Tolfree, Derek (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 31411
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 90, Number Of Items 3
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview


Purchase & License
Object description

British midshipman and officer served aboard HMS Westminster in GB coastal waters, 1942-1945

Content description

REEL 1 Recollections of operations as midshipman and officer aboard HMS Westminster in GB coastal waters, 1942-1945: background to joining Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve; joining HMS Westminster as midshipman, 12/1942; characteristics of Wear Class destroyers; ship's radar; amusing story of reaction of HMS Wallace to presence of pawn broker balls on bridge of HMS Westminster's bridge; organisation of east coast convoys; relations between his captain and convoy commodore; threats faced by convoys; navigation. REEL 2 Continues: description of convoy escorts; air activity over convoys; further details of threats faced by convoys and methods of navigating by wrecks; secrecy surrounding radar; ship's officers; leave and courses attended in port; taking surrender of German U-boats, 5/1945; move to Norway waters, 5/1945. Aspects of period with Royal Navy from 1945: leaving ship and joining Tremathic Bay; towing U-boat to Russia; ashore in Russia; joining minesweeper. REEL 3 Continues: relations with captain of minesweeper; demobilisation and civilian career. Aspects of operations as midshipman and officer aboard HMS Westminster in GB coastal waters, 1942-1945: use of hydrophones to pick up sound of German E-boats; clash with E-boats; opinion of German E-boats and Coastal Forces; ship's officers; ship's anti-aircraft defences; amusing story of why ship was not involved in Dunkirk Evacuation; discussions of photographs and journal; period as midshipman aboard HMS Nelson; use of flags to signal.

Associated people and organisations
Associated places
Associated events
Associated themes

IWM Non Commercial Licence

The media for this item are free to reuse for non-commercial purposes under the IWM Non Commercial Licence. Video, sound and images can be embedded with the code we offer here, and images can also be downloaded.

By downloading any images or embedding any media, you agree to the terms and conditions of the IWM Non Commercial Licence, including your use of the attribution statement specified by IWM. For this item, that is: © IWM

  • Embed HTML
  • Embed HTML
  • Embed HTML