Jack Tar. 1955 Spring.

Spring 1955.



Last term will be remembered as the one when we suffered many disappointments. The visit of H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh, Prize-Giving Day and the Carol Service all had to be cancelled owing to severe weather and an outbreak of 'flu. We can take consolation in the fact that the hard preparations helped to keep us all on our toes and made the term pass quickly. In our next issue, we hope to be able to report that some of these postponed events will have taken place.

We are pleased to record that a good number of boys have written articles for the magazine and we trust that this welcome co-operation will continue. Some of the items are of real merit and display imagination on the part of their writers.

The hopes that the competitions might provide some interest and rivalry have not been fulfilled. The Committee have therefore decided that they should be omitted for the time being. Perhaps future members of the School will display more energy and enthusiasm!!

An item of interest that will please Old Boys is the proposed reunion of all old boys of the Watts Naval Training School, Russell Cotes Nautical School and Parkstone Sea Training School during the weekend of April 2nd and 3rd. This is a new venture and the Committee are anxious that it should be a great success.

We are pleased at the response of our readers who have sent in an annual subscription to have the Jack Tar mailed to them every quarter. This is very encouraging, particularly when a name and address of some person unknown to us is received. Remember, please do not stow your Jack Tar away nor put it in the waste paper basket when you have read it, but pass it on to a friend, and ask him or her to pass it on. A three shilling Postal Order (see page 53) will ensure you receiving your copy for twelve months.

Finally, we thank all our contributors for their articles which enable us to keep up a high standard of production and we would remind you that articles for the next issue should reach the Editor by 12th May, 1955.



The past year was, to us, noteworthy on account of the considerable improvements which were made in the general amenities of the School, both for the training and the recreation of the boys.

In February, 1954, the first major change occurred when the School was transferred to the new classrooms. The conversion of derelict huts and other buildings into modern classrooms has been most effectively carried out, resulting in the provision of up-to-date rooms situated in pleasant surroundings.

The general scheme developed during the course of the year, so that in due course the playground was enlarged, and the new Seamanship and Handicraft rooms were brought into use.

At the time that the new School was taking shape, this also was happening, in a different sense, to the Top Playing Field. While the new estate was blossoming out in its finery, part of the old one was being reduced to a sea of mud by the determined onslaughts of a fleet of bulldozers. Looking at the quagmire it did indeed seem that machine had conquered man. Any doubts about the success of the operation were set at rest before the end of the year, when our four acres of fine new playing field were covered by a carpet of strong new grass. "Faith moveth mountains"; this may not apply in a materials ense to this particular achievement and we owe a debt of gratitude to those responsible for the planning and skill which resulted in the conversion of a rough and hilly field into a really good recreation ground.

The final stage in the re-planning of the School is now well in hand and it is expected that the Lady Russell-Cotes House will be ready for occupation as a new Boys' House, by the end of May.

The improvements and the developments, which have been authorised by the Council of Dr. Barnardo's Homes, are an act of faith in the future of the place, and I am sure that all of us, here, would wish to show our appreciation by our combined efforts to further the work of the Parkstone Sea Training School.



The boys returned from leave on Friday, 27th August, and school commenced on the following Monday.

