The Sandbag Times Issue No:13


The Veterans Magazine


Thursday 14th April 2016


3 Soldier found dead in Tenerife

A British Soldier found dead after

disappearing from barracks.

3 Army Hero’s dream home wrecked

Hero Veterans who helps home veterans has

his own home trashed by tenants.

4 Veteran sets up home in rusty van

A soldier has turned an old van into a

mobile home to combat homelessness.

5 SAS Hero medals returned

The medals of SAS Hero John McAleese

have been returned to his family after theft

Women on the Front Line Pt 3 Page 8

6 The Soldier Prince

A look back into Prince Harry’s army career

and how he supports veterans with PTSD.

8 Women on the Front Line

SBT’s own Bev looks at female combat

roles from a female veteran perspective

10 Have Faith

This week: The Lost Sheep

11 The Historic Tommy Atkins

Burma ‘Death Bridge’ Hero reaches

100 and still going strong.

14 VRN The Naafi of the airwaves

What’s happening on your favourite

radio station

The Worcester Warriors Page 9

Sponsored by

18 SBT Information

A page dedicated to back issues,

information, book reviews etc.

20 Time for a Coffee Break

Fun & Games on the final pages.

We are always looking for new ideas

and competitions from you.

The Sandbag Times is produced in association with The Tommy Atkins Trust,

Veterans Radio Net and UK Veterans Breakfast Clubs. For more information

please contact us at 2016©


British Soldier found dead in

Tenerife after going absent

A British Army soldier was found

drowned on a beach in Tenerife after

mysteriously disappearing from his


Matty Bermingham, 21, of the

Yorkshire Regiment, fled from

Barrington Barracks in Warminster,

Wiltshire, despite having just finished

his basic training.

The young soldier had always dreamed

of joining the forces but while on home

leave he told loved ones he was

becoming disenchanted with military


He was found dead on a beach at El

Cabecito, in Arona along the Costa

Adeje, Tenerife, on February 23, a

Bradford inquest heard.

His family had been baffled by his

disappearance for weeks.

They had been concerned by a

number of text messages in which he

said 'Sorry' and that he did not want to

bring shame on his family.

Coroner's Officer Steve Hepplestone

said that he had gone missing on

February 2. The inquest was

adjourned to a date to be fixed

Dream home of Army Hero wrecked by Tenants

An Army Veteran Landlord

who helped house homeless

soldiers has been left devastated

after a family wrecked one of

his dream homes before doing

a moonlight flit owing more

than £2000 in rent.

Bighearted Chris Wieczorek –

who served as an infantry

sergeant in Iraq and Northern

Ireland – now runs his own

booming property business and

has helped several former

comrades that have fallen on

hard times.

Chris, 43, from Bo’ness, West

Lothian, said: “It’s a

nightmare. Words can not

describe how annoyed I was

after getting my property back.

“I lived here for 10 years then

decided I would rent it out to

a large family who were going

to be homeless.

“I am more than £2000 down

on rent. They have left it in a

mess with a smashed window,

stained carpets, marked walls,

the list goes on.

Another Hero veteran with PTSD sleeps in car

Daniel Smith, from

Rochdale, was just 21 when

he was commended for his

brave actions in Iraq. But

he has since found it

difficult to get treatment,

his marriage has failed and

he is struggling to find


For a number of nights

each week, Mr Smith parks

in a lay-by and sleeps in his

car, to get away from

people and control his

anger management issues

It is thought Mr Smith's

PTSD was sparked after

the vehicle patrol he was

part of was blown up by

roadside bombs twice in a

week in 2005.

The medically trained

fusilier tried to help many

of his colleagues who had

received terrible injuries.

He says he is bitter about

how he has been treated

by the army. "I feel like I

have been cast aside

because I haven't done

anything wrong," he says.

He was awarded the

George Cross in

September 2006

WW2 Hero denied compensation – Historic report

A HERO who faced a year of

torment in a Nazi concentration camp

was denied compensation by the

British government because he did

not suffer enough hardship.

