2 Item(s)

  • Forty Years at Sea


    his book is both a personal journey of discovery and the story of ships and shipping in Britain during the last century, revealed through the life of a typical marine engineer.

    The author changed his mind about going to sea when his father told him that “I shall throw you out of the house if you do” but on leaving school he worked his passage to the West Indies on his father’s ship and in his early twenties while travelling the world worked as a deck boy and a junior officer on merchant ships in the East Indies and Pacific and was shipwrecked crewing a schooner in the China Sea.

    In retirement he set out to discover who his father really was by “following the paper trail which even the most ordinary person who has been in the services or the Merchant Navy leaves behind.” His search uncovered a life which began with an apprenticeship as a fitter at a shipyard on the Tyne interrupted by service in the RAF as an 18 year old Observer Gunner on anti-submarine patrol in Orkney. In 1921 he went to sea as a marine engineer on oil tankers, an Antarctic whaler, tramp steamers, cargo liners and a Royal Fleet Auxilliary tanker.

    Wartime service in the Royal Navy on a destroyer was followed by a regular run across the Atlantic to the Caribbean sugar estates of Tate and Lyle until retirement to the seaside resort of Exmouth in Devon after forty years at sea.

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  • Hard Fought Ship, A


    HMS Venomous was a destroyer of the V & W Class, the most advanced in the world when built at the end of World War I and arguably the most successful ever. By the end of World War II they had all been sunk or scrapped but during those thirty years thousands of men served on them as convoy escorts on the East Coast, during the Battle of the Atlantic, on arctic convoys to Russia and in the Mediteranean.

    A Hard Fought Ship is the most detailed study yet of the contribution made by a typical “old warrior” of this class to winning World War II. HMS Venomous brought back the troops from Boulogne and Dunkirk, fought off the U-boat that sank HMS Hecla while rescuing 500 survivors and escorted the invasion fleet to Sicily as well as escorting convoys to Nova Scotia, Russia and in the Mediterranean.

    The story of HMS Venomous is told by its officers and crew and illustrated with 258 of their unique photographs taken in the heat of the action plus paintings, drawings and maps.

    The previous edition was praised by Navy News as "an exemplary ship biography where a detailed narrative of the destroyer's exploits are brought to life by a wealth of first hand accounts" and described by the Naval Review "as being up in the same class as  'The Cruel Sea' for a picture  of small ship life in World War 2." 
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  • 2 Item(s)