Witton, Francis Charles (Frank) (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 34084
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 40, Number Of Items 2
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: recording

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Object description

British seaman served as stoker aboard HMS Woolston in Arctic, GB coastal waters and Mediterranean, 2/1942-7/1945.

Content description

REEL 1: Aspects of period in GB, 1922-1940: employed in reserve occupation with Handley Page at Radlett, Herts; released from employment and joined Royal Navy, 1940. Aspects of training with Royal Navy in GB, 1940-1941: posted to HMS Duke and HMS Pembroke for training as stoker; drafted to HMS Woolston, Rosyth, 2/1942. Aspects of operations aboard HMS Woolston in Arctic, GB coastal waters and Mediterranean, 2/1942-7/1945: brief period aboard HMS Vortigern while HMS Woolston at sea; posted to join Home Fleet at Scapa Flow; duties escorting Arctic convoys to Archangel, Russia; description of weather and sea conditions; problem of not having winter clothing; duties as stoker in boiler room; number of ships in convoy; length of voyage to Archangel; returned to Scapa Flow and joined East Coast convoys in GB; duties escorting troopships to Malta and landing craft to Sicily, 1943; description of ship being attacked by aircraft; story of nearly running out of fuel on voyage back to Plymouth; method of refuelling ship; use of evaporated water for boiler; method of cleaning boilers; use of sea water for showers; various memories of shipmates; story about catching fish for Christmas dinner, 12/1942. REEL 2 Continues: opinion of crew and officers; story of taking surrender of U-boat pens at Bergen, Norway, 5/1945; description of formal surrender ceremony aboard ship; paid off and returned to Chatham, 7/1945; sailed aboard HMS Suffolk to Australia; demobilized, 1946. Post-war life and employment.

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