484 Italian Fascists took as their symbol the “fasces,” a bundle of bound rods that symbolized the power of ancient Rome
485 'My Ignatius Loyola'. Hitler called him this because of Himmler's admiration of Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits
487 Schutzstaffel or protection squad
488 A corporal in the SS was called a Rottenfuehrer.
Excerpt from Dead Reckoning, Book 2 in the ‘Orca Series’
Captain’s Requestman and Defaulters, Wardroom Flat. HMS Nishga, 2nd September; 1940.
The coxswain stood to attention, chin on his chest, red neck moving in and out of a perfectly starched collar in time with his perfectly starched orders.
“Left-right-left-right…Halt! Left turn! Salute the Captain!…Ordinary Seaman Goddard, sir! Official Number P056335, sir, Requests permission to marry.”
“Thank you coxswain,” Barr turned to the line of officers and petty officers, squeezed into the narrow confines of the passageway.
“Which of you is this requestman's Divisional Officer?”
Lieutenant Grant stepped forward, “I am, sir.”
“There's a coincidence, Mr Grant, You are also getting married this leave, is that not correct.”
“That is correct, sir.”
“Then you should be able to plead an airtight case.”
“Just so, sir.”
“Two marriages in the same Division eh… Not catching I hope?”
“Shouldn't think so, sir.”
“I've already had my dose!"”said Barr.
“In that case , sir. You are almost certainly immune.”
“Quite so, quite so.”
During the whole of this exchange Goddard had remained at attention in front of the pulpit-like captain's table, not daring to speak, or smile. in front of his officers.
His officers, for their part, only seemed to notice Goddard's presence when the Captain eventually spoke directly to him.
Goddard opened his mouth but nothing came out…
“Answer the officer!” threatened the coxswain.
Goddard , very red, frozen in terror, did not utter a word.
“You won't be able to make a request without speaking, Goddard,” said the Captain gently.
The coxswain, possibly confusing the requestman Goddard with a defaulter Goddard. ( In his book all ratings were potential defaulters they just hadn't been caught yet. Or possibly thinking Goddard had been struck deaf rather than mute, took one regulation step forward and screamed in his ear.
“Speak up! When an officer asks you a question, You horrible! little sailor!”
Goddard took an involuntary step to his right away from the terrible onslaught.
The coxswain, his face even redder than Goddard's, yelled this time in a high falsetto, “Stand still!”
“Thank you coxswain… “ said Barr, “I think I can hear some defaulters talking in the flat outside. Would you be so kind as to keep them quiet. You'd better close the door behind you… I don't want defaulters hearing the private business of my requestmen.”
The coxswain's eyes became saucers. His defaulter's talking! And in the hearing of his officers! “Yes, sir, certainly, sir. Leave it to me, sir.” He turned smartly and marched out of the flat, already reaching for his report book. He closed the watertight door behind him, a door that might have been watertight but certainly wasn't soundproof. They could still hear the Coxswain screaming at the unfortunate defaulters.
“Arh, that's better,” said Barr a small smile on his face, “Terrible noise the defaulters were making. Stand at ease Goddard. What's your fiancée name?”
Goddard's face had quenched to a healthy pink, but still he did not speak.
Lieutenant Grant bent to Goddard's ear. For a second Goddard thought he was going to shout in it as well. But instead he whispered, “Your girlfriend's name, Blur.”
The use of his nickname surprised and settled the youngster.
“Jenny, sir…Jennifer Mott.”
“And how long have you known her?” asked the Captain.
“Long time, sir… We were at school together.”
“That's nice, so you're about the same age?"
“Oh yes, sir,”
“Have you her parent’s permission for the marriage?”
“Oh yes, sir,”
“Where will you live?”
“Here , sir,” said Goddard, nodding slightly to help affirm the fact.
“No I meant… together. Where will you live once your married. Where will your home, together, be?”
“With her mum, sir. She's got a spare room, we ain't, I mean my mum ain’t.”
“Ain't …I mean… Haven't you a room at your mother's house?”
“Not now, sir…She let it out…When she learnt we were getting married. She said no use letting a good room go to waste.”
“I see…" Barr turned to Grant. Can I have a private word, over here, if you please Mr Grant.” Barr led Grant through into the empty Wardroom pantry. “Isn't Goddard a bit old to still be an Ordinary Seaman, Robert?”
“He's taken the test? Surely, hasn't he?”
“Yes, sir, on three occasions, or is it four? I can't remember off hand, sir, I'm sorry.”
“Good Lord! Is he that bad?”
“He's not bad, sir, he lacks confidence. In action, he's reliable…As steady as they come. But in a verbal examination, for some reason, he goes to pieces.”
“Thank you," Barr exhaled as if he been holding his breath for some time, “right, let's go back in.”
They returned to the flat, Barr scratched at the back of his neck. “So Goddard, tell me how can you possibly hope to support two on your present wage as an ordinary seaman?”
“Oh… me and Jenny have worked it out, sir. If we stay at her mum's, we will be able to get by, maybe even save a little.” Goddard was worried now, it didn't seem to be going too well.
“Can someone ask the coxswain to come back in…if he has the situation outside under control, that is.”
The coxswain sprang to attention as soon as he was through the door. “Every thing all right outside, Coxswain.”
Oh yes, sir… perfectly under control, sir.” he said with emphasis.
The Coxswain positively glowed with pride, “Thank, you, sir,” he simpered, a smile of arrogant pleasure on his face.
“Goddard, I'm a married man myself and know perfectly well that the saying 'two can live as cheaply as one' is a load of poppycock. Women, like ships, are very expensive things to run.”
Goddard's heart sank to the bottom of his boots.
“On your pay, as an ordinary seaman, you would find it extremely hard, if not impossible to get by. Therefore it is my painful duty to say, that for as long as you remain an ordinary seaman, I will be unable to give you and Jennifer permission to marry.”
Goddard felt his eyes stinging.
“When you are finally rated Able Seaman, I will give you permission to marry, you have my word on that.”
“Permission denied!" yelled the Coxswain," left turn…”
“Just a minute Coxswain."
“Sorry, sir… Goddard!…As you were!”
“What's today's date ,Coxswain?”
“Second of September, sir.”
Barr turned back to face Goddard, “As from today, the second of September, 1940, you are promoted to Able Seaman… permission to marry granted.”
Automatically the coxswain bawled,” Promoted Able Seaman. Permission to marry granted, left turn quick mar…. " For the first time, in his twenty two years of service, the Coxswain wound down like an old gramophone …"Erh..Sorry, sir… did I hear correct?”
“You did , Coxswain…The old sailor regained his composure. “Promoted “Able Seaman. Permission to marry granted. Left turn…Quick march…left-right- left-right- right wheel. Carry on!”
A long line of requestmen and an even longer line of defaulters were looking in his direction. They all knew why he was there and the smile on his face told the result better than any words. Goddard walked down the line and back to the messdeck muttering. 'Oh my! Oh my!' over and over again.
Within the hour every man aboard had heard the story; in one version or another.