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View Article  David Hughes RM22561 Rtd

David Hughes RM22561 Rtd

Initial Posting

(scroll down for latest/updates)

It was around autumn last year that I bumped in to David via Email. He took on the role of Chief Editor and Poster for my other website "Locknload". Many of you would have read his wordsworth qualities and he didnt suffer fools gladly, especially those involved with the establishment. Hence his "handle" Gong Donkey.......

David was battling with severe Liver problems and in the early part of 2011 a transplant became available and he came out of that a lot luckier than most. His health gradually improved and he was in fighting spirit and enjoying life to the full. His daily ingestion of pharmaceuticals gradually diminished to a manageable amount. Gail constantly by his side and putting up with his "Gripes".......

A few weeks ago he was taken in to hospital re an unexpected Brain Aneurism. He called me via his cell phone last Wednesday 3rd hoping to get back home last weekend and was "edging nearer to the door"... I received a call from his wife Gail on Monday 8th when she told me that David had collapsed in hospital over the weekend and was basically on life support.

Today having received another email via his sister Dawne to inform all his friends from his wife Gail that;

14th August

"Peter - can you please send a round robin for Gail for Dave Hughes please?
Dave is still in NICU on a ventilator - there are no changes in his very ill condition. It is going to be a long journey
Thank you
Dawne (Gail's sister) "

29th August

"Dave is now off the ventilator, and breathing on his own via a tracheostomy. He can see and hear all around but is unable to control himself from the neck down. Hopefully his movement etc will return as the days pass. Still tubed up but unable to speak. All his cards are most welcome and are shown and read to him, a wry smile appears but he has his good and bad days. Brain scans and Liver tests are due in this week sometime then we will know exactly what condition he is in. Keep sending the cards, letters etc as this does help him and keep him in touch with the outside world and that his mates and colleagues are thinking of him.
Many Thanks
Gail (Daves wife)

17th September (16:10)

He is still in Sheffield Hallamshire hospital but is starting to make a little progress , he has been off the machines now for a couple of weeks but its taken its toll, he has a trackie tube in his throat to enable him to breathe and every day or so they block it to allow him to talk to his wife but he is having trouble controlling his breathing, what with every thing that was going on at the time when he was critical the doctors think he suffered a stroke on top of everything else which has left him with very little movement ( leg & fingers) i spoke to his son yesterday and the doc's are looking at transferring him back to a hospital near to his home which is a forward step as its about a 40 mile round trip every day for his wife and means that he doesnt need the specialist care that the Hallam provide its not great news Frank but at least he is fighting it.

17th September (23:26)

David has been transfered to Doncaster Royal Infirmary on C.C.U.ward now. He as been fed some light food & drinks todayThey have put a cuff in his trackie so he can talk a little. It is very tiring at times for him,but all positve & amove forward! Some  times he is confused &conversation drifts (doesnt make sense) but they say this can be quite normal after what he asbeen through. Its early days & a long hard journey lays ahead, but what agreat step forward in 24hrs!
Take care

8th October (03:46)

Dave moved into rehab on Monday,now the hard work begins. he is eating well and talking ok but softly sorry with the delay and update there doesn't seem to be enough hours in day at the minute!.
Take Care

16th December (17:56)

Dave now has his head back again (it now belongs to him) all is good apart from his hands and legs wont to do what he tells them to. Intense Physio is required for some time and am sure that he will shorten that as much as he is able to. So, eating, talking and watching the box and his lovely wife Gail will no doubt brighten up his Xmas. I would like to say that we all send our wishes for Xmas and the New Year. 

6th March (2012)

David is slowly coming round, still going thru intense Physio. As with James Cobby, time will be the great healer for both of them. Seeing as they are both determined the goals get ever nearer.

Keep the cards etc flowing to both of them and remind them that we are always around and thinking of them.

Foxnwolf comments;

David you old wrangler, remember it your fault that I am about to spend around £200k on a boat. You got me interested in the water at my age. So, you also remember that there is a spare seat for you, to the right of me on the Fly Bridge.......

For those of you who may have not yet sent cards, magazines etc This would now be a gesture to show that we care (any previous cards were gratefully received). Cards to David & Gail to the Address as follows;

Please keep the cards & letters flowing, to;

David & Gail Hughes

West Street

DN10 6DX

PMPT & Semper Fi.......
View Article  FORCES PENSIONS (update)


You may be interested in reading this petition and supporting it. 

The recent Forces Pension Society newsletter tells of an RPI/CPI e-petition which has been established hoping to reverse the Government's decision to link pension increases to CPI instead of RPI.  The Government will debate e-petitions that achieve 100,000 signatures, so please can you pass on the following link to ex-servicemen that you know in the hope that they'll sign it, as it affects all of us.  The link is:

View Article  Lieutenant-Colonel 'Pug' Davis

Lieutenant-Colonel 'Pug' Davis

Lieutenant-Colonel "Pug" Davis, who has died aged 87, was the founding father of the Special Boat Service, and won a DSC for a daring wartime rescue.

In the summer of 1944, Davis was off the Dalmatian coast in command of a flotilla of Landing Craft (Assault), or LCAs, based on the island of Vis. Several commando raids had been mounted on the coast of Yugoslavia in support of local partisans and, in early June, Davis landed a large raiding force on the mountainous and heavily defended island of Brac, which the Germans considered pivotal to their defence of the mainland.

In addition to a large number of Tito's partisans, the force included men from 43 Commando Royal Marines (RM) and 40 Commando RM. After four days of heavy fighting and numerous casualties, including the death of their commanding officer, the main body of commandos was forced to withdraw.

On June 5 Davis landed reinforcements, but the next day these were ambushed and only 12 men returned to the shore. Davis, waiting in his LCA, seized the initiative and organised the first five men to reach the beach into a search party, arming them with rifles.

He recovered the force's heavy weapons, which had run out of ammunition, and sent them back to Vis. Then, without waiting for any more commandos or their officers, he set off to the village where the ambush had been staged. After a two-hour climb he found a wounded officer, who had been left for dead, and evacuated him safely back to the beach. He was awarded a DSC for his initiative and courage far beyond the call of duty.

