The first thing new recruits saw as they approached HMS Ganges was the huge mast, the focal point of the camp. However, it was much more than a focal point and played a big part in training the thousands of young boys who passed through the gates of HMS Ganges. On Ceremonial Parades the mast was manned by approximately eighty boys in dress uniform keeping step and time to the Royal Marine Band as they climbed. The boy on the button (topmost position) was paid an extra five shillings, but worth far more in my opinion. When the order clear the mast was sounded the boys would be on the parade square and formed up in less than one minute. As a punishment for talking after lights out one night in February we were ordered over the mast dressed in pajamas-plimsoles (sneakers) and oilskins. It was dark and cold with ice forming on the ropes and halyards. HMS Ganges is gone now, but the mast remains a proud symbol and reminder of the boys who survived those harsh days of training.