British seaman served with Royal Navy in GB, 1966; served with HMS Albion in GB, West Africa and Far East, 1966-1969; served with Royal Navy in GB, 1969-1970; seaman and petty officer served with submarine HMS Courageous in GB coastal waters and Gibraltar, 1970-1974; NCO served with submarine HMS Superb in GB coastal waters, 1974-1978; served with Royal Navy in GB, 1978-1981; served with submarine HMS Trafalgar in GB coastal waters, 1981-1985; served with Royal Navy in GB and Hong Kong, 1985-1990; served with HMS Datchet in GB coastal waters, 1990-1993; served with United Nations in Cambodia, 1993; served with Royal Navy in GB, 1993-1998
REEL 1 Background in GB, 1948-1966: family; education; interest in Royal Navy including maritime background in family; process of joining Royal Navy in Guildford. Aspects of period as seaman with Royal Navy in GB, 1/1966-11/1966: arrival at HMS Raleigh; initial activities including tests; medical; background of recruits; story of force washing recruit; pattern of training; make-up and organisation of unit; physical state; background of recruits; comradeship; Captain's rounds; coping with winter weather; weekend training at Kingsand including subsequent hospitalisation; passing out parade; details of part two training; gaiters worn during training; rations at HMS Raleigh; relationship and discipline among recruits; seamanship training; week on HMS Wakeful at Southampton including sleeping arrangements and training received; streaming of recruits into different posts; details of HMS Dryad; discipline and fitness training. REEL 2 Continues: cigarettes; issue and content of rum ration; pattern of radar plotter training at Fort Purbrook; length of period at HMS Dryad including duties either side of course and period at Portland; posting to carrier. Aspects of period as seaman with HMS Albion in GB, West Africa and Far East, 1966-1969: arrival on and details of carrier; accommodation while ship in dock; cleaning of mess; problems from noise; latrines; leisure activities including NAAFI; march to work; painting and welding including story of charge and punishment; process of being charged; preparation of carrier for sea; period at Portland; training with helicopters and Commandos onboard; leisure activities including hospitalisation in Liverpool and charge received. REEL 3 Continues: visit from circus at Portsmouth; voyage to Gibraltar; building up of stores for war; role of carrier during period off Nigeria, 1967; problems with stores and re-stocking; memories of Royal Marines; population of carrier and related problems; problems with passageways; location and details of mess; discipline in mess; cleaning of mess; storage of kit and uniform; ironing and washing uniform including details of Chinese civilian staff onboard; buying of alcohol; issue of rum ration; details of ops room and radar activity including own duties; story of seeing Soviet ship in Malacca Straits; opinion of HMS Albion and discipline; return to Gibraltar and behaviour of Royal Marines; leave; departure for Far East. REEL 4 Continues: hospitality of civilians in Durban; problems leaving Durban; period at Aden supporting British withdrawal; promotion to able seaman; meeting with captain on promotion; story of falling overboard; visit ashore including destruction of canteen furniture and activities outside secure area; exercises; fleet review; departure from Aden; voyage to Singapore; details of naval base at Singapore; voyage past Vietnam to Hong Kong; details of Hong Kong and naval base; maintenance work undertaken by civilians; leisure activities onshore including story of fight with Americans; description of Hong Kong; warnings about tattoos; sailors charged for sunburn; contact with Gurkhas; knowledge of political situation in Far East including newspapers; contact with officers; story of charges being read against homosexual seaman. REEL 5 Continues: period in Perth; patrol off Aden; re-fit at Singapore; accommodation onshore; details of survival course attended in Malacca; details of leave in Cameron Highlands; changeover of crew; Exercise Coral Sea; week in Eastern Australia including story of fight in Brisbane; flight to GB and period of leave. Aspects of period as seaman with Royal Navy in GB, 1969-1970: posting to HMS Dolphin; reason for volunteering for submarines; description of HMS Dolphin; perimeter fence; pattern of training including opinion of posting to a Polaris submarine; position at end of course; instructors; details of pay; radar plotter training including opinion of training; electronic warfare training. REEL 6 Continues: posting to