In this charming book, former RNVR officer Tom Soars describes how, whilst stationed at Alexandria in Egypt during World War Two, he met and fell in love with a beautiful young woman called Nahidé Kadjar, a grand-daughter of the former Shah of Persia.
Given that the war was raging in the Middle East at that time and that Tom was on active service, coupled with the fact that the differences in their nationalities, backgrounds and social standing were so great, the course of their true love was never going to run smoothly ... and indeed it didn’t!
With quiet good humour, Tom tells how he and his royal fiancée overcame all the obstacles that stood in the way of their future happiness and ~ despite many setbacks, separations and other difficulties ~ were eventually married and began their life together while he was still on active duty as an officer at HMS Sphinx ~ a temporary wartime Royal Navy shore base and accommodation camp (commissioned 20th April 1941; paid off May 1946) at Sidi Bishr, just outside Alexandria.
Tom’s recollections of the day-to-day activities at this unique wartime establishment will be of great interest to naval historians and to the thousands of Royal Navy personnel who were billeted there during the war years (as will his many photos). Similarly, his descriptions of HMS King Alfred in Hove, where he trained to be an RNVR officer, will no doubt jog the memories of those who also trained there.
As the war in Europe came to an end, Tom, along with his bride and newborn daughter, returned to England, where he was soon to be demobilised and rejoin ‘Civvy Street’. Thus a new chapter of their life together began, and he writes entertainingly about how they adjusted to their new circumstances in postwar England and a life so very different from the one they had left behind.