The Destroyer Trilogy brings together three of John Margerison’s WWI naval adventures into one must-have edition for the first time. DESTROYER DOINGS Through a turn of fate, the Stiletto parts company with its flotilla and comes across a German cruiser under the cover and darkness of thick fog that envelopes the sea.
With sheer ingenuity, Harry Knight commands his ship and crew in a highly unconventional manoeuvre … with outstanding outcomes … On another mission to patrol the North Sea, with instructions to stop and examine any passing vessels looking for contraband of war, Stiletto once again manages to beat expectations … Commodore Ellys, aware of Knight’s feisty reputation, is keen on sending Stiletto out to tow the Rapier, a notoriously accident prone ship back home.
An easy enough task had they not come across a steamer that failed to respond to Stiletto’s signals, with no lights on. Amongst other missions, destroying German U-boats, cruising through a seabed thick with mines, Stiletto gracefully comes to the rescue of several vessels that have come under attack. A successful string of missions under the command of Lieutenant Knight and his experienced crew ensure Stiletto is highly commended by the commodore. But its final mission is one that requires the utmost courage… THE HUNGRY HUNDRED The young, but talented Lieutenant James Stanley Murray is tasked with training a class of Royal Navy Reserves, seamen affectionately nicknamed the “Hungry Hundred”. Amongst this motley band are sixteen of the Royal Navy’s finest deserters and scallywags. These rough men answer to no master, but the Lieutenant’s kind hand and strong leadership evoke in them an undying loyalty for their ‘Jimmy’. On their first posting together, the team demonstrate their exceptionalism and their bonds of affection and loyalty to one another are strengthened. Against all odds, the men arrange to follow their commander to his next posting, aboard the Torpedo Boat Destroyer Stilletto, it is on this ship that the sixteen receive their baptism of fire and their bonds of brotherhood are truly tested. HUNTERS OF THE U-BOAT The First World War is raging and, like the land, the seas have been transformed into battlefields. Lurking in the depths is an underwater menace, and wanted or not the war will come to all: A stoic Captain who professes a rooted objection to war, in whatever guise it may take. A rebellious naval reservist, reluctant to take on any more war duties. A hawkish Commodore, seeking his pound of flesh for a failed torpedo attack on his ship. Featuring the likes of Harry Knight and James Carew, these tales of daring and courage sail through duels between vessels, unlikely catches, and aged men-o’-war hoping for one last hurrah. John S. Margerison was born Joseph Margerison in 1887, to a shoemaker in Derby. As a boy of fourteen he ran away to join the Royal Navy, marrying in 1907 and receiving medals for gallantry in 1912.
He was invalided out of the service in 1913 and by the time WWI broke out he was writing prolifically and to critical acclaim. He wrote several enthusiastic stories about life at sea, and during the war, he wrote a series of articles about joining the Navy (‘Come to Sea My Lads’ and ‘Under the Red Ensign’) for boys’ papers during the war.