After a patriotic sendoff from Portsmouth, the 'Grey Funnel Line' (a nickname for Royal Navy warships onboard) arrived in the Falklands three weeks later. In the interim we played ducks and drakes with the Argentine Navy. Not easy for a ship painted bright red for optimum visibility in the ice.
Endurance's official duty was to survey the area: in fact she was snooping on the Argentine forces. Not a good idea under the present circumstances. She was not prepared for combat, In fact, it turned out, there was only one other person on board ship besides me who had been in combat.
Captain Barker and crew began to prepare for the possibility of being attacked. This included drills on how to operate the Oerlikens, (guns which had been brought up on deck). Having lost all his Marines by that time, I found myself on deck trying to recall my WWII experience operating them. Rusty hardly describes it. Not the guns—my skills.
A reporter from the Blackpool Gazette plans to do a feature to mark this anniversary. She reached me through this website, requesting information. I've sent her my book, and a recent photo.
Many of you who were on Endurance have or will be gathering to reiminisce. Some of you are mentioned in Generally Farting About. Read it before you shuffle off. We're not getting any younger. Some of you may be, but I'm not.