Ahhh, so that’s who the Bodger was

There he was a house cadet captain and his early development was dominated by one man, John Gower. Gower was the house officer at the college and second-in-command of the training cruiser Devonshire when Black first went to sea, and commander of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, when Black resumed his studies. Gower was immortalised as “The Bodger” in the stories of Navy life by John Winton, the former naval obituarist of The Daily Telegraph.

Umm, We Joined The Navy, umm, We Went To Sea, I think? Extremely funny, although the last one, about an aircraft carrier, (Ark Royal?) was bitter rather than a delightful farce.

“Bodger walked along the quay with the hopeful air of a man about to be offered a drink” is a line I’ve probably misquoted.

Doubt you still see the books in the second hand shops but most Naval households of that vintage probably have them somewhere in a dark corner. Worth having a go.

8 thoughts on “Ahhh, so that’s who the Bodger was”

  1. We Joined The Navy, Down The Hatch, Never Go To Sea, All The Nice Girls – all available on Amazon and eBay, it appears

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    I don’t see any still in print on Amazon. A shame really. I hope I am just searching poorly

    The obit for Hugh Leach is also worth reading.

  3. I used to listen to “The Navy Lark” on the radio. Wonder if those books had any connection to or influence on that show.

  4. Also We Saw the Sea, Good Enough for Nelson, The Good Ship Venus. My father was a fan and I’ve inherited most of his collection, always enjoyed them.

    The only one I haven’t apparently read is Aircraft Carrier, presuming that is the one referred to above. Have read a few of his non-fiction, he’s not bad at that either but not really good.

    Just as a note, I reckon the best non-fiction book on Naval Matters is “The Rules of the Game” by Andrew Gordon. Mostly on Jutland, but covers a large amount of the history of why the signalling and communication that so bedevilled the Royal Navy in that engagement was as it was. Plus the best recreation of what actually happened and when at Jutland.

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