John Wingate was born in 1920. He was a successful novelist with some twenty-five books to his credit. Many of these had a naval theme. Frequently involving the submarine service, they gained much authenticity from Wingate’s personal wartime experiences.
John was in the Battle of the Channel in a Chasseur and was mentioned in Dispatches. Then went into submarines based in the Mediterranean in Malta. He and his crew survived a 36 hour dive while being depth-charged. This was thought to be impossible at that time because of the build-up of carbon dioxide. He was awarded the DSC for that. After the war he went into market gardening until he was recalled to the Navy for the Korean Crisis in 1951.
He was based in Portsmouth for that. After that he started teaching in Sussex, and then Aysgarth Preparatory School near Bedale in Yorkshire. He taught there for 3 years and then went to Milton Abbey School in Dorset until he was asked to start Hampshire Activities Centre at Calshot. This was the first of its kind, and was a great success. It was opened by Prince Phillip. He retired from there and took up writing full time, eventually moving to France to live.