Routines at sea 1 - 'Tired of routine? Join the Navy' 1960s

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Peter Okey RNH Portsmouth 1953Peter Okey

Service: 1953 - 1979

Rate: Sick Berth Attendant

Peter was an apprentice Dental Technician before he joined the Royal Navy in 1953 as a Sick Berth Attendant to complete his national service. He went on to have a naval career that spanned 26 years, serving in Royal Naval Hospitals in Portsmouth, Chatham and Plymouth as well as spending two and a half years as the lone SBA onboard HMS Zest.

Find out about Peter's routines as an SBA onboard HMS Zest in the 1960s.

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Extract Text (Duration 1.37)

The daily routine was quite remarkable really, because about that time there was an advertising campaign run by the Navy where there would be a large advertisement in the paper which said, ‘Tired of routine?  Join the Navy,' and I can remember people saying, "Oh my gosh there's Harbour Routine, Sea Routine, Sunday Routine, Saturday Routine, and more routines than you could shake a stick at."  But in as far as my routine was concerned I was a law unto myself, it was up about eight o'clock in the morning and I would hold Sick Bay at half past eight, this was when people would come and report with whatever symptoms they had and it was generally minor, hopefully it was.  And then the Sick Bay would be cleaned, there would be an awful lot of paperwork, there were ledgers to be kept and reports to be written, and in the afternoon I would have another attendance because you had... you put people on treatment where you said to them, "Report to me three times a day."  So, life was pretty full.  Yeah, so the routine was really pretty flexible as far as I was concerned because I made my own.

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