The School Swimming Sports, details of which were given in the last issue of Jack Tar, were held on Tuesday, 7th September. Swimming very soon stopped after this, the weather having become cold and wet. The football season started earlier than usual, although we still had only the lower ground available. The upper ground was finished, levelled and sown early in the term. The grass germinated well and very shortly the whole field had a fresh green surface. A good deal of trouble has been experienced after the exceptionally heavy rains, as the water draining off the field continually floods the barn and greenhouses.
The School Cinema commenced on Wednesday, 8th September, and most of the films have been popular with the boys.
On 10th September the Army Apprentices' School brought their demonstration van to the School and showed films of their work and training. The van was so large that it could not be manoeuvred into the drive and had to remain on the main road.
The whole School visited Bertram Mills' Circus on 20th September, an outing enjoyed by all.
The new winter routine commenced on 27th September; the main alterations were continuing work till 1615 hours each day, and boys playing their football by classes during School periods, Inter-House matches being played on Thursdays.
On 12th October the Naval Recruiting Staff from Southampton brought over a number of Naval films to show at the School. These interested the boys a great deal.
The week commencing Monday, 25th October, was taken up by the inspection of the School by Her Majesty's Inspectors. This was followed on Tuesday, 2nd November, by the annual Admiralty Inspection. This inspection was again carried out by Captain G. L. Farnfield, D.S.O., D.s.C, of H.M.S. St. Vincent. We had a fine day for this and the boys looked very smart and put up a very good show.
Half-term came along on Thursday with Bonfire and Fireworks on Friday evening. Despite the wet weather the bonfire was a great success. Mr. Stoakes and his staff are to be congratulated on their good work.
After half-term the whole staff and boys got down to preparing for H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh's visit due on 26th November. Excitement was caused by an R.N. helicopter landing on the lower field, a trial landing prior to the visit of H.R.H. Unfortunately, when the great day came, the weather could not have been worse. To the disappointment of all the visit was postponed.
On 24th November, 24 boys were invited to H.M.S. St. Vincent, where they attended Sunday Divisions and Church. The parade was inspected by Admiral Sir George Creasy, G.C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O., M.V.O., Commander in Chief, Portsmouth. A trip round the harbour, etc., followed. A very instructive and enjoyable day for all who went.
The term finished up in .a very gloomy atmosphere. An epidemic of 'flu hit the School, with the result that the Prize-Giving was cancelled and a number of boys spent the first few days of their leave on the sick list. The Sick Bay was soon filled and the overflow had to be kept in their own Houses, where they w.ere looked after by their House Matrons.
During the term some of the new construction was completed. The new Seamanship Room is now in full use, the steering model, etc., having been moved by our own staff. By the end of the term the L.R.C.H. was in the hands of the builders and the job of converting this building into a new house had commenced.
During one extra severe gale a lot of damage was done to the smaller boats in Poole Harbour; luckily our cutter held, and the only damage we suffered was to the Rafiki which broke its mast. This boat is a 15 ft. sailing boat, Burnham rigged, which had just been presented to the School by Mr. I. M. Main. The cutter and motor boat are now up in Mitchell's Yard and the three smaller boats have been brought up to the School.
A satisfactory term's work as far as Nautical subjects are concerned
The 'flu epidemic at the end of last term hit every department of the School. The choir had practiced very hard for the Carol Service which was to have been held on 12th December, but it had to be cancelled. However, the effort was not wasted as it helped to make the choir practices interesting and useful.
We were pleased to welcome the Revd. J. Featherstone, Vicar of St. John's, Bournemouth West, during November and his address on the meaning of the Christian life will be long remembered.
The St. George's Scout Troop team of handbell ringers visited us on 6th February and their ringing was much appreciated.
Now we are busily preparing for the Confirmation on 24th March, and we hope to present about 20 candidates.
J. S.
The Christmas Term started with a flourish as we had the prospect of several inspections before us.
The Ministry of Education Inspection was held towards the end of October when a team of Inspectors from the Ministry and the Home Office spent three days at the School and carried out a very thorough inspection of all aspects of our School life. The official report is not yet to hand, but although there were several things with which they did not agree, and would like to see altered, it is hoped that when the report does arrive it will be a satisfactory one.
During the term we had visits from the Recruiting Authorities of the Army and the Navy, both looking for apprentices for their Artificer Schools. It may seem odd for the Army to come recruiting at a Sea Training School, but it has been found possible to place boys, who have been rejected by the Navy for colour blindness, in Army Apprentices Schools. Last year three boys were so placed, and from all reports are doing quite well. So far this year, another has passed the examination and is awaiting posting to one of the schools.
The visit of the Duke of Edinburgh was postponed on the morning of the visit because of the atrocious flying weather. This was a great disappointment to the boys who had spent much time and labour preparing for the event.
