Article, History, Poetry

THE DECK BOY WHO SAVED A SUPER LINER

At regular intervals, all vessels are placed in Dry Dock where they are thoroughly examined and repaired before being licensed to return to the high seas. The great ocean liners were no exception. The then 16-year-old Michael Walsh was one of the skeleton crew left to man the RMS Britannic during its repair and renovation in north Liverpool’s Dry Dock.

The repairs may last a week or so during which time, especially at night, there is little or no human activity. The writer later recalled that there were just several quartermasters deployed to act as a fire party. ‘I had been tasked with being the liner’s watchman and was to be positioned in the great liner’s wheelhouse.

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Back then, I was still wet behind the ears deck boy and I had volunteered for this night-watchman’s job. The watch duty began at about 6 p.m. and didn’t finish until 8 am the following morning so it was a soul-destroying but well-paid duty. All one could do during the night watch was read a book and maybe catch a little shuteye whilst stretched out on a ship’s deckchair.

The RMS Britannic was the last of the White Star Shipping Company liners. This was the company that had once owned the luckless RMS Titanic. Built-in 1930, the Britannic featured much that would be familiar to the great passenger liners like the Olympic and Titanic. The deckchairs hadn’t changed since that period.

Britannic at Pier Head

‘During my brief instruction, I learned the ropes relating to the watchman’s duties. Having shown me the various alarms, handles, switches and lights, the officer of the watch then took me across the great liner’s wheelhouse to where there was located a glass cabinet set in the wheelhouse bulkhead.

The cabinet looked very much like one of those museum display cabinets that hold and display artefacts. However, this wheelhouse cabinet differed in that the bottom was lined by about 30 small pipe ends. Think of 2’ of a vacuum cleaner pipe and you have the picture.

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The system like most clever ideas is simple.  Each pipe led to a different section of the great liner, a hold, storeroom, workshop, or a utility room. In the event of a fire breaking out the smoke would be vacuumed up along the pipe to emerge in the wheelhouse glass cabinet whereupon the fumes would set off the alarm. The number inscribed on each pipe would indicate the room affected.

The officer was blasé about this part of the instruction and seemed to me to be going through the motions only. With that, I was left to my own devices. It was admittedly lonely. On the ship’s bridge and confined to the wheelhouse, I was far from any human activity. I had no idea where the ship’s officer would be. The four or so ship’s quartermasters were ten minutes of ladders, walkways, staircases and alleys distant.

Britannic,Queen Mary, Mauretania2, Flandre,Olympia,United States,Independence or Constitution
Britannic, Queen Mary, Mauretania 2, Flandre, Olympia, The United States

Each night watch passed uneventfully until during the early hours of one morning the alarm in the wheelhouse cabinet sounded. A false alarm I suspected. When I reached the cabinet, I stood horrified as I watched black smoke pouring from one of the pipes. Ours is not to reason why ours is but to do and die. As earlier instructed, I ran from one alarm to another, pulling levers, pressing buttons, raising and lowering handles.

One is totally unprepared for the bedlam that follows. Every damned light on the darkened liner came on. Simultaneously, the great ship’s whistles on its funnel continually blasted their whistles. These ship’s whistles could be heard six miles away.

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One could barely hear oneself speak to the backdrop of clanging ship’s bells. Far below in the liners corridors the watertight doors, far heavier than most bank vault doors, were slamming shut. The darkened liner immediately lit up like Blackpool promenade at the height of season but with far greater effect and noise.

Unsurprisingly, the officer of the watch came through the wheelhouse door like fucking batman on steroids. With the glazed-eye look of an unhinged madman, his eyes rolling and his mouth soundlessly mouthing, I gathered he was saying something along the lines of, ‘what the freaking hell have you done, you half-witted little bastard.’

collage_michael-seaman-5

I was by now aware of the noisy arrival of fleets of fire engines called from all over Liverpool. Stretched along the dock’s quays were already fire appliances, their bells ringing, blue lights were flashing, and hoses were already being laid out?

Unable to utter a word, I jabbed my finger in the direction of the see-all smell-all ‘go and fuck yourself’ glass cabinet. Only then did the ship’s officer realise the seriousness of the situation.

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The cause of the shipboard fire was later revealed.  Welders, working deep down in the ship’s bowels near the bows had unwittingly allowed sparks to settle in old burlap sacking. The effects of the slow burn had taken a period of time. The welders, their day finished had gone home. Only much later in the evening did the smouldering burlap sacking burst into flames enough to cause the smoke that was to set off the alarm.

