Falklands War - HMS Argonaut

I remember when I was seeing a lass in Guildford, I'd catch the last train down to Portsmouth Harbour which got in at midnight. Last ferry across to Gosport was 00.15 but I always fell asleep on the big bench seats to be woken up by the cleaner. If I was quick, there was a picket boat went across from Vernon to Dolphin at 0030, otherwise it was a case of sleeping on the canteen tables in Nelson.
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
Must admit I've not heard that story previously.

It does make one wonder why a person witnessing such a desperate act did not also feel they were trapped, but the account states he concentrated on treating casualties rather than make good his escape.

Presumably there are other first hand accounts of this occurrence.
Regarding the suicide pact. To make the obvious point, the two guardsmen would have had to have pulled the trigger at almost exactly the same time, maybe within one three-hundredths of a second (check math!) for that to have worked, That;s extremely unlikely.
 
Regarding the suicide pact. To make the obvious point, the two guardsmen would have had to have pulled the trigger at almost exactly the same time, maybe within one three-hundredths of a second (check math!) for that to have worked, That;s extremely unlikely.
And Guardsmen are notoriously poor shots.
 
Two years after the Falklands conflict, the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards had been posted to Hohne. I had been posted to a Security Section in Celle, prior to my promotion, and was given the task of conducting a Protective Security Survey of the Battalion, along with a very young and naïve junior officer on attachment to my Section. On arrival at the Battalion Headquarters, I was shown in to brief the Commanding Officer and 2IC to discuss the conduct of the Survey over the next few days. Being aware that I was visiting a Guards Battalion, I was dressed in a Pin-striped navy blue suit. My young companion, a 2nd Lieutenant, however, was dressed in an open neck shirt, arran jumper and brown corduroy trousers, and was extremely arrogant.

The CO, recognised me, as we had been on HMS Antrim together for a very short time, asked me too sit down and then asked my companion (the officer) to wait outside as he had to discuss matters confidentially with me!!! In confidence, he congratulated me on my standard of dress but informed me that he would be contacting my OC (in Hannover) about the untidy state in which another officer had presented himself to a Commanding Officer whilst on an official duty.

Anyway what the Battalion in general failed on a number of points during my Survey, including the large number of classified documents which could not be located and the number of weapons that were missing from the armoury. In mitigation, this supposedly NATO front-line unit, claimed all missing weapons and documents had been lost in the Falklands two years previously.

Neither the Corps Commander, or Commander-in-Chief was very ecstatic with them when my Protective Security Survey Report was passed on to them by my Headquarters in Rheindahlen!
 
Our CanMan (NAAFI Manager) on Argonaut..Wrote off the entire contents of the diesel flooded NAAFI store. Fair one.

They tried to flog us diesel-soaked Mars Bars. Everyone howled in complaint so they were taken off-sale and placed in a gash bag outside the canteen.

The said gashbag contents were later consumed with relish in the Stokers mess, in short order. Followed by an extraordinarily extra-high useage of bog roll.
 
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Our CanMan (NAAFI Manager) on Argonaut..Wrote off the entire contents of the diesel flooded NAAFI store. Fair one.

They tried to flog us diesel-soaked Mars Bars. Everyone howled in complaint so they were taken off-sale and placed in a gash bag outside the canteen.

The said gashbag contents were later consumed with relish in the Stokers mess, in short order. Followed by an extraordinarily extra-high useage of bog roll.
Embarked troops (RM and Pongoes) on HMS Fearless were required to stow their Bergens and Kit Bags under cargo nets on the Tank Deck, whilst Boxes of Compo Rations were stowed on gangway above. We only kept washing and shaving kit and a change of underwear in the tiny drawers under the bunks on the Mess Deck (3M2 in my case). Amongst this personal kit, was a Bergen belonging to the CO of 42 Cdo, who would some time later, long after the conflict, carry the appointment as MGRM Cdo Forces. He was on board for a briefing with the then current MGRM Cdo Forces in the latter's capacity as Comd, Land Forces Falkland Island (LFFI). Also on board, as I have mentioned previously on this Blog, were a large number of Welsh Guards who bedded down on the open Tank Deck. After they had left the vessel, one of the Marines in our party went down to the Tank Deck to retrieve something from his Bergen. He came back and informed us that virtually all the Bergens had been forced open, some with knives and Bayonets, and all our Cold Weather and Foul Weather Gear, issued by the Marine Arctic Warfare (MAW) Cadre stores prior to our deployment, was now missing and had been replaced with diesel soaked clothing. Also, all the boxes of compo had been broken open and the goodies like Boiled Sweets and Chocolates had been removed.

