Author Topic: QE2 and the Falklands War  (Read 73145 times)

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Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #140 on: May 12, 2019, 11:39 AM »
Tomorrow,for me at least, marks the 37th anniversary of QE 2 sailing off to war.

I just found out, about 2 days ago. that all the crew on board at that time are now officially recognized as Veterans of Her Majesties Armed Forces. Amazing after 37 years!
We have a cool lapel pin that we can wear.
I will be going to our reunion dinne Jun3 15th in Kissimmee, Florida.

I am glad the crew have been recognised in this way, congratulations Rod.  All the crew who agreed to stay with the ship were very brave, I am not certain I would have done this had I been in the same boat, so to speak.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #141 on: May 13, 2019, 10:22 PM »
Congratulations Rod, well deserved and about time you and your colleagues got official recognition.
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2, in her new life, in Dubai back in January 2020.

Offline Alan Snelson

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Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #142 on: Aug 31, 2019, 12:08 PM »
I have literally just discovered this and didn't even know I had it.

It seems to have been a cover put together by J. Sanders. a philatelist company in Southampton, the owner of which was a friend at the time.

The typed bits and the image of the ship have been stuck on to an envelope of Windsor castle. It has then been date stamped.

It might even be a one off, I just don't remember.
Don't just be part of her past, be part of her history!

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #143 on: May 12, 2020, 03:46 PM »
38 years ago today!


Online Lynda Bradford

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #144 on: May 14, 2020, 09:51 AM »
Thanks Rod, for the picture and the reminder of the anniversary of the Falklands War. I remember you saying that there was an annual Falklands reunion that you attended every year. Maybe not possible to have a physical reunion this year because of Covid-19, but I hope you were able to meet with friends over the internet to commemorate the event. 

Last year you told us that all QE2 crew were recognised as Veterans of HM Armed Forces - a badge to be worn with pride.  Maybe you could wear it at today's Zoom session!

Tomorrow,for me at least, marks the 37th anniversary of QE 2 sailing off to war.

I just found out, about 2 days ago. that all the crew on board at that time are now officially recognized as Veterans of Her Majesties Armed Forces. Amazing after 37 years!
We have a cool lapel pin that we can wear.
I will be going to our reunion dinne Jun3 15th in Kissimmee, Florida.
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Andy Holloway

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #145 on: May 14, 2020, 12:24 PM »
Has there ever been a list published of those members of QE2 crew who sailed south, maybe even by department and nationality.

As far as i remember, in my time on QE2, there were only a handful left, Capt Warwick, John Davies, Andrew Nelder & Jacqui Hodgeson.

Michael G; are there any more i've forgotten about?

Online Andy Holloway

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #146 on: May 14, 2020, 12:56 PM »
Many years ago, possibly 9 or 10, i was at my local Farmer's Market when i saw a cahp in a QM2 baseball cap, i was wearing my QE2 Crew windproof at the time. We got chatting and he turned out to have been a Purser on QE2 when she went south in 1982. He said that he had a CD of photos he'd taken during the trip and would i like a copy!
Anyway a week or so later he phoned to say the CD was ready so i drove out to collect it, he lives in a village about 4 miles away. It's fascinating to look through these private photos, i'm sorry but i won't publish any without his permission.

A couple of years later my wife and i went to the village's AmDram production of 'Goodnight Mr Tom', an excellent production by the way, and in one of the scenes there was a RN Officer, dressed in a Cunard 2nd Purser's uniform!! No idea's where that costume came from!!

Sadly i haven't seen him in a few years and don't even know if he's still alive, i must check with a friend who knows him through the AmDram society.

Another job for lock down, look through his CD again.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #147 on: May 14, 2020, 02:07 PM »
Thanks Andy.

It would be great to "rescue" his photos and have them here so everyone can learn from them.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline Terry Foskett

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #148 on: May 27, 2020, 05:38 AM »
Andy, you left out me. I was the Junior 1st Hotel Officer - Berthing Officer and I also provided some open source intel on the Argentines for the RN and 5th Inf Bde Intelligence.
Keep safe and well
Terry Foskett
Terry Foskett

Online Andy Holloway

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #149 on: May 27, 2020, 08:04 AM »
Andy, you left out me. I was the Junior 1st Hotel Officer - Berthing Officer and I also provided some open source intel on the Argentines for the RN and 5th Inf Bde Intelligence.
Keep safe and well
Terry Foskett
Terry.

