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20th May, 2022

Local author writes about the exploits of his grandfather during the First World War

Ross Crawford 10th Jul, 2019

A CONNECTION with Russia has led a local author to write about the exploits of his grandfather, a submariner in the First World War.

‘Proceed As Requisite’ by Geoff West tells the remarkable story of Arthur West who went right through WW1 serving on submarines before joining the Naval Expeditionary Force which supported the White Russians in the Russian Civil War against the Bolsheviks.

“I majored in Russian history and that piqued my interest and it went from there,” said Geoff, who’s own son also joined the Navy and served on subs.

“I modern submarines are quite civilised but the First World War ones must have been awful, a living nightmare, although it would appear Arthur thrived on it,” said Geoff, who lives in landlocked Studley.

During WW1 the North Sea was regarded as the ‘Third Front’ with patrols taking Arthur’s boat as far as the Baltic Sea.

After first going to the area of present day Estonia and Latvia on board a submarine Arthur returned on a battleship before the force was withdrawn.

Based on Arthur’s Royal Naval service record, ‘Proceed as Requisite’ is a warts and all tale of how the first submariners were considered ‘ungentlemanly and no better than pirates’ and describes how primitive those early boats were.

The book also includes many of Arthur’s personal photographs which have never been published before.

Proceed As Requisite – The Exploits of a WWI Submariner, is available from Studley publisher Brewin Books (www.brewinbooks.com), ISBN: 978-1-85858-519-2, Price: £8.95.

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