Now I am not accusing anyone personally, but its seemed a bit strange at the time. By the way, CO 42 Cdo's kit, which was clearly marked with his Rank and Name, was also ripped open with a Bayonet.

We got some replacements from Commando Log Regt 48 hours later, but not enough to make up for what was lost.
 
Embarked troops (RM and Pongoes) on HMS Fearless were required to stow their Bergens and Kit Bags under cargo nets on the Tank Deck, whilst Boxes of Compo Rations were stowed on gangway above. We only kept washing and shaving kit and a change of underwear in the tiny drawers under the bunks on the Mess Deck (3M2 in my case). Amongst this personal kit, was a Bergen belonging to the CO of 42 Cdo, who would some time later, long after the conflict, carry the appointment as MGRM Cdo Forces. He was on board for a briefing with the then current MGRM Cdo Forces in the latter's capacity as Comd, Land Forces Falkland Island (LFFI). Also on board, as I have mentioned previously on this Blog, were a large number of Welsh Guards who bedded down on the open Tank Deck. After they had left the vessel, one of the Marines in our party went down to the Tank Deck to retrieve something from his Bergen. He came back and informed us that virtually all the Bergens had been forced open, some with knives and Bayonets, and all our Cold Weather and Foul Weather Gear, issued by the Marine Arctic Warfare (MAW) Cadre stores prior to our deployment, was now missing and had been replaced with diesel soaked clothing. Also, all the boxes of compo had been broken open and the goodies like Boiled Sweets and Chocolates had been removed.

Now I am not accusing anyone personally, but its seemed a bit strange at the time. By the way, CO 42 Cdo's kit, which was clearly marked with his Rank and Name, was also ripped open with a Bayonet.

We got some replacements from Commando Log Regt 48 hours later, but not enough to make up for what was lost.
That seems bizarre in the extreme. I could understand the motive behind a desire to obtain better quality kit but cannot fathom the logic or motive behind anyone going to the trouble of soaking clothing in diesel and putting it in bergens.

If I remember rightly there were diesel fuelling points for vehicles and landing craft in the tank deck/dock areas on the LPDs so it would be easy to get diesel through the hand-pumps. Very odd though.
 
That seems bizarre in the extreme. I could understand the motive behind a desire to obtain better quality kit but cannot fathom the logic or motive behind anyone going to the trouble of soaking clothing in diesel and putting it in bergens.

If I remember rightly there were diesel fuelling points for vehicles and landing craft in the tank deck/dock areas on the LPDs so it would be easy to get diesel through the hand-pumps. Very odd though.
Ninja,

I can assure you that this actually happened. If not soaked in diesel, the wet clothing which ended up in my Bergen, certainly smelled strongly of diesel. Other members of 30 Signal Regiment (who were sharing the Mess Decks with Other Ranks from HQ MGRM Cdo Forces) reported a similar experience with their kit.

The Battalion had to be taken onboard Fearless because thay were either unable, due to the foul weather, or too unfit in comparison to other fighting units of the Task Force, to march the distance cross-country (or Yomp) to their objective as both the Royals and Paras had done. For much of the previous two years prior to the conflict, the Battalion had been engaged on Public Duties and were not at the same level of readiness (or fitness) as other fighting units of the Task Force. An exception to this was 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards, the other Public Duties Battalion, who fought exceptionally well.
 
Vale Brian Dutton.

Lieutenant Commander Brian Dutton, mine clearance expert - obituary

Daily Telegraph 18 June 2018 said:
Lieutenant Commander Brian Dutton, who has died aged 86, was twice honoured for his bravery in mine clearance operations.

In the Falklands War, on May 21 1982 the frigate Argonaut was struck during an air raid by a 1000-lb bomb which lodged in a magazine causing extensive damage, wedged between broken ordnance but without exploding...
 
Our CanMan (NAAFI Manager) on Argonaut..Wrote off the entire contents of the diesel flooded NAAFI store. Fair one.
Diesel would have improved the flavour of that bloody awful beer called, I think, Cockburn's Special Brew. Legend had it that it was lager with added food colouring to make it look like bitter and that the cans had a shelf life of over 100 years.
 
