Candidate Profile

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.)

Interest in Norway was kindled by marriage to a Norwegian and many visits to a country that he has come to love. Combining a long-held love of wildlife and nature with photography skills resulted in some lectures. Others came from insights into local life both now and during the wars. All of this has resulted in an extensive list of Norwegian tales.

This International Guest Speaker and Historian is now an author with five books published,
U-BOAT ENIGMAS, Royal Navy Salvage & Secrecy in WW1.
AMAZING ANIMALS of WW1, for Animal Lovers.
OPERATION ARGENTINA, Falklands Museum, Rattenbach Report & Memorials 2020.
CRUISING & WILDLIFE 1, South America inc. Falklands.
CRUISING & WILDLIFE 2, North Atlantic. Irish Sea, Norway, Svalbard, Iceland & Greenland.

(Click image for full size)
Tale 1 – Vikings.
Norse or Viking history is extremely long and complicated in all of Scandinavia. 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 so much more to them. It was Norwegian Vikings that undertook the longest sea journeys because they discovered Stockfish and Sunstones.

Tale 2 - Fjord lands & Life
Norway is one of the most beautiful and clean countries in the world with its stunning Fjords and fantastic scenery, nature at its best. In the last 50 years, they have also found an abundant natural resource that has changed the 6 million inhabitants' lives. However, the people themselves remain relatively unchanged and charming yet different.

Tale 3 - 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 two months, and the occupation was a very long five years. Families were ripped apart, but their hearts were with the Allies as those left behind coped with life under Nazi rule.

Tale 4 – Norway, Resistance & Collaboration.
The Norwegians resisted the German invasion for longer than most of Europe and then they had to live with occupation. Some would see this as an opportunity for themselves and the word ‘Quisling’ would come to mean collaboration. Others took the opposite view and in this these people were to help the world overcome Hitler by taking positive action to resist.

Tale 5 – Norway's Remarkable Animals.
In Summer & Winter, Norway's sea, land, sky and coastline are full of wonderful animal life. I have chosen those with the most interesting stories to tell with so many species to select from.
They range from 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 pictures, taken on my many cruises to this wonderful country. Hopefully, you will see some of the featured animals during your travels.

Tale 6 – The Northern Lights.
What causes this strange phenomenon that we all want so much to witness.
This is a specialist area of astronomy that we are now beginning to understand and I will reveal these details.
Before we understood what caused many people attributed special powers to this magical glow in the sky.
However, did you know, that this lovely sight could affect us in other ways as well as our senses?

Tale 7 – Photographing the Northern lights, Astrophotography.
To see the Northern lights, we travel towards the Arctic in the winter months.
Astrophotography is the art of recording an image of astronomical objects, celestial events, and areas of the night sky. I will focus on the Aurora Borealis and provide a glimpse of other areas of this field.
Strangely this wondrous sight is present all the time when it is dark, but it does peak, and that is when we need to be ready. Only the weather gets in the way, so we must keep our fingers crossed.
Many Smartphones, Tablets and Cameras can give you that image; I will provide the guidance.
Preparation is essential for a type of photography that needs no special skills, just the right equipment and knowledge of how to use it. Remember that practice will ensure you are ready.

Tale 8 –Paving the way for Amundsen.
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 showed him the way. 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.

Tale 9 – 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 10 – Amazing Animals of WW1 for Animal Lovers. 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 26 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 11 - WW1 - The Great Railway War in UK, France & Germany.
Railways were fully involved in WW1, as was my grandfather, a platelayer by trade 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 12 - The Royal Naval Air Service to 1918, with operations in UK, France, Germany & Greece. (RNAS)
Flying was very new and challenging, requiring a special and adventurous approach with missions into the unknown.
They stretched their aeroplanes to the limits; they had the Kite, many Airships and eventually the aircraft carrier, always looking for a better way.
Among their many achievements, they were entrusted with the UK's air defence, 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 13 - 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 14 - 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 incredible wildlife.
If you love penguins as I do, 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 15 - 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 16 - 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 17 - 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 18 - 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 13 Can be presented as two different lectures.

Tale 13a - HMS Sheffield. The Beginning & The End.
She was the first of a new type of Royal Navy Guided Missile destroyer, ultimately the best, but she would be infamous. Accompany me and experience the first years of her life, including time with the task force commander "Sandy" Woodward and then get the REAL inside story of her tragic end and the FACTS as to why they could not save her.
Locations: Barrow, Portsmouth, Aberporth, Gibraltar, Bahamas, Curacao, Montserrat, St Lucia, Falklands.

Tale 13b - HMS Southampton & The Falklands.
The Falklands beckons for me in 1982 and 1983 on a sister ship to HMS Sheffield, HMS Southampton. We head south, benefitting from the many lessons learnt during this challenging conflict for the Royal Navy. In 1983, we took Captain Salt back to the Islands, where he lost his command, HMS Sheffield. A remarkable Captain who opens his heart to us with his thoughts on returning to the islands he never even saw in 1982. In 1983 I also finally set foot on land in The Falklands and South Georgia.
Locations: Southampton, Portsmouth, Portland, Falklands, Gibraltar, Ascension Islands, South Georgia, Madeira.
2022 is the 40th Anniversary of the Falklands Conflict in 1982 and a big milestone for us Veterans.
May and June are the important months to recognise this historic action by the British armed forces.