British midshipman served aboard HMS Prince of Wales in GB coastal waters, Atlantic, Mediterranean and Far East, 1941 including sinking 12/1941; served aboard HMS Exeter in Far East, 1942 including sinking 3/1942; POW in Dutch East Indies, 1942-1945; various appointments as officer with Royal Navy in GB, Persian Gulf and West Indies, 1945-1972
REEL 1 Aspects of period as cadet with Royal Naval College, Dartmouth in GB, 1939-1940: degree of experience; uniform worn. Recollections as midshipman aboard Prince of Wales in GB coastal waters, Atlantic and Far East, 1941: joining ship in Rosyth, 1/1941, month served aboard HMS Renown; commissioning of ship, 3/1941; working up; his action station; opinion of ship's anti-aircraft defences; duties as midshipman of the watch; repeat of cadet service and joining ship.
REEL 2 Continues: training on board; conditions and pay; life in gun room; working up trials; start of hunt for Bismarck, 5/1941; need to refuel in Iceland; initial sighting of Bismarck and Prinz Eugen by HMS Suffolk in Denmark Straits; reaction to prospect of engaging German ships; intercepting and opening fire on Bismarck; effects of shell fire from Bismarck on ship's bridge.
REEL 3 Continues: nature of damage to ship; move to Iceland to refuel; return to Rosyth; discovery of shell lodged in ship; memories of Atlantic Charter signing, 8/1941; visit to gun room by Prime Minister Winston Churchill; escort duties with Malta Convoy in Mediterranean, 9/1941; arrival of Admiral Tom Philips, 10/1941; voyage from GB to Singapore via South Africa, 11/1941-12/1941; reports of Japanese presence in South China Sea; opening fire during air raid on Singapore; sailing from Singapore to attack Japanese forces, 8/12/1941; lack of air support.
REEL 4 Continues: Japanese torpedo bomber and high-level air attacks on ship, 10/12/1941; torpedo hits on propeller shaft; abandoning ship; rescue by destroyer; arrival in Singapore; taking passage aboard HMS Exeter to Ceylon; memories of fellow midshipmen aboard HMS Prince of Wales; leave with father in Delhi, Christmas, 12/1941. Aspects of operations as midshipman aboard HMS Exeter in Far East, 1942: reaction to appointment to HMS Exeter; joining ship in Java, Dutch East Indies, 2/1942; duties as aircraft defence officer on bridge.
REEL 5 Continues: composition of combined Allied fleet in Dutch East Indies; in action against Japanese forces during Battle of Java Sea; encounter with Japanese ships and damage to ship; abandoning ship and rescue by Japanese destroyers. Aspects of period as POW in Dutch East Indies, 1942-1945: initial captivity aboard Dutch hospital ship; removal to camp; conditions in camp; relations with captors; accommodation for officers; methods of passing time.
REEL 6 Continues: working parties; threat of US submarines during sea voyage; disease in camp; return from island; attacks on camp by American submarines and aircraft; removal to Java; method of contacting parents and letters; passing time; degree of knowledge of removal to camp in hills; clothing worn; return to Tanjung Priok; arrival of British officer; removal to Singapore; physical condition and contact with family; attitude towards imprisonment. Recollections of various appointments with Royal Navy, 1946-1972: return to Royal Navy; appointment to HMS Vengeance, 1946-1947.
REEL 7 Continues: appointment as First Lieutenant aboard HMS Chevron in Mediterranean; failing minesweeping course; appointment as instructor; taking command of first destroyer; taking command of HMS Loch Lomond in Persian Gulf; attitude to commanding ship; impressions of Persian Gulf; appointment to NATO headquarters in Malta; duties as second in command of royal yacht, Britannia, 1960-1962; visits made in Britannia; promotion to captain and appointment to College of Defence Studies; appointment as Naval Assistant to First Sea Lord.
REEL 8 Continues: clashes between Royal Navy and RAF, 1964-1966; taking command of HMS Euryalus; problems of seasickness amongst crew; association of HMS Euryalus with Lancashire Fusiliers; appointment to Naval Training department of Admiralty; appointment to command West Indies Station; retirement from Royal Navy, 1972; duties with MI5 after leaving Royal Navy; attitude to leaving Royal Navy.