British seaman served as radar operator aboard HMS Bulwark in GB coastal waters and Mediterranean, 1979-1982; served aboard HMS Alacrity during Falklands War, 1982; civilian member of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in GB, 1983-1992
REEL 1 Background in Wellingborough, GB, 1962-1978: family; education. Aspects of enlistment and training with Royal Navy in GB, 1978-1979: reasons for joining Royal Navy, 1978; character of initial training at HMS Raleigh; radar training at HMS Dyrad; attitude towards naval life. Aspects of period as radar operator aboard HMS Bulwark in GB coastal waters and Mediterranean, 1979-1982: character of aircraft carrier; lack of shipboard experience during training; accommodation and conditions on board; mess discipline; importance of camaraderie; adventure aspect to naval life.
REEL 2 Continues: question of doubts about naval career; his reaction to increasing dependence of naval lifestyle; ‘notice engagement’ commitment; relations between officers and seamen; relations between petty officers and seamen; story of starting process to leave Royal Navy prior to Falklands War; attitude towards Royal Navy request system. Recollections of operations as radar operator aboard HMS Alacrity during Falkland War, 1982: draft to ship; assessment of ship’s fighting capabilities; announcement of Falklands Crisis by captain; question of ignorance as to location of Falkland Islands; crisis atmosphere in London during leave.
REEL 3 Continues: re-joining ship in Plymouth; last evening ashore prior to leaving Plymouth; preparations for war aboard ship; low key departure from Plymouth; arrival of Ascension Island; atmosphere aboard ship; working regime; realisation of serious nature of situation; reaction to listening to parliamentary debates on BBC World Service; captain’s briefing prior to silent approach to Falkland Islands; Argentinean Air Force attack on ship; lack of night training; reaction to sinking of Belgrano; change in atmosphere aboard ship after sinking of Belgrano; personal morale.
REEL 4 Continues: threat of Exocet missile attack; degree of preparedness on board; opinion of heightened awareness and efficiency in action; rescue mission to Atlantic Conveyor; sight of fire fighting aboard Atlantic Conveyor; view of crew abandoning Atlantic Conveyor; sight of Atlantic Conveyor crew member falling to death and attempts to get dead man out of water; dealing with survivors on board; decision not to attend funerals of Atlantic Conveyor dead; opinion of acts of bravery during rescue; question of publicity given to Prince Andrew during rescue; morale after rescue; use of black humour.
REEL 5 Continues: ship’s role in Falkland Sound; sinking of Argentinean supply ship; opinion of ship’s captain; adaptation to war routine; reactions to being ordered home before end of war; rest breaks for crew; questioning of war and role of politicians; reception at Plymouth; question of other personnel who left Royal Navy after war. Aspects of period as civilian member of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in GB, 1983-1993: question of HMS Sheffield’s nuclear role in Falklands War; question of nuclear weapons taken to South Atlantic; activities with organisation.
REEL 6 Continues: involvement with Ex-Services CND; generational divisions within organisation; role on national council of organisation; role of organisation during Gulf War, 1/1991; opinion of international arms trade; reaction to Gulf crisis, 1/1993; opinion of organisation’s future role.