Friday, August 14, 2009


By J. Gordon Mumford
138 pp., illus., ISBN 1-894263-19-7General Store Publishing House

This work is a recollection, written in the first person, of wartime experiences as a radio officer in the British Merchant Marine.
Mumford does an excellent job recounting having two ships sunk under him. The first involved time in an open lifeboat on the North Atlantic; the second was in the Scheldt Estuary off Belgium later in the war.
Difficulties in his home life hastened Mumford's decision to leave for the Merchant Marine at an early age. His family home was among the last in London to still use an outhouse. The author is to be commended also for admitting to being molested at a local Catholic school as a child.The reader is left with the feeling of being able to visualize the persons Mumford describes. This serves to really give a feel of what it was like to have sailed on the wartime merchant ships.
A few minor errors were missed in the editing process: reference is made to radio watch on 500 KHZ instead of the KCS used at the time; ship's bunker fuel is referred to as crude oil. On page 59 Juanita is misspelled JAUNITA.
Apart from these minor flaws, the book is highly recommended. (DS)

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