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The hidden history.....and how NOT to get drawn into to research.

I am the Author of the successful British publication 'The Cockleshell Canoes ISBN 9781848680654 by Amberley Publishing.

The work represents eight years of research and took much detective work. It contains about 97% new information.

And it all started because no-one could tell me who manufactured my 18 ft two man sectional aluminium sailing canoe with outriggers.. it is a Mk 7 and the type appears ( fittingly) on the front cover.

brief blurb about book ..

Filled with many unpublished rare B&W photographs, this publication contains a gripping tale. A tale about a most unusual mode of warfare wrapped up within a very human story.

The remarkable account represents the first and only definitive work of the entire History and Development of British Military Canoes during WW2. Much of the 'Most Secret' information within has never been revealed before.

The story is a celebration of those individuals, some of great fame like ‘Blondie’ Hasler, and the other Cockleshell heroes, who have become part of canoe history. Many others will be accredited through this work; it is a product of real life testimonies within the stories of the Commanders, Inventors and Designers. It tells of the epic journey of progress that canoe development took from Cornwall, all along the Southern English Coast, even to the tropical Island of Sri Lanka. (Ceylon).

Thousands of various canoes were sent worldwide and used operationally, representing an entirely new facet of maritime military history showing how clandestine warfare was conducted by the various Special Forces during WW2, including the S.O.E. This ‘Most Secret’ endeavour used the code name ‘Cockle’ for the canoes. One such 'Cockle' was equally at ease below the water as it was above; it was even suggested that it could be used as a carrier for an Atomic bomb.

The work is deserving of the description 'Indispensable' and tells the dramatic story of the 'Cockles' and how these tiny canoes helped the Allied cause on almost every front.


This book was first published FOUR months ago in December 2008. The second reprint is MAY 2009! 320 pages and 143 photos including new pictures of previously unseen canoe the MK10.

Heavy weight REVIEWS on 'The Cockleshell Canoes'

This from Prof. Eric Grove - Review in Navy News May 2009.

' this volume really is one of the most original, interesting and informative to have appeared recently'

'an excellent and ground breaking work',

'described in great detail'.

From 'The Croaker' April 2009 issue by M.J.A.

'Rees writes well and his narrative flows' with 'Clarity of delivery'.

'a stimulating and revealing tract'

'fascinating and detailed accounts'

Globe and Laurel - March - April 2009 issue by G.A.D

'remarkable book',

' this great and important military and maritime story - which he tells very well',

'good looking and man sized book' with 'stunning photographs'

'Navy News' is a Uk based magazine highly rated. highly subscribed.
'The Croaker' is a Subscription only magazine especially for Special Forces past and present ONLY.
'The Globe and Laurel' is a magazine of the Royal Marines.

The Navy News does a free on line edition - review is on page 44.

Much can be learnt from the designs of these craft... .. just to get you interested how about a 15ft canoe that could be erected in 30 secs and could 'collapse' to 6 1/2 inches .. vertically? Or a canoe that could DIVE to 50ft and could travel up to 50 miles underwater....

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