A Reluctant Seaman

A Reluctant Seaman


In this third autobiographical novel we follow Roger Wallace as he faces the demands and culture shock of National Service in the Royal Navy from 1949 to 1951.

To begin with it seems that life is just an endless nightmare of fatigues and training, but fortunately Roger’s prowess at cross-country helps him through this stage. He also finds, as in his boarding-school days, that he has a natural capacity to help and side with those who are being ill-treated, even though this causes trouble for himself.

He soon learns to take every opportunity of enjoyment that the Navy offers, despite misgivings about the Korean War. He also begins to fundamentally doubt his religious upbringing and finds himself, almost by accident, performing ‘alternative’ ceremonies at a friend’s wedding and an associate’s funeral, both to considerable acclaim.

Romantic and sexual experiences are a continuing influence in Roger’s life, but it seems that a misunderstanding will ruin his chance of happiness with Gladys, his first love from his school-days, as she plans to marry someone else.

Finally, helped by a kindly officer, he is able to make preparations for life beyond National Service, taking the first crucial steps towards his adult life and a new career.

Again, as in both An Evacuee and A Prized Pupil!, by writing from his own experiences the author evokes the genuine feelings of a young man in the mid-twentieth century.

ISBN: 9781852001018 

Size: 217x140mm 

Binding: hardback 

Length: 223pp

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About the author:

Leslie Scrase

The author was born in Addiscombe, East Croydon. He was evacuated in 1939 and again in 1940, which led to his attendance at Selhurst Grammar School followed by Shebbear College in North Devon. 

Following National Service in the Royal Navy he went to Richmond College, London University. Trained as a Methodist Minister, he worked in many places around Britain and also in South India, where he was Principal of an adult training college. 

When his views on theology changed, Leslie Scrase left his Ministry and created his own business in Surrey: Alpha Cars, a chauffeur driven service mostly for businessmen and the stars. In 1996 he left this business to concentrate on his work as a Humanist Celebrant, lecturer and author. 

His published books include a number of thought-provoking commentaries dealing with Humanism and theology, fiction for both adults and children, poetry and three autobiographical fiction accounts:

Twice married, he and Wendy share over twenty grandchildren. In their spare time they are to be found at their home in Dorset.