British seaman served as telegraphist aboard HMS Redpole in GB coastal waters, 1957-1959; served aboard HMS Belfast in GB coastal waters and Far East, 1959-1961. Various postings with Royal Navy, 1961-1969
REEL 1 Background in Glasgow and Singapore, 1941-1957: family; education and hobbies; voyage to Singapore; return to GB to continue education. Aspects of enlistment and training with Royal Navy at Portsmouth Barracks, 1957: short period as apprentice at RAF Halton prior to enlistment in Royal Navy; background to direct entry into Royal Navy; reception at Portsmouth Barracks; issue of uniform and hammocks; medical inspection; issue of station card; pockets in bellbottom trousers; opinion of food; attitude towards drilling; basic training; choice of communications division. Recollections of training at Communications Training Centre, HMS Mercury, 1957-1958: character of training as telegraphist; obtaining insignia and uniform on passing out; weapons training.
REEL 2 Continues: fire drills; daily routine at HMS Mercury; evening and weekend shore leave; recreational facilities at HMS Mercury; character of duty watches; organisation of camp; presence of Wrens; opinion of discipline; reasons for punishment; inspections; training courses for serving seaman; size of Wren contingent; role of Wrens within Communication Division; passing out parade; parent's attitude to his being in Royal Navy; instructions to join HMS Redpole at Portsmouth, 7/1958.
REEL 3 Continues: Aspects of period as junior telegraphist aboard HMS Redpole in GB coastal waters, 1958- 1959: initial impressions of joining ship; ship's communication complement; sleeping and living arrangements; canteen messing; cleaning of mess and inspections; facilities for cleaning clothes; use of limited space; daily duties including flag duty; ship's duties in GB coastal waters; trips to France and Netherlands; visit to Londonderry; enhancing telegraphist training at HMS Mercury; reaction to drawing first rum ration; character of rum ration.
REEL 4 Continues: Recollections of period as telegraphist aboard HMS Belfast in GB coastal waters and Far East, 1959-1961: background to drafting to ship at Devonport, 5/1959; initial sight of ship during refit; finding way around ship; work carried out during refit; arrangements for weekend leave; sea trials; adjusting to watch system; gunnery trials; rescue of aircrew ditched in sea; reaction to leaving for Far East on first commission, 8/1959; letter writing; medical facilities on board ship; stops at Gibraltar and Malta; shore leave in Malta; voyage through Suez Canal; situation in Aden; arrival in Singapore, 10/1959; exercises in Far East; hospitalisation in Singapore.
REEL 5 Continues: recuperation in Malaya; three week period in Provost Marshal's office in Singapore waiting for HMS Belfast to return to port; being placed on light duties; ship's role as flag ship and role of flag officer; harbour duties; taking his leading hand course in Singapore; watch system in harbour; shore leave and pay; watch system at sea; communications duties; special duty stations; communication between ships; radio frequencies used; dealing with signals including ones relating to personal circumstances, weather and coded.
REEL 6 Continues: classified material; procedure for sending signals from ship; personal messages; his action station in main wireless office; opinion of operation of ship; method of receiving orders during action stations; role of Staff Communications Officer; chain of command in communications department; adjusting to life on board a cruiser; use of bunk and storage for facilities; availability of educational facilities; climate in Far East including sleeping arrangements; problems with severe sunburn; entertainment on board; shore leave; discipline aboard. common reasons for discipline be administered; reasons why he was not disciplined for sunburn.
REEL 7 Continues: incident when he lent station card to shipmate who went absent without leave; subsequent punishment for offence; effects of twenty first birthday celebrations; reasons for removal of tattoo; incident during flag raising; Crossing the Line ceremony, 2/3/1960; degree of contact with Captain; end of commission, 1/1961; reaction to leaving ship. Various aspects of naval career 1961-1969: air traffic control duties at RAF Lossiemouth; duties in Malta; attitude to serving in Malta; drafting to HMS Tenby; obtaining good conduct badge; drafting to HMS Lofoten.
REEL 8 Continues: drafting to HMS Aim in West Indies, 1966; role of HMS Aim as radar picket; guard ship duties in West Indies; living conditions aboard HMS Aim; attitude to leaving Royal Navy, 1969; attending course on return to civilian life; demobilisation routine and reaction to leaving without word of thanks from officers; relevance of naval skills to civilian career; adjusting to civilian life. Attitude to serving with Royal Navy.