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The Anson Goat - Ian Churchill

Our divisional CPO , Dickie Daws organised a "Raid" on HMS Raleigh and we ended up pinching the ceremonial goat, Walter ! The next day the whole Division had to turn out to return it with a full guard. I'm pretty sure I was in one class for the "goat" incident, but I may be wrong. However, it was definitely in 1963. The only other thing I can remember is that it had to be fed the old RN ciggies (un-tipped of course !) to keep it quiet while they drove it out of Raleigh's main gate in the back of the paperman's van. Can't remember his name, but he was a drinking buddy of Dickie Daws !

Fisgard Flashbacks - Terry Starkey (Collingwood).

Yes, those memories of 1963:

Being shepherded into the NAAFI barber for the first time and looking around at the stunned looks on everyone's faces as those shears got to work. He must have made a fortune selling hair from our entry !
That first muster outside the armoury on a bitterly cold morning. The GI made sure we didn't stay cold for long !
Night rounds the first time. Pretending to be asleep and opening one eye as the gunnery officer passed by on his rounds. All I saw was a pair of long polished black gaiters - still makes me shudder.
Drooling over Eileen in the NAAFI shop every day (the only young bird you saw for six weeks).
East side / West side raids at the dead of night.
Three minutes late for the mines putting you in front of the regulating PO who thought it quite amusing to have you doubling around the parade ground with your mattress rolled up on your back every spare minute you had during the day.
Runs ashore to our divisional pubs - ours was the Lord Hood. Funnily enough, even the smell of rum and black now makes me want to be violently sick.
Swimming pool duty. Standing in the cold guarding the swimming pool - against what ?
Being measured up for and then actually taking delivery of our first
"doeskin' suits" - WOW !
First time firing a real weapon - 303 - and having the bolt come back and hit me smack in the nose
Pay days in the NAAFI canteen and hearing, "... cap, salute ..". Then having to spend the next ten minutes practising your salute in front of a mirror, and having to return your "Goss" to its virgin state (this often included removing excess stuffing from the front and replacing it in the back where
it came from; untwisting the wire loop from a figure eight to the regulation
circle; and removing any other foreign supports from the front !).
Trying to suss out if the pale faced schoolie two ringer who kept disappearing every half hour or so during a maths or engineering drawing lesson really was ducking out for another nip of Gin.

Happy Days.


Ex John Lunn (Hawke)

I was fifteen years old when I joined Fisgard and often felt 'ripped off' being paid two pounds a fortnight when most of my contempories were getting about seven pounds a fortnight. It was fortunate that I did not smoke and could sell my ration for about twelve and sixpence. I do remember that 1963 was a very cold winter and that a couple of times we were let off parade ground drill. I am also reminded of having to do 'bunny hops' up the Anson/Blake side with a 303 rifle held above my head. It is funny how things start to come back to our memory. The very thin blankets with which we were provided when we joined, that got progressivly shorter as each entry had to cut strips off the bottom for polishing the floors, sorry decks. I can remember a couple of things like: the time we collected all the snooker balls from the West side recreation huts and dropped them in the swimming pool; putting a fire hose through the window of another hut just prior to 'divisional rounds'; tying up a stroppy sprog and putting him in a single wardrobe turning it up-side-down and spinning it around. As a 'coup de grace' knocking a hole in the side of the wardrobe and emptying a fire extinguisher into the wardrobe. I wondered why it has gone quiet and looked up to see that the Divisonal CPO was watching me; I think that prior to S47 'sproging' was still quite rife, but S47 was a large entry I think we resisted a lot of it; the use of the lockers and 'pits' to create designs to dress the huts prior to inspection; the revolutionary idea of using electric polishers on the decks and in fact I think one or two divisions bought their own polishers.


Terry Delves was a REA. Two stories about him. All entrants from the North West seemed to be on the same train from Manchester so we got to know each other on the trip down and naturally hung around together in the first few days. Jim Hough/Terry Warburton/Terry Delves/me and a few others. Must be why Terry Warburton never picked on me! Anyway I digress. Do you remember how we all had to enter the boxing ring ? Of course it was all done alphabetically and Terry and I were pitted together. Great thought I, two mates should be easy. Wrong! Despite my protestations of friendship he knocked me flat, three times! What neither he nor I knew then of course was that he was to go on and box for the Navy.

The second occurred a lot later but I'm unsure exactly when. As on arrival we North Westerners tended to get the same train on leave. Terry Delves came from Blackburn (?) or Barrow (?) and always had a lengthy wait at Crewe which was my home station. Rather than sit there for 3 hours he would come home with me, get fed and watered and take in a couple of pints in the local village pub before returning to the station and catching his train. This in 1964. Go forward now 10 years or so. I was in Scotland but George, my father, reports a rather incoherent Terry arriving at the village pub late one night looking for 'George'. It transpires Terry had ended up at Crewe station one night and with brain in auto, knew how to kill the waiting time - Go and see George at the Lamb. Unfortunately that's all he knew and he commandeered a taxi with the instruction 'To the Lamb'. 'Which Lamb ?' 'Don't know!'. Hence a tour of three or four pubs called the Lamb until he hit gold - they used to teach us perseverance in them days. Needless to say he was looked after and caught his train.


When we joined in Jan 6th 1963 it was normal for the "one class " apprentices not to be allowed off Fisgard during the first six weeks of training. A group of us thought it would be a great idea if we volunteered for the " Ten Torrs" tryouts on Bodmin Mooor. The whole group ended up in a dangerous condition on the moor when the weather turned nasty.The organizers eventually put some emergency plan in operation to look for the people on the moor. We made it to the famous Jamaica Inn and I remember the big blazing fire.(Len Munroe)
Editor: I think this was our second exped on Dartmoor - the fog was atrocious and we walked within 20 yards of a check point without even seeing it. I do remember being offered the chance of a walk on Bodmin in those first weeks and only volunteering for it once, preferring to "rest" in my pit other Saturdays.


Do you remember going ashore to Plymouth on a Saturday afternoon to buy a "MELANICUT" file, that would shift the metal. (100 thou under instantly), and a micrometer that was then almost useless. The shipwright whose male hexagon almost rotated inside the female part.


That first church parade when we had one lad who was an aetheist, it completely threw the G.I. trying to get the lad to join the Free Church group