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  • Long-serving Royal Navy dental nurse Amanda braced for new challenge

    Henry James

    AFTER passing on her wisdom to more than 600 rookie sailors, Warrant Officer 1 Amanda Knight is braced for a new challenge in naval dentistry.

    The 45-year-old Royal Navy dental nurse, from Skelmersdale, has spent the past two years nurturing raw recruits through the 10-week course, which turns civilian into sailors.

    She is the senior female and only female guard officer within the Initial Naval Training school at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall.

    WO1 Knight led her 11th and final class, which included three aspiring dental nurses, on the parade ground for their passing-out parade - almost 25 years to the day since she completed her own basic training.

    To mark her years of dedicated service Amanda was also presented with the clasp to her Long Service and Good Conduct medal during the parade, supported by colleagues from the Royal Navy Dental Service.

    She said: “Back then I would never have believed that 25 years almost to the day that I was stood behind a guard officer, I would be there as a guard officer myself and proud to be on the parade ground with the dental nurses for my last one.”

    WO1 Knight (nee Symons) joined the Royal Navy in January 1994 as a Wren dental surgery assistant.

    Already qualified as a dental nurse, she joined the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton for her first draft. She has since served in Gibraltar and Portsmouth and has spent a large part of her career in training roles within the Tri-Service Dental School. She joined HMS Raleigh in 2017 having requested to experience a job outside of her branch.

    She said: “I’ve loved my time at HMS Raleigh. It’s been so rewarding. It’s brilliant seeing the recruits on day one, week one and then seeing them on the parade ground at the end. The weeks go by so quickly and you can’t remember everybody, but there are certain people I will remember and I’m sure they’ll remember me too.”

    With her time at HMS Raleigh coming to end she’ll shortly be returning to her roots as a dental nurse as the head of her specialisation at Defence Medical Services, Whittington where she will oversee the lengthy training pathway of dental nurses, including those from her final entry at Raleigh.

    The married mother-of-one commented: “I’m looking forward to seeing them again. They’ll be six weeks into the curriculum when I arrive and it will be interesting for them to see me in a different way. ”

    Summing up her 25 years’ service to date she added: “It has been rewarding and challenging. I’ve gained so many other qualifications in leadership and management alongside my dental qualifications.

    “I’ve managed to raise a child - for 10 years of that I was on my own - but the Navy supports you in every way and it has made me a more rounded and stronger person.”

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