Published today in The Times:


Bomb-disposal officer who once did handstands on the dance floor and was decorated for outstanding courage in the Falklands

When an unexploded Argentine bomb became lodged in HMS Argonaut’s Seacat magazine during an air attack on May 21, 1982 at the entrance to San Carlos Water, it appeared to herald the frigate’s demise.

Wedged between damaged, unstable missiles, its safe removal was the task assigned to Lieutenant-Commander Brian Dutton, the senior mine clearance diving officer in Admiral Sandy Woodward’s (obituary, August 6, 2013) carrier battle group, who had been about to be made redundant when he was abruptly sent to the South Atlantic.

With civilian life shelved, Dutton found himself in charge of Fleet Clearance Diving Team No 1, mulling through how to get Argonaut back in the fight....
 
Copy of Lt Cdr Brian Dutton DSO QGM RN's report of the Magazine bomb disposal procedure undertaken by his team on HMS Argonaut - published by his son, a former RN Submariner Artificer:


Officer-in-Charge
Fleet Clearance Diving Team
HMS VERNON
PORTSMOUTH
Hampshire PO1 3ER


Tel: Portsmouth 82235#
Ext: 87259#


Embarked in
HMS INTREPID
The Commodore
Amphibious Warfare
HMS FEARLESS
BFPO 666


Sir

HMS ARGONAUT – UNEXPLODED BOMB, MK 17 MC 1000LB

Reference:

A. HMS INTREPID’s 19F.LOO/UME 271001Z MAY 82 (Enclosure 5).

1. I have the honour to report the proceedings of the removal of the above bomb starting 23 May 1982.

2. The bomb, one of a pair that struck HMS ARGONAUT on the 21 May 1982, was in the Sea Cat Magazine, Starboard side, Forward.

3. The Fleet Clearance Diving Team 9FCDT) was tasked to investigate the possibility of patching the hole, pump out the magazine and search for the bomb. (Enclosure 1).

4. CPO(D) B T G******** #928088Q was sent with a team of divers to carry out the task of patching the hole. (Enclosure 2 para 1). The size of the hole was taken and the team returned to RFA SIR TRISTRAM to have a patch made. This coincided with the start of a series of air attacks, and an unscheduled and completely unexpected transfer of the FCDT from RFA SIR TRISTRAM to HMS INTREPID.

5. Having loaded approximately 55,000lbs of equipment into an LCU and while waiting to dock in HMS INTREPID, a meeting was held in HMS ARGONAUT to discuss the problems associated with patching the hull and then rendering safe and removing the UXB. It was at this time one of the HMS ARDENT’s UXB’s detonated. The meeting was terminated in order to allow the LCU to pick up survivors. It was intended to return that night to complete the patching of the hull. But at approximately 232300Z, a gale started and prevented diving. It was agreed that an attempt to patch the hole would be made when the weather conditions eased, but the gale continued throughout the night.
6. On the 24 May CPO(D) G****** and the divers continued the task of patching the hole. During this time it was found that the rubber insert provided with the patch was too thin to take up modulations in the ships hull and a search for thicker rubber was made. The rubber was eventually located in RFA SIR GALAHAD, and after running the gauntlet of air raids, and a beaching in the LCVP while taking what shelter that could be found, they eventually returned to HMS ARGONAUT. (During the raid RFA SIR GALAHAD and RFA SIR LANCELOT were bombed and found they had UXB’s onboard). The patch was completed at approximately 242000Z.


7. I was informed that the task had been completed and I then returned to HMS ARGONAUT accompanied by LS(D) D W S******** #101938F and S(D) W G B***** #163777K. I was briefed by Lt Cdr C ******** Royal Navy and the ship’s divers on what had been seen the magazine. (Enclosure 2 para 3). At 242020Z when the water level had been reduced by 2ft I looked into the magazine to try and assess floating on the surface of the flood water.

8. A meeting was held with the Ship’s Staff to discuss the way ahead and possible methods of removal. Following the explosion, in HMS ANTELOPE I had decided that rendering safe procedures were only to be used as the last resort because, a bomb had been successfully removed from HMS ANTRIM, and there was inadequate information on Argentinean bombs and fuses at that time. However, I wanted a personal view of the bomb and its location, so asked for the water level to be reduced to approximately 3ft. This was arranged to coincide with the Ship’s Company supper to reduce the disruption to ship’s routine as much as possible.

