Portman, Berkeley Charles Berkeley (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 13934
Department
Sound
Production date
1994-03-31
Subject period
Dimensions
  • whole: Duration 60, Number Of Items 2
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview
Creator
Category
sound

© IWM

Object description

British midshipman served aboard HMS Repulse in GB coastal waters and Atlantic, 1939; officer served aboard HMS Ramillies in Mediterranean and Indian Ocean, 1940-1942; served as beachmaster with K1 Commando, Combined Operations in GB and Italy, 1943; served aboard HMS Black Swan in Mediterranean and Atlantic, 1944

Content description

REEL 1 Background in GB, 1919-1936: family; education. Aspect of training as cadet with Royal Navy, 1936-1938: special entry into Royal Navy, 1936; cadet training at HMS Erebus, Portsmouth, 1937; in training cruiser HMS Vindictive, 1937-1938; drafting as midshipman on completion of training to HMS Nelson, 1938-1939. Aspects of period as midshipman aboard HMS Repulse in GB coastal waters and Atlantic, 1939: memories of Captain Spooner; attitude towards midshipmen by officers and lower deck; relations with German crew on board Deutschland in Gibraltar, confidence in Royal Navy on declaration of Second World War, 3/1939; escort duties in Atlantic,1939. Aspects of operations as officer aboard HMS Ramillies in Mediterranean and Indian Ocean, 1940-1942: drafting to ship; impressions of ship; duties as sub-lieutenant of gun room; duties in Mediterranean; torpedoing of ship by Japanese submarine at Diego Suarez, Madagascar, 1942. Recollections of operations as beachmaster with K1 Commando, Combined Operations in GB and Italy, 1943: attitude to joining beach commandoes; opinion of training at Troon. REEL 2 Continues: role of beachmasters; voyage from Scotland to Mediterranean; memories of speech by General Montgomery; landing at Cape, Pasaro, Sicily; method of preparing beach for landings; contracting malaria; strength of German opposition at Salerno, 9/1943; visit to battlefield inland of Salerno; duties taking landing craft back to GB including destruction of his LCT in bad weather in Bay of Biscay. Aspects of operations as officer aboard HMS Black Swan in Mediterranean and Atlantic, 1944: joining ship as first lieutenant at Troon; escort duties in Mediterranean; duties as first lieutenant on board ship; reasons for loss of hearing; torpedo training course at HMS Vernon after leaving ship, 1944-1945. Story of how he left the Royal Navy after being declared unfit for sea service due to deafness, 1948.

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