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  #26  
Old 11-08-2009, 17:33
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

I guess that sort of thing was common back then Scribe. My Grandfather, also born in the 1880s, used to tell a story of how he was in the Gulf (for four years I think) and that when he returned to his parent's cottage in Beesands, South Devonshire, there was a telegram waiting for him. He was told to report to his ship in Devonport immediately. He had a cup of tea and his mother made him sandwiches for the journey. Four years later he came home again!

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  #27  
Old 03-10-2009, 14:09
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

Yes, I have also heard of tours of 6-7 years, told to my father to point out that 3-4 years was no real hardship. True, they put into overseas ports and sent off their letters (unfortunately, my mother did not keep them).

Why do you think there was a seven year gap between my brother and me??!!

And wife/family allotments were voluntary in the early days, which was why so many young wives did outwork 'making up' for the corset factories in Portsmouth. We were lucky, my father chose to allot the percentage.

Ednamay
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  #28  
Old 03-10-2009, 15:58
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

It must have been tough back in the early days of the 20th century. As a small lad I remember an ex-WW1 submariner stoker and his wife who lived opposite our house. They were childless and became very fond of me. I can still remember his stories about life in the boats and as a newly married couple, how his wife used to try and follow him about the country as there were no such things as married quarters. I was too young then to understand but life must have been difficult for them to say the least!

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Jan
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  #29  
Old 03-10-2009, 17:04
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

When I joined a foreign commission was 2 1/2 years, when I joined Unicorn I expected to do a full commission. Fortunately for me the Korean war ended & we were surplus to requirements , so I only did a year. There were no married quarters for ratings or officers until the mid 50's. I had a married quarter in St Budeaux which was brand new, that was 59. You were only allowed a quarter if you were in a ship not on general service (home fleet). The occupancy was strictly limited to two years, as were married hirings etc. While I was in Vigilant 1959-61 we had married quarters just before my two year limit was up I was drafted to Ark Royal. The two years expired while I was in the Far East aboard Ark, my wife had to move from the married quarter, we had three children, on her own into a married hiring. When the house purchase scheme came out for ratings I was an officer, we were not entitled to the house purchase scheme. I could go on for ages about the callous way we were treated in those days. We just seemed to accept it, thats the way it was. There were some protests mostly expressed by sabotage, sand in oil systems, gauges & pipe work damaged, one carrier had her ring main sabotaged. Lord Mountbatten alienated a lot of sailors by saying a "sailors place is at sea". It was the cold war era, we had ships that were past their prime & not enough sailors or ships for the tasks we were expected to carry out. In spite of all that, I would'nt have missed it for the world.
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  #30  
Old 03-10-2009, 18:23
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

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When I joined a foreign commission was 2 1/2 years, when I joined Unicorn I expected to do a full commission. Fortunately for me the Korean war ended & we were surplus to requirements , so I only did a year. There were no married quarters for ratings or officers until the mid 50's. I had a married quarter in St Budeaux which was brand new, that was 59. You were only allowed a quarter if you were in a ship not on general service (home fleet). The occupancy was strictly limited to two years, as were married hirings etc. While I was in Vigilant 1959-61 we had married quarters just before my two year limit was up I was drafted to Ark Royal. The two years expired while I was in the Far East aboard Ark, my wife had to move from the married quarter, we had three children, on her own into a married hiring. When the house purchase scheme came out for ratings I was an officer, we were not entitled to the house purchase scheme. I could go on for ages about the callous way we were treated in those days. We just seemed to accept it, thats the way it was. There were some protests mostly expressed by sabotage, sand in oil systems, gauges & pipe work damaged, one carrier had her ring main sabotaged. Lord Mountbatten alienated a lot of sailors by saying a "sailors place is at sea". It was the cold war era, we had ships that were past their prime & not enough sailors or ships for the tasks we were expected to carry out. In spite of all that, I would'nt have missed it for the world.
Well Keith,
Its the likes of you that kept this country going despite the callous treatment that was metered out to you, to there shame
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  #31  
Old 06-10-2009, 15:02
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

