First World War - War in the Air

Laraway, John (IWM interview)

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Catalogue number
  • 22361
Production date
2001-11-28
Subject period
Alternative Names
  • object category: IWM interview
Creator
Category
sound

Object description

British boy seaman served aboard HMS Barham in Atlantic and Mediterranean, 1939-1941 including sinking, 11/1941; served aboard HMS Havock in Mediterranean, 1941-1942; interned in Lagouat Camp, Algeria, 1942

Content description

REEL 1 Background in Preston, Lancs, 1923-1939: family; education. Aspects of enlistment and training with Royal Navy in GB, 1939: enlistment as boy seaman, 6/1939; basic training at HMS Ganges. Recollections of operations as boy seaman aboard HMS Barham in Atlantic and Mediterranean, 1939- 1941: duties on board; trials from Scapa Flow; role of ship during Dakar Raid and Battle of Cape Matapan; damage to ship from German aircraft off Crete; ashore in Durban; torpedoing and sinking of ship, 25/11/1941; escape from ship and rescue by HMS Hotspur; reasons for drafting of boy seamen to other ships. REEL 2 Continues: memories of shipmate Danny Cochrane. Aspects of operations as boy seaman aboard HMS Havock in Mediterranean, 1941-1942: his action station; role of ship; damage caused by Italian cruisers; use of air raid shelters in Malta whilst ship in dry docks; running aground off Cape Bon. Aspects of period as internee in Algeria, 1942: capture by Spahis in Tunisia; aid received from civilians in camp at Algiers; transfer to Lagouat Camp in desert; conditions in Lagouat Camp; guards shooting of escaper; attempt to tunnel out of camp; release from camp, 11/1942. Attitude to having served in Royal Navy in Second World War.

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