Waters, John (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 34089
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 66, Number Of Items 2
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: recording

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Object description

British seaman served aboard HMS Wakeful in Atlantic, 1939-1940, HMS Warspite in North Atlantic and Mediterranean, 1940-1941, LST 9 in Atlantic and Mediterranean, 1942-1943 and with Naval Party 1730 in North West Europe, 1944-1946

Content description

REEL 1: Aspects of period in GB, 1921-1939: family background in Co. Durham; left school age 14 and worked as apprentice bricklayer; reasons for wanting to join the Royal Navy; description of basic training as seaman at Chatham, 3-9/1939. Aspects of operations aboard HMS Wakeful in Atlantic, 9/1939-1/1940: joined ship in Plymouth, 9/1939; messing arrangements; action station in B gun turret; watch system; reaction to outbreak of war, 3/Sep/1939; description of duties escorting convoys from Liverpool to mid-Atlantic; story about accident falling down ship stairway and medical treatment in GB,1/1940; drafted to HMS Warspite, 2/1940. Aspects of operations aboard HMS Warspite in North Atlantic and Mediterranean, 2/1940-4/1941: role in operations during Second Battle of Narvik, 5/1940; joined battle fleet at Alexandria, 7/1940; sea trials; duties escorting convoys to Malta; description of bombarding coast at Bardia; role in operations during Battle of Calabria, 7/1940 and Battle of Cape Matapan, 3/1941; story of attempting to rescue Italian sailors; problem of damage to hearing after ship bombed off Crete; description of medical treatment at hospital in Alexandria; posted to depot ship HMS Woolwich; description of duties as skimmer boat driver taking signals to destroyers; volunteered for Combined Operations and returned to GB, 1941. Aspects of operations aboard LST 9 in Atlantic and Mediterranean, 1942-1943: story of sailing LST 9 back from New Orleans via New York to Mediterranean, late 1942. REEL 2 Continues: role in carrying artillery and troops from 51st Highland Div to Sicily, 3/1943; description of landing tanks and troops at night; further trips to Catania and Messina; story of coming under fire while unloading LST 9 on beach and taking shelter in railway tunnel; moved to Syracuse; returned to GB. Aspects of period with Royal Navy in GB, 1943-1944: posted to HMS Ganges; passed out as leading seaman; role in training boy seamen; posted to Southport; rank; description of preparations for Normandy landings; issued with khaki uniform; arrived in Normandy two weeks after D-Day, 6/1944. Aspects of operations with Naval Party 1730 in North West Europe, 6/1944-5/1946: landed at Antwerp, Belgium; description of following army across Belgium and during advance to Hamburg, Germany; story of being based in Four Seasons Hotel in Hamburg; chain of command in Naval Party; opinion of conditions in hotel; posted to former SS barracks at Altersdorf; demobilized, 5/1946. Post-war life and employment in GB: description of work as bricklayer repairing bomb damage in London.

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