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A Good Read

Many years ago I helped my uncle (an irascible retired Naval Commander) take his boat down to Gibralter. The boat was called Truant, she had been converted to a cruising yacht whilst still on the stocks, hence was heavily built and roomy. We had quite a time sailing from Plymouth to Gib via Vigo, near shipwreck, engine failure and near mutiny (by me). The crew of four comprise my uncle (rtd Naval Officer), a retired Group Captain, myself (22 year old Merchant Navy officer with in those days a 2nd Mates FG Certificate). It didn’t take me long to realise that I was the only person who really knew how to navigate. A penchant for using nautical slang, filling in the log book every five minutes and imposing ‘discipline’ on all and sundry isn’t much use in the real world of the sea. Anyway that’s a digression. The point is that ‘Truant’ had been at one point (just post war)  owned by George Millar MC DSO. He had taken her from the austerity of postwar Britain through the canals of France and across the Mediterranean via France and Italy to Greece. Truant was crewed by just him and his second wife Isobel. He wrote a book about it called ‘Isobel and The Sea’, well worth reading, Millar is a very good writer. He wrote a few other books, Horned Pigeon; an account of his capture by the Germans(in North Africa) imprisonment in Italy and Germany and his subsequent escape through France to Spain; Maquis an account of his return to France to fight in the resistance. In addition he wrote a none autobiographical book The Bruneval Raid . The title is  misleading because although the book does describe a raid on the French coast at Bruneval to capture a German radar system, it is also a pretty thorough account of the part played by radar on both sides of the conflict.  Millar writes well above the standard of most wartime accounts, perhaps because he was a journalist before the War.

If you have time to spare well worth reading.

Categories: General
  1. February 10, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Hi Jazz: really interesting. One of my uncles, by marriage, was one of the subjects of a book, He was a Merchant Navy Officer involved in the the North Atlantic convoys during the war. He survived various incidents, and unfortunately I didn’t have too much chance to talk to him about it. He died some years ago.

  2. boadicea
    February 10, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Thanks for this Jazz. The book sounds interesting, I suspect an account of your trip with near shipwreck, engine failure and mutiny might also be interesting as well!

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