SCENES ON HMS MALAYA IN MEDITERRANEAN, 1937-1939 AND ON HMS NELSON IN HOME FLEET, 1939 [Allocated Title]
Amateur film shot by RN Chaplain Stanley Epps while serving (1937-1939) on HMS Malaya in the Mediterranean, including anti-gas, anti-aircraft and gunnery exercises and shore scenes in Malta and Egypt, and one reel on HMS Nelson in 1939, including a farm show on Orkney.
(Reel 1) Map of Palestine with oil pipe line from Iraq to Haifa marked. "September Crisis 1938": HMS Malaya sails from Haifa, under Mount Carmel, to Alexandria, with HMS Gallant (H.59) escorting. Scenes in Alexandria: RN submarine, Fairey Sea Fox landing, HMS Glorious with planes embarked, Imperial Airways Short Solent landing. Tourist views of Egypt: aerial shots of coast; Pyramid, Sphinx, Arab children, Cairo street scenes and Great Mosque with Moslems at prayer, exterior of Royal Palace; destroyer off snow-tipped mountainous coast (Crete ?) and RN officers ashore inspecting ruins of Palace of Knossos. Military parade (location unknown) inspected by Governor (?) includes soldiers, French sailors, RN sailors and Sea Scouts. Gibraltar: small church in hills and British sentry guarding border crossing to Spain at La Linea.
(Reel 2) (Faded colour) Scenes in Grand Harbour, Valletta. On board HMS Malaya, then in dry dock. Sailors wear anti-gas respirators, as does Padre Epps. Anti-aircraft exercise at sea, against Gloster Gladiators, and gunnery practice by HMS Malaya and Nelson Class battleship in line astern. HMS Ark Royal at sea. HMS Courageous or HMS Glorious. Tourist views of North Africa. Sailors feed monkeys. Classical sculpture outside Museum. Egyptians climb into De Havilland Rapide. Imperial Airways flying boat at Alexandria. RN sailors picnicking and swimming. Sunset. Entering Grand Harbour, Malta.
(Reel 3) (Black and White) Battleship entering Grand Harbour, viewed from shore. Sailors cross-country run and officers play polo in Malta. Anti-aircraft practice exercise at sea, against Hawker Hind (?) aircraft ; loading 4-inch ack-ack guns and gunnery drill (underexposed). Pushing depth charges over stern of cameraship. HMS Malaya's 15-inch turrets traverse and guns fire. Back in Grand Harbour: aircraft carrier; submarine and County Class cruiser set sail. At sea with Mediterranean Fleet off Gibraltar. Relaxation on board HMS Malaya: PT on deck, sailors resting and reading. Sailors with HMS Malaya capbands are lowered in whaler into sea, then row across to one of two aircraft carriers. HMS Witherington (D.76) and D.73 (?) in Home waters? Swordfish steam-catapulted off. Battleship and County Class cruiser, and views of the Fleet. Stick-fighting on deck for bayonet practice.
(Reel 4) (Black and White) Gunnery practice on board HMS Nelson in the Home Fleet; traversing and firing of 15-inch guns, 2-pounder ack-ack and 4.7-inch ack-ack. Scottish kilted Sea Scouts come on board and dance reels, presumably off Scapa Flow. (Colour) HMS Rodney at sea. Summer on the Norfolk Broads (?), sailors on lake. On board HMS Nelson, still pre-September 1939 since capbands are visible. Padre Epps looks at camera. Shetland pony at Farm Show on Orkney. Boy cadets scrub deck of HMS Nelson with holystone and sand. Signalling with flags. HMS Fame (H.78) passes. Admiral and Captain on deck of HMS Nelson. (Black & White) King George V Class battleship enters Portsmouth. High angle views from Rochester Castle, showing cathedral and River Medway, with Church of St Mary's Strood (where Epps was vicar from 1930-1936, when also chaplain of the Shaftesbury Society Training ship Arethusa). Scenes on board sailing ship Arethusa. Final shot shows US Missouri Class battleship leaving Portsmouth (post-1945).