I highly recommend that whilst working on your computer on files and functions not requiring your sound system, that you employ your speakers to listen to a naval story, recorded for the Imperial War Museum by a stoker,

 who in 1918 became a stoker petty officer second class.

You can either do this by devoting your computer wholly to the sound file, switching reels, i,e, not watching anything

  on your screen other than what the IWM places there, or, you can start the sound file off, go back to watching

 or writing your data to a fully interactive screen,  returning to the IWM screen as each reel in turn runs its course

 to start the next reel,  and so on.

Regrettably, although the IWM has given an overview of what each part of the recording contains, eight of them,

 they have not told their audience about this man, so we know nothing of him save for his naval career as related

 by him in this IWM interview. We know from what he says of the following signposts in his life, that he was:

a. born in 1892
b. joined the navy in 1910 when aged 18
c. married in 1918 and lived in Truro Cornwall at the time of the interview
d. born a Devon man, lived in Devonport from where he joined the navy
e. was present at Jutland in a damaged battlecruiser
f. we do know that both he and his wife did volunteer service during WW2, but not his discharge date from WW1      service.


The year of me publishing this page is 2015.

Judging from his strong voice, his spontaneity and lucid reaction to questions put to him, this must have been

 recorded  when he was in his early to mid 80's at the latest I would think, i.e., some 38 years ago in 1977? 

We know nothing of his death nor that of his wife's, but were he alive today he would be aged 123!

This is the lead-in published by the IWM.

Object description

British stoker served aboard HMS Hannibal and HMS Colossus with Home Fleet in GB coastal waters,

Content description

REEL 1 Background in Devonport, 1894-1910: newspaper round; work with corn and forage merchant;
 family circumstances. Aspects of volunteering as stoker to join Royal Navy, 1910: prior education;
 question of educational classes in Royal Navy. REEL 2 Continues: subsequent role as assistant
 schoolmaster giving literacy and numeracy classes. Recollections of training as stoker at Devonport
 Barracks, 1910: recruit situation; barrack accommodation; cooks of mess and food rations; reactions
 to subsequent introduction of general messing, 1922; kit; rifle training; lectures aboard HMS Phaeton.
 REEL 3 Continues: cook of mess; practical boiler training aboard HMS Andromeda and Amphitrite
 including organisation of stokers, instructions from engine room via Kilroy clock, specialist tools, ash
 ejectors and expellers, method of cleaning boilers and use of coal skids; coaling ship including methods
 employed and commonplace accidents. REEL 4 Continues: coaling ship including comparison of coaling
 from collier and dockside, subsequent cleaning ship, role of stokers levelling bunkers, difficulty in
 coaling HMS Hannibal in comparison to HMS Colossus, question of coaling destroyers, wearing
 fearnaught uniform; effects of introduction of oil fuel; qualification as 2nd class stoker; courses
 in evaporators, generators and hydraulics; status of stokers in comparison to seamen; status of
 engineer officers; question of restrictions on stokers on upper deck. Recollections of period as
 stoker aboard HMS Hannibal and HMS Colossus with Home Fleet, 1911-1914: story illustrating
 inflexible discipline. REEL 5 Continues: 'spit and polish'; length of notice required to raise steam;
 question of influences on crew morale; commissioning and acceptance sea trials aboard HMS
 Colossus; sporting activities; naval regattas including selection of cutter crew, training, nature of
 race day and different classes of races. REEL 6 Continues: naval regattas including different crews
 involved; visitors to ship and visits ashore whilst 'showing the flag' on south coast. Periods in
 Devonport Barracks, 1910-1932: question of trouble and recreations during visits to Devonport;
 visits to Aggie Weston's Sailors Rest Home; routine duties; discipline; inspection before being
 allowed to leave barracks. REEL 7 Recollections of period as stoker aboard HMS Colossus, 1st
 Battle Squadron, Grand Fleet, 1914-1918: preparations for mobilisation and move to Scapa Flow,
 7/1914; anti submarine booms across Scapa entrances; aftermath of explosion of HMS Natal at
 Cromarty; wartime changes in watch system; importance of keeping steam up in all boilers; question
 of 'spit and polish'; chipping off paint as fire precaution; increase in ship's complement; different
 origins of ratings; opinion of conscripts and hostilities only ratings. Recollections of Battle of
 Jutland, 31/5/1916-1/5/1916: fire resulting from hit from 11" shell; duties with fire parties repairing
 burst water main and using hoses. REEL 8 Continues: subsequent visit to HMS Tiger and view of
 damage; opinion of fleet tactics. Effects of marriage on naval service, c1918-1924: story of
 meeting future wife; improvements in pay and conditions, c1920; question of maintaining relationship
 with children; increased parental role of mother.

How to acquire and listen to the fascinating story.

1. First open the IWM web page by clicking here
I also highly recommend you visiting this page
NAVAL_FORUMS_USED_BY_CIVILIANS_OR_EX_NAVAL_PERSONNEL.html onto which I have loaded much about tenders [stokers training ships] attached to main barracks in Devonport and Portsmouth.

2. Check you are reading about LILLEY, Arthur Ernest Edward
3. Scroll down past the audio playing control black bar until you see six [6] grey coloured boxes.
 By clicking on any of these boxes ON THE LETTERS IWM in bottom right,, you will see the audio Reels change from  No 1 to 6 of 8 Reels.
 Over on the right is an arrow pointing Right - click on this twice to bring Reels 7 and 8 into your
 control when required.
4. Make sure your start position is 1/8.
5. At no stage should you switch off the IWM webpage until you have finished the whole eight
 reel recording.
You can however minimise the page at any point if necessary.
6. With your speakers on and the sound level set appropriately, scroll back up to the audio play
 control bar [shown in black] and click on the play arrow.
7. When the reels finishes and stops, return to the IWM page and press on the next square to bring
 up number 2 reel [2/8]. Then click again on the play button.
Repeat this action until you have heard all eight reels which are NOT long, but

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. In some ways it reminds me  of my own career - the kids not
 knowing me - an excellent loyal, supportive wife [of now 56 years] - who brought them up to be loving
 family members and all have  done well in maturity - and a few other near run things.