Uncommon Courage - by Julia Jones (Hardcover)
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About the Book The compelling stories of the yachtsmen volunteers of World War II - from famous names like Ian Fleming and Alec Guinness to forgotten sailors - all who risked their lives to aid the war effort. Book Synopsis 'People ashore don't realise what a grim war we are waging at sea with the Germans. A cold-blooded war, in a way I think requiring the maximum of bravery from the men of both sides in the long run, as it is so ceaseless and intangible. You just don't know whether the next moment will be your last.' Robert Hichens, RNVSR Several years ago, Julia Jones was searching through long-forgotten items stored at her house and discovered some suitcases of old written material, which turned out to be accounts by her father of his experiences in the RNVSR (Royal Naval Volunteer Supplementary Reserve). She realised that as a child she'd met some of the people mentioned, and although she was too young to truly know them, these youthful impressions spurred her on to rediscovery and understanding. In this absorbing book Julia tells the compelling stories of the yachtsmen. Some were famous (such as Sir Peter Scott), others were wealthy (such as August Courtauld, who returned his pay to help with the war effort) but the majority were just 'ordinary' professionals such as publishers, lawyers and advertising agents, who signed up because they loved sailing. Few could ever have dreamed that they would end up acting in areas that were so far beyond their normal lives, as they found themselves commanding destroyers and submarines, and undertaking covert missions of sabotage. Some undertook the dangerous daily drudgery of minesweeping; others tackled unexploded bombs, engaged the enemy in high-speed attacks or played key roles in Ian Fleming's famous intelligence commandos. This varied crew of men were given tasks vital to the war effort, requiring endurance, extraordinary bravery, resourcefulness and quick thinking. Some died in the process, but for the ones who survived, Julia asks how their experiences changed them. Could their love of sailing and the sea survive the harsh realities of war? About the Author Julia Jones, formerly also known as Julia Thorogood, is an English writer, editor and classic yacht owner whose own father served in the RNVSR. She is Literary Contributor for Yachting Monthly magazine. Julia's introduction to books and boats happened simultaneously when her parents bought Arthur Ransome's yacht Peter Duck when Julia was not quite three years old. She soon discovered that her berth on board Peter Duck was the snuggest place in the world for reading - and writing and dreaming as well. It wasn't until many years later when she and her husband Francis Wheen had bought Peter Duck back into their family that she discovered that her special reading place had originally been designed for Ransome to store his typewriter. This inspired her own Strong Winds series of sailing adventures. She was introduced to the River Deben at birth and remains an unashamedly East Coast sailor.

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