Speech Day was to have been held on Tuesday, 14th December, 1954, but an outbreak of 'flu the weekend before, which reduced the School attendance to 50 per cent by Monday, caused all arrangements to be cancelled, so our ill-luck continued with us to the end of the term, our end-of-term concert and prize distribution going the way of the Duke of Edinburgh's visit. This was a great disappointment to Mr. Ford and his choir and dramatic class, who had been working hard all the term in an endeavour to put on a show which was to have been even better than last year. It is hoped, however, to have the concert at some future date this term so that their efforts will not have been entirely in vain.
Prizes for the year were awarded as under:—
f Combined Maths, and Science.
* Combined English, History and Geography.
Special Class  A. Holt.   Form, Mathsf, English.*, Nautical. J. Barker.   Progress, 2nd Nautical. T. Quelch. P.T.
IV A D. Brooker.   Form, Maths.*, Arts and Crafts.
A. Crane.   Progress, English*. A. Efford.   ist Nautical. P. Errington.   Divinity 4th year.
G. Oliver.   2nd Nautical. P. Simons.   Band prize. J. Smith.   Band Prize. E. Bell.   Band progress.
H. Gale. P.T.
IV B I. Ross.   Form, Maths.*, English*.
M. Tuckwell.   ist Nautical. M. Aves.   2nd Nautical. W. Cross. P.T.
 III A M. Roake. Progress.
M. Usher.   Form, English*. R. Feest.   Maths.f
B. Cawley.   ist Nautical, P.T. W. Toynton.   Divinity 3rd. year. R. Wilding.   Band, Best Bugler. R. Patience. Progress.
D. Harrison,   2nd Nautical.
Ill B. N. Roake.   Form, ist Nautical.
C. Ferrell.   Progress, Maths, f, Woodwork.
D. Bromhead. English*.
J. R. Smith. 2nd Nautical. J. Carswell. Band progress. J. Crabbe. P.T.
II. S. Howells. Form.
T. Crossley.   Maths, t R. Busswell. English*.
A. Wood. Band.
D. Amos.   Divinity 2nd year. R. Le Blance. Progress. T. Herbert.   Band progress.
B. Bennett. P.T. J. Grantham.   Special merit. D. Wheatley.   Best drummer.
F. B.
Normally the Autumn term is one which is fairly free from distractions and it is possible to cover a large section of any syllabus. Last term proved the exception, even the weather supplementing the diversions with freak storms.
However, it is an ill wind which blows no good, and at least the vagaries of the climate produced an added zest to the work pursued in Meteorology. The connection between south-westerly winds, rain and low pressure was all too apparent and the rain-gauge and barograph "really excelled themselves." The reading for Wednesday, 8th December, was exceptionally interesting, the pressure falling over four-tenths of an inch at 08.30 to 28.48 inches and then in the afternoon to 28.30 inches, which I believe is the third lowest reading since records were first started in this country. One day it is hoped that it will be possible to increase our meteorological data by recording the hours of sunshine, but in view of the high cost of the instrument for this purpose the chances seem rather remote, unless the School can borrow one.
E.R.A: Class: Twelve months since the formation of this class is an appropriate time for retrospection. One or two boys appear to have the misconceived notion that as they have now decided against sitting for the examination, it has been twelve months wasted. This is far from the truth. Education is never wasted. At least by their willingness to work they have attained a far better standard than those who through their indolence are content to do the minimum that is demanded of them.
As anticipated at least two years will be required to cover the syllabus adequately in school time. As to whether entering for the examination after having been only seven months in the form, proves a successful gamble, will depend on the problem of supply and demand in the Royal Navy.
Visits and Films: After studying electro-magnetic induction, the E.R.A. class spent an instructive morning on 25th October viewing practical applications of many scientific principles utilised at Poole Generating Station. Later in the week it was possible to emphasize some of the salient facts by means of the excellent technical films produced by the Electrical Development Association. This year "The Generation of Electricity," "The Transmission of Electricity," "A.C. and D.C." and "Electricity and Heat" were again exhibited, but the chaplain very kindly assembled the projector in the Geography room so that the films became an integral part of the lesson. This procedure is advantageous in that it is possible to roll up the screen and utilise the blackboard in answering queries, whilst the spools are being changed.
Acknowledgements: We are indebted to Mr. and Mrs. O'Donovan, of Branksome Park, for their generous gift of aquariums, heaters, thermostats, aerator and exotic fish and to Mr. J. Walker, of the Bournemouth Aquarists' Society, for his technical assistance and continued interest.
L. I. N. W.
The boys settled down very quickly after Summer leave to a fairly busy Christmas Term. However, there were two disappointments; the postponement of the visit of H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh owing to bad weather, and also of our end-of-term concert because of the 'flu epidemic, both being rather full occasions for the Band, but we feel that the efficiency of the Band was raised considerably by the necessary rehearsals for both these events.
We took our usual part in the Poole Town Armistice Day Parade and Service, the rendering of the Last Post and the Reveille by our cornet players and drummers being especially appreciated.
On 12th October we had a most enjoyable evening playing a programme of music at the British Legion Club to a large audience of physically handicapped people of Poole. It gave us a thrill to see how much each item was enjoyed by those unfortunate folk. What a happy lot! On 16th October we played and marched through Poole for our own Barnardo Flag Day and then on Sunday, 24th October, we had a rather exhausting afternoon playing at the Trafalgar Day Parade and Ceremonial on Poole Quay of the Combined Sea Cadets of Bournemouth, Poole and Parkstone. We feel the Band acquitted itself very well.
In September we made our final appearance of the season at the Speedway. Also two of our buglers made the now annual visit to Bobby's of Bournemouth. Later the Admiralty Inspection and the visit of H.M.I's. completed a very full term for us. So to a very welcome break at Christmas.
