British seaman served aboard HMS Blanche, HMS Superb and HMS Lucia in North Sea, 1915-1919; present at Battle of Jutland, 1916
REEL 1: Background in Whitney, Oxfordshire, 1899-1915: family; education; employment; activities with Boys' Brigade including drill and religious education; role as bugler with band; reaction to outbreak of war, 8/1914; attitude to Germans; memory of Kitchener recruitment poster and question of patriotism; reason for joining Navy, 2/1915; reaction of parents; story of journey to Devonport, 3/1915. Aspects of training as boy seaman with Royal Navy in GB, 1915: posted to training ship HMS Powerful; memory of smell of disinfectant; problem of contracting scarlet fever; description of conditions aboard training ship and daily routine. Aspects of period as boy seaman aboard HMS Blanche based at Scapa Flow, 1915; messing arrangements for boy seamen; opinion of food; personal possessions and kit bag; duty watch and position in gun turret; memory of scrubbing decks in bare feet; relations with older seamen; attitude to naval life and discipline; attitude to bad language; story of returning late from leave and punishment; story of shaving; opinion of officers; daily routine at Scapa Flow; problem of boredom.
REEL 2 Continues: story of losing scrubber; memory of Captain Casement; description of role as wireless messenger; role of HMS Blanche as special repeating ship relaying signals during Battle of Jutland, 5/1916; memory of ship firing at Zeppelin; memory of HMS Vanguard blowing up. Aspects of operations as seaman aboard HMS Superb, 1917-1918: messing arrangements; problem of bullying; problem of seasickness; story of other seaman named Brice; daily routine including scrubbing decks and cleaning guns and paintwork; description of duties on watch; recreational activities; naval customs and language; role of boy seaman during coaling; story of setting bearing for guns; role in magazine room; posted to shore establishment HMS Vernon at Portsmouth for further training. Aspects of operations aboard HMS Lucia on River Tees, 1918: nature of duties with submarines including loading torpedoes; story of defusing mines at Whitby and Seaton Carewe
REEL 3 Continues: question of training; memory of Captain Naismith; reaction to Armistice, 11/1918. Aspects of operations as seaman aboard HMS Lucia in Baltic, 1919: role accompanying submarine L 55 to Baltic, 1919; story of sinking of Russian cruiser Kronstadt; story of discovery of wreckage of submarine L55 in 1925. Aspects of period aboard HMS Iron Duke in Constantinople, 1919-1924: description of role in telephone exchange. Aspects of period as seaman aboard Royal Yacht, 1924-1939: description of duties as seaman rigger; story of voyage to Gibraltar and Italy; memory of Spithead review. Aspects of operations as seaman aboard HMS Effingham, 1939-1940: nature of role aboard HMS Effingham during Narvik operation; story of running aground and rescue. Aspects of period in GB: description of role at Portsmouth barracks.
REEL 4 Continues: Aspects of operations as seaman aboard HMS Assegai in Mediterranean: story of voyage to South Africa and sinking by German U-Boat; description of rescue and conditions aboard rescue ship; description of journey back to GB via North and South Africa and Ceylon. Demobilization at Portmouth barracks and story of chance meeting with fellow resident of Whitney. Reflections on period of naval service.