Heart of Oak
Following the account of his childhood and early years at sea in A Steady Trade, Tristan Jones looks back on his time spent "below decks" in the Royal Navy during World War II.
The year is 1940. Upon his discharge from a sailing barge, Jones struggled alongside wartime recruits from all walks of life. After a period of instruction - and a fair share of punishment - aboard HMS GANGES, he returned to the sea, first on transatlantic convoy duties and later as part of arduous Arctic runs to Russia. By the time he turned 18, he'd survived three sinkings.
From the deck of the destroyer ECLECTIC, Jones witnessed a ferocious battle between HMS HOOD and the deadly German battleship BISMARCK, as well as the conflict that ended with the sinking of the SCHARNHORST in 1943.
Though most of his reminiscences take place at sea, Jones also writes of his days at home and on leave, sharing many experiences both comic and poignant.