After only a year working with the Royal Engineers I was off to sea. REME Records who fill posts, wanted to know if I would go and join a new venture, and soon had me packing my bags to go and join the Royal Marines at ATURM in Poole, Dorset: ‘To learn how to storm beaches all over the world.’ Official task, ‘Represent British Interests.

I was about to join the first crew of HMS Fearless. Joining in 1965, there followed a year of sea trials before we set sail from Plymouth, never to return until two days before Christmas two years later.

Practising underwater Land Rover driving – how deep it can go depends upon the height of the driver.

Then to sea from Harland & Wolfe’s shipyard at Belfast – The Irish sea at its most belligerent.

Taking a landing craft into the dock for the first time, will it fit?

Posing on my little tank on a beach in Malaysia.

Sand, sea, and Tiger beer.