Some of the old MOR staff will have memories of Charlie Carthew who ran the Telegraphists school. Some tended to deride Charlie but he really had at heart the interests of his students and also was very loyal to OTC. When you talk about mentors, I class Charlie as one of those. Everyone in his school worked hard and all had a good word to say about him.
At the time I was about half way through my Wireless Operator’s Cert. with the Marconi School which operated adjacent to the Telegraphists School. As a result I often passed Charlie and had a bit of a yarn. That was my mistake. The next thing I know Charlie says “Look, while you are doing your Certificate why not join us at OTC. and I will help you with your morse code and I’m sure I’ll be able to get you in as a telegraphist as well”. I didn’t bite the first few times but Charlie persisted and eventually I applied to join OTC and they started me filing “flimsies”.
Sure enough Charlie kept on pushing OTC and they let me join his school and in due course I went back to the Operating Room as a Telegraphist. Charlie continued taking an interest in my progress and when a position as Senior Technician came up at Fiskville I was offered the job (I think I was the only one locally available at the time who had the necessary technical qualifications). I was a bit hesitant to take it up as I had some idea of going to sea as a Wireless Op. but Charlie encouraged me and that was where I went – Best move I could have made.
Had a great time at Fiskville, terrific staff, all “spit and polish” – but we took great pride in our work and the older men always encouraged (sometimes with fairly strong language) the younger ones.
– From Denis Pickwell