ENGLISH-PERSONIFIED – by Des Kelly This extremely interesting article was sent to me, by my good friend Dayal Cooray, whose dad Denis P. Cooray was my immediate boss when I joined the Royal Ceylon Navy in 1953 as a Supply Assistant. Because both Dayal & myself do love correct English both spoken & written, I could plainly see that, after WW2, Winston Churchill, who was always a busy man, made good use of his “writing-talents” in order to keep his faculties in top-shape, so, as a result, he penned fascinating articles such as this, in addition to writing “books of knowledge”, as I call them. As a matter of fact, I am the proud owner of 3 TOMES of Churchillian education of the English Language, and with due thanks to Dayal, I would like every one of e’Lanka’s members to read & study what “English Personified” is all about. Desmond ...

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The HMS Ceylon was built in Glasgow – by Des Kelly It seems that our esteemed contributor to e’Lanla, Keith Bennett was somewhat surprised to realize that there was indeed a Ship named after our Island in the sun. Well Keith, there was such a Ship, and also, before the Royal Ceylon Navy was “born”, some of our worthy Sailors actually served on her. These individuals went under the title of the Ceylon Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve (C.R.N.V.R.), and most of them transferred to the Royal Ceylon Navy, which was established on the 9th of December, 1950, after the Navy Act was passed by the British, for the formation of what I always prefer to call “The Senior Force”, or the Royal Ceylon Navy. A few years later, the Royal Ceylon Navy was presented with our first real Ship (also from Britain), a Minesweeper, originally named H.M.S. Flying Fish, immediately ...

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   “VALE’ EDDIE BAPTIST”  – By Des Kelly   There is not very much more that I could add to the excellent tribute to Eddie, by Chris. Lawton, simply to say that, as another Royal Ceylon Navy man, I too had the pride and privilege of serving with Eddie who was at our main Naval Land Base, H.M.Cy.S. Gemunu, Colombo Fort.  If I remember this correctly, Eddie was a “Killick” or Leading Seaman in the Executive Branch of the Navy in which I joined up as a Supply Assistant in 1953. This, I remember very clearly. Eddie Baptist was one Sailor, admired, looked up to, and totally respected by both the Officers and Men of all branches of the Navy, and we had many of them. He had this certain Charisma, afforded to very few. Even as a Leading Seaman, he could “order” junior ratings like us to do our ...

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    “THE DRINK” – By Des Kelly Vadakaha Sudhiya” was a drink that was so famous in “Olde Ceylon”, I later recorded a song about it. Although I am 100% tee-total @ my present stage of life, I have to admit that, had I stayed in My Lovely Island Home, and remained in the Royal Ceylon Navy, I would certainly not be writing this article, right now. In fact, I would have been “pushing up daisies” a long time ago. To make a long story short, during those halcyon days, alcohol & I were very good friends indeed. The reason for this was simple. It was a legacy left by my grandfather, Jack Kelly, born in Dublin, who drank everything but water, plus the fact that, if you joined the Navy, you were supposed to follow the lead of most of the “senior guys” and drink, smoke & be ...

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  “VALE’ HILARY” – By Des Kelly   He was a genuine Navy mate of mine, and this tribute to him is richly deserved. The ultimate “family man”, to my knowledge, he looked after Maureen, his beloved wife & his daughters, and, was in turn, loved to the max, by them.  There are very few of us ex-Royal Ceylon Navy boys left now but Hilary was known to all of us, as a good friend, and, speaking for myself, it was always a pleasure to have a chat with him from time to time. Hilary, it was a privilege to know you, and you will be sorely missed by your family, your many friends, among whom, I was just one. Rest in peace now, and may the good Lord bless & keep you, as the song says, and I humbly add to your tribute. This beautiful song is dedicated especially to ...

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                     “EYE-TEETH & E.JAGS”, & E.LANKA” – By Des Kelly The “E’s, are quite definitely in the forefront of this true story. “Eye-teeth, E-Jaguars, & E.Lanka”, all NAMES which bear thinking about. Strangely, even as a lad, I could not STAND dentists & dentistry, which is quite a common fact with most people I know. Later on, after I joined the Royal Ceylon Navy, it was agreed by our Chief Medical Officer, that Supply Assistant Kelly (Official number “E”635), another bloody”E”, needed to have a couple of Eyeteeth out, & because there was no Dental Officer at  the R.Cy.N., Headquarters,”Gemunu 1″ & our only “Warship” of that era, was a “Mine-sweeper”, the former “Flying-Fish”  of the good old British Navy, presented to Ceylon, henceforth to be known as H.M.Cy.S. Vijaya (after King Vijaya-Bahu, I suppose), did not have a Dentist on board ...

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