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.

8 Responses to HMS GANGES MAST 147 FT

  1. billy says:

    I just posted at my blog about climbing the mast all the way up to the button in 1971 Rodney division 44mess. OEM. Post planting flags.
    Hope you like it there are some great links to Ganges.

    Billy always a ‘nozzer’ eh!

  2. Neville S. Pearson L.R.O. RN Retd. says:

    I climbed the MAST and touched the button in 1953 as a boy Tel. “Cairns” was the Captain of Ganges at that time and I was Full Back on the Ships team in 53/54. Tommy Holgate was our Div Officer and we were in Collingwood div. I also served in Canada from June 1960 to Jan 1962 aboard HMS/M Aurochs. Must have crossed path somewhere. Still in touch with some of the lads who are spread all over the world from Aussie to Malta to the USA. to Halifax NS and BC.
    do you remember the ditty, about the toilets in the train,
    “Will gentlemen please refrain from flushuing toilets when the train is standing in the station tralala,
    It makes the termini look cheap to see a little golden heap a steaming on the sleepers tralala. etc etc.

    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi Neville I;m sure our paths crossed not at Ganges but later in Halifax with the 6th Sqdrn. The LRO on Alcide was Len Aldridge (last name may be wrong) perhaps you knew him. Aurochs crossed my path a few times too we sailed in company with her in Australia during Olympic Games 1956. Never heard the toilet station song before or at least don’t remember it now??? Good to hear from you.

  3. Neville S. Pearson L.R.O. RN Retd. says:

    Reread my comment and forgot to mention that it was the Rugby team that I was Fullback on.
    I was drafted to Aurochs on her return from Aus on Nov 27th 1958 and left her on return from Canada June 1963. Do not remember Len Aldridge, LRO Tony (Taff) Whitchurch was spare crew LRO. Of course Steve Jenner was S/M 6 and jetty 5 our berth place. I remember Aurcohs coming alonside under the bow of the Bonaventure with her mast up and had to sent the signal “My gadjet is bent” and literally it was, got a picture to prove it somewhere!!
    Was looking for a photo of the Gym wall with Kiplings if behind the wall bars, any ideas???
    Hope the weather allows you to get to church this week,

  4. irishroverpei says:

    I’ll try and send the photo ‘IF” to your email address, but not sure if it works, did you receive the last photo of Aurochs?

  5. irishroverpei says:

    When I send you an email I get an instant auto response so not sure if you will actually get these, let me know if not

  6. irishroverpei says:

    I think you have them now?

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