Falklands Documentary

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#2
Thanks for posting that, I hadn't seen this before.

The opening scenes alone bring it hammering home once again.

Coincidentally, something I only found out a couple of weeks ago: the guy that was Captain of HMS Coventry in this documentary opening sequence, Captain David Hart-Dyke MVO, is the Dad of the comedienne/actress Miranda

The story goes that as a young girl during the conflict, her Mum received the news of the Coventry being sunk, but no news on whether her father (who in fact suffered burns/blast injuries) had survived. Rather than let her daughter(s?) worry unduly, she kept it a secret and sent her off to school. The other kids & teachers had heard the news and asked if she was OK. She replied, "Fine thanks, just got a bit of a cold." They must have thought her one tough kid.

This is a picture of him upon arrival back in UK with the other survivors, the look on the kids faces says it all:

 
#6
Off thread slightly, the Wikipedia accounts for the sinking of both the Sheffield and the Coventry state that the crew sang Monty Python's 'Always look on the bright side of life' as they abandoned ship.

Did this really happen on both ships? Or are people getting their accounts mixed up?
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#7
So far as I know it only happened on Sheffield. Coventry capsized & sank within minutes of being hit, Sheffield remained afloat for several days.

I worked with a Stores Accountant off the Coventry, he managed to get sunk twice in 30 minutes. He climbed out onto the bridge wing as it keeled over, clinging to a windscreen wiper, which snapped. He swam to a life-raft, to discover it was empty. As he climbed-in, it folded and began to sink (punctured!).

Needless to say he was completely bonkers anyway. :wink:
 
#8
It happened on the Sheffield and those guys always sing it at their reunions.

I really do not think it happened on the Coventry at all, as they had to get off very quickly indeed.
 
#9
Yeah I assumed that it was highly unlikely that it happened on both ships.

Coventry:

Within 20 minutes Coventry had been abandoned and had completely capsized. Nineteen of her crew were lost and a further 30 injured. Coventry sank shortly after. After the ship was struck, her crew, waiting to be rescued, sang "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" from Monty Python's Life of Brian.
Wikipedia state 'Sea of Fire' as their source.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6705387.stm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Coventry_(D118)


Sheffield:

After the ship was struck and her crew waiting to be rescued, S/LT Carrington-Wood led the crew in singing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" from Monty Python's Life of Brian.
Wikipedia state 'Icons, a portrait of England' as their source.
http://www.icons.org.uk/nom/nominations/always-look-on-the-bright-side-of-life

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Sheffield_(D80)



Edited to add: I think Clive Carrington-Wood was the Black Prince* at Collingwood when I was there.



*Officer in charge of ceremonial.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#10
I think Coventry was recorded on the plot as sinking within 27 minutes of being struck. It may well be the case that they had a sing-song in the liferafts, but I doubt anyone stood on the foc'sle long enough beforehand. It's possible, but I don't remember it being reported at the time. Wiki is notorious for this sort of discrepency anyway to be honest.

One dit I do remember hearing about Coventry & re-told on subsequent Advanced Fire-fighting/ Sea survival courses, was the allegation that one of the 25 man liferafts was predominantly occupied by officers & that they sent a rating to another life-raft because he wasn't an officer. I have severe reservations that this is truthful as it sounds like a typical bitter lower-deck myth perpetuated over the years until it morphs into supposed fact.
 
#11
From my book... The Falklands War about HMS Coventry. The whole sinking took just over half an hour. The ship took roughly 15 mins to capsize and then remained floating keel uppermost for another 15 mins
 
#12
scouse said:
From my book... The Falklands War about HMS Coventry. The whole sinking took just over half an hour. The ship too roughly 15 mins to capsize and then remained floating keel uppermost for another 15 mins
That's pretty much what I heard. Apparently the XO was killed while trying to jump off and hit one of the stabilisers. Pretty sad to think he made it out of the ship and on to the upper deck, only to be killed like that.
 

Asst_Ed

Lantern Swinger
#13
Ninja_Stoker said:
So far as I know it only happened on Sheffield. Coventry capsized & sank within minutes of being hit, Sheffield remained afloat for several days.

I worked with a Stores Accountant off the Coventry, he managed to get sunk twice in 30 minutes. He climbed out onto the bridge wing as it keeled over, clinging to a windscreen wiper, which snapped. He swam to a life-raft, to discover it was empty. As he climbed-in, it folded and began to sink (punctured!).

Needless to say he was completely bonkers anyway. :wink:
He must have been in the same raft as Jamie Miller, who also had to escape a sinking life raft after getting off the ship he once told me.

He's a bit of a character too...
 
#14
HMS Coventry.....No one recalls hearing the order " Abandon ship" But clearly the ship was doomed, and officers and ratings put on lifejackets and the brightly coloured once only survival suits. Two Chief Petty Officers, were still below on their own initiative, checking compartments, to make sure that anyone alive had some chance of escaping. At least one rating,owes his life to this last minute search, for he was found unconscious, laying across the hatch above one of the engine rooms.
 
#15
The 2-6 videos in that series brought me to tears to be quite honest, Ive seen docs about the falklands but not their personel accounts of the events that took place... So very sad.
 
#16
Four Weeks in May (The loss of HMS Coventry A Captain's Story)
Published by Atlantic Books London. Author Capt David Hart Dyke.
Cracking read and done so in under four weeks.
 
#17
trelawney126 said:
Four Weeks in May (The loss of HMS Coventry A Captain's Story)
Published by Atlantic Books London. Author Capt David Hart Dyke.
Cracking read and done so in under four weeks.
I brought that book from amazon after watching that doc.
 
#18
"One dit I do remember hearing about Coventry & re-told on subsequent Advanced Fire-fighting/ Sea survival courses, was the allegation that one of the 25 man liferafts was predominantly occupied by officers & that they sent a rating to another life-raft because he wasn't an officer. I have severe reservations that this is truthful as it sounds like a typical bitter lower-deck myth perpetuated over the years until it morphs into supposed fact."


This was in fact a true story but it was Atlantic Conveyor, The L/h who had been turned away was sent to Hermes along with the Lt Cdr that turned him away. The L/h had to be dragged away as he was going to twat him when the survivors got together.
 
#19
trelawney126 said:
Four Weeks in May (The loss of HMS Coventry A Captain's Story)
Published by Atlantic Books London. Author Capt David Hart Dyke.
Cracking read and done so in under four weeks.
Concur, great read and well written.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#20
chockhead819 said:
"One dit I do remember hearing about Coventry & re-told on subsequent Advanced Fire-fighting/ Sea survival courses, was the allegation that one of the 25 man liferafts was predominantly occupied by officers & that they sent a rating to another life-raft because he wasn't an officer. I have severe reservations that this is truthful as it sounds like a typical bitter lower-deck myth perpetuated over the years until it morphs into supposed fact."


This was in fact a true story but it was Atlantic Conveyor, The L/h who had been turned away was sent to Hermes along with the Lt Cdr that turned him away. The L/h had to be dragged away as he was going to twat him when the survivors got together.
There was tales in abundance on more than one ship of this ilk, as demonstrated.

I've yet to personally meet either the Officers or alledged rating involved. This isn't to say it isn't true, but people would like to believe it, even if it isn't.

When I was through drafted to Southampton (from Argonaut) my new Captain was the late, lamented Sam Salt & many of the crew were off Sheffield. The XO was allegedly the PWO(A) off Herpes - the one that supposedly told the task force to disregard the "wave clutter" that sank the Sheffield when it turned-out to be an exocet after all.

Again, heard the dit, got the teeshirt, met the guy, had a beer with him, but still don't know if it was true or not.
 

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