This is the story of young boy’s dream to escape the poverty of childhood in post war Britain and become ‘a somebody’. At the age of 9, with his parents serving prison sentences, he and his six siblings are split up and sent to children’s homes where he is labelled ‘a guttersnipe’. Eventually re-united with his parents his happiness is undermined by a father whose demons are drink, gambling and wife beating. At the age of 14 he works as a farm labourer under the tough and uncompromising rule of a ‘landed gentry’ farmer. The appalling living and working conditions drives him to leave home to join the Royal Navy as a boy sailor. He enters the famous/infamous training establishment H.M.S. Ganges. He then joins his first ship, a Cruiser at the age of 17.
Whilst abroad he picks up a newspaper and discovers an article featuring his family… his mother is reported missing and the younger children have been placed in the care of the local authority. He later discovers that three of his younger siblings have been adopted. At the age of 19 he marries his South African born girl friend. Following the birth of their first daughter he is drafted to a Destroyer. Unable to desert his family he deserts the navy instead but he eventually turns himself in to the naval authorities. He is found guilty of desertion and returned to his ship. At the age of 21 he applies to join the Royal Navy Regulating and Provost Branch and this proves to be the turning point in his career. With a burning desire to become a Naval Provost Marshal he embarks on a mission of self improvement.
The author takes the reader on a journey full of hope, humour, poignancy and success, which ultimately delivers an unexpected fateful blow. Having retired to France he is told that his wife has terminal cancer. They return to England where a year later his wife passes away and she is given a natural burial only a few miles from the town where they were married 51 years earlier. The author now lives in Hampshire.
The book is filled with interesting experiences, poems and philosophical accounts of a fully lived life.
It is hoped this story will encourage others, also of less fortunate beginnings to engender self belief and develop focused determination to follow their own dreams to happiness and success.