We have an update from the lovely folks at the HMS Ganges Museum as they pay tribute to the late Duke of Edinburgh:

As we remembered HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on the sad day of his funeral on Saturday 17 April 2021, HMS Ganges Museum was pleased to share on its Facebook page the photo above from its 1973 collection.

Prince Philip visited HMS Ganges on a number of occasions, either on his own or with HM The Queen. The iconic 142ft Ganges Mast featured strongly on the day of his visit in 1973, fully manned by the trainees during the traditional ceremony in which the Boys’ rank changed from Boy to Junior. He talked to them about the new awards he had set up and encouraged them to participate. It is believed that this was the first time that the boys were encouraged to take part in activities not primarily Ganges based.

Just a few years earlier in 1968, a young Ray Lester had the honour to be the Button Boy and, in a recent Facebook post, he shared these words with us:

“As an ex-Button Boy, I, along with other ex-Button Boys, were invited back to HMS Ganges in 1973 for the last ever Ceremonial Mast Manning at Shotley. Prince Philip was the VIP taking the salute and presenting the Crown Piece. On completion we were introduced to Prince Philip and I was honoured to shake his hand and for him to say ‘Well Done’ to me.“

Our second picture shows HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, attending HMS Ganges, Shotley Gate in 1956 with Captain M Le Fanu DSC.

The HMS Ganges lads continue to be proud of their association with Prince Philip and would wish to join with the museum trustees to say:

“Fair winds, calm seas and a safe harbour. Rest easy old friend, your duty’s done. We have the watch.”

May His Royal Highness rest in peace and rise in glory.

Use the YouTube link below to view an earlier mast manning ceremony (1965) which reflects the skill and bravery needed by these very young men who strived to complete their task to the very highest standards.


In Memory of ganges Volunteer Peter Talman

It is with great regret that we report the recent and very sad passing of one of our long-standing weekend volunteers, Peter Talman. Fondly known as ‘SatNav’ for his renowned lack of directional skills, Peter was a popular attendant, especially among our visitors, and known for his winning smile and kindly attitude, equalled only by his great knowledge of all things Ganges. His absence will be felt for a long time to come.

“Fair winds, calm seas and a safe harbour. Rest easy old friend, your duty’s done. We have the watch.” May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

shotley Marina, shotley gate IP9 1QJ

01473 788315/788723 / juneelawford1@hotmail.co.uk

www.hmsgangesmuseum.com / Facebook: The hMs ganges Museum