In Portsmouth during the thirties housing for ratings' families was built at Tipnor Butts, obviously land belonging to the Admiralty, as you gunners will know.
They also started building houses for officers families, on the road from Farlington up to the top of Portsdown Hill. Not very close to the amenities.
I don't know when they started to appoint welfare Oficers and start Young Wives Clubs but I worked with some Fleet Chief Wren Welfare Officers in 1970-74, introducing them to local authority services for the benefit of the families they visited.
When my uncle joined Excellent in 1918, as a young married man he rented a house near Whale Island. My father stayed with him whenever he did courses at the Island and my mother moved in with them when she married my father in 1919. When uncle's wife died in childbirth he turned the tenancy over to my parents and emigrated to Oz when he finished his 12 (1920/21?). My parents stayed there until 1968 when they were rehoused by the local authority, to make space for that big roundabout that takes you to Whaley one way and the M275 the other
How did the wives cope while their husbands were on these long commissions? They got to know each other on the daily school walks. A number of them used to meet outside the Coliseum in Edinburgh Road (opposite Aggie Weston's) on Saturday afternoons, complete with offspring, and climb up to the gallery to see the music hall programme. We all grew up singing the old music hall songs and reciting some of the patter. The Kings Theatre was more expensive and was mostly plays and shows (The Student Prince and White Horse Inn) so only for high days and holidays, the Hippodrome was spectacle, like the circus, and the Theatre Royal again was mostly plays. It was an interesting upbringing!!
Ednamay
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  #32  
Old 06-10-2009, 19:47
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

Ednamay did Joseph Lock sing the lead in the "White Horse Inn" And how is your son getting on with the decorating of your hall.

Alan
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  #33  
Old 06-10-2009, 22:24
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

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Originally Posted by oldsalt View Post
When I joined a foreign commission was 2 1/2 years, when I joined Unicorn I expected to do a full commission. Fortunately for me the Korean war ended & we were surplus to requirements , so I only did a year. There were no married quarters for ratings or officers until the mid 50's. I had a married quarter in St Budeaux which was brand new, that was 59. You were only allowed a quarter if you were in a ship not on general service (home fleet). The occupancy was strictly limited to two years, as were married hirings etc. While I was in Vigilant 1959-61 we had married quarters just before my two year limit was up I was drafted to Ark Royal. The two years expired while I was in the Far East aboard Ark, my wife had to move from the married quarter, we had three children, on her own into a married hiring. When the house purchase scheme came out for ratings I was an officer, we were not entitled to the house purchase scheme. I could go on for ages about the callous way we were treated in those days. We just seemed to accept it, thats the way it was. There were some protests mostly expressed by sabotage, sand in oil systems, gauges & pipe work damaged, one carrier had her ring main sabotaged. Lord Mountbatten alienated a lot of sailors by saying a "sailors place is at sea". It was the cold war era, we had ships that were past their prime & not enough sailors or ships for the tasks we were expected to carry out. In spite of all that, I would'nt have missed it for the world.

Keith- thank you for opening my eyes to the appalling way you and your family were treated while you were doing your bit for your country.
Whilst I knew that in many ways life could be very hard serving in the RN during the immediate post-war period, I really had no idea of the callous way families of servicemen were sometimes treated back then.
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  #34  
Old 06-10-2009, 23:05
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

Quote lifted from Keiths' post # 29..I could go on for ages about the callous way we were treated in those days. We just seemed to accept it, thats the way it was.

Not necessarily so, (if one had the bottle), I took the RN to task for unfair treatment and was assisted by an RAN officer (my DO at the time) in so doing ... and won!!! ....... however the Officer Cadre in the RN never forgot my activity and it was made perfectly clear by a flag ranking type, in person face to face, that it would not be appropriate for me to apply to sign on for my 22 and therefore for my/a pension. !!!!!!! Hmmmmm Nice people!!