and role of SM10 spare crew at Faslane; priority over stores; rotation of Polaris crews; maintenance of submarine; preparations for voyage including training undertaken; storage of beer; fiddles among crew; starting of submarine; fast cruise undertaken before embarkation; Polaris submarines at Faslane; testing of submarines in local area; final preparations; length of time at sea; periods on and off crew; details of Polaris missile system; position within fleet; activities of Polaris submarines; comradeship; details of patrols onboard HMS Repulse; training in submarine tank including later use of training received; life aboard submarine; chicken born aboard HMS Repulse. REEL 7 Continues: issue of rum ration; alcohol allowance; methods of gaining extra rum; treatment for appendicitis; reasons for posting away from Polaris submarines; further radar plotter training undertaken at HMS Dolphin. Aspects of period as seaman and NCO with HMS Courageous in GB coastal waters and Gibraltar, 1970-1974: details of submarine and Barrow-in-Furness; arrival at and details of training station; accommodation above The Bowling Green pub; rations; relationship with landlady; first visit to HMS Courageous; details of Churchill class submarines; question of visiting other Churchill class submarines; details of crew; training undertaken in wooden model of HMS Courageous including alcohol consumption; discipline; further details of training; official visit to Newcastle-upon-Tyne; removal of appendix; details of pay. REEL 8 Continues: testing of submarine systems; scenes in dockyard; visit to firing range; knowledge and safety of nuclear reactor; radiation detectors; description of trim dive; training of different parts of crew; fast cruise; differences from HMS Repulse; stocking of submarine; watch training; correction of defects; contractor sea trials including problems with sleeping in fore end and rations during trials; sonar trials; shallow water dive and checks made; safety practices; deep dive including problems found; description of tests undertaken at Inveraray including leisure activities; changes made after tests; details of in-depth training before commissioning. REEL 9 Continues: marriage; commissioning of HMS Courageous; stocking of submarine; checking of area under casing; embarkation from Barrow-in-Furness; seasickness and tiredness among crew; problems arising from seasickness; tests and signing of acceptance form by captain; tests at noise range; talking on underwater telephone; duties; organisation of shifts; scramming of nuclear reactor and recovery. REEL 10 Continues: method of checking area around submarine; story of water taken onboard during voyage to exercise areas; torpedo discharge trials including loading of torpedoes onto submarine and into tubes; details of Mk VIII and Mk XXIII Torpedoes; details and testing of navigation system; accommodation onshore at Gibraltar; discipline problems; relationship among crew members; return to GB with HMS Conqueror including relationship between captains; activities during period at Faslane including harbour and formal inspections; leisure activities in Rothesay; training and exercises including night sleeping rough in Rothesay; loss of ALK buoy. REEL 11 Continues: details of exercises in Clyde including jaundice among crew; tracking ships including switching off machinery and changes in condition onboard; details of propeller; restriction of noise from machinery, communications and other sources; introduction of new sonar and radar equipment including problems created by wiring; recording equipment installed and other changes made; signing of Official Secrets Act and interviews; intensive training; problems with Type 2001 sonar sets; tracking Soviet submarines. REEL 12 Continues: attack training lectures; changes to store system; trials with DCD computer equipment; voyage to and trials at Portland including problems anchoring; sonar trials off Scotland; role of HMS Courageous; period in Plymouth Sound; injury suffered by submariner en route to Gibraltar; duties; details of Gibraltar in 1972 including journey into town and accommodation; listening in to Soviet Union activity in Mediterranean including recognition of vessels and NATO codenames; activities at Gibraltar and Faslane; exercises; description of operational patrols. REEL 13 Continues: length of patrols; question of exhaustion; story of attempted knife attack by chef; rations; storage of rations; problems with refrigerators; issues connected to smoking; monitoring of atmosphere including visible and physical signs; methods of generating oxygen; flammability