Flight Lieutenant Bertram “Jimmy”

James was held captive for a year in

the Sachsenhausen camp after being

recaptured in the ‘Great Escape’ from

Stalag Luft III in March 1944.

Jimmy and other officers were spared

execution but kept in solitary

confinement subject to torture from

SS troops.

Soldier sets up home in rusty old van

Fed up of ‘wasting up to £800 a month

on rent’, this former soldier decided to

start on his dream home by spending

£750 on a 16-year-old rusty LDV

Convoy van.

And Jamie Waddington, 25, of Leeds,

then decorated it with a rustic wooden

interior finished with beautifully carved

handles, skylight and carpet, complete

with shelves and cupboards.

Originally hoping to buy a camper van,

Mr Waddington soon realised that

could set him back tens of thousands of


But 20 years after his harrowing

ordeal, he was initially denied

compensation for Nazi persecution

because he had not suffered


He had to wait another three years

before a parliamentary inquiry

decided the survivors at the camp

where he was prisoner should be


He was eventually awarded £1,192

and 15 shillings - which would be

worth around £18,500 today.

SBS’s heart warming gesture after OAP veteran was mugged

The Special Boat Service has gone

into action after one of its own was

mugged by a coward for his precious

diving watch.

Frank Marchington, 83, who served

with the elite group - sister force of

the SAS - in the 1950s and 60s, was

robbed near his home in Failsworth.

The pensioner was attacked from

behind by a thug who punched

him and stole his wallet and Omega

watch worth £4,000.

But after reading the story of his

Instead, he brought in the help of his

father to convert an old white van,

insulate it, panel it with wood and fit it

out with all the appliances he would


So far, the van has travelled around

Yorkshire, Cumbria and Wales and

spent time in Bristol as he stayed with

people he knows.

However he doesn’t plan to stay in

Britain. In fact, Mr Waddington

hopes to take the old van on a tour of

Europe and even hopes it might stand

up to a trip to the Sahara.

attack in MEN the SBS Association

has mobilised and are having a unique

replacement watch made for Frank.

Frank was walking near his home,

when he was attacked on Monday

evening at about 9pm.

He bought the watch during his service

as a Royal Marine, later joining the

elite SBS - a sister organisation to the

SAS. GMP are investigating the

robbery and asked anyone with

information to contact them on 101,

quoting the reference 1116 April 5 th .

Army badges stolen from an SAS hero

hailed for his role in ending the Iranian

Embassy siege have been returned to his


The SAS and Parachute Regiment cap

badges belonged to John McAleese and

were stolen during a burglary at his

Hereford home.

Mr McAleese was part of the team which

helped end the six-day siege after a group

of six armed men stormed the embassy

in London in 1980 and took 26 people


The badges were found in a drug dealer's

car in 2010, but 62-year-old Mr

TWO faithful poppy fundraisers are handing over the poppy appeal to a ‘new team’ at the Grays Thurrock Royal British Legion.

Silvia and Peter Gaskin, who have been running the table in Grays Precinct for over 13 years, said it was “time for a new team to

take over.”

They will be familiar faces to all those that have passed the

poppy appeal stall outside WH Smith in Grays town centre the

last few years.

The Gaskins said: “We wish to thank all the loyal customers

who have supported the Poppy Appeal for Grays. We hope

the new team that replaces us will receive the same support

that we have.”

Chairman and Poppy Organiser, Ray Bridger also added his

thanks for all their help.

The 2014 Poppy Appeal raised the record-breaking amount of

over £51,216. Totals for the 2015 appeal have not yet been

released. .

Medals of SAS Hero returned to family

Grays Thurrock British Legion to get new poppy appeal team

McAleese died from a heart attack while

on holiday in Greece before they could

be returned to him.

However, a former Army colleague, PC

Alan Reeves from West Midlands

Police, helped to trace his family and

return them.

“We’re delighted to finally have the

badges back…I know it’s been a bit of a

mission of Alan’s to return them and

we’re extremely grateful for his time and

effort," his widow Joanna said.