Little h
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  #35  
Old 07-10-2009, 00:07
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

Harry when I was undergoing basic training. My best mate was the target of a predatory officer. I won't labour this in case kids are looking in. Anyway my mate came back to the mess deck in a terrible state. So we went to the guardroom to report it. We were not allowed to go back to our hut. We were closely questioned by the commanding officer next morning. And told in no certain terms to keep our mouths shut until investigations were completed. Our passing out parade was the next week. I was given early leave, and told to report to Guzz after my leave. My mate asked for, and was given a discharge. This was 1956 when that type of thing was a prison offence.

Alan.
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  #36  
Old 07-10-2009, 09:50
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

Guzz - thanks - see pm

At the Colisseum, the show that was popular with naval families and ratings ashore was Phyllis Dixey and her girls!!!

The little girls, like me, loved the singers and dancers. I was encouraged to write to my dad about them, after all, I was named after Ednamay, the Belle of New York!!!

Edn
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  #37  
Old 07-10-2009, 12:47
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

Alan, re your post #35...
Thankfully my gripe was work skills/course/pay/promotion related and nothing as hideous as you infer therein .... however the issue obviously rankled with the hierarchy so much for it to come to light 10 years later when this high ranking chap made reference to it.
I hope your mate from way back survived it all and made a new life for himself thereafter.

Little h
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  #38  
Old 07-10-2009, 13:24
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

Alan, my remarks were meant to be a wide view of what happened, individually of course justice was done, my remarks were to show the conditions in the Service at that time, there is a splendid book refering to that era, "Roll on the Rodney!" by David Phillipson, if you can get hold of a copy, it's a good read. Drake at that time early 50's was teeming with matelots, most waiting for discharge, the barrack rooms were just large empty spaces, no bunks & lockers only for a very few. If you had'nt found space to sling your hammock, then you slept on the deck. That's the way it was, we did'nt think it abnormal.
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  #39  
Old 07-10-2009, 15:28
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

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Alan, my remarks were meant to be a wide view of what happened, individually of course justice was done, my remarks were to show the conditions in the Service at that time, there is a splendid book refering to that era, "Roll on the Rodney!" by David Phillipson, if you can get hold of a copy, it's a good read. Drake at that time early 50's was teeming with matelots, most waiting for discharge, the barrack rooms were just large empty spaces, no bunks & lockers only for a very few. If you had'nt found space to sling your hammock, then you slept on the deck. That's the way it was, we did'nt think it abnormal.
Thank you Keith for your reply I have always enjoyed your frank and informative posts. Its people like you make me realise the extra pressure on married men in the forces. I saw some pictures of over crowding in Drake the thing I noticed was the hammocks were slung so close together they could not use hammocks stretchers. Hammock stretchers for those not familiar with them are pieces of timber two foot long/ 600mm. Notched at both ends used to keep the hammock flat by inserting between the guy ropes. If the notches are not cut deep enough they tend to fly out like crossbow bolts. The book I will look out for thanks again mate.

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  #40  
Old 07-10-2009, 16:08
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

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Alan, re your post #35...
Thankfully my gripe was work skills/course/pay/promotion related and nothing as hideous as you infer therein .... however the issue obviously rankled with the hierarchy so much for it to come to light 10 years later when this high ranking chap made reference to it.
I hope your mate from way back survived it all and made a new life for himself thereafter.

Little h

Little h I had an idea yours was related to working conditions. And out of spite you were not allowed to continue in the career you wanted. And it jogged my memory as to what Ron and I. We felt we had been punished and he got away with it. But I don't know what happened to him after we left. My mate Ron I don't know what happened to him. Everything happened so fast we never had a chance to exchange addresses. Knowing Ron I think he would have put it behind him as I did. When I think back we were very young men seventeen and a bit.

