Equipment ashore 2 - Types of equipment 1960s

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George HamptonGeorge Hampton

Service: 1949 - 1979

Rate: Warrant Officer Sick Berth Attendant

George joined the Navy as a Sick Berth Attendant (SBA) in March 1949 and specialised in operating theatre work. He served in Royal Naval Hospital Portland and in RNH Bighi in Malta. Whilst serving at Malta he embarked in HMS Daring in order to provide humanitarian relief after an earthquake on the Greek island of Cephalonia.


Listen to George's memories of the equipment they used in the 1960s.


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Extract Text (Duration 1.42)

The equipment was in those days quite basic and, well, the tools of the trade were the... for instance, the Nelson inhaler, which was very much in use in those days for various chest complaints and one had to do things like fractional test meals for gastric disorders, which meant that you had to start these at the crack of dawn and take samples from the patients every half hour. And during the sort of two or three hour period, you had to deal with all sorts of conditions like epileptic fits and... where you had probably a mouth prop which consisted of a padded spoon, and the operating instruments, although adequate, were obviously not as refined as the present day ones and we had no luxuries like flexible scopes or the upmarket techniques. So operations tended to last... to take very much longer and it was nothing to take about four hours to do a stomach operation, whereas today you can probably do it in about an hour.

RNH Bighi, Malta, 1970s

1.15 mins - mp3 File

Maltese medical facilities 1970s

1.45 mins - mp3 File

Conforming bandages

1.17 mins - mp3 File

Re-use of swabs

0.51 mins - mp3 File

SBA uniform

1.01 mins - mp3 File

Types of equipment 1960s

1.42 mins - mp3 File

HMS Raleigh sick bay

01.24 mins - mp3 File