Play / pause Slow Boat to Singapore

Slow Boat to Singapore

  • Peter Hubert
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon


When I left school.

I went into

a big factory called Siemens,

used to do the underwater cables

And the telephones

and I served my apprenticeship there

and I ended up at the millwright.

And of course, I was exempt

from going into the forces until I was 21.

And at 21,

almost immediately, I was called up

and I learned all about armaments.

I became an armament fitter.

I was called up to go abroad.

Seletar Singapore.

We got to Singapore.

By boat, it took us a month

to get there,

and we went on the SS Halladale

and we came

all the way down

Gibraltar through the Med.

We had a day's leave in Malta.

In Valetta.

Which we made the most of,

I mean, we got off whenever we could. And.

From there,

we went through the Suez Canal to Colombo.

We had a day off there

and you see things.

I used to live in London.

Never went out of London at all.

In fact, we didn't even go up to the city.

You know, I lived in Greenwich

and then all of a sudden

And when we went to Colombo,

were beggars

Men with no legs on pushing themselves

around on the pavement, you know, begging,

which would never, never encountered.

Your education,

you know, when I think about it now,

education is exploded.

You can't do more

than join the service to see life,

to experience life.

I'm very privileged.

You saw things

when you go in the Mediterranean,

and you see the land

You don't see any land.

It's too far away.

It's a horizon of water

and you see dolphins come up either

You can't see them both at the same time

But dolphins, flying fish.

We saw them.

A boy from London.

  • Peter Hubert in the cockpit

    © RAF Museum

  • The hangar, Seletar

    © RAF Museum

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