British boy seaman and seaman served aboard HMS Caradoc on China Station, 1932-1934; served aboard HMS Exeter in Atlantic, 1938-1940; served aboard HMS Kenya in Atlantic, 1940-1941; petty officer served aboard HMS Warwick in West Indies, 1942-1943; served aboard HMS Urania in Atlantic, Mediterranean, off Normandy and in Far East, 1943-1945; served aboard HMS Verulam in Mediterranean, 1947- 1949; served aboard HMS Snipe in South Atlantic, 1951-1953
REEL 1 Background in Birmingham in GB, 1915-1931: family; education; employment. Enlistment and training as boy seaman at HMS Ganges in GB, 1931: pattern of training; lack of effect of Invergordon Mutiny. Aspects of period as boy seaman and ordinary seaman aboard HMS Caradoc on China Station, 1932-1934: at anchorage at Hankow; regattas at Wei Hai Wei; providing anti-pirate escorts on River Yangste; skirmish with Chinese pirates; Chinese handling of junks; state of Chinese civilians living on River Yangste; dead bodies in river; foreign civilian presence in Hankow; ashore in Hankow; promotion to ordinary seaman, 1933; visits to Hong Kong and Kobe, Japan; contrast in manners between Chinese and Japanese civilians; how his instructor drew Moorcroft's attention to militarisation of children in Japan. Recollections of period as leading seaman aboard HMS Exeter in Atlantic, 1938-1939: joining ship as leading seaman, 5/1938; aid given by crew during Chilean earthquake.
REEL 2 Continues: damaged caused by earthquake in Concepcion; infestation of crab lice amongst crew after transporting refugees from Concepcion; story of how gunnery officer received nickname 'Clanking Irons' during sugar strike in Jamaica, 1938; patrolling in South Atlantic, 1939. Recollections of operations as seaman aboard HMS Exeter during Battle of the River Plate in Atlantic, 1939: call to action stations in Y turret, 13/12/1939; hearing shrapnel hitting funnels; arrival at his action station; sight of Graf Spee in distance; hits on the ship; loss of ship's power to Y turret; wounding of captain; damage to ship; captain's order to ram Graf Spee; condition inside Y turret; search for cup of tea after action; loss of petty officers during battle; damage to and casualties in A turret; helping casualties.
REEL 3 Continues: aftermath of the battle and voyage to Falkland Islands; repair work at Port Stanley, Falkland Islands; story of marine wounded in battle who died as Port Stanley, 18/1/1940; personal morale during the battle; state of his mess after action; problems working ship after battle; news of Graf Spee's scuttling; escort back to GB and piping Winston Churchill aboard on arrival in Plymouth, GB, 1/1940; uses pipe. Aspects of operations as seaman aboard HMS Kenya in Atlantic, 1940-1941: convoy escort duties and search for German raiders; compassionate leave, 4/1941; comparison between HMS Exeter and HMS Kenya; character of Captain Michael Denny. Recollections of operations as petty officer aboard HMS Warwick in West Indies, 1942-1943: character of ship; convoy work in West Indies.
REEL 4 Continues: opinion of US organisation of convoys; boarding of Belgian corvette in New York after crew mutinied; attitude to serving aboard ship; ships' armament. Recollections of operations as petty officer aboard HMS Urania in Atlantic, Mediterranean, off Normandy and Far East, 1943-1945: drafting to ship; character of ship and its armament; convoy escort duties in Atlantic and Mediterranean; shooting down of German aircraft off Rhodes, winter 1943- 1944; briefing prior to D-Day landings; sight of armada on route to Normandy; bombardment off Sword Beach on D-Day, 6/6/1944; loss of HMS Venus, c10/6/1944; loss of corvette off Channel Islands, summer 1944; escorting German hospital ship from Lorient to Plymouth, summer 1944; escorting HMS Victorious to Far East to join British Pacific Fleet.
REEL 5 Continues: reception in Sydney, Australia; kamikaze attacks on Allied ships in Pacific, 1945; bombardment of Japan, 3/8/1945; rescue of corpse of pilot from sea; reactions aboard ship to news of dropping of atomic bombs, 8/1945; victory parade in Sydney, Australia, 1945. Aspects of operations as petty officer aboard HMS Verulam in Mediterranean, 1947-1949: background to drafting to ship; change from HA to LA gun operation on ship; intercepting of illegal immigrants on route to Palestine, 1947-1948; need for boarding parties to wear protection; modifications to ship to deal with illegal immigrants; guard duties in Trieste, 1948-1949. Aspects of period as petty officer with HMS Snipe in South Atlantic, 1951- 1953: dispute with Argentinians over territorial claim to Graham's Land; removal of four Argentinians to Buenos Aires.