Ipswich Royal Navy recruit organises surprise for fellow seaman
PUBLISHED: 07:29 25 June 2019
A Royal Navy recruit from Ipswich has surprised a fellow seaman by paying for his mother to fly out from the Caribbean to be at her son's passing-out parade.
Cameron Hawes, 20, from Ipswich, paid for the mother of fellow recruit Quaci Crosby, 26, from Tobago, to be at the ceremony to mark the end of her son's 10-week basic training at HMS Raleigh in Plymouth on June 14.
The former Ipswich Baketball player secretly arranged for Althea Crosby to fly the 4,000 miles from her Caribbean island home to be at the ceremony.
"Everyone in our training class is close, but Crosby and I have been best friends from the start really," said Recruit Hawes.
"I've found training really stressful, but he's been really supportive."
With careful planning between recruit Hawes and his mum, Sarah Hole, they put his savings with donations from other recruits at HMS Rayleigh and secretly flew Mrs Crosby into Plymouth.
Ms Hole said: "Between a group of other recruits' mothers and Cameron we organised everything: the plane, the hotel, the coach to the ceremony.
"Cameron told me how important it was to Quaci that his mum was there for passing out."
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Mrs Crosby was given the honour of presenting her son with his Royal Navy epaulettes, marking his official transition from Recruit to Able Seaman.
Recruit Crosby said: "Joining the Royal Navy was one of my dreams. Seeing that she is here to share it with me is the best thing that has ever happened to me."
"I have no words to explain how grateful I am to Cameron for what he has done for me."
Mrs Crosby added: "I was excited and nervous all at once. He had been trying to Facetime me and I had to decline the call to keep it all a big secret."
Recruit Hawes' generosity earned him a surprise commendation form HMS Raleigh's commanding officer, Captain Rich Harris, during the passing-out parade.
Captain Harris said: "A key part of our training at Raleigh is to instil our core values into those who join the navy - courage, commitment, discipline, respect for others, integrity and loyalty.
"This is a firm example of the teamwork, camaraderie, and mutual support that we require from our people at sea."
While the two recruits are now due to go their separate ways for the second stage of their training - with Recruit Crosby training to work on Royal Navy submarines - they are adamant they will stay in touch.
Recruit Crosby added: "I'm really happy that we got to pass out in the same division and we get to start our new lives at the same time.
"Although we will now be separated I'll be visiting him and he'll be visiting me."