20 NAVY NEWS, APRIL 2010
MOD seeks champions to reward
MOD Permanent Under Secretary Sir Bill Jeffrey will host the 2010 Ministry of Defence People Awards on September 24 – so if you know of anyone who fits the bill, submit a nomination. The awards recognise, celebrate and reward a huge variety of outstanding contributions from teams and individuals – civilian and military – in advancing equality and diversity. Search “MOD People Awards” on the Defence Intranet for further details. If your endeavours or those of someone you know fit the bill, then give them the opportunity to reap the praise they deserve. The process is quick and easy – nominations are welcomed until June 28.
Please send nominations to Doron Davda at DCP-
Nick clocks up 7,000
Trust funds nurse’s research trip to US
A NAVAL officer has returned home following a four-week research visit to the United
Lt Matthew Wesson, a serving mental health nurse based at Portsmouth, crossed the Atlantic on a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship with the aim of seeing how the American military prevent and treat traumatic stress injuries. Matthew’s fellowship came in the medical category, for the treatment of traumatic injures, which opened the door for him to work in military facilities in Washington DC and San Antonio, Texas.
The officer plans to present his findings to his colleagues in the UK Defence mental health service to help advance the knowledge of how best to assist Service personnel suffering from traumatic stress as a result of military operations. Although the American facilities
were considerably larger – hardly surprising, as the US Army is around seven or eight times the size of the British Army – Matthew found that both nations are providing “high-quality, evidence- based care” to Service personnel suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, which gives them
the best chance of recovery. However, Matthew also gained some key insights into how the UK’s military mental health services could be expanded, especially in the area of prevention.
Of equal significance is the
fact that the officer fostered close working relationships with the Americans to ensure the sharing of best practice in the future. Matthew’s fellowship was made possible by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, which supports “the advancement and propagation of education in any part of the world for the benefit of British citizens of all walks of life
in such an exclusively charitable manner that such education will make its recipients more effective in their life and work,
benefiting themselves and their communities, and ultimately the UK as a whole.” Each year some 100 fellowships
are awarded for a wide range of projects. Churchill Fellows can be of any age and in any occupation and every application is judged on the worth of the individual and the merit of the project. British citizens resident in the UK are eligible for the annual awards,
and applicants must
demonstrate that their project is feasible and worthwhile, and of real benefit to their community and to the UK on return. Past award winners include
A NAVY pilot at Culdrose has clocked up 7,000 hours in the air. Lt Cdr Nick Lee, of 750 Naval Air Squadron, joined the Navy in 1983 as an aircrew officer, starting flying training in 1984. Shuttling between bases at Culdrose, Yeovilton, Plymouth and York – where he undertook an instructing tour with the RAF – Nick accumulated his hours on numerous aircraft, including the Chipmunk, Grob, Firefly, Gazelle, Sea King (Mk 5 and 6) and both types of Naval Jetstream. He was the first CO of 727
NAS, which recommissioned in 2001, and has been senior pilot on 771 and 750 squadrons, as well as gaining Qualified Flying Instructor and Qualified Helicopter Instructor status. Nick will help introduce the new King Air into Naval service at 750 squadron. To mark his aviation milestone,
Nick was given a congratulatory cake by Lt Cdr Nick Armstrong, CO of 750 NAS.
... and Gordon makes 5,000
THE Officer Commanding the Lynx simulator at Yeovilton has reached the 5,000 hour mark over a long and varied Naval career. Lt Cdr Gordon
Cook joined the Senior Service as an observer in 1985, and after completing his training in Jetstreams and Lynx he started his operational career with 829 NAS. He has gone on to serve with 815 NAS and Naval Flying Standards Flight, including operational tours in former Yugoslavia and Kosovo. As one of the Navy’s most
experienced observers Gordo has flown from numerous carriers, destroyers and frigates, including HM ships Argonaut, Boxer,
Brave, Illustrious, Gloucester, Manchester and Cardiff.
Culdrose stalwart awarded medal
A CIVILIAN worker who recently retired after 31 years of service at RNAS Culdrose has been presented with his Imperial Service Medal. Keith Hocking, who was born at Helston, started work at Culdrose in 1978, working in various areas until his final stint in the Supply Department,
from which he
retired last September. The medal, awarded at the
prerogative of the Queen to eligible civil servants who have completed at least 25 years of meritorious service, was handed to Keith by the Commanding Officer of the air station, Capt Graeme Mackay.
l Logs Beyonce Morgan with her family at HMS Raleigh
Picture: Dave Sherfield
Family flies in
PROUD parents come from far and wide to see their offspring on parade at the completion of a course at HMS Raleigh. Not many come as far as the
to welcome them to Cornwall. “I was ecstatic that my parents
family of Logs Beyonce Morgan, who joined the Navy a year ago. Her father, Donovan, flew in
from Jamaica, while her mother, Petrona Aldridge, travelled from New York. Beyonce (30) has just completed
a 26-week Defence Chefs course (er, Logs (CS(P))...), and took part in a passing-out parade to mark the occasion. As she last saw her family over
Kingston. “Unfortunately they were not able to attend my basic training ceremonial parade.” Beyonce did not just pass the
were able to be at Raleigh to witness my passing out of professional training,” said Beyonce,
a year ago, keeping in touch by phone and email, she was delighted
course – she was adjudged to be best student during the training. She now joins the catering team on board aircraft carrier Ark Royal – and hopes to see her mother again later in the year when the ship visits the United States as part of the Exercise Auriga deployment.
nurses, artists, scientists, engineers, farmers, conservationists, carers, craft workers, emergency service personnel and sportsmen and women. For more details see www.
