An Slua Muiri (now renamed the Naval Service Reserve) for over 40 Years did their Annual Training in Fort Camden, Crosshaven, Co.Cork. There were 5 Companies of An Slua Muiri. Two in Dublin, One in Waterford, One Limerick and One in Cork. Annual Training was for two weeks and you had a choice the last two weeks in July or the First two weeks in August' Below is an account of two weeks training in July 1969. When referring to Ranks in An Slua Muiri they are as follows:- On Joining you are a
S/R = Seaman Recruit
After Recruit Training you are
an O/S = Ordinary Seaman
then promotions are as follows
A/B = Able Seaman
L/S = Leading Seaman, (One straight Gold Bar right Arm) and you are now an NCO i.e. Non Commissioned Officer

Next promotion is
P/O = Petty Officer and a new Uniform i.e. Jacket with 6 Buttons, Two Gold Stripes on Right Arm of Jacket and a Peak Cap.
Next is CPO = Chief Petty Officer 3 Stripes on Right Arm
SCPO = Senior Chief petty Officer with Another Bar on right sleeve with Badge in Centre
W/O = Warrent Officer Gold Bar on botton of each sleeve (highest NCO Rank)

Next is the Commissioned Officers:-
ENS = Ensign. 8 buttons on Jacket One Bar bottom of each Sleeve with Star above the Bar
S/Lt = Sub Lieutenant Thick and Thin Bar bottom of each sleeve with Star above the bars
Lt.= Lieutenant two thick bars bottome of each sleeve with Star above the Bars
L/Cdr = Lieutenant Commander Two thick Bars and one thin bar in centre of the two thick bars bottome of sleeve with Star above the Bars

There is no Commander Rank in An Slua Muiri.

In the report below of Annual Camp in Fort Camden in July 1969 I am P/O Terry Cummins

Saturday 17th July
Picked up P/O Brendan Powell at his home and headed to P/O Shay McCarthy who would travel in his own Car to Cork. We were both on the Road to Cork at 12.30 P.M. However, Shay got a puncture in his Car so we pulled into a small Town just outside of Portlaoise. Shay left his wheel in for repair so naturally we went to the local Pub for a Drink while waiting for the wheel to be fixed.

Our next stop was just outside Cashel as my Radiator starter to boil up so waited until it cooled down and added more water which solved anymore problems with overheating.

Our next stop was for a meal in the Little Chef Restaurant just beside the Rock of Cashel. Then we headed to Fort Camden arriving at 7pm.

After we had settled in Shay McCarthy, Jimmy Oliver, Matt Comiskey and my brother Austin Cummins, headed down to Buckley’s Pub in Crosshaven (To say Hello). We stayed until closing.

Sunday 20th July 1969
We were all up bright and early as we were called at 7.30am by the Duty Petty Officer. After Breakfast we all fell in for Mass Parade. I booked one of the Whalers so I could take a crew for a Sail, but had to stand to as the C/O wanted to see all the NCO’s in the Ships Office.

The following were the Officers and NCO’s at the meeting.

  • The Executive Officer was Lt. Morgan (Limerick),
  • Training Officer, S/Lt Monty Ahern (Limerick)
  • Welfare Officer was S/Lt Pat Healy (Dublin),
  • Regulating Chief was CPO Humphrey Lynch (Cork)
  • Master at Arms was CPO Kieran Connors (Dublin).

    The training for the forthnight was dived into 4 watches, 1st Port, 2nd Port, 1st Starboard and 2nd Starboard.

    The following were appointed to the watches

1st Port
S/Lt Andy MacSharry
CPo Mick Bowman
P/O Terry Cummins
P/O Brendan Powell
L/S Moroney
L/S Fitzgerald
2nd Port
S/Lt Mick Byrne
P/O Gerry Farrelly
P/O Shay Mccarthy
L/S Noel Hennessy
L/S Foulkes
1st Starboard
CPO Dick Larkin
P/O Tom Behan
P/O Don Kiely
P/O Mick McCarney
P/O L/S Cashman
2nd Starboard
P/O Matt Comiskey
P/O Albert farrell
L/S Kevin Cullen
L/S Mick O'Sullivan

Most of the above were present for the meeting in the Ships Office. Lt Morgan said that our Camp last Year 1968 was excellent but he wanted this Camp 1969 to be even better. The Welfare Officer S/Lt Pat Healy said he would like plenty of Sports arranged i.e. Sailing and Rowing Races, Football, Handball, Tug-of-War and of course our Dance in the GYM in Fort Camden.
P/O Terry Cummins, P/O Jimmy Oliver and P/O Shay McCarthy were chosen to organise and run the Dance. The meeting then ended at 1145hrs.

