It was the first time my father-in-law, Michael, has visited Malta and I discussed with him if he would like to do something in remembrance while we were there

Leading Seaman Andy Westlake, from HMS Flying Fox in Bristol

The Royal Navy’s main task was to protect convoys as they re-supplied UK and Commonwealth forces around the Mediterranean and to disrupt Axis Supplies to their forces North Africa.

Today the Royal Navy continues the tradition of protecting the UK economy and nation’s interest not just in the Mediterranean but across the Globe.During their visit, Andy and his family visited the memorial site at St Pauls Anglican Cathedral in Valetta, which overlooks the site of HMS Talbot - the base of ‘The Fighting 10th’.

Andy said, “It was the first time my father-in-law, Michael, has visited Malta and I discussed with him if he would like to do something in remembrance while we were there. I hope it was a fitting tribute to his dad, who he was too young to have known when he was still alive.

“We were very well received by the local residents, who were very respectful when they found out the purpose of our visit.”

Andy is a member of the Seaman Reserve Branch in the Royal Navy Reserves (RNR) and has recently completed a tour of duty in Gibraltar. He joined the RNR in 2003 and during this time has also served in Iraq.

Andy added, “I joined the Reserves as I wanted to serve my country and experience something new and out of the ordinary. My grandfather served in the Fleet Air Arm during World War II and reading his diary led me towards the Naval Service.”

Every year thousands of people put their spare time to better use as a part time Reservist with the Royal Naval. Being a Reservist is as rewarding as it is challenging and is a great way to develop your personal and professional skills.

Reservists normally commit to the equivalent of 24 days a year for training, which takes place mainly during the evenings and at weekends. Reservists are paid for their time, with pay increases with seniority. However, a new recruit can easily earn over a thousand pounds a year, in addition to a yearly tax-free bounty which ranges from £400 to £1,600 depending on the length of service. This is sum of money can make a real difference.

HMS Flying Fox will be hosting its ‘Royal Naval Reserve Live’ open day on Saturday 9 November at the base on Winterstoke Road. For more information, or to register to attend the event, call 08456 00 32 22 or 0117 966 8667. Alternatively, visit www.royalnavy.mod.uk/navyreserves  

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