Saturday and Sunday 26th and 27th March 2022
Defence Diving School, Horsea Island, Portsmouth
What a weekend! A potentially sad farewell turned into a weekend of celebration, good humour, camaraderie and was completed by an emotional and fitting farewell not only the RNVR diving team but also to Derek ‘Chris’ Christmas whose family came to Horsea to see his ashes laid to rest in the lake by Ginge Fullen as 5 bells rang out ashore.
Over the course of 2 days Ty, aided by many of our volunteers and keen RNVR personnel, dipped over 25 divers in standard dress. It was encouraging to see so many members and museum volunteers on site helping with the dressing, pumps, communications, paperwork, and learning/teaching the art of dressing a diver.
On the first day 19 divers from the RNVR team had a dive under glorious blue skies. On the second day the remaining RNVR divers had their dives followed by their Commander, Richard ‘Soapy’ Watson. In a good humoured gesture, as he emerged from his helmet after the dive, 5 of his team surrounded him to enquire whether he had his ‘Challenge Coin’ on his person. The drinks had been on him all day. Every team member had a tot of rum on completion of their dive.
The last man to dive was Allan ‘Gribs’ Gribben GM, son of the first CD instructor. It was his first dive and he had big boots to fill. He took to it like a CD to water and was also rewarded with a tot when he returned from his dive.
The final standard dress dive of the day was undertaken by Ginge Fullen who carried Chris Chirstmas’s ashes into the lake as his family watched from the shore. It was a very emotional ‘homecoming’ for a highly respected former Clearance Diver.
We need to thank Commander Watson and his team for welcoming us so warmly to Horsea, to our members and volunteers who turned out to help, and most especially to Ty and Ginge Fullen who made it all happen. THANK YOU.