As we pay tribute those who gave their lives in service of their country, here we focus on just a few examples of sacrifices made by men of the Royal Navy.
Basra City, Iraq, 6 May 2006
5 British forces personnel were killed when a Lynx helicopter was shot down in Basra, probably by a man-portable anti-aircraft missile. Those lost included Lieutenant Commander Darren Chapman, Commanding Officer of 847 Naval Air Squadron. He was aged 40, and married with three children. Having worked his way up through the ranks from able seaman, he took command of 847 Naval Air Squadron in December 2005. He had already served as a Sea King pilot in the first Gulf War, the Balkans and Iraq in 2003.
His family said “We are deeply shocked and devastated at the untimely and tragic loss of Darren. He was a fantastic father, husband, son and friend who was deeply committed to family life; always there for those who needed him, nothing was ever too much trouble”.
Falkland Islands, 8 June 1982
56 servicemen died and many more were badly injured when the Argentines attacked two Royal Fleet Auxiliary Landing ships. In the fog of war a series of mistakes and bad luck had left RFA Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram exposed, virtually defenceless and with troops still on board. The casualties were predominantly young Welsh Guardsmen but amongst those also killed were 7 RFA sailors, technically civilians but taking the same risks as everyone who served in the South Atlantic. Considerable bravery by naval Sea King helicopter pilots flying close to the ship as fires took hold and ammunition was exploding, helped save further loss of life.
Mediterranean, June 1940
During an exceptionally difficult period for the submarine service, the Royal Navy lost 3 boats in a single week; HMS Grampus, HMS Orpheus and HMS Odin. HMS Grampus was sunk while laying mines off Sicily on the 16th June 1940. She was spotted and attacked by 3 Italian torpedo boats. The submarine and was destroyed with the loss of all 59 crew members on board. The submarine service was to endure the loss of 76 boats during the war, the majority lost with all hands.
- Poppy Appeal 2016 (Royal British Legion)