When I Was On The Tartar
by Mike Payne
Mike Payne is the chairman of the St. Neots Carnival Association. The following is the jacket description of his debut book.
"A boy of 16, Michael Payne waved goodbye to his father
at Northampton Station as he went off to 'Join The Navy And See The World' in
This is his story of twelve years in the 1970s, when he served on HMS Zulu, Tartar (hence the title), Plymouth and Londonderry, and during which time he rose to the dizzy heights of Leading Seaman. Politically incorrect and graphically written, this highly entertaining account will be recognised by anyone who has served in the forces as the authentic voice of the Royal Navy.
The title of the book is based on the fine naval tradition of telling sea-stories which invariably start with 'When I was on the....' The stories become more outlandish with re-telling, with each sailor trying to outdo or 'Black Cat' each other. Every sailor has a large repertoire of sea-stories which are mostly true with a good deal of 'narrator's licence'. Here is a collection of some of Michael Payne's 'black cats' - gloriously witty, irreverent and outrageous.
Because it is a story of the postwar navy, there are no epic battles relived here. On the contrary, the author regails us with tales of visits to foreign ports, much drinking, joking, teasing and testing the limits of tolerance - sometimes of comrades, sometimes of those in command. Cameraderie was the essence of life ashore and no doubt an essential ingredient in the cramped conditions of a small metal ship at sea, subjected to the rigours of sailing in storm force conditions.
There are no other books available of lower deck
remeniscences which so exactly encapsulate Jack's life - afloat and ashore. A
valuable document of social history, WHEN I WAS ON THE TARTAR will appeal to all
with an interest in naval history as well as anyone who served in the Royal
Buy When I Was on the Tartar now!
By buying this book you are helping support a local author and a percentage of the purchase price will go to local charity.
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