One of the memories I have which is very strong (probably because she never lets me forget it) is of bringing my wife, Pat, onboard during the lay-up in Gib during the Christmas of 1968: the electricians were in a broadside mess slightly forward of the canteen and one deck down, below the 'main drag'. As I told you, we shared a 'split' mess with the Booties...and what fun we had watching them try to kill each other! Seriously , I had a few great mates amongst them. Anyway, Pat came onboard on Chrimbo day and was sat at the mess table, as guest of honour, and when the tots went round and it was her turn she offered the glass to the Boss (S/Lieut. Barry Worsfold) and said, very loud and clearly, "Have a wet"! Pat had celebrated her 21st birthday in Gibraltar, ashore in the bars and restaurants along Main Street, with me and some 20 odd matelots so the lads had 'adopted' her by Christmas Day and fell about laughing. As for Barry, well, he and the Chief 'R' Mech and Chief Electrician all had their own bottles of 'neaters' which went round the mess - and Pat had her share of that too. She would tell you that her old man got pissed and fell asleep under the fore-cannon after having been ejected (politely) from the Wardroom, by the Jimmy, where we had been invited in by Barry W. for a drink. Barry and a Midshipman got a bollocking, I got pissed...and Pat missed her Christmas dinner! She's never really forgiven me for that.


John Jones.



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