Category - HistoryBestsellers rank - 4
I finished reading WHITE SHIP - RED CROSSES in the early hours of yesterday morning and what an amazing story it is. I like the way it is set out using that lovely poem by John Masefield 'Sea Fever' as the basis for each chapter heading, and the compelling maritime theme running throughout the work. White Ship - Red Crosses is an astonishing tale, carefully constructed and beautifully written. Black and white images of those involved appear throughout the eleven chapters and a full colour band of pictures includes several Falkland Islanders taken in recent years. Comprehensive maps and several well-written Appendices help to clarify the medical and military terms that are inevitably used throughout the text. Sharp eyes will spot Grantham Sound and the The Hospital Ship's many other anchorages cleverly shaded into the cover detail. Set against the background of the unfolding drama of the battles being fought on land, at sea and in the air during The Falklands War (fought between Britain and Argentina in 1982) White Ship - Red Crosses is a very compulsive and yet human chronicle of grievous injuries, pain and suffering on a massive scale being successfully treated by a comparatively small number of dedicated professionals and helpers, where any shortfall in equipment etc., was readily dealt with using incredible ingenuity, innovation and good humour in the most unusual, demanding and at times dangerous circumstances. I congratulate the author (former Naval Nursing Sister Nicci Pugh who was serving on board Her Majesty's Hospital Ship Uganda at the time ) most sincerely on the wonderful job she has done writing this book and achieving the goal of publication against all odds. White Ship - Red Crosses will take its rightful place in the historical record of the Falklands War because, while it was known that The Hospital Ship UGANDA was down in our Islands and for what purpose, the ship, and her wonderful medical and nursing staff have had scant mention in the many other books so far written about the Falklands War. With a brilliant Foreword by Major-General Julian Thompson CB OB (UK military historian and Commander of Third Commando Brigade Royal Marines during The Falklands War) and including much coverage of the continuing and far-reaching work of The South Atlantic Medal Association this tale of courage and dedication at all levels is long overdue. Any profits from sales of the book will be donated to SAMA82. Recent news that sales have far exceeded initial estimates in the first six months since publication is not surprising. The publishers, Melrose Books near Cambridge, are now commencing arrangements for the second edition of White Ship - Red Crosses. Further information, full synopsis and other reviews on-line can be found on their website. Well done Nicci, many congratulations. Your marvellous production should be read by everyone who can lay their hands on it. --Robin PitalugaThe cruise ship SS Uganda was requisitioned in the Mediterranean in 1982, its passengers disembarked and the vessel hurriedly converted into a hospital ship for service in the Falklands War. Naval nursing sister Nicci Pugh's personal account and evocative photographs bring the history of the conflict to life. Ms Pugh's recollections and the accounts of patients, nurses, doctors and crew make gripping reading. As a senior nursing officer and theatre sister, she ran one of the three theatre teams, which performed more than 500 operations. Uganda received its first casualties from HMS Sheffield, hit by an Exocet missile. Many of the injured were badly burned. She describes a hospital where the operating theatre pitched and rolled, and stresses the tireless work of Royal Marines bandsmen as members of the care team. A tight bond was formed with colleagues and patients even after the conflict. Ms Pugh was obviously saddened by the Uganda s decommissioning and demise, broken up off Taiwan for scrap. --Laurence Dopson Born with salt water in her veins, Nicci Pugh has always managed to combine her love of sailing, boats and the sea with her successful nursing career as an experienced NHS Operating Theatre and Anaesthetic Sister. She has a number of sailing qualifications and has completed numerous transatlantic and offshore ocean passages. She is a member of the Royal Naval Sailing Association, and keeps her own boat on the River Fal in Cornwall where, coincidentally, SS Uganda was laid up for some years after The Falklands War.
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