Many, many apologies for that, as soon as I saw your name on your post it suddenly dawned on me I'd forgotten about you. I kept trying to remember who I could see In my mind's eye wearing the SAM.
Thanks for also adding the last little snips of info, it all goes toward increasing our knowledge of Op Corporate.

Stay safe yourself 'shipmate', looking forward to sharing a wet at the next QE2 crew reunion, whenever that may be.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #150 on: Jun 01, 2020, 09:36 AM »
Historically interesting video here showing QE2 disembarking the Falklands troops in Southampton, and with an excellent blast of her whistles towards to end.

Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #151 on: Jul 14, 2020, 09:31 AM »
Our forum member, Shirley-Ann Marshall will be posting some of her memories of being a member of the QE2 crew, which I am looking forward to reading. 

She has sent us these photos, from her memorabilia, of QE2 returning from the Falklands and the ship with post Falklands livery. 

I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #152 on: Jun 07, 2021, 04:11 PM »
Rod has kindly added some superb photos to the Falklands Gallery

https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=219
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #153 on: Jun 07, 2021, 07:29 PM »
Fascinating report. I never knew they had so many people involved in a RAS on QE2's side, to the point they were going along one of the Two Deck passageways!
« Last Edit: Jun 07, 2021, 07:31 PM by Thomas Hypher »
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2, in her new life, in Dubai back in January 2020.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #154 on: Jun 07, 2021, 08:32 PM »
Incredible.

I'm still in awe of the Cunard crew who remained on board despite knowing that they were in very real danger.  Nobody made them do it.

I like to think I'd do the same if confronted with this, but I'm not entirely sure I'd be so brave.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #155 on: Jun 08, 2021, 12:59 AM »
3 things on that trip that made me think of my own mortality.
1) We were issued with Prisoner of War cards,  to be given to our captors. name , rank and serial numbers only!
2) The stockpiles set up in the working alleyway, of damage control gear. Ropes HUGE pieces of 6" x 6" timber and mattresses. In case we were torpedoed.
3) I was in bed asleep in my cabin on 1 deck forward, about 2am there was this huge, almighty, "explosion" the whole cabin shook.
Immediate thought, been torpedoed, grab emergency kit (7.62 mm ammo box, with ID card POW card 200 cigs, carton of matches and a bottle of Johnny Walker Red. ( For bribery you understand, not for drinking.)
Anyway, a few of us rapidly got dressed and went into the passageway.....................to be met by a bunch of giggling Ghurkas carrying freshly fired, Carl Gustaf, 84 mm rocket launchers! We had been informed about the fire exercise, just forgot!

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #156 on: Jun 08, 2021, 01:02 AM »
Fascinating report. I never knew they had so many people involved in a RAS on QE2's side, to the point they were going along one of the Two Deck passageways!

Thomas, if you had seen the operation, especially the first time, you probably would not have known whether to laugh or cry!200 sailors, dragging a rope from 2 deck stbd, fwd baggage room, down towards the Bureau!


But hey, it worked!

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #157 on: Jun 10, 2021, 02:32 PM »
Following on from the article on the forum newsletter, Rupert Ballantyne had contacted me with the offer to send a copy of the diary he kept from May 12 to June 11, 1982.  I have transcribed the text of the diary entries, so as to post on this forum topic.  Having the opportunity to read what Rupert had written nearly 40 years ago was a fantastic experience.  You can read official accounts or historical information but to have this first hand account that was written by a young man who was a member of Cunard's crew, gives a different perspective.

Rupert Ballantyne
QE2 Hotel Officer
Falklands Service
Log book 12 May 1982 to 11 June 1982

Voy400QE2

“This is an account of the daily activities as seen by myself on this memorable voyage”
Rupert Ballantyne

May 12: I was woken at dawn as the first troops boarded the vessel.  Troops continued boarding until lunchtime, when all were onboard. 

Amazing scenes as ship left the berth on schedule at 4 pm.  At approximately 6 pm the ship anchored 3 miles South of NAB tower to carry out repairs overnight, to boilers.

6.30 pm 2 x Sea King Helicopters touched down on flight deck.  I met up with Col. Tony Holt RA, friend of Chris Linn.

