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New Book - ML1030 Battle of Crete

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2024 1:36 pm
by tashields
Members of this Forum might be interested in a new book I have just had published about a former CF veteran from Northern Ireland. Called 'Shipwrecks, sausages and survival: the wartime journey of Able Seaman Tommy Shields' by John Henderson, it is about Tommy's Royal Navy career and his years as a POW in Germany. Of particular interest to this Forum will be his decision to join Coastal Forces following his survival of the sinking of HMS Gurkha in the North Sea in 1940, his joining the crew of ML1030 in Egypt before being sent to Crete just before the German invasion of the island. ML1030 was pursued and sunk by the Luftwaffe in 1941 but Tommy survived two days in a dinghy before hiding in the mountains of Crete, being wounded and then captured. He was eventually sent to a camp for naval personnel in Germany and then to a work camp in Saxony. Several chance encounters in later life were to bring his wartime experiences back to him in unexpected ways. I researched the book with Tommy's family's encouragement and given access to his POW diary and the short account of his wartime experience that he wrote just befor his death in 2005. I hope the book stands up to the scrutiny of veterans whose own experience of CF is far greater than anything my research could reveal.

Re: New Book - ML1030 Battle of Crete

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2024 9:40 am
by Admin
Hello tashields

Thank you for the notification of your book about Tommy Shields. Our boats database records the loss of his boat along with 1311 but little other details so Tommy Shields account will help plug a gap in the knowledge of events around that time in the Mediterranean. I couldn't find an entry for the event within the Admiralty Diary, though there is the following for ML 1011 for the 29th May, 1941, even though that boat was lost earlier on the 10th May. However this notice appears to be in respect of a change to procedure around the future carrying of Confidential Books, given those that were apparently lost in this earlier incident.

Admty. 63A of 10/5 (Schedule of charges consequent on compromise of certain tables.) Whilst on passage from Suda Bay to Spakia, M.L.1011 with emergency communication staff on board was bombed and sunk in 2 fathoms off Palaiochero. Following S.P’s. were onboard. Two attempts made to recover these books but impossible without suitable equipment. -Request 02353 (xi) be ordered to be brought into force on l/6. (C. in C. Med. 1933C/29 to Admty.) Source: Admiralty Diary May 1941


Re: New Book - ML1030 Battle of Crete

Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2024 4:37 pm
by tashields
Hello Admin,
Thank you for that information regarding ML1011. In my book on Tommy Shields I do mention the loss of Ordinary Seaman Arthur Malcolm on ML1030 on 1 June 1941. I do hope my book plugs a gap in knowledge of the circumstances of the loss of ML1030 and I would also add that the account of ML1030 by Stoker Harold Siddall, which his family gave for online publication to web site also a first-hand account of that vessel's short service.

Also the web site of the Medusa Trust quotes Harold Siddall at length. I should have added in my earlier post that my book is only avilable on .

John Henderson