The Sandbag Times Issue No: 19


The Veterans Magazine

The Veterans Magazine Issue 19 | 26 May 2016

The Invisible Veterans

How veterans are being let down

by an inefficient system

The Gurkhas

The Pride behind the Kukri

The SBT News

All the latest from the Armed Forces

& the Veterans Community


Ken Brooks


CONTENTS 26 May 2016

SBT News

3 Veteran found murdered

in tent

A homeless veteran has

been found shot dead in his

tent, 23 year old man


3 5 injured in A17 army

truck crash

5 people have been injured

in a crash on A17 between

4 army trucks and an LGV

4 Queen sheds a tear for

the fallen

The Queen showed a rare

moment of emotion at the

National Arboretum

5 7 aircrew escape bomber


All 7 aircrew escaped

unhurt as their B52

Stratofortress crashed on

take off


7 New Spy series for

Channel 4

Channel 4 are looking for

candidates to take part in a

new series to become Spies

8 The Gurkhas

A look at one of the

proudest and fiercest

infantry regiments in the


Forces Online Radio goes Live Page 6

The Invisible Veterans Page 10



13 Have Faith

This week: At the bottom of

the pit

17 The Historic Tommy


Trading Places – One Man’s

Life For Another

20 Veterans Radio


What’s happening on your

favourite radio stations

25 SBT Information

A page dedicated to back

issues, information, book

reviews etc

26 Time for a NAAFI Break

Fun & Games on the final

pages. We are always

looking for new ideas and

competitions from you

Editor: Pablo Snow

Tel: 01905 570590


| 2


Homeless man found shot dead in

tent was an ex-soldier

It has been confirmed that a

homeless man found shot

dead in a tent was an exsoldier.

Phillip Fox, 60

served 6 years with the

Royal Scots Regiment but

was refused to be put on the

housing list due to him not

being from the area. Mr

Fox’s decomposing body

was found on 25th April in a

woodland in Wincheap,

Kent. A 26 year old South

London man has been

arrested on suspicion of

murder. Read more here.

5 injured’ 2 seriously, in army truck accident on A17

Four men and one woman

were taken to hospital this

week following a major

crash at the Swineshead

Bridge on the A17. Three of

the casualties were airlifted

to hospital while the two

remaining casualties were

taken to hospital by

ambulance. The A17 was

closed for several hours

while emergency services

attended the scene. The crash

involved 4 army trucks and a

LGV. None of the five

casualties are thought to be

military personnel. A 56

year-old man remains critical

in Queen’s Medical Centre,

in Nottingham, and a 44

year-old man continues to be

treated in Addenbrooke’s

Hospital in Cambridge for

serious injuries. Both men

were drivers of the MoD

vehicles and are from the

South Yorkshire area. The

driver of the articulated

lorry, a 23 year old man,

remains in hospital.

One of the remaining MOD

drivers did not require

hospital treatment and the

other was treated for less

serious injuries. Read more

on this story and follow

updates at this link.

‘Abuse Claims’ Lawyers to be prosecuted

A law firm behind hundreds of claims that British soldiers

abused Iraqis will be prosecuted for professional misconduct

over accusations. It failed to hand over evidence and paid

improper fees of £75,000 to an Iraqi agent handling alleged

victims. Leigh Day, one of Britain’s leading human rights law

firms, and two of its senior lawyers could face unlimited

fines and the prospect of being struck off after the Solicitors

Disciplinary Tribunal ruled there was a “case to answer” to the

allegations. The inquiry found the allegations against soldiers

were the product of “deliberate and calculated lies” from Iraqi

witnesses driven by a desire to smear the British military.

Read more on this story.

Army veteran with

no legs ordered to

prove disability

A newly-elected Ulster

Unionist politician who lost

his legs serving in

Afghanistan has said it is

"shocking and humiliating"

that he is being asked to

prove he is disabled in order

to secure an assistance

benefit at Stormont. East

Belfast MLA Andy Allen

also described accessibility

for disabled people in

Parliament Buildings as

"sub-standard. I would have

expected the Assembly to be

leading the way on these

issues and setting an

example for the rest of

Northern Ireland," he said.

