40 NAVY NEWS, DECEMBER 2011
Playground transformed by Calliope
A NORTH Tyneside school
playground is in much better shape thanks to a team of volunteers from the Royal Naval Reserve. The play area, at Woodlawn School in Monkseaton, had seen better days, and did little to inspire or encourage the school’s pupils to look after it.
This prompted the school’s communications coordinator, Michelle Harding – an AB at the Tyne’s RNR Unit, HMS Calliope – to press-gang her shipmates into helping with the work.
More than ten of her colleagues eagerly accepted the challenge, and all gave up their weekend, equipped themselves with paint brushes,
gardening tools and
overalls, and totally transformed the appearance of the playground. A plan had been devised for the new-look area, and together with the help of local shops and businesses – who donated flowers, plants and materials – the result was a play area that the students could really care about. Head Teacher designate Simon Ripley was delighted with the hard work and commitment that the Maritime Reserves team had put into helping the school. “We now have an area that the children can be justly proud of,” he said.
playground that were previously overrun
“There are parts of the with
weeds our students that can now take
responsibility for and look after as part of their on-going education. “We are thrilled with the way the RNR took on this project.” Tyne RNR’s CO Cdr Andy Collier was full of praise for his team: “Today’s Royal Navy is all about team work and what better way to demonstrate this than our group of reservists from all ranks giving up their weekend freely and helping the community? “I am very proud of their team work
initiative, community spirit.” and
Bell finds new home in Leeds
Cadets’ Association (RFCA) for Yorkshire and the Humber received a message from a retiring member telling them that a ship’s bell had come to light following the takeover of Tetley’s Brewery by Carlsberg and its subsequent closure. During the decommissioning of the plant, workers came across a ship’s bell with the engraving ‘This bell was presented by the crew of HMS Ark Royal on occasion of their visit to Tetley’s Brewery, 17 November 1989’.
A SHIP’S bell from HMS Ark Royal has been given a new home in the ship’s affiliated city. The
Reserve Forces’ and
Leeds has had a long and fond connection with the aircraft carrier, and there was no better place to re-home the bell than with Ceres Division, the RNR unit at Carlton Barracks in the city, which was refurbished and formally opened in 2005. Lt Cdr David Noakes, Officer in Charge of Ceres Division, said: “It is an honour to have such a great symbol of Leeds in the unit and we will look after it well.” The history of the bell is not
Sheryl’s Italian job ATTENTION was (quite
rightly) focused on the warships of the Royal Navy which played their part in the protection of the people of Libya from former dictator
Col Gaddafi. But there was dark blue input in other vital areas, too – as demonstrated by a Naval
Reservist from the Nottingham unit HMS Sherwood. Logistics specialist Sheryl Batty
returned home after playing a key role supporting the UK element of the military intervention in Libya. Sheryl (pictured above,
HMS Liverpool in the background) had been mobilised to the Joint Forces Logistics Site at Gioia del Colle in Italy, where she worked alongside regular Servicemen and women deployed in support
Operation Ellamy. “Putting my Naval training into practice during a live operation was so rewarding,” said AB Batty, from Sheffield, who joined the Royal Naval Reserve in 2009. “It was great working in a joint
supply chain and seeing how all the UK Armed Forces work together.” AB Batty, who usually works with disabled children, quickly adapted to her military role and rose to the challenge of resupplying Royal Navy warships and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels within tight operational timescales. “My role – arranging the
delivery of food, engine parts, communications equipment and medical supplies – was completely different to my civilian job,” she said.
“We needed to meet the RAF Hercules flights coming in and ensure that high-priority cargo was delivered to the ships before they sailed.”
Henry helps train Afghan officers
A ROYAL Navy Reservist from HMS Flying Fox who helped train members of the Afghan National Army (ANA) has received his Operational Service Medal. Lt Henry Watts, from Bristol,
normally works as a civil servant at Abbey Wood, where he is an engineering project manager in the maritime combat systems team.
