AS people across the area finish off their Christmas shopping and stock up on festive food, a Burton man took a brief break from defending his country to send a simple message back home – via his local paper.
Johnathan ‘Eddie’ Yates is a chief petty officer on the HMS Montrose and will be spending the holiday away from his family in the town.
The 30-year-old will be patrolling in the Gulf on board the Plymouth-based type 23 frigate while others are opening gifts and tucking into turkey.
In the run-up to Christmas, he took a moment away from his duties to send a quick message to all of his loved ones back home.
He said: “This deployment in HMS Montrose has been the best so far, it’s been absolutely brilliant.
“I just want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to everyone back at home.”
Mr Yates will be away from his wife Emma over Christmas as well as his parents Barbara and Steven Yates.
The engineering technician was educated at Thomas Alleyne’s High School, in Uttoxeter.
A spokesman for the Royal Navy said: “Johnathan will be away serving on board Plymouth based type 23 frigate HMS Montrose over Christmas. Montrose is currently deployed to the Gulf where she is carrying out maritime security operations and regional engagement.
“He will also be helping to strengthen the bonds between the UK and countries in the Middle East.
“Do you know Johnathan or have a family member or a friend onboard HMS Montrose over the festive period?
“As well as the Christmas messages that we send out to his family and the people of Burton from the ship and people deployed overseas, we’d like to share your festive messages as well.
“Send your festive image and message and we will share it in the official Royal Navy Flickr channel.”
To keep up to date with Johnathan over Christmas and to see what he is doing readers can visit www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yulethewaves.