British boy seaman and signal boy trained at HMS Ganges, Shotley and HMS Pembroke, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham, GB, 1912-1913; served as signal boy and signalman aboard HMS Vengeance, HMS Dominion and HMS Patrol in GB coastal waters and North Sea, 1913-1919; served as signalman aboard HMS Repulse in GB coastal waters, 1920-1922
REEL 1: Background in Plumstead, London, 1896-1912: family; education; employment as shop assistant; reason for joining Royal Navy. Aspects of training as boy seaman in GB, 1912-1913: drafted to HMS Ganges; accommodation in Shotley barracks; opinion of other recruits; sleeping and messing arrangements; story of dormitory; description of seamanship training; story of learning to swim; description of training as signaller; types of signalling equipment; posted to Chatham barracks for training as signal boy. Aspects of period as signal boy aboard HMS Vengeance and HMS Dominion, 1913-1914: description of ship; pay; messing arrangements; duties as signal boy.
REEL 2 Continues: Aspects of period as signalman aboard HMS Dominion, 1914-1918: sailed to Scapa Flow and reaction to outbreak of war, 8/1914; opinion of German navy; role as watch keeper; problem of drying uniform; daily routine and duties on patrol in North Sea; coaling ship; washing facilities; opinion of officers; recreational and sporting activities; weather conditions; story of gunnery exercise; story of torpedo attack; memory of Christmas dinner; opinion of rations.
REEL 3 Continues: home leave; attitude to naval life and discipline; method of communication with signal station; question of protection of ship against attack; shore leave; role of Dominion in Fleet; refitting of guns; attitude to alcohol; posted to Maplin lighthouse for ten days, 1917; description of lighthouse and nature of duties; amusing story of graffiti. Aspect of operations aboard HMS Patrol in Irish Sea, 1917-1919: story of being drafted to HMS Patrol; opinion of Captain Campbell; role patrolling Irish Sea for U-boats; signal complement and duties; story of waking up captain.
REEL 4 Continues: conclusion of story; story of signalman; method of attacking U-boats; memory of Armistice, 11/11/1918; paid off at Holyhead, 4/1919; question of being posted to China station. Aspects of period in Baltic Sea, 1919-1920: drafted to Russia aboard cargo ship Winhill; crew and accommodation; desertion of crew members; description of journey to Russia via Copenhagen; duties as ship's cook; question of flying White Ensign; water supplies; weather conditions; opinion of rations; story of soup.
REEL 5 Continues: living conditions and problem of cold; drafted to HMS Repulse, 12/1920. Aspects of period aboard HMS Repulse, 1920-1922: description of ship; speed trials and conditions in Bay of Biscay; memory of meeting Mountbatten; gunnery exercises; promoted leading signalman, 6/1921; question of competition with other ships including HMS Hood; story of signal flags; discharged from Navy and put on Reserve, 1922.