In William’s working life there were two distinct phases – Royal Navy and post-Royal Navy – both roughly equal in time terms at around twenty-two years each. The stories that stick in William’s mind come from several different areas of his RN service – flying, diving and the events leading up to his M.B.E. However, the most relevant one to William’s first book Over By Christmas came from diving.
When William was the Diving Officer of the shore base HMS CONDOR in Scotland, he also founded and led the ship’s Sub Aqua Club. They dived on a number of wrecks in Scottish waters. On one such expedition, they found the two huge propellers (each weighing 14.5 tons) of HMS ARGYLL, a battle-cruiser that ran aground on the Bell Rock during WW1.
Many years later, while carrying out research for Over By Christmas, William unearthed the true story of how ARGYLL mysteriously came to be on the rock, and the drama that unfolded inside the lighthouse that night. He published a short story about this little piece of history on the highly recommended web site at www.bellrock.org.uk.
William’s story, The Death of HMS ARGYLL, is on the site. The dramatic demise of the ship is also featured in Over By Christmas.
William’s website is www.williamdaysh.com p110, 157, 181, 194, 216