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NAVY NEWS, MARCH 2010 27
Costly tot
LETTERS to the editor should always be Given the volume of letters, we cannot
accompanied by the correspondent’s publish all of your correspondence in Navy
THE year 2009 was the 100th name and address, not necessarily for News.
anniversary of naval aviation, and publication. We do, however, publish many on
in general we did commemorate E-mail correspondents are our website, www.navynews.co.uk,
it in good and true naval fashion, also requested to provide this accompanied by images.
with a great week in London in information. Letters cannot be We look particularly for
early May, and various events up submitted over the telephone. correspondence which stimulates
and down the country throughout If you submit a photograph debate, makes us laugh or
the year. which you did not take yourself, raises important issues.
There was one exception please make sure that you The editor reserves
however, and that was a distinct have the permission for us the right to edit your
lack of Splice the Mainbrace! to publish it. submissions.
Surely with a major anniversary
in naval history, this is something
that should not have been allowed
to go amiss?
I understand that paying for
it may have been a problem –
Jackspeak states: “If the Lord High
Admiral ordains Splicers [as she
did for her Golden Jubilee] then the
Brave Barrington
Exchequer pays.
“Anyone else requesting this
evolution will subsequently receive
a rather large bill.”
IN HIS letter Clearing Mines with Caroline (December) Peter Fowles
So has the credit crunch put
mentions the BAR ship whose name he had forgotten – she was HMS paid to our naval traditions and
Barrington, P259 (pictured above). robbed us all of a less-than-
At the time I was one of the two stoker POs (POSMs) onboard. frequent tot?
I recall one of the mines enclosed in a rotting wooden case being lifted – CPO ACMN J J Walker,
onboard for inspection.
RNAS Culdrose
Most of the crew of 32 had been ordered aft where we viewed the
We are concerned that you may
operation from behind the aft winchhouse. have missed out since as far as
Brave sailors all. we know, Splice the mainbrace
– M R Golding, ex submariner Mech 1, Dumbarton was ordered on May 7th... – Ed
George’s tall tales
HAVING read several of the We were also told the yarn
letters about George Parker I must about him sending himself recall
add my two pennyworth. telegrams, which we thought was
From June until December 1957 a bit far-fetched, although it was
I served in HMS Camperdown as confirmed by D J Clayton’s letter
a MEM(1) and A/LMEM. At that in the February issue.
time the ship was undergoing a – John Sexton, ex
refit and upgrade in Liverpool FCMEMN(P), Walton-le-Dale,
after being taken out of mothball Preston, Lancashire
reserve.
...I SERVED on HMS St Kitts
Some time late in the refit,
with George. We started our
George Parker wandered on board,
probably with some officers from
commission on HMS Gravelines
St Kitts, and everyone wondered
but had to change to St Kitts
who this strange person was.
because of rust in the hull.
He arrived looking like
George (right) was on board
something out of the scran bag
when we changed over. We were
dressed in overalls, sea jersey,
Devonport and he was Chatham,
white cap and sea boots plus
but he would not leave St Kitts.
sporting a full ‘set’.
He had a brass ball on the
At the time the coxswain (Nobby
mainmast and aircraft carriers
Clark I believe) had already firmly
wanted us as escort because they
established himself in an office,
said it was a good omen.
fitted out by the shipyard, in the
He was a legend. It was said
area of the foremast.
he never did any duties and
As I remember there was some
had been in the RN longer than
consternation when George Parker
Lord Mountbatten, who was
announced that this was to be his
Commander-in-Chief at the time.
caboose. He got very short shrift
– F Talbot, ex AB, St Kitts
from the cox’n.
1953-1954 Bath
We were told stories about him ...I JOINED St Kitts as 5th class
being allowed to have the copper ERA in 1947 and remember AB authority but I was left with the
ball at the top of the mast – the George Parker, or ‘Stripey’ as I impression he was not beloved
reason, we were told, was that seem to remember we called him, by all, some seeing him as an
Lord Louis Mountbatten had always in overalls and sea boots Executive Officer’s pet who got
allowed this in recognition that and a caboose lined with vintage away with too much for the good
George had been in the Navy for photographs of his old ships. of general discipline.
two weeks longer than he (Lord There were many stories about – Dave Watkins, ex ERA,
Louis) had. him and his disregard for ‘pusser’ Oxted, Surrey
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