Thursday, 26 November 2015

Managing Transport Operations by Edmund J Gubbins

Once again I am angry. Motorists have this exhaulted view of their importance in the world.
They complain when they are fined for parking in places that are not available for parking. They complain when they are caught on camera speeding. Now they complain whne they are fined for driving in a dedicated bus lane. The whole complaint is on the lines of the locl authorities are making a fortune out of these fines. This is rubbish. Ther people who speed, park in the wrong places and use bus lanes are breaking the law. They are criminals. There is an easy way for motorists to avoid paying the fines. That is for them to obey the law and not speed, park illegally or use bus lanes. Then there would be no fines and no income for the local authorities. If somebody burgalled their house they would expect the police to catch the burglar. The same goes for errant motorists.
Managing Transport Operations by Edmund J Gubbins is one of the best text books covering transport management. Available from publishers Kogan Page or Amazon.

Princess Daphne

Princess Daphne by Eddie Gubbins is a sequel to the
Rombuli Saga Trilogy.

Six years have passed since the defeat and sending back through the time and place portal of the Black Elves. Edward Eastland had settled into the role of the Governor of Rombuli and Sandaria. With his daughter Dorethea, son William and his wife Kitty he had become a family man living for the most part on his estate. His friend Tag had given up the life of a Ranger in the Imperial Parison Army and with his wife Margaret had become a farmer.  Well not quite a farmer because he still organised the town watch all over Rombuli. Edward and Tag's trading business had prospered and they were rich. They had now taken up what their friends thought of an ordinary life.
When he did think about his previous life, Edward had to admit he missed the fear and tension which had accompanied his struggles against the Black Elves. There was the distant memory of the tingle he had felt running up his spine as he entered a dark place with enemies waiting unseen. Sitting at his desk with the sun shining through the window and his children playing in the garden, his shoulders tightened as though he was anticipating an arrow between his shoulder blades. He missed the fast beating heart when beside Tag he had crept through enemy territory. In addition were the times he had to pull in and use his power to help his friends or himself. All of this was now missing from his life.
One day, without warning, his daughter came to tell him that a dragon had landed in the meadow and wished to speak to him. The dragon had been sent by the elves of the Golden City. An alien creature with green skin had been captured wandering the streets of the Golden City. The elves could not understand its language except that it spoke Edward's name. They want him to come to the Golden City and confront the creature. They had to know what was the connection between Edward and this creature. Would he be able to tell them whether it was dangerous.
If Edward answers this request from the elves will he be drawn back into the world he thought he had left for ever? Does he really want to become a soldier once more? What will Kitty have to say?

Available as a paperback from Amazon and Createspace and as an ebook for downloading to e-readers from Amazon, Kindle and Smashwords.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Child abuse in the home.

I was lying in bed listening to the radio the other morning when the subject of child abuse was aired. It was mentioned that the majority of child abuse is hidden in the home and very rarely comes to light. 
Im my novel An Ordinary Life this subject is raised when Tom meets his friend Derek. Their meeting is to have much wider consequences than child abuse but the subject was raised by Derek and his girlfriend. Tom is completely unaware of what goes on in some families.

