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RRed (Rose) letter daysed (Rose) letter days
ITH a deafening blast of her
sailors then doffed caps, held them aloft and gave appearing out of the corner of my eye, to realise rapidly.
horn, the world’s most famous
three cheers. this was actually happening, and play a small part Lancaster carries a small team of commandos
merchant ship acknowledged
“I’ve done this kind of thing before, so what in the story of this great ship,” said Surg Lt Nic from the Fleet Protection Group RM – the RN’s
made this special?” said PO Anthony Greening. ‘The Doc’ Dodds. specialists in boarding operations.
the cheers of 190 sailors. “I think the word is ‘iconic’. The QE2’s got such a Barely had the cheers from F229 subsided than Normally they board in the traditional manner:
Sailors cheered passengers – and passengers history – and we in the Navy owe her our gratitude the ship’s company were celebrating once more – from one of Lancaster’s sea boats and up a
cheered sailors, waving heartily for the last time for all she did for us in the Falklands.” in a rather more sedate manner. ladder.
as the QE2 took her fi nal bow in the sun-soaked Back then the liner was hurriedly ly As bAs befi ts the ship’s roots, work stopped Sometimes speed is the essence (or a vessel
Gulf. converted into a troopship, ferrying 5th th thethe following day fo , glasses were raised isn’t obliging to lower a ladder), so rapid roping is
With The World in the background – man-made Infantry Brigade to the South Atlantic; tic; aandand cups of Lancashir cu e tea were downed the order of the day: scurrying rapidly down, er,
islands shaped like the nations of the globe – on her return journey she brought ht by by the sailors as a toast to Her Majesty th ropes (yes, the clue’s in the title…) on to a deck.
HMS Lancaster took her place with vessels small home survivors of HMS Ardent, lost (wh(who is also Duke of Lancaster). It’s a tricky operation at the best of times. Now
(pleasure seekers, coastguard craft) and large to Argentine air raids during the San Unlike Yorkshire Day, invented by try it from 60ft up on to a six-foot-wide walkway
(MV Dubai, the world’s largest yacht, 80ft longer Carlos landings. a a bunch of Tykes in the mid-70s, on KAAOT…
than the warship and yours for a ‘mere’ $300m) There aren’t too many serving LLancashire Day traces its heritage …Which, of course, the Royals have to be able
to welcome the venerable cruise liner to her new sailors who saw the liner in the bback more than seven centuries to to do… and so too the Merlin crew manoeuvring
home (pictured below, if you were wondering). Falklands. Among them is WO Chris NNovember 27 1295 when the folk of them into position.
There’s been a Lancastrian theme to the QE2’s Harden, Lancaster’s executive warrant EEngland’s greatest shire (Hmmm… I’m “It’s my main effort to keep the lads ready and
send-off: HMS Manchester escorted the liner on offi cer. As a JMEM (Junior Marine ddedetecting a slight Lancastrian bias here honed for any eventuality – simulating this type of
her fi nal visit to the river of her birth, the Clyde. Engineering Mechanic for those not old –– Yoorkshire Ed) fi rst sent representatives scenario is just one aspect of that training,” said
Half a world away, Lancaster was charged with enough to remember a now defunct rank) k) ttoto to Parliament.Par Capt Dan Pyke RM.
orchestrating the last act in the Cunard ship’s he helped guide HMS Herald safely to the o the It’s nots not all tea and symphony for the Red It’s not just the commando detachment or
seagoing career, serving as a communications Falklands – and saw a very different QE2 there. Rose warship. She has, of course, been very the aircrew who’ve been kept on their toes, of
hub for the many vessels bobbing around in the A generation later, Skyhawks and Etendards busy protecting Iraq’s two oil platforms, Khawr al course.
waters off Dubai for the QE2’s last entry to port. had given way to a giant in the skies – a two- Amaya and Al Basrah. FOST’s mobile team visited to satisfy
And then sailors donned their tropical uniforms, decker Airbus A380 jet roaring overhead – plus The Type 23 frigate has reached the half-way themselves that all was running smoothly on
lined the frigate’s upper decks under the blaze of Lancaster’s Merlin, surveying the scene and stage in her guardianship of the two terminals (and the good ship Lancaster – and made a couple of
the afternoon sun and paid their respects to the providing camera ace LA(Phot) Brian Douglas her men and women have completed suffi cient suggestions which should make life aboard a little
most famous merchant ship afl oat one last time. with a stunning vantage point. time in defence watches at the tip of the Gulf to better and security ops even more on the button.
The warship initially took up station behind the Airborne or seaborne, the swansong of the liner earn operational medals). Also calling in was Cdre Mike Mansergh, the
cruise liner, then conducted a sail past, which saw was a day no-one who witnessed it will forget. Part and parcel of safeguarding those rather new Commodore Portsmouth Flotilla, who joined
the QE2 dip her fl ag – and Lancaster dip her White “It was quite a thrill to see the famous shape higgledy-piggledy (technical term – Ed) structures the ship’s company for three days to see them in
Ensign in return as a mark of respect. Lancaster’s of the QE2 – to see her stack and superstructure is the ability to deploy the ship’s ‘hit squad’ action – and take on board any queries.
es: la(phot) brian douglas, frpu clyde
● Lancaster’s Merlin manoeuvres into position by the KAAOT
terminal so commandos can rapid rope on to the platform
● A Royal Marines boarding party races through the Northern Gulf ● Soldier trapped inside lamp shock horror... A marine manning a
in one of Lancaster’s RIBs machine-gun is refl ected in the façade of a searchlight
0008_NN_Jan.indd 108_NN_Jan.indd 1 88/12/08 16:47:02/12/08 16:47:02
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