The Real Cruel Sea

john ward
10th June 2009, 16:30
I saw somewhere yesterday someone had mentioned this book and thanks to missing a bus this morning I was able to nip into the Oxfam bookshop in Reading marketplace and look for it. They didn't have it, but they did have "The Dark Seas Remember" by Commodore G. Purssey Phillips. Published by Stanley Paul & Co. Ltd. There is no date but judging by the prologue the War was not yet over. The same author wrote "two million miles on salt water" etc.
I read the prologue on the way home and from that I can tell that it is going to be as interesting, and as horrid too, as anything Nicholas Monserrat wrote. It is not a novel...just tales of those dark days.

Thats another Story
14th June 2009, 18:59
Many Years Ago A School Friend Of Mine His Father Was A Crew Member Of The Compass Rose?

oceangoer
15th June 2009, 00:10
Many Years Ago A School Friend Of Mine His Father Was A Crew Member Of The Compass Rose?

I suspect that CR was a fictional ship based on HMS Starling.

Stephen J. Card
15th June 2009, 01:54
I suspect that CR was a fictional ship based on HMS Starling.



Why STARLING? STARLING performed her duties considerable better than COMPASS ROSE!

In the film version COMPASS ROSE was played by HMS COREOPSIS but her identifivation number K49 belonged to HMS CROCUS.

Recently on board SAGA RUBY's cruise up to Murmansk I painted a scene of COMPASS ROSE in convoy... not that she ever went up there! The painting now hangs on board the RUBY in the South Cape Bar.

Stephen

spongebob
15th June 2009, 03:55
I well remember this 1953 film and the ships that played their part.

I was serving my apprenticeship at the NZ Devonport Dockyard at the time and a group of us dodged night school to see it.
The two ships Compass Rose and Saltash Castle were essentially dead ringers of our little Bird Class minesweepers Kiwi, Moa and Tui and the six Loch Class Frigates inherited from the RN after the war. The fact that most of us had worked on and were familiar with these ships on deck and below added to the realism.
I saw the movie twice, the second time to dwell on the essence of the story.
It will always be an A1 film in my mind for its plot, story and realistic depiction of those times.

Bob

slick
15th June 2009, 08:21
All,
An interesting thread, in amongst my late fathers bits and pieces I found a picture of a destroyer, the only clue I have as to her ID is her pennant number H 49, can anyone throw any light on her name?
Yours aye,
Slick

Succour
15th June 2009, 08:37
Two things I remember from the Film.
Stanley Baker playing a character we have all probably met at sea, or someone similar, and Jack Hawkin's line. "It's going to be a long hard war number one". I think Donald Sinden was in the movie. Good story.
Succour.

holland25
15th June 2009, 10:22
http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-10DD-31Turk-Inconstant.htm

has details of HMS Inconstant which had a pennant H49 during WW2. Hope it helps.

slick
15th June 2009, 15:01
holland25,
Many thanks - BZ.
Slick

oceangoer
16th June 2009, 06:59
Why STARLING? STARLING performed her duties considerable better than COMPASS ROSE!


I don't know. Ask the author. Deary me !!!

hillshepherd
16th June 2009, 08:00
When I was a kid in Torquay in the early post-war period my bro and I were great chums with the two sons of Dick Coventry, a Lt Cdr RNR. When the Cruel Sea came out in 1951 we were given to believe the Dick was the model used for the CO of Compass Rose but I never found out if this was true as the family moved away and then to Kenya about that time. Many years later it was my privliege to take my ship (RFA TIDEREACH) on a courtesy visit to Gozo, taking the Flag Officer Malta and his family. The visit was set up by two ex-pats, one being Nicholas Monsarrat who then lived on Gozo. Sadly I never got the chance to meet the great author or ask him about the story as the weather turned foul and we could not get the anchor to hold in the channel. The visit was abandoned and we returned to Grand Harbour, Malta. Now we shall never know - no doubt there are other theories about the basing of characters.
Regards to all, Hillshepherd

TCC
16th June 2009, 15:08
Recently on board SAGA RUBY's cruise up to Murmansk I painted a scene of COMPASS ROSE in convoy... not that she ever went up there! The painting now hangs on board the RUBY in the South Cape Bar.

Stephen

The 'Compass Rose' did go on a Russian Convoy so your painting is right.

chadburn
18th June 2009, 13:43
There was a Mary Rose an Algerine Class Minesweeper, ex RCN Toronto, Launched Redfern 1943 and scrapped at Gateshead in 1957. When crossing the North Atlantic I alway's took time out to lean over the Taff Rail and think about the Wartime Casualties below our Keel, Brave lads.

sailingday
18th June 2009, 21:24
The Cruel Sea, one of the best books I have read, but I'm afraid the film was'nt so good.

hillshepherd
30th July 2009, 18:36
I have just read a review in Flagship (KGFS/Seafarers UK) of a new book: The Cruel Sea Retold, by Bernard Edwards. It looks as though this book will settle all the speculation about the basis of characters, ships and events once and for all. The book tells the true story of Monsarrat's wartime experiences, the ships, convoys and commanding officers involved. Will report again when I have managed to secure and read a copy, but it sounds like a must for Members interested in the war at sea. Pen and Sword Books ISBN 9781844158638, 15.99