HMS Argyll run in the sun for NHS

Crew of frigate HMS Argyll were inspired by the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the national effort tackling Covid to help the NHS.

Taking a break from operations in the Gulf, sailors and Royal Marines pounded the jetty at the Royal Navy’s Middle East headquarters in Bahrain, running 75 miles.

Three 25-strong teams took part in the fundraiser – which has so far raised more than £1,500 for NHS Together.

The event was organised by the ship’s physical training instructor Leading Seaman Bart Thomas who knew his shipmates wanted to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War 2 in a worthy manner.

We are experiencing our own hardships on deployment at the moment and this was a chance to work together and achieve something, for the memory of all those involved in VE Day, and to give back something to those working so hard at home.

Leading Seaman Bart Thomas

“The ship’s company wanted to do something to mark VE75, and also expressed an interest in doing something to recognise the hardships happening at home,” Bart explained.

“We are experiencing our own hardships on deployment at the moment and this was a chance to work together and achieve something, for the memory of all those involved in VE Day, and to give back something to those working so hard at home. Some of the ship’s company have been directly affected by what is going on, and have friends and loved ones who work in the front-line services as key workers, this is a small way to show our appreciation.”

With temperatures in Bahrain already into the 30s Celsius, the leading hand and his fellow runners waited till late afternoon before stepping out on to the Finger Jetty at the UK Naval Support Facility to begin their relay (one mile is roughly 1½ laps of the jetty).

Having run 75 miles in the Bahraini heat, Argyll’s combined times will now go forward to compete with other ship’s and units for this year’s Fleet Trophy. Most places in the top ten were taken by the commandos of the Royal Marine Boarding Team, although Bart himself (who represents the Royal Navy at cross-country) posted the fastest mile.

The frigate – deployed to the Middle East alongside her sister HMS Montrose to keep the region’s vital sea lanes open – is currently attached to the international task group protecting merchant ships entering and leaving Gulf on Operation Sentinel.