I was due to leave the ship in March 1982 to join the Long Minewarfare and Clearance Diving Officers Course at HMS Vernon in April. My relief – Lt Andy Elvin was already onboard and I had been dined out by the Wardroom in Gibraltar during Ex Springtrain. I was actually due to fly home from there but had agreed with the XO to stay on for the passage back to Guz. When we got our orders to “go South”, I was called to the Captain’s cabin where he told me that he wanted to keep me for whatever was about to happen (as Andy was not yet a qualified OOW or diving officer) and I would have to delay my MCDO course.
Most of my memories from the Falklands revolve around the bridge watchkeeping which was pretty demanding with our “goal keeping” duties and all that steaming around with no lights on! I also had a few adventures in my diving/demolitions role – notably disabling (and possibly sinking) the Santa Fe in South Georgia and various “home made” bomb projects which seemed a good idea at the time! I left the ship in Ascension on the return trip so I could have some leave before joining up with the 2nd phase of the MCDO course, but I rejoined by helo for the return to Devonport which was an amazing experience.
I qualified as an MCDO in 1983 and went on to serve as XO in HMS Bronington, operations officer in the seabed operations vessel HMS Challenger and then had an exchange appointment in the USA. My final job was as Staff MCDO to Commodore Clyde at Faslane. I left the RN in 1993 and spent 4 years working in the offshore oil industry in Brunei, Saudi Arabia and then Aberdeen. I joined the Health & Safety Executive as a diving inspector in 1997 and have now reached the dizzy heights of Chief Inspector of Diving (big fish, small pond!). I have also been a List 5 RNR officer since 1997, doing 2 weeks training a year.
I am married (post Brilliant) , have 3 children and live in Warsash, Hampshire.
I went to a 10th anniversary dinner in 1992 with most of the 1982 officers held onboard Brilliant in Porrtsmouth. It was a great dinner, but very strange to be reunited in the wardroom 10 years on! I believe that she is now rusting away somewhere in S America, so no chance of doing that again. I have lost touch with all of the officers from that time and have no idea if anything is planned for 2007. I would very much like to attend your reunion next year if work allows.
I will have to admit that my memories of the time are quite hazy and have never been great at remembering names! However, it would be great to swap stories with old shipmates and I would particularly like to meet up with any of the diving team.
Chris Sherman and Daisy Adams South Georgia
Chris Sherman and a gentleman from the SAS