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50th Anniversary Reunion
Odes to S32
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The following odes were written specially for the 50th anniversary reunion:

An Ode to S32 by David Thomas

Can it be two score years and ten
Have elapsed since now and then?
As we all quite high in trepidation
Detrained at Plymouth's North Road Station!

And did we by bus or truck make merry
First clank the Tamar on Torpoint's ferry?
And did we then start to find new mates
As we whisked in silence through Fisgard's gates?

Those first four weeks have a dreamy hue
As from coloured civvies we morphed into blue
We marched and marched, made smart like buttons
And endlessly stitched names in red cottons

DO's, sprogs, hooks and gobby lockers
New words, routines and other shockers
Like backward swimmers, and Ah! Defaulters
Working parties, trailer pumps and duty watches

Then dawned at last that longed for day
We left those gates and made our way
To Plymouth town and, yes, up Union Street
For pretty Janner girls to meet

Black buttoned serged and double breasted
With caps brand new, black shoes untested
But pride was dented as we beat to quarters
We realised we looked like railway porters

Then to craft training replete with smiles
Planes, hammers, chisels and those bastard files
With bloodied knuckles our smiles soon slid
With bench top sermons from copper sulphate Sid

Through school and factory, by branch divided
Brass buttoned our Cornish time soon ended
As jocks and janners, taffs and paddies too
On uncertain winds were scattered to part two

Now all those years between yield countless tales
We can regale, swing lamps and down more ales
But stop, ponder and for a minute think
How our world has changed in one quick blink

Chips, once came fried with fish in packets
Now reside in snazzy phones inside our jackets
And do our bidding from desk and screen
Right around the planet on waves unseen

And from our comics did we think so soon
To see men in space and walk on the moon?
Explore the planets, see landers on Mars
And start to reach towards the stars

By land and air we now travel unheard of miles
Gas guzzling whilst quite wreathed in smiles
Then up springs Global Warming, we're on the spot
It seems we're melting our small blue dot

Our Navy too clearly has been on a diet
Or did it somehow catch bulimia on the quiet?
Join and see the world was our refrain
Yet how many now will see the Spanish Main?

Now too in sadness pause, lament, be heavy hearted
And salute those term mates dear departed
Five known so far, from we who bye and bye
Will join them at both watches in the sky

But hey as this doggerel ends, give thanks
To Trevor for organising such jolly pranks
So raise your glasses and to Wadders cheer
As if we needed excuses to down more beer

To all our ladies and those jetted from afar
You do us honour, so let's have another jar
And finally, stand, lift glasses you and you
Let's salute ourselves Series Thirty Two

S32 CITATION by Sam Barnett


We were born into a world war
We had ID cards and ration books
We had orange juice and cod liver oil and even polio sugar lumps
We experienced air raid shelters
We are older than the NHS and the Welfare State
We are older that the state of Israel, Bangladesh and many other countries
We arrived before mass TV and space travel
We survived the winter of '47 without central heating
We have known two monarchs, many prime ministers and popes
We had Dick Barton Special Agent, Journey into Space and even Muffin the Mule!
We had short trousers and leather footballs, heavy when wet.
We played conkers and built dens
We went to school long before comprehensives
We learned to read and write and do mental arithmetic
We graduated to drainpipes and DA's in the Teddy Boy era
We were the original rock and rollers
We joined the RN when Elvis started his national service in Germany
We survived Asian Flu.


We signed on until we were 30 years of age
We sent home our civvies and name our gear
We had housewives before we were married
We feared 4 class and went down to the decks every morning
We were tipped out and hung from the beams
We cleaned everything including the bogie stoves
We sprogged and did lobs and teased our civvy gobbies
We stood by our vices in Cownden's Kingdom
We knew chopper Jarvis, **** Harris and more, and we could still weld a toolbox to the bench
We steered clear of the padre
We thought a high tide had left a Kon Tiki raft on the parade ground
We had an urge to steal goats
We were 'taxi drivers', they were 'milk churns'
We were paid 3/6d a day if we were lucky
We could bash a goss and double a grommet
We had our first doeskin suit
We shared the fleas down the bug hutch in Torpoint and went on the ferry for a penny
We could parade to Antony but not drink legally in the pub even at 18
We sailed the seas at Jupiter Point and even did Plymouth to Fowey


We moved on to Hampshire and Scotland
We met 12 class and started again
At Collingwood we beat the goons in the riots
We bought new No 1s designed to order
We eventually got back to civvies
We lived on Spack's Snacks
We could do a decoke and strip a carb
We explored girls and could undo a bra or suspender with one hand!
We knew the meaning of Espirit de Corps by now
We finally made it into the Navy
We dispersed across the globe from Suez to Hong Kong
We did Beira Patrol and bought rabbits in Aden
We explored Bugis Street and much more
We lost contact but always knew our series
Our training kept the ships on the move and aircraft in the air
We washed down the last tot


We served with commitment to the service and our families
Sadly not all our class have made it this far
Now we have ills and pills and more than one pension but we motor on
We are members of a 'CAN DO' generation