In 1982, North Sea ferry MV Norland transported passengers and vehicles between Hull and Rotterdam. Requisitioned as a troop ship to take the 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment to the Falklands, the ‘volunteer’ merchant navy crew were told they would only go as far as the Ascension Island and that they should think of it as an extended North Sea booze-cruise run. However, without notice Norland’s role was changed and it became the first vessel to enter San Carlos Water, ending up a sitting duck in ‘Bomb Alley’ air raids while disembarking troops and carrying out resupply runs. Narrowly escaping sinking, the ship was used as a shelter for survivors and for collecting the Gurkhas from the QE2 in South Georgia, ready for disembarking in San Carlos Bay, before repatriating Argentine POWs. Long after the surrender, MV Norland provided a ferry service between the Falklands and Ascension Island. While many in the war served an average of 100 days, for the crew of the Norland it was ten months; indeed, they were considered the first in and the last out. This is a gripping account of non-combatant volunteers railroaded into serving in a war they hadn’t signed up for.
First In, Last Out - from North Sea Ferry to San Carlos Bay
Author: Reg Kemp
In 1982, North Sea ferry MV Norland transported passengers and vehicles between Hull and Rotterdam. Requisitioned as a troop ship to take the 2nd Battalion Paras to the Falklands, the 'volunteer' merchant navy crew were told it would only be as far as the Ascension Island: they should think of it as an extended North Sea booze-cruise run. Without notice, on changing its role, it became the first vessel to enter San Carlos Water and ended up a sitting duck in 'Bomb Alley' air raids when disembarking troops and carrying out resupply runs. Narrowly escaping sinking, the ship was used as a shelter for RN survivors and again for collecting the Gurkhas from the QE2 in South Georgia ready for disembarking in San Carlos Bay, before repatriating Argentine POWs. Long after surrender, MV Norland provided a ferry service between the Falklands and Ascension Island. All others involved in the war had a 10-week deployment; for the Norland it was ten-months. This is the Norland's story, told by one of its two night-stewards, who never expected to find himself at war.
Hamburg, 1930. German shipbuilders Blohm & Voss build a transatlantic ocean cruiser and christen her Monte Rosa. Norway, 1940. The Monte Rosa is sent to assist the dreaded Tirpitz as she bombards British ships. Auschwitz, 1942. Forty-six Jews wait at the gates, after the Monte Rosa had transported them from Oslo. Kiel, 1945. The Monte Rosa is captured by the British and given a new name: Empire Windrush. London, 1948. The Empire Windrush docks in England, carrying 600 migrants from the Caribbean. In Windrush: A Ship Through Time, Paul Arnott explores the epic story of a vessel that played a part in some of the most momentous events of the twentieth century, and whose fateful 1948 voyage continues to have consequences – both personal and political – today.
He made you cry with laughter with Paint It White, now the celebrated Leeds-supporting, cartoon-drawing, painting-and-decorating eccentric Gary Edwards is back. It turns out that his first book was only an undercoat and now the story of his crazy life following Leeds needs a second coat. No wonder: Edwards, you see, has seen every Leeds game - competitive and friendly anywhere in the world - since 17 January 1968*. During those 37 years, he's been there, done that and bought the T-shirt. So, after subtle prompts from his travelling companions, he's back with more tales that simply would not fit into the first volume. There's barely a pub in the land he can step into without some well-meaning soul coming up to him and demanding, 'Loved the book, Gary! When are you going to do another - with me in it?' So here it is - another fabulously entertaining collection of travelling tales and friends remembered. Eventually. In this follow-up instalment of high gloss and drama, Edwards recounts how he befriended a real-life Leeds-supporting Dalek, convinced Rolf Harris that the earth was flat, was accosted by firemen while trying to paint a fire engine white, appeared on the sides of buses with his face painted in Leeds colours and received letters from the Queen and the Prime Minister after he complained about David Beckham getting an OBE! Leeds United: The Second Coat is another hilarious account of the scrapes, adventures and moments of comedy that a life's passion for Leeds United has brought Gary Edwards. *OK, he missed one but he still has the match ticket, and only a strike by Spanish air traffic control stopped him getting to a one-off friendly in Toronto.