ROY "NOBBY" SLATER
One day during my recent stay in hospital, I was lying on my bed and a bloke was brought in and put in a bed almost opposite. He was looking pretty knocked out and slept plenty. During the afternoon visiting time, two blokes approached his bed, one saying to the other "Typical bandy Crashed out in the afternoon" To which the reply was "Most probably got his tot too." Of course my ears pricked up and I listened further, again one remarked "We should have brought Wally Shillitto up, he'd have got him moving".
I just had to go over and ask them if I could join the Band Mess. I introduced myself as "Nobby Slater", and with a yell not befitting a hospital the one on my left said, "I had the bunk underneath you in HMS Drake, I'm Dave Scott, Euph & cello". Well, within seconds all the names of that band were careering around the ward and it soon got to Maxie Beare. That was when the other visitor eeked, "I served with Maxie on the Royal Yacht, my name's John Kennedy" I think he said clarinet & viola. Anyway the banter went on and suddenly visitors was over, hardly a word having been swapped with poor ol' Mervyn Brown because that was the name of the one in bed.
The visitors said they would be returning next day and I said cheerio. I being in rather a bit of a gobsmacked state especially with all the gunk I was on. This was so incredulous. Forty five years on from last seeing Scotty (I hardly remembered him) & to meet like this in a hospital, and I'm sure the spin-offs from this will go on when I get this out in print. But here fate took a hand. As I walked to my bed a nurse said we are moving you to another ward and they didn't waste any time, so I called to "Bert" Brown, that I would get over and have a chat later. That never took place either, but he was 51 yrs old so maybe Richie knows him. There is also a Brown in a pic on the notice board (that has a resemblance)
Of course I have no idea of his progress, athough I will enquire when I return this week. I have struggled to make this comprehensive, but how can any one take the RMBS lightly when a situation of this sort can take place out of its own little family by just doing a gesture of visiting a shipmate. Incredible, and to a lot of non RMBs unbelievable and almost impossible. Give me your feed back lads.
Cheers now, Gone me.
[Editor] PS: Mervyn passed away some months after this excellent article.