I am sharing my Dad’s memoirs of the Royal Navy in World War 2.
The next thing was to hear at 6.30am next morning a Petty Officer banging each bed with a stick with shouts of Wakey Wakey. Still pitch black, there was a scramble to find the toilet block now to be known as “Ablutions” and to fight along with dozens of others for a sink to wash and shave in cold water and to await a chance to use one of the row of toilets.
Breakfast was porridge followed by bacon, egg and fried bread. There was one thing that despite strict rationing to the civilian population, food in the Navy was always good. After breakfast, we fell in as a squad again.
There were now more than a hundred newcomers and we were divided into 13 groups of about 30 and were placed under the guidance of a Leading Seaman whose job it was to see that each member of his squad did everything that he was told and to it right during the next fortnight. Mine was called Leading Seaman White.
First of all, every man underwent another thorough medical examination. Having been searched minutely for piles, dropped testicles, flat feet, ears, eyes and throat peered into, stethoscoped and found to be breathing, you were declared to be fit, vaccinated and innoculated and from there went to be allocated a service number.
At the same time you were given a Station Card which identified who you were and which had to be produced on demand e.g. at mealtimes to see that you only got one meal and not two!
In the days that followed, each man received a haircut to be paid for and this was indifferent to the plea that you had had a haircut a few days before joining. He was also given his full kit, had his photograph taken, given a pay book, vaccinated, innoculated and generally made to jump to it!