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Half Deck HMS Ceres Wetherby Writers

"I joined the Navy as a Junior Assistant Writer 2nd Class, but in 1967, long after HMS Ceres has closed and my training was at HMS Pembroke, in Chatham. Indeed, even the uniform for Writers had changed by then, such that we were dressed as sailors and no longer in the fore and aft rig of years gone by.

I was pleased to see a photograph of CPO Writer Godden (see main Ceres page), an instructor. In 1968/69, when age 18 in my first proper job fresh from training, I was a writer in the pay office of HMS Dolphin, the then submarine base in Gosport.

Lieutenant-Commander (S)(W) Eric Godden BEM was the Supply Officer (Pay) and his colleague, Bill Eyles, somewhat senior in the same rank, was the Supply Officer (Cash). Eric Godden's office was a few yards from the submarine pay section, on the first floor of Mercury Block, where Petty Officer Writer Keith Dunn (then POWTR John Smith) kept the fair ledger (S.41a) and I, as the assistant, kept the ledger (S.50) that went to the submariner. Bill Eyles' office was on the ground floor, along with those of the Supply Officer, Deputy Supply Officer and the regulating Chief Writer, CPOWTR Joe Dolman.

Main Gate HMS Ceres Wetherby
He was a nice man and good to me, as a bright young lad! Both he and his friend, the SO (Cash), were born on the same day - 1 October 1919 - and both would be due to retire at the age of 50, just weeks after I left the submarine base for my first sea-going ship. Eric's seniority as a Lt Cdr was 1 April 1966 and W R Eyles 1 October 1962. Eric Godden had been promoted from CPO Writer to Sub-Lieutenant, Lieutenant and Lieutenant-Commander in a very short time. Eric Godden died sometime in the last decade.
As an 18-year-old, these officers seemed as old as the hills to me! But they were good people and by 1984, I too was a Lieutenant-Commander. I am now older than the hills!"

Lester May
Camden Town, London
November 2008

Related Article
RNWA website
WSPANE banner HMS Ceres Naval Camp and Main Gate, Wetherby, dated August 1953
Both pictures submitted by Mike Cooke, October 11th 2007, following a house cleance in Birkenhead. Original owner of the photos is not known.
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