"Thommo's Last Ship"
Jack Newman

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Author's Notes 

"Thommo�s Last Ship is a work of fiction.  Having said that, I must admit that I have leaned heavily on my own experiences aboard HMS Bulwark in the mid-sixties for the technical parts.  A lot of the events described in the story did occur on one or another of Her Majesty�s aircraft carriers, perhaps not in the order that I have written - certainly not all occurred on the Rusty B - but sailors love to gossip.  I have a very retentive memory for things that I really want to recall.  I also kept a journal of our trip to the Far East.  I have been asked why the ship has no name.  The story is about ordinary sailors going about their day-to-day duties.  The ship is not that important.  It could have been any ship that they happened to be serving on at the time, somewhere in the mid nineteen-sixties.
The ladies depicted in the story are a figment of my imagination, or most of them were!
Why did I write this story after all these years?  I don�t really know the correct answer to that question.  It was a story that just went round and round in my head for years and wouldn�t go away.  I wanted to write about people who normally do not appear to get much recognition in stories written about the service.  In the books that I have read it is nearly always an officer who takes the leading role, either the captain of a ship, or the pilot of an aircraft.  The men who really run the navy, the senior ratings, rarely get a mention.  I wanted to give them a fair go.  Perhaps the answer to my question is that I just wanted to see if I could do it.
Last of all I would like to thank my good friends Thelma and Mike Power.  Without their help and encouragement this story would probably have ended up in the bottom drawer of my desk, dusty and forgotten.
To all you ex-Fleet Air Arm pensioners reading this, I hope you enjoy the story."
                                                     Jack Newman.  ( ex�AA1 )

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