British seaman served aboard HMS Royal Oak in GB coastal waters, 1939 including sinking 10/1939; petty officer served on shore duties at HMS Excellent, Whale Island, GB, 1940-1941; served aboard HMS Witherington and HMS Aberdeen in Atlantic, 1941-1944
REEL 1 Recollections of period as seaman aboard HMS Royal Oak in GB coastal waters, 1939: joining ship, 6/1939; working up at Portland; reaction to hearing declaration of Second World War at Scapa Flow, 3/9/1939; confidence in security of Scapa Flow against U-boat attack; reasons why ship stayed as anti- aircraft defence ship at Scapa Flow; duties including teaching; relations between officers and lower deck; amusing story of discipline measures taken against boy seaman; gap in the defences at Scapa Flow; torpedoing of ship by U 47; his actions on first torpedoing; burning during secondary explosions; abandoning ship; noise of ship turning over.
REEL 2 Continues: period in water and attempt to avoid swallowing oil; rescue from water by raft; initial treatment for burns; evacuation in hospital ship; hospitalisation in Invergordon; burns treatment to his hands; medical treatment prior to drafting to HMS Excellent at Whale Island, 1940; his state of health since burning on board HMS Royal Oak; attitude towards German U-boat crew responsible for sinking; activities of Royal Oak Survivors Association. Aspects of operations as petty officer aboard HMS Witherington in Atlantic, 1941- 1942: joining ship, 1941.
REEL 3 Continues: Atlantic convoy duties; collision with Norwegian vessel in fog in Cape Cod area, 2/1941. Recollections of operations as petty officer aboard HMS Aberdeen in Atlantic, 1942-1944: joining ship; convoy work between GB and Freetown; use of decoy tactics against U-boat packs; spoof tactics employed during Operation Strawberry; story of sinking U- boat aboard HMS Witherington off Canadian coast; decoy tactics employed by German U-boat; attitude towards German U-boat crews; reasons why U-boat threat was defeated; losses during convoys, 1941; escorting US troops into Northern Ireland.