The former Royal Irish

Regiment soldier was 19

when his right leg was

blown off and his left leg

badly injured by a makeshift

bomb while on patrol in

Afghanistan in 2008. His left

leg was later amputated. He

was blinded by the blast,

although he has now

regained 30% of his

eyesight. Mr Allen qualifies

for a disabled MLA's

allowance, which would let

him employ a driver who

could also help him get in

and out of cars while on

Assembly or constituency

business. "Even though I am

clearly disabled, the

Independent Financial

Review Panel have told me I

need to see occupational

health services to have my

condition assessed and prove

I am disabled," he said. "I

have two missing legs. I

think my condition is pretty

clear. I don't think myself or

anyone with an obvious

disability should have to

undergo such an assessment.

People should be left with

their dignity. "The Review

Panel would be better off

trying to ensure there are

disabled facilities at MLAs'

offices, rather than make me

and others jump through

hoops to prove we're

disabled.” To read the full

story please click here. 3 |

26 May 2016

Low morale in UK troops leads to increase in resignations

Thousands of British military

personnel are thought to be

handing in their notice due to

suffering from low morale,

stemmed from a knock on effect

from the drastic cuts made back

in 2010. Just over 7000 British

troops have resigned since April

2015, this includes service men

and woman from the Royal

Navy, Army and the RAF. Rules

are now having to be

amended because there is no

longer enough British nationals

available within the services and

therefore hundreds of foreign

troops will now be able to sign

up to defend this country.

Defence Minister Penny

Mordaunt had stated that

Commonwealth soldiers could

only sign up to defend this

country if they had lived here for

five years or over. These rules

are now being relaxed to allow

200 Commonwealth citizens to

sign up every year. The

Ministry of Defence rolled our

their Continuous Attitude Survey

and the results were that one in

three service men or women

were dissatisfied with service

living. Staggering new figures

from the MoD show 7,260

troops from the Army, RAF and

Navy have applied to resign

since April 2015. It comes as

Britain faces a severe terror

threat from Islamic terrorist

groups, and as the MoD prepares

The Queen sheds a tear for fallen heroes

The Queen couldn't help being

overcome by emotion as she

joined wounded veterans to pay

tribute to fallen soldiers. Her

Majesty, 90, was seen wiping

away a tear during a service for

soldiers killed while serving in

the Duke of Lancaster's

Regiment at the National

Memorial Arboretum in

Alrewas, Staffordshire. As a

tear slipped down her right

cheek, the monarch placed a

gloved hand to wipe it away

discreetly. She then laid a

wreath at the new memorial

with the message: 'In memory of

the glorious dead. Elizabeth R.‘

The emotional moment occurred

as the Queen returned to her seat

after unveiling the new

monument. As she joined the

assembled crowd in a hymn,

the tear slipped down her cheek

and it seemed to take some time

to regain her composure as she

shut her eyes for a few moments

afterwards. The emotional

display was something of a

surprise, as the Queen is not

known to display her feelings in

public on a regular basis. In

fact, the only time she has cried

publicly before was when the

Royal Yacht Britannia was

decommissioned in 1997.

Family and friends of fallen

service personnel also attended

the ceremony at the National

Memorial Arboretum where the

Queen unveiled a bronze lion

memorial. In addition to

unveiling the memorial,

featuring a lion cast in bronze,

the Queen laid a wreath marking

the regiment's sacrifice. The

Queen, the Colonel-in-Chief of

the regiment, also met officers

from the regiment at the 150-

acre arboretum, operated by the

Royal British Legion. Following

the unveiling she wrote in the

visitors book, adding her

signature, Elizabeth R, to the

dedication. Read more here.

for engagement in Libya, which

could see as many as 1,000

troops join coalition allies in

supporting local forces to

vanquish IS fundamentalists.

According to the MoD’s latest

Service Personnel Statistics the

UK can field a total number of

140,570 fully-trained troops

across all branches - well short

of the MoD’s declared minimum

number of troops needed for

each service, which is 146,950.

The so-called “liability gap”,

which mainly affects the Army

and the Royal Navy, stands at

6,380 – the size of an entire

brigade. However figures show

that hundreds of fully-trained

troops are quitting every month

because they have simply had

enough. More here.

work begins on new military rehab centre

Construction of a £300m

rehabilitation centre for injured

military personnel has begun in

the grounds of a stately home

in the East Midlands.

The Defence and National

Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC),

at Stanford Hall on the


border, is due to open in 2018.

The facility will replace the

outdated Headley Court, in

Surrey, where patients are

currently treated.

There are also plans for the

centre to treat civilians. The

centre, which will be able to

accommodate up to 300

injured servicemen and

women, has been funded by

donors led by the Duke of

Westminster, who bought the

stately home in 2011.Gen Sir

Timothy Granville-Chapman,

DNRC's director, said Stanford

Hall was chosen above many

other locations and would

serve for 70 or 80 years.

