A young sailors Diary

I left school at the age of 18 and joined the navy. Why the navy ? Swallows and Amazons, Captain Hormblower or because I was put in a sailing dinghy on a small lake in Cumbria and told to get on with it.

I think I was born with the lure of the sea in my blood.

After training my first ship was H.M.S. Brilliant she was a brand new ship, somewhat different from the old ships we used for boiler cleaning practice in Portsmouth.

Although lasting only 3 years my naval career was interesting ,exciting and worthwhile. It gave me the determination to decide what I wanted from life and to go for it. Also an ability to cope with everything that life would choose to throw at me.

On the 28th of March 1982 we sailed off to the South Atlantic and helped to win a war. We were a lucky ship with a good skipper and a crew who knew what they were doing. This was emphasized on the way home when the skipper held a service and read the names of all the lads who had died.

The experience of war encompassed comradeship, fear, excitement, boredom, and guilt. The anticlimax of being home once the euphoria had died down was emphasized by a small brown envelope dropping on the hallway floor, it contained a medal.

This diary is dedicated to my four year old son Christopher who came home from nursery and asked "dad what are the poppy's for?"

Dave Oddy (Bill)