Wednesday, January 10th 2001 - 20:00 UTC

My army: Rick Jolly ? Honours even for the Doc.

There can't be too many people who have been awarded medals by both sides in the same war. This is the story of one who has.

LIKE most former Servicemen, Rick Jolly wears his medals with pride. But even the most casual observer will notice that one is a little unusual. It was awarded for service during the Falklands War . . . by Argentina. If you think that's unusual, please note that he has permission from the Queen to wear it. Rick Jolly was born in Hong Kong, the son of a gunner in the Colony's Voluntary Defence Corps and former pris-oner of the Japanese, and a mother who was an Auxiliary Yeomanry ambulance driver. Schooled in the Far East and England, he went to medical school at Bart's in London, where he qualified in 1969. While he was working as a houseman, a senior doctor suggested he take a look at the Royal Naval Reserve. "I enjoyed it but found it a bit stiff and formal," he recalled. Nevertheless, he joined full-time as a Royal Navy doctor. "Then I tried the Royal Marines and right from the start I loved it. "What I liked about them ? and the Paras, with whom I worked closely for many years ? was that officers and men were required to do the same training. In fact, the officers were expected to do it a little bit faster and further." He became medical officer to 42 Commando RM, then deployed in north Belfast. Their neighbours there were the men of the 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, with whom he built a strong friendship. Belfast at the time, he found, could be brutal. "No textbook can prepare you for the aftermath of a bomb," he said, "nor how the sounds and smell can impact on you when you arrive to help. I was interested in the forensic effect of munitions so two or three times a week I'd go to the morgue and take pictures and use them to train my own battlefield first-aid teams in 42 Commando. It became known as Doc Jolly's Horror Show. "It sounds gruesome, but a battlefield first-aider can't be trained to deal with bullet wounds unless he knows what a bullet wound looks like. "In 1982 we were plucked out of our pre-Easter leave and told to prepare to go to the Falklands. With the rank of acting surgeon commander, I went on an advance party on the ss Canberra, and because of previous friendships, it didn't take more than ten seconds to establish a working relationship with

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