Heroic local Navy Captain kept Sussex Coast safe on D-Day invasion

The exploits of a local Naval Captain whose ship played a key role in D-Day have been brought to life with the publication of his memoirs nearly 30 years after his death.

Thursday, 6th June 2019, 1:38 pm
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The personal memoir of Captain, Charles Wickham Malins, “Ticky” to his friends, has been published by Tim Lewin, from Crowhurst, who was his neighbour in the village.

Tim explained: “He wrote his private memoir of his Naval experiences during the War for his family.

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“I had a copy for many years. He died in the late 1980s or early 1990s but his widow became a good friend of my mother after my father died, they were often to be seen together in Battle.

“Mrs Malins moved to a smaller house in Catsfield where I often visited her. During these visits we talked about Ticky’s memoir and I proposed to publish it as an electronic book. I raided Ticky’s old photo albums and added to his memoir a wealth of never seen before photos plus a cover illustration by a well-known Scottish marine artist, also a former Navy man.

“During the Invasion of Normandy, Ticky was appointed to the famous destroyer HMS Savage. His role was to patrol the channel off the coast of Hastings and Eastbourne keeping enemy torpedo boats away from the constant convoy traffic between home and the beachhead.

“To mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day I have decided to produce a limited edition of the book, titled “Away Seaboat” which is to be printed by St Leonards based Impact, an excellent local print and design company.

“I have put together four books already with Impact but this will be only the second in actual print. The plan is to sell this limited run locally in bookshops or by mail delivery.”

Charles Wickham Malins was destined for a life at sea from an early age; joining the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth in 1927 at the age of thirteen.

He was already a Commissioned Officer of His Majesty’s Royal Navy before the outbreak of War in 1939. He was what the Navy calls a “Salthorse” officer, he did not specialise but went on to become a hugely experienced sea officer, and then commander, of small ships, rising from minesweepers to destroyers.

It was in destroyers that he took part in some of the key actions involving these dynamic, much-admired ships. In between taking part in the famous “Pedestal” convoy that saved Malta in 1942 “Ticky”, participated in the sinking of numerous enemy submarines and the Arctic convoys to supply Soviet Russia winning a DSO, a DSC and bars in the process.

The book should be available in local bookshops soon. For postal sales contact Tim Lewin, L of G, on [email protected]