Guy Griffiths - Joining the navy

Running time
2 min 5 sec
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Well, I grew up in the Hunter Valley, and my father had a vineyard, and of course, vineyards and the pressing process and sort for grapes and making wine, a kid leans a little bit towards engineering with tractors and things going on, and steam engines et cetera.

I had a leaning towards perhaps wanting to be an engineer and, of course, in the '30s, late '20s and '30s, life wasn't terribly rich, so to speak, and how to do that. Somebody suggested to my mother to, get the boy to apply to get into the Navy, and I was terribly lucky and made it. But having, we were required at the end of our second year in college to make a decision on whether we wanted to be an executive officer or an engineer officer.

I went through an old destroyer, I think it was the Vampire at the trading depot, the Flinders Naval Depot. I went through the engine room and boiler room on one of those Bass Strait days, you know, it was a bit sort of like this, with the cold wind et cetera. Everything was a bit sort of, as the old engine boiler rooms were, a bit unpleasant I suppose. There was nothing comfortable about them.

So, I waited on the quarter deck for a while and I thought, "I think I'd rather like to be up the top and drive it as opposed to being down below where the propulsion is" So I changed my mind, never regretted it, and so I didn't become an engineer.


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