' Tom found Derek sitting on a bank overlooking the stream that flowed through the rough grassy area they grandly called the park. There were two girls with him. As Tom approached through the bushes bordering the flat area used for football, he noticed that Derek had his arm around one of the girls while the other sat a few feet away.
Derek looked up when he heard Tom’s footsteps and grinned. “ Tom! What are you doing here?”
“ I was looking for you,” Tom replied looking shyly at the girls as he sat down on a tuft of grass near Derek. “ My mum told me about your troubles so I went to your house to see if you were in. Your dad seemed mad at you and slammed the door in my face. I don’t think he likes me.”
“ Just like my bloody dad,” Derek growled.
“ Sheila told me you had come down here to be on your own,” Tom continued with a smile. “ I thought I might come and keep you company but it looks as though I need not have bothered.”
Derek laughed loudly. “ Don’t look so grumpy Tom. It was good of you to think about me and I still need to talk to you. I did not come round your house because I thought your mum and dad might object to me after what happened.”
Derek then turned to the girls. “ Tom this is Mavis my girlfriend. Over there is Pat, Mavis’ friend. I told you I had a girlfriend.”
“ Hello Tom.” Mavis smiled. Her face was round with large lips, a small nose and big eyes. To Tom it was a fleshy face on the verge of being fat but not quite. Her hair was cut short and spiky. From what he could see of her body, her breasts were large for a sixteen year old and she was dressed in a shortish skirt, which showed, off her legs. You could not call her pretty by any stretching of the imagination.
“ Hi Tom.” Pat said in her best imitation of an American accent, which was all the rage among the young in England. Pat was small and slim, a summer dress with a flared skirt clinging to her upper body showing her small round breasts. Her hair was blond and curly, framing her face, which was like a young Brigette Bardot. Whether she actually worked at this look or it was natural, Tom could not tell. Her eyes were deep blue and smiling.
“ Hello,” Tom greeted them. “ I am pleased to meet you.”
Turning to Derek, he asked bluntly, “ What happened?”
Derek’s expression turned thundery. “ I don’t know what you have heard or who from.”
Tom laughed. “ My Mum told me when I got home from my summer job. As soon as I had eaten my dinner, I came looking for you.”
Derek smiled back but then looked serious. “ I had a fight with my dad. He told me not to interfere in a family matter and went to hit me. I hit him before he could get to me.”
“ Why did your dad threaten you?” Tom asked unable to keep the bewilderment out of his voice. His father had reprimanded him on many occasions but never threatened physical violence.
“ Look Tom, you are very naive when it comes to what goes on in the wider world,” Derek said with a grimace but with friendship in his voice. “ No don’t take offence, Tom. I am saying this as a friend. You live in a world where there is laughter and love. Your parents have tried to protect you from what happens out in the world outside your home. You and your brother both passed the eleven plus and went off to grammar school leaving this neighbourhood behind. Yes, I know you have kept friendly with me, Ray and Joe since going to school the other side of town but we do not see as much of each other as we used to when we went to the same school together. Lets face it, you live in a different world from the rest of us round here most of the time. Don’t get me wrong. I am not jealous of you but in some ways proud that somebody living on the wrong side of the tracks, like they say in American movies, is making a success of their lives.”
“ Me, I have to live with a father who beats his wife senseless every Friday night when he comes home drunk from the pub. A father who uses a strap on his children whenever he thinks they have been what he regards as disobedient. For as long as I can remember, he spends a lot of his dole money when he is not working on beer. Not only that but he has his way with his daughters. Why do you think Martha left home when she was sixteen and became a prostitute? To get away from my dad and what he was doing to her younger sisters. She challenged him to stop and all he did was laugh and beat her up.” Derek stopped speaking and stared off across the stream. Mavis was looking at him with concern while Pat showed no emotion.
