28 NAVY NEWS, DECEMBER 2007
Filling in the
Feststivive e ffrolics
FURTHER to Fl Lt Alan
Corbett’s letter regarding the CT
branch (November) the predeces-
I HAVE been asked by the OIC to donate or loan photographs sors of the CT were the Radio Op-
Station History Room at RAF (originals will be returned) and erator (Specials).
Lossiemouth to appeal to the memorabilia to the history room During World War 2 the RO(S)
readers of Navy News for our to contact us. were based at HMS Andersen in
latest project. Anyone who can help is Ceylon and also at sea as HF D/F
We are currently trying to build requested to contact me either by operators. During the 1950s the
on the existing Station History email, telephone, or in writing at: branch consisted of a mixture of
Room at Lossiemouth, but are RAF Lossiemouth, Lossiemouth, linguists and non-linguists.
desperately lacking items from Moray, IV31 6SD, telephone At the end of 1962 the branch
when the station was an RNAS 01343 817359, or by email: split into two and the majority
(HMS Fulmar) between 1946 and firstname.lastname@example.org
. of non-linguists became Radio
Operators (W) Electronic Warfare
We are currently appealing – Lee Whittaker, Senior and the linguists remained
for individuals who are willing Aircraftman, RAF Lossiemouth RO(S).
At this time the RO(W) branch
Could you be our
was located at North Camp at
HMS Mercury and RO(S) branch
at RAF Tangmere in West Sussex.
The branch remained at
Tangmere even after the camp
officially closed as an RAF sta-● Christmas jollities alongside in Scotland in 1915
I UNEARTHED a menu from my ditty box recently for the
tion, until May 1978, when it also
Christmas dinner on board HMS Glasgow in 1938.
moved to a newly-constructed
unit within HMS Mercury.
AMONG the readers of Navy generations. Our seas have been
The ship was at sea around the time of the Munich crisis, and she
In the autumn of that year the
News I am hoping to fi nd someone an open and shared resource since
was the second ship of my career, which started in 1937 when I was 15
Radio Operator (Specials) became
who could become the chairman the dawn of history.
– the first was HMS Iron Duke, Admiral Jellicoe’s flagship at the Battle
or woman of our marine environ- We realise the concept of
Over the years the RO(S) and
mental project’s steering group. closing areas is one that needs
On Christmas Day we had been excused scrubbing decks, which
CTs have worked alongside their
Finding Sanctuary is a South to be approached with care and
enabled the boys to lie in for another half hour. The youngest member
Army and RAF colleagues at
West project that aims to recov- understanding, especially for all
of the crew, barely 16, was promoted to Captain and wore the Captain’s
various locations throughout the
er, protect and sustain marine those whose livelihoods or leisure
hat during the morning and afternoon watches, and with it hanging over
world, forming close links with the
diversity by creating a network of activity could be changed by the
his ears had to guard it with his life.
Marine Protect Areas (MPAs). MPA network.
The mess decks had the typical Navy decorations, mainly balloons,
– Norman Langley,
We are looking for someone I would welcome anyone who
which had been decorated by the lower deck cartoonists in a way in
former CRS(S) CCCT,
with experience in leading a group is interested in the position of
which I dare not describe. These balloons had in some previous time
Yapton, West Sussex
through constructive discussions Finding Sanctuary’s Steering
been issued by the sickbay as a vital companion for Jack when ashore...
and decision-making, someone Group Chair to get in touch via
The acting Captain carried out Captain’s rounds, wishing us all a
with a degree of knowledge about phone: 01392 878327, email:
happy Christmas, and asking if we had any complaints about the food?
the marine environment, and who tom.hooper@southwestfoodan-
As a boy of 16 I was not entitled to a rum ration but for this occasion
importantly has a neutral outlook. ddrink.com
or write to me at the
some of the senior ratings gave us a snifter or a sipper from their grog
MAY I agree wholeheartedly with
Everyone involved with Finding address below.
Alan Cross CMEA (H) (letters,
Sanctuary has a belief in our – Tom Hooper,
Christmas 1938 was to be the last peace-time one until 1945 when
October) that very little publicity
overall goal, which is to create a Darts Farm Village,
war-time rationing was still in force.
has been given to RN divers in the
healthy and biologically diverse Topsham, Exeter,
Happy old days – and have a merry Christmas, everyone.
marine environment for future Devon, EX3 0QH
– Jim Reed, former Gunnery Instructor, Hedge End, Southampton
They were one of the first of the
Special Forces assembled during
World War 2 and their work often
Caught on camera
involves great danger, ie bomb
disposal and clearing the Gulf of
mines during both Storms to the
RFA Tidepool was my fi rst posting with the RFA and at the time I
Watching as usual the Cenotaph
took the picture (right), I was 18 years old and serving as a junior radio
parade recently I heard the RN
and electronics offi cer.
divers mentioned for the first
The photo was taken from the monkey island and the lack of sharp-
ness is due to the fact that I only had time enough to lift my camera
I still think they should be
and press the shutter – it was not until I had the film developed on
classed as a special service for
reaching port that I discovered I had actually managed to capture the
the way they put themselves into
torpedo before it hit the ship.
The torpedo was allegedly fitted with an electronic warhead and
– Christopher Roddis, former
therefore not armed, hence my survival.
