British driver served with 3rd Regt, Royal Horse Artillery, Royal Artillery in Germany, 1948-1952; served with 14th Field Regt, Royal Artillery in Korea and Hong Kong, 1952-1953
REEL 1 Recollections of background in Kettering, GB, 1928-1948: family background and social circumstances; education; effects of war, 1939-1945, including communal air raid shelter, visits to US airfield and contacts with US servicemen, family war service, evacuees and street parties. Work as cinema projectionist; background to volunteering to join Royal Artillery, 4/1948. Recollections of period with 172 Bty, 64th <Training> Regt, Royal Artillery at Oswestry Camp, GB, 4/1948-6/1948: reception and kitting out; hut accommodation; food rations; drill; PT; 25pdr gun drill and crew roles; relationship with recruits and instructors; canteen; preparing for kit inspections; passing out parade. Period at Royal Artillery base Depot, Woolwich Barracks, London, 6/1948-8/1948. Aspects of period with 3rd Regt, Royal Horse Artillery, Royal Artillery at Verdun Barracks, Munsterlaager, Germany, 9/1948-3/1952: journey out; barrack accommodation; learning to drive; driver and maintenance duties on Quad gun tower.
REEL 2 Continues: practicing dropping guns into action; exercise on Musterlaager ranges; role driving sergeant major's jeep; driving Sexton 25pdr Self Propelled guns; opinion of jeep; recreations; view of Belsen Concentration Camp; relationship with German civilians; role as duty driver for guard room; draft for Korean service; marriage, 4/1952. Kitting out at RABD, Woolwich Barracks, London, 4/1952. Voyage aboard HMS Fovey to Pusan, Korea, 4/1952. Aspects of period as driver with 14th Field Regt, Royal Artillery in Korea, 4/1952-12/1952: first impressions of Pusan; train journey to Seoul; perosna morale; joining unit in Kownag San area; terrain; role as driver attached to 25pdr gun crew; gun pit nad bunker; constant state of readiness for action; food rations and cooking; latrines; routine maintenance on Quad gun tower; moving gun into night forward position; assisting with loading ammunition; story of all-nigh firing during Chinese attack; lack of contact with officers; cold conditions; guard duty.
REEL 3 Continues: leave in Tokyo, Japan; move to Seoul rest camp, 12/1952. Period in New Territory, Hong Kong, 1/1953-5/1953: reception; routine maintenance duties in MT section; story of prior promotion to lance bombardier and demotion for being in ORs canteen, 1951; question of promotion to bombardier as inducement to stay in regular army. Voyage back to GB, 4/1953. Demobilisation, 7/1953. Post-service career: work as labourer in shoe factory and steel works; minimal reserve commitments.
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.