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Charles Wylie is a professional British seaman and an amateur dinghy and yacht sailor. He is the luckiest man on the planet, being husband to Jean, father of four, grandfather to nine and godfather to ten. Poetry is a hobby, together with sailing, chess, Scottish Country Dancing, languages, and a variety of other pursuits. He is tickled pink to have been headhunted at the age of 78. As a seaman he had visited all the continents in ships by the age of 21 at over 50 ports and had survived his destroyer being bombed in the Korean War when only just 17 years old. He attributes a reasonable command of the English language to his education at Taunton's Grammar School in Southampton, which set him up for life in four short years. He is particularly grateful to the Royal Navy for its having been a father figure and a source of immense pride for over 65 years. The navy promoted him 10 times, but because he started as a Boy Seaman that means he achieved only the modest rank of Commander (happy with that.) His naval friends (to whom he pays equal respect) range from Able Seamen to Admirals.
He is an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, a Freeman of the City of London and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
His poetry was written for himself (and occasionally for family or friends) and is published now after many years of friendly badgering by dear ones. Self-publishing through Smashwords was chosen because he is confident that no modern publisher would want to publish his generally old-fashioned rhyming and scanning verses.
Charles is a happy man, much blessed.
on Nov. 13, 2016 :
DRIVING AMBITION AND FILL THE CUP – Charles Wylie’s Memoirs Parts One and Two
“A truly jolly good read of an unselfish autobiography crammed full of interest from start to recent times; we await the next instalment with eager anticipation.”
Superlatively written and utterly readable, one man’s childhood ambition and driving objective to emerge from abject domestic poverty to command one of His Majesty’s Ships is sensitively and very modestly portrayed in this two-part memoir available on Smashwords. Entirely without bitterness or rancour, Charles brilliantly describes his humble beginnings through his naval career to retirement in fascinating detail with an overview of changing international and personal circumstances with a style that invites total admiration and gratitude that someone was looking after us during troubled times including the Cold War. His personality emerges in his writings to combine a rare absolute integrity with a compassion for those aspiring to his impeccable standards of ethics and professionalism, which continue today in ongoing service to his congregation, friends and neighbours. Deeply personal observations of his growing family, friends and colleagues add to make a beautifully detailed panorama of his fascinating life
Delightful anecdotes abound, and, yes, he did terrify those of us under his command in the Royal Naval Reserve, but it was a deadly serious Service we performed, and if you responded to his encouragement to achieve even a lesser imitation of his stellar standards, you were well rewarded with that distinctive twinkle in his eye, and probably an example of the driest of wit making the long tedious hours at sea seem worthwhile. All was not perfect; he does not hesitate to explore the experiences of bullying captains, but he emerges with determination not to follow their awful examples. I do not hesitate to believe that he was a key player in the winning of the Cold War, leaving Orange forces no doubt that we were ready and capable of deterring any territorial or naval ambitions, however unlikely any occurrence of their aggression might seem today. His loyalty to both his seniors and juniors is gratifyingly well documented in these volumes; those deserving of criticism are duly mentioned, but not in a mawkish way and constructive lessons are well learned all round.
His recreations in ‘retirement’ include his large family, sailing and continuing service to his professional institutions and village organizations. He has compiled an abundance of his delightful poetry encompassing an eclectic range of subjects and styles over the years, which he writes with the same mastery of vocabulary, sensitivity, humour and astute insights into today’s moral conundrums (9 volumes also available from Smashwords at the latest count.)
This is definitely required reading for all aspiring Naval Officers, and to any who seek to motivate and encourage teamwork by outstanding leadership in any sort of career.
Highly recommended in all respects.
(reviewed 78 days after purchase)