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Roger Turner
Torksey
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16 of 25  Wed 16th Sep 2015 10:45pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2014  Total posts:448

Sorry, I think I was wrong about HMS Thetis, I have a feeling the sub under discussion was current - post war. However this is a very interesting thread which I have read through. I was in the Merchant Navy and saw one of the saddest sights a seaman can see. We sailed up the Clyde and we passed on the port side the stripped down hull of what I was told was HMS King George V Had a look at Wikipedia she was broken up at Dalmuir in the 1950`s, all I can remember was she was enormous, stripped down of her superstructure to a more or less bare main deck. Most ships become very personal things and breakers pay no attention to their part in history, nor the stories of those who sailed in them. It`s rather like seeing a coffin disappearing through the curtain into the furnace beyond
Royal Navy connections
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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17 of 25  Thu 17th Sep 2015 1:14pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1544

Roger, yes I can well believe that, that they become personal, for they are your life at the time, the Thetis was a few months before the war, so was the first real tragedy, for the people, if you can read any newspaper of the time, I think it will bear me out on the enormous impact it had on people, all those guys trapped below, every hour we prayed for their survival, certainly made a very big impact on me that I never forgot the name 'Thetis'. Later I was in the 6th Airborne Div' met my own impacts.
Royal Navy connections
Roger Turner
Torksey
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18 of 25  Thu 17th Sep 2015 5:17pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2014  Total posts:448

I do have a pleasanter story about a contact I had with the RN, just to cheer things up. ss.Cambray v HMS Sparrow (Frigate, I think on the South African Station) Football match venue Port Harcourt, Nigeria,W.Africa. (1957?) I forget the result, but I`m sure these hairy matelots thrashed us. It was the apr├Ęs bellum I`m talking about. Invitation issued to the victors, come to us for a social visit. HMS Sparrow football 11 detailed off to attend party on British cargo ship two or three berths along the quay. Reception for the lads provided by the Chief Steward in the saloon Main "wet" an enormous bowl full of a cocktail of every spirit we had on board, believe you me it was devilishly lethal, it certainly ensured the party went with a swing. Came the time to go back to their ship - well most of the team were carried back by our Bosun (ex RN). It`s a bit hard to explain the complete evolution, but leaving our accommodation involved a seaman, taking a step upwards through the doorway where he landed on a grating, a foot or so above the main deck, the steam pipes which worked the winches ran below. So the Bosun stood on the main deck, just below the toppling celebrant, made a "back" and gathered each one up in a fireman`s lift, took him down the gangway, along the quay and deposited him on HMS Sparrow. There was a special journey to deliver all the uniform hats left in our custody We understood a lenient attitude was allowed to the men and we had a good night too.
Royal Navy connections
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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19 of 25  Thu 17th Sep 2015 7:33pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1544

Roger, great story, loved it, could picture all of it, amazing the things we did when we were younger, but wonderful memories
Royal Navy connections
Roger Turner
Torksey
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20 of 25  Thu 17th Sep 2015 8:23pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2014  Total posts:448

Yes! life became a bit dull when I came ashore. There`s many a strange thing happened at sea. "Twas on the good ship.............my goodness you should have seen us" Mind you learned that one before I went to sea, in fact playing for the Old Coventrians, while still at school
Royal Navy connections
Ken Dickson
High Hesket Cumbria
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21 of 25  Sat 1st Oct 2016 10:53pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2015  Total posts:49

There are several members of this forum who served in the Royal Navy. I served from 1958 until 1982. There are undoubtedly many family connections with the RN and it would be interesting to hear the stories. There could be many tales to tell from ex-serving personnel. With the age range of HCF members some tales could go far back. The attached photo has a strong Coventry connection, it was published in The Coventry Evening Telegraph on Tuesday 5th. March 1974. It shows five Royal Navy Chief Petty Officers, all submariners, on the steps of the Royal Naval Polaris School at the Clyde Submarine Base at Faslane in Scotland. The Coventry Evening Telegraph contacted the publicity department of the base to check any Coventry connection with the Clyde Submarine Base. Photograph : From the top. Ages as in 1974. Robert (Bob) Sherriff, aged 25, Instone Road, Radford, Foxford School. Now living in Glendevon, Perthshire. George (Ken) Dickson, aged 31, Henley Road, Coventry Technical School and Woodlands. Now living in High Hesket, Cumbria. Anthony (Sam) Louch, aged 32, Pershore Place (ex Sewall Highway), Coventry Technical School and Woodlands. Now living in Hedge End, Southampton. John (Bungy) Williams, aged 25, Packington Avenue, Allesley, Woodlands School. Now living in New Zealand. Vaughan (Vic) Love, aged 24, Pershore Pace. Woodlands School. Present whereabouts unknown. Bob Sherriff, Sam Louch and Ken Dickson served together on the Polaris submarine HMS Resolution between 1976 and 1979. Vic Love and Ken Dickson served together on the Polaris submarine HMS Revenge between 1970 and 1972. Bob Sherriff and Ken Dickson also served in conventional diesel submarines.
Royal Navy connections
slash1
northampton
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Thread starter
22 of 25  Sun 2nd Oct 2016 8:32pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2011  Total posts:136