Peter George Davis was born in Paddington, west London, on December 9 1923, the son of Solly Davis, who had won an MC in the First World War. At Highgate School Peter was a member of the cadet force, and one of the masters, a retired Royal Marine, inspired him to enlist in the Corps in 1942.

After training at Chatham and in the use of landing craft, Davis was sent to command RM Flotilla 561 in the Adriatic. He soon acquired the nickname "Pug", though it was unclear whether this derived from his initials, his stocky build, his prowess at boxing or his tenacious leadership.

Postwar, several "private armies" of Royal Marines – including the innocuous-sounding Royal Marine Boom Patrol Detachment (of which Davis was commanding officer) – were rationalised into the Combined Operations Beach and Boat Section, or COBBS.

COBBS inherited a hoard of weaponry from the war but, at least initially, consisted of only a handful of men commanded by Davis, and was restricted to giving demonstrations of its potential. Davis, however, had higher ambitions, and in 1951 (by which time COBBS had been renamed Small Raids Wing) he and six men successfully held up an Army "advance" through southern England, when they paddled undetected up the Thames and painted a sign on a bridge at Pangbourne: "Wot no bridge?" This showed, the umpires decreed, that for exercise purposes the bridge had been blown up and could not be used.

Davis was sent to Germany to set up the RM Demolition Unit of the Rhine Flotilla, intended to deny the Russians any means of crossing the Rhine, and to become a stay-behind force in the event of a Soviet invasion. On Davis's suggestion his team was renamed the 2nd Special Boat Section (2SBS), while 1SBS remained in England. Later several sections were formed – each comprising an officer and a dozen or so men, some of which operated behind enemy lines in Korea.

Davis was sent to Malta from 1952 to 1954 to create a Special Boat Section to support 42 Commando Royal Marines, and this became 6SBS, which operated in the eastern Mediterranean.

The headquarters of the SBS moved to Poole in late 1954, when it was retitled the SB Wing. Meanwhile Davis became, from 1957 to 1959, senior Royal Marines officer in the carrier Eagle. When he took command of the SB Wing (1959-61) it had expanded to the size of a rifle company and was called the Special Boat Company, under the operational command of the Joint Services Amphibious Warfare Centre (JSWAC).

In 1962-63, during the Confrontation (when Indonesia threatened the newly formed Federation of Malaysia), Davis was a company commander in 40 Commando RM. Deployed from the carrier Albion, he landed by helicopter deep in the jungle with "Pugforce", a amalgam of Royal Marines, Ghurkhas, Sarawak Rangers and Iban trackers. On his first operation, Davis set up an ambush near Miri in northern Sarawak, without result; the next day he captured a number of rebels.

Davis served at HQ Plymouth Group RM in 1964-65 and then returned to Albion as Amphibious Operations Officer (1965-67).

In 1968 he went back to Poole as the second-in-command of JSWAC, and on his rapid promotion he moved to the Joint Warfare Establishment at Old Sarum to teach amphibious warfare doctrine. He retired in 1971.

While with the US Navy Underwater Demolition Team in 1961, Davis was invited to parachute from a helicopter. Previously he had jumped from an aircraft only with a static line, but to show willing and to give his American hosts the impression that he was game for anything, Davis accepted. However, he misunderstood the pre-flight briefing that he should pull his ripcord before passing 3,000ft and, as he plunged towards earth, did not hear the frenzied cries of: "Pull the cord, you son of a bitch!"

At the last moment his parachute opened and he floated to the ground, unaware of the commotion he had caused. The jumpmaster rushed to greet Davis, asking: "Are you all right, sir? We all thought you'd bought it, as you hadn't pulled by a thousand." Unharmed, Davis answered serenely: "Oh no, that's perfectly all right, we Royal Marines never pull above a thousand feet."

In retirement Pug Davis was a vice-chairman of the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen, an active supporter of the Bournemouth Reform Synagogue, and a chairman of the Royal Marines' Association.

He died on August 18, and is survived by his wife, Janet, and their two sons.

Foxnwolf comments;

I never met him at all but he is one of those Men you wish you had.

PMPT & Semper Fi.......
View Article  "THe Final Turn." Headley Way... Repat Parade

Roy Rigg of the Windsor RMA (RM 16245)

Roy is a close Oppo` of Rod (Terry) Spinks (16246)

View Article  HMS Illustrious back June 3rd - Life is breathed back in Lusty

HMS Illustrious returns to sea June and rejoins the fleet in July

Contrary to reports, she can still be used to fly jets. The only real physical change during the refit was the ammunition racks, which is a work-able change. 

She's also a bargain - £35m to run for the next four years. 

Life is breathed back in Lusty

23 May 2011

AFTER a £40m revamp, Britain’s only aircraft carrier will return to sea on June 3 to start down the year-long road back to front-line duties.

HMS Illustrious hasn’t been seen at sea since the beginning of 2010 when she sailed to Rosyth for a 16-month refit in the hands of Babcock.

Lusty was due to emerge from her refit as the nation’s strike carrier, taking over from HMS Ark Royal.

Last autumn’s defence review put the kibosh on those plans – and saw Ark axed as well as her Harriers. The review also meant Illustrious’ refit plans had to be re-drawn.

Instead of returning from Rosyth as a Harrier carrier, she’ll return to business as a helicopter assault ship, relieving HMS Ocean.

It took a couple of months following October’s review to incorporate the changes into Lusty’s refit, but since the turn of the year in particular, the ship has been a hive of activity.

When 2011 opened there were just 150 ship’s company (fewer than a quarter of her typical complement) living ashore at nearby HMS Caledonia.

Numbers quickly doubled and, with work sufficiently progressed and ‘domestic functions’ working once more – heating, lighting water, galleys – the sailors moved back on board on February 22  to the sound of pipe and drum.

“At that moment Lusty began to come alive once more,” said Cdr Richard Winter, the carrier’s weapon engineer officer.

Since then the ship’s company has almost doubled in size again – it’s nearly 600-strong now, just 50 or so short of the normal complement – with Capt Jerry Kyd joining as Commanding Officer from Ark Royal.

