HMS Ganges Boys Training Camp


HMS Ganges located near the village of Shotely, the proud centre piece of this famous/infamous boys training base was the 143 ft Mast.

I was talking with another Ganges boy the other day and got to thinking of my time in Shotely. I think most classes ended up on what was known as Shotely routine, a severe form of punishment meted out to the whole class and lasted all week. I can’t remember all the details, we were out of bed at 0500 hrs each morning (5am), cold showers, we had to double everywhere (run), during rest periods we had to lay out for kit inspections, or rifle drill on the parade square. I recall one morning a few boys were tardy in getting out of bed and we all were ordered over the mast. When I look back on this punishment, it was to say the least, dangerous and irresponsible. We were in our pajamas and ordered to put on plimsoles (sneakers) and oilskin coats. Oilskins keep you dry but do little for keeping a body warm, they are stiff and awkward to maneuver in. Plimsoles are rubber soled and can be slippery especially when climbing an icy mast. Image at 0500 hrs on a frosty February morning. We had to climb out over the elbow then back to the ground. Anyone who dodged inside the elbow rather than going out over it was sent up again. The halyards were coated in a film of frost and could be very treacherous. We all survived and today look back on those times with pride, we completed the training and became men of the Royal Navy.

God Bless and keep reading

About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
This entry was posted in HM Submarines, HMS Cockade, hms ganges, The Royal Navy & Me, veterans. Bookmark the permalink.

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