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Father Motorway
attends lifesaver is
son’s big honoured
PETTY Officer John ‘Harry’
Demers has been awarded
a Commander-in-Chief’s
Commendation for saving a young
IT’S not unusual for fathers
girl’s life when he stopped on the
to watch their sons pass out at
motorway to help a family last
Raleigh – but not every Inspecting
Officer has his dad on hand to
Harry was travelling home to
make sure he’s doing it right.
Warwickshire on the M5 when
When Capt David Elford was
he noticed the distressed family
invited to inspect the RN’s newest
standing by a car in the outside
recruits, he realised it would be a
lane – their 20-month-old
great opportunity for his father,
daughter had had a choking fit,
Graham, to take a trip down
and was unconscious.
memory lane.
After checking her pulse and
Graham, now 77, trained as
breathing and giving her basic first-
an artificer apprentice at HMS
aid, Harry closed the motorway to
Fisgard, which used to be opposite
get the family across to the hard
Raleigh until it closed in 1983.
shoulder and kept an eye on her
The name lives on in Fisgard
condition while directing other
Division, one of Raleigh’s new
bystanders to call the emergency
entry training divisions.
Graham was given a tour of the
The ambulance service
new Fisgard, and he and David
confirmed later that the little
also had a look around the RN
girl had suffered an obstructed
Submarine School before Graham
airway, possibly from swallowing
joined the other families and
her tongue, and this had been
friends for the parade.
cleared by Harry’s prompt action
Graham said: “It was a real
in clearing her airway and putting
treat to have been invited back
her in the recovery position.
here after 60 years and to such a
The citation commended
special occasion. I’d like to express
Harry’s public spirit and prompt
my sincere thanks to all who made
actions for saving this little girl’s
the day so special.”
Graham, from Plympton, joined
It said: “His professionalism
the Navy in 1946 and spent the
and calming influence throughout
next 24 years going round the
this incident are commendable.”
Harry, who lives in Nuneaton
He served in nine ships,
with his wife Louise and four-
including two periods in the
year-old son George, left the Navy
aircraft carrier HMS Eagle, and
● Not a case of gold fi llings all round – more a case of fl edgling submariners collecting the prized emblem of their trade, the dolphins badge.
last month after 22 years service,
left the Navy in 1971 to work at
Traditionally the badges, which signify the recipient is a qualifi ed deep, are caught in the teeth from the bottom of a tot of rum – hence the
and hopes to start a second career
the Royal Naval Armament Depot
display of gnashers from Swiftsure-class submarine HMS Superb
as a policeman.
in Ernesettle, retiring in 1992.
David is an Air Engineering
Officer currently serving at the
Defence College of Aeronautical
Engineering in Cosford.
David said: “It was certainly
a privilege and an honour for me
to take part in the passing-out
Military course
parade, and I was very grateful to
have been able to bring my father
with me to join the other proud
friends and families of our newest
Seven win is launch-pad
boat prize
A ROYAL Navy aviator has
As part of his studies, James will
become one of the first
now go on to take his place on the
SEVEN sailors from HMS
front line with 845 NAS, part of
Campbeltown have won a
graduates from a new, the Commando Helicopter Force,
prestigious Herbert Lott Award ground-breaking military
and fly the Sea King Mk 4, used to
for their sterling work in keeping
move troops and their equipment
the sea-boats going during her
around the battlefield.
Lt James Capps, pictured
deployment protecting the Iraqi
After graduating from the
right, was presented with a
oil platforms.
University of Leicester with a BSc
The frigate’s two Pacific 22 sea-
Foundation degree in military honours degree in geophysics,
boats have been central to the
aviation studies from the Open James spent some time travelling
ship’s success – each needs to
University at the Barbican
around Japan and Korea before
operate for several hours every
in London after recently
joining BRNC in January 2003.
day, carrying eight people laden completing operational flying
“From an early age I’d always
wanted to be a pilot but never
with weapons, ammunition and training at RN air station
really thought about the military,”
communications equipment.
Culdrose in Cornwall.
explained James.