The badges were very dear to John’s

heart and he was gutted to find they’d

been taken.”

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The Truth Behind

US Veterans Suicides

From the moment Prince Harry joined the Army in

2005 it was clear that this was not going to be a typical

‘Royal’ military career. He was going to be a soldier


It all began at RMA Sandhurst in May 2005 where he

became Officer Cadet Wales. 11 months later, he

completed his Officer training and entered the Blue and

Royals as a Cornet (Second Lieutenant). 2 years later

he reached the rank of lieutenant.

It was reported in early June 2007 that Harry had

arrived in Canada to train alongside soldiers of

the Canadian Forces and British Army, at CFB

Suffield, near Medicine Hat, Alberta. It was said that

this was in preparation for a tour of duty in

Afghanistan, where Canadian and British forces were

participating in the NATO-led Afghan War. This was

confirmed in February the following year, when the

British Ministry of Defence revealed that Harry had

been secretly deployed as a Forward Air

Controller to Helmand Province in Afghanistan. The

revelation came after the media – notably, German

newspaper Bild and Australian magazine New Idea [ –

breached the blackout placed over the information by

the Canadian and British authorities. It was later

reported that, while in Afghanistan, Harry

helped Gurkha troops repel an attack

from Taliban insurgents, and performed patrol duty in

hostile areas. His tour made Harry the first member of

the Royal Family to serve in a war zone since his

uncle, Prince Andrew, flew helicopters during

the Falklands War.

In October 2008, it was announced that Harry was to follow

his brother, father and uncle in learning to fly military

helicopters. After passing the initial aptitude test, he was to

undertake a month-long course; if he passed that, he would

begin full flight training in early 2009. Harry had to pass his

flying assessment at the Army Air Corps Base (AAC), Middle

Wallop, the result of which determined if he would continue

on to train as a pilot of the Apache, Lynx,

or Gazelle helicopter. Having reached the requisite standard,

Harry attended the Defence Helicopter Flying School at RAF

Shawbury, where he joined brother William.

Harry was presented with his flying brevet (wings) by his father

on 7 May 2010 at a ceremony at the Army Air Corps Base

(AAC), Middle Wallop. Harry had let it be known that he

intended to fly Apache attack helicopters if he was successful

in passing the rigorous Apache training course, after which

time it could be possible for him to see active military service

once again on the frontline in Afghanistan. During the

ceremony, he switched his Blues and Royals' Officer's Service

Dress cap for that of the Army Air Corps' sky blue beret with a

Blues and Royals badge.

On 10 March 2011, it was revealed that Harry had passed his

Apache flying test and he was awarded his Apache Flying

Badge on 14 April 2011.

There was speculation that he would return to Afghanistan

before the withdrawal in 2015. On 16 April 2011, it was

announced that Harry had been promoted to captain.

On 7 September 2012, Harry arrived at Camp Bastion in

southern Afghanistan as part of the 100-strong 662

Squadron, 3 Regiment, Army Air Corps

to begin a four-month combat tour as a co-pilot and

gunner for an Apache helicopter. This was considered a

particular honour as most pilots are required to sit in the

"back seat" before being promoted to gunner.

On 10 September, within days of arriving in Afghanistan,

it was reported that the Taliban threatened his life.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid spoke

to Reuters and was quoted as saying; "We are using all

our strength to get rid of him, either by killing or

kidnapping," and "We have informed our commanders in

Helmand to do whatever they can to eliminate him.

It was announced on 21 January 2013 that Harry was

returning from a 20-week deployment in Afghanistan,

where he served as an Apache co-pilot/gunner.

