Bluenoses, Bears and Bandits - Sea Service to Commandos, by William J. Kitchingham

Bluenoses, Bears and Bandits - Sea Service to Commandos, by William J. Kitchingham

Subtitled 'An account of some events in the service life of the author'

Book published by the Royal Marines Historical Society in 2015, 125 pages. Paperback (N6957)

From the rear side cover: This is an autobiography with a difference; William Kitchingham at first sight served a normal engagement in the Royal Marines, before finishing up as a Careers Officer. However his timing and the events, in which he participated, made his career anything but normal. He could be described as one of the last of the 'old' marines and one of the first of the 'new' marines; he joined up on a long service career engagement in October 1941, excelled in training and became one of four RM messengers/orderlies to the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, at summit conferences at Quebec, Washington and Yalta.

He specialised in naval gunnery and served on arctic convoys in HMS Jamaica, a 6-inch cruiser, including the resupply of the Norwegian forces on Svalbard, before joining the detachment of HMS Duke of York, a 14-inch battleship, in which he witnessed the surrender of the Japanese forces in Tokyo Bay.

He went on to quality as a commando and after a change of SQ to platoon weapons instructor served in 42 Commando RM during the Malayan Emergency in the early 1950s, before serving with 45 Commando RM in Malta, Cyprus during the Eoka troubles, and later in Aden.

During this time he became a 'shottist' and represented England and the Corps at rifle shooting throughout the world and of course at Bisley where he was a Queens Medal finalist. In 1963 he joined the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Careers Service, serving in Inverness, London and Chatham. He retired from the Royal Marines in 1979 after 37 years' service, becoming a Health & Safety Officer in local government.
Chapters in the book include:

Stonehouse Barracks
HMS Jamaica
HMS Duke of York
42 Commando RM
45 Commando RM
United Kingdom Units
Competition Shooting and Bisley

The condition of the book is generally very good. The cover has one or two very minor scuffs, but the spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. There is a small price sticker on the rear side cover