WAR & PEAS is a book with a difference, containing the raw emotions of letters written
between John Lippiett and his wife Jenny during the short but intense Falklands War . She, pregnant and struggling to be brave,
is looking after their two children, their errant dog and the peas in the garden, while he, onboard HMS Ambuscade, is battling
not only with the enemy, but also with the elements. Hair-raising accounts of missile attacks and a collision are less frightening
than the gigantic seas, the ice and storms, and the worry that the ship is breaking up.
The letters are interspersed with descriptions of daily life at sea during the war, together with accounts of operations
and extracts from Daily Orders and other documents of the time.
And there is also the humorous side of life that is always present in the Royal Navy.
War & Peas is now available for despatch!
The Today programme on Radio 4 serialised the letters, and broadcast a number
of extracts to mark the 25th anniversary of the Falklands War. (The first broadcast went out on Saturday
28th April, the last in mid June on the anniversary of the surrender.) There are further details and recordings
to listen to on their website.
Peas is a wonderful book and hugely enjoyable. This is the real thing, a proper historical record, including men and
women... I like the self-portraits with growing beard - and also the serious bits about fighting, and the home front
and children. There should be more books like this.”
Claire Tomalin, Winner Whitbread Prize
Mostly told through the interchange of personal letters between the author onboard a frigate and his wife
in Sussex, this is a remarkable account of the naval war in the South Atlantic. It gives a unique and valuable insight into
life in a warship - and the pressures on family life back home.
Captain Christopher Page, RN, Head of Historical Branch, Ministry of Defence.
Historians are always on the lookout for the authentic 'voice' of the actual pariticipants in any great event,
to balance the dry official accounts. John Lippiett's personal account of the Falklands War - written with moving honesty,
wit and eloquence - gives a vivd idea of what it was like to be actually tthere-. He has put future chroniclers of
the war in his debt.
Dr. Colin White, Director, Royal Navy Museum
I found the book, like baked Alaska, to be
warming and chilling at the same time, and a considerable achievement on these grounds alone. It was also, as a documentary
source, complete in a way which is never possible in the periods I study: to have two sides of a correspondence linked by
an authoratative narrative is beyond our fondest imaginings.
Dr CS Knighton, Naval Historian
The book is unputdownable. Having watched avidly
all the news reports on TV safe at home, I never really appreciated the sheer battle against the elements as well as the enemy
to keep fighting a ship fully provisioned and ready for operations! It is a wonderful read that many thousand
readers will enjoy.
John McNamara CE British Institute of Innkeepers
A gripping account of sea warfare, told in that laconic style the Royal Navy has made its own.
Jenny' letters I found very moving: an upper lip determined to be stiff, but with the occasional quiver, and the constancy
Sir Jeremy Thomas
Privately published by Pistol Post Publications (named after the ship's newspaper - but please do
not use it for cheques, which should be made out to J LIPPIETT), this book is available from The Watergate, Ratham Lane, Bosham,Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 8NH.
ISBN 9 781904 459262 Price £12.99 & £2 p&p
I joined AMBUSCADE without a camera, so have had to rely on photographs provided by other
members of the ship’s company. The Captain, Peter Mosse, has been kind enough to provide me the vast majority of those
published in the book and some here, but I should also like to thank Alf Symonds, Steve Griffin, Steve Frith, Dave Rowlands
and Dave Marchant. The majority of the photographs are on display on the excellent website of the HMS AMBUSCADE Association
(www.ambuscade.org.uk), and I thoroughly commend readers to have a look if they can, and to learn more about this active association.