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WAR & PEAS. Intimate Letters from the Falklands War 1982 By Rear Admiral John Lippiett CB MBE

HMS AMBUSCADE in South Atlantic "roughers"

WAR & PEAS is a book with a difference, containing the raw emotions of letters written between John Lippiett and his wife Jenny during the short but intense Falklands War . She, pregnant and struggling to be brave, is looking after their two children, their errant dog and the peas in the garden, while he, onboard HMS Ambuscade, is battling not only with the enemy, but also with the elements. Hair-raising accounts of missile attacks and a collision are less frightening than the gigantic seas, the ice and storms, and the worry that the ship is breaking up. The letters are interspersed with descriptions of daily life at sea during the war, together with accounts of operations and extracts from Daily Orders and other documents of the time. And there is also the humorous side of life that is always present in the Royal Navy.


War & Peas is now available for despatch!
The Today programme on Radio 4 serialised the letters, and broadcast a number of extracts to mark the 25th anniversary of the Falklands War.    (The first broadcast went out on Saturday 28th April, the last in mid June on the anniversary of the surrender.)   There are further details and recordings to listen to on their website.


War & Peas is a wonderful book and hugely enjoyable. This is the real thing, a proper historical record, including men and women...   I like the self-portraits with growing beard - and also the serious bits about fighting, and the home front and children.   There should be more books like this.”


 Claire Tomalin, Winner Whitbread Prize


Mostly told through the interchange of personal letters between the author onboard a frigate and his wife in Sussex, this is a remarkable account of the naval war in the South Atlantic. It gives a unique and valuable insight into life in a warship - and the pressures on family life back home.

Captain Christopher Page, RN, Head of Historical Branch, Ministry of Defence.


Historians are always on the lookout for the authentic 'voice' of the actual pariticipants in any great event, to balance the dry official accounts.  John Lippiett's personal account of the Falklands War - written with moving honesty, wit and eloquence - gives a vivd idea of what it was like to be actually tthere-. He has put future chroniclers of the war in his debt.

Dr. Colin White,  Director,  Royal Navy Museum

I found the book,  like baked Alaska, to be warming and chilling at the same time, and a considerable achievement on these grounds alone. It was also, as a documentary source, complete in a way which is never possible in the periods I study: to have two sides of a correspondence linked by an authoratative narrative is beyond our fondest imaginings.

Dr CS Knighton, Naval Historian


The book is unputdownable. Having  watched avidly all the news reports on TV safe at home, I never really appreciated the sheer battle against the elements as well as the enemy to keep fighting a ship fully provisioned and ready for operations!  It is a wonderful read  that many thousand readers will enjoy.

John McNamara   CE British Institute  of Innkeepers


A gripping account of sea warfare, told in that laconic style the Royal Navy has made its own. Jenny' letters I found very moving: an upper lip determined to be stiff, but with the occasional quiver, and the constancy of love.

Sir Jeremy Thomas

Privately published by Pistol Post Publications (named after the ship's newspaper - but please do not use it for cheques, which should be made out to J LIPPIETT),  this book is available from The Watergate,  Ratham Lane, Bosham,Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 8NH.
ISBN 9 781904 459262      Price 12.99   & 2 p&p

 I joined AMBUSCADE without a camera, so have had to rely on photographs provided by other members of the ship’s company. The Captain, Peter Mosse, has been kind enough to provide me the vast majority of those published in the book and some here, but I should also like to thank Alf Symonds, Steve Griffin, Steve Frith, Dave Rowlands and Dave Marchant. The majority of the photographs are on display on the excellent website of the HMS AMBUSCADE Association (www.ambuscade.org.uk), and I thoroughly commend readers to have a look if they can, and to learn more about this active association.

The author, Lt Cdr John Lippiett RN in 1982, San Carlos

294 pages with over 90 black and white photographs and 3 maps.

Softback cover in colour as shown here on this page and page 3.

Please ORDER  by mail (address above)  or email below.  If using e-mail, please state how you wish to pay.

Should you wish the book to be inscribed to anyone, please say.

Payment by cheque   (made out to J LIPPIETT, not  Pistol Post Publications!)           or Paypal transfer to:john.lippiett@falklandswarletters.com

You are welcome to use the form below, or just email me direct which is probably better.



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War & Peas  (3 pages on website)