On 8 July 2013, the Ministry of Defence announced that

Harry had successfully qualified as an Apache aircraft


On 19 June 2015 , after serving just over 10 years, his

career with the Army ended

Onwards and Upwards

On 6 March 2014, Prince Harry launched Invictus

Games, a Paralympic-style sporting event for injured

servicemen and women, which was held on 10–14

September 2014. Prince Harry met British hopefuls for

the Invictus Games at Tedworth House for the start of

the selection process on 29 April 2014. On 15 May 2014,

Harry attended a ticket sale launch for Invictus Games at

BT Tower, where he made a public tweet on the Invictus

Games' official Twitter account as the President of

Invictus Games

In January 2015, it was reported that Harry would take a

new role in supporting wounded service personnel by

working alongside members of the London District's

Personal Recovery Unit for the MOD's Defence

Recovery Capability scheme to ensure that wounded

personnel have adequate recovery plans. The scheme was

established in partnership with Help for Heroes and the

Royal British Legion, the palace confirmed weeks later.

After he left the army Prince Harry said he wanted to

dedicate the rest of his life to working with ex-servicemen

fighting mental health problems, as he reveals he feels

lucky to have escaped Afghanistan alive.

As he prepared to join injured veterans on part of their

1,000 mile walk across Britain, the Prince said more needs

to be done to help personnel with “hidden” injuries.

The 31-year-old is patron of the Walking With The

Wounded Walk of Britain and today said as a country “we

need to do more” to get rid of the stigma surrounding

mental health issues.

He has previously spoken of the “very difficult” transition

to civilian life that former service personnel face,

particularly those who carry the scars and burdens of the

war. And in an interview with ITV News he has made

clear his life-long commitment to helping people battling

to overcome grievous injuries, both physical and mental,

suffered in the line of duty.

"Mental health is a sensitive subject but it doesn’t need to

be,” he said. “We need to talk about it more, get rid of the


So, from Prince to soldier to pilot to veteran to veterans

champion, there have been very few Royals, and I say this

with the greatest of respect, that have proved themselves so

much as an icon who leads by example in every sense of

the word. Yes, he will never be King but he certainly has

won the hearts and respect of the nation.

Women on the

Front Line

By Bev Burrows

Over the years there have been many discussions - some of

them heated - on the topic of women in combat roles. When

I served in the Royal Air Force I was fortunate enough to be

one of the first females permitted to do live armed guard duty,

which I was happy to do, although I did have to prove myself

on the range before I was allowed to use an SLR instead of

the SA80 I was supposed to carry. The concern back then was

that I wouldn’t be strong enough to carry the SLR for very

long because of it’s weight, and that I would be liable to end

up with a dislocated shoulder from the recoil if, perish the

thought, I had to shoot someone with it.

Despite my build - 5’2” tall and about 8 stone back then, I

managed perfectly well with it, although three hours a day in

the gym might have had something to do with my apparent

strength and stamina.

Today women have become much more aligned with their

male counterparts. With the exception of front-line ground

combat there are very few roles women are excluded from

within the array of careers available in the British Armed


There are very definite arguments both for and against

women being placed directly in front of what is without doubt

one of the most brutal enemies we have ever faced. So how

should we choose who gets to go face to face with today’s


I think it is fairly safe to assume that the only women applying

for positions with a high chance of close combat will be

women who are actively pursuing such a role. The careers

available to applicants these days are still very varied, so there

will always be a number of options to choose from that would

mean the recruit would operate in more of a supportive role

of some kind. However, for those ladies who are adamant

that life in a war zone is their ultimate goal, why shouldn’t

they be allowed to just go for it?

My personal opinion on the matter is that SOME women

are perfectly capable of fulfilling the same roles as their

male counterparts. That has been proved by the existence

of women like Stephanie Rose who was one of the first

female soldiers to fly the Apache attack helicopter,

completing her fair share of tours in war zones. As a career

goes, I’d say that’s an achievement that would be hard to

beat, for plenty of men as well as women!

Front line though? Face to face? I’m not convinced that we

should be seeing huge numbers of women getting up close

and personal with insurgents and the likes any time soon. I

worked as a rigger (aircraft mechanic) in the RAF, so I

know that there are women out there who can do male

dominated jobs just as well as their counterparts, but the

woman in question HAS to be “fit for purpose” as it were.

