British author and avid sailor Ralph Hammond Innes, known for thrillers such as The Blue Ice (1948) and works such as The Wreck of the "Mary Deare" (1956), was born today in Horsham in 1913. His writing career began far from promisingly: his first four novels, according to Contemporary Authors, only reaped a total of £120. He began to garner attention with Attack Alarm (1941), which was based on his experiences as a gunner during the Battle of Britain, and other novels were eventually adapted for film or television (for example, Fire in the Snow , The White South , Campbell's Kingdom , and The Doomed Oasis ). He was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1978 and died in 1998.
About the image: Richard Harris (left) and Gary Cooper in The Wreck of the Mary Deare (dir. Michael Anderson, screenplay by Eric Ambler, 1959)