Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Firsthand accounts of life on board HMS Daring, (open to the public during Navy Days 2010).

In the lead up to Navy Days which is taking place from Friday 30th July – Sunday 1st August at Portsmouth Naval Base, we will bring you ‘weekly Wednesday’ updates from those currently serving on board.

Hello Readers! My name is Rob Foster. I’m an Able Seaman in Her Majesty’s Ship Daring. This is my 3rd ship in the Navy which I’ve served in for 6 years now, I joined Daring in January 2009. The same month she entered her homeport of Portsmouth for the very first time.

Daring is different to the other ships I have had. She is modern for a start, and so much more capable. My branch is ‘warfare specialist’ which involves a lot of time in the Ops Room helping to fight the ship by analaysing radars, listening to communications, watching cameras, tracking air and surface contacts and reporting them to the command. At present however, I’m working for the Navigating Officer – Lieutenant Knott, as the Navigator’s Yeoman. It’s my job to make sure that all the charts are up to date for all the areas the ship may go into. Currently the ship is undergoing Operational Sea Training (OST) which is six weeks long. During this time we basically go through every part of our job until ‘the staff’ (the guys who inspect us) are happy that we can do the job to a good standard and asses we are safe to deploy anywhere in the world. This involves long days of hard work but it’s worth it in the end. We’ve just started week two of OST where up to now we have been doing a lot of flying serials – landing and launching the Ship’s helicopter, Officer or the Watch Manoeuvres – driving in close company with 2 other warships and a RAS (replenishment at sea) this is where we took on fuel from an auxiliary vessel whilst underway at sea.

For information about Navy Days 2010, please visit:

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

The Day in the life of a 'creative apprentice' at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard - Armed Forces Day

Hello, I guess I should probably start with introducing myself! My name is Roxy and I am a creative apprentice at the National Museum of The Royal Navy here in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. I’ve been here for about two months now and am thoroughly enjoying it!

Currently I am helping to organise our Armed Forces Day event which will be running on Saturday 26th June. The idea of this event is to give members of the public a chance to talk to veterans from the Second World War and onwards, in a wartime street party setting! The afternoon tea feeling means this is a relaxed event letting people interact and ask questions that they have always wanted to ask. When we have run this event previously it has been a complete success and because of this, this year’s event is going to be bigger and better then ever!

My first task was to find a live band to come and perform at the event. After hours of scrolling through and endless information requests, we have found one that is sure to be excellent! Next I moved onto invitations, there’s no point having an event if you don’t invite anyone after all is there! The people who are definitely attending have a wealth of knowledge about many different aspects of the Navy and wartime home life. The event also gives the public chance to sample food made from rationing recipes, if they are brave enough of course. Reading through the recipes has certainly given me a new found appreciation for the food we have today! We will also have a cook performing demonstrations throughout the day, along with other entertainment to really give a bright vibrant atmosphere.

I am currently speaking to different charitable organisations as some will be present on the day to show what care and support there is out there for veterans. British Red Cross will also be bringing a display to show the valuable work they have done in the past and are still doing to this day.

I don’t want to give too much information away just yet, it wouldn’t be a surprise if I told you now would it?! But I will keep the blog updated with any new information. As the days disappear and the work load grows so does my anticipation for what really should be a fun filled afternoon! Come along its free!!