Rick Jolly

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Rick Jolly
Nickname(s) "The Doc"
Born (1946-10-21) 21 October 1946 (age 68)
Hong Kong
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Rank Surgeon Captain
Unit Commando Logistic Regiment Medical Squadron
Battles/wars Falklands War (Ajax Bay)
Awards OBE
Oficial Orden de Mayo (Argentina)
Website http://www.rickjolly.com

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.

Background[edit]

Jolly was educated at Stonyhurst College[1] and subsequently 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.

Career[edit]

He became medical officer to 42 Commando RM, who were deployed in Belfast along with men of the 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment, with whom he built a strong friendship.

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.

Falklands War[edit]

As Officer Commanding Medical Squadron of the Commando Logistic Regiment Royal Marines, Jolly was Senior Medical Officer of 3 Commando Brigade RM and commanded the field hospital at Ajax Bay.

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 poor and despite the dirt, poor lighting, air attacks and the presence of two unexploded bombs, only 3 of the 580 British soldiers and marines wounded in action were to die of their wounds and none while under the care of Dr Jolly. [2]

Post War

Jolly wrote the book The Red and Green Life Machine about his experiences.[3] and he is the only serviceman to be decorated by both sides after the conflict, 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.[4]

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.[5]

Jolly also featured and was extensively interviewed in the TV documentary Falklands Combat Medics, which concentrated primarily on the work and role played by the Field Hospital based at Ajax Bay.[6]

With Denzil Connick, he campaigns for the recognition of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for all Falkland veterans in aid of the South Atlantic Medal Association.

Written Work[edit]

Jolly is the author of the authoritative tome Jackspeak: A Guide to British Naval Slang and Usage.[7][8] and his first book; For Campaign Service detailing the experience of soldiers and Royal Marines who served in Northern Ireland. The book takes its title and cover image from the General Service Medal (1962) issued to UK military. [9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Military news". Stonyhurst Association newsletter (298). February 2009. p. 7. 
  2. ^ "Falklands Combat Medics" Interview with Jolly and documentary narration, first broadcast by The Military History Channel on 1 April 2012
  3. ^ Band of Brothers who met M*A*S*H in the Falkland Islands War of 1982
  4. ^ Honours even
  5. ^ Jolly, Rick (2007). The Red & Green Life Machine (3rd ed.). Red & Green Books. p. 249. ISBN 0-9514305-4-8. 
  6. ^ "Falklands Combat Medics" The Military History Channel
  7. ^ The joy of 'Jackspeak'
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ Jolly, Rick. For Campaign Service. Red & Green Books (2000). 

External links[edit]