During the Falklands war, [Mick Fellows] was a member of a team of Royal Navy divers summoned to deal with a 1000 lb unexploded bomb that had hit HMS Antrim. With the ship coming under attack from the air, he used a secure line to call colleagues in the UK for help. All they could suggest was that he keep the bomb level, and that perhaps they should notify his wife as to the situation he was in. In response to the latter idea, Fellows unleashed a torrent of profanities.
“What I didn’t know was that this whole conversation was being broadcast to the Cabinet Room, where Margaret Thatcher was listening,” he recalls. Later – having succeeded in saving the ship – he was invited to meet the PM. “She said she wanted to meet the angry man. She told me that she had heard a lot of swearing when she worked in her father’s grocery, but said, ‘You still taught me some words I didn’t know’.”
She showed him a map of the Falklands that was under the Cabinet Room table, and asked him to point out where Antrim had been. And then, he says, “the Prime Minister kissed me on the lips. I stood up so quick, I hit my head on the table. She said to me: ‘Ever since I was a girl, I’ve always wanted to kiss a sailor’.”