By Tony McCrum
Captain Tony McCrum's naval profession begun in 1932. He survived the sinking of HMS Skipjack at Dunkirk and went directly to serve on minesweepers and at sea through the landings at Salerno. His wartime stories have been lately released as Sunk by way of Stukas.This booklet covers the second one a part of his naval profession 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 indications 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 used to be in accordance with 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 number of ports within the united states, Caribbean Islands and the Baltic. In May...
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Extra resources for Abandon Ship!. The Post-War Memoirs of Captain Tony McCrum RN
The Admiral is ‘piped’ on board, meets the captain, Rule Britannia if they have a band, inspects the guard of honour and then meets the heads of departments. Then he walks round the ship and inspects the armament and the living quarters and anything else he particularly wants to see. After that he goes down to the captain’s cabin for a chat and a restorative drink and soon we are on the way to the next victim. It gave the Admiral a fleeting impression of the ship’s standard and was sometimes most revealing.
Oh lord! What had I done to deserve this? This would mean a complete change in my lifestyle. From an easy-going life with my own age group and no one to bother me I was to be shunted into a world of the strictest protocol and tied to an old man. I would have to live in Admiralty House, the Commander-in-Chief ’s official residence, with him and his chief of staff. A flag lieutenant has little time for himself and waits upon his boss’s wishes and orders twenty-four hours a day. He organises his programme, gets him to the right place at the right time and in the correct uniform and spends much of his time helping to entertain senior officers, civic leaders and local bigwigs.
It was an anticlimax and we had to adjust to a bleak, chilly West Country winter and this unexpectedly drab world of austerity. For six years everyone had been wound up, ready to face danger, but now the scent of peril and the fear of death were gone. The absence of these wartime challenges made life seem rather dull. This may sound as if I thought war was enjoyable, which it most certainly wasn’t, but it had been galvanising. There was, of course, a counterpoint; we could sleep in peace. But there were deep feelings of guilt.
Abandon Ship!. The Post-War Memoirs of Captain Tony McCrum RN by Tony McCrum