RN Diver, Malaga, Spain
The photo was taken whilst steaming up a Norwegian Fjord dur-
A new book, Diver by Tony Groom,
ing Exercise Silver Tower in 1968. The torpedo was courtesy of the
with a foreword by the First Sea
submarine HMS Otter – one of four that were accidentally fired at
Lord, is due to be published by
Tidepool. I wonder how many can claim to have taken such a photo
Seafarer Books in January, ISBN
and lived to tell the tale?
– Alan Santillo
X factor rumbles on
JUST a few words to say how
impressed I am at your new
As I live and work in Qatar in
THE debate about “X” in offi cial anyone who had just joined would had the P for Portsmouth as my
the Middle East, it was a great
numbers seems to have rumbled have been in service until the early letter prefix, some 30 years after
pleasure to read the new format. I
on for several issues, and disap- 1950s. Invergordon, by which time any-
have already replied to the Phoebe
pointingly no-one has offered a To support this theory, my oppo one serving during the mutiny
reunion request I spotted, which I
would never have known about.
defi nitive solution. I have kept who joined as a Boy Seaman in would have been pensioned off.
Congratulations, I’m sure ex-
WE learn something new every Imagine that on the dining-hall quiet until now, as mine is also 1947 was given the official prefix I do however stand to be cor-
matelots around the world will
day. menu! hearsay. of “JX”. rected.
In the Daily Mail’s Weekend It is to be wondered at what But here goes: while languishing This he retained until the age of David Colman, East Wittering,
agree with me.
magazine a little ‘Sofa Supper’ many of the other dishes served up in RMB Portsmouth in 1961, then 18 when he signed up for the old Chichester
– Max Abolins, ex-POWEM(O)
recipe caught my eye. by Chef would be called? known as HMS Victory, await- seven and five years’ engagement,
...YOU completely obviated the Our e-edition publishes Navy
It was for one of the best-loved For sure they would never get ing a draft chit to sea, I was told when his prefix letters changed to
purpose of my letter (October) News in its entirety online.
meals in the Navy – ‘Hammy- names as colourful as Jack gave
by a RPO that anyone who was SSX, the SS standing for Special
that ‘X’ referenced Royal Naval It is available from the first
eggy-cheesy’ which I still make for them, such as “s**t on a raft” for
serving in the Navy whilst anyone Service.
Volunteer Reservist ratings) by of the month and is aimed at
myself at home. kidneys on fried bread, to name
who was involved in a mutiny was He still retained his offi-
editing out the first paragraph, serving people on deployment
The recipe in the magazine just one.
also serving was given an “X” in cial number and the X prefix. added to which you incorrectly
and readers living abroad, so they
shows just how high-faluting some There are probably many oth-
their official number prefix let- Unfortunately he was medically typed the prefix of what had been can have a look at the paper while
of the names given to food have ers which I have forgotten – any
ters, to show that they were pos- discharged in 1951 with TB, but my official number (LXD instead waiting for their printed copy to
gone, since the humble yet delight- ideas lads?
sibly “tainted” and needed to be had he done the full 22 years’ of LDX). arrive in the post.
ful meal we knew as Hammy- – J W ‘George’ Sexton,
watched. service, he would have been in the – Lt Cdr Bob Read, (Ret’d) It can be accessed via the
eggy-cheesy has now been given former FCMEMN(P),
Given the Invergordon Mutiny system until 1971. Liverpool, New York, USA Navy News website at www.
the grand title of Croque Madame. Walton-le-Dale, Lancashire
which I think occurred in 1929, When I joined in 1959 I just Sorry – Ed navynews.co.uk
NAVY divers went through a difficult patch a few years ago, and repair to ships and submarines. Not to mention the huge
with a series of accidents that saw some of the clearance task of underwater Force Protection for the RN Fleet around
Leviathan Block, HMS Nelson, Portsmouth PO1 3HH
divers’ operations curtailed, followed in 2005 by the decision the world, the provision of which demands very specific skills
December 2007 No.641: 54th year
to stop using ships’ divers. and vigilance.
Things seem to be looking up now. The new Clearance Diver Divers seem to be back in the news at the moment, with
Editor: Subscriptions 023 9273
Life Support Equipment (CDLSE) diving set, due to come into Prince Harry visiting the Fleet Diving Squadron, mention of Sarah Fletcher 4448
service next year, will regain the old 60m-dive capability divers at the Cenotaph, and a new book due out in January Deputy Editor: Mike Gray email: subscriptions@
which was suspended following a number of defects and which tells one man’s story of the Navy’s Clearance Diving
Assistant Editors: navynews.co.uk
accidents with the current CDBA set, and the demand for Branch.
Richard Hargreaves Accounts 023 9272 0686
clearance divers’ skills is greater than ever. Let’s hope this publicity attracts new volunteers to join a
Helen Craven Advertising 023 9272 5062
They are needed not just for the never-ending task of demanding but very rewarding branch which needs officers
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clearing our seaways of thousands of tons of unexploded and junior rates who are highly committed and ready to go the
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wartime ordnance, but also to provide in-water maintenance extra mile that the job demands.
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The views expressed in Navy News do not necessarily reflect those of the Ministry of Defence
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