Draftys Blunder Paperback – 1 Nov 2010
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From the Author
The author would appreciate readers suggestions for improvement to the accuracy of the script and its content. If a reader has a good story to tell in any of the places visited in the book or elsewhere, it could be adapted for inclusion in the novel and due acknowledgement given.
Please send your comtribution to the publisher, clearly labelling it for "Drafty's Blunder".
From the Back Cover
We begin a few weeks before the start of WW2 when a young leaing seaman named Thomas Tweed, nicknamed Harrs by his mates, takes passage in a destroyer returning to Hong Kong after a refit in Portsmouth Dockyard.
On the return jouney the ship calls in to Gibaltar, Malta, Port Said, and war breaks out as it enters the Red Sea. The ship's passage continues to Aden, Karachi and Singapore before arriving at its destination. Ex-naval servicemen may recall from their own experience, some of the events occuring during these visits as the story unfolds.
In Hong Kong, Harris is assigned to the 2nd MTB Squadron's maintenance team, and is introduced to a beautiful Chinese girl named Fei-ming. The original intention is to improve her english, but the couple fall in love and plan to marry. The japanese invasion of the colony and its subsequent surrender on Christmas Day 1941 interrupts their plan, and the couple lose contact with each other in the trauma of the bloody battles.
Chan Chak the legendary one-legged Chinese admiral, who has done so much for the colony, escapes with important people and crews in five MTBs. A much smaller party also escape shortly after in MTB13, including Harris and his mate who luckily happened to be working aboard when the order to escape was given. Although the second party is fictional in this story, history shows that a smaller second party did escape but little is known about them.
The adventure continues through south-west China as the second party makes its way towards Rangoon in Burma, with the hope of returning to Britain by sea passage. The first group leave Rangoon on the same morning as the Japanese capture the port, which forces Harris' party to divert to a port in India. Unfortunately, they are held up before Lashio and when they eventually arrive there a tragedy occurs. Although Harris does return home, it is not the way he had intended.
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