But at the end of 2010 he was mobilised for six months as part of the Royal Navy’s contribution to coalition operations in Afghanistan (pictured right).
keeping, and also mentoring ANA officers working at the National Military Command Centre in Kabul. A Naval Reservist for five years, and a trained amphibious warfare specialist, this was the first time Henry had been deployed as part of Operation Herrick. “I was based in the International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Afghanistan headquarters in Kabul, which
operations hub, so the work tempo was high throughout my tour,” said Henry. “You get to meet people from all different nationalities and from across the three Services – it was an incredible experience.” Lt Watts was presented with his campaign medal in front of the whole unit by Capt Nigel Bassett, Captain of the Southern Region.
is the main
Cdr Sue Jameson, CO of Flying Fox, said: “The whole of the ship’s company are extremely proud of Henry and glad he has returned having had some great experiences. “This unit, and the RNR as a whole, continues to be busy supporting UK military operations worldwide. “It’s important that we recognise
and celebrate commitment of our sailors.”
His duties included watch- Cdr Martin Clegg, her
Commanding Officer at HMS Sherwood, said: “I’m very proud of AB Batty’s contribution to Operation Ellamy and immensely pleased at how much she has already achieved in the short period since joining the RNR.” In civilian life AB Batty works for Derbyshire County Council as a deputy unit manager of a short break care centre for children with disabilities. The Royal Naval Reserve recruits people from all walks of life. If you are looking for a new challenge, whether in logistics, force protection, intelligence or submarine operations, call HMS Sherwood on 0115 9296373.
RNR DIVERS raised more than £500 by combining
an underwater obstacle course created
in the spirit
Field Gun competition by the Underwater Film Basildon.
Studio in And not only did they raise funds
for Help for Heroes – they also set a course record on their first run, though it was subsequently beaten over the weekend.
The RNR Diving Branch has a
wide mix of experience, including recreational and technical divers, military and commercial divers and ex-RN clearance divers, with a roughly 50:50 spilt between the latter and direct-entry RNR. The branch currently numbers 33 members, and is looking to get to full strength of 40 in the near future.
Naval elements – water and field gun competition. A team of
known with any certainty, but it is believed to have been one of a number kept for use at the top of the brow whilst the carrier was alongside, which was presented to the brewery in recognition of its strong links between the ship and the company.
Pete retires from Wildfire
HMS WILDFIRE has bid farewell to CPO Pete Crimmins, who retired from the Royal Naval Reserve after almost 30 years of service. Pete (above) joined the RNR in
1980 at HMS Eaglet as a medical assistant, and rose through the ranks to make CPO in 1998. Four years later he transferred to Wildfire, the RNR unit now based at Northwood in Middlesex, and took over as the unit’s Coxswain. Pete saw service in Iraq in 2003 Hospital, Royal
with 34 Field
Army Medical Corps, and after a short break in service he returned to Wildfire in 2006 in the Seaman Reserves branch.
As a qualified drill and ceremonial training officer, he took charge of parades at
Windsor Tattoo and the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.
He has subsequently mobilised with the Fleet Protection Group RM, and last year was the head of the ship’s protection team aboard RFA tanker Bayleaf in the Gulf – and his team won a prize for being the best in the Fleet. On
Pete’s final training
night at Wildfire, CO Cdr Ant Chapman presented him with a commemorative ship’s plaque.
Badge ‘goes home’
THE Wetherby Branch of the Royal
Naval Association has
presented the historic ship’s badge of the former HMS Ceres to Ceres Division, Leeds. The ship’s badge, which used to be displayed outside the main gate of the former HMS Ceres in Wetherby, was discovered stored in a garage in a young offenders’ institution, and was lovingly restored by veteran Richard Knight, who served at Ceres. After restoration the ship’s has
badge been used as the
centrepiece at HMS Ceres reunion dinners, which have taken place over the last 12 years. However, this year they decided to hold their last dinner. Presenting the ship’s badge to HMS Ceres’ successors, Ceres Divison, the RNR unit in Leeds, S/M Eric Drummond, President of Wetherby branch, said: “It’s a lovely feeling and an honour to present the badge to the present Ceres – there’s a lot of history attached to it. “It’s come home”
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