I have no idea at all!I used to see big Grey things i was told were ships going in and out of Pompey Harbour from my Cabin window in Haslar,i reckon they were just cardboard cut outs floated on old Oil Drums!!!!
Maybe not, but at least they could spell !!!!!! :wink: SEA for example.
Dunkers it was great, lots of pride, lots of ships, lots of bases, and lots of good foreign runs ashore. 2 years, sometimes three and half years in the Far Flung (Far East) Leave on Station. A great life.
Would have been fine if it was not a pack of lies
Joined at 16 in october 1805
then on 20 oct 1805 says the jubilation was just like seeing the cliffs of the home port on return from a long stint at sea
Well I thought it was great, first trip with the RNR was with MS10, all to minesweepers went to Lisbon, Gib, and Tangiers and ACR came along with us in Belfast just in case we got lost. Had my first tot (I was just over 17 then), convinced me the RN was the life for me. That lasted until H Wilson cocked thing up and I'm afraid it has gone severely down hill since then.
Normal way to FES was Gib, Malta, Suez, Aden/Mombasa, Ceylon/Gan, Singapore - then Hong Kong, with detours en route to make a variation, and "extras" when you arrived there. Once those ports had gone, the requirement for a presence East of Suez was virtually eliminated except for occasional visits and excercises. There was a certain something about that routine. Everyone in the RN/RM had done it. ODs learned their trade by it. All had a dit to spin about it. In other words, it was a common factor. I never met a senior rate, (stand fast some airy-fairies), who hadn't travelled that course at least once.
Things, as you say, went downhill from Wilson's time, but I don't blame him entirely. The Empire, which we of my generation took for granted, started to break up. Not all were sympathetic to the aspirations of our country, in fact, most were anti to the extent of self inflicted injury, and we have borne the consequences ever since.
The sea to shore ratio for our current colleagues is probably greater than at any time since the war. In my OD time, you were lucky to get a ship within two years of joining, as a non exec/engineer/comms rating. The world was full of ex HOs, with no ambition except to complete the seven years they had signed for in order to achieve a regular pay scale.
It levelled out in the late fifties, HOs all gone, a few NS left, and we were mainly a regular, volunteer, Navy, but we still had lots of ships, and lots of exciting places to go, with no real confrontations after Suez.
This was noted by the pennypinchers in Whitehall and ships were discarded left right and centre up until 1982 when the politicians wished they had kept a larger fleet in being, but, being politicians, they cannot see further than the next election, and with a general voting populace that cannot see beyond the next episode of Big Brother, I think that the unfortunate decline of our beloved Royal Navy is inevitable. I have just entered my seventies, and I hope that I don't live to see the ultimate demise of the service that I love so much, and of which I was so proud to be a member.
Heart of Oak, played by a Royal Marine Band, still brings a tear to the eye.