Antonio had sent me a link to an interview with PoW survivor Richard Osborne - an Imperial War Museum tape of the same series as the interview with Colin McMullen already posted in the "Articles of War" thread- some 40 years after the fact.
Osborne was a boy seaman stationed in one of the starboard 5.25-inch mounts of PoW...in reel three of his interview he makes (for me) a shocking admission. He was asked about cameras aboard ship and his answer:
http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80008056...The cameras aboard ships..there were probably quite a lot, but amongst the Boy Seamen cameras were... I only knew of one actually...and he was on the multiple pom poms and during the action with the Bismarck they had a cabin...a shack that they used to shelter in....and he was taking photographs of the Hood. I didn't know this at the time, and when we got to Rosyth, the starboard watch of which both I and he were part, were going on leave before anyone else, before the port watch and he came up to me quite worried. He said he had a film, he'd got photographs of the Hood engaging the Bismarck and blowing up...and he'd got the roll of film and didn't know what to do with it. He wanted to take it home but he couldn't think of a way to get it past the dockyard police.
Well quite wrongly, I took the film off him and got a bar of soap, the issue of soap which was about 8 or 9 inches long, square, cut it in half, hollowed it, wrapped the film up, put the film in, sealed it again and he took the film home in that.
Well I don't know what happened to that film to this day, whether he did get it developed or what happened to it. Wrongly, in hidsight, obviously I'm terribly wrong in not telling someone on board Prince of Wales about the film because it would have been most important in deciding what happened to the Hood...or it could have been...if the photographs had been taken at the precise moments when things happened.
But I don't know what was on the film, but he did say that he had taken photographs of the Hood. I'd no reason to doubt him because he was certainly very worried about it and he wouldn't have gone to the trouble of trying to take it past the dockyard police.
Reel 3, 26:50 to the end.
As I listened I literally yelled out! What....How...Why.....What could those kids have been thinking??? Can you imagine, that somewhere, in someone's attic, gathering dust and mould, could be some of the most incredible photos of the 20th Century?? Absolutely tantalizing!!