Work carried out since the revamp began early last year includes super-efficient paint applied to the hull which will mean the 20,000-ton warship will cut through the ocean faster – cutting her fuel bill in the process.

Living quarters have been spruced up, the latest MOD computer system (DII) fitted throughout the ship – no mean task as Illustrious was designed in the pre-personal computer age – 500m (1,640ft) of pipework replaced, plus 650 valves and all eight exhausts.

All well and good, but all that technology and equipment is no good without Jack and Jenny. Lusty’s sailors have been conducting extensive training: fire and flood, duty watches, firearms, personal protection, engineering trials, machinery brought back to life, the ops room, flight deck and hangar restored to normal.

At the same time Illustrious’ soul has been revived by personalising mess spaces, sporting activities, morning prayers and Sunday services, and the daily rituals of Colours and Sunset.

More than 200 Sea Cadets (including 71 in one go) have toured the carrier, as well as local VIPs and school children.

“The message from everyone aboard HMS Illustrious is clear – despite what you may read or hear: Lusty is on her way back to the Fleet,” said Cdr Winter.

“A nearly-600-strong ship’s company is working extremely hard to ensure that Illustrious sails from Rosyth on June 3rd for sea trials before rejoining the Fleet at the end of July.

“No doubt many people will be pleased to see Lusty back in her home port, proud and ready to serve the nation once again.”

After the initial period of trials and return to the Solent, Illustrious will be alongside until the autumn when rigorous trials and training begin in earnest.

She’s due to take over from Ocean as the nation’s on-call helicopter carrier from the summer of 2012.

Illustrious' ship's company move back on board. Picture: LA(Phot) Dean Nixon, HMS Illustrious

View Article  An Ungentlemanly Act.......x 12 episodes (update)

All 12 episodes of "An Ungentlemanly Act" have been moved over to Foxnwolf.com as there was far too much of a drain on data transfer from this blog site. I have placed the links below which will direct you to Foxnwolf and play the episode you wish to watch.

Otherwise just go to the "Tribute" section on Foxnwolf.com and check the links in the top left column under "Royal Marines" I have placed an extra section there for this great series concerning the Bootnecks & the Argies.

View Article  RMA Update

RMA Update



Please look on the new RMA website and see the new merchandise: mugs, sweatshirts and ladies trinket boxes amongst other things.  Please remember that to the RMA we cover the costs of the items and VAT.





“The last significant celebration of the formation of the Royal Marines was the Tercentenary in 1964 when 25 national and regional events took place throughout the year.  You will be pleased to know that planning is already under-way for celebrating our 350th anniversary in 2014 under the banner “RM 350”..  The purpose of this short note is to alert all elements of the Corps family as to what we are planning and to allow the discussions and planning outside of my HQ to start.  My intent is to integrate the range of events undertaken by the wider Corps community into our programme of centrally organised events (both one-off anniversary events and our enduring annual events).  Central activities will be organised by the RM/RN major events team (headed up by Lt Col Eddie Parks); with regional events organised by individual units and organisations.


Enclosed are some notes about our thoughts so far.  I look forward to seeing these develop and blossom over the next 3 years..  I would ask that RM 350 themes should reflect the present and future as well as our history and I would encourage an inclusive attitude for all parts our Corps Family (Serving, Retired/Veterans, Reservists, Cadets and families) and our wider partners; inter alia, the RN, USMC and RNLMC.  You should also consider how best to use the events to fundraise for our Royal Marines charities.  Many of you will need to start planning fundraising events now in order to celebrate in style in 2014.


I wholeheartedly commend this venture to you all.  Please take the time to read the attached notes which provide more details and talk to Eddie about your intended RM 350 events and activities (see Enclosure 1 for details).”


By Charlie:  I am sorry but I cannot put the notes on the REPNET, due to the size of them.  However I would be grateful if you have any ideas you for the 350th that you do not relay them to me just yet.  We will run a 350th stall at Reunion where the plans will be available for all to see.  So if you could think about what you would like to do nationally, regionally and locally then we will take stock at Reunion.


If you are not coming to Reunion then please do feel free to write in with your ideas to me.  I must insist that these are written as they will go to the coordinating office for all events.  However this much I can tell you:


There will be some major events in London where the RMA will be represented at them all.  The theme is the Corps Family and these will be centrally organised.


Then there will be local events that will be organised locally by a combination of the Serving Corps and RMA.  These events can bid for resources to support, but self help is the watchword.


Once the outline plan is agreed by CGRM for the central events in London I will promulgate them to you.  Please do not come to me with ideas before July as I will not have time to staff them before then.  We do still have three years left to organise the year.


(originator "Charlie Hobson")
View Article  Submarine Astute Update

You will almost certainly have heard by now of the horrific shooting incident that occurred onboard HMS ASTUTE alongside in Southampton last Friday which resulted in the death of the WEO (Lt Cdr Ian Molyneux), the serious wounding of the MEO (Lt Cdr Chris Hodge), and the arrest of a member of the ship’s company on several counts of murder and attempted murder. I have no doubt that you have been as shocked as I was by the occurrence and I thought that you might appreciate a little background and perspective against which to frame your understanding of what occurred and how it is now being managed.......

Full Report/Update.......
View Article  Bootneck Hero

Shopkeeper praised by judge for 'bravery'

A shopkeeper who fought off a masked knife-wielding robber has been praised by a judge.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that Edward McGinnis, 68, pulled the scarf hiding the attacker's face, hit him with a baseball bat and drove him out of the store in Bo'ness.

The lawyer defending Stephen Garven, said: "He commendably took the law into his own hands."

Lord Malcolm said Mr Mcginnis had responded with "admirable bravery".

Start Quote Micheal Stuart Prosecuting

Mr McGinnis pulled at the scarf to uncover the accused's face before striking him on the body with a baseball bat which he retrieved from behind the counter”

End Quote Micheal Stuart Prosecuting

Jailing Garven, 22, for four years, the judge told him: "Mr McGinnis responded with admirable bravery by pulling the scarf from your face, ignoring the large knife you were brandishing and chasing you off with a baseball bat."

At an earlier hearing, the High Court in Edinburgh was told that Mr McGinnis had been unable to stop Garven fleeing with £170, but his actions had enabled police to recognise Garven's face from the store's CCTV security camera.

