Her Majesty requests....

Towards the end of 1962 two young lads were leaving school with the whole world before us. Tony and I didn't want to work in a foundry in Lincoln or as a farm labourer in the Fens. We certainly weren't going to a University as our interest was set on the world outside. Tony suggested that as his older brother was in the Army that we might join up. We set off to the local recruitment office and were met at the door by a huge Sargent Major type chap that scared us off....'Lets try the RAF!' said Tony. Well they would only take us as dog handlers as we had no qualifications as such. Ok only one thing for it...LET'S JOIN THE NAVY!! . So off we went. The Lt made us welcome we took a simple test and after a few days that was it! WE WERE IN THE NAVY!

Now I knew nothing about ships, none of my family had any Navy connections and I had never even seen a Warship. In a few months we were in. Tony as a Seaman, me as an Engineer. Tony went in a month before me. So I was alone travelling to Suffolk HMS GANGES a boys training ship - it no longer exist but if it did it wouldn't as it was so politically incorrect and inhumain by today's standards - but it was the way boys were made into men and it worked!

During my time there I was selected for being a Telegraphist. They took what they said 'the cream' of the recruitment and trained them as Communicators.  Best move I ever made!

 

Learning to read Morse Code
On Expedition
Hawke 48 mess ready for Captain's 'rounds'
At Lincoln station returning back from home leave. I am 3rd from left and my school pal Tony is 5th from left - we are not very happy to return to the rigour of Ganges!
HMS Ganges
Royal Navy Telegraphist

After a gruelling year I graduated to HMS MERCURY the RN SIGNAL SCHOOL to specialise in Communications. There I learnt speed typing on a teleprinter (previously it was on an old Imperial typewriter with blank keys!) Electronic Warfare, Radio Procedure, Cryptography and got to meet WRENS!   After a year intense training I was ready for my FIRST SHIP see SHIPS

'Sparker'
Old Pusser's Key fitted to older ships
Typing to Morse Code
Try your hand at this it's nice and slow

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lewis Hogg | Reply 26.05.2015 14.00

hi John i was a bit quicker than that .......hawke 48 Lewis Hogg ex po junior and also in mombasa with you can you remember that hard train haul to Nairobi ??

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Hi John

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