Bayly, Patrick Uniacke (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 12590
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 180, Number Of Items 6
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview


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Object description

British officer served aboard HMS Cicala on China Station, 1938; served aboard HMS Durban in Far East, 1939-1941; served as beach master with Combined Operations in GB and Mediterranean, 1941-1943; served aboard HMS Mauritius in GB coastal waters, during Normandy landings and Corfu Incident, 1944-1946; commanded HMS Alacrity during Korean War, 1951-1952

Content description

REEL 1 Recollections of period as first lieutenant aboard river gunboat HMS Cicala in West River, China, 1938: Chinese crew; anti-piracy patrols towards Wuchow; Japanese treatment of Chinese civilians; confrontation with Japanese warship and bombers, late 1938; making drawings of Japanese fighters with long range fuel tanks for British intelligence. Period as gunnery officer aboard HMS Durban in Far East, 1939-1941: joining ship in Hong Kong; attempt to counter German raider's activities in Indian Ocean; taking note to captain of Japanese sloop demanding release of British merchant ship, off China, 1940. REEL 2 Continues: Voyage from Singapore to GB via Vancouver, summer 1941. Period on draft in US, summer 1941: story of how he nearly missed train from New York to Philadelphia, summer 1941; joining HMS Resolution in Philadelphia, 1941; reaction to junior US Navy officers failure to absorb lessons of War, 9/1941. Period as beach master with Combined Operations in GB and Mediterranean, 1941-1943: orders to join Combined Operations, 1941; role of naval beach parties; brigade landing exercise on coast near Troon, Scotland; role training naval beach officers; role of beach officers; naming base 'HMS Armadillo'; orders to move to North Africa, 1943; renaming beach parties as beach commandos after Dieppe Raid, 8/1942; preparations for landings in Sicily. REEL 3 Continues: Recollections of operations as beach master in Sicily and Italy, 1943: role as principal beach master at Porto Paulo during Sicily landings, 7/1943; use of Italian POWs for labour and completion of landings ahead of schedule at Porto Paulo; short period in hospital after accident in Tunisia, summer 1943; initial landings at Salerno, 9/1943; disguised German 88mm guns on beach; contrast between Salerno and Nettuno landings; sight of radio controlled weapon hitting US cruiser; beachmaster work at Salerno, 9/1943; role in charge unloading stores in Bay of Naples; assisting British troops to by-pass German positions. REEL 4 Continues: River Volturno landings, 10/1943 including by-passing of German positions, use of assault boats to cross river and landings on north side of mouth of river, 13/10/1943; accidents occurring to landing craft on voyage back to GB, late 1943. Recollections of operations with HMS Mauritius, 1944-1945: joining ship, 1/1944; story of mutiny by crew who thought they were going to Gibraltar rather then Liverpool and consequent loss of anchor; bombardment of Anzio, early 1944. REEL 5 Continues: close support work off Normandy, D-Day, 6 /6/1944; sight of gliders going in on afternoon of D-Day; viewpoint as anti-aircraft officer on D-Day, 6/6/1944; ship's role in raiding work on west coast of France; operation off Norwegian coast. Recollections of operations as captain of HMS Alacrity, off Korea, 1951-1952: order to take command of ship; role bombarding east and west coasts of North Korea; hits from shore based anti-tank gun off east coast of Korea; taking command of HMS Constance. Recollections of Corfu Incident with HMS Mauritius, 1946: shots from Albania whist negotiating northern Corfu Channel, 1946; loss of HMS Saumarez and HMS Volage to mines, 22/10/1946. REEL 6 Continues: opinion of origins of incident. Question of value of luck during career.

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