Welcome to the Website of the 17th Intake 

HMAS Leeuwin - Junior Recruit Training Establishment  

October 1966 to October 1967

This website is dedicated to Michael John BROWN who passed away 3 December 2006
Mike did an enormous amount of work to make this site a reality

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[Lest We Forget]




Desmond Francis LOWE

Official No: R95752 Aged: 16 years Joined:

9th October 1966

26th May 1980 

Division: Rhoades Home Port: Adelaide Discharged:


25th September 1990



Postings: Leeuwin, Sydney (3), Penquin (2), Cerberus (2), Harman, Queenborough, Watson (5)Melbourne, Warterhen, Albatross, Vendetta, Vampire, Stalwart, Adelaide, Kuttabul
Notes: Married…Dora 1 son Paul (18)
Current Occupation:  Printing Industry
1966 25/04/2005

Memories of Leeuwin: 1. First Haircut  2.  Threats of physical violence by ‘senior’ J.R.’s i.e. take up smoking or else, so they could ‘borrow’ a fag (Never Did!) 3. Run the gauntlet of boots in pillow-cases.  4. Posting out and going to the big smoke (Sydney).

Memories of The Sydney: 1. Using fire hoses to clean the forward heads. 2. Whilst in Vung Tau harbour with others on the flight deck, jumping up and down hoping the Cong would take a pot shot at us so we would get a medal. 3. Being so bluddy young and naïve 4. Trying to put up a hammock after a night on the piss.

Bad Memories: 1. Being pushed off the wharf in Gladstone and nearly drowning, civvy who was responsible disappears by the time I manage to get out. 2. Dragging myself back on board where Peter Carmichael thought it was so funny, we had to be separated after almost coming to blows. 3. Peter also thought it funny when, at Harman, he put a foreign liquid in my drink (I did repay him in kind!) 4. Being in Fiji for the coup, it was both funny and serious. I was the first person to notify the Skipper after hearing about it on the local radio and him thinking I had been drinking (I had but I was still right!)

Best Posting: My time on Vampire and Vendetta was great but Penquin was by far the best. I was posted there as Senior Sailor’s Mess Manager for 3 years. It had some great ‘Perks’ 

1) Though I lived ashore I had my personal cabin onboard

2) Was paid beside my normal Pusser’s wage a cash amount of $250. a month

3) Never paid for a drink (and I had a few!)

4) Had free reign with very little interference

5) Free meals

My time in Pussers was done in 2 stints. After the initial 10 years I decided to have a break and travel the world to the places the Navy generally didn’t go, i.e. Russia,  Israel, Africa etc. Had a fantastic time eventually meeting a lovely young spunk from New Zealand, Dora, my future bride, on a Tiki trip through Europe.

After 3 years O/S came back to Australia, signed back on and did another 10 years to get my pension.

Since paying off for good have lived ‘the quiet life’ in the shade of the Adelaide hills, worked in a pub and then Ansett till they fell over and now help to produce books and lots of junk mail. My wife, Dora, works at Adelaide City Council in marketing, our son Paul is just finishing his 1st year of university, bachelor of science-human movement. Have helped out with Paul’s local footy club over the years, most Friday nights you will find me there having a quiet beer or three.





[Home] [JRTE] [Marks Division]  [Morrow Division]  [Rhoades Division] [Notice board] [Reunions] [Business Links] [War Service]  [Links] [Ships] [Pensions]  [Medals]
[Lest We Forget]

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Last modified: October 13, 2018