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CITIZENS FREE PRESS < PAID FOR BY READERS DONATIONS > BE A TEAM MEMBER Please contact Michael Walsh for easy bank transfer details

During the late 1950s, I attended a 12-week training course in seamanship at the Sea Training Camp situated in Sharpness, Gloucester. Having earned the first of my seafarer’s tickets, I then became one of the 340,000 thousand British seamen serving in the British Merchant Navy.

Britannia back then truly ruled the waves. One of the shipping companies with which I sailed had so many vessels plying the high seas that it was said the company could put a ship into any port in the world within 24-hours. So, wherever in the world you are today, I was once your neighbour or at my age likely your parents neighbour.

Sailing the world under the flags of many shipping companies I had by the time I reached my 24-birthday visited and worked in over 60 countries scattered around the world.

The first vessel I sailed upon was the RMS Britannic. The prefix RMS means it was licenced to carry the Royal Mail: The RMS Britannic was the last of the White Star Shipping Line (1845 – 1960). Built in 1935, much of the Britannic’s period style was much the same as that of its ill-fated companion, the RMS Titanic. When in 1959 the RMS Britannic caught fire in Liverpool’s dry dock, I was the deck boy who saved the great ocean liner from a fiery end.

Dubbed the Second City of Empire, Liverpool from the Pier Head one could enjoy the view of the great ocean greyhounds constantly queuing for a berth. Never did it occur to us that we British Jack Tars were the last of a British sea-going epoch that had been started by Henry VIII (1491-1547) and expanded by Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603.

Responding to the clamour for an insider’s account of life as a British seaman during the last of the British Merchant Navy epoch, I compiled The Leaving of Liverpool. Once published on Amazon and Kindle Books the adventure odyssey was very popular and collected very quickly nearly 100 buyer reviews.

Amazon takes 90 per cent of any book’s cover price so the 10 per cent royalty was feeble. I am happy to release the book as a FREE DOWNLOAD on the presumption that readers if they like my story or just have sympathy with a retired old salt on a basic state pension could do with a helping hand.

Drop me a bowline at or if you would like my UK friendly bank details: thanks, shipmates.

My decision to record not just my life as a British seaman but share the great adventures of my shipmates of the period was a wise decision.

Adorned by ample images of ships and crews, and with several scores of sailor stories, the book, The Leaving of Liverpool has been a flag-dipping success. Sadly, Britain, totally dependent upon seagoing trade today relies almost entirely on foreign-flagged ships crewed by non-British seamen. It is such a terrible loss but there are such wonderful memories.

THE LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL ex-seaman Michael Walsh Award-Winning Author. 55 true stories 100 pictures. A first-hand account of the British ships, seafarers, adventures and humorous misadventures of a seaman’s life in the British Merchant Navy 1955 – 1975. A tribute to the ships and seamen of the then-largest merchant marine in history. READ FREE with gratuity direct to the author invited. Michael will send you his UK bank details if you wish to transfer as little as £10 or Euros to the retired seaman. A transfer is free, easier and much cheaper than placing an Amazon order. or

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