Actor Richard Beale was a young officer in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. In the summer of 2014, he sat down to write a memoir of that time, now more than 70 years ago. The result is an engaging and often humorous account of his wartime service in the Royal Navy, from just prior to joining up until his demobilisation and subsequent return to civilian life.
During his naval career, Richard rose from a humble rating to become commander of a series of coastal patrol craft, the last of which was HMS ML 135, sailing one from the UK to Malta and latterly covering the Royal Navy's campaign in Greek and Croatian waters, including minesweeping duties. His story includes accounts of a number of key engagements, including one in which he was badly wounded, and encounters with Greek bandits and British spies. But it is not simply a naval memoir, as he also recalls memories of love affairs, special friendships and the enduring companionship of his beloved spaniel, Simon, who accompanied him in the initial stages of his career.