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History - Maritime
Tony served for 23 years in the Royal Navy as a weapons systems engineer and is a 1982 Falkland’s veteran.

The award of the British Empire Medal in the 1988 New Year’s Honours List for services to the Royal Navy was the pinnacle of his career.

His seagoing service saw him on 6 different warships including HMS Sheffield. Captains of note were Admiral Sandy Woodward, who commanded the Falklands Task Force, and Captain Sam Salt who commanded the Sheffield when she was so tragically sunk.

His stories about life in the Royal Navy use many of his own photographs, along with memories from a varied career, to give a personal insight into the Royal Navy. These include details about the loss of HMS Sheffield, Captain Salt’s return to the Falklands on HMS Southampton and weapons systems performance in the war.

It was his Research into his naval career that led him to the 4 unique and intriguing World War 1 lectures that are full of amazing pictures. (Note: there are NO horrible pictures.)

This International Guest Speaker and Historian is now an Author and has published 3 books:
- U-BOAT ENIGMAS: Royal Navy Salvage & Secrecy in WW1
- South American Wildlife: Queen Victoria 2020 Cruise
- Operation Argentina: Falklands Museum, Rattenbach Report & Memorials 2020.

(Click image for full size)
Tale 1 - My Falklands Experiences and Associations.
My naval career was full of Falkland’s associations, including “HMS Sheffield”, Captain Sam Salt and Admiral Sandy Woodward.
I explain why the Exocet hit “HMS Sheffield” and what stopped the crew from saving her.
Visit the islands with me in 1982 and 1983, as the Royal Navy learns and adapts to this battle, far from home where they managed despite defence cuts.
Locations: Barrow, Portsmouth, Falkland Islands, Ascension Islands.

Tale 2 - The Falklands re-visited.
These remote islands have a place in my heart after the war, but how are they managing after 1982?
Using my visit in 2015, I will give you an insight into their history, the people, the culture, the economy, fantastic scenery and best of all the amazing wildlife.
If you love penguins as I do then this is the talk for you, stunning photographs of 5 different types.
There is a visit to the Tumbledown battle site with a veteran and a chance to pay my respects to those lost on HMS Coventry.
Locations: the Falkland Islands, Ascension Islands.

Tale 3 – U-BOAT ENIGMAS, Royal Navy Salvage & Secrecy in WW1.
After the inconclusive Battle of Jutland in World War 1, German U Boats wreaked havoc on our merchant ships, and the salvage of both ships and cargoes became of vital importance.
Among these, Royal Fleet Auxiliary Racer and her riggers recovered U Boat UC-44 together with many documents, including her crucial and secret radio codebook.
Tony Babb’s research has now established that this was used by Bletchley Park’s predecessor Room 40, changing the course of the war.
Included are many photographs collected by Able Seaman John Foulkes RNR who served at both the Battle of Jutland and in RFA Racer.
The lecture provides a fascinating new insight into how the salvage riggers and the mysterious Room 40 ultimately saved Britain in WW1.
Locations: Queensferry, Malta, Piraeus, Liverpool, Scapa Flow, Belfast, Portsmouth, Isle of Wight, Harwich, Lough Swilly, Dunmore East, Dartmouth, Southampton, Isle of Man, Torr Head, Aberdeen, Kirkwall, Denmark Straight, Jutland, Heligoland Germany.

Tale 4 – Amazing Animals of WW1 inc Europe & North America.
This lecture will challenge your views on how animals were treated at this time.
Listen to a heart-warming insight into the special roles of 24 different animals.
Woven into the story is the relationship between man and animal, of care and love.
Using many pictures and actual audio recordings by men who were there, learn about that bond.
You will be surprised by many of the animals, what they did and how we cared for them.
(Please note that there are no pictures shown of dead animals.)
Locations: Sheffield, France, USA, Belgium, Germany, Israel, Palestine, Romsey & various UK, Salonica, Egypt, Gallipoli, Italy.

Tale 5 - WW1 - The Great Railway War in UK, France & Germany.
Railways were fully involved in WW1, as was my grandfather, a platelayer by trade who was sent to France as a Royal Engineer Sapper.
The Royal Engineers Railway Troops story reveals the critical part that the railway played.
Everywhere, from home to the front line trenches, the railway did its bit including secret ports and ships. This story tells you all about that important and vital work, laying miles of tracks, supplying everything that the army needed, even directly into the trenches, this was dangerous work.
Locations: Germany, Belgium, France, UK.