Now to the new term and a New Year with all our boys back looking very cheerful and a good "break in" for the Band after only a week back by playing at a Poole Sea Cadets Naval Occasion. Our programme here was greatly appreciated by a large audience, which included the Mayor and Mayoress of Poole, our own Captain and Lady Superintendent (who we are always pleased to see at our outside concerts) also the Captain of Portland Naval Base, and the Colonel Commanding the Royal Marines Amphibious School at Hamworthy. It was a very enjoyable and sociable evening.
Now to some news of our Old Band Boys. We all congratulate Bandsman H. Robyns (our own Solo Cornet player less than five years ago) of The Staff Band Rhine, Royal Tank Regt., on his solo playing in a recent broadcast with his Band. Well done Robyns! How nice it was at Christmas to see and hear about so many of our Old Band Boys now at the Royal Marine School of Music at Deal. Here are a few: Bandmaster Corbin, Drum Major Roy Bishop, Musicians Taylour, Pepper, Jacobs, and Boy Musicians Bennett, Herbert and Drake. We hear that Oberdries and Roake, both grand Bass players, who have recently joined the Royal Marine Band, are settling down well. We send our best wishes to all our Old Band Boys, and thank them for the many cards at Christmas.
Per Mare Per terram
Last term was a very short one, although some of the boys who had to remain here after the others had gone home probably thought differently.
We certainly had a few disappointments,. even the local press mentioned a couple of them in succeeding weeks of their issue. One being the postponement of the Duke of Edinburgh's visit, whilst a second announced, "Disappointment No. 2 for P.S.T.S. Boys— Juvenile 'Flu Hits Nautical School—Speech Day Postponed."
However, the biggest diasppointment of all did not appear in the columns of the press. Had it done so, it would have read something like this, "Four Day 'Flu Affects Boys' Christmas Leave." Several Howard boys were in bed when the rest of the leave boys went home on the 16th December, and not all of them were in the Sick Bay as this had been filled some days ago. Those lads that were not too bad had to be accommodated in their own dormitories. Cough mixture, gargle, orange juice and hot drinks were the order of the day for those with temperatures. However, all those that were due to go home, had left by the 23rd. The one lad left fared excellently, as can be expected.
The Winter Term soccer started off rather badly but after many battles with Johnston House and one game with Arranmore we improved considerably. The junior eleven are to be congratulated on their efforts.
Encouraging efforts were made last term to widen the scope and increase the variety of evening indoor activities, and quite a measure of success was, I believe, attained. Several pleasant evenings were enjoyed when we held debates, "What's my Line", "Beetle Drive", "Top of the Form", Quizzes, various billiards, darts and table tennis tournaments, and "Pin Hand Ball" in the gymnasium. The last mentioned game, by the way, seems very popular. In some of the above we were helped when other Houses kindly accepted a challenge from us, which made the contests even more interesting. In spite of the above, however, last term's Entertainment Committee seem to have lacked something, and it is hoped that the new one recently formed (Holt, Johnson and Robertson) will show more drive and achieve more practical results. One lad—in helping to compose these notes—writes, "Moans were made about the Entertainments Committee, that the activities were run too much by one person. To my idea, the blame should not be attached to that person, so much as to the lack of enthusiasm on the part of the other members."
Well, there you are lads, you must make sure that when you vote for someone in the future you choose the right person, otherwise you may get as bad as the some of grown-ups and their politics, who vote and help to put a certain party into power, then moan later about the same party's inability. Really, this does not make sense.
Colin Sandford (Raymond's brother) and Robin Mailes are the only two new boys we have had recently. We have discharged only one boy—B. Furness who joined H.M.S. St. Vincent early in January.
By the time this appears in print I expect we shall have lost Petty Officer Boy P. Simons, and we wish him every success in his career.
Congratulations are offered to A. Ley on being promoted to Petty Officer Boy.
In closing may we offer our sincere thanks to all friends and organisations who provided so many outings and entertainments for us during the Christmas season. Thank you all very much.
How quickly time passes between one edition and the next. We are now well into the term prior to Easter, having left behind the Christmas holidays, also the mild 'flu epidemic which put many on tenter-hooks concerning a holiday at home. However, all victims managed to shake it off in time, except for a few who were unlucky to lose a day or so of their leave.
Only one of our lads has left us since the last issue of Jack Tar, John Bartlett, who joined H.M.S. St. Vincent in early January, but many more will have left by the time the next edition comes out. He was one of the School football team which did to well to win the Poole schools' League, and we feel sure that his services will be missed. We wish him the very best of luck and success.
How nice it was to see Edward Harvey during his first leave after ten months away. He informs us that his apprenticeship as an Officer Cadet is hard going, but he is sticking to it and is enjoying the life. Whilst on the subjects of visits, John Denford spent a weekend with us, and Cyril Bartlett also looked in. They have now been posted from St. Vincent and are getting on well. Lastly, Michael Howes, who is aboard the carrier Theseus at Portland, came over for an hour or so. It really is good to see any old boys and to know how they are faring, so do call if it is at all possible.
We are getting through the football competition when weather conditions permit, but alas, up to the present we are not faring too well. However, the lads are giving of their best, and one cannot do more.