Defence advocate Derrick Nelson said Mr McGinnis also recognised Garven as a customer at the shop.

The lawyer said, Garven was desperate because he was being hounded over a drug debt and threatening messages had been left on the telephone answering machine at his mother's house.

Garven appeared from custody and admitted the raid on the Hillcrest Store in Bo'ness, West Lothian, on 4 December last year.

Advocate depute Michael Stuart, prosecuting, told the court how Mr McGinnis was left in charge of the family-run shop.

During the afternoon a man bought tobacco while Garven lurked outside.

When Mr McGinnis opened the till to give the customer change, Garven rushed in yelling to the shopkeeper not to close the till and brandishing a kitchen knife.

'Dire straights'

Garven then leaned over and grabbed a handful of £10 and £20 notes.

The court heard that the accused wore a black scarf which covered his neck and face to just below the eyes.

Mr Stuart said: "Mr McGinnis pulled at the scarf to uncover the accused's face before striking him on the body with a baseball bat which he retrieved from behind the counter."

When police caught up with Garven he told them he was in "dire straights" because he owed £650 to drug dealers in Glasgow.

When he realised that police were after him he panicked and threw the cash and the clothes he had been wearing into the sea.

The court heard that Garven had a record for break-ins and also has previous convictions for assault and carrying weapons.

Eds Local News

Foxnwolf comments;

Well done Eddie. Polish it up for the next one.......

click here for your baseball bat from £25.99 including vat for 33inches of Canadian Ash & American Maple = "bloody hard bat"

View Article  Roger Tyack, former RSM (updated 26th april)

This is to confirm that the Standards will be required and that the Exhortation, together with the Last Post and Reveille will delivered

It is with regret I have to inform you that Roger Tyack, former RSM in the Corps passed away at 05:50 hours on Friday 15th April 2011.

The funeral of the late Roger Tyack is on Tuesday 3rd May 2011 at 10:00 hours at;

Barham Crematorium
Canterbury Road (A260)

Tel; 01227 831 351
Fax; 01227 830 258

View Article  Make Forces Pensions Past & Present Tax Free
A request that I received

Tez Watson, RAF Rtd

Dear Peter

A friend of both you and I, Keir Hardie (RM ret'd) suggested that I contact you to see if you might be willing to help the above cause by publicising it through your network of contacts/websites.

A recent post - He took a job knowing he would never get rich. He's missed out on many holidays and special occasions in order to protect lives. He was expected to lay down his life or take a life if necessary. It has been proven that his life expectancy is shorter than yours because of everything he went through. And some think he's not deserving of his pension, or health care benefits. (This also applies to service ladies, of course.)

Mick Clarke an ex-RLC Sergeant has had a pretty rough time of it and is suffering badly from the consequences of his long service career. He has found life very tough since being leaving the mob and started the cause on Facebook to try and help others like him as much as for his own benefit. There are many ex-servicemen and women that deserve better having given so much for their country (and other countries!) and they seem to be at the bottom of the heap when it comes to support from the government - the druggies, the  spongers and the scroungers seem to fare much better having given nothing...

The aim is to try and recruit 100,000 members and then try to convert them a quickly as possible to signatories to a Westminster petition (once it is launched). The window for the e-petition is limited and if it can get 100,000 signatories then apparently a question must be raised in parliament. We also would like to locate well-known faces that have a military career/background be they sports/media/entertainment/politics/etc - anyone willing to help to bring the cause the attention of the media.

I have suggested that a formal parade of ex-servicemen could be organised in London (taking the route of the Remembrance Day parade) - though given recent peaceful protests being hijacked I'm not so sure. However, it could be possible and the event could pay it's respects to the fallen as it would pass the Cenotaph. It may not be easy to mobilise ex-servicemen but if there's a potential financial benefit to them all it may just prove possible.

For my part I served in the RAF for 21 years as an aircraft technician reaching the dizzy heights of Sergeant in 1989 and serving on until 1997. I saw this cause and decided to get involved as I am fit (?) and able unlike many of our former colleagues.

Please take a moment to visit this website and if you can assist in any way, no matter how small your support would be much appreciated.


Kindest Regards

Tez Watson

Foxnwolf comments;

Thanx Tez for contacting me, I fully support this cause (not that I need the cash but for rightly those that do) If there is anything else you want me to post just let me know.......

PMPT & Semper Fi.......

View Article  Marine James Cobby

Marine James Cobby

A young lad critically injured June 2011 in a fall
from the Tarzan Course at CTCRM

(scroll down for all updates in date order)

29th Jan` 2012

He is still in a bad way and is still bedridden with little prospect of recovery at this stage.  He was in a coma for yonks and is of course very weak ...
"We have to remember that James was injured last year and has been close to being in a 'permanently vegetative state' during all this time". James is becoming more forgotten and is now confined in a ward, in a hospital, on the other side of London from his parents who visit him every day.

Many thanx for the above info/update from Alan Nicholson RM Rtd via Rod Spinks RM Rtd

Foxnwolf comments;

I called the hospital concerned and spoke to James mother who was by his bedside. Mother and Father (Ian) alternate visits for hours, 7 days a week. You may have received an email with James contact details and tel #. By all means send cards etc to James but hold off on the phone calls. Either Janet or Ian have to take the call because James in his current state is unable to. So, we dont wish to add any further stress to the parents at this stage.

A visit by me personally to James is being organised for this week thru his parents and I will post an up to date "Sit-Rep" of James current situation and also what is being done for him, plus what else could be done for him.

Please send a "keep your pecker up" card by 1st class post to; (no flowers due to hospital H&S issues)

James Cobby (Royal Marines)
Cliveden Ward
Royal Hospital For Neuro Disabilities
West Hill, Putney
London, England

SW15 3SW

Further updates as and when I get them....... Then we can all takes things from there, one step at a time.......

