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Navy steward scoops Armed Forces catering award

29 June 2017
A Royal Navy steward has won the Armed Forces Caterer of the Year award.

POCS Lee Bartup was nominated for his work in HMS Enterprise during her marathon deployment, including rescuing migrants from the Med.

Operating at more than 150 per cent of normal capacity, the additional requirement to feed those rescued represented an unprecedented challenge.

In 18 months HMS Enterprise rescued 9,180 people, many of whom were malnourished and in desperate need of sustenance.

Lee played a key part in developing and implementing innovative solutions required to increase the number of meals to more than 2,300 a day - from a galley designed to produce 240 meals.

Employed during the embarkation phase as one of a small team of senior ratings leading activity at the embarkation point, Lee was also responsible for controlling the flow of frightened and confused people onto HMS Enterprise's deck.

Lee regularly boarded the flimsy, overcrowded and inherently unseaworthy migrant craft to control embarkations.

His calm authority and good humour defused several potentially hazardous situations, reassuring the scared, emotional and sometimes recently-bereaved while physically assisting the sick, aged, pregnant and young.

At the worst of times he helped recover the bodies of the deceased in a dignified and sensitive fashion.

Lee received his award from Paul Dickinson, Managing Director of Purple Foodservice Solutions and host Lucy Porter at the Cost Sector Catering Ceremony in London.

Originally from Brighton, Lee joined the Royal Navy in 1996 as a Junior Steward and now lives in Plymouth with his wife Tanya.

He is looking forward to his next assignment as a catering instructor at the Defence Maritime Logistics School at HMS Raleigh, Cornwall.

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