This page is dedicated to the memory of:
Able Seaman (Sonar)
Sean Keith Hayward
Hi, it’s been 20 years since I lost one of my best friends and I still miss him. Shaun and I were in the RN together both sonar operators. We met on a train at Preston railway station going back to Portsmouth, I saw him and he recognised me from camp (we were both stationed at HMS Vernon). He smiled and said “I know you, don’t I?, told him my name, and he told me his he said “Shaun Hayward, as in the pickle”.
This was the start of a friendship which sadly only lasted 8 months, Shaun myself and Jonty, who was also a friend of mine got together, and were surprised when all three of us were selected to go on loan draft to the Dutch navy. We spent 3 months with them, and as we were there our friendship grew, myself and Jonty were always the misbehaved ones(we were only 18) whilst Shaun was the sensible one. We met some girls from Wales whilst in Den Helder and Shaun was smitten by one of the girls, they lived in Den Helder with their mother. I can not remember the girls name, but I know Shaun liked her a lot.
Jonty had a ghetto blaster one night returning back to camp after seeing the girls Jonty put on the blaster, and Blondie was playing, the song was the tide is high. Shaun, myself and Jonty started dancing down the street with the music on full volume, I don’t know what the locals thought of this, but hey we were having fun.
On our return to the UK Shaun had his posting orders to join the Ardent and Jonty and I were to join the Walkerton for 3 months and then to be posted to the Fife. We still remained in touch then news of the conflict came, by this time I was serving on the Fife, the Fife was in dry dock myself and all of the ships company were all feeling agitated as we wanted to go out and be with our comrades but this was not to be. We knew the Ardent had been hit and I was at an extreme upset state I knew my friend was on there, we heard no news of casualties. A few day’s later Cooky a friend on the Fife bought in the Sun newspaper and in there was a picture of Shaun saying he had died in the conflict.
I can still remember how I felt on this day, the great sadness and anger that this had happened which I still live with today. I am sure Shaun would not have wanted for me to still grieve him, but you can’t forget the price he paid. I’m sure Shaun’s parents miss him as I do, and hope that one day I will be reunited with my friend.
I have a nephew that I named after Shaun and Live in Bristol, on Hayward Rd. Shaun will always be in my memories and in my heart.
Samson James Yakoob