The Royal Navy 1








At the end of 1962, I applied to join the Royal Navy and subsequently attended the recruiting office in Westmorland Road at Newcastle upon Tyne.  I attended with my good friend Jimmy Turner and we both took the entry test and medical.  Unfortunately, Jimmy failed part of the test and eventually applied for, and was accepted into the Merchant Navy.



I was accepted into the navy as a Junior Electrical Mechanic and received a railway ticket for the single journey to Plymouth to join the training establishment, HMS Raleigh, at Torpoint for Part I training.  I left Newcastle station at 4.25pm on the Sunday afternoon and, after a marathon journey on the one train, I arrived in Plymouth at 10.30am on the Monday morning. 

Aerial view of HMS Raleigh

On the Tuesday, everyone was given two weeks pay, cash in hand, and stamps to exchange for duty free cigarettes.  If you didn't smoke, you certainly had an incentive to start.    Uniforms were issued, without the Stores Assistant asking what size you were and, generally, everything fitted, spot on. 

HMS Raleigh in new uniform

Six weeks of intensive Part I training then followed, including marching and rifle drills, firefighting training, seaboat training, assault course training, survival training and any other training they could fit in.  Instruction was also given to ensure that you could maintain your uniform in pristine condition.


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