1st Feb` 2012

I visited James and his loving family today at around 16:45hrs at the RNHB... It was heartbreaking and also made me feel so miniscule and helpless. An experience I shall never forget. A devoted family around James of which his mother Janet gives Physio for hours every day and Ian his father an ex matelot uses the more "get a grip approach" in a way that only family could. Support from other members of the family are totally unconditional and James does react in small ways by a twitch of his eyes or a slight movement of his fingers which shows improvement however slight.

Its going to be a long, long road to recovery but his age and his determination will get him and his family there. I aim to visit James once or twice a week for a few hours on a regular basis whilst my business allows. I hope to take "Looey" my Shitzu along on some visits to try and boost James reaction and touch/feel reactions.

Please send James a card of sorts. Knowing that friends are around him will help his recovery. And, that is to get his brain and circuit/pathways working again. I hope to meet (along the way) some of his friends from "Hunter" company and the warrant officer tasked with his well being. I will update you further as time goes by.......

James has full support of RM and is still on the payroll, as soon as he can lift a spoon and get out and about on a pair of sticks it`ll be off to Headley Court where surrounded by oppos and again, the best of care. He will then improve ten fold. Meanwhile this hospital is the best place for him.......  (RM29918)

2nd Feb` 2012

Popped along at 14:00hrs and left at 16:30hrs. Lots of interaction although in a small way. His mum and sister turned up as usual and kept up the daily physio of massaging his legs and arms etc. I just talked my head off and watched for responses of which there were two particular ones... (long blink with both eyes) or (straightening little finger of left hand) either of which shows approval or means yes. In James case, any improvement no matter how small is good for him....... (RM29918) 

4th Feb` 2012

Showed my face for a couple of hours again in the afternoon and brought a surprise along


This dog is better than a bottle of Vallium (in my case anyway), better than laying on top of a water tower next to a motorway somewhere. He is Loyal, Obedient and very loving. All you could want in a dog. Anyways am digressing a tad. Held Looey up to James field of vision and he certainly opened his eyes... (probably wondered) "what the **ck is that eyeballing me". Rested James hand on Looeys head for a few minutes. Gave him a RM Mug and Coaster and told him that I want to see him using that sometime soon.

8th Feb` 2012

Popped around today and said Hi to James. His mum Janet arrived a few minutes later and resumed James Physio. Two cards have arrived (and I thank those Rtd RM`s and their families for sending those). A return address would be good guys so that a "Thanx" can be sent sometime in the future (please put return addresses on your cards/envelopes). James had his I.T. therapy just as I left today. This checks his visual targets with what is being shown onscreen and he is able to acknowledge what he is able to see or understand. A long way to go but positive outcomes everytime.

I found out that his mum Janet is a Marathon runner and has already completed her 190th Marathon, my God... I can see where James gets his determination from. If any of you do Marathons look out for the name of "Janet Cobby" as she definately deserves a medal (and under 4 hrs most of the time). No, Janet is not a professional (its a hobby!?!?).

Come on folks, get the cards rolling in for his birthday (20th). Whether their late it does not matter. Scroll up for the full postal address...

This family makes you feel kind of... Humble and inadequate...

15th Feb` 2012

James was just in his chair sitting outside his room when I arrived this afternoon as staff were just finishing cleaning his room. I wheeled him in to his corner of the room and flicked on the TV for him. I think James is a fan of "Lady GaGa"... as all else paled in to insignificence when she came up on the Music Channel, typical bootneck. That tells me that something is clicking behind those bright eyes of his.......

By the way THANK YOU... to you folks who sent Birthday Cards and a BIG THANK YOU to John Farlie RM Rtd who visited James on his Birthday and also to two serving 40cdo who also turned up on the day. RM David Mitchell and one other (slip me your name as it was mislaid, sorry oppo)...

Also, the Birthday Cards were really welcome (those of you who left Tel #`s or return addresses hopefully may get a surprise from James one day)

Bob Carr RM Rtd
Dougie Jackson RM Rtd
John Kehoe RM Rtd (Carole & Family)
Michael Chaplin RM Rtd (Lowestoft RMA)
Steve N RM Rtd
And not forgetting the Staff & Members of the RMA

Quick reminder of James current location; (Consider a return address on your envelope or inside of card).

Please send a "keep your pecker up" card by 1st class post to; (no flowers due to hospital H&S issues)

James Cobby (Royal Marines)
Cliveden Ward
Royal Hospital For Neuro Disabilities
West Hill, Putney
London, England

SW15 3SW

22nd Feb` 2012

This concerns an email I received today. This is my reply;

I would like to add that The Corp "RM" (and its subsidiaries) including The Royal Neurological Hospita in Putney are supporting James and his family, FULLY in every way possible. The concern from Alan Nicholson RM Rtd and others were that not enough "messages/updates" on ground the level were getting out keeping the rest of us informed of James progress etc.

I wish to thank Alan for bringing James to my attention and because of this I visit James at least once a week of which you see the "sitreps" on this website. Cards and Pressies keep turning up (loads of thanx from James and his family). The Corp also purchased an iPad for James so that his parents can interact with him and improve his responses.

As far as I am concerned, Alan has no reason whatsoever to apologize or explain his comments concerning James to anyone. Its thru the efforts of diligent RM`s like Alan that certain issues pertaining to the Corp, we are all kept abreast of our family and friends who fall foul of illness or on hard times and I commend them for doing so. Therefore I have edited the initial information from Alan (at the top of this page). This for the few (i hope) that cant read between the lines and only see what they want to.

I hope that a few more of you can put yourself out and visit James and his family at the hospital, send cards and do something positive rather than complain or bitch about some elses opinion that one of our own may have fallen by the wayside. If I can, inbetween running my company, having 5 malignant tumors removed, my nephew dying in the US last year only 2 weeks after visiting me here in the UK and finally, my brother who was in a coma in Miami and had his life support turned off last Thursday by his son. We all have personal issues and excuses why we cant do something but thats all they are, excuses.......

Finally, the comment re James updates and medical information being posted (i gather that includes my sites). Having spoken with James family at the beginning when I first visited them at the hospital they are very happy that I give "basic" updates on my "visits" and keep everyone posted. So, you can take it that anything I post here or on my other website (Foxnwolf.com) concerning James is up to the minute and Kosher. I cant speak for any other webmasters/websites at all. Other sites can of course place links directly to mine.