Tale 6 - The Royal Naval Air Service to 1918, with operations in UK, France, Germany & Greece. (RNAS)
Flying was very new and difficult, requiring a special and adventurous approach with missions into the unknown.
They stretched their airplanes to the limits; they had the Kite, many Airships and eventually the aircraft carrier, always looking for a better way.
Amongst their many achievements, they were entrusted with the air defence of the UK, managed to create the Armoured Car, help develop the Tank, save the Royal Flying Corp from the German Air Force and even develop bombing. Nothing was too much trouble.
Locations: UK, Germany, Gallipoli, France, Skyros.

Tale 7 - Training as an Artificer Apprentice, UK, North America & Mediterranean.
I joined the Royal Navy as an Artificer and you may wonder what this is?
My story from 1964 to 1969 will reveal all and take you inside the Royal Navy.
Were we the most important group of sailors on a Warship after the Captain, maybe?
Locations: Portsmouth, Plymouth, Isle of Wight, Brecon, St John’s Newfoundland, Montreal, Halifax, New York, Gibraltar, Malta, Pisa, Rome, Athens, Corinth Canal, Stromboli.

Tale 8 - Opening the Box - Research, Genealogy & Skeletons, UK, Ireland France, Falklands & West Indies.
Follow me as I explain the research that was necessary to create my lectures and write my book.
Military archives, the simpler aspects of Genealogy, and basic internet tools are all covered.
You too can take up this rewarding hobby but be prepared to accept the reality you may find, as I reveal some remarkable personal co-incidences.
Locations: UK various, Eire, Kirkwall, France, Sri Lanka, Falklands, St Maarten.

Tale 9 - Above Water Weapons and Systems. 1868 – Now, UK, USA, Mediterranean & Falklands.
Weapons complexity through the years is thoroughly explained.
The last real war for the Royal Navy was the Falklands conflict.
A history of Naval Guns, Missiles and Systems culminates in how well our systems performed.
Locations: Mediterranean, Arctic, USA, Corinth Canal, Portsmouth, Falklands, South Georgia.

Tale 10 - Underwater Weapons and Systems. 1868 – Now, UK, Ireland, USA, Hong Kong, Mediterranean & West Indies.
The history of a warship’s underwater weapons, Sonar, Torpedoes, Depth Charges, and Mine Hunting, etc. in the Royal Navy is described simply but informatively.
It is a complex, difficult and secretive world under the ocean, but the fight goes on.
Locations: USA, Portsmouth, Dunmore East, Thames Estuary, Hong Kong, Mediterranean, North Atlantic, Portland, St Maarten.

Tale 11 – Vikings and Stock Fish.
The history of the extraordinary Norse people in Scandinavia is long and complicated. The culture and life of these wonderful people were different from the rest of us in Europe. The Vikings were not just raiders, there was much more to them. Stock Fish was also the added ingredient that enabled the Norwegian Vikings to undertake the longest journeys. But what is this strange sounding food, how is it produced and is it still in use today, let me enlighten you.

Tale 12 - Fjord lands, Oil, Gas & Life
Norway is one of the most beautiful and clean countries in the world with its stunning Fjords and amazing scenery, nature at its best. In the last 50 years, they have also found an abundant natural resource which has changed the lives of the 6 million inhabitants. However, the people themselves remain relatively unchanged and charming, yet different.

Tale 13 - How WW1 & WW2 involved Norway.
Neutrality was their wish for both of these world wars. This was achieved in WW1 however many of their seafarers still gave their lives. In WW2 they were invaded along with Denmark and many more were to give their lives. The Norwegian campaign lasted 2 months and the occupation was a very long 5 years, families were ripped apart but their hearts were with the Allies as those left behind coped with life under Nazi rule.

Tale 14 – Norway’s Remarkable Animals.
The Norwegian land and coastline are full of wonderful animal life, on the land, in the air, on the sea and under it. With so many species to select from, I have chosen those with the most interesting stories to tell. There is the much misunderstood and quite small lemming right up to the second largest mammal in the world the fin whale.
Where possible I have used my own pictures, taken on my many cruises to this wonderful country. Hopefully, you will see some of the featured animals during your travels.

Tale 15 – Norway’s Northern Lights & Winter Animals.
To see the Northern lights we travel to Norway in the winter months. To help you to record your experience of seeing the remarkable Aurora Borealis, there will be some guidance for taking photographs.
I have been lucky enough to see this natural wonder a few times, where they appeared for me and what equipment was used could help you. These days with modern phones there is help in predicting an appearance for us, do you need this?
Also, even though it is winter, there are still animals to be seen, but what are they, and what is their story?

Tale 16 – Norway’s Forgotten Explorers.
The most famous Norwegian explorer is probably the man who beat Scott to the South Pole, it was, however, those who came before him who paved the way for his success. Nansen, Sverdrup and Borchgrevink are not names that come readily to mind but they were probably Amundsen’s equal and are worthy of greater recognition.