HMS Hermes and the Virgin Sailor is an auto-biographical coming-of-age narrative telling an enviable story, with brutal honesty, of how arrogance overcame youthful naivety, inexperience and vulnerability, at a time of promiscuity when Britain still had a large Commonwealth and military bases around the World. In 1967 a frightened young boy, of 15 years of age, travelled half the length of the country, on his own, to join the Royal Navy. With-in a year he finds himself in the Far East. He was desperate to be an adult and do adult things. He heard stories of the antics of seasoned sailors, in exotic countries, and dreamed of living the experiences for himself. He grew up without the love of a mother and was confused by emotions displayed by others and the needs of young girls. He was seduced by a woman, three times his age, which resulted in him being adrift on his new ship after being on board for less than 24 hrs. His first round of punishment and notoriety followed. A sophisticated mature lady, in Cape Town, showed him the needs of a woman and taught him the secrets of successful love-making. However, these new-found skills were used to his selfish benefit to take advantage of other young girls. Faint hearted feminists may find some parts offensive. The story tells of an immature young man getting into trouble, thinking about getting into trouble or being punished for being in trouble. During the voyage around the Far East he was bullied and victimised but eventually enjoyed his revenge. By his return, ten months later, he had been tutored, experienced and found confidence. He was cocky and arrogant yet his ego finally imploded on himself on his return to Portsmouth. The narrative is a roller coaster of adventure with suspense, surprise, emotion, erotica and lots of humour. This story needs to be told. No-one can re-live this. No-one now can join the military at fifteen years of age. The military bases have disappeared from Singapore and Hong Kong. The Vietnam War is over. Apartheid no longer exists in South Africa and Australia has estranged itself from Britain. Promiscuity has been replaced with a fear of aids. This is a true story. I was that Virgin Sailor.
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