British NCO served as signaller with 2nd Black Watch in India, 1946-1948; served with Demonstration Battalion at School of Infantry at Warminster, GB, 1949-1950; served with 1st Bn Black Watch in Germany, 1950-1952; served with 1st Bn Black Watch, 29th British Infantry Bde, 1st Commonwealth Div in Korea, 1952-1953; served with 1st Bn Black Watch in Kenya, 1953-1955
REEL 1 Background in Bristol, GB, 1927-1944: family; education; employment; evacuation to Wales during Second World War; religious outlook; work in game shop during Second World War; German bombing of Bristol; volunteering for RAF Volunteer Reserve. Aspects of enlistment and training with General Service Corps in Northern Ireland, 1944: background to enlistment, 1944; attitude to army life; reasons for his discharge; death of brother in Normandy. Aspects of enlistment and training with Black Watch in GB, 1945: background to second enlistment; presence of Danes in unit; exercises.
REEL 2 Continues: pattern of training; breaking ankles during training; question of outlook of combat troops; recuperation from injuries; escorting German POWs. Recollections of period as NCO with 2nd Black Watch in India, 1946-1948: volunteering for service in India; voyage from GB to India; arrival in India; Lord Wavell’s connection with regiment; degree of awareness of Partition; barrack accommodation in Karachi; duties in aid of civil power; barrack servants; conditions in Peshawar on North West Frontier; opinion of Gurkhas; need for troops on North West Frontier during Second World War.
REEL 3 Continues: terrain around Khyber Pass; signals work; carved regimental badges in rock at Shirat; need to drink salt water; wearing of kilt; relations with officers; regimental discipline; cigarette rations; question of relations with civilian women; cure for foot rot; treatment of VD and sunburn cases; rules of engagement; problems of travelling to port.
REEL 4 Continues: story of acquiring nickname; reception at Queen’s Barracks in Perth; disbandment of battalion. Aspects of period as NCO with Demonstration Battalion at School of Infantry in Warminster, GB, 1949-1950: posting to unit; meeting future wife; cycling prowess; accommodation. Aspects of period as NCO with 1st Bn Black Watch in Germany, 1950-1952: posting to unit; crossing over border in Berlin; battalion duties; promotion; move to Buxtehude; taking wife illegally to Germany; training for Korea in Crail, Scotland; provision of National Servicemen. Recollections of operations as NCO with 1st Bn Black Watch, 29th British Infantry Bde, 1st Commonwealth Div in Korea, 1952-1953: reasons for volunteering for service in Korea; battalion officers; degree of awareness of situation in Korea; opinion of equipment and clothing.
REEL 5 Continues: arrival at Pusan; move to positions on Hill 210; cold weather conditions; Chinese use of speakers; American Air Force attack on own bridge; preparations made on The Hook for Chinese attack; use of barrage to break up Chinese attack on The Hook; Chinese bazooka attack on British tank; opinion of Royal Artillery; elements of fighting on The Hook; Chinese troops; hygiene amongst British troops; accuracy of Royal Artillery; opinion of medical personnel; character of NCOs.
REEL 6 Continues: bartering with Americans; opinion of weapons; sense of pride in regiment; leave in Japan; regimental padre; treatment of British dead; treatment of veterans during post-war visits to Korea; Chinese use of propaganda; lack of awareness of atrocities; shooting on North Korean aircraft; role of army; lessons learnt from military service.
REEL 7 Continues: Aspects of operations as NCO with 1st Bn Black Watch in Kenya, 1953-1955: background to posting to Kenya; arrangements for wife to join him in Kenya; opinion of Mau Mau activities; character of Masai; return to GB. Aspects of period as NCO with 1st Bn Black Watch in Berlin, Germany, 1956-1959: posting to Berlin; guard duties at Spandau Prison. Aspects of period as staff instructor in GB, 1959-1960: duties; story of breaking back. Various aspects of period as NCO with British Army in GB, Germany and Aden, 1960-19: promotion to company sergeant-major; outline of duties with 1st Bn Black Watch, 1960-1964; placing on long service list.
REEL 8 Continues: duties in Aden; duties at Hounslow Barracks; memories of Turkish invasion of Cyprus; resettlement course and move into civilian life; lessons learnt from military service.
Submarines played a key role in operations throughout the Cold War. Commodore Frederic Thompson, kept himself and his crewmates entertained, by creating ‘radio’ programmes, which were then broadcast over the submarine’s internal speakers.