Peter Abbott 1 - It all started to change around the early to mid 80s

    Peter Abbott

    Name: Sir Peter Abbott

    Rank: Admiral

    Service: 1964 - 2006

    Admiral Sir Peter Abbott joined the Navy in 1964. He was the Commanding Officer on HMS Chawton (1972), HMS Ambuscade (1976) and HMS Ajax (1983). He was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1989 and to Admiral in 1995. In 1995 - 1997 he was the Commander in Chief Fleet and 1997 - 2001 was the Vice Chief of Defence Staff.

    In the clip below Sir Peter explains the role of women in the Navy and armed forces during his early career, and comments on when things began to change.


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    Extract Text (Duration2.32)

    I joined the Navy in 1964. A more important event had happened to me in 1963, because I'd met this girl, who actually I had married in 1965. She had left the Navy in 1963, before I had actually joined the Navy. So right from the word go I was familiar with the thought of women being in the Navy and knew quite a lot about what they did. They had an important role in communications and a whole lot of other things that were supportive and ashore. But nevertheless were important, and indeed actually the CO of my first proper ship, HMS Puma, was an aviator, a distinguished naval aviator, whose wife had actually three times more hours flying than he did, which was very unusual in those days, but she'd been flying liberators across the Atlantic all through the war, and so it was pretty familiar territory that women had been doing things around the periphery of the armed services, indeed my mother had. I'd always been brought up by my father that there was no difference in the equality of the sexes and I'm just amazed that actually it's a thought that doesn't seem to all together carry true even now, but my father was very forward looking. So it was completely natural as far as I was concerned that women were important parts of life and the administration of the Navy, but on the other hand it was completely inappropriate, because I hadn't stopped to think about it, for them to go to sea. And I suppose that view was alive and well certainly throughout the 60s and I think probably throughout the 70s as well, and it all started I think probably to change around about the early to mid 80s.

    It all started to change around the early to mid 80s

    2.32 mins - mp3 File

    Bubbling up was a female desire to be on equal terms

    2.09 mins - mp3 File

    She joined the Navy not to go to sea

    0.41 mins - mp3 File

    Female Admirals are rare beings

    1.00 mins - mp3 File

    Why do women leave the Navy?

    0.59 mins - mp3 File