After leaving school  at the age of 18 I joined the navy. Why the navy ? Swallows and Amazons, Captain Hormblower or because I I was born in Blackpool and brought up on the Solway Firth.

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

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

My  career in the Royal Navy lasted for three years the same time it takes for a degree. It  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 Captain and a quality crew who I am proud to call shipmates. Our luck and professionalism 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 anti climax of being home after 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)