Fairweather, Clifford William ('Stormy') (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 34083
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 55, Number Of Items 2
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: recording

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Object description

British seaman served as signaller aboard HMS Westcott in Arctic and English Channel, 1943-1945, including Normandy landings, 6/1944; served with Royal Navy in Mediterranean and Indian Ocean, 1945-1946.

Content description

REEL 1: Aspects of period in GB, 1926-1943: family background in Colchester; education; left school age 14; employment as wood turner; story of joining Royal Navy age 17 in Ipswich, 1943; reaction of employer and family. Aspects of training with Royal Navy in GB, 1943: posted to HMS Arthur, Skegness for basic training; posted to HMS Scotia, Ayr, Scotland for training as signaller; drafted from Chatham to HMS Westcott at Greenock, Scotland. Aspects of operations aboard HMS Westcott in Arctic and English Channel, 1943-1945: description of hammock; story of being nicknamed ‘Stormy’; problem of seasickness during Arctic convoys; description of signalling with flags; story of crawling along yard arm; description of ice hitting ship; story of being stopped by Russian woman sentry in Murmansk; duties escorting battleships during D-Day landings, 6/Jun/1944; problem with engines and returned to Solent for repairs; story of elder brother signalling from Motor Torpedo Boat; description of using flags and lamps to send signals; reason for using Aldis lamp at night; story about signalling competition with flags; use of Morse code with lamps; relations with telegraphists; location of captain’s cabin; story of opening fire and dropping depth charges on German U-boat; description of clothing; received knitted scarves and gloves from civilians in GB and US; sailed to Canary Islands prior to D-Day landings; story of blast from guns clearing chimney stack; completed five Arctic convoys; description of VE Day celebrations, 5/1945; role of ship intercepting surrendering U-boats. REEL 2 Continues: returned to Greenock and drafted to Dutch ship in Far East. Aspects of operations with Royal Navy in Mediterranean and Indian Ocean, 1945-1946: duties escorting ships to Gibraltar and mopping up Japanese troops in Dutch East Indies; opinion of Javanese troops; issued with revolver; story about two Japanese war criminals and hampers of items taken from Allied POWs; size of crew; role in charges of signals; learned to speak Dutch during period in Borneo; story of swimming in crocodile infested river; transferred to tanker in Dutch East Indies; description of voyage back to GB and demobilisation at Chatham, 1946. Aspects of post-war life and employment in GB: resumed employment as wood turner; role in organising re-unions from HMS Westcott and other V&W class ships.

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