There should be no difference at all in the training a

woman has to pass in order to be declared battle fit. If

women want to be on the battlefields with the lads they

should have to do everything exactly the same as the men

do. The training the men get is put together the way it is to

make absolutely sure that the only people who pass it and

get to fight are those who have what it takes. Lowering the

standards just so women can pass is, in my opinion, a very

dangerous thing to do. It could potentially endanger the

lives of the unit she is fighting with, and has the potential to

make the enemies’ lives easier as they could see women as

a weak link and purposefully target units with female

soldiers in them.



Worcester Heroes

Receive La Legion


Two Worcester residents have received the National

Order of the Legion of Honour (Ordre national de la

Legion d’honneur) from the Honorary French Consul in

recognition of their service in France during the Second

World War.

The awards were made to Eric Tipping and Michael Stobe

in the presence of the Mayor of Worcester, family

members and comrades. The awards were made by

Monsieur Robert F. Mille, from the French Honorary

Consul in Birmingham.

Hosting the ceremony, Cllr Roger Knight, the Mayor of

Worcester, said: "It was an absolute delight and a great

honour to see these two heroes receive such a prestigious

award from the French consul. It was a remarkable event

to witness in the Guildhall and one that is unlikely to be


Eric Tipping

Born in Worcester in 1926, Eric Tipping was 16 years old

when talk began of an invasion of England. He pretended

he was 17 so he could join the services, later becoming a

member of the Worcestershire Regiment as an

infantryman. He travelled to join the 1st Worcesters in the

front line in Normandy as part of the D-Day invasion of

France, landing on a beach at Arromanches.

Eric became involved in every action of the battalion for

the rest of the 1944-1945 campaign in North Western

Europe, operating a German sub-machine gun and a

German Lugar pistol, both of which he removed from a

German soldier he had captured.

He was part of the British 43rd (Wessex) Division who

fought to capture the bridge at the River Seine, near

Vernon in August 1944. This was the last battle that Eric

fought on French soil, before pushing on into Germany.

After the war Eric returned to his beloved Worcester and

continued to work for the Co-op for another 30 years,

before reaching retirement. Eric still lives in Worcester.

Michael Stone

Michael first moved to Worcester in 1926, aged four. He

attended Worcester Royal Grammar School, leaving at

Christmas 1939. In May 1940 he joined the Local

Defence Volunteers, later the Home Guard. Now 18 he

was invited to join the Royal Artillery.

After six months at Aberdeen University he went to

OCTU, gaining his commission in 53 Medium Regiment

in September 1941. There followed a brief period of

coast defence before his regiment was assigned to the

Second Front. Training in Scotland seemed endless until

crossing on an LST to France on D-Day, aged 22.

As Gun Position Officer, Michael was controlling a troop

of four 5.5 inch guns, his regiment being under command

of 3rd British Division. After the German defeat in

Normandy and the siege of Le Havre his regiment moved

up to Belgium and southern Holland. At Christmas 1944

the Germans attacked through the Ardennes and

Michael’s regiment was again involved.

In 1945 came the battles for the Reichswald and the

crossing of the Rhine at Wesel. At this point Michael

volunteered to train as an Air OP pilot. He gained his

wings and joined 652 AOP Squadron RAF. Now a

Captain, he served in Germany until demobilisation in


When the Territorial Army was reformed Michael joined

the local gunners, then 267 Field Regt. In 1955, when his

work took him away from Worcester, he had been a

Major commanding Queen Battery in Malvern for five


His work was in civil engineering, mostly helping to build

motorways. Later however he was on contracts abroad

ranging from Peru to Africa to Indonesia, eventually

retiring at 73 from his last job in Devon. Michael was

married for 53 years. On his wife’s death in 1999 a return

to Worcester was inevitable.

The Lost Sheep

In combat quick & important decisions

have to be made. Do you sacrifice one

man or the whole platoon?

A difficult decision, logic would dictate

one man for many.

A man is lost over enemy line’s is he

left there or are other lives risked to

save his? One man for many?

