Memoirs

Abandon Ship!. The Post-War Memoirs of Captain Tony McCrum by Tony McCrum

By Tony McCrum

Captain Tony McCrum's naval occupation began in 1932. He survived the sinking of HMS Skipjack at Dunkirk and went directly to serve on minesweepers and at sea in the course of the landings at Salerno. His wartime reviews have been lately released as Sunk by means of Stukas.This e-book covers the second one a part of his naval occupation among 1945 and 1963. Having arrived again in Plymouth from Trincomlee as a lieutenant aboard the destroyer Tarter in November 1945, his first appointment used to be as senior teacher on the RN signs university in Devonport. There then appointments as Flag Lieutenant; first to Admiral Pridham-Wippell, CinC Plymouth Command after which Admiral Sir Rhoderick McGrigor, CinC domestic Fleet, the place he was once additionally Deputy Fleet Communications Officer. He was once in response to the admiral's flagship, the battleship HMS Duke of York which he joined in 1947. The fleet exercised within the Atlantic and Mediterranean and 'showed the flag' in a variety of ports within the united states, Caribbean Islands and the Baltic. In May...

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I had watched soldiers storming ashore in the face of heavy enemy fire at Salerno. I had served with men and women who discovered resources in themselves that they did not know they had and with people of all ranks who, faced with danger, found they were capable of performing extraordinary deeds of courage and endurance. Many discovered that they had an unexpected strength of character, which would give them a confidence that would last them a lifetime. For those who had survived the war, whole in body and mind, it had been a galvanising experience, but not for those whose bodies or spirit were maimed, and there were many others who never came back.

One look at the map told me I could not do it in daylight hours so I caught an early morning bus from Torquay to South Brent on the southern tip of Dartmoor, which meant I only had 25 miles to walk to reach home at the far northern extremity of the moor. Twenty-five miles does not sound a great distance but crossing Dartmoor is a hard slog, climbing up tors, crossing rivers and avoiding bogs and marshes. The first part of the walk was delightful all the way up the river Avon to its source in a wild upland marsh and on to the hamlet of Two Bridges.

After the end of the war telephone lines were severely rationed and allocated mainly by rank; a self-important lieutenant was at the tail end of the queue. But I wasn’t going to put up with it. ’ Miss Long rang me back. I demanded my telephone and conveyed to her that I was exceedingly important and could not do my job without one. She had a nice voice and hit my request for six. ‘You’ll get a telephone when your name comes up to the top of the list. There is no way you can jump the queue. ’ Len Hubbard poked his head round the door.

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