The Neptune Association

Interview - Norman Walton - Radio 4 Home Truths -17 July 2004

Interview - Norman Walton - Radio 4 Home Truths -17 July 2004

John Peel's interview with Norman Walton the one survivor, and with Nixie Taverner the daughter of Captain Rory O'Conor was broadcast on Saturday July 17th 2004. The Home Truths programme has a very wide audience and many have told me how much they enjoyed hearing Norman speak. He has a unique connection to all of us interested in the fate of HMS Neptune. Nixie's interview fitted in well and the broadcast lasted for 14 minutes. Those who missed it can hear it again on the internet on

The interview followed the one with Gill Cross on May 15th. She is the daughter of Lieutenant Frank Woodward killed in Neptune. John Peel had seen the report in the Nottingham Evening Post of Gill hearing her father's voice for the first time after 62 years. Those of you who attended the Book Launch of Neptune's Legacy last June will remember the recording played of the 1941 Christmas message from Captain Rory O'Conor for New Zealand radio, but never broadcast due to the sinking. Radio New Zealand had found the tape in their archives. On the tape, Lieutenant Woodward described what Neptune had been doing and he was followed by messages from the New Zealanders on board to their families back home. Gill was born 7 days after Neptune sank and had never before heard her father speak.

Thanks to the John Peel interviews, relatives of another eight casualties have made contact which brings the total to 198. My contact details are "hmsneptune41 at" or 01227-282219.

Radio NZ Archives have a website Bob MacAulays family (cousins of Neptune casualty Desmond MacAuley) have spoken to a Lady there who was very helpful & somewhat excited as it was the second inquiry about HMS Neptune she had had of late. A search on their website under HMS Neptune brings up 10 hits all on the recordings mentioned. Desmond was on recording #7. Click on more you will see who is talking on each tape. In all there are messages from 62 RNZN casualties. Each person on the tape also sent messages home on behalf of fellow crew who were not fortunate enough to have the opportunity to record themselves. All very moving. The cost of a CD the MacAulay family received was NZ$50.00 for tracks 16, 17, 18, and 22. Track 16 is Captain OConors Christmas message, 17 & 18 are History of the Neptune spoken by Lt Woodward and 22 included the track Desmond MacAuley was on. The Archive staff advise that it would be approx NZ$120 for the complete set



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