21 October 1946 |
|Unit||Commando Logistic Regiment Medical Squadron|
|Battles/wars||Falklands War (Ajax Bay)|
Oficial Orden de Mayo (Argentina)
Surgeon-Captain Richard Jolly OBE is a former Royal Navy medical officer who served in the 1982 Falklands War and was later decorated by both the British and Argentine governments for his distinguished conduct during the conflict. He still practices and gives lectures to medical establishments on his experiences. He is the co-founder (along with Denzil Connick) of the South Atlantic Medal Association formed in 1997.
Jolly studied Medicine at St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College (now Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry) in London and qualified as a physician in 1969. It was while working as a houseman, a senior colleague suggested he join the Royal Naval Reserve as a Royal Navy doctor.
In 24 years of service he completed two tours with the Fleet Air Arm as a Fleet Surgeon, Medical Officer recruitment / Officer training in the Dartmouth Training Ship HMS Bristol, and at the Britannia Royal Naval College.
The facilities at Ajax Bay were set up in an old refrigeration plant which was situated next to an ammunition dump, as those were the only roofed buildings available of any size fit for purpose. Therefore, due to its position, Brigadier Julian Thompson ordered they were not to paint a Red Cross on the buildings to highlight the hospital due to the terms of the Geneva Convention. The conditions in the field hospital were very poor and despite the dirt, poor lighting, constant air attacks and the presence of two unexploded bombs, only three of the 580 British soldiers and marines wounded in action were to later die of their wounds received during the conflict. However, none were to die while under the care of Dr Jolly and his medical team at Ajax Bay.
After the war, Jolly wrote the book The Red and Green Life Machine about his experiences.
He remains the only serviceman to be decorated by both sides after the conflict, after being awarded an OBE (Military Division) from the UK and Oficial Orden de Mayo from Argentina.
When visiting Argentina in 1998, Jolly had sent ahead a list of Argentine casualties and asked the authorities there what had become of them. As a result, the Argentine Foreign Ministry discovered the truth about the battlefield medical care of their wounded by the British during the conflict and invited over fifty of them to a ceremony in Buenos Aires, where Dr Jolly was appointed as an Oficial (Officer) in the Orden de Mayo (Order of May) in recognition of his outstanding work in saving the lives of many wounded Argentine soldiers and airmen.
Being a foreign decoration, Jolly had to write to Her Majesty the Queen for permission to wear his Order of May award with his other medals, to which she personally authorized him to wear the award "on all occasions" on behalf of the three hundred British Naval, Royal Marines and Army medics involved in the war.
- "Falklands Combat Medics" Interview with Jolly and documentary narration, first broadcast by The Military History Channel on 1 April 2012
- Band of Brothers who met M*A*S*H in the Falkland Islands War of 1982
- Honours even
- Jolly, Rick (2007). The Red & Green Life Machine (3rd ed.). Red & Green Books. p. 249. ISBN 0-9514305-4-8
- "Falklands Combat Medics" The Military History Channel
- The joy of 'Jackspeak'
- Jolly, Rick (2011). Jackspeak: A Guide to British Naval Slang and Usage. 10 Southcombe Street, London W14 0RA: Conway, an imprint of Anova Books Ltd.
- The Red and Green Life Machine
- Jolly recalls a dramatic air and sea rescue from his time in the South Atlantic.
- "Surgeon Commander Rick Jolly, Royal Navy". The Falklands: 25th Anniversary Exhibition. Imperial War Museum. 2007. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- Falklands hero joins Gurkhas' fight
- The Battle of Falkland sound, By Dr Rick Jolly