Set in a time before mass tourism and the exodus from the West Indies of families seeking work in the United Kingdom, for Electrical Mechanic Ted Harris, Kingston, Jamaica, with its air of excitement and freedom, comes to represent everything that his dull and unaffectionate parents, trapped in a depressive existence in Bermondsey, were not.
For Ted, the exotic music, worldly wise women and free-flowing rum make it the closest thing to paradise, and the return to civvy street becomes a less than attractive prospect.
H.M.S Wasp is closely based upon the experiences of its author, Peter Holloway, who did National Service aboard a Royal Navy sloop on the America and West Indies station. Only the names of the characters and the ship itself have been altered.
----- Born in London, Peter Holloway and his brother spent much of their childhood in Devon. After the war they returned to London but found life there difficult after their rural life in the West Country. Peter signed up for National Service aboard a Royal Navy sloop on the America and West Indies station in the electrical branch of the Navy. He later became a maths teacher and on retirement became a private tutor. He lives in Brighton.