My Darling Children: War from the Lower Deck - William GriffithsLondon: Leo Cooper, 1992, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper, with the price clipped. Previous owner's lable to the first blank. Text complete, clean and tight otherwise.
From the cover: “Many miles of shelves have been covered by books about the Naval History of the Second World War. Every aspect of strategy and tactics has been minutely examined, the careers of the great commanders have been subjected to rigorous scrutiny, and the decisions of those ashore who sent men down to the sea in ships have been analysed in depth.
There was, of course, under every commander of whatever rank, a spreading pyramid of lesser mortals without whose labour, loyalty, obedience and good humour the ship would simply not sail. Search those miles of shelves with diligence and you will find it hard to discover much which tells you anything about the life of those men who actually kept the propellers turning.
The author of this book, William Griffiths, was one of them. During the course of the war he experienced, as did so many other sailors, almost every aspect of service that the Royal Navy had to offer; training, convoy duty in destroyers and corvettes, submarine attacks, surface warfare, the Med, the North Cape, the Atlantic, the Far East; it all came his way, including the amphibious assaults on the beaches of Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, and D-Day in Normandy. He was sunk twice; once returning from the Normandy beaches in a Tank Landing Ship, and again in a Russian convoy — in February at sixty degrees below zero.
His account may be called fictional since no real names are mentioned and no specific encounters described, but he does, as Sir Michael Hordern, who shared many of his experiences, says in his Foreword, reveal what it was like to serve, to suffer, but above all to enjoy life on the lower deck.
William Griffiths does not mince his words, but, as he says, that is what it was like and the atmosphere and the idiom has now been put on record, and for that the Senior Service should be grateful to him.”