So, lets "Get a Grip" and let others in the Corp who may be less fortunate than ourselves know that they are not alone. If you have any complaints (not that I care) about me, my comments etc then email me... Your support would be welcome though...

As you may or may not be aware, I do support the Corp and all it stands for.......

1st March 2012

Spent 3 hrs today with James alongside his mum and dad (Janet & Ian). James had quite an intense day today with his Physio and other challenges which are having a very positive effect on him. Because of other issues that I had I was unable to visit James for the past2 weeks and therefore having seen him yesterday and what he has acheived in such a short time is wonderful news (especially for his parents).

Simple requests concerning Word Recognition written and displayed in front of James has him acknowledging commands. There is still a long way to go but he is a determined young man.

More Thanx from James and his parents re "Get Well" cards etc

Alan Nicholson RM Rtd
Rod "Terry" Spinks RM Rtd (also thanx for the "Green Beret" Plaque)
Mike Mortimor RM Rtd
Gordon Fellows Army Rtd

9th March 2012

Visited James and his family again today for 3 hours it was going to be only a 2 hour visit but a most welcome surprise entered the ward at 15:00hrs. I quickly whisked off my baseball cap (old habits never die especially when God appears in front of you). Good job I had a #4 haircut earlier in the morning. I thought of dropping to my knees or clicking my heels together or even standing to attention.

I had to keep my diginity so, a strong handshake and a "Good afternoon Sir" was all thats was required when I was confronted by Major General Ed Davis OBE Commandant General Royal Marines and Commander Amphibious Forces CGRM/CAF. I was waiting for 40cdo to come thru the windows or be lining the corridors but no, as casual and unassuming as any of us could be but, as well as exuding authority as a person of his stature would there is also a deeply caring person who is concerned about his "Marines".

"Ed" is one of those RM`s that you immediately feel comfortable with and I reckon he feels at home just by being at home. I didnt get his autograph and no I didnt invite him out for a run ashore, if I met him again in different circumstances I definately would,
Run ashore I mean (not the autograph). Must remember to get his name stencilled on the back of the captains chair if I am that lucky.

I flittered in to the background as the welfare visit continued with James and his parents. Around 16:00hrs I made my escape and apologies to everyone, aiming for Tesco to do the weekend "beverage" shop and a couple of cans of "MRM" that they call Chicken for my pooch, Looey.......

With regards to cards, there were a few more but ran out of time to log the names etc so I will update these here on my next visit.

No, I have not washed my hands yet....... I am awaiting confirmation of access thru the Pearly Gates in Bootneck Heaven when the time comes before I do....... Just had a pull of my shirt cuff (Steve Newlands wants to know if he is guaranteed a place at the "Gates" as well).......

14th March 2012

Another few hours this afternoon with James and his mother Janet. It seemed to go rather quickly today after his routine of exercises. Janet then covered him with a blanket and on with his 40cdo baseball cap and we took him out in to the fresh Putney air with the sun blazing but still quite chilly. Had a refreshing walk around the hospital grounds / gardens. James obviously at leisure being pushed in his new wheel chair.  Quickly checked if any new cards had arrived. The extra cards that were out had been older ones which were removed at the request of the hospital but, later put back out again. Keep them coming guys & gals.......

22nd March 2012

James looked wide awake this afternoon when I paid my visit. His mum and sister on hand helping him with his excercises. A little improvement every time. A long haul is expected but every step is a positive one. App` James ate a small pot of yoghurt prior to me arriving, that is definately a plus seeing as since the accident happened he has and still is beening fed via tube.

Yet again, Thanx from James and his family as more cards have arrived

John Glaze Lt Col` RM Rtd
Bob Carr RM Rtd

These mean a lot to James and his family, seeing the support from all sides, keep them coming.

View Article  Falklands Yomp 2012
View Article  Censored Royal Marines pic (taken from Radiotimes.com)

Radio Times apologises after accidentally

printing indecent Royal Marines photo

Radio Times' bosses have issued an apology after the current issue accidentally included an indecent photograph.

The 28 January - 3 February issue of the listings magazine, that has just been published, features a photograph of a group of Royal Marines in which one Marine is exposing a part of his anatomy.

The magazine's staff failed to notice the rogue body part, which was in an image promoting a new Channel 5 documentary series.

However, eagle-eyed readers were quick to point out the error with one writing: "I know that British soldiers serving in Afghanistan are well equipped, but seeing the roll call of Royal Marines gives the expression a whole new meaning.”

An apology on radiotimes.com said: "It has come to our attention that an apparently innocent photo of the Royal Marines’ 42 Commando unit – printed by Radio Times in good faith and issued by Channel 5’s publicity department to promote the documentary 'Royal Marines: Mission Afghanistan' – contains the sight of one of the marines playing a prank.

"What we took to be the marine’s finger proved, on closer inspection, to be another part of his anatomy."

The magazine's editor Ben Preston added: "We apologise for any upset caused to readers by the rogue member of 42 Commando.”

Foxnwolf comments;

Ha, Ha... Love it. Keep up the good public relations Royal...

View Article  58 Troop, CTCRM, March 1974

58 Troop, CTCRM, March 1974

View Article  RM Anthony Horton, demobbed 1959, where are you now?

RM Anthony Horton
demobbed 1959
where are you now?

Address in 1959 was;

80, Redcliffe Square

Your good friend Brad Johnson has been trying to find you, contact the RMA in the UK on 02392 651 519
View Article  RM Ron Reilly, ex Recce Troop Signaller in 45 Cdo 92/93, where are you now?
RM Ron Reilly
ex Recce Troop Signaller in 45 Cdo 92/93
where are you now?

Your old oppo` RM Simon Arthy is trying to contact you personally to say "Thank You" for your enourmously generous contribution. Contact the RMA in the UK on 02392 651 519

View Article  'The Pork Pie Incident' by Rod Spinks Early 1963 1 Troop A Company Royal Marines

40 Royal Marine Commando

Based at Burma Camp Malaya

1962 to 1966

The Pork Pie Incident

Early 1963

1 Troop A Company 

While still at Burma Camp (1963) Major (Pug)  Davis DSC. SBS.  A   Companies C.O. walked into his office one morning to be confronted by a Pork pie that was sitting on his desk. Well as you can image the preverbal hit the fan, and within minutes he ordered the whole company to assemble outside. For those who are not aware Major Davis was at that time the only serving Jewish Officer in the corps.