May 13: Woken up at 5.30 am by Gurkhas outside my cabin, training.  Quite amazing seeing these soldiers running up and down Boat Deck. Serious training started all over the ship.   

At 5.30 pm Sea King Helicopters took off two medical cases to Truro Hospital. 

6.30 pm The first Replenishment at Sea (RAS) trial took place when RFA Grey Rover came 130 feet off Starboard Beam.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RFA_Grey_Rover_(A269)

May 14:  More intensive early morning training by troops.  Buzzed by Dutch Rec. plane at 11.30 am.  More intensive weapon training in evidence.  Live ammunition being used soon.

Meeting in Wardroom at lunchtime with Captain James RN, who informed the ship’s Officers that we would be at Freetown on Tuesday 18th and Ascension on the 20th.  We would be there for three days before heading South.  He also confirmed that there are two subs around - Quite alarming!

May 15: Ship now getting into a routine.  Live ammunition used for the first time today. Helicopters in action most of the day and carried out first landing on forward pad.  Quite warm today, thus I spent an hour in the sun.

May 16: Today is Sunday Church Services held onboard by the 3 padres - 1 RC, 1 C of E and 1 Scottish.  I did my tour of duty in the kitchens.  Blacking out the ship starts tomorrow.  I was given an ID card issued by the Geneva Convention stating that in the event of capture all I had to give was my name.

May 17: More training going on everywhere round the ship.  Troops now practicing embarking on helicopters with full kit. 

During the afternoon Captain James and Brig. Wilson addressed the whole of the Cunard crew and explained what the mission was all about and answered questions. 

Doctor had party for Army Medical Team in the evening.

May 18: Very sticky and clammy.  We came alongside in Freetown at 11.30 am and sailed at 0100 hours the next day.  More helicopter drills in the day time.  Ship nearly totally blacked out this evening.

May 19: Equator day more weapon training. Helicopter landing trials.

Big ceremony as we crossed the line.

Change of plans we will lie 100 miles off Ascension and then after a day or two head South.  South Georgia has been muted.

Blackout enforced.

May 20: We arrived 100 miles off Ascension at about 1 pm. HMS Dumbarton Castle met us. Our helicopters plus 1 RAF Rescue One, transferred 100 more troops plus equipment.  A very interesting day!

Tony holt came by for a drink in the evening.  He expressed concern about the safety of the ship and also the capabilities of the task force against the Argentine Garrison. 

Russian intelligence ship seen today.  Circled by a Nimrod.

May 21: Flying Stations called at 9.30 am.  General Moore, 1 Brigadier and 5 Colonels flew in mid morning.  Our 2 Sea King,  2 Wessex and 1 Chinook, brought in supplies and Mail.  Vague news of invasion received.

May 22: More flying in the morning.  Then Ascension seen for the last time and ship headed South.  Ship’s Officers invited to Sgt’s. Mess after dinner for horse race meeting. Ended up £22 up!  News of the first landings clarified and that Canberra went in very close has really hammered the seriousness of the situation home to everyone, including myself. 

May 23: The second Sunday away.  Church services took place again and were better attended - I can’t think why!

Machine guns put up on Bridge Wings and blow pipe by the funnel.

Weather beginning to get cooler.  Rumour of another RAS flying around.

May 24: It is now confirmed that we are heading for South Georgia to rendezvous with some of the task force and Canberra, to transfer our troops.  We should be there on 27th.  The transfer will take a long time, mainly because of the equipment.  Twice today we had to alter course very sharply as other ships had been seen on the horizon. 
Also today we had news of forthcoming heavy weather.  Blues tomorrow. 

May 25: Still heading for South Georgia.  Weather getting very much like an English Autumn.  Rendezvousing with Antrim  Noon on 27th as General Moore is going to Falkland.  More Helicopter landing practices today in difficult conditions with high winds.

May 26: We now discover we are rendezvousing with HMS Antrim at 10 am to transfer General Moore and 80 Officers & men.  Lt.Col. Tony Holt is leaving with his party.  We then steam to South Georgia to meet Canberra and Norland and transfer troops.  We then take the seamen who have lost their ships I.e. Sheffield, Ardent, Antelope, Coventry to Ascension.  News about Coventry and Atlantic Conveyer has caused much concern in our crew. 

counted....