Britannic

The incident reminded us all of a similar fire that precisely six years earlier in 1953 had gutted and capsized another great ocean liner in the nearby Gladstone Dock. Then, the Canadian Pacific Railways Atlantic liner, Empress of Canada, at 20,000 tons smaller than the 27,000 ton Britannic, had been destroyed in a similar situation. Did I receive an award, frankly no, not even a ‘well done, lad’ and a handshake. Such is the reward of duty.

BELIEVING OF LIVERPOOL Michael Walsh, Amazon Books is a potpourri of 30 similar stories, garnished by rollicking’ sailors poetry and pictures.  This is a book you are going to find difficult to put down.

Related story  A NEW WAY TO TRAVEL IS WELCOMED

Believing 2

MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of RISE OF THE SUN WEELEUROPE ARISE TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROESMEGACAUST,  DEATH OF A CITYWITNESS TO HISTORY, THE BUSINESS BOOSTERTHE FIFTH COLUMN VOLUME I and IIFOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAKIMMORTAL BELOVEDTHE ALL LIES INVASIONINSPIRE A NATION Volume IINSPIRE A NATION Volume II , SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY , REICH AND WRONG,  THE RED BRIGANDSRANSACKING THE REICH , The Exiled Duke Romanov Who Turned Desert Into Paradise , THE DOVETAILS and other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.

All I ask meme for new website

MICHAEL WALSH BOOK CLUB: Set up a Standing Order minimum of €25 (£25) to my UK bank account each month to receive every 3-months a FREE SIGNED copy of any book from our BUY FROM AUTHOR LINK.

THE BARNES REVIEW is considered by historians as the world’s most prestigious source of bona fide essays and information. Michael Walsh is a key member of the periodical’s Board of Contributing Editors. See www.BarnesReview.com   https://barnesreview.org/

Liverpool

THE LIVERPOOL  TETRALOGY

The revenge of a predator is a city-vigilante epic better than Death Wish A LEOPARD IN LIVERPOOL , 30 lavishly illustrated first-hand stories by a Liverpool sailor  BELIEVING OF LIVERPOOL, Latest Killer-Thriller From Michael Walsh the City Vigilante Supremo The Stigma Enigma , A powerful thought-provoking paranormal romance The Soul Meets, How to form a naughty ménage a trois THE DOVETAILS.

Dovetails Book Meme 1

! ! Leopard NEUTRAL

! ! Stigma NEUTRAL

Latest Michael Walsh bestsellers: Those who fall victim to the taxman, banks and moneylenders are victims of legalised mugging  DEBTOR’S REVENGE, The Business Booster shows you how to double your profits not your workload THE BUSINESS BOOSTER 

The dissident author’s books available for purchase by visiting his website BOOKSTOREBUY FROM AUTHOR and POETRY  links.

! ! 40 Shades Book Meme

KEEP REAL NEWS OPEN: Donate by using Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria, registered mail or contact Michael Walsh: keyboardcosmetics@gmail.com or euroman_uk@yahoo.co.uk 2) Follow our blog. 3) Share our stories and 4) buy our author-signed books. 5) Receive free newsletters by writing subscribe to euroman_uk@yahoo.co.uk

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Michael Walsh currently has eight books listed under BUY DIRECT. Royalties will be ploughed into adding further popular titles declared taboo by the treacherous troika; Amazon, Facebook, and Mainstream Media. When ordering the book contact Michael Walsh by email keyboardcosmetics@gmail.com to receive your signed copy.

Michael Walsh New 64 Book Meme

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www.mikewalshwritingservices.wordpress.com

BOOKS THAT CHALLENGE, INSPIRE, INFORM Michael Walsh, ‘Writer of the Year’ with a strong global following. Nearly 64 interesting Amazon book titles famed for changing and improving lives. CLICK TO VIEW  www.mikewalshwritingservices.wordpress.com

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Article, History

A PREDATOR PROWLS IN SEARCH OF HIS PRESS-GANGED DAUGHTER

Michael Walsh, historian, and journalist, never found enough time to be a novelist until during the 1990s when, down to his last brass cent, he wondered if salvation might come via a novel. The dissident journalist put pen to paper and began work on Retribution which later was re-titled A Leopard in LiverpoolThe novel was finally published a year or so ago and was accompanied by a low-key promotion.

