Autobiographical Reflections - Part III

a poem by Denis Barter, Canada - poetry writer, author, poet

Further Naval Events.

From HMS Ceres I was posted to “Pompey’s” HMS Victory,
where I was assigned, to a duty I discovered extraordinarily
upsetting! Assigned to naval lawyers, who prepared reports,
on divorce were. I often thought more apropos to indoor sports!

Soon to HMS Daedalus, Lee-on-Solent, I was sent,
where after a short four months, the navy was bent
on sending me to HMS Osprey, based on Portland Bill.
A naval training base, located half way up Easton hill.

This proved to be a more permanent post than most,
for I remained there for three years, Dorset’s South Coast.
Duty hours were spent, calculating the fortnightly pay
of naval trainees, on ships operating from the nearby Bay.

This work kept me fully occupied each and every day,
for I had more than a thousand men, on my ledger to pay!
Once my day’s duty was done,I had time to relax and play,
with evenings spent dancing or ‘pubbing’. Then came the day.

I took up cycling again, at evenings and duty free weekends.
With my messmate buddy, Peter Seed. By cycling we made friends
of folks met when we toured round the local countryside,
or further afield, when we’d time to take a far longer ride.

We took cycling seriously, as we rode - in the sunshine or rain.
Staying overnight in B and Bs, before returning to Base again.
Our strong friendship bonds remain intact until the present day,
despite our living thousands of miles and an ocean away!

Occasionally in the evening - sometimes, weekends too,
I’d organise a cricket match, with village teams I knew.
This provided relaxation, for our unruly, motley crew,
as it gave us time to loosen up, and sup a brew or two!

But like most things enjoyed, time came for it to end,
as the Admiralty, in its wisdom, said they would send
me to the tropics, and from Osprey, tout suite, I must go!
After vaccination shots, and suffering normal allergic woe,

I first took a trip to Jersey, where I met Pauline, my future wife:
though I knew it not back then, for this came at a later time in life.
Firstly I’d to hoist my hammock and kitbag, as to Glasgow I went,
to join up with HMS Warrior. A “carrier” loaded with armament.

Sailing down the Clyde, on cold October’s 21stt day,
we sailed through the Irish Sea, and went on our way,
to call at places I had not seen, nor knew a thing about!
That it would be a trip to remember:, I had little doubt!

Gibraltar our first brief stop, then Malta GC. was next.
Down the Suez Canal, despite Egyptians being vexed,
then cruised down the Red Sea - the heat was profound,
until we reached Aden, - even hotter, as we quickly found!

There we played soccer against an RFR tanker ship's crew:
enjoyed an ocean swim, but found it possesed a devil’s brew.
As we enjoyed cooling waters dashing from the beach,
someone spotted the anti-shark net, had sustained a breach!

Setting sail for Ceylon, known as Sri Lanka today,
we finally reached Singapore, on a mid November day.
There I said farewell to HMS Warrior and as she sailed away,
I entered a new phase in life, which lasted many a day.

End of Part III.
Hopefully the weather will allow me to continue. Snow overnight, and bitterly cold - not acclimatised yet! Hopefully Warmer by Sunday. Writing as and when I can. Ciao Denis.

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