Page 17 - MBS 2022/23
P. 17

   Navy or trying to talk over the wind and rain, good communication skills were vital to get tasks completed quickly and efficiently. Taking too long on the main sail or not following the orders in the proper sequence could result in an injury.
Adaptability: We didn’t expect the weather to be quite the way it was. The crew however were quick to adapt and adopt a different stance to ensure they were effective. Without this mindset shift, it would’ve been impossible to continue the expedition.
On the next day we had the privilege to visit two RAPTC graves. WO2 Lemon and Sjt Thomas, both lost their lives during
RAPTC Crew setting sail
the Jewish insurgency against British occupation in 1946.
Quartermaster Sergeant Instructor Lemon qualified as a military parachutist on course 119 which ran at RAF Ringway in June 1944. The instructors’ notes state that he was a “Very good jumper. Fine leader. Confident. Morale High.”
He was posted to the Army School of Physical Training in Aldershot before being attached to HQ 1 Parachute Brigade, 6 Airborne Division. He served in Palestine.
On 31 September 1946, QMSI Lemon approached a road junction on his motorbike and he encountered a “Mines”
notice, and on pulling up, he was attacked with automatic fire from a car which drew level with him. He was wounded in the chest, stomach and legs, and in spite of an operation the following morning, died in the Hadassah Hospital, Tel Aviv, at 1830 hours. The “Mines” on the road were dummies.
Sadly, there was no information regarding Serjeant Thomas Williams who died at the young age of 20.
Spending time at the War Graves allowed all crew members to pay their respects in their own way. It also gave credence to the purpose of the visit as these graves are not visited too often, certainly from the RAPTC. Having the Colonel Commandant leading the small ceremony was a truly fitting tribute to those two RAPTCIs.
After the sombre moment in the cemetery, the crew then travelled into the heart of Jerusalem old city. Walking through the same entrance at Jaffa Gate that General Allenby walked through in 1917. He walked to show respect for the city and to make a statement of humbleness in contrast to the German Kaiser’s visit in 1898, when the Gate had had to be enlarged to allow vehicle access to the City.
During my time in the Old City it really hit me how special this City and Country is, steeped in history and wonder. You could get lost through the warrens of the markets and streets, with their different spice or incense smells. The most striking were the various religions, coexisting and respecting each other’s prayer. With that said, there was always an armed guard ready to pounce should trouble erupt.
The full day in the old city of Jerusalem was met with a well-earned meal with the daunting thought in my mind that we had to sail back early in the morning. At 0800, after clearing Israeli customs, we set sail North West. Some of the crew were pleased the weather had turned which created a more benign sea. The wind was slight and sailing wasn’t possible for the most part, and the engine would power the crew home.
After 4-days at sea the full crew were tired and finding dry land in Limassol on the Friday afternoon was a relief for some. After the clean-up, the three novice sailors were awarded their competent crew certificates.
For a novice sailor, such as myself, I found the sailing a tough experience, leaning on the instructors for advice and guidance. Previously not realising the benefits of sailing and the transferable skills it offers service personnel. I will encourage sailing as one of the best activities the Adventurous Training Wing offers and the skills it can enhance to promote the attributes that are required of our Soldiers.
 RAPTCIs leading the way sailing back to Cyprus

   15   16   17   18   19