The boxing this season will be contested in three classes, Junior, Intermediate and Senior, and the boys will be boxing for the individual titles. There has been a good proportion of entries, and we hope to see some good and interesting bouts. More about this next time.
It is once again time to compile some notes for the magazine. First and foremost was the disappointment of the cancelling of the Duke of Edinburgh's visit to the School.
Now for our football efforts, which I must admit, were better than we expected and we have had a very good half season. We have said good-bye to Hugo, Doran and Brooker who have gone to the Royal Navy, Peter Roake to the Royal Marine Band at Deal and N. Eggleden to "Civvie Street". We wish them all good luck and success in their future careers. Now we welcome to our Division young shipmates Goble, Smith, Millard and Cochrane, hoping they have a happy stay with us. This term is going to be a very busy and short one so, lads, let us try and be tops all round. You can do it, so have a go and the best of luck!
Congratulations to Whinney on being rated as Petty Officer Boy and may I say at this stage that he has been one of the best all-round boys this Division has had for a very long time, and my wife and I are rightly proud of him. We are now trying Biggs ("Jackie" to his pals) as Acting Leading Hand.
We had two Old Boys, Ayestaran and Whiteside, back to visit us and they are both doing well in the Army Bands.
Our lads who stayed in the School over Christmas had a good time, according to talk overheard in conversation. We also had Brian Bayley spend Christmas with us. He is now working in a boot making and repair factory.
Now to boxing. It is as yet, not finished, but two lads from this Division put on a good show in the School Boxing team. These were the Bell brothers. Eric getting a walk-over and his younger brother, Graham, losing by a very narrow decision. Both are entered for the County Championships on 29th January.
Well, this is all for these notes this term. I am leaving the boxing report of the School team for our next issue of Jack Tar, and we may have some County Championships to record.
In conclusion, my wife and I wish our lads and the boxing team every success in the coming term.
Christmas with its excitement, hustle and bustle, boys counting the hours and minutes before they arrive at Poole Station has come and gone, and as a new year and term starts, we of Arranmore can look back to a better record in the realm of sport than of the previous year. Our ist and 2nd XI football teams have done quite well considering the changes that had to be made. We lost four of our ist XI through the inevitable changes of complement in the House, which set us back quite a bit, but we hope to do better in the next half of the season, with a reorganised system of age limits in picking ist and 2nd XIs. We had Cross, Spence and Meyers representing the School in the Poole Schools' League which was won by the School's XI. Congratulations to them all on this achievement! Meyers was also reserve for Poole Town Schools' XL
A few games of deck hockey were played before the dark evenings clamped down on us, and everyone was keen to play, but as teams were limited to eight a side, it meant quite a few disappointed faces. We managed to do quite well, holding our own against most.
Another edition brings more changes in the House complement: Bryant to H.M.S. Ganges, D. Smith and Jordan to H.M.S. St. Vincent, Leworthy to H.M.S. Raleigh, Oberdries to the Royal Marine School of Music, Wigfield and May to Snaresbrook Hostel for civilian employ-ment.
To keep us up to strength, we have in their places Smithson and Sharpe from Eastbourne, Heagney and Stone from Torquay, Snell and Gavin from Brighton.
In conclusion we are looking forward to a new year and term with achievements to be recorded. Best wishes and a prosperous New Year to you all.
ARE YOU RECEIVING YOUR "JACK TARS" REGULARLY? If this is not so, two reasons contribute towards this cause;
1. Are you in arrears with your annual subscription?
2. Have you informed me of your change of address?
The latter is more likely the reason. While on this subject I should like to point out that your actual annual subscription of 2S. 6d. is, at present, only just paying its way as regards cost of supplying the quarterly magazine, including postage for its delivery. Each copy of Jack Tar costs approximately 6d. to produce. Looking back through some old volumes of the magazine of thirty-five years ago, I noticed the Jack Tar was then sold for one penny, and the Old Boys' yearly subscription was, even then, only 2s. 6d. It is true, I know, that there were then twelve issues per year, but even then, this left a surplus for other items, a practice which I am sorry to say is not at present possible.
We shall be most grateful to receive an increase from those of you, therefore, who think they can afford a little more than 2s. 6d. when your subscription is next due. To those who already help us in this way we send once again our thanks. I am taking the liberty in future of reminding you all when your sub is due. I do hope you don't mind. Some Old Boys asked me to do this.
We are also on the look-out for new members, so those of you who meet with any Old Boys, please make a note of their names and addresses and let me know of them when you next write.
I should like to acknowledge the receipt of the many Christmas cards we received. It was nice to think you had remembered the old school, on the occasion of "Good Will Towards All Men".
We offer our congratulations to an Old Boy who left in 1939— Arthur Sheppard. We have recently been informed that he has received a Commission in the Royal Navy. He was promoted to Commissioned Physical Training Officer. Well done, Sir!
By the time these lines are in print I expect our Old Boys' Reunion will have been held. We are eagerly awaiting the 2nd and 3rd of April, to meet some old friends again—also perhaps some Old Boys we have never met before.
Old Boys should note that it is now possible to purchase not only a fine enamel and metal badge and a tie, but an excellent blazer badge is also now available (price 6s.) for all Old Barnardo Boys and Girls. All can be obtained from "The Barnardo Guild", 18-26 Stepney Causeway, London, E.I.