of mattresses; smoking habits of crew; sleeping; physical fitness; question of enjoying career including duties and accommodation; sleeping arrangements; storage of kit; storage of toilet rolls. REEL 14 Continues: alcohol availability and consumption by crew; question of drugs onboard; story of captain kicking an officer; memories of and relationship with officers; discipline; submariners suffering from stress; position within fleet; cleaning of submarine including VIP visits after patrols and captain's rounds; duties at end of patrol; searches on leaving submarine; beer; use of cigarette coupons; items banned from submarine including examples of people ignoring rules; laundry; appearance while at sea; rationing of fresh water; details of aft crew; relationship between fore and aft crew; attitude to nuclear reactor. REEL 15 Continues: return to Faslane and berthing at floating dock; rations while in dock; question of making complaints; method of gaining run ashore; NATO exercises off Norway including period in Bergen; loss of lookout at sea and subsequent search; visit of Princess Anne at Faslane; auction of Able Seaman Hutchins's kit; gift from Hutchins family; changes following accident; official visit to Stirling; story of leaving harbour with extra submariner; dismissal of same submariner for homosexuality. REEL 16 Continues: presence of US officers onboard; patrol report and records; captain's rounds; knowledge of anti-nuclear protests; relationship with civilians including contractors; security at Faslane Naval Base; contacts during operational patrols; success of HMS Courageous; fight against posting to HMS Warspite and reason for staying with HMS Courageous; training periods; maintenance duties; problems with aft end; fixing of defects before patrols; activities after patrols; christening onboard; memories and opinion of Commander Sam Fry. REEL 17 Continues: introduction and opinion of Commander Andy Buchannan; checking of hull; exercises; official visit to Barry Island including other ships in dock and civilian tour of submarine; trials at Inveraray; period at Faslane including contact with Dutch sailors; problems with electrical log probe; ship's divers; return to Faslane; details of exercises including different roles of HMS Courageous; tracking Soviet activity; briefing at start of watch; changeover of watch crew and command; exercise with HMS Ark Royal; details of Soviet intelligence trawler. REEL 18 Continues: cleaning up rubbish in Garelochhead; details of independent exercises; process of changing commander; details of VLF wire; memories of alcoholic Petty Officer Steward; exercises including tracking HMS Dreadnought; communications technicians taken on patrol; details of period at Devonport including problems with accommodation and rations. REEL 19 Continues: details of radar plotter and petty officer courses attended including wait to gain petty officer rank; posting to HMS Superb. Aspects of period as NCO with HMS Superb in GB coastal waters, 1974-1978: details of new DCA attack system; problems during building of HMS Superb; comparison of HMS Courageous and HMS Superb; further details of DCA attack system including size and cooling of equipment and saving and input of data; relationship with Vickers workers during building period; memories of commanding officers; contractor sea trials and subsequent work on submarine; ex-HMS Courageous crew on HMS Superb; future role of submarine; make-up of crew and training. REEL 20 Continues: further details of training including inspections; memories of colleagues; leadership course undertaken including fitness; changes after gaining rank of petty officer; description of mess float including opinion of reason for not being punished; memories and opinion of officers; details of training to be ship's diver at HMS Vernon; attendance of HMS Superb at Fleet Review, 1977. REEL 21 Continues: story of talk with Prince Charles onboard HMS Britannia during the Fleet Review including Navy attitude to Royal Family; voyage away from Portsmouth; details of visit to Bremerhaven including accommodation; story of sword attack during voyage to GB; details of base at Devonport including use of HMS Defiance; visits to Faslane; refueling; accommodation of family; changes of equipment and command; operational patrol; visit to Zeebrugge; story of exercise at Portland; details of patrols; replacement on leaving HMS Superb; period onboard; changes to patrols; joining of HMS Superb; memories of officers including roles of First Lieutenant and Captain; duties. REEL 22 Continues: relationship with officers; role and