HMS Ganges was a Royal Navy Boys Training Establishment located at the village of Shotley near Ipswich. I joined on the 14th March 1955, and had no idea what I had let myself in for. Twelve months training at what must have surely been the toughest training camp in the British Isles. I completed my twelve months plus three more as a instructor boy. In the 60 years since then I have always carried myself with pride and a sense of honour. I keep my hair cut, beard trimmed and my clothes neat and clean, Ganges training never leaves me. I joined the Ganges Association some ten years ago, made contact with some old shipmates and generally enjoyed being a part of a great organization. Sadly in the last four years this association has hit rock bottom. In fighting,back stabbing and general chaos within the ranks of these once proud boys. Its so sad, and so very difficult to understand from living so far from where my Naval career began. People have been sued,arrested,accused,blamed and it goes on and on. It seems members have formed groups, either for or against other parties. Monies have gone missing, lawyers have become involved, now the police are involved. I have no idea what went wrong, no idea who was responsible,and see no end in sight. I’m still proud to call myself a Ganges Boy, but no longer want to be a part of this association. Our motto is ‘Wisdom is Strength” but it appears to have been forgotten by many. The marvelous poem “IF” by Rudyard Kipling was a part of Ganges and it too seems forgotten by many.
Those in charge need to return our famous ship to an even keel. Then we can once again say “Ready Aye Ready”
Cheers and keep reading.