Just over twenty Old Boys have visited the School during the last few months. We are always pleased to see any of you at any time. A card or short letter indicating your expected time of arrival would be most appreciated. Best wishes to you all.
Way back in the days before the War the Russell-Cotes School won the Poole Schools' Football League. In those days, however, the larger schools entered House teams and not School teams so that some schools entered four different teams in the League.
Since the War it has been an Inter-Schools League and we have had to compete with other schools having more than 600 boys to choose from. This has not dismayed us, although our prospects of winning the League have been very slight. New methods of organising and training have been tried out this year and I am proud to say have paid handsome dividends. This year, in spite of the disparity in numbers we have won the Football League. Much of the credit is due to Mr. H. Ford and his coaching, but much also is due to the wonderful spirit and determination of the boys themselves for their whole-hearted determination to put up a good show.
Hugo has left us now for the Royal Navy, but, had he not done so, he was practically assured of his county cap, with every prospect of getting a trial for the English School's team. We wish him the best of luck in his new life, and the same also to Bartlett, who captained the team and led them to victory.
F. B.
This article is reproduced from Artificer Apprentices in the Roya Navy by kind permission of the Director of Naval Recruiting, to whom we are also indebted for the loan of the blocks.
New entry Artificer Apprentices, aged between 15 years and 16 years 8 months, join H.M.S. Fisgard, a shore establishment in East Cornwall, about three miles west of Plymouth. Here they spend the first sixteen months of their four years' training. H.M.S. Fisgard is devoted exclusively to the training of Artificer Apprentices and is run on the lines of a good school. Its "headmaster" is a Captain of the Engineering Branch and the 840 boys who are normally under training are divided into eight Divisions, named after famous Admirals, which are the equiva¬lent of school "houses."
Each Division is under the charge of a Divisional Officer who is a Lieutenant-Commander or Lieutenant of one of the technical branches; he is assisted by two Instructor Officers. These three officers are respon-sible to the Commanding Officer for the welfare and development of the boys. In this way, each boy receives individual attention and his special needs are catered for early in his training.
 Apprentices remain in the same Division throughout their time in H.M.S. Fisgard and inter-Divisional rivalry both in work and play develops esprit de corps and keeps interest high in all establishment activities.
Establishment Routine. Apprentices' time in H.M.S. Fisgard is divided into four terms of approximately 15 weeks each, with long leave between terms. Instruction occupies 39 hours each week. Work starts at 8.0 a.m. and finishes at 7.15 p.m., but a boy does not normally work on more than three afternoons and three evenings in any one week.
Technical Training. Of the 39 hours' instruction 24 are spent in the workshops. Instruction is given by Artificers and by qualified civi¬lians, under the direction of an officer of one of the technical branches of the Navy, who is frequently an ex-Artificer.
All apprentices work in wood during their first term. Thus they see quick results of their early craftmanship and gain confidence in their skill of hand. During the second and third terms they work in metal and during the fourth and last they commence specialised train¬ing in the work of the Branch for which, by then, they have been selected. The standard of work attained by apprentices is very high. For example, at the end of his second term, the average Apprentice is able to work to the nearest 4/ioooths of an inch, and the more skilful to the nearest 2/ioooths without the use of a micrometer. Lectures, films and demonstrations are included in the instructional routine.
Education. Eight hours each week are spent in the classroom, where Apprentices are taught Mathematics, Mechanics, Science, Electricity and English by Naval Instructor Officers. Establishment examinations in these subjects are set at the end of the second and third terms and an Admiralty examination at the end of the fourth term. An Apprentice's performance in the latter examination can en¬able him to be advanced to a higher rating four weeks earlier than if he were advanced in the normal course.
While in H.M.S. Fisgard, Apprentices are afforded special facili¬ties to sit for the following examinations:
(a) Naval cadetship at R.N. College, Dartmouth (16 year old entry)
(b) Navy, Army and Air Force (Special Entry cadetship—17J year old).
(c) General Certificate of Education (Cambridge). The examina¬tion fee for five papers is paid by the Admiralty.
Other Instructions. The remaining 7 of the 39 hours' weekly instruction covers such subjects as current affairs, religious instruction, physical training and field training.
Recreation. H.M.S. Fisgard has facilities for almost all sports popular with boys. Football (Rugby and Association), cricket, hockey, tennis, squash, basketball, swimming, water polo, athletics, and sailing.
You may have heard of me, if you are one of those people who read my articles in the Times, under the pen name of "Bungo". My real name is Major Jonathan Bixly, a former pupil of a certain Sea Training School and late of the Bengal Lancers.
Now, after ten years of hunting in the vast unexplored South American jungle, I was on my last and most dangerous assignment. I was to capture a giant Anoconda, that massive reptile so feared by man, but which presented no complications to a man of my calibre.
As our hunting expedition slowly wound its way through picturesque little villages on the border of the dense jungle, I thought of what I would do when I settled down on the completion of this trip. I was awakened from my reverie by the cheery salaams of the native bearers, as they spotted my lean, upright form, coming towards them.
