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NAVY NEWS, FEBRUARY 2009 17
● Jingle bells, jingle bells, divers haul the sleigh, oh what fun it is to ride to make sick children’s day...
Picture: LAPhot Alex Knott
Making Phil
a million
NAVAL personnel across the
nation and beyond have been
putting themselves to the test as
part of Operation 86400, helping
an injured colleague reach his goal
of raising £1 million for Help for
Heroes.
Phil’s Millions has been set up
by Maj Phil Packer RMP, who is
now paraplegic and confined to a
wheelchair after a rocket attack in
Iraq in February 2008.
Lt Cdr Brian Chittick and Lt
Nic Vines both served with Maj
Packer in Iraq, and set up the
event from Devonport – the task
to run continuously on a treadmill
for 24 hours.
Lt Cdr Chittick explained:
“There are many moving stories
of courage emanating from Iraq
and Afghanistan, and it makes ● The Heron Hillbillies: Dental offi cers Tom Foulger, Laura Daniel,
you more aware of everyone’s Mel Oura, with Dental Assistants Katherine Knott, Natalie Evans,
vulnerability when someone you Mags Taylor-Brown, and Katie Hogg and Barbara Mahon
Santa’stic
are serving with comes home
injured.
“To be involved in Operation wounded colleagues. And at
“Phil’s efforts and determination
86400, I feel, is a privilege and Collingwood LPT Darren West
are an inspiration to all of us.”
I really hope that people will did the same job, raising £875.
Lt Vimes added: “The name
support us.” Maj Packer’s stated aim is to
of the event was chosen as a
Along the south at RNAS reach his goal of £1 million before
reminder that there are 86,400
Yeovilton it was the Dental he tackles the London Marathon
seconds in a day, but for those
Department who clambered on in April this year walking on
serving on operations dramatic, to the treadmill for the 24 hour calipers and crutches over a three-
life-changing events can happen in
voyage
running challenge. week period.
just a few of those seconds.” The Heron Hillbillies were He is determined that his life-
The Drake team, Drake led by Senior Dental Surgeon changing experience should be
Divas, was captained by PO Julie Cdr Mel Oura, raising £1,500 used to make positive differences
Williams, whose husband, a former during their full day and night of to other people’s lives. He quotes
Royal Marine colour sergeant, was running. Winston Churchill: “We make a
injured in Afghanistan in 2007. And further east again at living by what we get, but we
PO Williams said: “Many HMS Sultan, POPT Nick Kent make a life by what we give.”
people are affected by the present talked six of his colleagues from Pledge your support online
ISN’T Santa supposed to fly? reach their destination. see the divers – and the children conflicts. For me that includes Sultan’s PT staff into taking up at www.justgiving.com/
At night? On Christmas Eve?
And all the way they were loved it too. Thank you so much family and friends. the challenge in support of their philsmillion.
Then pop down chimneys?
encouraged by the Pompey public, to the Navy for making this
And aren’t Rudolph and Co
who honked horns, waved at the happen.”
supposed to be hauling him?
sleigh pull, and offered to donate Organiser CPO Sean Meleady,
Well, yes, but 14 RN divers
to the rather exhausted reindeer. of Fleet Diving Unit 3, added: “It
decided to give the reindeers a
The reception at St Mary’s was was a real pleasure to bring some
Stretching a point
break and pull Santa and his
just as warm. happy smiles to the children.
sleigh (frogmen have many special
“It was just lovely,” said “The support and goodwill
powers, the ability to defuse
matron’s secretary Bridget Dilley. from the community was excellent
bombs chiefly; but flight is not
“The children were thrilled with as we made our way through the
among them) through the heart of
their gifts – a wonderful array of city.
Portsmouth.
presents: cameras, dolls, computer “We really enjoyed the fitness
What was once a diving trolley
games, bicycles and the like. training too, something we need
became Santa’s sleigh (complete
“The parents were so happy to to do regularly in our line work.”
with RN logo), several divers
donned reindeer ‘uniform’ and
then began the long haul from the
Fleet Diving Squadron’s home
on Horsea Island to St Mary’s
Hospital in Fratton.
