Vintage Hardcover Port of Missing Ships By Douglas V Duff, 1958
"It's just like the wake of a big ship moving very fast," Seth shouted. An exact description - yet where was the ship? This problem Seth Saunders, Commander Smithers and Doctor Hennessey set themselves to solve, and solve it they do in the end.
Douglas Valder Duff (1901–1978) was born in Rosario de Santa Fe in the Argentine in 1901. He was the eldest son of the British Consul and his godfather was Roger Casement who later became notorious by being hung for treason in the First World War. When the family returned to England he went to school at the Convent of the Visitation in Bridport, Dorset.
He entered the famous training ship HMS Conway in 1914, then at the age of 15 in the year 1916 he joined the Merchant Navy as a cadet. He joined Thracia trading between Liverpool and the Mediterranean which was torpedoed in the Bay of Biscay in 1917. Duff was the sole survivor (an event that made him vow to dedicate his life to go if he was saved) and after recovering at the family home in Ireland he went back to sea as a midshipman and, in an encounter with German U boats, had his leg broken. In June 1918, still only 17, he was again torpedoed. Next he was sent to the Black Sea and was involved in the rescue of many fugitives from the Bolshevists.
After the war he entered the noviciate of a teaching order of monks at Deeping St James in Lincolnshire. However, after 22 months he left, as he discovered that he had no vocation for that kind of life. He then joined the Royal Irish Constabulary until it was disbanded in 1922 when he joined the Palestine Police rising to command of the police in Jerusalem. He expected to get a post in the Jamaican Police but he had contracted malaria and was not fit for that sort of tropical duty so he returned to England, setting up home in Dorset where he took up writing and journalism.
During the Second World War he served in the RNVR at first in command of Grey Mist as part of the Dover Patrol. Then he was then appointed to the Staff of Admiral Andrew Cunningham, Commander in Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet. He carried out various duties, serving as Naval Officer in charge at Derna, and then as officer in command of the Western Desert Schooner Flotilla running sailing schooners which were breaking the blockade of Tobruk. Next he was put in command of HMS Stag whose duties included netting the Suez Canal. In 1943 he was transferred home and appointed Staff Officer Operations in Falmouth and from there he went to the Irregular Warfare Department of the Admiralty stationed at Teignmouth. He was demobilised in November 1945.
His continued writing, broadcasting and television work until his death completing about 100 books in his lifetime as well as 2 autobiographies ' May the Winds Blow' and 'Bailing with a Teaspoon'. As well as his own name he has books that appear under several pseudonyms, Douglas Stanhope, Leslie Savage, Peter Wickloe and Alan Paxton. His books are written for Young Adults.