Royal Naval Museum


Graham 'Sid' Street

Name:  Graham 'Sid' Street 

Rank: Chief Petty Officer (underwater warfare specialist)     

When did you join the Navy?
9th February 1987

Why did you join the Navy?
I was doing an apprenticeship at my dad’s boatyard which I really enjoyed, but I didn't like working with my family. I realised there had to be more to life then this and there must be bigger things to do and see. I’ve also always had a close relationship with the sea, so the Navy seemed the right thing for me.

Which ships have you served on, and which was your favourite?

I have served in HMS Achilles, HMS Brilliant, HMS Argyll, HMS Ark Royal, HMS London, HMS Lancaster, HMS Liverpool, HMS Southampton, HMS Edinburgh, HMS Crafton and HMS Victory.

My favourite was HMS Brilliant because it was my first proper foreign deployment. Half way through I got diverted to the First Gulf War. It’s a great feeling doing the job you are trained to do in a real life situation, and helping others with both your head and your heart.

Where you serving now and what is your current job?
I am serving on HMS Victory. I am the whole ship co coordinator. This means I deal with the running of man power, health and safety and transport. I am the office manager and liaise with outside associations such as schools and groups. I am a divisional officer to junior ratings, so I look after them and their welfare. On top of all of this I am senior rate mess president to the oldest running mess in the Royal Navy.

If you were not serving on a historic ship, what would your role be?

I am chief petty officer underwater warfare specialist. My role is to command and advise in all aspects of underwater warfare from initial sub surface detection, command classification and prosecution to destruction. (I push the button that fires the torpedoes!)

What training do you need to do your job?
20 years Navy experience. Throughout your time in the Navy you progress and learn thing as you go along. I have done first aid and heath and safety training along with leadership and professional courses during my time in the Navy.

What do you do on your typical day?
In the morning I attend a meeting to hear what’s going on during the day. I then have a admin hour to sort out paperwork ect. I have a divisional period with the junior ratings to check their okay and their happy with what they are doing. I then debrief either the Captain or executive officer and tell them anything they need to know from the mornings meeting, In the afternoon I deal with work requests, help the ratings with their NVQ training, and also look at the function bookings for the mess.

What is the best part about being in the Navy?
The best part if being in the Navy is travelling and getting to see the world properly. Also, the sense of comradely that the Navy gives you is really nice. Also the training opportunities and sporting facilities that are offered are fantastic! My favourite part of being on a ship is the teamwork and getting to make new friends, and I like being able to use a wide variety of equipment, one minute I could be using the washing machine and next a radar!

What is the worst part of being in the Navy?
The long deployments and being away from home for a long time is hard, but also the small mundane boring tasks that have to be done. Oh, and bad weather! There’s nothing worse then being on a ship when there’s a storm and not being able to drink without spilling it over you!

Where is the strangest place you have visited with the Navy?
The strangest place I have visited is South Georgia. It’s a rock in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean. It’s freezing cold and full of snow and wildlife. There is also a Royal Marines base, and two civilians live there too and run the post office so that you can get your passport stamped.. Strange!

Where’s the best place you have visited with the Navy?

St Thomas in the Caribbean, the sun shines all the time and they do the best rum punch!

What is your favourite memory from your time in the Navy?
My favourite memory is representing the Royal Navy in rugby. We played the Army at Twickenham stadium. We won!  That was a great feeling!

What was your most interesting moment?

The most interesting was probably disaster relief after hurricane Hugo in September 1989. Helping with humanitarian aid after the civil war in Sierra Leone in West Africa was also a very interesting experience.

What would you be doing in you weren’t in the Navy?
I would be a full time rugby coach.

I’ve really enjoyed my time in the Navy. The Navy has given me education, stability and a lot of opportunities I wouldn’t have been given otherwise. I would recommend it to anyone who would like to join the forces.

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