Hundreds have attended the funeral of a Royal Navy medical officer who saved hundreds of troops during the Falklands War. Surgeon Capt Rick Jolly, who reputedly saved the life of every British serviceman he treated, died aged 71 on 13 January.
Capt Jolly's coffin was dressed with the Union Jack, his medals, a sword and green beret. Comrade, Capt Erich Bootland, described him as larger than life.
Mourners at the service at HMS Raleigh in Torpoint included Capt Jolly's wife, Susie, as well as other family members, neighbors and friends. Other attendees included Renato Carlos Sersale di Cerisamo, the Argentine Ambassador in London, Group Captain Fernando Luis Mengo, the Argentine Defense Attaché, Sukey Cameron OBE, representing the Falklands Islands government and Commodore Inga Kennedy, the Head of the Royal Navy Medical Service.
The service was conducted by the Reverend Ralph Barber, Royal Navy Chaplain, and the Reverend David Cooper, who was the Chaplain to 2 PARA during the Falklands conflict and is the Chaplain to the South Atlantic Medal Association.
The mourners also included former members of the Medical Squadron of the Commando Logistic Regiment Royal Marines; the squadron that Surg Capt Jolly headed up during the Falklands conflict. Nine of these men acted as pallbearers.
The squadron provided the vast majority of the medical support to UK land based Royal Marines and Army Battalions as well as those ships in Falkland Sound and San Carlos Water, from a disused refrigeration plant at Ajax Bay.
A parallel service was held at the cathedral in Stanley on the Falkland Islands.
Capt Jolly was the only person to have been decorated by both Britain and Argentina.
He was appointed an OBE by the Queen, and awarded the Orden de Mayo (Order of May) by Argentina for his service during the war.
Capt Bootland said: He was cheerful, outgoing, positive and I think the boys all looked to him to provide the lead for what we did.
They all revered Rick. He was a larger than life character and there's absolutely no question, that I've never come across anybody else that could generate that kind of emotion.”
Capt Jolly's coffin was carried by men who served alongside him at the Red and Green Life Machine during the Falklands conflict. The service ended with the Last Post and Reveille performed by a bugler from the Royal Marines band.
Major General Julian Thompson, who commanded 3 Commando Brigade in 1982, represented His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.
He said: “Surgeon Captain Rick Jolly was in charge of the field hospital at Ajax Bay during the Falklands War of 1982. Here, in the ‘Red and Green Life Machine’, Rick Jolly and his staff treated more than 650 British and Argentine casualties, and carried out some 210 operations.
Admiral Sir James Perowne was the representative for His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, while Surgeon Vice Admiral Alasdair Walker represented His Royal Highness The Duke of York and the First Sea Lord.