Proceed With Dispatch....

I was watching in awe and admiration as a civvie. My admiration remains undiminished to this day and the achievement is what made me (and countless others) join up. I wasn't one of those who performed the impossible but I was determined to be a part of what made (and still does make) the UK military the best in the world.
Was a civil servant at the time sailing a desk and as Broadside said watched in awe at the impossible being proven to be possible. I had already started the process of joining up and was playing the waiting game for the nod.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
I was ten. I remember watching it through the eyes of youth on the news and being impressed. It's odd, some of my oppos were there and i never tire of their stories when we gather together and talk of operations in hushed tones. My stories are tame in comparison.


War Hero
Just completing my joining routine my first ship, Argonaut, as an SSMEM. Due to go into BOST that month (following a 5 year refit) then deploy to the Mediterranean.

What could possibly go wrong?


Book Reviewer
I was 12 and very interested as I was all set to join the Crabs as a FJ pilot (in my eyes) but having had a Grandfather who survived being torpedoed 4 times on Murmansk convoys I grew up with Naval tales, so I rushed home each night to follow the Falklands TF and my interest, and admiration, in the broader Armed Forces grew as each night progressed.

I recall crying when I saw the ships hit, particularly at Bluff Cove as I realised what it meant, for me it was the first time the real consequences of war were laid out and it was there in our living room, grim.
Best man at a mates wedding, thought it all a late april fool.... Got back to Aldergrove to then be sent "south", got as far as Ascension Island and stayed there for the duration as the hierachy wouldnt let us go from the Island...
819 NAS.

Doing barrier ops on the North channel. (Pinging.)

Did I go South - NO!
Didn't I know it no one from 819 went down south.I was the first one to join 819 afterwards & What i got was to be honest-bullied, piss taken out of me for sobbing my eyes out on remembrance sunday, photos of "down south" ripped up & locker trashed.

BTW i was on Easter leave, when the copper came i paniced thinking what had i done wrong while pissed:D
At sea, off Gibraltar, about to pack my kit ready for transfer to Glasgow. They'd requested an OC Tiff and I'd just lost the toss of a coin with another guy so I was on my way.

I wasn't that concerned about going down South, (it was all a bit surreal at the time), I just didn't want to do it on another ship, espcially a Pompey one!

Before I started packing my kit I got a message saying Glasgow had changed their mind and I was no longer required.

We then spent a lot of time transferring stores, food and ammunition to Glasgow before heading back to UK to re-store and await further orders.
As like many others I suspect on here, I wasnt even born then. I do remember it every year though because it falls the day before my birthday and having done 2 tours down then in recent years I do have fond memories of the place.
Ships Company on the Eastbourne,Tiffs training ship in Rosyth.. Skipper cleared lower decks and told us that we should be prepared to sail south. Ship had no propellors, radars, guns or ops room.. Spent the duration storing Tribals and some deep sea trawlers that were STFT..


Lantern Swinger
I was taking my entry tests in Stonehouse. Joined up on another interesting anniversary - 3rd September later that year.
Back in civvy street by that time, having gone outside in '74'. Watched the news avidly being well aware that had I signed on for 22, the boiler Rm Stoker P.O. on one of the ships down there could well have been me. When we started taking hits from the Arggies, this was a very sobering thought. As things unfolded I remember a feeling of anger that the Politicians had once again put our Military in harms way, them not being properly equipped to do the job. Once again Jack did us proud in spite of the handicap, as did all our troops.
Stuck in Collingrad on Mech's Course. Absolutely gutted that we were unable to take ANY part. The sprogs were even being used to store ships in the dockyard - even the (now ex) wife were involved! We did go down to either Round Tower or DOLPHIN, depending on how long we could escape, to see off/welcome back the ships. Managed to get there later on after it was well over.
I was on holiday in Majorca and was completely unaware how serious things had become until I saw the Spanish papers with the sinking of the Belgrano on the front pages.
Similar to Superpom, I came outside in '73, but I knew I had mates still in and probably 'on their way'. I was glued to the news and when Ian MacDonald, the MOD spokesman started in that slow, measured tone announcing what ship we'd lost today I used to get quite angry, then, after a couple of whiskies the melancholy set in.
A few years later I met up with an old oppo who was on Sandy Woodwards staff on Hermes...........he told me a few horror stories, one of which he'd just left Atlantic Conveyor by helo moments before the exocet hit. I think I might have a couple of whiskies this weekend in salutation to my oppo, and the ones who didn't come back.

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