And to make the job harder, The innovative Fleet Air Arm
“But since joining the Navy, I
environmental conditions in the (FAA) Military Aviation Academy
haven’t looked back and I’ve flown ● Andrew Moss and his father Cdr Peter Moss at Muscat
Gulf mean the boats are operating has successfully combined
at over 600 mph, and qualified on
well beyond what they were military flying training and
numerous aerobatic aircraft.
designed to do. education into a military aviation
“As an airline pilot, you get to
The team efficiency award studies foundation degree, giving
see a lot of the world but the flying
Gathering of Mosses
was presented to acknowledge academic recognition to the
The degree, validated by the
can been quite dull at times.
the outstanding teamwork from unique skills needed for service in
AS NAVAL Attache for Muscat,
Officer in 1997.
Open University, gives students
“As a Navy pilot, we fly ultra
sailors in the different branches combat aircraft.
Cdr Peter Moss is used to meeting
Peter said: “It’s good to be back
an option of topping up to gain an
low level in all weather, day or
who worked together to make sure The initial degree programme
Royal Navy ships as they sail into on board Lusty, but being here
honours qualification whilst going
night, over land and sea, and train
the sea-boats were always ready provides budding pilots and
the port. with Andrew is really special.
and available. observers (‘tactical navigators’)
straight into a frontline Naval Air
in a multitude of environments
such as the French Alps, where
But he was particularly pleased “It’s actually the first time we’ve
CPO ‘Olly’ Campbell said: “It’s with the skills, attitude and the
in a few months I will undergo
to see HMS Illustrious arrive ever been photographed together
really nice to get the recognition knowledge to become fully-
But the combination of
mountain flying and before going
– because she brought his son, in uniform and I’m very proud.”
and know the hard work we have trained aviation warfare officers
education and military skills does
on to Norway later in the year for
Andrew, to Oman. The carrier has played an
put in is appreciated. and utilises state-of-the-art
not stop there.
Arctic training.
Andrew (24) is an air important part in the family’s
“We’ve all taken great pride in simulation and computer-based
Selected graduates can later “The opportunity to obtain a
engineering technician on the history, because it was in Lusty
ensuring the boats were ready for training (CBT), combined with
move on to a full time masters second degree has added another
carrier, where coincidentally his that Andrew got his first taste of
operations at all times.” more practically based tasks when
course at the Defence Academy. educational string to my bow.”
father served as Air Operations life when he joined her in Gib for a
Parents and Children at Sea visit.
Emma calls the tune
This was in 1996 and lucky
Transatlantic brothers
Andrew, who was then 12, was
selected for a jackstay transfer.
Strangely enough it didn’t put
WITH so many talented Emma, who joined the RM
TWO RN brothers had the rare chance to time together in Virginia, with Mike’s wife and
him off Navy life.
young players within its walls, School of Music 15 months ago,
meet in the course of duty when HMS Ark children flying over from London to spend
“It was a pretty frightening
competition is always fierce at the said: “I knew the standard of all
Royal visited the USA. time with Bob’s family.
experience when I passed from
Royal Marines School of Music in the finalists was extremely high,
Waiting to greet the ship at the pier in The two families visited Busch Gardens
Lusty to a RFA support vessel,
Portsmouth. which makes it even more pleasing
Norfolk, Virginia, was Cdre Bob Mansergh, Europe, an amusement park in Williamsburg,
but it was something I will never
This year clarinet player Emma to have won the trophy.”
Deputy Director of the Combined Joint before heading back to Virginia.
forget and it was one of the main
Prior beat 40 other musicians to She added: “I was nervous
Operations from the Sea, based in the US The Mansergh family has a strong naval
reasons why I actually joined up,”
carry off the award for best soloist. at first, but soon settled down.
Second Fleet HQ in Norfolk, Virginia. heritage, with a grandfather and great uncle
he said.
Emma (20) impressed the Hopefully this will help my long-
And on the bridge was his brother, Capt who were both admirals, and a father who
Andrew, who specialises in
judges with her performance of term career as a musician.”
Mike Mansergh, the Ark’s CO. retired as a captain.
maintaining and fixing helicopters,
two movements from Poulenc’s The musician, from Sandbach,
With the brothers stationed 3,500 miles The family tradition continues to the present
has been with the UK strike carrier
Sonata for clarinet and piano and will continue her training until
apart, their paths rarely cross at work. day and even stretches to a cousin who is
since last July and has served
went on to win the Cassel Prize summer 2009, after which she will
But their families made the most of their serving with the Royal Marines.
on board with USMC, Spanish,
– the annual solo award. join one of the five RM bands. Italian and UK Harrier jets.
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