“ Why didn’t you go to the police?” Tom asked innocently. He imagined that is what would happen in similar circumstances at his home or among his parent’s friends.
Derek, and surprisingly to Tom, Pat laughed bitterly. It was Pat who answered. “Nobody goes to the police from where we come from. It is against the custom of the people living on our estate. Most people who live round where I live in the middle of that estate up there, hate the police. Well hate is too strong a word but they are suspicious of the police. They’re scared that if they call the police in for a small matter, the police will use that as an excuse to look further at what is happening on the estate and its surrounding area. As far as I know there are a lot of rogues living on our estate. Oh, not everybody is bent but a lot of people living there are. With the poverty and all, what else are they supposed to do? Most of those who are not bent will stick up for the other people on the estate, trying to sort out their problems between themselves. That is the obstacle to anything being done about family violence. Just like Derek’s, my dad used to beat us at the least little thing which upset him. We were lucky in that he did not try to interfere with my sister or me. He only stopped beating us last year when my uncle threatened to smash his head in if he did not show some regard for his family. Uncle Harry is even bigger and tougher than my dad. Dad has always worked so we have plenty of money to live on unlike some of the people. Did you know, I passed the eleven plus? My dad told me not to get ideas above my station. I would not go to grammar school because he could not afford to send me and, anyway, girls should leave school as soon as they were fifteen and go out to work to contribute to the household. It was not for girls to go to grammar school. One of these days, I will be free and then I will go to college to get an education.”
Instinctively, Tom reached out and took her hand in his. “ I am sorry. I did not know any of this. I always thought most people lived the way my family did.”
Pat smiled shyly and squeezed Tom’s hand in return. “ Don’t ever think that your life is wrong Tom. You seem a very happy person.”
Derek raised his eyebrow. “ You be careful Pat. I have known him all my life and he usually gets his way with things without ever seeming to make any effort. He gives the impression of drifting through life but most of the time he is in control and manipulating things unbeknown to most people. Don’t look so innocent, Tom Houseman. I have had plenty of time to see how you treat your life.”
“ Tell me what happened,” Tom demanded blushing slightly at the way they were talking about him.
“ As I said my dad had sex with his daughters. When my mum tried to stop him, he beat her up. Why she stayed with him, I have no idea except for the children. A few weeks ago when I came in from work, Diane was pleading with dad not to make her go into the bedroom with him. I told him that if Diane did not want him to have sex with her, he ought to let her off. He flew into a rage. Actually, he was so angry, I thought for a moment he was going to have a seizure. Then he came across the room towards me with his fist raised. For the first time, I stood my ground and dodged his fist before hitting him as hard as I could. He went down in a heap but struggled back to his knees. I kicked him in the head and sent him sprawling again. I suddenly realised that I was stronger and quicker than him and could beat him any time I wanted. When he got to his feet with blood running down from a cut on his head, I stepped close and punched him as many times as I could. He was soon on his knees again. I told him to leave my mum and his daughters alone from now on or I would deal with him again. He was scared. It was the first time I had ever seen my father scared of anything. It made me feel good.”
“ I went out then and down to the shop to steal some fags. For some reason I was clumsy and was caught. The shop owner called the police and they took me to the magistrates’ court the next day. The magistrate let me off with a caution but I now have a record and the police will be keeping an eye on me.”
Tom shook his head. “ If you go on like this you are going to end up in prison just like your brother. You have to be more careful or your life will be like that. In and out of prison with each sentence getting longer.”
Derek frowned. “ What can I do?”
Tom shrugged his shoulders. “ Why ask me? I have no idea what happens in your world.”
“ I have always come to you for advice,” Derek answered stubbornly.
