Portsmouth naval officer ‘honour’ at joining event to mark the 25th anniversary of the Gulf War

Commander Neil Hall
Commander Neil Hall
HMS Diamond   Photo: LPhot Paul Hall

HMS Diamond leads the way taking over Nato task force

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A NAVAL officer has told of his honour after he joined a commemoration to mark the 25th anniversary of the first Gulf War.

Commander Neil Hall serves in the Royal Navy and is based in Portsmouth.

He is a veteran of the First Gulf War and the Falklands conflict, and recently attended a wreath-laying service at St Paul’s Cathedral to mark the 25th anniversary of the liberation of Kuwait.

Cdr Hall was the operations officer for Naval Party 1036 and Principal Warfare Officer on board RFA Argus.

He was responsible for the security and defence of the ship both when she was at sea and alongside.

It was RFA Argus’ first time being used in the role of a principal casualty-receiving ship and had a full Royal Navy hospital unit embarked.

Fortunately, they only saw three casualties during the entire conflict.

Cdr Hall said: ‘I feel honoured and proud to have been able to mark the 25th anniversary of this conflict.

‘It’s important to do this because people died to set others free and that should never be forgotten.

‘I have many memories of the conflict. I remember being in line, astern of the USS Princetown and USS Tripoli, when they both hit mines.

‘We then had to stop and reverse down our own wake to get out of the minefield.

‘I remember watching the sky turn black as the oil wells burned and I remember watching Scud missiles flying overhead at night and anti-aircraft artillery fire trying to shoot them down.’