9. At another meeting to brief the Commanding Officer, Captain C H LAYMAN, MVO, Royal Navy, the following decisions were made:

a. Clear lower deck of all ship’s company, except essential personnel, to the Flight Deck when entry to the magazine was made.

b. Ship’s company to sleep aft. This would be from the night of 26 May, as no activity other than an inspection was to be made, when the water level was at the required depth.

c. To work at night on all aspects of explosive ordnance disposal to enable continuous safe working to be carried out. This would also enable the magazine to be flooded and allow the ship’s company to be at Action Stations, when required, during the day.

10. At 2250Z the operation ceased because of a message from CTF 317.0. The Commanding Officer clarified the situation and pumping continued. As a result of a message, it was also decided to evacuate all the ship’s company, except essential personnel, each night that work was carried out in the magazine.

11. After further discussion with Ship’s Staff, I decided it would be unsafe to enter the magazine unless the magazine was pumped out. This was because of the large amount of loose debris, and the possibility of treading on broken 40/60 ammunition and Sea Cat missile warhead explosive. Diesel oil added to the problem making every footstep a hazard as was already evident at 2 deck level.

12. I discussed the situation with the Captain and said I would carry out an inspection from the base of the ladder in the magazine and from the forward starboard diesel tank space. This removed the necessity of clearing lower deck and would give the ship’s company an adequate nights rest.

13. I entered the magazine at 25057Z. The ammunition boxes on the starboard side had been reduced to a massive pile of broken, dented and flattened boxes. 40/60 ammunition had been scattered in all directions (Enclosure 7). Three Sea Cat missiles had been reduced to smashed pipework and frames and one Sea Cat rested on top of the others. The bomb could not be seen at first, and it was only after a longer visual inspection that I saw it nestled in the cases of the 2nd inboard and the 2nd and 3rd outboard Sea Cat missiles. On top of the bomb were two 40/60 ammunition boxes and the loose Sea Cat missile. Only a small portion of the bomb was visible and the tail of the bomb was inboard and nose outboard.

14. The nose and tail fuses could not be seen because the tail was buried into the base of the Sea Cat missile and the nose was under a pile of debris. S(D) BOWLES recorded details for me and they were:

a. Danger Explosives )
b. Handle with Care ) In red paint.
c. Serial No. 109 )
d. OT 0029 – 905 – 70 ) In yellow paint.


I noted, to my relief, the bomb was in a tail down, nose up position, that almost certainly meant any striker in the base was being held back from the detonator by the creep spring. I then took a series of photographs (Enclosure 7). On completion the WEO entered the magazine to see if adequate repairs could be made to the spring system, in order to continually spray exposed explosives and prevent the necessity for flooding up on completion of work. This was considered to be impossible, so each night on completion of work the magazine was re-flooded. The flood also provided a cushion against any unforeseen jarring of the ship and doused sparks from the cutting and welding that was to take place. After viewing the area from the diesel tank through the smashed bulkhead, in an attempt to see more of the bomb, I took more photographs and retired.

15. I had, on the result of briefings, formulated a provisional plan for the removal of the bomb, and using this as a basis discussed the situation with the Commanding Officer and Ship’s staff. The method was to change as progress was made (Annex A) but the overall plan of carrying out EOD by night and cutting the access by day did not. Hold ups to the task occurred (Enclosures 3 & 4) and cutting the access route was to start later than anticipated.

16. The team secured at 250545Z, with the magazine being flooded for the day to reduce the danger of degeneration of the explosives. After a short sleep the team left the ship at 251030Z.

17. I was aware that the progress had not been made on the access route when the team returned at 252045Z because of the Sitreps. The pumping out was also giving cause for concern, as pumps became unserviceable and the magazine was not clear of flood water until 260030Z.

18. The team in addition to LS(D) S********* and S(D) B***** was AB(D) N M P***** #171598F, LS(D) G J S***** #135126X, S(D) D B******* #182521K and AB(D) J W S**** #177149D. I briefed the men on the overall plan, and for those who had not seen the magazine, gave them a view prior to the task. The plan was to move all the debris, starting in the starboard after corner (Enclosure 7 Photo 1) and move around and forward to the bomb (Photos 2 &3). Each piece of debris of significant size, and all boxes were to be moved individually. Any items of broken ammunition were to be picked up and put in buckets, as was broken explosive from the warheads. All steps or footholds were to be made carefully because of the oily decks. It was essential that no movement to cause a jar to the bomb should occur. Each item was stressed as being vital to the ship’s and their safety, but was probably not necessary, because of talking to the converted.