Tom realised he was still holding Pat’s hand. Indeed he was now sitting so close he could feel her body’s warmth through his shirt. To hide his confusion, he let her hand go as though it was on fire and stood up, gazing across the stream at the houses he could see through the trees in the distance. He was trying to think of how he could help his friend. Tom realised he was out of his depth like an explorer in a place where he had never been before. He knew nothing of fathers beating their children or of husbands beating their wives. It was unimaginable in his family circles. Most of the people with whom he mixed seemed, on the surface, to be caring and loving. Maybe they weren’t. Maybe underneath they were as turbulent and violent as Derek’s and Pat’s. It was something he had never experienced, something in truth he had never thought about. He could not recall a time when his father had threatened either him or Edward with a beating. That is not to say his father could not be a disciplinarian at times but he had stopped their privileges rather than hit them. Each and every time their father had explained why they were being disciplined and so they had learnt what was right and what was wrong. As for sex with a daughter, Tom could not begin to comprehend this. Indeed, he did not have any experience with sex in the ordinary way without thinking about a father and his daughters.
Turning to Derek, he said. “ Look Derek I have no appreciation of violence at home so I cannot give you any advice on what to do about that. The only thing I can say is if you have managed to spare Sheila further humiliation, that is a good thing. What are you going to do now?”
Derek grinned. “ When things have calmed down at home, I am going to collect my things. I have been staying over the last few days at Mavis’s house. Her mum and dad are very good to me. Her brother has joined the merchant navy as a deck boy and they have a spare room.”
“ That's good,” Tom replied. “ Look Derek, as I say, if you go on like this you are going to end up in prison just like your brother. You must find a better way of getting a living. “
Derek looked serious. “ Its all right for you to talk Tom Houseman. You passed the eleven plus and went to the grammar school. From what I hear you are going to take your A levels and go to university like your brother. He’s off to Oxford next year I hear. Now I have no qualifications and very little influence. Even Ray’s uncle has found him an apprenticeship in the shipyard. My dad could not help me at all and my uncles do not want to know. I am not going to go labouring for a pittance. I am going to make some money even if it is against the law. It is the only chance somebody like me has of ever being rich or having any status in their community.”
Tom grinned. “ You have been like that ever since I have known you. Even in infants school you were always looking for ways to cheat the system. Look, this might not help. I remember a film I saw with my father and Edward a couple of years ago. It was about somebody just like you though in the States at the turn of the century. He started out on a career of petty crime until he tangled with the law. What he did then was attach himself to the master criminal in the area. He made himself useful and slowly worked his way up the ladder until one day he became the master. If I were you I would find out who is the big chief in Porthampton and see if you can attach yourself to him. Now whether this is sound advice or not, I have no idea. I don’t even know if there is a big chief criminal in Porthampton.”
Derek grasped his friend’s hand. “ Thank you Tom. I will think about it and see what I can do.”
Putting his arm round Mavis, he said, “ Come on. Enough of this serious talk. We came down here to snog. Lets find a place where we can be out of sight.”
After they had gone off into the bushes, Pat smiled mysteriously at Tom and said, “ Well Tom, it looks like we are left on our own. If you have nothing better to do, lets find a place to get away from prying eyes and explore what boys and girls do when they are alone.”
Tom, almost blushing, took her hand and led her to a place along the stream where a willow tree trailed its drooping branches over the water forming a little grassy sheltered bower. It was a spot he had discovered years ago and where he came sometimes to be alone and to think. The sound of the water was in their ears as they discovered what a teenage boy and girl wanted to find out about the opposite sex.'

