When you have been writing stories since the age of nine, including accounts of school visits to the zoo which won the coveted essay prize for two years in succession, it is hardly surprising that Roger Paine should become an author. Except that at the age of sixteen he left school in Leicester, England to join the Royal Navy as a very ordinary sailor. Although he claims to regret this impulsive teenage decision, Paine readily admits that had he not done do he would not have the fund of amusing yarns and stories which are the result of ‘scribbling away’ in an attempt to share the extraordinary number of laughs and bizarre experiences he encountered during twenty-eight years on the high seas.Many of these are brought together in his latest book, Clear Lower Deck, A Collection of My Naval Yarns.
During a career in which Paine rose from sailor in bell-bottom trousers to gold-laced senior officer, he first served two years in an aircraft carrier, then in various frigates and destroyers, two more aircraft carriers, a tank landing ship, the navy’s ice patrol ship, a period in mine-countermeasures vessels and time in a submarine, as well as service ashore in the UK. He visited ports in nearly every country in the world and in one twelve month period, in two different ships, crossed the Equator, the Arctic and the Antarctic Circles. In the rank of Commander he served in the Ministry of Defense, London, at sea on an admiral’s staff during the Falklands conflict and in Hong Kong, then a British colony.
Since voluntarily leaving the Royal Navy, Paine has been Secretary to the Trustees of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, when the Duke of Edinburgh was the senior trustee, the bursar of a large co-educational school, and partnership administrator of a national firm of land agents. Now a full-time writer, he is a regular contributor of book reviews, theatre reviews and features to magazines, newspapers and journals on a variety of subjects ranging from maritime topics to well-known poets and medieval churches.He is also the author of poems and plays. With a stuffed barn owl, a turtle and an armadillo for company, he lives in an eighteenth century cottage in rural Sussex.
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