Once the whole company was assembled Major Davis did not mince his words and demanded to know, what clown had place a PORK pie on his desk, no one said a word. Major Davis   went on to add that if the culprit  did not own up, then all shore leave including the outliers would be cancelled, until they did. To put it politely he went bloody mental.

Because of the threats made against all the comapny Rod Spinks finally raised his hand and admitted it was him.

Major Davis dealt with him in his way.

Quote Pug removed his Majors epilates and behind his wooden office we went, he hit me first then I got a few in and took a few back as Pug had been a boxer, then we shook hands and all was forgotten, that was Pug, a brilliant leader of men  and as I have said before the best officer I ever served under. We had just returned back from Borneo when we were told to report back to Burma Camp as we were shipping out again, all the outliers and ranks who were ashore had to get back pronto, I said to Pug, Sir I only have 2 weeks left before my 3 years are up and knowing my luck I could have not made it home so he said Spinks you will be on guard duty until you fly home, I'll  never forget this because I had a pussers new  BRASS cap badge and I was sitting on the steps outside the guardroom filing and rubbing this badge when one of the lad's said keep still Terry (my nickname) and a ferkin huge snake slithered down the steps and over my legs, nearly shite myself ha ha.

"The finest Officer the Corp's ever had may he now rest in peace"

The famous Cap Badge

Rod with former 40 Cdo. Marine, Mike 'Tug' Wilson who was in HQ Coy as one of the Ist RM Police. They met up again this year (2011) after 46 years, Mike is still recovering from a bad stroke 18 years ago, but he still has the Bootneck sense of humour!!

All photos from Rod Spinks

© Copyright Rod Spinks 2011....All Rights Reserved

Shared of the Soldiersoffthestreet site ..can...
Charlie Brindley 9:28am Dec 9
Can you help find his family ....so sad...
people we are looking for family members for this man so please pass on to any forces members clubs ect as we dont want this man to be buried by the i.o.w council ..
View Article  The Accidental Death of HMS Bulwark (1914)

The Accidental Death of HMS Bulwark (1914)

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 26th, 1914, Winston Churchill made the following statement to the House of Commons :

"I regret to say I have some bad news for the house. The Bulwark battleship, which was lying in Sheerness this morning, blew up at 7.35 o'clock. The Vice and Rear Admiral, who were present, have reported their conviction that it was an internal magazine explosion which rent the ship asunder. There was apparently no upheaval in the water, and the ship had entirely disappeared when the smoke had cleared away. An inquiry will be held tomorrow which may possibly throw more light on the occurrence. The loss of the ship does not sensibly affect the military position, but I regret to say the loss of life is very severe. Only 12 men are saved. All the officers and the rest of the crew, who, I suppose, amounted to between 700 and 800, have perished. I think the House would wish me to express on their behalf the deep sorrow with which the House heard the news, and their sympathy with those who have lost their relatives and friends."

HMS Bulwark, a battleship of 15,000 tons, was moored to No.17 buoy in Kethole Reach on the River Medway, almost opposite the town of Sheerness, Isle of Sheppy, Kent. It was one of the ships forming the 5th Battle Squadron. She had been moored there for some days, and many of her crew had been given leave the previous day. They had returned to the Bulwark at 7 o'clock that morning and the full complement was onboard. The usual ship's routine was taking place. Officers and men were having breakfast in the mess below deck, other were going about their normal duties. A band was practising while some men were engaged in drill. The disaster struck.

A roaring and rumbling sound was heard and a huge sheet of flame and debris shot upwards. The ship lifted out of the water and fell back. There was a thick cloud of grey smoke and further explosions. When the smoke eventually cleared, the Bulwark had sunk without trace.

The scene was described by an eye witness, who was onboard a ship nearby, to a local newspaper:

"I was at breakfast when I heard an explosion, and I went on deck. My first impression was that the report was produced by the firing of a salute by one of the ships, but the noise was quite exceptional. When I got on deck I soon saw that something awful had happened. The water and sky were obscured by dense volumes of smoke. We were at once ordered to the scene of the disaster to render what assistance we could. At first we could see nothing, but when the smoke cleared a bit we were horrified to find the battleship Bulwark had gone. She seemed to have entirely vanished from sight, but a little later we detected a portion of the huge vessel showing about 4ft above water. We kept a vigilant look-out for the unfortunate crew, but only saw two men."

HMS Bulwark

The explosion was heard in Whitstable, 20 miles away, and in Southend where the pier was shaken by the explosion but not damaged. Ships anchored off Southend holding German civilian prisoners also reported hearing the explosion. Residents in Westcliffe-on-Sea claimed they saw "a dense volume of greenish smoke which lasted for about ten minutes". The nearby areas of Sheerness and Rainham took the brunt of the blast with reports of damage to property being made. Rumour began to run wild amongst the residents. Some claimed it was the expected and feared Zeppelin raids commencing, others said that a periscope had been sighted and the Bulwark had been sunk by a submarine. 

Others thought that espionage had taken place and were on the look out for suspicious people in town. All these rumours were later discounted.

Boats of all kinds were launched from the nearby ships and shore to pick up survivors and the dead. Work was hampered by the amount of debris which included hammocks, furniture, boxes and hundreds of mutilated bodies. Fragments of personal items showered down in the streets of Sheerness. Initially 14 men survived the disaster, but some died later from their injuries. One of the survivors, an able seaman, had a miraculous escape. He said he was on the deck of the Bulwark when the explosion occurred. He was blown into the air, fell clear of the debris and managed to swim to wreckage and keep himself afloat until he was rescued. His injuries were slight.

None of the Bulwark's officers survived; although 11 of them were recovered for eventual burial.