1st edition You Write On                                                2nd edition Createspace

An Ordinary Life by Edmund Gubbins published as an ebook by Kindle and Smashwords and as a paperback by You Write On and Createspace.

Monday, 23 November 2015

The Return of the Exiles by Eddie Gubbins.

The Return of the Exiles by Eddie Gubbins Book 2 of the Rombuli Saga a fantasy series.
The Empire is disintegrating. There has been no communication with the capital Parison for a number of years. People report that strange creatures have been seen. Sending troops to report proves futile. As soon as they cross the border, nothing more is heard from them. The plan is to hold onto Rombuli while somebody finds out what is happening. Edward Eastland is given the task of finding out what is happening, He has to find the Waloonian army at a place called Bryant's Ridge. He has to leave his new bride Kitty and travel with his friend Tag and her brother Boric. Will he learn more about the extent of his power as he confronts his enemies? Will he return in time to help save Rombuli as he confronts the dangers blocking his path back to Rombuli? Will he finally meet the dragons of legend to help him confront his enemies?

Saturday, 21 November 2015

An Ordinary Life by Edmund Gubbins

1st Edition                                                                    2nd Edition

An Ordinary Life by Edmund J Gubbins

Tom struggles to come round from his coma after a stroke. His family are told by the doctors to talk to him. He hears voices and reviews his life as he struggles to break through the fog surrounding him. Money laundering is illegal. Even Tom Houseman knows that. He, as an academic, makes a distinction between helping somebody to set up legitimate business and the source of the money. The novel follows the life of Tom Houseman. From his early childhood on the edge of a hard council estate to eminent Professor with a worldwide reputation and great wealth. The story explores the manner in which most people regard themselves as honest and law abiding although there are times and circumstances when they ignore the rules of behaviour or of some moral code. These people justify their actions by ignoring their conscience or making excuses for their behaviour. In extreme cases they give the impression that morality is not an issue in their case.Tom Houseman has a boyhood friend called Derek from the council estate and, though their paths diverge after junior school, he stays loyal to his friend. Derek becomes the right hand man of the criminal Mr. Big and introduces Edward. During his life, Edward accepts opportunities presented by his friends and his brother. These enhance both his standing in society and his wealth. All the time, he ignores and denies the moral and legal implications of taking advantage of these offers. As time passes, he has to accept the implications of his choices.
Will he finally have to face these hard decisions or will he sail serenely on living, to him, this ordinary life?
One passage in the novel is the struggles in the Labour Party in the 1980s. The Labour Party appears to have gone back to the dark days of the 1980's when Militant took over local parties. There are instances today where moderate MPs are being challenged by left wing activists and might be deselect. There is no thought about the party getting elected. 
The following is a passage from the novel:
' The next time there was a Labour Party meeting in his area, Tom went along. A few people who he knew greeted him like a lost brother but others were much more hostile. He did not recognise many of the people in the room though he did know Mike Pearce among those on the platform.
The business dragged on and Tom was aware that he had been warned about this by his brother. People started to drift away, some to go home, others to the bar. Stubbornly Tom stayed.
“ Next item on the agenda.” The chairman Dave Dowling stated. “ The nomination of two delegates to the Labour Party conference.”
“ I propose Dave Dowling and Mike Pearce,” a thin face woman said from the floor.
“ Thank you,” Dave Dowling said. “ I will have to step aside while a vote is taken if there are any other nominations. Well?”
He glowered round the room.
“ I nominate Tom Houseman,” a quiet voice spoke from the middle of the room.
Mr. Reynolds, thought Tom, looking round. Stan Reynolds sat with his wife Betty defiantly looking at the committee. He was dressed in a suit and tie, grey hair slicked back. His lined face showed his concern and determination. His wife was dressed in a cardigan and skirt. They must have been well passed retirement age. They had been coming to these meetings for a long time so Tom had gathered when he had talked to them after joining from the other constituency. They were the sort of old fashioned Labour people who believed in equality of opportunity, redistribution of wealth and society. For them the health service was the best thing that had ever been devised. Their children had gone, like Tom to grammar school and then into professions, one a teacher, the other doctor. They were proud of their children and grandchildren but they never lost sight of their roots and the need to give people a chance in life. They supported the monarchy and the countries institutions. As Tom’s mother would have described them, the salt of the earth. Ordinary people leading ordinary lives.
Dave Dowling scowled. “ Seconder?”
May Reynolds raised her hand. “ I second Tom Houseman. He will make a very good delegate to the Conference,”
