This weeks events have been overshadowed by the death of Surgeon Captain Rick Jolly OBE, Royal Navy Rtd. Known as “Doc”, he was the senior medical officer of Plymouth-based 3 Commando Brigade.
As a member of the Surgical Support Team (SST), I first met Surgeon Captain Jolly at a briefing in Plymouth just prior to making the long journey to the South Atlantic onboard HMS Hermes. He struck me as a “no nonsense” individual with the clear expectation for you “to get on with it”.
Having ‘casevac’ many of the ship’s company from HMS Sheffield and survivors/deceased from the Atlantic Conveyor we subsequently crossed decked to a number of HM Ships with the team finally arriving at the field hospital, a disused refrigeration plant located in Ajax Bay. Team members were dispersed to various locations including SS Uganda, HMS Hecla and Montevideo.
In excess of 1,000 troops were treated at the field hospital and despite the somewhat grim conditions only 3 of the 580 British soldiers and Royal Marines wounded in action died of their wounds.
Surgeon Captain Jolly was duly appointed an OBE by the Queen, and awarded the Orden de Mayo (Order of May) by Argentina for his service during the war.
Simon Weston describes him as being “an incredible man” a sentiment I would echo.
Goodbye Sir and on behalf of all those forever in your debt:
“Say not in grief he is no more but in thankfulness that he was. Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life”.