19. After the ship’s company had been evacuated, and essential personnel briefed on the ship’s routine and EOD plan by the SMEO and me, the work started at 260045Z.

20. The team cleared the debris exactly as they had been briefed. Of necessity, the work was slow. There were a few alarms to set the pulses racing, but fortunately not near the bomb. The team worked magnificently under very trying conditions of, darken ship, oily decks, diesel oil fumes and continuously being covered by oily water when debris was swung aloft through the access hatches. Despite wearing leather gloves for protection of their hands and for grip, the ammunition whip became soaked in oil and water, making it very difficult to handle, and slowed progress down considerably. All badly damaged boxes, ammunition and debris was disposed of by ditching over the side, leaving the upper deck clear for Action Stations. A piece of the nose fuse was found on the 40/60 platform starboard side early on in the removal of debris, followed by a section of the tail Pistol No 78 (Enclosure 5). Also found was a section of the tail and in the final clearance of the magazine the remainder of the tail. When, finally the bomb could be seen, I realised that plans for remote removal would have to be revised. The bomb was resting as described in paragraph 13, and with the nose just on the starboard bench. The fuse pocket appeared to be empty. There was no way to ease the bomb from its resting position, chock it up, and provide vertical shores to prevent the bomb swinging when pulled from its resting place. After assessing the problem of removing the two ammunition boxes and loose Sea Cat missile I cleared the magazine, cut a hole in the nose of the Sea Cat casing to allow the casing to drain of sea water and retired to HQ1 in case there was any undue movement when the water drained down.

21. I asked for three torpedo straps but there were none available, but a suggestion by AB(D) P***** provided an answer. This was to use helicopter ground securing straps, a very strong webbing strap. These were available, and after 10 minutes I went forward with two volunteers, AB(D) S***** and S(D) B*****. The two ammunition boxes were moved with some difficulty but did not disturb the bomb. The missile proved to be more difficult. On inspection, afterwards, the plastic bag surrounding the missile was found to be topped up with water making a normal two man lift into a three man lift. With careful manoeuvring and some considerable effort the missile was lifted clear and onto the platform starboard side still leaving the bomb undisturbed. This left the bomb clear of any debris but tightly wedged into the Sea Cats.

22. An attempt was now made to move the missiles not actually touching the bomb to find a free space for the loose missile. After a Rubic cube type movement the loose missile was stowed and secured, but the missile nearest to the bomb would not come off its mounting, thus preventing a good access to the bomb. This was probably due to damage caused to the securing arrangements when the bomb struck the magazine. We pressed ahead and managed to insert two of the helicopter securing strops and fill the space beneath the bomb with foam rubber from mattresses out of one of the messdecks. This had to be inserted piece by piece. AB(D) S***** and S(D) B***** worked extremely well and did not show any fear or apprehension of the potentially lethal ordnance. The task was finally completed at 260745Z. The team left the ship on the return of the ship’s company at 260900Z.

23. Arrangements had been made by Ship’s Staff for HMS INTREPID’s staff to undertake the work of cutting holes in the ship’s structure and providing a lifting beam (See Annex A). I briefed the staff CMEA(H) K W G***** #098612T and MEA1 K F S**** #113511S prior to their undertaking the task and on arrival at HMS ARGONAUT they were shown ship’s plans and the areas to cut. They started work at approximately 262300Z and worked magnificently. The work progressed so well that at 271430Z I was contemplating removal by that evening. However, the Argentineans and a fire prevented completion of the task. CMEA(H) G**** and MEA1 S**** continued their task when conditions allowed and at approximately 280300Z, a total of 28.5 hours of almost non stop endeavour they completed their work (Enclosure 6). Moreover, with only a minor adjustment on the exit, this was exactly as planned. The holes, eyeplates and beam were all in line for a straight lift and exit.

24. The rigging of the lifting gear was carried out by ship’s company using gear from the heavy jackstay rig. This was the only gear of suitable length and size in the ship. The rig was ready for test at 280340Z. During the initial test with a 750lb weight the rig was found to be too close to the ship’s side and changes to the outboard eyeplate. This, with a minor cut in the ship’s side proved to be adequate, and all was ready for the lift.

25. After an inspection of the compartments, and all off watch personnel had mustered on the Flight Deck, the Captain gave permission for the lift. LS(D) S********* S(D) B***** and I went below to attach the bomb to the lifting rope. We added one more strap on the nose and attached all straps to the shackle leaving the largest strap to the tail and shortest to the nose. This ensured the bomb would remain in the configuration, tail down, nose up. A quick check that the rope was vertical, straps secured and we all left the magazine.

