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Picture: Mark Owens (HQ Scotland)

l Keith Brown MSP, the Scottish Government’s Minister for Welfare and Veterans (second left) with RN medical specialists in Edinburgh

Medical partnership celebrated by awards

Barracks on the edge of Edinburgh, and the event was the Scottish launch of the Military Civilian Health Partnership Awards, which showcases the valuable combined work done by the Defence Medical Services (DMS) and the NHS across the UK. Although the event had a heavy

Army influence, the Navy was keen to demonstrate that it plays an important role and to show the diversity of what they do. Surg Cdr Simon Leigh-Smith is

tours in Afghanistan in charge of the Medical Emergency Response Teams, being

landing sites to extract casualties and conduct lifesaving work as they fly back to Camp Bastion. “This

everyone in both the DMS and the NHS,” he says of the partnership. “It is a truly symbiotic one. DMS personnel are reliant on the NHS for training and ongoing experience whilst the NHS benefits from the military medical advances, especially those made during conflicts.” This ‘symbiotic’ relationship has resulted in experience being shared to mutual benefit. Medical personnel who work in the civilian sector bring current knowledge and practices

battlefield, adapted to the high intensity and specific-injury theatre. So whilst the Role 2 hospital

to the

at Bastion is never as busy as the A&E department of a major UK hospital, they do deal with a far


relationship is hugely and

important to

a Naval surgeon who, as a member of the DMS, works as a consultant at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. He has also completed two

flown into ‘hot’

IT MIGHT have seemed a little incongruous to see a variety of Royal Navy medical specialists gathered on the parade square of an artillery barracks on a cold January morning were it not for the presence of a small field hospital and a series of journalists. The venue was Dreghorn

greater number of extreme trauma injuries such as gunshots and blast injuries, rarely seen in the UK. The knowledge they bring back with them can then be integrated into the methods of medical staff at home – such as the adoption by some UK air ambulance crews of the CAT tourniquet, developed for use in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has saved countless lives since. Surg Lt Cdr Maria Coates is a

general surgery speciality registrar at NHS Tayside, a clinical research fellow at the University of Dundee – and a Maritime Reservist who has recently assumed command of Dundee-based Tay Division. She supports the awards and feels it is important to raise awareness of the partnership. “In recent years we have

Wilf is back – more Daring than ever...

He appeared to have risen to the exalted heights of lieutenant in the 1980s, as he featured in Navy News in the uniform. But he has now reappeared in one of the Navy’s most modern warships – busted down to able seaman again. The

man is behind behind a number of

DESPITE being one of the Royal Navy’s longest- serving seamen, AB Wilf’s Service record and current whereabouts are the subject of speculation.

involved with him (perhaps even a member of his ‘house band’, the Winkers) knows what became of the pint-sized sailor. Any offers to us, and we will pass them on to WO Garraghty. The reappearance

is only part of the EWO’s plan to reinvigorate some old Naval traditions.


reinvigorated career is WO1 Dave Garraghty, Executive Warrant Officer (EWO) of HMS Daring, who

initiatives to maintain morale in the Type 45 destroyer, as well as ensure old Naval traditions survive. Wilf was one of the stars of fly-on-the-wall Sailor

the 1970s

TV documentary filmed on board HMS Ark Royal – a ginger-haired ventriloquist’s dummy with a world-weary attitude. Wilf had a knack of saying the

become more aware of the value that civilian and military health workers bring to the country’s Servicemen and women, and the awards are a fantastic way to give individuals, institutions and ideas national recognition for this.” Also supporting the event,

attended by Keith Brown MSP, the Scottish Government’s Minister for Welfare and Veterans, was a group from Clyde Naval Base – CPO John Abbot, the medical centre practice manager at HMS Neptune, MA Stephanie McLaughlin and 43 Cdo’s LMA Michael Beavis.

The Neptune team have to deal with all the usual cases, but also need to be prepared to react in the event of a nuclear incident. LMA Beavis described his role as a medic – and as a former Royal Marine himself, who served in the Falklands Conflict, Keith Brown was all too aware of the necessity of battlefield medical support. The awards, started in 2008,

are now biennial, and the awards ceremony will take place on May 21 in Cardiff. The nomination period runs

until February 18 and the shortlist will be announced on April 9. www.militarycivilianhealth


kind of things others would love to have said but which would end up in a disciplinary hearing – because they came from Wilf (or actually his ‘minder’ John Pooley), he always got away with it. “I thought it would be nice to

bring him back – though he has not been at sea since 1976,” said WO Garraghty.

“He appeared to be very good for morale on Ark Royal.” Daring’s Wilf came from

eBay – one of legions of the ‘Mr Parlanchin’ doll produced in Spain in the 1970s (Parlanchin loosely translates as ‘talkative’...) Wilf’s role on board Daring will be simple – but crucial. “I

will get and

Executive Officer,” Garraghty.

on the ship’s said WO

“And he will get his own show television channel

every Saturday night, just life Wilf in Ark Royal. “I would like to keep it as close to the original as possible – the original Wilf had his own little house, so we are getting the chippy to build him one in Daring. “That will be after Basic Sea Training,

Operational of

course – we will be a bit busy with that. “I was going to keep him back for when we deploy, but he has been out crew.

a thriving uckers scene on board the Type 45. Uckers is the Royal Navy’s exalted version of ludo,

rules that vary from ship to ship (although Navy News holds a standard agreed version – contact us for a set or see our website). “I was taught uckers by WAFUs

“though I’m not that good – I keep getting eight-bitted by a WO2 on board...” He believes the game is effective

with Another pet project is to have of Wilf

on my first ship, HMS Sheffield, in 1994, and I have played ever since,”

at encouraging interaction, which can help build team spirit in a ship where sailors are more used to playing electronic games. “Each of the messes has a console, but players are in a world of their own, and there is no interaction,” he said. “Whereas with an uckers board it is becoming a bit of a spectator sport in the messes, with people gathering around. “The big worry is future

generations will not know what uckers is, yet it is a big part of our heritage.

