'Ready for Sea' by H P K Oram


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Oram went to sea under sail in 1911 from HMS Worcester. Following an interrupted apprenticeship in a wool clipper, in 1913 Oram joined the battleship Orion for a year's RNR training. From there as a regular RN he progressed to the destroyer Obdurate which gave him a worm's eye view of the Battle of Jutland. He later served in submarines and awaiting taking over as 1st Lt of K6 he was in K7 for the 'Battle of May Island'. All this is recounted in a seamanlike way in this book which is a first class read. My Futura paperback copy I found for £1 in a remainder sale but there are copies available on the internet. Later, as recorded in another book, Oram served in the cruiser HMS Hawkins on the China Station, then returned to oversee the building of, and later to take command of the submarine Regulus, before returning to the China Station as captain of the destroyer Bruce. In June 1939 Oram was on board Thetis during her disastrous maiden dive in Liverpool Bay and was one of her only four survivors. In World War 2, he went back to Hawkins as her Captain.

'Ready for Sea' is a rattling good set of yarns, better than any fiction, and was, very deservedly, the Daily Express 1974 'Best Book of the Sea'.

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