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All Aboard the “Millie” ..
on 5 June 2014
(publisher’s review copy)
“ .. One of the chief features of the whole operation was the rapidity and accuracy of the naval gunfire…”
Commander Redvers Prior DSO DSC* MP RN, recalling, in the House of Commons on 2nd August 1944, his experiences of the D-Day landings
This is the story of a British battleship during and between two world wars, as told in reminiscences by her ship’s company, collated via the HMS Ramillies Association and supported by a range of previously unpublished photographs, from the author’s collection, the IWM and other sources. The result is an warts-and-all picture of life on the Lower Deck of a big ship, and as such is an important work of social as well as naval history. Every entry gives a fascinating insight into life on board - and on shore.
The ship commissioned in 1917 and went to the breakers in 1948. Assigned to the Grand Fleet in WW1, this was followed by peacetime service in the Home, Atlantic and Mediterranean Fleets. In WW2 she served from New Zealand to Nova Scotia and all points in between, and was employed on convoy escort, in the Mediterranean war, and as a bombardment ship off North Africa and in the landings at Madagascar, Normandy - where she fired over a thousand rounds of 15” at Nazi targets - and the South of France.
Ramillies was clearly a happy ship, in spite of being seriously overcrowded in WW2 and often operating in hot climates for which she was seriously unfitted. She was also a lucky ship. She successfully dodged both German and Italian torpedoes but was hit by two Japanese ones in 1942. In spite of this, and all her other adventures, in all her busy wartime service not one of her company was lost to enemy action.
The production quality is good apart from some transcription and one captioning errors.
You can see one of Ramillies’ guns outside the Imperial War Museum.