Fall in for Divisions

Fall in for Divisions at the Baselines

I went for a sail until 1300hrs then went for dinner

As tonight was to see the first landing on the Moon I went into Carrigaline to see if I could hire a Television. I got one from Cogans in Carrigaline for £1 per week

Monday 21st July 1969
Everyone was fairly wiery eyed this morning as everyone stayed awake until 5am watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin taking their first step onto the Moon.
My Watch 1st Port was on Whaler Training for the best part of the Day sailing out of Camden and headed to Cobh

Tuesday 22nd July 1969
1st Port went to the Naval Base in Haulbowline today. I got excused as I wanted to go into Crosshavenn with Shay McCarthy and Jimmy Oliver to see could we get spot prizes for our Dance. We spent the whole afternoon calling into Pubs and Shops in Crosshaven, and collected the following Spotprizes.
Kennifics 1 bottle of Sherry, Dunphy's Bottle Gents After Shave, Another Trader gave us a speech telling us instead of looking for Free Spots from the locals, we should collect money from our Officers, NCO's, and Men and Buy the Spots, we stopped short of telling him where to stick his spot prize.The Dolphin gave us a Bottle of Sherry, the Shop next to the Dolphin gave us a Box of Chocolates. Mrs Buckley gave us a Bottle of Sherry, Mrs watson gave 40 Cigarettes. The Drake gave us a Bottle of Sherry, Cantys gave us a Bottle of Sherry and Mrs Power gave us a pair of ladies Tights and a Gents pair of Socks. So we returned to Camden with our Arms fairly full with Spots.

Wednesday 23rd July 1969
Today is workship Day when the whole Camp had to do a general cleanup of the Camp prior to the Officer Commandings Inspection

Whaler under Sail to Cobh

Crews return from their Sail Training

Thursday 24th July 1969
We were back to normal training in Fort Camden today and I had a Class all morning teaching, Tides, Bouys, Bouyage and plotting a course on Charts and general Chart work.
After Dinner, Brendan Powell, Shay McCarthy, Jimmy Oliver and myself spent the afternoon putting up Flags in the Gym getting it ready for our Dance tonight. We had already put up Posters in Crosshaven to attract all the nice Girls in Crosshaven to come to our Dance tonight 9 pm to 2 am and tickets at gate 5 shillings.

S/Lt Pat Healy the welfare Officer had told me on Monday that we had permission to hold the Dance unil 2am and I had arranged Insurance to cover the Civvies coming into the Fort. but S/Lt Healy said we now only had permission for the dance until Midnight. I told S/LT Healy that we had already advertised in Crosshaven that the Dance would end at 0200hrs. So S/Lt Healy said that is OK and we could carry on until 0200hrs

I was in Uniform down a the Main Gate into Camden at 9pm and the first Girls arrived at 0920pm. At 1030PM P/O Matt Comiskey relieved me and by that time the GYM was packed. I went up to check how things were going. I could hear the Dance Band we had hired playing away but also heard a sing song taking place in the Canteen. So everything was in full swing and going very well.

At approx 1230am the Duty Officer S/LT Mick Byne came along with the Camp Executive Officer Lt Mick Morgan and had a look in to see how things were going which was going well and very orderly. The Duty Officer came back and said that Lt Morgan wants the Dance to end a 1am. Both P/O Jimmy Oliver and myself argued with S/LT Byrne that we had advertised the dance would end at 2am and it would be unfair on those who paid in to end an hour earlier. S/Lt Byrne said he would go and have another word with the Exec. Officer. He came back and said the Dance was to end at 1.30am and that was final. We kept up our argument that it was unfair to end before 2am and this little argument went on until 1.50 am and the last dance was just announced. So we excused ourselves so we could also have the last Dance which was a long number and the Dance ended at 5 minutes past 2am.
A very good time was had by all

Friday 25th July 1969
Our Watch was on Whaler training today and it was also Pay Day (yes we got paid as well). P/O Oliver and myself spent a lot of time collecting from the Lads who got tickets for the Dance on Credit.

Sail Training

Crew out Rowing

Saturday 26th July 1969
Everyone was up bright and early as it was the Commanding Officers Inspection and everything had to be clean and Tidy and all had to be in Full No One Uniform
At 1130hrs Commander Murphy a Naval Service Commander (also called the HOCK)from the Naval Base arrived in the Camber aboard a Naval Service launch. All the NCO's were called to the Ships Office to meet Cmdr Murphy. He introduced himself and informed us he was the New O/C of An Slua Muiri (Naval Service Reserve) and was just finding his feet and said he welcomed any suggestions from the NCO's present as to how we could strengthen An Slua Muiri. Needless to say he got many suggestions and when we were finished he was only to happy to get away.

