Three: Chief Cook K. Peat, Mercantile Marine, later Prison Officer, H.M. Prison Service
South Atlantic 1982, with rosette (K. Peat); Jubilee 2002, unnamed as issued; Prison Service (Operational Service) L.S & G.C., E.II.R. (Off K Peat LEE338) all with boxes of issue,
Condition extremely fine and a most unusual combination
Kevin Peat was born in South Shields on 19 March 1959. He joined the Merchant Navy on 1 November 1976 whilst still a schoolboy, witnessing his first voyage as Boy aboard the M.V. Tamworth. Transferred to the M.V. Marchon Enterprise at Whitehaven, Tweed Bridge at Redcar and Blue Rover at Tyne and Wear docks, Peat was raised Steward on 3 February 1978. Advanced 2nd Cook and Baker aboard the M.V. Appleby, he served aboard the M.V. British Vanguard from 23 June 1980 to 8 September 1980, and M.V. Stonepool from 23 April 1981 to 12 January 1982.
On 2 April 1982, Argentinian forces invaded the Falkland Islands. Efforts to resolve the conflict soon provided futile and on 5 April the British Government determined to launch an amphibious task force in response, including a number of merchant vessels, requisitioned to carry troops, supplies and equipment. As an experienced merchantman, Peat likely volunteered his service to the Crown and was soon posted aboard the hospital ship Uganda. In a matter of days, he witnessed the transformation of the ship; areas once reserved for children and holidaymakers were soon made into operating theatres and intensive care units, the vessel being painted from top to toe in white with red crosses to identify its role to aggressors.
Call-signed ‘Mother Hen’, the Uganda had a particularly busy war. Anchored in Grantham Sound, 11 miles to the north-west of Goose Green, she was soon catering to the needs of 132 casualties, including dozens of men from the destroyer Sheffield which was fatally struck by an exocet missile on 4 May 1982. Rated Chief Cook aboard Uganda, Peat and his crew mates faced a continual demand for warm, nourishing food, exacerbated by the extremes of weather and difficulties of supply in such a hostile environment. Returned home to Southampton 9 August 1982, he continued his career at sea, spending his final year as Caterer aboard the Nosira Madeleine and Nosira Sharon, plying the trade routes between Liverpool, Rio de Janeiro and Paranagua. Transferring to the Prison Service around 1986, Peat was later awarded his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal whilst at the adult male prison H.M.P. Leeds.
Sold with copied Merchant Navy record of service, and an original identity card issued aboard Uganda at the time of the Falklands War, this bearing a good passport-sized image of the recipient.