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  #41  
Old 07-10-2009, 16:33
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

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Originally Posted by Ednamay View Post
Guzz - thanks - see pm

At the Colisseum, the show that was popular with naval families and ratings ashore was Phyllis Dixey and her girls!!!

The little girls, like me, loved the singers and dancers. I was encouraged to write to my dad about them, after all, I was named after Ednamay, the Belle of New York!!!

Edn
Dear Ednamay,

Thank you for your P.M. I will reply later when I get back.The name Phylliss Dixey I seem to know the name. Maybe I remember her from the radio like everyone else the radio was on most of the time. I still like the radio my idea of heaven was messing around in the workshop with the radio on. Sad isn't it.

Alan
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  #42  
Old 07-10-2009, 17:15
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

Phyllis Dixie, radio NO, stage yes, she was what was called an exotic dancer. I think she came to Sheffield "when I were a lad".
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  #43  
Old 07-10-2009, 17:22
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

Alan, if you can locate the pics you referred to , it would be great to see them. The only interior photos of Drake accomodation I've seen were taken not long after the barracks were built. The NAAFI building used to be a long wooden hut with shakey foundations, it used to take on a list as the queue formed, gradually getting on an even keel as the queue got served & dispersed
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  #44  
Old 07-10-2009, 21:14
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

Just watched the latest episode of Warship, when the Bulwark returned to Guzz after 123 days on deployment. We spent longer than that off Aden in the Albion during the withdrawal in 1967. 193 days if memory serves me right.
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  #45  
Old 12-10-2009, 15:44
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

Guz (Alan) and Old Salt (Keith)
Yes, Phyllis Dixey was an 'exotic dancer' - and very popular with the matelots when she appeared at the Coliseum (you should have heard the whistles). She was ballet trained but as a soloist did the 'Greek' style, which was very popular in the 20s/30s, and what would now be called 'modern dance', with a lot of strange contortions.
Later she established her own troupe of girls (ballet trained) who started by doing ballet chorus excerpts, but she went on to 'classical pictures'; these were the girls arranged on stage in reproductions of classical paintings, in response to prudish critics who objected to the scanty clothing. And, of course, it got round the Lord Chamberlain's requirement that 'nudes must not be seen to move on stage'.
Funny old world???
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  #46  
Old 13-10-2009, 11:28
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

Phyllis Dixey - what I forgot was that she was an expert with the large feather fans, and so were her girls! In between engagements they went to Brooking Ballet School to keep up their footwork and body work and invent new choreography.

Ednamay
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  #47  
Old 19-05-2010, 00:20
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

Coming back on-topic the longest patrol by a British Submarine during WW2 was 55 days by HMS Tantalus between 3/1/1945 and 26/2/1945 during which she covered 11,692 miles!
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  #48  
Old 19-05-2010, 04:24
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

A bit historic but when HMS Beagle was sent off to complete the surveying of the Australian coast in the 1850s (after Darwin's voyages) she was away for six years which put a great personal strain on her people and their families. Fortunately for us it was all written up in great detail.
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  #49  
Old 19-05-2010, 14:07
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I think we have gone off track from the original question. Time at sea does not mean time away from home for months or years it means time afloat on the oggin. To my knowledge (as informed by the navigator) HMS Matapan held the record from 1976 with 93 continuous days at sea, but a number of ships from the Falklands Task Force beat that in 82.
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  #50  
Old 19-05-2010, 14:52
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Default Re: What is the longest tour of duty at sea

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I realize that ships can only stay at sea for the time that there provisions/munitions allow, and that this can be extended whilst at sea by resupply ships, but what is the longest time at sea recorded by the Navy ?
No idea but like many ex submariners on this site in excess of ninety days was and I guess still not unusual and thats ninety days plus dived.
Christmas patrol on Revenge in 72, a POLARIS bomber we did ninety one days.
Left at the beginning of November 1972 and returned at the beginning of Febuary 1973, fun? Nope!
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