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In 1945, the 15-year-old Ronald Morris joined the Mercury, a training ship for boys under the command of C.B. Fry, the famous cricketer. But his rule was only notional; in reality it was run, with a rod of iron, by his wife, then in her eighties. Many suffered miserably; at least one boy died. Yet the story of how she came to rule the ship is perhaps even more extraordinary. Beattie was a stunning beauty, at the age of fourteen catching the eye of Charles Hoare - a married man, and heir to a banking fortune. The ensuing affair provoked a scandal and the couple removed themselves to the Isle of Wight where Hoare bought the Mercury and converted it to a training ship for boys. Initially run on progressive lines, the ship's rule became harsh when Hoare died and Beattie, now married to C.B. Fry, took control. Despite the extreme treatment of the boys, the RN seized on the survivors knowing they were disciplined to the nth degree, and they often rose swiftly through the ranks. In Easter 2004, restored, the ship will open as an exhibit at the Historic Dockyard, Chatham. This new edition of the book has been fully revised, and brought up to date.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780750937108
ISBN-10: 0750937106
Format: Hardback
(240mm x 170mm x 10mm)
Pages: 171
Imprint: Sutton Publishing Ltd
Publisher: The History Press Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Jan-1980
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Ronald Morris

Ronald Morris was born in 1930 and served on the Mercury from 1939-1945. He was later in the Merchant Navy, then a schoolteacher.