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Latest Submissions

 

tomjeanpierce's picture

Recollections of a Veteran

From: 23189256 Cpl Tom Pierce, Plant Troop 7, 28 Field Squadron Royal Engineers I was amongst the select National Servicemen who went to Christmas Island in about June 1956, an advance party were there ahead of our rented Greek Troopship named the Charlton Star. We boarded the Troopship at Southampton and sailed to the Azores, the Panama, Hawaii and then to Christmas Island, it took 14 days.

Chatty's picture

The Collector

It had been one of those crazy type of days that reared its ugly head now and again. A whole bunch of RE’s were due to depart the Island in a few days so the beers were flowing, and the goodbyes were taking place. A bit early for goodbyes really but if it could be stretched out all the better. That gave you more than enough reason to see a drop off. It was a tradition to ensure that a large departure of personnel received a good send off. I can’t recall who was going, but it was sufficient to warrant a decent farewell party. On these occasions a Send Off Party was always arranged.

Chatty's picture

Hooked on fishing

Yorkie and I, although not your actual “Rex Hunts” of this world, (a world renowned fisherperson) knew a little bit about fishing. Mainly the art of trace making and “Can Casting”. We had all the tools and equipment required to make any trace required to catch any kind of “Piscatorial Plonker” willing to latch on to our handiwork. We used to get visits from all sorts of potential fishermen for advice or assistance, but the one that sticks in my mind is the visit from “the Matelot”.

Chatty's picture

The Twynam Fan Dance

Not really as exotic as it sounds. This is just a short story about how to keep your cool. In “Thing Remembered” Bob mentions “Flash table-lamps and electric fans in your bed space.” How true. As with the Cinema hat, having just a simple lamp or fan wasn’t enough. The lights came in various sizes, shapes capabilities and degrees of safety. However, this tale isn’t about lights, it’s about fans and the very memorable Fan Dance. If I recall correctly there were five of us in our Twynham.

Chatty's picture

Anybody for a game of………Part 2

That’s the two deadly sporting pursuits dealt with, now let’s concentrate on the more sedate sporting activities carried out on the “Rock”. Firstly I’ll bypass the table tennis. Not many people partook of this curse of the sweat glands. So what next? Snooker. This sport has always been one of my favourites. Watching more than playing, but I’ll give anything a try. Christmas Island Snooker was, no doubt, only to be successfully played by either the colour blind or idiots. Maybe, a long time ago, before the rays of the sun had done the dastardly deed, snooker was a pastime worth pursuing.

Chatty's picture

Anybody for a game of………Part 1

Sport. What sport you may ask? Football, cricket, fishing. All well known outdoor sporting activities. Table tennis, snooker, darts, and my favourite contact sport, 1 aside dominoes. I’ll cover them briefly in order of appearance. Football was played by most (leave me out) fit young men on the Island. However, these fit young men could be reduced to quivering wrecks when playing against the “Gilbertese 11”. It was a ritualistic form of blood letting.

Bob Morrison's picture

It Was Just Before Christmas........

......... When a really hot rumour began to circulate around Port Camp in 1963. Now - rumours were not unknown on The Rock, and every crazy notion known to mankind was circulated as Gospel - honest! You soon got to know that 99% were probably a figment of the fevered imagination of a Rock happy blue-job - no squaddie would ever start such silly tales!. But this story, particularly at this time of the year when wives, girl-friends and family were in our thoughts more than usual, had a certain element of spice in it that made us hope that it might just be true, after all, it was possible.

Chatty's picture

"Mack the knife"

While having a quick read through the stories so far, and thinking which disaster to about write next, it suddenly dawned on me that the "Prof" wasn't the only disaster area. It must seem blatantly obvious to anyone reading these stories that I wasn't the safest person to be round. This short story adds to that perception. Sunday. We all troop off down to the jetty to clamber aboard the M.F.V. (see photo ) to go fishing. This vessel was crewed by our friends the Naval Detachment. The “crew” usually consisted of two matelots, the coxswain and the engineer.

Bob Morrison's picture

Things Remembered

Swimming at Virg Inn. ** The lung-stifling pong driving past the S**t lagoon. Stickies in the afternoon.** Fishing at the Spit - incredibly easy to catch anything. Watching the massive waves at Bensons Point. Blue Lagoon downpours. Spear-fishing in the big lagoon with sharks around. Tombola nights at the RE Club. My mate Bruce rambling on and on and on about his Kharman Ghia!. Being dive-bombed by Gooneybirds whilst fishing.** Pacific sunsets. Hiding from Freddie.

Chatty's picture

No guts in this engine!

As any one who has read “The Greystone Phenomenon 2” will know, we were given our own trailer mounted pump. It was our most prized possession. Kid glove treatment was the order of the day as far as that little beauty went. One day, not too long after we’d got the pump, a job arose at the airfield tank farm that was made for the pump. By this time, we’d increased our transport fleet by the tune of one old Austin 1 Tonner. It was a brilliant old vehicle. It could outrun the “Snowdrop’s” vehicles by at least 10 mph.