How much value can you put on a

man’s life? Well I know that God

values us far greater than we value

ourselves. It is written ‘Are not five

sparrows sold for two pennies? And

not one of them is forgotten before

God. Why, even the hairs of your head

are all numbered. Fear not; you are of

more value than many sparrows.’

(Luke 12:6-7)

In the Bible, Matthew 15:1-7, Jesus

tells the parable of the good shepherd.

The flock was one-hundred strong but

one sheep had strayed and got lost.

The shepherd valued the lives of each

of his sheep. He left the ninety-nine to

find the one he had lost. Now this

doesn’t make economic sense. Risk a

wolf or bear preying on the flock and

taking many sheep or leave the one

who has strayed to become the prey.

In this case the shepherd went out

looking for the lost one. He valued

that sheep. The others were doing as

they should, they were not of a worry

to him, but this one had strayed. He

was lost and needed rescuing.

We know that in the Bible Jesus is

referred to as the shepherd. In psalm 23

it is written ‘The Lord is my Shepherd;

I shall not want. He makes me lie down

in green pastures. He leads me beside

still waters.’

The Lord is the shepherd and we are

His sheep. He equally values each one

of us. No more, no less. Each of us is

important. When you are feeling like

you don’t matter, that your life doesn’t

matter, or what you do now doesn’t

matter, you are wrong. You matter.

Each of us hit on circumstances where

we feel like we’re fighting a losing battle,

but even in that battle we still matter.

Knowing this helps me to carry on even

when I feel like giving up. Knowing this

helps me to get through the darkest


A relative is laid in hospital fighting for

his life against cancer. He is fighting a

battle. His ammunition, the drugs

administered by the oncologists. Now

the cancer is gaining ground and means

he has to make a choice. Refuse invasive

treatment & be gone in a week or try it

and maybe crawl on for a bit longer. It’s

difficult to know when to concede. If

you’re a born fighter, feeling like you’ve

given up is hard to bear. My relative is a

fighter, he has powered through this

whole battle but he is getting combat

weary. He is staring death in the face and

he is scared. I want to reassure him with

the assurance I have through my faith.

That death is merely falling asleep and

then waking up in heaven, where there is

no sadness, no pain only overwhelming

peace, but he is still fighting a battle with

God, so even if I tell him this, he will not

listen. I wish I could take away his fear,

but only God can do that. He is lost, like

a sheep gone astray. But the Lord is still

looking for lost sheep and He will find

them just as the shepherd in this parable

found his lost sheep and rejoiced. Noone

is too lost for The Lord to find. It

comforts me to know that my relative will

die at peace whether that be sooner or

later, because God always delivers on His

promises. I have confidence and faith

that my relative will be at peace when he

dies. He will call out to Him even in his

last breath. God is true to His word. God

gives each of us the opportunity to know

Him. And many cry out to Him when

they are in the most desperate of

situations. It doesn’t matter when you

call out to Him. Romans 10:13 states

‘Everyone who calls on the name of the

Lord will be saved.’ But why wait until

your dying breath, when you could know

God’s assurance, love and peace now.

You may say I’m not ready to think about

this yet. But we all have to question the

truth of life and death at some point in

our lives. Why not ‘call out’, what have

you got to lose?

I want to reassure you that however alone

you are feeling right now, you are NOT

alone in your battle. Please message me

if you have any questions or if you would

like us to pray for you or for someone

you know. Please contact me at

Burma War Hero

at 100

A SOLDIER who was captured by the Japanese and

forced to work on the Burma “death railway” has

celebrated his 100th birthday.

Frank Kerridge worked on the infamous 258-mile stretch

of track linking Burma and Thailand for two years after his

capture in 1942.

The indomitable PoW survived the nightmare as more

than 12,000 Allied prisoners, including almost 7,000

British servicemen, were either killed at the hands of their

cruel Japanese captors or died of disease and exhaustion.

The veteran has lived in his home near Stowmarket,

which he shares with his cat Spooky, for 53 years. He

was married to Madeline for 71 years until she died in


Mr Kerridge, an infantryman, was fighting to save

Singapore with the 5th Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment

when it was conquered by Japanese forces.

