Life Aboard A Wartime Liberty Ship

IAN M
13th January 2012, 00:33
This book describes my voyages on the Samite and Samforth during WWII. If anyone has read it, I'd appreciate an appraisal.

Ian

CarolineD
14th January 2012, 18:40
Is this published by Amberley Books Ian? Somewhere in the house I have a voucher from them for money off my next purchase (having ordered various books from them for Christmas presents).

IAN M
14th January 2012, 20:42
Yes, published by Amberley, Caroline.

Best wishes

Ian

Bob Murdoch
14th January 2012, 21:14
Hi Ian,
I have read it twice and can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It gives an interesting insight into being at sea during the war.
Your leaving your Father at Greenock to go to USA to join your first ship was very touching.
I believe I already gave it a good write up elsewhere on the site.
Thanks for a very intersting read.
Bob

IAN M
15th January 2012, 00:18
Thanks, Bob. It's good to get a favourable report.

Best wishes

Ian

CarolineD
8th May 2012, 23:31
Hi Ian

I expect you'd given up on me. I managed to catch up on my reading over Easter holidays and have now done a review for you on Amazon and Good Reads. I thoroughly enjoyed your book - just wish there were more like it.

Caroline

IAN M
9th May 2012, 01:16
Hi Ian

I expect you'd given up on me. I managed to catch up on my reading over Easter holidays and have now done a review for you on Amazon and Good Reads. I thoroughly enjoyed your book - just wish there were more like it.

Caroline

Dear Caroline

Thank you very much for your kind remarks and for what you have done. I was able to put so much detail into the book because my father kept all my letters and I now have them. And, of course, I collected tickets and retained souvenirs of all descriptions.

Because the book has not been selling well, Amberley have declined to accept the sequel - the first of four (smaller) books describing my peacetime voyages. As a result of this, my daughter, Moira, and I are now making them into ebooks which we hope to put on sale on Amazon. It may, however, be some time before they appear, as we are concentrating on making an ebook of Dundee Memories; a book, published by Birlinn in 2005, dealing with my life from birth until I went to sea in 1943. This book, which did sell well, is out of print, but, if you are interested, you can get a copy from any library.

All my seagoing memoirs were serialized in Nautical Magazine over several years and, if/when they appear as ebooks, I'll let you know.

Again, many thanks.

Ian

richardwakeley
9th May 2012, 05:40
Hello Ian,

I read your book about a month ago, after ordering it through a local book dealer here in Hong Kong. A very interesting account of your life in hazardous times about 25 years before my first trips as R/O in the late great Blue Flue.
Wonder if you have read "Sparks at Sea" - a very good account of an R/O's life in the late 20s and early 30s, although not Blue Funnel.

IAN M
9th May 2012, 11:14
Hello Ian,

I read your book about a month ago, after ordering it through a local book dealer here in Hong Kong. A very interesting account of your life in hazardous times about 25 years before my first trips as R/O in the late great Blue Flue.
Wonder if you have read "Sparks at Sea" - a very good account of an R/O's life in the late 20s and early 30s, although not Blue Funnel.

Pleased to meet you Richard, and thank you for what you say about the book. Yes, I've read 'Sparks at Sea' and, I believe, every other book written by ROs.

Although not a book about 'sparks', I'd recommend 'Now the long trick's over' by Captain Arthur Mathison which is the best account I've read about life on the 'lower deck' pre-war. My favourite author, however, is Shalimar (F.C. Hendry). I think I have all his books and have read them several times.

How did you come to settle in Hong Kong?

Regards

Ian

CarolineD
9th May 2012, 13:24
Hi Ian

It's a shame for you and Amberley that it's not sold well but all small publishers are struggling in the present economic climate. Ebooks is definitely the way to go and that opens up the American market for your books.

I still prefer print especially for poetry which is mostly what I read although I did get a kindle for christmas. I think my husband was hoping that the arrival of the kindle would herald a reduction in the number of piles of books around our house… errm… and now I have "Sparks at sea" and "Now the long trick's over" to add but thanks for the recommendations - they both sound worth reading.

Caroline

richardwakeley
10th May 2012, 06:09
Good day Ian,

Thanks for your recommendations. I will definitely be ordering "Now the Long Trick's Over" as it's available from the same online Hong Kong book dealer in a recent paperback edition.

Actually I live in the Philippines - been there over 30 years since being on the BF "Blue Sea Line" round the world service and forgetting to go home to the Uk on leave between trips. But I'm still based at Hong Kong for work, have been shore tech for the local JRC/Yokogawa agent since 1997.

As a young R/O in BF, I'm afraid my life ashore was rather closer to "Sparks at Sea" author R.W. Chandler's than to yours. I spent my time chasing the proverbial black cat rather than culture.

Like Caroline, I am a devotee of "proper books". My ever growing library in Leyte, especially of Folio Society editions, will no doubt make excellent firewood for cooking after I'm gone.

Best regards,

Richard

Bob Murdoch
10th May 2012, 10:36
The sequel to 'Sparks at Sea', 'Off the Beam', telling of his entry into aviation radio/navigation and his war time service flying the Atlantic, is well worth a read. This fellow certainly had a full life and, although not detailed, he seemed to enjoy himself!
Cheers Bob

IAN M
10th May 2012, 22:59
Thanks again, Richard.

Best wishes

Ian

Chris G Anderson
13th October 2013, 17:10
Hi Ian,

I read your book earlier this year and enjoyed it very much. I ordered it through a local bookseller. My father served as a DEMS (Maritime Royal Artillery) gunner from 1941 to 45. The last six months of his service was on "Samtruth". I particularly like your descriptions of some of the minutae of life both on and off the ship. A lot of authors skim over these kind of details, thinking they are not interesting. However, I find them fascinating and help me build a picture of what my father's wartime experiences were like. (He was not bombed but he was torpedoed, thankfully with only one casualty in the whole crew.) Like a lot of people, I did not ask him about these things when he was alive. I believe they have a liberty ship still afloat in the USA which I'd like to visit sometime.

Thanks for giving a window into my father's world.

Regards

Chris

IAN M
13th October 2013, 20:56
Chris

Thank you for your kind words. Oddly enough, there has been little interest expressed by SN members.

What ship was your father on when torpedoed?

Kind regards

Ian