The youngest of Ted’s four children, I grew up in a post-Royal Navy era of family life and only knew his civilian world as a teacher.
Jack the Lad RN is a matelot’s wit set in verse, odes and prose, with over 140 cartoons. This is an open illustration of the true spirit in the Royal Navy and beyond, never waning through ranks or years. In my father’s works you will discover humour and humility behind the history; making the best of a childhood despite being put in an orphanage, seeing the lighter side of life during WW2 despite being torpedoed and bombed, enjoying the dizzy heights of Physical Training Officer despite the looming prospect of being taken off the Active List and finally, settling down to some schoolwork again despite being a teacher.
After Dad’s death a memento I lay claim to was ‘the manuscript’ he had been working on. The 13 short stories are based on events my father experienced - his encounters he had written down or passed on by word-of-mouth. As I began researching timelines for these I saw a fragment of what he may have been going through when he sacrificed so much for us – an ordinary man with an ordinary life? You decide …
So here is a Royal Navy man’s light-hearted lifetime collection of reminiscences; set in poetry, prose and cartoons - 1919 to 1982. An introduction has kindly been given by Admiral Sir James Eberle GCB LLD RN.
This is for all you Royal Navy physical training instructors, armed forces PTIs, cartoonists, modern historians, poets, any RN personnel and anyone with WW2 interests.
A Special Word about HMS Cossack
While compiling this book, I was also researching and checking dates. I realised three of the stories referred to a time he had spent on HMS Cossack. My Dad must have been very proud to be associated with a ship of such high distinction, yet was probably just pleased to survive the ardour of war and live life another day - the modesty of a true naval man.
As a result of more exploration and discovery of the HMS Cossack Association, I am compelled to mention the association's warm and special 'ship's company' - a great credit to the HMS Cossacks and the Royal Navy. The stories written in my father’s own words may be found in HMS Cossack Association’s archives. So this is in remembrance of her, her crews and their durability, expressing the courage and endurance of ALL men associated with her name.
Dover Patrol 1914 -1919
Atlantic 1940 – 1941
Bismarck Action 1941
Malta Convoys 1941
Pennant numbers LO3, FO3, GO3 from 1938 – 1941; credited with “The Altmark Incident”, “The Navy’s Here”, “Vian of the Cossack”, “The Daily Mirror Ship” and her sister ship HMS Afridi.
About Help for Heroes
Help for Heroes (H4H) was launched in October 2007 out of a desire to help the wounded members of the Armed Forces coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq. H4H believes that anyone who volunteers to serve in time of war, knowing that they may risk all, is a hero. Help for Heroes is very simple; strictly non political, they accept that wars happen under any government and are not critical; they simply want to help.
To date H4H has raised over £23 million to support our service personnel. They have allocated the first £8 million to the task of helping to provide the new swimming pool and gym complex at DMRC Headley Court. Grants have also been made to Troop Aid, Battle Back, SSAFA and Combat Stress.
H4H's latest venture will be helping to fund the Pathfinder project for an Army Convalescent Centre in Edinburgh. H4H, working with the Army and Service Charity Erskine, will be creating a house for 12 Solders to live while they begin to launch back into their lives after sustaining injuries. The intention is that once the concept has been proven successful, there will be up to 7 other such houses established, with H4H’s funding, around the country.
For each copy sold, a donation will be made to the Help for Heroes charity.
Jack the Lad RN has been short-listed for the 2010 Mountbatten Maritime award.
When I was a teenager my father told me he was ‘writing a book’. I took no notice - it was based on his younger life. His ‘young life’ however, turns out to have been much enriched.
My work background started lazily. There was clerical work, sales representation and a customer and administration manager. Later on in my life I moved on to self-employment running a caravan park. I then decided to study. Having gained a Bachelor of Nursing degree I entered critical care nursing.
I have raised two daughters. One who graduated from Oxford University having studied mathematics, the other who graduated from the University of Durham with a degree in Russian and German. We all graduated within three years of each other. My current husband was a fire fighter but is medically retired now. Although I originate from Suffolk, we moved up to Scotland in 1997 to be nearer my then recently widowed father-in-law. I enjoy gardening, walking and reading and enjoyed singing in an amateur dramatic group.
I am a highly motivated individual with determination and maturity in all I achieve. With a positive and proactive outlook on life, I am now continuing to write Jack the Lad RN onto the screen. I see ‘Jack’ as a reluctant hero who tries to be responsible, prove himself worthy and do his duty. He is also a cheeky rule-breaker. The central character does not believe he has any special talents but always lives in hope.
Lt Ted Macey RN (retired) was a man of sincerity, passion and humour. The Royal Navy had been his life. Twenty seven years after his death and a mountain of research later, I now understand more about my father. I had really been listening to many of his stories!