After leaving HMS Ariadne in March 1981, I returned to HMS Defiance, this time, I worked first of all in the Lagging Section removing and replacing hot and cold lagging on ships and submarines before I was transferred to D5 Engine Change Team. I loved this sort of work. We worked on the Type 21ís replacing their Olympus and Tyne gas turbines.

As the Falklands war kicked off in May 1982, I was changing the Stbd Tyne on HMS Ardent. The artificers were having difficulty setting up the clutch. We were sent home with orders to be at the short trail should it need to be changed again. Well the phone rang on Saturday afternoon just as the teleprinter was announcing the football results. A new engine was on itís way from Lee-on Solent.

With all the nuts and bolts freshly greased and replaced, it was easy work to get the engine removed again and by midnight, it was on the jetty. At about the same time, the replacement Tyne arrived, so we wasted no time in getting it onto the ship and craned into position. Working through the night, we didnít stop and after the last bolt was tightened, she did a test flash, and all appeared ok.


The captain then made a pipe that the ship would be sailing to the Falklands in 30 minutes and the gangway would be removed in 15 minutes .... We had to get off!!


On schedule, she slipped. As she was rounding the corner, my Chief asked me where his toolbox was. In the rush, I had† forgotten it and consequently, it is now at the bottom of the South Atlantic. Not a happy Chief!!




I left HMS Defiance shortly after that and after a week in HMS Kent doing Auxiliary Machinery Course and passing my Evaporators AMC I was crash drafted to HMS Tartar a Tribal Class frigate brought out of mothballs to replace ships lost in the Falklands conflict.