“ Is that constitutional? You are his wife.” Dave Dowling grunted.
“ But we are individual members of the Party. Therefore we have the right to nominate and second who we like.”
“ Do you agree to this nomination, Tom?” Mike Pearce asked bluntly.
“ Yes,” Tom smiled sweetly. “ It looks like you will not get the shoe in you expected.”
“ Those nominated will have to leave the room,” Dave Dowling stated glowering at Tom. “ Brian will take the chair for the vote.”
All three trooped out. A waste of time, thought Tom looking round the room. There are only a couple of people like Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds left. All the rest are the supporters of Dave Dowling. Tom was proved right. Dave Dowling and Mike Pearce were easily elected.
After the vote Mr. Reynolds moved a point of order. “ Are we quorate? There don’t seem to be many people here.”
“ Of course we are quorate,” Dave Dowling now back in the chair snapped. “ I would not have taken a vote if we were not quorate.”
“ Another thing,” Stan persisted. “ Why was such an important item placed towards the end of the agenda? A lot of brothers and sisters left before we got to that business.”
“ They knew what was on the agenda so it is their fault they were not here for the vote.”
“ Who draws up the agenda?” Stan asked not giving up.
“ The committee, you ass hole!” Dave Dowling snapped.
“ There is no need to call me that. I was asking perfectly valid questions,” Stan stood his ground.
“ No it wasn’t a valid question. The committee draws up the agenda from all the business that needs to be discussed. That is the trouble with the party. We have to keep faith with members like you and your wife. You are from the past. You want to be civil with all sides. You believe in decency and equal opportunities. Redistribution of wealth but not getting rid of those who exploit the working class. Christ, you should not be in the party. We need to turn back to a Marxist agenda. Nationalise all the means of production, finance and business. The best thing you two could do is to leave the party to the likes of me and Mike.”
“ That is not right. My wife and I have been working for the party for years and years. We have supported it through the good times and the bad.”
“ Look old man. Go home and leave the proper politics to those who know what they are doing. You are not wanted. You are part of the problem.”
Tom could see they were almost in tears and reacted angrily. “ There is no need to insult these good people, Dave Dowling. You might think that your education and ideas are superior to theirs but they are only ideas. Leave them alone.”
Dave Dowling smiled cruelly. “ What do you know of working people, Tom Houseman? You are the product of an elitist system. You went to grammar school and then to university. You work in a university now. What do you know of struggle?”
“ Coming from you that is rich,” Tom laughed. “ My father is at least a working man. Yours was a school teacher just as you are a school teacher. My convictions come from a deep rooted source. I believe in equality of opportunity and redistribution of wealth. But there has to be the creation of wealth in the first place. People have to earn money before they can pay taxes.”
“ But as is shown in Russia, there can be wealth without exploitation.”
“ Rubbish! Which is the richest country on earth?” Tom asked. “ The United States.”
“ But they exploit the poor unlike in Russia.”
“ Rubbish again. In Russia they put people in Gulags who disagree with the government. In the United States you are free to criticise the government. You can vote out those in office.”
“ To help the working class we have to have a left wing agenda.”
“ To carry out your agenda you have to get elected.”
“ With a left wing agenda and ideas, there are more working class than the rest, so we will get elected. The trouble with this government is that it is not radical enough.”
“ Now you are either being silly or you have your head in the clouds. With a programme like Mike is always advocating there is not a cat in hells chance of this party getting elected. Hopefully the Tories have shot themselves in the foot by electing a woman as leader. If Jim Callaghan goes to the polls this autumn, we have a chance but not with a manifesto like you are going to advocate at the party conference. Now you leave these good people alone in future. They have a perfect right to be here and a perfect right to ask questions. If you are so unsure of your position that you have to insult life long Labour members, there is something wrong with your arguments. Come on Mr. And Mrs. Reynolds. I will give you a lift home.”
“ Don’t you dare call me a coward, Tom Houseman!” Mike exploded.
“ Mike grow up and start acting like an adult. You are going to put this party in a right mess if you are not careful.” Tom grinned. “ The next thing you will do is start to advocate  locking up anybody who disagrees with you. All you have to do is look at dictatorships down the ages to see where that leads. Even better, go and buy a copy of animal farm and read that if you can read and understand what it is saying. It will save you a great deal l of heart ache in the future.”
Tom ushered them out of the building and into his car.
“ Thank you for standing up for us,” Mr. Reynolds said as they arrived at his house. “ I don’t know what the Party is coming to when people treat other people like that.”
“ We have to make a stand against the bullies of the left,” Tom smiled in reassurance. “ lets make sure we are there next time.” '

