British officer served with 45 Commando, Royal Marines during Suez landings in Egypt, 11/1956; served with 42 Commando, Royal Marines in GB and HMS Bulwark in Far East, 1958-1960; served with Commando Training Centre, Lympstone, GB, 1961-1963; served aboard HMS Ursa in GB coastal waters and West Indies, 1963-1965; served as parade adjutant with Commando Training Centre, Lympstone and Eastney Barracks, Southsea, GB, 1965-1968; student with Staff College, Camberley in GB, 1968-1969; served as staff officer with 3 Commando Bde in Singapore, 1969-1972; with 45 Commando, Royal Marines in GB, Northern Ireland and Norway, 1972-1975; served as staff officer with Military Operations 2 in Ministry of Defence in London, GB, 1975-1979; served as instructor with United States Marine Training Centre in Quantico, US, 1979-1981; commanded 42 Commando, Royal Marines in GB, Norway and during Falklands War, 1981-1982
REEL 1 Aspects of enlistment and training as officer with Royal Marines in GB, 1954-1956: decision to join Royal Marines; opinion of training at Commando Training Centre, Lympstone. Aspects of operations as officer with 45 Commando, Royal Marines during Suez landings in Egypt, 1956: participation in first helicopter assault; accidental attack on unit by Fleet Air Arm aircraft; character of Royal Marines; armoured support during street fighting in Port Said; story of helping civilian journalists off sinking boat in Sweetwater Lake; relations with NCOs and marines; question of casualties; withdrawal from Port Said; fate of school friend Lieutenant Anthony Moorhouse of 1st Bn West Yorkshire Regt; liaison duties with French Foreign Legion paratroopers; question of American and Soviet involvement. Aspects of period as training as officer with Royal Marines in GB, 1956-1957: frustration of training period; attempt to resign after failing gunnery course at HMS Excellent, Whale Island. REEL 2 Continues: amusing story of encounter with regimental sergeant-major at Commando Training Centre, Lympstone. Aspects of period as officer with 42 Commando, Royal Marines in GB and HMS Bulwark in Far East, 1958-1960: background to appointment to 42 Commando, Royal Marines at Bickleigh; embarkation aboard HMS Bulwark in Plymouth; service in Far East. Aspects of attending training course with Special Boat Service in GB, 1960-1961: problems with equipment; reasons for having to leave course and initially wanting to join Special Boat Service. Aspects of period as officer with Commando Training Centre, Lympstone, GB, 1961-1963: attitude towards work; duties as batch officer; changes in training. Aspects of period as officer with Royal Marines aboard HMS Ursa in GB coastal waters and West Indies, 1963-1965: character of destroyer; role and duties; conditions on board; opinion of ship's officers; responsibilities for quarterdeck; deployment to British Guiana; sight of American preparations in aftermath of Cuban Missile Crisis; story of dealing with CIA clandestine boat; impressions of US Marine Corps; role as ship's diving officer; meeting future wife; contact with Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps in Bermuda. Aspects of period as parade adjutant with Commando Training Centre, Lympstone and Eastney Barracks, Southsea, GB, 1965-1968: reaction to appointment as parade adjutant. REEL 3 Continues: change in attitude towards role; transfer as parade adjutant to Eastney Barracks; passing staff examination. Aspects of period as student with Staff College, Camberley in GB, 1968-1969: composition of course; attitude to course; visits by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and Enoch Powell; battlefield tour to Normandy. Aspects of period as staff officer with 3 Commando Bde in Singapore, 1969-1972: posting as staff captain; domestic arrangements; opinion of Singapore as independent state; withdrawal of brigade. Aspects of period as staff officer with Military Operations 2 in Ministry of Defence in London, GB, 1975-1979: posting to Ministry of Defence; role and duties; effect of receiving poor report; staff duties including writing report on potential invasion of Falklands War; importance of working in different military environment. Aspects of period as instructor with United States Marine Training Centre in Quantico, US, 1979-1981: attitude to posting; instructional duties; contrast between United States Marine and Royal Marine officer training and philosophy. REEL 4 Continues: lack of discussion of Vietnam War; discussion with American officer about failed US attempt to rescue hostages in Iran, 1979. Recollections of operations as officer with 45 Commando, Royal Marines in GB, Northern Ireland and Norway, 1972-1975: initial reaction to sight of fully equipped marines on dockside at Largs; attitude to participation in tours of Northern Ireland; opinion of opportunity for leadership and training; accommodation in mill; story of narrow escape from accidental weapon discharge in mill; method of dealing with strain of operations; work as training officer in Norway; relations with Norwegians. Recollections of operations commanding 42 Commando, Royal Marines in during Falklands War, 1982: background to taking command of commando, 1981; importance of winter training in Norway, 1981-1982; reaction to hearing news of Argentinean invasion of Falkland Islands; detachment of company to recapture South Georgia; parade prior to embarkation board SS Canberra. REEL 5 Continues: opinion of treatment of commando by crew of SS Canberra; storage aboard SS Canberra; training ashore on Ascension Island; witnessing American support for Task Force at Ascension Island; attitude of troops towards prospect of going to war; opinion of Special Air Service actions during retaking of South Georgia; Mike Norman's formation of company; background to decision to use San Carlos Water for amphibious landings; sight of first Argentinean air attacks on San Carlos Water from bridge of SS Canberra, 21/5/1982; decision to fly 42 Commando onto Mount Kent; abortive first attempt to deploy on Mount Kent. REEL 6 Continues: flying with journalist Max Hastings in Chinook helicopter with 18 Sqdn, RAF to Mount Kent; sight of Port Stanley, 29/5/1982; ordering shelling of Royal Marine base at Moody Brook; in holding positions on ridge; problems with trench foot; question of suitability of commando to attack; use of fighting patrols; importance of artillery support on Argentinean morale; role and duties; Argentinean air attack on site of proposed 'O' Group; role of commando medics during Battle of Mount Harriet; plan for attack on Mount Harriet; execution of attack and capture of Mount Harriet; taking of Argentinean POWs. REEL 7 Continues: story of advance towards Port Stanley; consolidating commando at Moody Brook; attitude of Argentinean POWs towards their officers; method of dealing with Argentinean POWs; impressions of Argentinean officers; story of regimental sergeant major's dealing with surrendering Argentinean officer; contact with Argentinean intelligence officer; opinion of Brigadier Julian Thompson and Major General Jeremy Moore; story of flight to Government House prior to surrender. REEL 8 Continues: visiting civic centre at time of surrender; encounter with General Mario Menendez; return voyage aboard SS Canberra from Falkland Islands to GB; belief in benefits to commando of return voyage aboard SS Canberra; decision to disembark SS Canberra at Southampton; reception on arrival in Southampton; story of reaction of American US Marine Corps general to watching film of SS Canberra's return to Southampton; attitude to participation in Falklands War. Aspects of period as officer with Royal Marines in GB, 1983-1990: posting as chief of staff at Headquarters, Special Forces in Portsmouth; period as student at Royal College of Defence Studies in London including visit to Far East; writing book 'March to the South Atlantic, 1989; duties as major general 'out of area commander'; attitude towards retirement.