The established writer already had a worldwide reputation as a historian-author. He knew the plot had to tick all the boxes and most important the story-line had to be believable. The only way to achieve this was to write a novel that draws on his first-hand experience. In many respects, A Leopard in Liverpool is painfully biographical. The reader will feel the skin prickle as he or she turns the pages.

The novel is based on a mercenary’s planned vacation in his native Liverpool. His break goes downhill when during a chance meeting with a former girlfriend he learns that his adolescent daughter, whom he was unaware of, is ensnared by the maritime city’s lowlife. This was an epic fail on the part of those who abducted the teen.

After being drawn into the 1960s Congo crisis and Simba Rebellion Liverpool seaman, Fraser McLeod morphed into a lethal humanoid. The leopard in the book’s title was the insignia of Commando Kansimba, otherwise known as the Leopard Battalion under the command of the legendary Colonel Jean ‘Black Jack’ Schramme.

jean-schramme-7040b268-7af2-45bf-931d-6230702a07f-resize-750
Jean “Black Jack” Schramme (March 25, 1929, Bruges, Belgium – December 14, 1988, Rondonópolis, Brazil) was a Belgian mercenary and planter.

Years spent in Rhodesia’s anti-insurgency bush wars served to turn the dog-of-war into a cunning and resourceful predator. Camouflaged by the inner-city nomadic community, his pubescent daughter’s trail has by now gone cold. The action heats up when the merciless Fraser McLeod with hate in his dark heart disappears into the maritime city’s social sewers.

Those, whose trade is debt and death, flesh and illegal substances know how to discourage the inquisitive. Yet, they are no match for a prowling marauder for whom death is no more to be feared than is birth. The soldier-of-fortune turned arms dealer has a single lead and an unquenchable thirst for a vengeful nemesis.

Readers of A Leopard in Liverpool will be much reminded of the Brian Garfield novel, Death Wish. The movie of the same title tells the story of Paul Kersey, a Manhattan architect, who became famous, or infamous for pedestrian vigilantism.

collage leopard with captions -7

Parallels will also be drawn on the 1978 soldier of fortune Daniel Carney epic, The Wild Geese. When the film was made it became an iconic movie that allows us a peek into the world of the notorious dogs-of-war.

A Leopard in Liverpool makes Death Wish and The Wild Geese into a hot trilogy of drama, suspense, and brutal pedestrian vigilantism. Was Michael the man for the job? You decide but rest assured that much of the book is indeed biographical.  A Leopard in Liverpool skilfully combines real life with, well, you decide, is this saga all real life or not.

A LEOPARD IN LIVERPOOL Michael Walsh attracts worldwide rave reviews: An American buyer: ‘Mr Walsh takes the reader on a journey through the seedier side of an English city, along with a nice dose of an African bush war. The story line is very relevant to what is going on in society today. The story is believable and well told.’

Another writes, ‘An excellent thriller written in the tense style of a John Le Carre novel.’ A German reviewer says; ‘Well written story about an ex-mercenary using his skills of investigation and cunning to help a daughter he had not previously known about. Set in the underworld of Liverpool I found it very difficult to stop reading until I had finished the book.’

revenge 2

Related article A LEOPARD IN LIVERPOOL

MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, author, and broadcaster. His 64 books include best-selling RHODESIA’S DEATH EUROPE’S FUNERAL, AFRICA’S KILLING FIELDS,  THE LAST GLADIATORS, A Leopard in Liverpool, RISE OF THE SUN WEELEUROPE ARISE, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, THE ALL LIES INVASIONINSPIRE A NATION Volume IINSPIRE A NATION Volume II , and many other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.

collage_Africa books -2

THE BARNES REVIEW is considered by historians as the world’s most prestigious source of bona fide essays and information. Michael Walsh is a key member of the periodical’s Board of Contributing Editors. See www.BarnesReview.com   https://barnesreview.org/

Liverpool

THE LIVERPOOL  TETRALOGY

The revenge of a predator is a city-vigilante epic better than Death Wish A LEOPARD IN LIVERPOOL , 30 lavishly illustrated first-hand stories by a Liverpool sailor  BELIEVING OF LIVERPOOL, Latest Killer-Thriller From Michael Walsh the City Vigilante Supremo The Stigma Enigma , A powerful thought-provoking paranormal romance The Soul Meets, How to form a naughty ménage a trois THE DOVETAILS.

