815 Squadron Visit

The Master, Upper Warden and Past Master Colin Sach visited 815 Squadron at Yeovilton on 6th August 2015 to be the squadron guests at their Awards Ceremony and for the Master to present the second Bakers Prize.

All the squadron currently at Yeovilton, about the half the squadron is afloat at any one time, were fully assembled in their best kit. Various guests of honour were also assembled, among whom was Rear Admiral Henderson, who had a distinguished career flying both helicopters and Phantom fighters, commanding a number of ships and seeing plenty of action in the Falklands on HMS Plymouth.

Although prize giving ceremonies often mean little to those not involved in the detail of the organisation, we could certainly understand the poignancy of the Osprey Trophy which is awarded in honour of the crew of a Lynx helicopter that were tragically lost in a search and rescue operation in December 2004. The four crew gave their lives attempting to rescue others in danger at sea. This was more powerful as some of the wives and children of that crew were also present at the ceremony.

Moving on to happier matters, the Master presented the Bakers Prize to Chief Petty Officer Roe, who had surpassed the squadron’s expectations in ensuring that an exercise that was originally planned as a short two helicopter exercise with the Danish navy was suddenly expanded, in the light of Russian aggression, to a major exercise with four helicopters requiring significant engineering support location to Denmark at short notice for several weeks, the exercise being published and called “Final Dash”.

The Worshipful Company has had some very smart bread knives made (by a member of the Cutlers Company) and suitably engraved with the Company crest and in this case the winners name. Rumour has it that the office may in due course be willing to offer them to Liverymen.

The ceremony finished with lunch and an opportunity to meet many of those present. Our thanks go to the Commanding Officer, Commander Philip Richardson, whom I am sure many members will meet at a future event.