British schoolchild in Farnham, GB, 1939-1945; sea cadet with Sea Cadets in Farnham, GB, 1946-1950; seaman trained at HMS Victory, Portsmouth, GB, 1950; trained as telegraphist at HMS Mercury, Petersfield, GB, 1950-1951; telegraphist served aboard HMS Vengeance in GB coastal waters, 4/1951-9/1951; served aboard HMS Starling in GB coastal waters, 10/1951-12/1951; telegraphist served aboard HMS Morecombe Bay in Far East, off Malaya and during Korean War, 1/1952-5/1954; attended Leading Telegraphist Course at HMS Mercury, Petersfield, GB, 7/1954-12/1954; served aboard Royal Yacht Britannia in GB coastal waters, West Indies and Baltic, 12/1954-7/1956; served with Admiralty Wireless Station, London, GB, 1956-1958
REEL 1 Background in Guildford and Farnham, GB, 1931-1939: family; father's service on coastal motor boats with Dover Patrol, Royal Navy during First World War; maternal grandfather's service in First World War. Aspects of period as schoolchild in Farnham, GB, 1939-1945: education at West Street Boys School in Farnham; V1 bombs in Runfold and Aldershot areas; wartime Farnham; presence of Canadian troops in Farnham area; sweet rationing; story of avoiding eleven plus examination; attending Clarke's College in Guildford; role of Crosby Ltd in Farnham; Spitfire Week; VE Day celebrations; wreckage of Junkers Ju 87 Stuka in Gostrey Meadow. Aspects of period as sea cadet with Sea Cadets in Farnham, GB, 1946-1950: joining sea cadets, 1946; activities; visit to destroyer HMS Obdurate at Spithead, 1948; visit to HMS Ganges, Shotley aboard HMS Bleasdale.
REEL 2 Continues: method of slinging hammock; learning to send and receive Morse Code; volunteering for Royal Navy, 1950; attending Commonwealth Sea Cadet Camp in Canada, 1949. Aspects of enlistment and training as telegraphist at HMS Victory Portsmouth, GB, 1950: haircut; terms and conditions of service; conditions; need to run across parade ground; fining for loss of pillow case; reaction of recruits to service; amusing story of seamen on parade; issue of kit; reasons for not issuing hammock; learning naval salute and taking drill; instructors.
REEL 3 Continues: Aspects of training as telegraphist at HMS Mercury, Petersfield in GB, 1950: description of HMS Mercury; accommodation in Nissen Hut; difference between telegraphists and signalmen; memories of Peter O'Toole; previous experience of sending Morse Code; other elements of course; learning cryptography to send and receive coded messages; problems of receiving coded messages at sea; learning Morse Code procedure; learning voice procedure; using Morse Code key; receiving Morse Code; learning to touch type; need to learn semaphore and the Aldis Lamp; trainee telegraphists who couldn't complete the course.
REEL 4 Continues: Aspects of period as telegraphist aboard HMS Vengeance in GB coastal waters, 1951: drafting to aircraft carrier in Devonport; reporting to ship and joining routine; receiving transmitted weather forecast; loss of commanding officer flying Hawker Sea Fury; size and character of telecommunications mess. Aspects of period as telegraphist aboard HMS Starling in GB coastal waters, 10/1951-12/1951: drafting to the sloop at Portsmouth; rescue of ditched aircrew; rough conditions; watches worked in wireless office. Voyage aboard HMT Empire Halladale from GB to Singapore, Malaya, 12/1951-1/1952: embarkation in Liverpool, 24/12/1951; conditions in Bay of Biscay; route taken; disembarkation at Singapore, Recollections of operations as telegraphist aboard HMS Morecombe Bay in Far East and during Korean War, 1952-1953: joining ship in Singapore, 1/1952 recommissioning ship and work up, 1/1952; move to Hong Kong, 2/1952; ammunitioning ship; firing on railway on east coast of Korea; firing on village; reaction to being under shell fire in wireless room; curfew in Sasebo, Japan.
REEL 5 Continues: re-fuelling from Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels; watch system worked in wireless office whilst off Korea; messing arrangements; laundry and ablution facilities; reasons for giving away his rum ration; rum ration issue; bartering of rum ration; experiences during typhoons; working clothing; ship's patrolling routine; presence of cockroaches; technique for bombarding coast; landing South Korean Marines; firing 21 gun salute into Korea during Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II celebrations, 6/1953; two weeks of patrolling with 1st Bn Royal West Kent Regt at Kota Kuala Bharu whilst ship in refit in Singapore, Malaya.
REEL 6 Continues: bombardment off west coast of Malaya for General Gerald Templer; climatic conditions in wireless office; problems with atmospherics and rain at night off Malaya; anti-submarine exercise with US naval forces off Okinawa, Japan, 1/1954-2/1954; description of Bay Class frigates; ship's compliment during Korean War; effects of working six hours on six hours off watches; breakfasts; daily cleaning of mess; lunch and supper; opinion of visiting army personnel of naval food; leaving ship in Hong Kong, 5/1954; story of stealing of American Admiral's flag from USS Los Angeles by two crewmen in Hong Kong harbour.
REEL 7 Continues: Aspects of training on Leading Telegraphist Course at HMS Mercury. Petersfield, GB, 7/1954-12/1954: return to GB, 6/1954; joining HMS Grenville for exercise mid-course; hitchhiking; drafting to Royal Yacht Britannia at end of course, 12/1954. Aspects of period as telegraphist aboard Royal Yacht Britannia in GB coastal waters, West Indies and Baltic, 12/1954-7/1956: rules on speaking to Royal Family; allocation of two stokers to look after Prince Charles and Princess Anne; footwear and uniform worn; visits to Scandinavian countries; sleeping in hammock on board; meeting with Captain Hamer formerly of HMS Morecombe Bay in Stockholm, Sweden; reasons for leaving royal yacht, 1956. Aspects of period as telegraphist with Admiralty Wireless Station in London, GB, 1956-1958: travelling into London; watch keeping in underground wireless office; leaving Royal Navy, 1958. Attitude towards service with Royal Navy.