Scott, Peter William (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 34038
Production date
  • whole: Duration 240, Number Of Items 8
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview


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Object description

British civilian cinema projectionist in London, GB, 1940-1943; boy telegraphist trained with Royal Navy in GB, 1943-1944; telegraphist served aboard HMS Albrighton in GB coastal waters and during Normandy landings, 1944 including duties with beach party on Gold Beach; served aboard HMS Wolfhound in GB coastal waters and Norway, 1945

Content description

REEL 1 Background in London, GB, 1926-1939: family; details of recent illness during veterans’ trip; education; opinion of Neville Chamberlain; question of GBs preparedness for war in 1939. Recollections of period as civilian cinema projectionist in London, 1940-1943: attitude to initial employment; nature of work as cinema projectionist; popularity of cinema visits; cinema programme; air raids during walk home from Tooting Broadway to Clapham Junction; transfer to Clapham Junction; continued use of cinemas during bombing; fire-watching duties; listening to Warsaw Concerto during film ‘Dangerous Moonlight’. REEL 2 Continues: sleeping through bombing; incident of narrow escape from bomb; public spirit during bombing; attitude towards bombing; his father’s taking the Daily Herald newspaper. Recollections of enlistment and training as boy telegraphist with Royal Navy in GB, 1943-1944: reasons for choice of navy; background to volunteering; reception on arrival at HMS Royal Arthur, Skegness; age of recruits; move from initial accommodation; hiving off of specialists; regional mix of recruits. REEL 3 Continues: his volunteer status; attempts to avoid Sunday Divisions; faking impetigo condition; move to Scotland; learning Morse Code; punishment received; narrow escape from female naval personnel; story of how he disliked song ‘The Road to Mandalay’ , 12/1943; move to Chatham; sleeping in hammock; method of ‘recycling’ equipment; sight of reform boys at original Borstal establishment. REEL 4 Continues: off duty activities; brief first draft to HMS Nith. Aspects of period as telegraphist aboard motor launch in GB coastal waters, c2/1944: joining ship; duties on board; story of using wooden case to sit on during long train journey. Recollections of operations as telegraphist aboard HMS Albrighton in GB coastal waters and during Normandy landings including period with beach party on Gold Beach, 1944: drafting to ship; character of destroyer; sight of US casualties from Slapton Sands; story of avoiding punishment for throwing mess knives and forks overboard; watch system worked; messing arrangements; tidiness. REEL 5 Continues: mess life; rum ration; discipline on board; relaxed discipline on board smaller ship; ablutions and need for tidiness; going ashore; telegraphist duties; conversion of ship to headquarters vessel; role with beach party on Normandy beaches; crossing Channel and landings in Normandy, 5/6/1944-6/6/1944; going ashore with beach party; digging radio position. REEL 6 Continues: going on board merchant ships act as signaller; effects of storm, 6/1944; physical state during period on beach; story of being on board ship when cargo shifted with signaller who suffered from night blindness; attempt to get to Bayeux whilst off duty; use of bicycle to hunt for souvenirs; use of bicycle attached to dynamo; RAF Commando who set off mine; return to GB during German V1 attacks, 9/1944. REEL 7 Continues: agricultural work at Borstal Camp, c9/1944. Aspects of period as telegraphist aboard landing craft, 1945: story of loss of man overboard; how officer lost way on route to Cornwall; voyage across Atlantic in landing craft via Gibraltar, Azores and Bermuda; return to GB aboard Queen Mary. Recollections of period as telegraphist aboard HMS Wolfhound in GB coastal waters, 1945: drafting to V and W destroyer; joining ship at Scapa Flow; problems with water supply on board; ship’s armament; speed of ship; mess life; provision of books and newspapers. REEL 8 Continues: experiences on board landing craft in Atlantic, 1945; visit to Bergen, Norway, 5/1945; presence of German POWs in Norway; attending dance in Norway; situation in Bergen. Attitude towards Royal Navy service.

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