An Ordinary Life by Edmund Gubbins is available from Amazon and as a paperback and Kindle and as a down loadable ebook for most ereaders.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015


After attending the Remembrance service, I started to think about all those who survived the fighting and came home at the end. To many who came home the experience was depressing. Take my father as an example. He went off to fight being assured that there would be jobs when he returned. When he did come home, he could not find a job and for spells he was out of work. They did not line him up and present his medals but sent them in a brown parcel through the post. I can still see him throwing them into the fire.He contracted malaria but did not get any help from the government or the British Legion.
I used this in my novel An Ordinary Life. It occurred when Tom Houseman is asked to see Mr Hunt the Mr Big of the criminal world by his friend Derek who works for Mr Hunt. Though Tom does not want to get mixed up in his friend Derek's criminal activities, Mr Hunt is offering him a chance to make some money through consultancy.

“ This is one of my legitimate enterprises,” Mr. Hunter replied smiling and spreading his hands on the desktop. “ You go ahead and declare it. The fee will appear in the books of Hunt Enterprises as a legitimate payment. Any future advice I might ask you to give will go through the books no matter what the subject. Changing the subject. Why does your father not come to the remembrance day parade?”
Tom was taken by surprise by the change of subject and he felt his anger rising. “ That is none of your business.”
Tom was about to stand up but Mr. Hunt waved him back into his chair.
“ It was meant as a civil question,” Mr. Hunt stated bluntly. “ I know your father was in the army during the war. He was a gunner in Italy and fought at Monti Casino very bravely from what I gather.”
“ How do you know this?” Tom asked equally bluntly.
“ You are an intelligent man, Tom Houseman,” Mr. Hunt’s expression was bland. “ In my line of business, do you think I would let anybody into my organisation without trying to find out something of their background? Why does your father not come to the Remembrance Day parade or to the Legion Club? “
“ I don’t really know,” Tom observed choosing his word carefully. “ All I do know is that when he came home, I was five years old and could not really remember him. To me, our family was my mum, my brother and I. All I had ever seen was a photo of my dad on the mantle piece. My mum used to sigh every time she cleaned it and tell me it was my father. When dad came home, I hid myself in the toilet and would not come out. He had to break the lock in the end to get me out. For years I never got on with my father and even now we are a bit distant to each other. I think part of the reason why he never goes near other service people was his resentment at missing his boys growing up. Then there was the work. He went away, fought in the war and watched his friends all die outside Monti Casino when his gun was blown up. He was in hospital for six months after the war and could not have any more children. When he finally got back, all the best jobs were taken up by those who had stayed behind. He was in and out of work for a while after the war until he found a job in the docks. Finally, I can still remember this although at the time I did not take too much notice of it. They sent his medals to him in a brown paper envelope with out even a thank you note. He threw them into the fire and swore that he would have nothing to do with them ever again. Mum fetched them out and keeps them hidden in her jewellery case.”
         Mr. Hunter was silent for quite a while after that. “ I know how he felt,” he said in a quiet voice. “ That is one of the reasons why I ended up doing what I did. I was in the Royal Navy during the war. When it was all over, I took up this line of work because I was good at organising things."

An Ordinary Life by Edmund Gubbins can be downloaded as an ebook from Amazon or or as a paperback from Amazon,
1st edition                                                                                         2nd edition

Sunday, 8 November 2015

British Merchant Seamen in WW2

Was in church for the rememberance service this morning and one fact struck me forcably. here was no mention of the contribution of the British Merchant Marine to the war effort. It was as though the sacrefice of merchant seamen has been completely forgotten.
It has to be remember that over 35000 British merchant seamen were lost during the war.  two and a half thousand merchant ships were sunk. They bravely ploughed their way in slow ships supplying food, goods and war materials to the UK. Without their efforts the war would have been lost.
Many tributes have been paid to the crucial role played by the Merchant Navy in winning the war. The historian John Keegan notes that :
"The 30,000 men of the British Merchant Navy who fell victim to the U-boats between 1939 and 1945, the majority drowned or killed by exposure on the cruel North Atlantic sea, were quite as certainly front-line warriors as the guardsmen and fighter pilots to whom they ferried the necessities of combat. Neither they nor their American, Dutch, Norwegian or Greek fellow mariners wore uniform and few have any memorial. They stood nevertheless between the Wehrmacht and the domination of the world".
A Poem by John Masefield sums up my feelings

For All Seafarers 
by John Masefield
Unrecognised, you put us in your debt;
Unthanked, you enter, or escape, the grave;
Whether your land remember or forget 

You saved the land, or died to try to save.

Let us hope that in the future these men will be remembered.

I have declare an interest. After leaving school, I served at sea in the British Merchant Navy for twelve years in the 1960's. There were still men sailing with me who had served in the war.
My  experiences of my time at sea form the basis of a semi auto biographical novel Tales from the Sea by Eddie Gubbins. This can be purchased from Amazon, or at or as a paperback or for downloading to e-readers.