 
« Last Edit: Jun 11, 2021, 09:44 AM by Lynda Bradford »
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #158 on: Jun 10, 2021, 02:32 PM »
Rupert Ballantyne's Falkland's log continued....

May 27: A fascinating day.  Many icebergs around, thus ship had to weave quite considerably, at times in fog.  At Noon rendezvous with Antrim.  General taken off by helicopter.  Rest of his party of 60  taken by ship’s launch.  Unfortunately one of this group broke his leg when transferring from launch to Antrim.  Anchored off Grytviken in very thick fog at 7 pm. Some troops transferred to Canberra. 

May 28: A misty morning brought views of Canberra and Norland in fine scenery.  Troops and equipment moved by helicopter and 5 UK trawlers that happened to be here.  Operation carried out quickly and efficiently thus enabling both ships to sail in the evening.  News of the capture of Goose Green received in the evening. Morale boosted amongst ship’s crew. 

May 29: Snow greeted us this morning.  More stores moved to the newly arrived Stromness.  Coventry survivors received onboard at Noon.  News that a BP tanker had been bombed only 200 miles away forced us to sail at 1800, thus getting away in the cover of darkness.  Strong wind blowing, thus ship moving around for the first time on this voyage. 

May 30: Very quiet day generally.  New passengers finding their way around.  News of Argentinian air threat pointed out to all onboard. 

May 31: The day greeted us with a force 9 gale and winds gusting up to 70 knots.  Quarter Deck has been shut off to enable us to clean it fully after the hammering it took on the South bound voyage. 

June 1: Weather getting warmer, but sea still fairly rough and thus RAS with RFA Bayleaf has been postponed until the morning.  We have been informed that after Ascension we will be heading for Southampton but maybe used again to collect troops from the Falklands. 

June 2: First light brought us Oakleaf to RAS.  Despite heavy swell RAS was completed in 10 hours.  Ship had to RAS as there were only 600 tonnes of oil left.  Weather getting warmer.  Sods Opera in Double Down Room in the evening well attended.  Even yours truly did an act.  I had interesting conversation with Capt. James in Wardroom who thinks that it is 80% certain we will terminate in UK on the 11th.

June 3: Weather improved quite considerably thus many went out onto the Flight Deck to sunbathe.  Signal received from England Cricket Team wishing ship well.  Mess dinner in Princess Grill for Officer survivors and some ship’s Officers.  An evening to remember. 

June 4: Soon after lunch flying stations were called as the RAF helicopter from Dumbarton Castle arrived early with 30 bags of mail.  Unfortunately this mail included that for 5 Brigade, thus it had to be sorted immediately and re-tagged.  Yours truly involved.  I received 8 letters, very pleasant.  Tonight we were informed that when we arrive in Southampton the MoD is releasing us. 

June 5: All very quiet around the ship today.  V fierce sun, humidity going up.  Crossed into Northern hemisphere in early afternoon.  Cunard crew seem quite disappointed that ship is not going South again. 

June 6: The last Sunday at sea.  The crews of all the 3 ships now starting to get a little bit bored.  Not a great deal for them to do in a day except to look forward to the next meal.  The crew of HMS Coventry built a pool and tried to throw everyone in it, including myself.  News released in the UK tonight, of our return, also that 5 Brigade had arrived in East Falkland.

June 7: A very quiet day.  QE2 crew wondering if they will get leave on their return.  Captain Jackson interviewed by BBC Radio on the RT.  Ship will next sail on 14 August. 

June 8: We passed close to the island of Tenerife in the morning. Weather cooling a bit, but still many survivors sunbathing. 

June 9: I heard the splendid news in the morning that I would be going on leave for 5 weeks, thus brother was phoned.  Entering the Bay about Midnight.

June 10: Ship left the Bay at 2 pm.  Soon after Flying Stations were called and helicopters bearing clothes and equipment for the survivors, + 5 TV technicians arrived.  Ship reached Lizard at 7 pm.

June 11: RY Britannia met us off IoW, with Queen Mum onboard.  Finally got ashore about Noon.  Brother on quayside to meet me.
« Last Edit: Jun 11, 2021, 09:26 AM by Lynda Bradford »
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline June Ingram

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Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #159 on: Jun 10, 2021, 07:23 PM »
Wow ! Amazing to read, and many thanks for sharing with us your diary, Rupert !
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

 

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