I joined the Royal Navy on Tuesday 6th February 1979 at HMS Raleigh in Torpoint Cornwall.


I can still remember the feeling of trepidation as I left home for the first time at the tender age of 17 and caught the train down to Plymouth. At Plymouth Station we were met by a man in naval uniform who directed us to a waiting bus. The bus then took us the short journey to the Torpoint Ferry, where we waited, sheltering against the wind and rain, until we could board the ferry for the short trip across to Torpoint. Another short bus ride later and we had arrived at a rather futuristic looking New Entry building.

It was all rather strange at first, lots of different people all telling us things we didnít understand. Uniform issue and haircuts before starting to meet our new class mates. This was the start of 8 weeks of intensive Basic Training. Our class was Anson 06†† and after the initial week of New Entry, we were moved to Lefanu Quadrangle into Anson Division where we learnt how to wash and iron our kit, bull shoes

Some of the class didnít make it. Naval life is not for everyone and two trainees from my entry opted for Premature Voluntary Release (PVR) and a couple also got Discharged Unsuitable During Training (DUDT).


After many kit musters, fitness tests, assault courses and exams, I finally passed out of Basic Training. It would be fair to say, I didnít enjoy Raleigh and was mightily relieved to have successfully completed it.

Anson 06 Passing out on 16th March 1979

Ö and so it begins