THE last six days in September was the culmination of several years of hard work for author Richard M. Jones.

The author published two books at almost the same time, Britain’s Lost Tragedies Uncovered and The 50 Greatest Shipwrecks.

It was a chance meeting in a Southampton pub with an American titanic historian that put him on the road to contact The History Press, who agreed to publish a book on forgotten air disasters.

Richard spent the next few years at archives, libraries, and conducting interviews on some of the most shocking but relatively forgotten incidents around the UK.

In Britain’s Lost Tragedies Uncovered, details are included of local events such as the 1957 Aquila Airlines crash in Brook, the Flag Theofano capsize of the coast of the Island in the English Channel in 1990, and Southampton Airport crash onto the M27 in 1993.

Pen & Sword Publishing asked Richard to write The 50 Greatest Shipwrecks, a chance to put the top fifty most talked about, tragic and well known maritime sinkings into one book.

The 50 Greatest Shipwrecks features the Mary Rose, Titanic, several British warships and the SS Mendi, all with a local connection.

Richard said: “With around three million shipwrecks around the world it is hard to pick just 50, but in some cases, the obvious ones have to be in there, in others I had to think about not only the story of the ship but what it means today and how this story is different from the rest.

“The last thing I wanted was 50 identical stories!”

Jones is an author based in Bridlington and Southampton.

A serving member of the Royal Navy, he spends all his spare time digging through history to find evidence of forgotten incidents and has placed several memorials to such disasters around the UK.

The books are available from book shops and online.