Hugh Upward’s Eulogy
It is a great honour to be asked to say a few words about Hughie this afternoon and to tell you about his immense contribution in HMS GLAMORGAN during the Falkland Islands campaign in 1982.
Since joining our Ship he was quickly recognised as an excellent man manager, most thorough in all he did and he was a true gentleman.
Thus he was outstanding throughout the campaign; giving us all the confidence that he and his department were not going to let us down.
Maintenance, training and preparation were thorough; Hughie had it under control.
I’ll recall an example of Hughie’s absolute dedication to duty, his courage, ingenuity and professionalism.
When the Ship was nearing the South Atlantic war zone, the Chinese laundrymen overloaded our one and only tumble drier.
The motor was burnt out.
It was vital that we could get our clothes dried.
In peacetime we would have hung them up around the Ship and allowed them to dry naturally, but at War this was not an option.
We did not carry a spare and it would have taken weeks to get one.
Ship’s morale would have plummeted without it.
Hughie searched for hours and checked all of the electric motors that we carried.
Eventually he found a suitable replacement.
It was a hot water pump motor that we never used.
He then spent all night converting this pump motor to fit the tumble drier.
In the morning, the tumble drier was working and the laundrymen were instructed not to overload the machine, which I hasten to add, they totally ignored.
That motor not only lasted throughout the conflict but throughout the rest of the year.
“Professionalism”, “Dedication to duty” and “Ingenuity” at its best.
After weeks of night bombardment at Action Station in the War Zone, HMS GLAMORGAN took an Exocet hit at 0637 on the 12th June 1982.
We heard and felt this massive thump in the Main Control Room; it was like the Ship hitting the jetty hard.
Lights went out, generators stopped; we had lost 50 per cent of our electrical power. Chaos reigned.
But the cool head, courage and skill of Hughie saved the day, as he expertly manipulated the main switchboard and restored power to the essential services that the Ship needed to fight the fires and pump out the flood waters.
His instant action saved GLAMORGAN that morning.
One mistake by Hughie and we would have lost all power.
Yes, Hughie received a commendation from Commander in Chief Fleet, but to all his surviving shipmates he became our real hero on that day.
Thank you Hughie.
- This fight for the ship’s survival in the South Atlantic generated a very strong and lasting bond between all its crew and Hughie became an active member of the of the Glamorgan team serving on the GLAMORGAN Falklands Association Committee for nearly 20 years, and true to form, he was never afraid of rolling up his sleeves and getting stuck into whatever needed doing.
He and Carol were regulars at every GLAMORGAN event including the Annual service in the Falklands Chapel at Pangbourne College.
However, he will best be remembered for his fundraising for the Association's Memorial Fund and particularly the big effort to raise money for the memorial at Hookers Point, East Falkland, including a marathon sponsored swim which would put the rest of us to shame.
Hughie was then part of the team of over 30 GLAMORGANs who flew down to the Falklands for the dedication of that memorial in February 2011.
Prior to embarkation Hughie mysteriously convinced Pussers Rum to part with a number of free bottles and we will never forget the complex operation to stash them in various suitcases well out of sight of the airport security staff!
Thereafter, at every stop on the our trip around the Islands Hughie produced a bottle of Pussers Rum and some plastic shot glasses, most notably in the Memorial Wood in Stanley where we visited each of the trees dedicated to our 14 lost shipmates and then gathered round together at the end to toast their memory.
Hughie was a GLAMORGAN to the core and the Committee will miss him hugely.
My heart missed a beat when I received this sad news. I want to take this opportunity to let you all know that Hughie's contribution on that fateful day 33 years ago is the main reason that we are still here today.
There is no doubt his skill saved the Ship and its crew.
From all GLAMORGAN’s we thank you Hughie now Rest in Peace.