He said: “I worked on the Burma Railway. I was on there

for two years. We hardly had any clothes, most of the

time we were barefoot.

“We camped in bamboo huts. In the monsoons we used

to hold on to the middle pole so it wouldn’t blow away.”

He said of his Japanese guards: “They were very strict. If

you did anything wrong you would get a good hiding.”

He remembered being whipped with a brutal bamboo

cane but said he was “lucky” compared with the

treatment meted out to some of his comrades. Disease

from insect bites was a constant hazard. Some of the

sickest men lost legs, with doctors being forced to cut off

limbs with hacksaws. He was later shipped to Japan with

other prisoners for further hard labour, passing through

the shattered Japanese city of Hiroshima.

The brutal conditions inspired the classic 1957 war movie

The Bridge On The River Kwai, starring Alec Guinness.

Now, more than 70 years on, Mr Kerridge is still fighting

fit as he leads an idyllic life in his native Suffolk.

He tends to his garden, donates his home-grown

vegetables to his neighbours, enjoys baking and still drives.

The first his parents and wife heard of what had

happened was when he was finally freed at the end of

the war.

Mr Kerridge later worked with Eastern Electricity, before

retiring at 65 in 1981. About 60 guests attended his

birthday party. His sister Bessie, who is 98 and lives in

Essex, managed to make it to the knees-up.

Mr Kerridge said: “I’d really like to see her make 100


This week in the Clubs

Bourne Veterans Breakfast Club

17 for our first meeting this morning (3 had to leave before

the group photo was taken).

A great meeting, with someone from each Arm of the Armed

Forces (incl a WW2 RAF Fireman), 3 serving members, the

Chairman of the local RBL and the Town Mayor.

Looking forward to next week......

Paul Flight

Eastwood Veterans Breakfast Club

Eastwood VBC had 10 Members to their 1st Meeting

today......cracking result, hopefully get more to the next one

on Saturday 14th May.

Tameside Veterans Breakfast Clubs

Well what can i say about our first meeting of the

Tameside veterans breakfast club.

Over a hundred people along with councillors and

lord mayor and mayoress of Tameside. Local

Tameside radio who interviewed veterans and the

lord mayor.

Tameside council have made a commitment to the

military covenant.

But the most important thing about today is, 2

veterans approached me today asking about help

about issues with drugs and alcohol, of which we

were able to point them in the direction of SSAFA

and they will be getting assistance. Pete Millns

Retford Veterans Breakfast Club

Cracking day at Retford with the BBC filming the

club and the Money Advice Service present to assist

veterans. Attendance....45......not bad for a little

market town.

Denis Scaife

Veterans Radio Net

Our Time| Our Place | Our Voice

Veterans Radio Net

Welcome to Veterans Radio Net (VRN)

The NAAFI of the Air Waves

VRN is definitely coming in to it’s own this month. I think it would be fair to say we have been sitting in

the eye of the storm for a little while waiting for the next batch of busyness to hit us full in the face.

Guess what? It’s arrived.

Pablo is now starting to reduce his commitments on VRN due to his work load with the Sandbag Times

but he has said he will continue with the newly named The Sandbag Times Radio Show (The old

Tommy Atkins Show) and the Banger & Beanz Show with Ricky.

On the subject of presenters we are now crying out for new blood. We have lots of slots to fill on the

station and are on the hunt for presenters to fill them. If you fancy yourself as a presenter then why not

give us a shout. Experience is preferable but if you are just keen to give it a go we can help develop your

skills. All you need is a PC with an internet connection and a microphone.

We have 2 new shows currently in the mix. Big Vince and the Veterans Blues Show and Ricky’s New

Wave & New Romantic Show. Other shows coming soon are Poor Bob’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Jamboree,

Vickie’s Sunday Show and we also have a show being produced from Turn to Starboard with Roy

Newport. Looking forward to that one.

Keep listening folks and have a great week

See you all soon.

