This film is held by the Imperial War Museum (ID: MGH 3736).


Reel 1: (Can marked "Jan 1936, Easter 1936. Boxall, Nelson etc at Gibraltar). Family scenes. HMS Nelson and HMS Rodney during gunnery practice at sea and moored at Gibraltar, shore leave in Toledo and Seville, with town scenes. Naval anti-aircraft gunnery practice against Shark aircraft, making repeat passes. Detsroyer D.72. (B&W)

Reel 2: ("April 1936, June") Boswell family seaside holiday. HMS Nelson and HMS Rodney at Gibraltar. Gunnery practice, refuelling at sea, cutter race, social scenes, shore leave at Gibraltar and La Linea frontier with Spain, Alhambra at Grenada, rural scenes in Southern Spain. (B&W)

Reel 3: ("July 1936") Naval parade ashore. HMS Nelson and HMS Furious at Gibraltar, shore leave in Spain. Destroyer H.61. On board HMS Nelson officers wear black armbands (presumably mourning death of King George V, which lasted from January to 20 July 1936). Naval amateur theatrical performance on deck.

Reel 4: ("Spring and Summer 1937") HMS Nelson and HMS Rodney at Gibraltar, both marked with neutrality (Spanish Civil War) stripes on B turret. Horse races. HMS Rodney roliing in heavy seas, social visit ashore, Tangier market scenes. On board HMS Nelson, two Queen Elizabeth Class battleships at Gibraltar. Naval review with Russian battleship and Japanese Ashigura. Destroyers H.23 and H.08 pass. (B&W)

Reel 5: ("Summer II. 1938") Boswell family scenes. HMS Courageous, with Fairey Swordfish making practice landings and accelarator launches. More Boswell family scenes in country garden.

Reel 6: ("Autumn 1938") Boswell family seaside holiday and country house scenes. Thames spritsail and Greenwich scenes. Fox hunting. Fairey Battle silhouetted against sunset. Other Fairey Battles take off and circle airfield. Family winter scenes - with tobogan, Christmas tree and skiiing. (Colour)

Reel 7: ("Spring 1939") Tug and freighter off coast, against sunset. Tribal Class destroyer passes. Boswell family scenes. At sea on a merchant ship. HMS Pelican in pale grey coluring. Oropesa transfer of Jill (Boswell?) to HMS Pelican. River Thames scenes, including Tower Bridge opening. More family scenes. Mayor of Hull comes aboard HMS Pelican. Chelsea Flower Show scenes. (Colour)

Reel 8: ("Pelican 1939") Polish drifter off Lerwick (Shetland). Depth charge exercise. Dinghy racing on Thames. Boswell family scenes. Fleet at anchor off Invergordon. Fishing ashore in Iceland. Crew of HMS Pelican play football ashore. HMS Rodney and three funnel liner Caledonia at anchor. HMS Pelican beneath Forth Bridge. Signalling at sea. Autumn bonfire. More family scenes. HMS Pelican on onvoy escort duties off east coast of England: lookout for air attack, Aldis signalling in winter evening light, freighters wallowing in heavy seas. Edging through snow and ice floes in Thames Estuary (ie bitter winter of 1939). Family scenes. Officers ashore at Chatham wear gas masks. Plane circles over sinking ship. Family scenes, including Boswell now sporting beard. Rough seas as Italian ship sinks. HMS Pelican tows lifeboats and survivors are brought ashore on stretchers after their rescue by Boswell's crew. Sloop signals passing convoy. HMS Pelican in tow, severely damaged (after her stern had been blasted off by German bombing off Andalsnes during Norway campaign). Naval and merchant vessels at Sheerness. (Colour)

Reel 9: ("9 May 1940 - February 1941") Naval wedding. Family scenes. Evacuees. After HMS Pelican's return to service, shiled is fitted to rear twin gun and quadruple anti-aircraft gun is hoisted aboard. Loading shells. Family scenes at home (Winter 1940). Boswell's fellow officers toast his promotion on board HMS Pelican. Loading more shells and provisions in wintry clear weather (February 1941). (Colour)

Reel 10: ("March 1941 - September 1942") HMS Pelican in Thames Estuary (March 1941), and on east coast convoy escort duties, with barrage balloons in distance. Family scenes. (Colour)

Amateur film shot by Captain Lennox Boswell between 1936 and 1942 records naval and off-duty scenes while serving as Fleet Gunnery officer on HMS Nelson in Mediterranean during the Spanish Civil War, shore leave in Spain and Tangier, 1937 Coronation Review, his command of anti-aircraft sloop HMS Pelican (Spring 1939-September 1942) on East Coast convoy duties, return for repairs to stern after being dive-bombed off ndalsnes (Andalsnes) in Norway campaign (April 1940), and various family scenes.



  • SCENES ABOARD HMS NELSON, 1936-1937, AND HMS PELICAN, 1939-1941 (Allocated)

Technical Data

Running Time:
173 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):
Std 8mm
B&W (part Colour)
2000 ft (ca)

Production Credits

Production Countries:
Boswell, Lennox (Captain)