Malta’s significance was its position as a strategic base from which British sea and air forces could interrupt the flow of men and resources to the German armies in north Africa, which in turn threatened Egypt, the Suez Canal and British controlled oilfields. Severe naval losses were sustained and as German bombers and submarines tightened the sea blockade, Malta’s situation grew more desperate. By mid 1942 the island urgently needed supplies, including fuel and food, and had temporarily ceased to be an effective offensive base.
Against terrible odds convoys attempted to get through, including the M.V. Ajax, on which Caroline Davies’s Welsh grandfather served. Charting a narrative from the point of view of her mother as a child who has come to see her naval father as a stranger to the voices of the men who often gave everything to see the convoy through, Convoy is not only distinctive and meticulously researched, but powerful and moving. Skillfully incorporating a wealth of found material, recordings and interviews, this narrative poetry sequence captures a slice of history with visceral clarity, engaging audiences who might otherwise never engage with poetry as well as poetry lovers.
“Convoy is a fantastically ambitious book and a great concept for a poetry collection. Terse end-stopped lines, brilliant images and minute descriptions of war from right in the middle of it, as well as a semi-experimental feel using technical language, combine so that the reader gets a sense of the people."
"It takes a sensitive and empathetic soul to capture the sound and fury of war. These wonderfully precise and emotional poems describe the turmoil, bravery, fear and confusion in the often overlooked story of the Merchant Navy convoys of the Second World War."