Lads in navy blues spelt out message for Christmas card

Ruth Cooper wants to share this Christmas card from the lads at HMS Ganges
Ruth Cooper wants to share this Christmas card from the lads at HMS Ganges
You might struggle with this scene but it is in fact looking across Waite Street, Cosham. The tram is heading for Spur Road.  Picture: Barry Cox Collection

NOSTALGIA: When trams ran through the fire station’s offices at Cosham

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All the recent memories on these pages of HMS Ganges spurred Ruth Cooper to share this Christmas card with readers.

Most of the lads are in their white, tropical uniforms with the letters picked out by those wearing their more usual navy blues.

For those too young to remember Ganges, it was the shore training establishment in Suffolk for boy entrants into the Royal Navy from 1905 until 1976.

She had taken on the previous duties from the wooden ship HMS Ganges.

On entry, these boys were 15 and most had signed on for nine years (which didn’t include the time served before the age of 18). Earlier recruits had to sign on for a minimum 12 years.

During the following year Ganges quickly turned them into men with a sound foundation and knowledge of their future profession and the men who passed through the hands of the instructors at Ganges had the reputation for the highest standards.

The end product was a sailor ready to be drafted to complete his specialist training at their respective shore establishments for about another six months.

Then, and only then, was he ready to go to sea and be part of a ship’s company able to do the work required of him.