Billy Moss at the wheel of the Crusader, part way to Rarotonga, 1959

William “Billy” Stanley Moss, at the wheel of the Crusader, part way to Rarotonga, 1959

One of the great pleasures of running this blog is that I often receive contacts from people in all corners of the world on topics related to Paddy and his friends. Sometimes this can lead to putting people in touch who have lost contact, or being able to upload some interesting content for you all to enjoy.

In early October I was boarding a plane to Spain to walk a short leg of the Camino Frances from Leon to Santiago de Compostela, when I received an email from John Ewing. We have never met but he was trying to reach Billy Moss’ daughter, Gabriella Bullock, to pass on some items from a trans-Pacific journey completed by Billy in 1959. They have never met, and Gabriella was unaware that this information existed.

Hi Tom,
My name is John Ewing, I sailed with Billy Moss across the South Pacific in 1959. I have quite a lot of information and some photographs of the trip and Bill, which I would like to share with his family. It is likely that your society would have contact details for his very proud daughter Gabriella, I would appreciate your forwarding this email to her so that we may communicate by email.

I was able to put them in touch and I am grateful to John for sharing this photograph of Billy at the wheel of the yacht Crusader, on the way to Rarotonga, the most populous island of the Cook Islands. How wonderful is this?!

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have something to share with the blog community of over 1,000 readers. See About and Contact for details.


7 thoughts on “Billy Moss at the wheel of the Crusader, part way to Rarotonga, 1959

  1. Steven Mckendrick

    Hi Gabriella,
    24/04/19-30th/04/19 A friend And I are in Crete and have just completed your father’s route, some on foot and some by car. Visiting the hideouts and memorable places, including the waterfall pool near Patsos that your father fell in to.
    We spoke with Visilios at the tavern who knows you.
    This is to commemorate the 75th anniversary 26th April 2019.
    We climbed mount Ida and the valleys and canyons and cannot express the admiration for all concerned to what has been a “punishing” journey..

    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Steven – I shall pass this on to Gabriella by email. I believe that she and her husband are in Crete at the moment, so if you are around you might hear where and say hello.

  2. Brent McCunn

    Stunning what can come out of the woodwork so to speak. The Moss girls will be thrilled. This Ewing chap must be quite ‘mature’ in his own right,

    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Gabriella has told me that he has sent a pile of fascinating information to her. The photo here is the first colour picture she has seen of her father.

      1. Manolis Pattakos

        Do you have the e-mail (or other contact) of Gabriella Bullock?

        In the “Ill met by moonlight” book, her father writes a few things about my mother and my grand-father:

        “The dinner was excellent. We are being cared for by a charming family which, though very poor, gives us everything it has. The father (Efthimios G. Harokopos) is a fine, old-fashioned Cretan type, and he tell us that since the German occupation he has looked after more than sixty British and Colonial stragglers who were hiding from the enemy. His young daughter (Eleftheria Harokopou, and after her marriage: Eleftheria Pattakou) is a sweet-looking girl whose face has the appearance of a delicate waxen mask – a look of L’inconnue de la Seine – and altogether she is possessed of a natural grace and charm which is all too rare among the island’s women folk. She goes bare-armed, bare-legged, and wears a one piece canvas dress, and her hair is arranged in two long plaits. It is quite possible,
        . . .
        We have been so well looked after at this hideout that this afternoon we decided to give the family a present of gold (for we knew that its wealth consisted of little more than some goats and a few olive-trees); so Paddy (Patrick Leigh Fermor) called the old father aside. He reminded him that we were in all probability going to take his only son, Iorgi, with us to Egypt, and therefore there would be no one left to help with the work at home. So, Paddy continued, would he accept the hopelessly inadequate gift of a few sovereigns in exchange of his son? But the old man – as well we might have guessed – merely shook his head, thanked us for our kind thought, and politely refused. We did not press him.”

        As I was informed, in the original Staley Moss’ diary (only a part of which was published in the book) there are more details about my mother and grand-father.

        Thank you
        Manolis Pattakos

        1. proverbs6to10 Post author

          Hello Manolis – I shall pass on your details to Gabriella and she may get in touch. Tom


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