Commanding Officers Inspection

Happy faces after receiving their Pay

Sunday 27th July 1969
Our Mass parade was at 0900hrs today and shortly after Mass the whole Camp went on a route March into Crosshaven. The March to Crosshaven was headed by S/Lt Andy MacSharry. My watch was on Work Ship today but I was able to get on the March

P/O Brendan Powell was the Duty P/O in Camp but somehow got hold of a small Dog and went around all Day with the Dog on a Lead
After the March I went back to my duties on the Duty Watch and helped clean up the Galley after dinner. At 1600hrs I took out a Whaler with P/O Matt Comiskey and with a crew sailed up to Crosshaven.

Monday 28th July 1969
Our Watch today went to Sea on the Whaler and boarded the LE Cliona anchored off Spike Island and spent the Day training on the Corvette.
We would row out to LE Cliona and Board using the Boarding Line slung over the sides. Once on board we were divided into our respective divisions. Stokers to the Engine Room, Signallers to the Wireless Room, and Seamen to the Deck. Officers to the Bridge. Once all are on board the Anchor is raised and we head out to Sea. Returning in the afternoon.

Later that evening Jimmy Oliver, Mick Bowman and Paddy Maher went to Cork City to pick up the Trophies bought as prizes for the various competitions we ran during our period on Camp in Fort Camden.

Tuesday 29th July 1968
We were back to Sea today sailing the Whaler. The Limerick Whaler was hoisted up onto the Quay Wall and the rest of the Day the Seamen were instructed on how to rig the Whaler for Sail. This was a good excerise and alot was learned on the proper rigging of a Whaler for Sail

Wednesday 30th July 1969
We were on formal training today, so we practised rigging a Whaler for Sail on the Whaler up on the Quay Wall.
Today we also had 40 Orphans over from Cobh so we spent most of the Day entertaining the 40 Orphans
In the evening we had the finals of our Sports including our Boxing. There was a bit of an argument regarding the Boxing as three of Regular Navy were entered to Box. Just before they were due to fight it was stopped by the Welfare Officer who said the Boxing was between the Billets and not between the Regulars (Cadre Staff) and the Naval Reserve (An Slua Muiri)

Sometimes we have our own entertainment in the NCO's Mess
CPO John Ruddy on the Accordian and P/O Farrell Sings
I wanted to be promoted to Chief Petty Officer but only made Chef Petty Officer

Thursday 31st August 1969

I was Duty Petty Officer today so not much to report I spent most of the Day trying to get anopther NCO to releave me at Midnight as I was driving home to Dublin in the morning. However, I could not get anyone to step in for me and this was due to it being the last night of Camp everyone wanted to enjoy their last night in Fort Camden and Croshaven. As we knew when the men came back that night they would be in great spirits so I left a Quartmaster (QM) at the Gate and I and the other QM paraded around the Billets until everyone settled down and asleep. I think it must have been one of the quietest last nights on Camp for Years

Friday 1st August 1969
Well this is the last Day of a very successful Annual Camp in Fort Camden. It goes without saying S/LT Pat Healy and SCPO Kieran Connors were the main organisers of the Camp and they did an excellent Job. Everone on this Camp who usually came on the August Camp but this Year came in July Camp and say they will never come on the August Camp again but will opt for the July Period from now on they enjoyed it so much
So now we look for to our next Camp in 1970

On our last Day and I get some sort of an award (Joke)

All things come to an end as we say goodbye until 1970

It is now the 18th August 1969 and we may not have to wait until 1970 for another period of training as it is possible we could be called up for active service at anytime
The 1st Line Reserve have already been called up on active service. All leave for the Regular Service has been cancelled. The Regular Army are already massed at the Border due to the Troubles in the North. At a Sinn Fein meeting held in the Centre of Dublin on Saturday there was a call for the Regular Army to invade the North or give the Guns to the IRA and they would do it. Sinn Fein warned that if the Government here would do neither of the above then they (the IRA) would have no choice but to take the Guns by force. Last Friday a Gang of Men marched to Collins Barracks and demanded Guns, but were turned away at Gunpoint.
I expect there will be raids on Military Barracks and the 2nd Line Reserve (FCA and AN Slua Muiri) will then have to be called up for active service.

Hopefully Peace will reign