The young, but talented Lieutenant James Stanley Murray is tasked with training a class of Royal Navy Reserves, sea-men affectionately nicknamed the “Hungry Hundred”. Rather than rushing out amongst the new recruits to pick himself a class, the Lieutenant, waits until only the stragglers are left, fancying himself a challenge.
Amongst his motley band of the “Hungry Hundred” are sixteen of the Royal Navy’s finest deserters and scallywags. The Lieutenant sees in them ‘red, raw, primitive men’, ‘who loved the clash of battle’, they are ‘sea-warriors’ who had returned to the Navy to fight for King and Country. These rough men answer to no master, but the Lieutenant’s kind hand and strong leadership evoke in them a natural love and affection for their ‘Jimmy’ and an undying loyalty.
Under the tutelage of Jimmy and given the skill and savvy of his “Hungry Hundred” the class excel. When James receives his posting, he sweet talks the Drafting Commander into letting him take his ‘pet’ sixteen with him.
On their first posting together, the team demonstrate their exceptionalism and their bonds of affection and loyalty to one another are strengthened. Jimmy feels as if he is not only their commanding officer, but a younger brother striving to enter ‘the Lodge of Men, to which they belong’.
Against all odds, the men arrange to follow their commander to his next posting, aboard the Torpedo Boat Destroyer Stilletto, it is on this ship that the sixteen receive their baptism of fire and their bonds of brotherhood are truly tested.
Author: John S. Margerison
Title: The Hungry Hundred
First Published by: C. Arthur Pearson