Ian Epps has certainly brought back a few more memories. If I may be
allowed to add my tuppence worth to them.
HMS Highflyer was, as Ian said, a very pleasant place to spend a few
weeks ashore as we in the Gambia Band did whilst waiting for the SUPERB.
It was while we were there that we also took advantage of the facilities
at Nicholson Lodge and spent quite some time there. It was on one of
these occasions when several of us were swimming that I became the victim
of a Jelly Fish and was stung across my body from the back of my left
shoulder, across my body to my lower right waist and at the point of
total collapse was dragged from the water by John Bradshaw and one other
onto the beach. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive from Highflyer
the very kind lady from the lodge poured Coconut Vinegar all over the
effected area. I'm not sure what was worse, the sting or the treatment.
Anyway I was a guest of the sick bay for a couple of days.
John and I on another occasion explored the wrecks left from the Second
World War by a Japanese air attack on Trinco' Harbour. This area was
of course out of bounds. But we went there anyway and I still have the
scars on my back from being caught on the barnacles. Once again I was
pulled from the water leaving quite a blood supply behind. Those were
We also did a few trips over to Columbo but we had a Navy bus and a
brand new Navy truck. From memory it took ten hours to complete the
journey. I leaned against the front mudguard of the said "BRAND
NEW" truck at one of the stops en route and my elbow went right
through the completely rusted out metal.
It was while we were at the rest camp at Diyatalawa that we met up with
Lt. Reynolds RMB who was training the Ceylon Navy Band. We played for
their Pass out Parade. The next occasion I met the said Lt Reynolds
was here in Australia when he was a Chaplain in Victoria. He has now
passed on to the big band on high.
They say it's a small world but can you beat this? While travelling
to Australia in October 1965 by sea my daughter was taken ill and became
dangerously ill by the time we reached Melbourne and was rushed straight
from the ship to hospital. The doctor who attended to her and actually
saved her life, was talking to me shortly after and said he felt we
had met before. It was later when I attended his surgery that I noticed
hanging on the wall a photo of a ship with the ships company for'ard
under the guns. It was, believe it or not, HMS Gambia and he had been
attached to the hospital in HMS Highflyer at the time of my stay there.
He was the Surgeon Lt Cmdr.
Hope I haven't bored you to tears Richard.
Cheers from Oz,