Student Rebecca Carlton writes about her work with the U-Boat Project
My name is Rebecca, I am a second-year heritage student at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter Campus, and I am currently finishing my placement at the Royal Commission. My time at the Commission has been fun, diverse and fascinating. Whilst at the Royal Commission, I have been working on the U-Boat Project 1914-18: Commemorating the War at Sea. Working with the U-Boat team and the staff at the Commission has been a highlight of my second year. Not only have I found out about the inner workings of an archival service and the operations of the Commission, but I have also been a part of the U-Boat Project team that I would be proud to call home.
Whilst working with the team at the Commission, I have had two main jobs. The first and principle task was to restructure the data gathered on the ships attacked by U-boats, and then give each file a unique reference code. When the project comes to its final stage at the end of the year, this new structure will make it easier to archive the data and information gathered in the previous two years. This data included files on the shipwrecks, crew lists of the ships, marine life on the shipwrecks, data and other information including newspaper articles that reported how ships were hit and sunk.
Secondly, throughout my time at the Commission, I have been helping to upload newspaper articles to the website Peoples’ Collection Wales (link), that relate to the ships and U-boats involved in the war at sea around Wales.
Whilst archiving the items digitally, I have found a couple of items that become my favourites in the Collection. The first item is a video of the dive on the FV CARTAGENA, showing what the wreck looks like up close and the marine life on shipwrecks.
This video gives some impressions from the field school held in partnership with the NAS and the dives on the CARTAGENA. I enjoy Maritime History and love to look at shipwrecks because so much information can be gathered from them. They are evidence of trends in history and trading and show the craftsmanship of the people involved with the ship. I find these videos interesting because I get to see all of the sea life that lives around the wreck and other marine life like corals that make the shipwrecks their home.
Another favourite is the multibeam image of the SS DRINA. To look at all the multibeam data gathered by SECAMS is incredible, but SS DRINA is my favourite because unlike the other wrecks, this one has broken into two pieces. It is fascinating to see these images and get an impression of what it looks like on the seabed.
I would personally like to thank the entire team of the U-Boat Project at the Royal Commission for an incredible and amazing experience.
The entire team of the U-Boat Project would like to thank Rebecca for her time with us. Her work will help us archive the project at the end of our activity period and will ensure that our records can be studied by future visitors to the Library and Search Room and users of the Royal Commission’s archives.