26. I had arranged for an initial lift of 3 feet, then wait for ten minutes and return below to supervise the lift from each deck. If there was to be any detonation it would almost certainly occur in the initial heave, thereafter it was imperative to ensure the bomb did not strike any object. The lift was carried out at 280550Z and after a wait I returned below. The bomb had not lifted clear and I assume that it was because of the stretch in the rope. On return from below I asked for another 3 feet , waited 5 minutes and then returned below. The bomb was clear, nose up, tail down, but just hooked by the tail section on the broken Sea Cat warhead cover. A slow lift cleared the tail and the bomb was drawn steadily aloft. S(D) BOWLES and LS(D) SOUTHWELL then came forward to assist in the passing the bomb through the exit hole. The lift continued until the bomb was at 2 deck level. Stopping the lift, we transferred the weight to a chain purchase, and the bomb was outboard and on the sea bed at 280650Z. The end of the rope was secured to a danbouy, to make for final disposal, and slipped.

27. While the bomb was at 2 deck level I was able to fully investigate the nose and tail. This showed that the nose pocket was completely empty, but the tail pistol was badly damaged. The exterior section (which I have) was torn off at the base and the arming spindle missing from the interior of the pocket. From the damage the pistol could have been in a highly delicate state, but having landed in the tail down position gave the best possible change, of what turned out to be, a successful removal.

28. I highly commend the following ratings for their devotion to duty – they having witnessed the tragedy of HMS ANTELOPE – in assisting with the disposal of the bomb for the entire period of explosive ordnance disposal which was in the highest tradition of the service:

LS(S) D W SOUTHWELL – D101938F
S(D) W G BOWLES – D163777K


29. I also highly commend DMEA(H) K W GOLDIE, D098612T and MEA1 K F SMITH, D113511S for their magnificent and unstinting efforts to provide the means for disposing of the ordnance. Their 28 hours of sterling effort have undoubtedly earned the appreciation of the crew of HMS ARGONAUT, and made it possible to remove the bomb with least possible disruption to the Ship’s company. Enclosure 6).

30. There are many names that could be added to this report who assisted in some way, but suffice it to say, that, every many who had a hand in, or, who has lived through the interminable wait for the disposal of this bomb while fighting his ship, deserves the praise and admiration of us all.

I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your obedient Servant


B F DUTTON
Lieutenant Commander, QGM, Royal Navy
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
@Ninja_Stoker, I regret that I can only bash the "like" button once for (a) the report and (b) your sharing it.

Though this part raised a wry smile...

Each item was stressed as being vital to the ship’s and their safety, but was probably not necessary, because of talking to the converted.
I'd imagine that nobody needed convincing not to do anything that might risk Mr Bomb waking up and remembering what he was meant to have been doing, at that point...
 
@Ninja_Stoker, I regret that I can only bash the "like" button once for (a) the report and (b) your sharing it.

Though this part raised a wry smile...



I'd imagine that nobody needed convincing not to do anything that might risk Mr Bomb waking up and remembering what he was meant to have been doing, at that point...
True.

It brought back a smile reading it, I'd never seen it previously nor a batch of previously unpublished photos (which I'll upload). They depict the wrecked missiles and bofors ammo cases in the mag. It was indeed slippy as hell and were it no so bloody scary, funny as fcuk skating about whilst lifting out the explosive bits and bobs. The big stuff the Divers removed, the smaller stuff we gingerly lobbed overboard.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
All of those men upheld the very high standard of the Senior Service
when you read it all so calmly laid out and matter of fact, you know that more than a few pulses were raised
I wish my old Uncle Sid could have been around to read that, ( ex Belfast 1943-45)
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
All of those men upheld the very high standard of the Senior Service
While he was an Army man speaking to a Sandhurst graduation, Bill Slim had some words that have stuck with me for a long time.

You will inherit those traditions and you will live up to them. Some people profess in these days to scoff at tradition. They are right if you regard tradition as meaning that your must never do something for the first time. But if you regard tradition, as you should, as a standard of conduct laid down for you by those who have gone before, and below which you will never fall, then, how wrong they are who scoff at tradition! If you feel tradition is that standard of conduct, then, instead of being a handcuff to limit you and bind you, it will be a handrail to guide you in steep places.
 

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