Crammed into the sleigh were a
good £500 of presents donated by
the Horsea Island good eggs and
Santa, aka former mine clearance THREE men from HMS Edinburgh – Lt Colin their lives on the line on a daily basis. The charity
diver Mike Martin from Fareham; Marshall, PO Andy Gibbs and PO John Help for Heroes has been set up to ensure that if
he’s wheelchair-bound as a result Charlesworth – walked from Glasgow to Edinburgh they get injured, they are provided with the best
of a waterskiing accident 20 years for Help for Heroes. available care.”
ago and now devotes much of his
During the walk they carried a stretcher to Their CO Cdr Gavin Young said: “This is an
time to fundraising courtesy of
symbolise the wounded returning from action, incredible achievement, and I would like to thank
wheelchair marathons.
collecting money as they passed through. all those in Scotland who contributed towards the
It’s about half a dozen miles
Lt Marshall said: “Men and women are putting total.”
from the divers’ base to the
children’s ward at St Mary’s.
Driving it should take no more
than 20 minutes.
It took Santa and his not-so-
On the Square:
little helpers an hour and a half
the Band of HM Royal
via a slightly circuitous route (for IN among a sea of Santas can be found AFCO manager CPO Chris
safety reasons) through Paulsgrove, Farrell with daughter Kotty (who joins the Navy this April) and son
Marines School of Music
Cosham, Hilsea and North End to Yan at the Southsea Santa 5km Fun Run in aid of the RNLI.
(23 tracks, 69 mins)
Chid’s Chariots chase charity cheer
Included on this album of popular
marches to set the feet tapping and
pulse racing are: When the Saints
THE RUNNING team of minehunter HMS scrambled eggs, bananas and ibuprofen (apparently Go Marching In, Sussex by the Sea,
Chiddingfold were told: “Chariots, I’ve entered us there were some pre-race celebrations), then an hour-
Thunderbirds (the fi lm Music), The
into a little race. It’s called the Bahrain Marathon long bus ride before the Naval runners arrived at the
Relay.” track to see their competitors. Who they realised had
Little Bugler, Swing Along, Light of
A startled silence was followed by the inevitable benefited from far more training than they, and were
Foot, Royal Standard, The Mad Major,
question “Do we get a free T-shirt?”, then the decked out in all the latest running gear. Glorious Victory, Fame and Glory, Best
prompt volunteering of 15 amateur runners to tackle After a long and hot 16 legs, the team finished with
Foot Forward, Sons of the Brave, With
the 16-leg relay run at the Formula One race track. an overall time of three hours 48 minutes, and to
Which meant that someone would be running twice. their surprise placed 45 out of 180 teams.
Sword and Lance, Men of Music, My
The Chid Chariots had just six weeks to get The runners – worthy of listing due to the
Regiment, Drum Majorette, Birdcage
themselves ready for their run, four weeks of which legendary ‘Q Shillingford’ nature of their nicknames Walk and On the Square. Plus Fanfare
were at sea on operations in a ship not ideally suited – are: Lt Cdr Matt ‘The Menace’ Dennis (CO); Lt
and Sunset of course - and the recording
to running training. Anthony ‘The Whirlwind’ Wallace (XO); Lt Charlie
The Bahrain Marathon Relay consists of 16 legs ‘Chase me’ Wheen (Ops); Lt John-Paul ‘The Crane’
here is particularly fi ne.
of about three kilometres, and is organised by the Fitzgibbon (Navs); Lt Chris ‘Big Guns’ Vincent
Major Paul Neville conducts
Bahrain Round Table to raise money for local (Gunnery); Stephen ‘Lumbering Lanny’ Watkyns
charities. (DMEO); PO Dougie ‘Doug Dastardly’ Seaman Compact Disc £12.00 incl p+p (worldwide)
The running team featured all the ship’s officers, (Bosun); PO Robert ‘The Rabbit’ Mosley; LS(D)
dive team and members of the minewarfare, Simon ‘The Wise Tortoise’ Day; LS(CIS) Kevin
Make cheques payable to Eastney Collection – most major credit cards also accepted
engineering and communications department, led by ‘Crazy Legs’ Peggie; AB(D) Danny ‘The Torque’ Eastney Collection, 60 Mayford Road, London SW12 8SN
the Chid’s coxswain PO(D) Brian ‘Billy the Whiz’ Tolhurst; AB(D) Danny ‘Puss in Boots’ Kelly;
Bounds – who also had the honour of being the man AB(D) Simon ‘Asterix’ Jones; AB(CIS) Stu ‘Catch
Tel: +44-(0)208-673-6157; Fax: +44-(0)207-772-9545; Email: eastneycol@aol.com
to do the double run. me if you Can’ Connor – and of course, the team’s www.eastneycollection.com
The day of the race dawned to a breakfast of leader ‘Billy the Whiz’ Bounds.
0016-019_NN_feb09.indd 216-019_NN_feb09.indd 2 119/1/09 18:10:289/1/09 18:10:28
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