R Sigs Radio Det & Royal Navy Ships

Do R Sigs Radio Det soldiers still get depolyed on HM Ships, such as the 'Fearless' back in the 1960s and 1970s. Is there any data/history on these radio dets and how they interacted with R Navy matelots etc.


Book Reviewer
Our withdrawal from Singapore meant that the RN lost its supply of pet monkeys that were bred in a cage by HMS Terror sick bay. So I'm sure a tame pongo would be more than welcome.
We used to send blokes from 5 AB Bde to ships in the mid 80's and vice versa, needless to say the Matelots always reckoned they drew the short straw. Can't remember what is was called but it came under an Exercise. Discovery 001 or Convoy Cock may remember it.
Only for exercises now so far as I know. I've never met anyone who's spent longer than a couple of weeks on board one of HM's canoes.
Yeah, that rings a bell. I assume it was Joint Communication Exercise?

30 did some when I was there because of the PJHQ/Spearhead type role some of the troops had. Nuneaton to Plymouth in a Transit van with no radio just to drop some kit off is a right laugh!
Chatting to some blokes on Faceache about it...some laughs to be had, seems like the normal thing was our blokes went on the piss and the Navy lads got beasted about on the Para assault course for fun!!
Yep, JD. Jocomex was a good skive for us lot, but no fun for the matelots.

Me and a famous 216 all-round-good-bloke-but-olympic-swamping-champion ended up doing the swap and going on HMS York for a few days in 91. They just got us in the mess deck and got us leathered for a few days. Unfortunately they put my compadre in the top bunk and when he went midnight-fireman, everyone got a bit.

Whilst we were doing this, the two unfortunate navy lads who went in the other direction found themselves having to turn up for Tuesday and Thursday PT, with a lovely beasting round the training area and a fun go on the steeplechase.

In summary, a great old skive for R dot Sigs and a punishment posting for the Senior Service.
We used to do a monthly Jocommex, which involved HF RATT type set up. Normally we be given a set of freqs and it was just to ensure equipment interoperability, nobody actually went anywhere.

However I did do an exercise in which I ended up on HMS Invincible in their comms room. As we jumped in we only had two sets of kit with us both the same, the Navy lot changed into different uniforms about 3 times a day.

They also had women aboard who were not shy to say the least. The first conversation I had with one young lady she inquired if I had seen Animal Farm. I said the film about the George Orwell novel, she said no the one where the guy fucks chickens. She seemed a bit over eager to see this bestiality film like she was missing out on a large part of her life.

I think I blushed a little bit.


There was a specific name for them but cannot remember, and eveybody is right was a tad onesided shame never got on any of these gigs
Got a mate, Sgt (RSIGS) currently on a 2 year posting with the matelots in Pompey.Purely land based, he's having one BFO skive.
He won't admit to what got him sent there though.


War Hero
I think they were called 58 Port and Maritime or something like that and had Signals posted in to them
Whilst in Belize at the same time as Convoy I, along with a.n.other got put on the West Indies Guard Ship, HMS Ambuscade, one of the old type 21s.
We were on board for a couple of weeks I think, doing comms to shore for the anti-drung ops.
By jingo we were constantly tanked up but it was a good number.
We had a RMP cpl on Sutherland during Kipion last year but that was for interpretation purposes. All our comms lads (Enginnering Technician (Communications Information Systems), Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineers) or the Seaman Specialist (Tac-Op)) are trained up on land kit these days anyway asfar as I am aware due to us needing to be able to communicate with the other services.


The sea soldiers of the glorious RSIGS (permanent) were usually berthed on RCT tubs of 20 MARITIME REGT based at Gosport - now well & truly defunct As for JOCOMEX I spent 2 fab weeks on board HMS York in the 80s - ******* eye opener - Den Helder wrecked, Amsterdam trashed, Dutch Sub boarded, Dutch minesweeper nicked, then ship detained after docking in Newcastle by SIB cause some dopey matelot was found in the seacat magazine out of his face - mega punch up with flotilla of German minesweeper matelots on the Tuxedo Princess- ******* lark!
I joined 661 Signal Troop (HMS Intrepid) in February 1971 after applying when I was in Germany. At the time the radio language spoken by the Army was not the same as Joint Services procedure, so we were used to communicate with forces that had been landed from the ship. Thee was a training course at Easleigh (IIRC) where we learnt JSP, then a comms exercise with some ship off Malta (we were based at Blandford) We used a Dll with a 90ft sloping wire antenna at 300W (all the Dll would kick out) and the ships was sending back via groundwave. If the signal wasn't good the matelots would stick another kilowatt up the pole! Flew out to Singapore, refitted in Sembawang dockyard, worked up off the cost of Malaya, then visited Oz, HK, Korea, Japan, kenya, Bahrein, SA (New Year), Gib then back to Devonport.
Verdict: Fantastic trip, the matelots we had dealings with were great, with a very high degree of professionalism. We were actually one of the last ships to leave Singapore (Flag Officer Singapore was leaving around that time) and we were the communications centre in Bahrein for three months as FO MId East left there too. As we went across the Indian Ocean to Kenya, we took part in the first sea trials of satellite communications and it was weird to see the antenna rock solid as the ship rolled about under it! Fond memories of sitting right at the bow watching the sun go down directly ahead, with dolphins playing below. For info, 662 was on Fearless. Intrepid did a further refit then a workup down at Portland then took 2 Para to Belfast for the start of Operation Motorman.

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