British marine trained at Initial Training Centre, Royal Marines, Lympstone and Commando Training Centre, Bickleigh, GB, 1955; served with 45 Commando, Royal Marines in Cyprus and Suez, 1955-1956
REEL 1 Background in Ealing, London, GB, 1937-1955: family; education. Aspects of enlistment with Royal Marines in GB, 1955: call up for National Service; selection for Royal Marines; attitude to overseas service. Recollections of training as marine with Initial Training Centre, Royal Marines, Lympstone, GB, 6/1955-9/1955: reception on arriving late at Lympstone; accommodation; attitude to elementary part of training; origins of recruits; night training exercise on Woodbury Common; swimming training; daily physical training regime; weapons training and range work; firing Bren Gun.
REEL 2 Continues: lectures on Corps history and ethos; nature of kit inspections; discipline; treatment received by NCOs; amusing story of walking out in blues. Recollections of period of commando training at Commando Training Centre, Bickleigh, GB, 9/1955-11/1955: allocation to commando training; arrival at Bickleigh; opinion of training NCOs; pattern of training; field training on Dartmoor; grenade training.
REEL 3 Continues: speed marching and scramble course; character of Amphibious Week; memories of John Cooper; landing craft, cliff climbing training and canoe training; fate of those who failed course; acquiring commando beret. Recollections of operations as marine with 45 Commando, Royal Marines in Cyprus, 1955-1956: period as Stonehouse Barracks, Plymouth prior to deployment
REEL 4 Continues: accommodation at Gough Street, London; flight to Cyprus; death of marine in grenade incident; move to Troodos Mountains; cordon and search operations; divisions amongst civilian population during conflict; attitude of civilians to search operations; discovery of insurgent cave; discovery of weapon during village search; terrain in Troodos Mountains; equipment carried on patrol; climate; search of monasteries; threat of ambush on roads; casualties during forest fire during Lucky Alphonse; amusing story of capture of insurgent.
REEL 5 Continues: opinion of insurgents; recreational activities; formation of Ski Troop; character of search and cordon training. Recollections of operations with 45 Commando, Royal Marines during Suez landings, 1956: landing craft training on Malta from 7/1956; attitude towards landings; street fighting techniques; abortive plan to land on raised quayside; helicopter training; reasons for not landing in sports stadium during landings; voyage from Malta to Suez; helicopter flight from HMS Theseus to Suez; wounding by Fleet Air Arm aircraft during friendly fire incident.
REEL 6 Continues: evacuation to HMS Theseus; nature of wounds and need to amputate his leg; medical treatment received; effects of wounds on friend Colin Ireland. Aspects of return to civilian life in GB from 1957: initial civilian training; pattern of civilian career. Attitude towards service with Royal Marines.