Bowler, Arthur Ledley Albert (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 32070
Department
Sound
Dimensions
  • whole: Duration 105, Number Of Items 4
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview
Creator
Category
sound

© IWM

Purchase & License
Object description

British seaman served with Royal Navy in GB and Gibraltar, 1942; served aboard HMS Venomous in Mediterranean, 1942-1943; served with Royal Navy on shore duties in GB, 1943-1944; served with HMS Howe in Pacific, 1944-1946

Content description

REEL 1 Background in Oxford, GB, 1923-1942: story of hospitalisation; memories of childhood; work of father; education; joining of Royal Navy including outbreak of war, 3/9/1939; civilian work. Aspects of period as seaman with Royal Navy in GB, 1942: memories of training period at HMS Collingwood; uniform; haircut; settling into navy life; evening activities including details of watches; voyage to Gibraltar including story of getting lost on ship. Aspects of period as seaman with Royal Navy in Gibraltar, 1942: posting to naval air station; details of Gibraltar; story of getting drunk and subsequent illness; duties; lectures; discipline; issue of lime juice; rum ration; story of rum drunk on 21st Birthday; drinking of rum after service; Ceremony of the Keys. REEL 2 Continues: reason for decision to join Royal Navy; news of posting to HMS Venomous. Aspects of period as seaman aboard HMS Venomous in Mediterranean, 1942-1943: first impressions of ship; sleeping arrangements; washing facilities; preparation and budgeting of meals including story of plum duff made; washing facilities; details of accommodation; seasickness; state of Mediterranean before Sicily landings; details of ship; memories of crew including officer known as Mad Jack; convoy duties including own role and action station; action against submarines; signs of danger watched for; visits to Algiers; clothing worn on ship; cleaning of kit and mess deck; period in Alexandria; involvement in Sicily landings, 7/1943, including damage from air raids; return to GB via Gibraltar. REEL 3 Continues: further details of involvement in Sicily landings. Aspects of period as seaman with Royal Navy in GB, 1943-1944: leave on return to GB; story of marriage; mail including use of special envelopes; details of gunnery course undertaken; discipline; accommodation; details of HMS Excellent; sentry duties. Aspects of operations as seaman with HMS Howe in Pacific, 1944-1946: details of ship; voyage through Suez Canal; crossing the line ceremony; role in Far East; periods in Australia including Christmas 1944 and relationship with civilians; maintenance of guns; crew; differences to life aboard HMS Venomous; rations; periods at sea; details of card game played; washing facilities; scenes of kamikaze attacks at Okinawa including near miss. REEL 4 Continues: activities during Okinawa invasion; visit to Durban including news of war’s end; visit from Lord Mountbatten; return to GB; demobilisation including reflections on service and application for medals; settling into civilian life.

Associated people and organisations

Fair Dealing

All Rights Reserved except for Fair Dealing exceptions otherwise permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.