A MAN WHO KNEW MEN: THE MEMOIRS OF MAJ M.G. IND

S. Monick

Abstract


In January 1990 there occurred the death of Maj Montagu G. lnd, at the age of 89. He was, to the best of the author's knowledge, the last surviving member of those seconded Royal Navy personnel who sailed to South Africa in the three vessels, Crozier, Eden and Foyle, and who formed the nucleus of the South African Naval Services (1921-1934). However, it is felt that his memoirs possess a deep and multi-faceted appeal, which transcend his long and extremely varied military career (spanning 40 years and encompassing service in the Royal Navy, South African Naval Services, South African Instructional Corps and South African Air Force). This interest may be defined in terms which the author categorizes as both intrinsic and extrinsic. The intrinsic facet relates to the subject of the memoirs, rooted in the personality and service of Maj Ind. It is beyond dispute that that career is truly extraordinary, in several important respects. First, with regard to the biographical dimension, Maj Ind was, in all probability, the youngest member to serve in the ill-starred and horrendous Gallipoli campaign, serving in the Royal Naval Division, renowned for the extremely heavy casualties that this unit incurred, and the savage fighting in which it was involved. Indeed, his extremely youthful experiences in combat have provided the source of the title of these memoirs. As Maj Ind states at one point, his service in the Dardanelles had formed a profound barrier between himself and those of his own age, as he had 'known men' in the extremities of combat, an awareness which, obviously, could not be shared with his peer group. Second, Maj Ind participated in little known, but nevertheless fascinating, episodes in British military history; exemplified in his service with the naval expeditionary force to Russia, immediately following the end of World War I. His ship's sinking of a Russian destroyer, and capture of a second, highlights the revelation of obscure passages in the Royal Navy's history, through the medium of Maj Ind's memoirs; which relate at that point to the British Government's support of the newly independent Baltic states, in the face of Bolshevik aggrandisement.


Keywords


Maj Montagu G. lnd ; the youngest member to serve in the ill-starred and horrendous Gallipoli campaign; Royal Naval Division; Crozier, Eden and Foyle; South African Naval Services

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5787/20-1-370

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Copyright (c) 2018 S. Monick


ISSN 2224-0020 (online); ISSN 1022-8136 (print)

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