Rescue work continued during the remainder of the week and on Saturday November 28th, an inquest was opened at the Royal Naval Hospital in Chatham. The Admiralty was represented by a local solicitor Mr. E. L. Baker. The Coroner informed the jury that the proceedings were to be kept to evidence concerning the identification of bodies, and that on occasions he may have to re-open the inquest for subsequent identification. By this time only 30 bodies had been recovered and 14 could be identified. These bodies were identified by Cooks Mate William Frederick Cooper who was on sick leave on shore at the time of the explosion. The Chief Surgeon at the Naval Hospital, Percy Minett, gave evidence that the cause of death to all of the 30 men was burns. He also stated that two of the original survivors, Private Gilbert Guy and Able Seaman Walter Crow had died the previous night from their injuries without making any statement.

The Coroner then adjourned the inquest until Wednesday, December 16th when it was hoped the results of the Admiralty Court of Inquiry would be available.

On Monday, November 30th, the funerals of 21 of the victims took place in the Naval Burial Ground at Woodlands Cemetery, Gillingham. The funeral procession left the Naval Hospital headed by the Royal Marines Band (Chatham Division). The bodies were conveyed in five lorries. Following the bodies were private mourners and a naval party. All along the route, signs of mourning were apparent and flags were flown at half mast. The funeral party was met at the cemetery by Read Admiral E. F. A. Gaunt and Flag Captain P. H. Colomb representing the Admiralty; the Commander-in-Chief Nore, Colonel A. E. Marchant represented the Royal Marines. Representatives from the local councils were also in attendance showing how the local population felt the horror of this incident.

The service was conducted by the Rev. R. S. Hartley (Chaplain RN Hospital) and the Rev. F. G. L. Cruce (Chaplin RN Barracks, Chatham). Following the interment of the bodies, the Royal Marine Buglers sounded the Last Post to close the ceremony. On Monday, December 1st, the burials of Captain H. C. Morton RM and Lt. Cdr. C. M. Queripel took place at St. Nicholas Cemetery, Rochester and Woodlands Cemetery, Gillingham respectively.

The Bulwark inquest was re-opened on December 2nd to identify and establish the cause of death on Stoker Anthony Eames and Able Seaman James Anderson, both original survivors and Reginald Overton a boy. Lt. Cdr. Queripel had been identified at a previous re-opening of the inquest.

Rear-Admiral Ernest Gaunt, President of the Admiralty Court of Inquiry into the disasterOn Wednesday, December 16th, the Kent Coroner again re-opened the inquest at Gillingham. Among those present were Rear-Admiral Ernest Frederick Augustus Gaunt (Commodore RN Barracks, Chatham) who was also the President of the Admiralty Court of Inquiry. Surgeon-General A. J. J. Johnston and Mr. G. W. Ricketts were representing the Admiralty. Major Cooper Key, Inspector of Explosives, Home Office, was in attendance to assist the Coroner. Thus the scene was set for the inquest into the tragic loss of HMS Bulwark and her crew.

The first witness was Lt. Benjamin George Carroll, who was assistant coaling officer at Sheerness. He stated that he was passing down the River Medway on the day in question and saw the Bulwark lying in Kethole Reach. He was looking at a signal she was flying, indicating the amount of coal onboard, when he saw a spurt of flame abaft the after barbette turret. Then the flame seemed to rush towards the after funnel and the whole interior of the ship blew into the air and everything seemed on fire. He added that the water was calm and there was no tide and saw no disturbances in the water. He finished his evidence by stating that he rendered what assistance he could and was convinced it was an internal explosion that he had seen.

The deposition of Sgt. John Albert Budd, RM, who was still in hospital suffering from burns and a fractured leg, was read out to the court. In his deposition he said that he was serving on the Bulwark at the time of the explosion and had been with her since mobilization. At 7.30 he was finishing his breakfast on the portside second mess deck, when he saw a sudden flash aft. He turned and then the deck seemed to open up under him and he fell down. He recalled coming to the surface of the water and saw the Bulwark had disappeared. He had heard no explosion.

Finally Rear-Admiral Gaunt took the stand and gave his evidence. He stated that exhaustive and scientific investigations had bee completed. There was no evidence to suggest that the explosion was external; and that everything pointed towards the explosion being internal. There was no evidence of treachery or of loose cordite. He said that loose cartridges in the cross ammunition passages had been found.

The Coroner asked if this had any relation to the cause of the explosion. Rear-Admiral Gaunt replied "No". The Coroner pressed the point "There must have been ignition somewhere ?" The Rear-Admiral replied as follows : "All the evidence we had was that the explosion occurred. After that there was no proof of the actual cause. There were many possible causes, but no direct evidence and there have been many theories which are untrue." The jury were not satisfied with this explanation, even after a Commander Wilton confirmed that every cartridge onboard was traced and that no evidence of loose cordite was found. A juror asked the question again, "We should like to know how ignition occurred ?" The Coroner replied, "That is precisely what we cannot solve !"

The Coroner, clearly not quite satisfied with the evidence, summed up the findings. He said it was impossible to discover exactly how the ignition was caused. The theory of external explosion could be discounted. If the jury were prepared to endorse the views placed before them, then their duty would be very simple. A verdict of accidental death was returned and the inquiry on the crew of HMS Bulwark was closed.

During January 1915 many more bodies of the Bulwark's crew were washed up on the Kent shoreline. Many were identified some were not. Woodlands Cemetery in Gillingham has 82 graves to unknown ratings from World War I, they all contain the bodies of crew members from Bulwark. Twelve lie in individual graves, the 70 are in a large communal grave with those from another disaster in Sheerness the following year. Of those identified, 67 are buried in Woodlands.

Article written by Richard Stacpoole-Ryding/Published by Medal News© September 1991.

View Article  Steve Searle v Ben Nevis

Steve Searle aka "Old Lush45"
aka RM28570

Is to climb up Ben Nevis on the 9th October 2011
this date is also his 58th Birthday

in support of the RMA

View Article  Darrells Day 2011

Darrells Day 2011

Hi Lads

What a superb day was had by all attending Darrell's Day at Landguard Fort.

40 Commando had all the time int the world for us Old Boots, and the corps drummers.....what can I say...amazing.

A few picks for those that were there, and those who were not.

Get the wets in

Steve `Old Lush 45`

"History of Landguard Fort"