There are other members on here that served in the RN. My brother, Sam Louch, is on that photo, served almost all of his working life, joined at 15-16 (not sure), rose to the ranks of Lieutenant Commander, finishing well in his 50's. Then worked as a civilian on the nuclear subs. I joined the Royal Navy, age 16 and a half, on 1st November 1960, served 9 years from the age of 18, left in 1971, as a Mechanic 1st Class (CPO). The Navy educated me, trained me, and paid me very well whilst this was happening. This training provided me full employment for the whole of my working life. A guy called Robert Bonehill joined with me, from Coventry. He was 4-5 years older than me. Made contact with him a few years ago, now we meet on a regular basis. He still lives in Coventry. Happy days, loved being in the engine rooms and boiler rooms. Lots of noise, lots of heat and lots of action.
Royal Navy connections
walrus
cheshire
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23 of 25  Mon 3rd Oct 2016 12:35pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2011  Total posts:203

Interesting photo Ken. I'm assuming, given your ages at that time, that you are all Artificers. I have a long time pal, Dave Strutt, an ex Chief REA who served on nuclear boats until pension. I was a diesel dinosaur and was glad to escape the dreaded draft to nuclears. The Midlands was a rich recruiting area for the navy, five of us went to Ganges from Coventry recruiting office on 12th November 1963. Unlike you, I have no idea of the others' whereabouts. When I was at Ganges, the training frigate Venus anchored at the mouth of the Stour. I was having a gawp, it being the first ship I'd ever set eyes upon. A PO cook leaned out of a Central Mess Galley window and shouted "Haven't you ever seen a ******* ship before you ****?". Without thinking I shouted back "I'm from Coventry you ****, what do you ******* think?". Good job I had a head start and we all looked alike. Another unsubtle reminder that as a Junior Mechanical Engineer 2nd Class aka baby stoker, I was at the very bottom of a very large pile.
Royal Navy connections
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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24 of 25  Mon 3rd Oct 2016 6:22pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1544

Oh, didn't I just love those Navy guys, they would deliberately eat greasy bacon sandwiches in front of us to make us sea-sick. We docked at Southampton, and the MPs marched us to a concrete park, here they lined us up to randomly pick out guys to search for loot or weapons. The guy next to me started to sweat, I knew he had 9mm Luger pistol in his kit-bag. The closer they got the more he sweated, but they walked by him and stopped in front of me. Marched me to a barrack room, went through all my gear then strip searched me, found nothing, but they did make up for it by driving me straight to the station. Happy days?
Royal Navy connections
Ken Dickson
High Hesket Cumbria
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25 of 25  Mon 3rd Oct 2016 9:02pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2015  Total posts:49

Walrus - I am guessing you use this name because you once served on the submarine Walrus. The photo is a mixture of Artificers and Mechanicians. Sherriff, Williams and Love were Tiffies. Sam Louch was an Electrical Mechanician and I was a Radio Mechanician. As regards my diesel boat time - I joined Boats in 1966 following my Mechanicians course at HMS Collingwood. I did my sea training in Tiptoe. I was drafted in August 1966 to the 7th. Submarine Squadron in Singapore. The submarine depot ships during my time with the 7th. Squadron were HMS Medway then HMS Forth. I was initially spare crew REA/RMech and completed my part 3 training in Oberon. I also served on Auriga, Onslaught (including a 12 week 'sneaky') and finally Amphion which we brought back to the UK to pay off and await scrapping. We sailed from Singapore in October 1968 and arrived back in HMS Dolphin (Gosport) on 19th. December 1968, visiting Guam, Hawaii (including 2 weeks exercising with US Navy) and Panama. That was quite a trip, sailing across both the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans. I enjoyed my 16 years in submarines both diesel and nuclear - I would say diesel boats were more fun. I did not know Dave Strutt.
Royal Navy connections

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