A FORMER Navy sailmaker who went on to become one of the top craftsmen in the country has died at the age of 86. Jack Cockrill,
grandfather and great-grandfather were prominent East
Community workers are winners
TWO community workers from Plymouth who spend their spare time supporting the families of deployed Service personnel have won national awards. Helen Howlett and
Towsey, who work as community development workers for the NPFS/RMW Naval Area Community Organisation, were both commended for this year’s MOD People Awards. The pair have overseen the
development of the Friends and Families of Deployed Units (FAFDU) support group since it started in 1999. FAFDU evolved from several
groups supporting ships and submarines, and its ethos – “if they’re away for more than a day, come and join us”, grew from a recognition that Service families need support beyond the time when they are deployed – training stints and postings out of port area also can cause angst. Monthly events are arranged to allow people in similar circumstances to meet, network and use links to other agencies and organisations.
And it is not a dark blue organisation – FAFDU also covers the families of RM, RFA, Army and RAF personnel.
also making a name for himself by creating sails for successful yachts.
He closed down the sailmakers whose Anglian
l Former workers from the Swan Hunter yard on the flight deck of HMS Ark Royal on Tyneside
A PARTY of shipbuilders from the North East have made a nostalgic visit to see the fruit of their labours, 25 years on. The warship, on the Tyne for a visit to Newcastle, invited former employees of the Swan Hunter yard to take a tour and share stories of their time working on the
Pride of the North East
current Fleet Flagship back when it was commissioned in 1985. Many of those who visited had not seen the ship since she left the slipway, and several arrived with photographs and other mementos of their time working on the Ark. “It’s fantastic to be back again and see so many old faces,” said
lifeboatmen, joined the Navy just before World War 2, and spent some time serving in HMS Resolution. He fulfilled his ambition by joining a sailmakers course at Chatham in 1944, and once qualified – and with the war over – he was drafted to Vancouver. He produced protective covers for on-deck machinery, but he was
Lawrence Gray, a skilled carpenter who carved the ship’s battle honours board. “For the Ark to be home is just
wonderful. “When we were building her we
worked on the understanding that this wasn’t just another job. “We were building something
special, not only a warship but a happy home for those who serve at sea.”
Similar sentiments were echoed throughout the day, with so many former Swan Hunter employees arriving to see the ship that extra tours had to be arranged. “It’s simply astounding just how strong the bonds are that continue to exist between Ark Royal and the community that built her,” said the carrier’s Commanding Officer, Capt John Clink. “On the 25th anniversary of her commissioning we are particularly pleased to reaffirm our close links with Tyneside. “We never cease to be amazed by the high regard with which the people of the North East hold the Royal Navy, and the special affection they reserve for Ark Royal.”
The ship’s visit coincided with
A&P Tyne, located just across the river from Swan Hunter, cutting the first batch of steel for the HMS Queen Elizabeth, the carrier that will eventually replace the Ark.
l Big Cig, aka MA Mike Beavis, being put through his paces by Cpl PTI Tom Nicoll on the assault course at CTCRM Lympstone
Picture: PO(Phot) Christine Wood
Butt-head is Beavis
THERE could well be one or two details of Service life that probably never crop up when you go into a careers office.
Like being asked to dress up as a cigarette butt... MA Mike Beavis was up for the challenge, however, as the Naval Service made its annual bid to persuade sailors to stop smoking, using the iconic Big Cig to get the point across. But Cig was not seen only on the CTCRM assault course at Lympstone – further west Big Cig (or possibly a clone...) puffed his
way round HMS Raleigh with a group of Week Nine trainees who were running round the base carrying a stretcher, one of their final exercises before passing out of the training establishment. Bases around the country
provided information and support to those interested in kicking the habit, and although the annual initiative around No Smoking Day attracts most attention, regular clinics at Raleigh and other establishments ensure the message is broadcast loud and clear throughout the year.
Submariners receive their prizes
PRIZES have been presented to officers who achieved the top marks during training at the Royal Navy Submarine School in 2008. Lts Andy Perks, Ian Critchley and Neil Botting
received their awards from Capt John Edgell, Chief of Staff and Captain Submarines Devonport Flotilla. Lt Perks was the winner of the Submarine Officers Life Membership award in recognition of his achievements during Deputy Weapons Engineering Officer (DWEO) course.
He is now putting his training into practice as the
DWEO on board HMS Trenchant. Lt Botting, currently serving on board HMS
Triumph, was presented with the Richard Howard Johnston Memorial Sword, awarded to the top student attending the Advanced Warfare Course. Lt Critchley, who won the Lord Fieldhouse
Memorial Prize for his performance during the Intermediate Warfare Course, is now submarine controller at Permanent Joint HQ Northwood.
unit at Chatham in the late 1950s. Jack’s sails were used on the ship which sailed 30,000 miles round the world to mark the 300th anniversary of Drake’s voyage, and were extensively used by the Norfolk wherry fleet. Jack, who never formally retired,
leaves two sons, Alan and Roy, while his brother Ralph, a retired boatbuilder, still lives in the Great Yarmouth area.
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