Graeme Boyle, Defence Munitions:
“Even though we come together to remember on one day in November, I personally remember every day of the year.
I served for 15 years in the Royal Navy and have a memory I think of every day, but especially during the Remembrance period. On an evening patrolling in the Persian Gulf, the ship I was serving on was getting a replenishment at sea by Sea King helicopter. Suddenly a general call went out on my ship to put out the sea boat. I was tasked to be the bowman in the boat, so I got my emersion suit on, jumped onto the RIB and away we went. We were told that the Sea King had ditched and we had to get there as quickly as we could to get the aircrew out or look for survivors. By the time we got there, it became apparent we were looking for survivors.
Aircrewmen at that time wore flying helmets with a reflective cross on top. I couldn’t see much in the dark but whilst scanning the water I spotted a cross in the water. Directing the boat to the cross, we closed up and I reached down to pull in the survivor. Tragically he was already dead. On the return to the ship I sat back in the boat, aged just 22, and felt my life had changed in that moment.
I remember my fallen brothers and sisters in arms and think of the families who lost loved ones and how lonely they must feel at this time of year.”