It started in 1965 when I decided to join the navy, but at first I wanted to join the merchant navy but ended up in the royal navy. My reason was to see the world, after all in those days hardly anyone travelled, so to me it seemed a good way to travel.
What I hadn’t considered was the regimentation, people telling me how to walk, when to get my hair cut. It all started to fall apart when I went to Portland as an aircraft mechanic, it just seemed so boring. When I did go to sea, we never stopped anywhere, but I ended up on an aircraft carrier as part of the search and rescue team.
I decided to sort things out for myself and so when the aircraft carrier returned from the States I went on leave and then deserted and went to Sweden. Initially my objective was to try and obtain political asylum but I ended up hitching and working in Europe. I knew then that I’d made a mistake as I should’ve just travelled, but I returned to England, was caught and ended up in naval prison.
This is far from being a gung ho story about life in the navy, but it is different and hopefully it might make you smile.