importance of coxswain; process of airing grievances; discipline and punishments; extensions of service; role of coxswain; removal of crew members from submarine. Aspects of period as NCO with Royal Navy in GB, 1978-1981: details of posting teaching DCA attack system at HMS Osprey. REEL 23 Continues: details of similar posting with DCB attack system in Faslane including make-up of base and staff and training given to submarine crews; story of exercise onboard HMS Courageous including collision with rock; subsequent effects on submarine and crew; reactions on return to HMS Courageous as outsider; details of DCB attack system; posting to and make-up of work-up staff; reports written during exercise with HMS Courageous; story of visit to cinema on HMS Courageous; details of work-up exercises; later trials and exercises before becoming operational; exclusion of Polaris submarines from external work-ups. REEL 24 Continues: work-up exercises on diesel submarines including story of HMS Onyx running aground and impressions of diesel submarines; background to posting to HMS Trafalgar at Barrow-in-Furness. Aspects of period as NCO with HMS Trafalgar in GB coastal waters, 1981-1985: rank and pay; buying of family home; problems with married quarters occupied in Helensburgh; details of Trafalgar class submarines including improvements in sonar; opinion of officers; build period; accommodation; leisure activities; involvement of crew members and submarines in Falklands War; reactions to Falklands War; involvement of HMS Courageous in the Falklands; details of later submarine patrols in Falklands; reactions to Falklands War; details of Boeing AGM-84 Harpoon missiles carried by HMS Courageous during Falklands War. REEL 25 Continues: details of HMS Trafalgar's trials including trips to US and story of losing anchor; opinion and memories of officers; surfacing of submarine; stories from diving duties; background to loss of diving status; return to work-up staff. Aspects of period as NCO with Royal Navy in GB and Hong Kong, 1985-1990: details of DCG attack system and tow ray; improvements in electronic warfare; promotion to warrant officer; posting to HMS Dolphin; staff at base; details of role. REEL 26 Continues: details of planning board and computer replacement; voyages with training ship HMS Northella; background to gaining posting to Hong Kong; details of patrols and leisure activities during period in Hong Kong including visit to Manila; posting to HMS Datchet at Plymouth. Aspects of period as NCO with HMS Datchet in GB coastal waters, 1990-1993: duties and details of ship; make-up and roles of crew; budget and accommodation; opinion of crew members; weekend port visits and story of voyage to Torquay in storm; role of HMS Datchet; story of argument with Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineer NCO; details of refit at Penzance and trips to Faslane; navigation and communications. REEL 27 Continues: flooding of ship; story of visit from a commander; navigation in poor conditions; examples of duties given to HMS Datchet. Aspects of period as NCO with United Nations in Cambodia, 1993: volunteering for role in Cambodia with UN; situation in Cambodia; training and inoculations; journey to and arrival in Phnom Penh; journey to and details of Kampot area including earlier activities of Khmer Rouge in area; accommodation; problems with rats; anti-malaria precautions; civilian staff; latrines; removal of waste; water supply; later latrines; troops from other nations in Cambodia; own role and duties; maintenance of transport; memories of interpreter; story of Khmer Rouge raid in area; visits to Vietnam; duties reporting illegal logging. REEL 28 Continues: incidents during posting; make-up of unit and staff shortages; opinion of United Nations and its troops including details of pay; rations including death and disposal of local elephant and visits to markets; details of electricity generator; question of security; story of lorry that jumped checkpoint; state of infrastructure including story of road accident; relationship with civilians; question of shaving; uniform; visits to Phnom Penh; availability of alcohol; influx of typewriters and transistors; opinion of troops from other nations. Aspects of period as NCO with Royal Navy in GB, 1993-1998: duties gaining information for Ministry of Defence; posting in Devonport, 1994-1997, including advance party duties; duties with HMS Raleigh, 1997-1998, including fitness of recruits; contact with and opinion of female and homosexual sailors. REEL 29 Continues: changes to Royal Navy during service; reflections on service.