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Archive for November, 2018

Early in the Second World War, Germany invaded and occupied many of its neighbouring countries in mainland Europe. Germany and the Soviet Union had secretly signed a non-aggression pact agreeing that they would not attack each other, but Germany invaded the vast country in June 1941 and soon pushed deep into Soviet territory. With this turn of events, the Soviets joined the Allied powers and agreements were quickly reached to send supplies in order to assist them in their fight against the invaders. The western Allies knew that if the Soviet Union fell, Germany could then turn its full military might to the West.

The Soviets desperately needed weapons, fuel and supplies, especially after their country’s most-industrialised areas had been captured by the Germans. Getting these supplies to them, however, would not be easy. Land transportation routes were cut off and the best sea routes were blocked by the enemy. Shipping supplies to the Soviet Union via the Indian or Pacific Oceans was a very long trip. That left the Soviet seaports on the Arctic Ocean as the fastest way to deliver goods—but it was also the most dangerous.

Beginning in the late summer of 1941, a total of forty-one Allied convoys sailed to the Soviet ports of Murmansk and Archangel during the war. The Arctic convoys delivered millions of tons of supplies from the United States, Great Britain and Canada, including aircraft, tanks, jeeps, locomotives, flatcars, rifles and machine guns, ammunition, fuel and even boots.

The first series, PQ (outbound) and QP (homebound), ran twice-monthly from September 1941 to September 1942. The route was around occupied Norway to the Soviet ports and was particularly dangerous due to the proximity of German air, submarine and surface forces and also because of the likelihood of severe weather

The second series of convoys, JW (outbound) and RA (homebound) ran from December 1942 until the end of the war. Outbound and homebound convoys were planned to run simultaneously; a close escort accompanied the merchant ships to port, remaining to make the subsequent return trip, whilst a covering force of heavy surface units was also provided to guard against sorties by German surface ships, such as the Tirpitz. These would accompany the outbound convoy to a cross-over point, meeting and then conducting the homebound convoy back, while the close escort finished the voyage with its charges.

Dubbed by Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of Britain, as “The Worst Journey in the World”, the toll taken on the Arctic convoys was horrendous. 104 Allied Merchant ships were sunk, along with eighteen British Navy warships. The human losses were 829 merchant mariners and 1,944 navy personnel. The Soviet Union lost thirty merchant ships and an unknown number of personnel, and there was almost no let-up from the high-level bombing by the Luftwaffe, low-level U-boat attacks with torpedoes and ship-to-ship surface gunfire. The Germans lost five warships, thirty-one submarines and many aircraft.

Arctic Book Cover Work - Copy217

‘Tales from the Arctic Convoys’ (kindle edition) is now available via Amazon and features the stories from veteran Royal Navy seamen from: HMS Victorious, Edinburgh, Belfast, Sheffield, Rhododendron, Punjabi, Eskimo, Wrestler, Scylla, Ulster Queen, and Faulknor, and Merchant seamen from: ST Chiltern, MT Marathon, SS Rathlin, Empire Gilbert, Chulmleigh, and Steam Merchants Ocean Viceroy and Ocean Voice.

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UK Regional airline Flybe placed itself up for sale in October 2018 following a significant drop in pre-tax profit expectations, triggering a 37% drop in its share price. Increased oil prices (fuel is priced in Dollars but paid for in Pounds – which is steadily decreasing in value against the Dollar) with the seasonal drop in passenger numbers being the key factors.

EasyJet at SEN

London Luton Airport-based EasyJet is looking at purchasing a part of the failing company, and Stobart Air, lessee of London Southend Airport, which operates an airline with Flybe under a franchise agreement, dropped plans to buy the company outright in March after its bid was rejected, but may go to the table again despite experiencing its own recent tremors at management level.

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I sometimes hear from other writers who have signed up with bad, inexperienced, or even dishonest publishers, and are desperate to get free. They contact me wanting to know how they can break their contracts and regain their rights. Unfortunately, I am not a lawyer, and there is no easy answer to this question, even where the publisher has clearly breached its contractual obligations.

Stealing

A publisher pays writers and authors royalties in exchange for the rights to publish their work in book form. Royalty rates are percentages of book sales and they are entirely negotiable, though some publishers have standard royalty rates that are stipulated as part of the contract between the publisher and the author(s).

In a situation similar to that of a writer who had not been paid royalties or had any breakdowns of sales (as per signed publishing agreement) for almost 23 months, I found this response in WritersWeekly: “Unfortunately, there are lots of snakes in the industry. When a publisher does not pay royalties to the author(s), it is illegal and, if I were you, I’d get my books out of her clutches ASAP. She is stealing from you each time a book sells. If she had any intention of paying you, she’d have responded to all of your emails in a timely manner and furnished you with regular breakdowns of sales with associated royalties due to you, and she’d have been at least sending token payments.

She’s keeping the money, and spending it herself. It’s clear she isn’t going to pay you. People who keep an author’s money are thieves. You’re getting played and each month it gets worse. You should move your books to a reputable publisher, and then report her to the authorities. It looks like she’s running an elaborate scam.WritersWeekly.com

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It is worth noting that even if you are correct, and the publisher has breached its obligations – and even if the contract includes a provision for termination due to the publisher’s breach, which not all contracts do – you, personally, have no way to enforce a termination. The publisher can simply deny the allegations, or stick its metaphorical fingers in its metaphorical ears and go right on producing and selling your book.

Various causes of action are implicated by a publisher’s failure to pay royalties or comply with auditing provisions. The most obvious claim is breach of contract, which may be asserted based on a publisher’s material noncompliance with the terms of the agreement, frustration of an agreement’s terms, or bad faith in handling claims. Thus, for example, a publisher who has not paid royalties as due, who has denied timely information under an audit clause, or who has provided incomplete or confusing data, may be liable for breach of contract.

There is a lesser-used provision that allows a plaintiff to obtain disclosure from a defendant, prior to bringing a lawsuit, when it is necessary to determine whether the plaintiff has a basis for asserting a legal claim. In some cases, such as where the right to an audit of publisher records is not clear from the publishing agreement, Pre-complaint Discovery may be warranted to determine how the publisher is calculating royalties and whether the plaintiff has a cause of action along the lines set forth above. Pre-complaint discovery may effectively provide a court-supervised alternative to haggling with the publisher over audit procedures. (Textbook & Academic Authors Association, 15 August 2017)

One last thing: Reversion of Rights to a book. A publisher should not put a price on rights reversion. Charging a fee for reversion or contract termination is a nasty way for a publisher to make a quick buck as a writer goes out the door. A termination fee in a publishing contract is a red flag. And attempting to levy a fee that’s not included in the contract is truly disgraceful. (WriterBeware, 1 October 2014)

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The Southend & District Roll of Honour 1914-1921 is an A to Z list of the 2,152 of His Majesty’s servicemen, who were either born in, or moved to, the following areas at the time they were called to service: Southend-on-Sea, Southchurch, Thorpe Bay, Shoeburyness, Foulness, Barling, Westcliff-on-Sea, Leigh-on-Sea, Hadleigh, Thundersley, Benfleet, Canvey Island, Rochford, Hawkwell, Hockley, Rayleigh, Wickford, Vange, and Pitsea, and who fought and fell during the Great War, or died as a result of war between 1914 and 1921.
The names are listed are as used by the men in service records upon their enlistment. Among these are several aliases which appear instead with only a reference to their real names. The files include biographies of the serviceman of the Land, Air and Sea forces, their regiments and service numbers, theatres of battle and actions, personal letters, and citations where medals were issued.

*The Kindle edition offers readers a sample of the book for free.

Click here

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