We were now nearing the steaming, silent, ominous swamps, from which crawled and slithered every horrible reptile imaginable. Here would I find what I was seeking, the huge Anaconda, a snake, some¬thing like a python, but dwelling in the swamps where it grows up to twenty-six feet and more. This formidable reptile will think nothing of swallowing a wild pig whole, after which it will sleep until hungry again.
Our intention was to tie a kid to a stake as bait, and, after the bleating of the helpless frightened animal had assailed the reptile's ears, the snake would slither unawares into our sprung net.
After we had set our trap, we retreated into the jungle to reap the reward of our endeavours. We had not long to wait, for, after a few minutes, we heard a slithering sound and a colossal slimy specimen, all of thirty feet long, opened its huge gaping mouth to swallow the poor hapless kid with one tremendous gulp; but it was not to fulfil its intentions however, for the net suddenly enmeshed its victim with one terrific sweep and held the Anaconda struggling in the air.
All that was left to do now was to catch it, which we did after a titanic struggle, and then put it in a bamboo cage on the back of an oxen cart. The only casualty we suffered was a broken leg due to one of the natives being caught by one of the great creature's terrific sweeps of its tail. There was no escape. The giant of reptiles was caught.
 As I conclude this narrative with somewhat mixed feelings, I think of all my past hunting, not all as successful as this and say good¬bye to the wild life I love. Maybe one day, when I am able to recruit a group of stalwart big game hunters, I shall return to the American jungle and if any of my readers would like to join in this thrilling venture, I should be pleased to enlist their services.
PETER ERRINGTON, Form IV. A, Howard House
From a "JACK TAR" dated March, 1913. "We were deeply moved at the tragic news of the fate of Captain Scott and his four gallant companions. Captain Stileman, when announ¬cing the fact that the South Pole had been reached by the British Antarctic Exploring party, told us that Captain Scott was an old friend and squadron mate of his. This seemed to give a still deeper sense of personal loss, and we listened intently to Captain Scott's message,: 'We are weak; writing is difficult, but for my own sake I do not regret this journey, which has shown that Englishmen can endure hardships, help one another, and meet death with as great a fortitude as ever in
the past We took risks—we know we took them. Things have
come out against us, and therefore we have no cause for complaint. We bow to the Will of Providence, determined still to do our best to the last.'
A splendid determination. God grant that we in our little day and generation may follow such a noble example."
From a "JACK TAR" of the same year as above.
The captain was trying to impress upon the sailor the importance of saying "sir" in addressing his superior.
"How's her head?" he asked. "Nor-by-east," answered the old tar gruffly. Another trial was without success.
"Let me take the wheel," said the skipper, "and you ask me the questions".
'"Ow's her head?" roared the sailor. "Nor'-by-east, sir," replied the captain.
"Keep her so my man," said the old tar, "while I go for'ard and have a smoke."
a blurred vision of the ship revolving in space and then the screen wen: blank. The wireless operators tapped for hours, patiently trying to get through to the spaceship which was lost and spinning dangerously in space, but it was no good, they just couldn't get through.
Meanwhile, inside the ship, Jim Townsend was sitting patiently at the controls. All of a sudden the ship shuddered and ceased to spin and all was normal once again.
Professor Smallpot was the first to congratulate Captain Townsend on his success and they settled down to plot their course to the "Red Planet", Mars.
Dr. Greenway looked out of the small window and saw the planets floating around in space, like bubbles in a water tank. Suddenly, he gave a shout and everyone looked out of the window to see a mass o-huge meteors rushing behind them. They rushed past, dragging the ship along helplessly with them. All of a sudden, their flight was brought to a standstill. They were thrown off balance and when they had got to their feet, saw that they were like the rope in a tug-o-war with the giant meteors and to their surprise, a red planet, which could only be "Mars".
They were drawn closer and closer to Mars, which they had decided was winning the tug-o-war.
"Well," said Jim, "we set out for Mars and it looks as if we've found it in double quick time."
As he said this, there was a tremendous crash, throwing them off balance, followed by a crispy, crunching noise. The noise continued, and Professor Smallpot, who was the first on his feet, uttered a long low gasp, and said, "It's ice."
Everyone rushed to their feet and gazed out of the small window. It was true. Everywhere and everything was "ice". Then they settled down to a small, non-appetising meal, which consisted of a few dried biscuits, some tinned meat and half a cup of coffee.
The next move was to find out if there was any oxygen on Mars i and the instruments soon showed that there was very little. The firs thing that came into their heads, was that they wouldn't be able to set up a space station on Mars, through lack of oxygen. Very gloomily they set about their tasks of digging away the snow and ice, while Jim checked the fuel tanks. It was when they had just about finished their hard task, that they saw Jim coming towards them with a very despair¬ing look on his face. They guessed by the expression on his face, that there was none, or little fuel left. He soon told them that there was little fuel in the tanks and he asked them whether they would like to stay on Mars or attempt to get back to Earth. After a bit of murmuring, they decided to try to get back to Earth, and so they settled down to wait for the return journey. It was not long before Jim told them to strap themselves to their bunks, and they guessed it would be only a matter of seconds to take off. They were right, the ship lurched and rose steadily and they had visions of steam rushing past the windows, as the flames, belching forth from the ship, melted the snow and ice.
