top of page
Official Website of

Bill Green    Author

William B Green_edited.jpg

Bill Green



Bill was born in England. Homeless at age seventeen he joined the British Royal Navy and served in


the submarine service for twenty seven years during the Cold War.  (12 March 1947 to 26 December 1991)


He left the navy as a Chief Petty Officer, and after living and working in South Africa for thirteen years, he emigrated to Perth in Western Australia, where he now lives with his wife and family. 


Some highlights of his life.


 He met HM Queen Elizabeth II on three occasions.  



He has crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the surface in a diesel/electric WW2 submarine, under it on a Polaris submarine, and over it in a Boeing 747.


He has have been under the Polar Ice Cap on a conventional diesel/electric submarine, and surfaced through a Polynya. (A stretch of open water surrounded by ice - especially in Arctic seas)


 He has escaped from a submarine at a depth of four hundred feet in the Mediterranean Sea.

Childhood for Bill Green was a nightmare. Dumped by his parents when only four years of age, never knowing where his next meal was coming from, and homeless at the age of seventeen, he joined the Royal Navy. Through self-discipline, mental toughness, and hard work, he transformed himself from a seventeen-year-old boy with no future, into a British Royal Navy submariner.

“GAME OF SILENCE” is a true story of Bill’s life in submarines at the height of the Cold war. At the age of nineteen, he did his first patrol in a WW2 diesel/electric submarine, spending weeks below the icy waters of the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans. They were tasked to gather information on the Russian fleet. The Russians were aware of their presence which resulted in a cat and mouse scenario, leading to some ‘hairy moments; with the advantage constantly shifting from one adversary to the other, and leading to an impasse which could keep the war  going indefinitely .

During the years of the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation, (1962 -1966) Bill spent weeks patrolling the South China Seas in search of gun runners supplying arms to Guerrilla forces in mainland Malaya. As a ship's diver, he was also engaged in clearing ships in Singapore Harbour of limpet mines, whilst helping to clear unexploded WW2 bombs from the Johor Straits.

In 1970, he was part of a team from the Submarine Escape Training Tank in HMS Dolphin to set a world record (600 feet) for escaping from a submarine.

After a third near-death experience whilst escaping from a submarine on a routine exercise, he finally decided he had pushed his luck far enough. In this poignant memoir, Bill shares unforgettable fragments of both his personal and submarine life, whilst giving a harrowing glimpse of what it was like to serve in submarines of the Royal Navy amidst the clamour of the Cold War. Chased, harassed, and depth-charged, “GAME OF SILENCE” captures the life and times of those eventful years.

billgreen719 .jpg

The memoir begins in early September 1939 with Billy and his older brother Frankie being evacuated from Bristol to Exmouth and the ‘supposed’ safety of the coast. After being told by their parents they were going on their holidays, they were put on a train. As soon as the train de never to see their mother again. The story progresses through a series of events that change their lives dramatically as they are bandied from one foster home to another. Readers will witness a real-life account of fates that become inextricably entwined amidst the clamour of wartime and the transformational odyssey of two young boys growing up during a volatile period. 

By turns harrowing and inspirational, ‘A Penny for Two Ha’pennies’ is a profound read that seamlessly merges history with personal experience and brings down the phenomenon of war into a real and humanized level. Eye-opening and beautiful, this book potently captures the Second World War zeitgeist while actively demonstrating the unwavering essence of the human spirit.

Escape or Die_edited.jpg

Escape or Die

A Story Based on True Events

A British Submarine on patrol in the Arctic Ocean is sent to the bottom after being rammed by a Russian warship. Trapped, three hundred feet below the waves, the ten survivors must overcome the obstacles and fear if they are to escape from the freezing murky depths of the Arctic Ocean. With the compartment slowly filling with water from a cracked ballast line, and the air becoming more toxic with every passing minute, a decision needs to be made. Escape from the submarine and chance dying of exposure in the freezing Arctic Ocean. Or chance being picked up by the warship that sent them to the bottom and face an uncertain future in a Soviet jail. Or stay where they are and die a slow agonizing death from Carbon Dioxide poisoning. Based on the author's experiences during his 25 years in the submarine service of the British Royal Navy, he has interwoven them into a story that highlights the dangers faced by submariners during the years
of the Cold War.  


Available Now!






When 17-year-old Bill Green returns home from work one day, he finds the house empty and his parents have moved without telling him. Homeless, he joins the Royal Navy. Eighteen months into a 12-year stint, he’s drafted to submarines at the height of the Cold War, a move that defines the next 26 years of his life. His first draft at age 19 sees him patrolling the seas from the Baltic to the Arctic circle gathering intelligence while avoiding harassment and depth charges of Soviet warships constantly patrolling the same waters.


Bill goes on to serve in numerous capacities and locales. As a ship's diver during the Indonesian–Malaysian confrontation, he is employed searching ships for Limpet Mines.

       The Indonesian–Malaysian confrontation, also known as the Borneo confrontation, was a violent conflict from 1963–66, that stemmed from Indonesia's opposition to the creation of Malaysia. The creation of Malaysia was the amalgamation of the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, and the Crown colony British Protectorates of North Borneo, and Sarawak. To thwart efforts to form Malaysia, Indonesia became actively involved in subterfuge operations, and later declared war on Malaysia.


Bill also spent time clearing the Johor Straits of unexploded WW2 bombs. In 1966, he joined the oldest operational submarine in the Royal Navy, HMS Tiptoe. HMS Tiptoe was built in 1944 and served in the Far East, sinking several Japanese ships.


In 1970, Bill was part of the team that set the world record depth for escaping from a submarine; 600 feet. The following year, he became ill and was sidelined for over a year which nearly ended his career.


However, it is the later near-death experience whilst escaping from a submarine 300 feet below the waves in Campbelltown Loch that convinced him he had pushed his luck far enough. In 1980 he retired from the Royal Navy and emigrated to South Africa.



My Books

My story

bottom of page