! ! Stigma NEUTRAL

Dovetails Book Meme 1

Latest Michael Walsh bestsellers: Those who fall victim to the taxman, banks and moneylenders are victims of legalised mugging  DEBTOR’S REVENGE, The Business Booster shows you how to double your profits not your workload THE BUSINESS BOOSTER 

Reviews GLADIATORS

Paranormal Taboo Romance

The dissident author’s books available for purchase by visiting his website BOOKSTOREBUY FROM AUTHOR and POETRY  links.

Rhodesia General 1

KEEP REAL NEWS OPEN: Donate by using Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria, registered mail or contact Michael Walsh: keyboardcosmetics@gmail.com or euroman_uk@yahoo.co.uk 2) Follow our blog. 3) Share our stories and 4) buy our author-signed books. 5) Receive free newsletters by writing subscribe to euroman_uk@yahoo.co.uk

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Michael Walsh currently has eight books listed under BUY DIRECT. Royalties will be ploughed into adding further popular titles declared taboo by the treacherous troika; Amazon, Facebook, and Mainstream Media. When ordering the book contact Michael Walsh by email keyboardcosmetics@gmail.com to receive your signed copy.

300 Bookstore

www.mikewalshwritingservices.wordpress.com

BOOKS THAT CHALLENGE, INSPIRE, INFORM Michael Walsh, ‘Writer of the Year’ with a strong global following. Nearly 64 interesting Amazon book titles famed for changing and improving lives. CLICK TO VIEW  www.mikewalshwritingservices.wordpress.com

 

Article

A LEOPARD IN LIVERPOOL

Michael Walsh, historian, and journalist, never found the time to be a novelist until recently, a term that is flexible.  It was during the 1990s when, down to his last brass cent, he wondered if salvation might come via a blockbuster novel. The dissident journalist put pen to paper and began work on Retribution later re-titled A Leopard in Liverpool.

38491-e1456839183230

He knew the plot had to tick all the boxes and most important the storyline had to be believable. The only one way to achieve this was to write a novel that draws on first-hand real-life experience. In many respects, A Leopard in Liverpool is painfully biographical. The reader will feel the skin prickles as he or she turns the pages.

41Y4c4WPZgL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_
Purchase on Amazon

The novel is based on a mercenary’s planned vacation in his native Liverpool. His break goes downhill when during a chance meeting with a former girlfriend he learns that his adolescent daughter, whom he was unaware of, is ensnared by the maritime city’s lowlife. This was an epic fail on their part.

After being drawn into the 1960s Congo crisis and Simba Rebellion Liverpool seaman, Fraser McLeod morphed into a lethal humanoid. The leopard in the book’s title was the insignia of Commando Kansimba otherwise known as the Leopard Battalion under the command of the legendary Colonel Jean ‘Black Jack’ Schramme.

Years spent in Rhodesia’s anti-insurgency bush wars served to turn the dog-of-war into a cunning and resourceful predator. Camouflaged by the inner-city mixed-race nomadic jetsam his pubescent daughter’s trail has by now gone cold. The action heats up when the merciless MacLeod melts into the maritime city’s social sewers.

Those, whose trade is debt and death, flesh and illegal substances know how to discourage the inquisitive. Yet, they are no match for a prowling marauder for whom death is no more to be feared than is birth. The soldier-of-fortune turned arms dealer has a single lead and unquenchable thirst for a vengeful nemesis.

X 2268      Camera Press/ M. Kaplan/Retna Ltd

Readers of A Leopard in Liverpool will be much reminded of the Brian Garfield novel, Death Wish. The movie of the same title tells the story of Paul Kersey, a Manhattan architect, who became famous, or infamous for pedestrian vigilantism.

Parallels will also be drawn on the 1978 soldier of fortune Daniel Carney epic, The Wild Geese. When the film was made it became an iconic movie that allows us a peek into the world of the notorious dogs-of-war.

A Leopard in Liverpool makes Death Wish and The Wild Geese into a hot trilogy of drama, suspense, and brutal pedestrian vigilantism. Was Michael the man for the job? You decide but rest assured that much of the book is indeed biographical.  A Leopard in Liverpool skilfully combines real life with, well, you decide, is this saga all real life or not.

wildgeese5big-1-e1518795869853

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