Copenhagen to demonstrate Deltic Engine

Oct 55 - Suffered five funnel fires on passage Brest to Harwich
5 Oct 56 - Major Funnel Fire approaching Taranto
Oct 56 - Withdrawn from Operation MUSKETEER (Suez Crisis) M/S force

Paid Off:
3 March 1976

20 Feb 78. Sold to Tees Marine Services,
Middlesborough for breaking up.
As an ex-TON man, see this page on the Halsgrove Publishing website by which 'Last of the Wooden Walls - An Illustrated History of the TON Class Minesweepers and Minehunters' (cover price £24.99) may be ordered for only £19.99 prior to its launch at the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth Naval Base on 9 March 2012 to mark the Ton Class Association's 25th Anniversary. It is a 160-page A4-sized hardback tome containing a foreword by the TCA's Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales.

'Jacks of All Trades', an A4 format paperback companion volume, is being published privately by the Ton Class Association and will also be available in March. It lists the operational history of each TON that served in the Royal Navy with a photograph of each ship plus a summary of the 37 TONs that were transferred to other navies. Lack of space precluded its incorporation in 'Wooden Walls'.

The book will be distributed by the TCA at a pre-launch discounted price of £9.49 (inc p&p) and may be ordered from: TCA Stores Officer, Lawrence Johnson, 4 Downham Close, Cowplain, Hampshire PO8 8UD. Cheques should be made payable to 'Ton Class Association'.

All proceeds from the sales of both books will be going to the TCA, not to any individuals.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Thanks for the heads up on the books. I don't think the 'Confrontation' scene in the video was filmed abroad! My time in Highburton was spent at and around Portland (from Gib to Sweden!) when she was leader of the AUWE MCM 50th MSS trials squadron (included HB, Bronington, Glasserton, Kirkliston, Clarbeston, Yaxham and Gossamer at various times). In 1962 because HB seemed to be stuck interminably in Chatham dockyard we took Clarbeston off the buoys in Marchwood and ran her for the summer.

Meanwhile back on thread - happy memories of trying to get an oil drum across a 'shark-infested' squash court for my AIB. And fielding the qn as to why I had NOT put engineer down on my choices - a fish-head he would be!

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