By Tony McCrum
Captain Tony McCrum's naval occupation begun in 1932. He survived the sinking of HMS Skipjack at Dunkirk and went directly to serve on minesweepers and at sea throughout 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 signs institution 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 used to be additionally Deputy Fleet Communications Officer. He used to be according 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 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
Lifeboats were available. Deck hockey is a game for lunatics, usually six a side. There are virtually no rules except that you mustn’t physically attack your opponents with your stick. The goals are marked with a couple of sweaters and the ball is a wooden ‘puck’ (a square of wood about 4 inches across). The puck never goes out of play unless it goes over the ship’s side. It’s a fast and furious sport as you career round deck fittings such as ventilation ‘mushrooms’ and hatchways. Anyone can make up a team and challenge any other team.
The latter part of the appointment didn’t fool me. Deputies seldom get to exercise their role and the fleet communications officer is not likely to encourage any competition from another aspiring signal officer. I was to be a flunkey, yet again, gaining no real hands-on seagoing experience. I was most disappointed not to get a small ship command or a specialist signals appointment at sea. Why had fate called me for this job? My new boss was Admiral Sir Rhoderick McGrigor, on whose staff I had briefly served as a lowly signal officer when he commanded Force H in the invasion of Sicily in 1943.
On my mother’s side of the family there was a string of stern naval officers. Her grandfather was an admiral and his brother a captain lost at sea off Memel in 1853 during the Baltic War against Russia. There was even an ancestor who was a captain who had fought under Nelson. So there they all were, looking over my shoulder. My father’s family came from a lowly background as smallholders in County Monaghan in Ireland – a few pigs, a cow and some hens clucking around in a muddy yard. From these humble beginnings there emerged a string of entrepreneurs who became successful manufacturers of linen.