All was quiet in the ship. They were 9,000 miles from earth with very, very little fuel and all the time they were gasping for air, of which there was very little.
Then it happened, Dr. Greenway went hysterical. He raved and roared and he would have killed the Professor, if he had not been hit over the head by Flight Lieutenant Diplock.
They went to sleep that night with horrible thoughts in their minds and when they woke up in the morning, they found that both Dr. Greenway and Professor Smallpot were dead through lack of air. The next to die was Diplock, who died in his sleep and that left Jim alone. He shot himself, rather than stay alone with three rotten corpses.
Perhaps you may wonder how we found out about this. Well, I'll tell you.
A ship travelling through space some years later, found a space¬ship floating in space. On investigating, they found a log book in the clutching hands of a dead body. In the book was written all of the mysterious accounts and records of Captain Townsend and his crew.
If, one day you should go to the now disused testing base, you will still see a magnificent statue of Captain Townsend and his crew.
C. BARTON, Form IV. A, Broughton House.
The battle I am now about to tell you of, took place about ten miles off that famous wartime base, the Rock of Gibraltar. It was in the year 1943 at the peak of the Second World War. The British represent¬atives on Gibraltar had just lately been informed, by persons unknown, of a flotilla of submarines making for Gibraltar, obviously in an attempt to cripple important units of the British Fleet lying there. I, Captain Holt, had been placed second-in-command of one of three ships sent to "intercept and destroy".
I estimated that there were roughly twelve submarines, but our ships H.M.S. Ferocity, H.M.S. Fearless and H.M.S. Formidable were fully equipped with all the latest anti-submarine gear. They were also fitted with five-inch guns, 4.5 in. H.A's and dual purpose Bofors, the two latter types in the event of an air attack.
A murky dawn was just breaking as we set out amidst the swirling fog, and after forging ahead for about half an hour at roughly twenty knots, I was roused by the urgent ringing of the bridge bell communi¬cating with my sea cabin. I hastened to the bridge on learning that the Asdic operator had picked up a series of irregular pulsations which were getting nearer each minute, denoting a number of underwater obstacles approaching us. Further investigation convinced me that these were obviously submarines.
I instructed the Chief Yeoman of Signals to report this to Vice-Admiral Frampton, who was in charge of our mission, and then awaited further orders. Realising my signal to the Admiral had also been seen by our third ship, I sounded "Action Stations" for my own ship's company. After they had repaired to their stations I informed them on the ship's loud speaker system what we were expected to do.
We were all ready and all we could do was to wait until the enemy sensed our presence. Nerves were keyed up to breaking point. We did not have long to wait, as, before our very eyes, in every direction, we saw swirls of foam. The fight was on. We were in a very difficult predicament. The enemy encircled about us. The Admiral instructed our ships to cover four submarines each, as there were twelve of them in all. My ship, H.M.S. Fearless, went into action with her five-inch guns blazing, immediately maiming one of her attackers beyond repair.
At this I experienced a surge of pride for my gallant men, but this was no time for sentiment. All was confusion. There were shells flying about and torpedoes thrusting their long deadly snouts through the tumultous waters. Suddenly, I heard a terrific explosion, and, looking round, beheld H.M.S. Ferocity blown sky high, but taking with her the last of her opponents. I then looked round and to my joy perceived that the Formidable had put two subs out of action, whilst we had wrecked two also, but we were showing signs of the battle now. Suddenly, as though by a prearranged signal, the remaining three submarines disappeared beneath the dark waters. I heaved a sigh of relief and immediatley gave orders for the lowering of boats to search for survivors, but we found none.
As we headed for home the Admiral reported by wireless that our mission had been completed. Still mourning my dead comrades and their heroic deeds, the memory of this dramatic encounter comes vividly back as I write this account of it and I think of the futility of war and its terrible consequences.
PETER ERRINGTON, Form IV. A, Howard House
Here is a problem that always reduces scientific people to mental chaos. Suppose a pipe, with a bore a little larger than the thickness of a man's body, were pierced through the earth and a ladder ran through the length of the pipe. Assume a man starts through the pipe from London to an Antipodean island. He descends the ladder feet foremost, and he is going downwards until he reaches the centre of the earth.
When he reaches the centre of the earth he, presumably, will thenceforth be going upwards, until he emerges at the Antipodes. But how can a ladder on which he is descending become a ladder on which he is ascending} Furthermore how could one go up a ladder feet foremost?
Whenever this problem is put to scientific people they try to change the subject. (Repeated from an old Jack Tar thirty-five years ago.)
A short written solution sent in by any reader under sixteen to the Editor of Jack Tar, and judged by our Science Master to be the most convincing, will receive a small cash prize. Articles must be sent in by 5th May, 1955.
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Two legs sat upon three legs with one leg in his arm. In came four legs and ran away with one leg.
Up jumped two legs, picked up three legs and threw them at four legs.
J. BIGGS, Form iv A, Broughton House.
Congratulations to Robert Feest and David Harrison on winning the last competition with their combined effort. We also thank Miss Margerison for her entry. As these two were the only ones received, it has been decided that all future competitions will be held in obeyance until after the winter hibernation.