|Keith Rowley's details|
Browsing through "old friends", i came across "terry porters" name.
we first met 50 years ago on the 11th february in 1957 (17 days time) in hms victory, rn. naval barracks. we were both "national servicemen", called up to do our bit for "queen" and "country", and we became great friends through our time together.
we parted ways when we went to our first ships, "terry" went to a "patrol boat", based in the "english channel", i went to a "minesweeper", in northern ireland.
we never saw each other until the ship that i was on "hms cumberland" received urgent orders to sail-immediately and pick up the "gurka regiment" and the "royal sussex regiment" , leaving some sports teams ashore. i was in a cycling team, we all were left without passports, money, or spare clothes. the police wouldn't let us into the dockyard as we didn't have passports, also we couldn't speak the lingo.
finally we went to the consulate, who told us to go to a "sea-mans mission" for the night until all the sailors who had been left behind had all been picked up.
the minister of this mission heard me talk-and asked where i came from in scotland?? i said "it's a wee place near "lanark"!! he said where?? i said that he wouldn't know it as it was a wee mining village, again he asked me where? so i told him "douglas", he said what's your name, so i said " idris welch", he replied, would your mum be called "flora" and your "dad" be called "christy"?? blow me, he actually came from the village but left when i was still a wee boy. he then asked if we all would like to go to a dance at this mission in "genoa, italy"??
we weren't too keen to start with , however imagine our surprise when we went downstairs and they were all dancing (the italian lads and lassies, to the music of "jimmy shand"!!. he ran a calieh and it was a big night out for the youngsters in "genoa", so we all had a ball.
we travelled by train to "rome" where the next consulate sent us to "civitivechia" (spelling) the port for "rome".
we all then had to go to "civitivechia", to pick up "hms girdle ness" it was about seventy miles or maybe a wee bit further.
when we finally reached this ship, all we had to eat that day had been some peaches that we had "nicked", from an orchard we saw when we were cycling along the road from "rome". after a long bike ride from "rome" to the port city of "chivitevechia" (spelling) in the middle of the summers heat, we arrived like six vagabonds, at first the "officer of the watch", wouldn't let us onboard, as we didn't have any means of identification,and on this particular ship you needed to have "top security clearance" to get onboard and by this time we were as dirty as "sin", the six of us were all the same pretty dishevelled, dressed in cycling clothes, with a bike each. all with an untidy-growth of whiskers, as nobody had any shaving kit with them.
we were famished , wanted to get onboard for a shower, some clean gear, it took about an hour before some-one came who recognised us : who was there that i knew but "terry" and was he a welcomed sight.
he took us down to his mess made sure we had a meal, shower, clean clothes, made us all welcome into the mess decks, got us a hammock for the night, and really made every-ones trip back to our ship as easy as it could be.
the :girdle ness" took us to meet our own ship, they transferred us at sea , then off we went to "lebanon" with the "us fleet" to fix the trouble out in this country.
that was the last time that i saw "terry" i did hear from him some time ago, he had been in-contact with the forces re-united site, and they had managed to track down all the trainees that had been in out class almost 50 years ago, except for two guys, who we still haven't been in contact with.
so thank you again to the management team' idris welch.
ps. i live in brisbane australia now.
3 balaton street riverhills brisbane qld 4074Doug Welch