Allied ships in the English Channel on their way to Normandy, 6 June 1944
April 01, 2013, 5:00pm / 229
British sailors abandoning HMS Prince of Wales in the South China Sea while the Destroyer, HMS Express, helps crew evac
March 26, 2013, 4:00pm / 27
When naval intelligence officer Ian Fleming set up a secret commando unit during World War II, among those handpicked for duty was Theo Ionides—my grandfather. His band of real-life James Bonds helped change the course of the war.
My grandfather was—at 39—already an old man by military standards when he joined Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in the early years of World War II. So it was perfectly plausible when he told my grandmother that they kept him well away from the front line, out of harm’s way.
His story was that the Admiralty had got him doing dull, technical stuff, poking around in the innards of new torpedoes and mines. But that couldn’t be further from the truth, as my family discovered just a couple of years ago.
March 06, 2013, 4:08am / 38