“The junior rates haven’t even got a board in their mess at the moment.”

him, which I can feed to the Commanding

intelligence from Officer

l WO1 Dave Garraghty with AB Wilf during a visit to the offices of Navy News

Picture: Trevor Muston

“He bumped into the CO on 2 Deck – to be fair, he shook his hand and said ‘Welcome on board, Wilf’.” He was spotted at HMS Osprey in 1984 – Navy News carried a story and picture with the dummy in lieutenant’s uniform; we can only speculate as to why he is back at AB rate now, though further promotions will not present a problem in terms of uniform. “One of the sailors on board, a petty officer, seamstress,

is already, meeting the a bit and she has of a been

making him different rigs.” Again, like the original Wilf

(named Little Wilf in homage to the carrier’s CO, Capt Wilf Graham, or ‘Big Wilf’) lives in a gash bag when he is not touring the ship talking to crew members. The EWO hopes that Wilf will encourage sailors to talk about any issues they may have – the original was seen as a spokesman for the lower deck, although some of the officers were said to have become tired of his jibes (and some of the humour would not pass muster today). Having

said that, WO

Garraghty would like to meet the original Wilf – and asked if anyone

One of Daring’s uckers boards came from HMS York after she decommissioned, and the EWO also noted that uckers has got a following in the destroyer’s wardroom now. “It brings camaraderie, but also

a competitive edge as well,” he added. WO Garraghty’s support of

Navy heritage even extends to furnishings.

said WO Garraghty,

He has a curtain at his door made of the ‘birdie fabric’ familiar on warships from the 1970s onwards (which he thinks may have been a Lang and Potter fabric, possibly designed by an admiral’s wife).

very smart casual jacket made of the same fabric, lined with silk. And another relic of HMS

York – a reclining chair – is now officially the EWO’s very own ‘throne’ on board Daring.

SHIP of the MONTH RN is one of top 100 employers Collectors’ Corner

Build an interesting and exciting collection of B&W and coloured postcard sized photographs of ships and aircraft of the Royal Navy and RFA’s.


(12 for the price of 10)

Which includes ONE NEW postcard sized photograph of our featured vessel or aircraft each month.

They can also be purchased individually for £1.50 each, (minimum of three).

Send Cheque/P.O. together with name and address of subscriber to Anne young at:

Navy News, HMS Nelson, Queen Street, Portsmouth PO1 3HH

Or phone on - 023 9272 6284

Cheques made payable to: HMG1800

For orders outside the UK, payment is to be made by cheque/International Money Order in £ Sterling

SEND FOR FREE PHOTOGRAPH LIST! (Older photographs will be in Black & White)

16 FEBRUARY 2013 : £17.00 o/seas

at the National Apprenticeship Awards at The Skills Show in Birmingham – and the Service narrowly missed out being selected as the top employer after winning the South Central area final in Chichester just before this event. The prestigious Top 100 list,

now in its second year, is compiled by the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with City & Guilds, and recognises excellence in businesses that employ apprentices. After

process the most outstanding apprenticeship employers went forward to feature

which showcases the breadth of such employers. The award acknowledges the outstanding progress made by the Naval Service Apprenticeship team, led by the RN’s contract manager, Cdr Sean Winkle, and overseen

Paul Redstone, whose company Babcock (formerly VT Flagship) are contracted to coordinate the apprenticeship programme. Every new recruit joining both

by delivery manager in a rigorous selection the list,

THE Royal Navy has been recognised as on of the top 100 apprentice employers in the UK for the second year running. The accolade was announced

enrolment draws down money from the Government’s Skills Funding Agency. Flag Officer Sea Training

Rear Admiral Clive Johnstone, responsible for overseeing training in the Naval Service, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the hard work of the many people involved with delivering apprenticeships has been recognised in this way. “However, it is also important to realise that the apprenticeship itself is mapped very closely to the core training we deliver to all our people, so this is really acknowledgement


l From left: John Chudley of NAS, Cdr Sean Winkle, Paul Redstone and Dragon’s Den winner Lee McQueen

the Royal Navy and Royal Marines will undertake an apprenticeship appropriate to the trade they have chosen during their basic training. They then have the opportunity to progress to a higher level apprenticeship (or award) at the next stage of their professional training (usually on the Leading Hands Qualifying course). A Level 2 Apprenticeship is broadly equivalent to five GCSEs (A-C) and a Level 3 Apprenticeship to two A-Levels

(A-E), so the Navy is offering genuinely valuable,


recognised qualifications alongside the training. An important component of the apprenticeship is the Functional Skills package each trainee receives – maths, English and ICT are taught early in the apprenticeship and have done much to raise overall educational standards. And all at no additional cost to the Navy as each apprentice


excellence of the whole Naval Service training machine. “It is also very gratifying to note that we are the only military Service to have received this prestigious award.” Chief Executive and Director General of City & Guilds Chris Jones said: “To be named a Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer is a sign of excellence and the Royal Navy should feel

Strangely enough, Wilf has a

incredibly proud of

what they’ve achieved. I hope that other employers will be inspired by their success to discover the benefits apprenticeships can offer.” See the full

h Top 100

Apprenticeship Employers List at

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