British signal rating served aboard HMS Queen Mary, 1914-1915; served aboard HMS Princess Royal, HMS Bayano, HMS Nerissa, HMS Oriana, HMS Padstow and HMS Wallflower, 1915-1918
REEL 1 Recollections of training as boy signaller at HMS Ganges, Shotley, 1913: reception and kitting out; food rations; seamanship training; prevalence of corporal punishment; assessment in education classes and assignment to signals branch; signals training. Period at Portsmouth Barracks, 1913. Period as signal boy aboard HMS Queen Mary, 1/1914-1/1915: officers including Captain William Hall; laundry; absence of naval police aboard ship; semaphore tower fire at Portsmouth; spring cruise; signal boys' mess; stories of visit to St Petersburg and speed of Russian motorboats during cruise of 1st Battlecruiser Sqdn to Russia; background to recruitment into Royal Navy, 1913; family Background.
REEL 2 Story of leaving HMS Bayano with undiagnosed fever after patrol in Arctic, ca 2/1915. Period aboard HMS Princess Royal, 1st Battlecruiser Sqdn, 1915: promotion; question of posting to destroyers. Recollections of period aboard HMS Nerissa, 13th Destroyer Flotilla, 1915-1916: striking mainmast whilst passing under Forth Bridge; aspects of Battle of Jutland, 31/5/1916, sinking of HMS Queen Mary, destroyer attack and Bingham's refusal of help aboard sinking HMS Nestor, formation of combined flotilla, destroyers lost in night action, casualties and personal morale. Aspects of Battle of Heligoland Bight aboard HMS Queen Mary, 26/8/1914: signals station below waterline; voicepipe messages and question of use of phonetic alphabet; working signal flag arrangements from below decks; question of signal visibility and lookout duty in crows nest. Recollections of period aboard HMS Nerissa, HMS Oriana, HMS Padstow and HMS Wallflower, ca 1915-1918: responsibilities as signaller aboard destroyers; promotion to leading signaller and relationship with Captain H I M L Scott aboard HMS Oriana; attending yeoman's' signal course; opinion of Royal Naval Reserve captain aboard HMS Padstow; minesweeping role on south coast; cleaning bridge area; Armistice Day, 11/11/1918; post-war loss of seniority. Various aspects of naval career, ca 1913-1930: choice of Portsmouth as Home Port; relationship with signal bosuns.
REEL 3 Continues: relationship with signal bosuns; question of son's naval career; story of manning water pump aboard ship docking at Haifa, Palestine, ca 1919; coaling ship aboard HMS Queen Mary; question of role of signal boson and signal officers; story of appearing on multiple charges and subsequent A10 punishment illustrating nature of discipline at Signal School; story of interrogation when prosecuting rating aboard HMS Wallflower; question of post-war decline in quality of signal ratings; case of punishment by public birching aboard HMS Queen Mary; sewing uniforms; sporting activities and recreations; question of bullying and fights; duties at Portsmouth.
REEL 4 Continues: duties at Portsmouth; relationship with various recruits, signallers and signal yeoman; reactions to sinking of HMS Queen Mary; question of fair allotment of leave at Signal School.