Sapper Ken

Mon – Fri 0700 – 1000hrs Sapper Ken Breakfast Show

Mon – Fri 1000 – 1200hrs Remy in the Mid Morning

Mon – Fri 1200 – 1400hrs Sapper Daz does Lunch

Monday 1800 – 2000hrs Vince’s Veterans Blues Show

Tuesday 1800 – 2000hrs GWF Northern Soul

Wednesday 1400 – 1600hrs Bev B’s Bits & Bobs Show

Thursday 1800 – 2000hrs Ricky’s 80’s Show

Friday 1800 – 2000hrs The Sandbag Times Radio Show

Saturday 0800 – 1000hrs The Bangers & Beanz Show

Sunday 1800 – 2000hrs The Banger & Beanz Washing Up Show

Veterans Help

Other Helpful Links

Our Links

Welcome to Wizz Properties


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Contact Us

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Telephone. 0790 990 8056


A word from the Ed

So, last weeks SBT hit the

world big time and for the

third week running I’m

reeling in its success.

I must say a big word of

thanks to Johnny Mercer MP

for his kind comments about

his article. It meant an awful

lot to the whole team knowing

that we had reached out to a

man who is making such a

difference to us Vets. Maybe

not changing the world but at

least renewing our faith in the


We move into our new office

over the next week which is

really exciting. We will be

turning the SBT into a proper

organisation. (Thought I’d

better in the light of the

amount of people that are

now reading it). We have a

couple of experts heading in

to help with the design and

business side of things. Two

guys to thank, Matt Jarvis

and Mark Hogan of Slap


So, here we go. A new mag,

a new look, a whole new


On the ‘A Song For A Hero’

front. We are getting ready

for our next show which is

on 23 rd April at the Lamb &

Flag, Worcester. The show

is being put on for the

Worcester Veterans

Breakfast Club. Going to be

a cracker I think. Vince is

also planning some graphics

to help tell the story. I had a

sneaky preview of what he is

up to and it is stunning. It’ll

be a good one. Remember

our email if you would like

to get hold of us Pabs

Ways to find us

The Sandbag Times



The Tommy Atkins Trust



"The Brand New Rock Opera which tells the

truth of what happens to our heroes when the

killing ends. Packed with incredible songs,

breathtaking graphics and an emotional

rollercoaster of a story that will leave you

asking questions for a long time to come.“

Where Do They Go...

...When The Killing Ends

Information Page

D-DAY Minute by Minute - JONATHAN MAYO

The regular decennial commemorations of D-Day show no sign of abating,

as a fresh crop of books fill the shelves with the onset of the

70th anniversary. Among them is this offering from Jonathan Mayo, who

retells the story from a fresh perspective by describing the events of 6 June

(and the previous day) on a virtual minute-by-minute basis. As the author

states in his introduction, this is not a military history but a chronologically

arranged series of stories from those involved that includes the experiences

of British, Americans, Germans and French, servicemen and civilians alike.

The emphasis is very much on human interest, and Mayo does an excellent

job in deploying his material and letting his chosen individuals tell their

stories. They range from the famous weather forecast given by Group

Captain James Stagg that gave the invasion the go-ahead, to the many

individual narratives of the battle for the beaches, which includes a chilling

account from a US paratrooper on the ground who observes a stick of men

jumping from a Dakota: ‘The plane is so low that as they hit the ground

they make the sound of ripe pumpkins bursting’.

Written in the present tense and lacking a wider historical structure, the

sheer mass of stories can at times seem overwhelming, but this is not to

take away from the drama and immediacy of this cleverly assembled


Back Issues of the Sandbag Times are available to download here

Information Page

Where do they go...

...When the killing ends

"The Brand New Rock Opera

which tells the truth of what

happens to our heroes when

the killing ends. Packed with

incredible songs, breathtaking

graphics and an emotional

rollercoaster of a story that

will leave you asking questions

for a long time to come."

Click on the link to listen to the preview

WW2 Aircraft

Aircraft Silhouettes

Sent in by Dougie France

Name all six and win a prize

What do you mean,

you’re too busy?


Easy Medium Hard V. Hard

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