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Title:HMS HERMES DEPARTURE AND VOYAGE [Allocated Title]
Film Number:ADM 4821
Other titles:FALKLANDS CONFLICT [Allocated Series Title]
Summary: Supplies brought aboard the carrier HMS Hermes at Portsmouth, followed by its departure and activities during the voyage to the South Atlantic.
Description: (Reel 1) Supplies are passed up the gangway and loaded by crane. Numerous shots show loading and stowing activities both on shore and on board. The ship departs (cameraman on board), watched by well-wishers on the dockside (some holding "good luck" placards). The ship makes its way out of Portsmouth harbour (5 April 1982). (Reel 2) While the task force is waiting off the Scilly Isles for the completion of preparations and arrival of further supplies, the film shows Sea Harrier activity on board Hermes - Harrier aircraft brought up from the hangar are manoeuvred into position. Two Harriers land on deck followed by Sea King helicopters. (Reel 3) A Chinook helicopter lands and supplies are unloaded. A television crew (including Brian Hanrahan (BBC) and Michael Nicholson (ITN)) film an interview with an unidentified naval officer. Royal marines take their morning exercise drill next to 848 Squadron Sea King helicopters. Various shots show general deck activity among Sea Kings and Harriers (including some maintenance work). Two Harriers take off (second take-off is cut from film). Officers disembark from an 820 Squadron Sea King to be greeted on board. Interior shots show a conference of senior officers. Hermes comes alongside RFA Olmeda and the business of taking on fuel begins.
Technical Details: Format: 16mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 3
Footage: 1100 ft (ca); Running time: 30 mins
Notes: Summary: the footage was received from DPR(N) with no documentation and little identification. In common with the other Falklands reels from this source (ADM 4821 to 4841), some information was provided by a conversation between DPR(N) cameraman Alan Fowler, who filmed some of the material, and Neil Pilfold, formerly of the Film and Video Archive, IWM. Alan Fowler voyaged to the Falklands via Ascension Island on HMS Hermes, and was able to film the events surrounding the attack on HMS Sheffield on 4/5/1982. He was on board the Cunard container vessel Atlantic Conveyor when it was hit by an Exocet missile on 25/5/1982, surviving the ordeal, but losing his camera equipment and presumably some exposed footage. His fellow DPR(N) cameraman, James Fletcher, followed Fowler to the Falklands on board RFA Stromness (?). He appears to have managed to film in South Georgia after its recapture on 25/4/1982, and possibly some footage of bomb damage ashore at the Falklands, although his equipment is also thought to have been damaged or lost at around this time. As a result, the DPR(N)'s coverage stops at the point where the task force reinvade the Falklands (21/5/1982), although there are some post-conflict reels whose provenance is not known.
Technical: original negative was received with some shots removed (including a number of key ones), probably for use in RNPT 12 (ADM 2606); the print (copy 1) has even more cuts.
Remarks: the camera work is poor - almost constant aimless panning and zooming means very few well composed shots.