Aug 1
Eric Hayward
HMS Highflyer - Ian Epps' Memories I

Hi Richard,

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 the days!

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,


Previous | Home | Next  1 - Photo  by Richard (Dickie) Valentine  1 - Photo  by Richard (Dickie) Valentine
Richard Valentine -1996 - 2009 © - All rights reserved