Follow the full story here.

| 4


B52 Stratofortress bomber crashes at

the Andersen Air Force base, Guam

All seven Aircrew

escApe unhurt As

bomber crAshes on

tAke off run

A B-52H Stratofortress bomber

aborted takeoff and crashed at

Andersen Air Force Base on the

U.S. Pacific territory of Guam,

the Air Force said Wednesday

night. None of the seven people

aboard were injured. The giant

plane, part of the 69th

Expeditionary Bomb Squadron

at Minot Air Force Base, North

Dakota, was on a routine

training mission when it

reported down at the base's

flight line, or maintenance area,

about 8:30 a.m. (6:30 p.m. ET),

the Air Force said. Guam Fire

Chief Joey San Nicolas

told NBC station KUAM of

Dededo that local fire crews

American veteran given

special funeral by the RAF

A special funeral's been held for an American

veteran who served in Norfolk during the

second world war. 94-year-old Melvin Rector

was a former gunner who was stationed at

Snetterton. He was hoping to return to the

base during a visit but died shortly after

arriving in the UK. With his family unable to

make it over to England, members of the RAF

and US Air Force held a service to remember

him. Melvyn served on the famous Memphis

Belle as a gunner during the second world war.

He would have slipped quietly away but

people turned out to honour and remember

him at his funeral. Watch the video here.

were called to help fight the fire.

A spokeswoman for Guam

International Airport, said the

airport wasn't affected. The

office of Gov. Eddie Baza Calvo

said that the incident does not

appear to be an attack, and we

highly discourage anyone from

spreading assumptions, or any

information that does not come

from Civil Defense or the

military itself.”

Australian Veteran

killed in Iraq

defusing mines

An Australian man who was

killed in Iraq as he defused

mines in an ISIS battlefield was

a former soldier who was

teaching locals in the war-torn

area how to remove weapons

from the ground. Mark Belford,

who lived in Sydney, retired

from the Australian Army in

2003 after decades of service

and had been working for the

Swiss Foundation for Mine

Action (FSD) in Iraq for six

months. The 58-year-old was

killed on Tuesday morning

during a mission in the village

of Tal Rabba near Daquq,

northern Iraq, where he was

leading a team of 30 Iraqi

volunteers. The organisation he

worked for confirmed he died

while defusing a mine in the

area that was recently

recaptured from ISIS by

Kurdish forces. The

Department of Foreign Affairs

said it was providing support to

Mr Belford's wife and daughter

who have requested to view the

site where he was killed. Read

more here.

Charges dropped

against veteran who

rescued dog from car

Charges against the military

veteran, who broke out a car

window in Athens, Georgia, to

save a dog, have been dropped.

Western Judicial Circuit District

Attorney Ken Mauldin

confirmed that charges against

46-year-old Michael Hammons

had been dismissed. Hammons,

a veteran of Desert Storm,

broke out the window of the

parked Ford Mustang in an

effort to free a Yorkie-mix dog

from the hot interior. Though

the dog's owner was said to be

"irate" about the situation, most

people who heard of Hammons'

actions viewed him as a hero..

Click here to read more. 5 |

Forces Online Radio

Brand New Veterans Radio Station Launched

Abrand new Armed Forces and

Veterans radio station launched at

10:00am on Monday 23rd May.

Forces Online Radio is part of Len

Chappells Forces Online network which is

arguably the largest Veterans Directory on

the net.

Forces Online Radio is managed and

hosted by ex-WO1 Jim Wilde. Jim has a

vast experience of presenting radio shows on

the Veterans network. He has worked on

many stations including Military Veterans

Radio in the US and VIP Radio.

Jim, from Kent has a strong passion for

helping veterans get the right information to

assist them in resettling into civilian life. He

said, “Joining forces with Len has given me

the opportunity to get information out to

the veterans community as well as

providing a platform where veterans and the

general public can come together to chill out

and enjoy a little banter”. FOR will be

playing a huge variety of music to cater for

all tastes. There will also be topical

discussions, interviews and specialist

programmes such as The Sandbag Times

news bulletins and full featured shows.

The Sandbag Times is working closely

with Forces Online and it’s radio station as

part of a working relationship to serve the

veterans community within the UK. It is

hoped that the Sandbag Times will shortly

be providing the Veterans Radio networks

with daily news bulletins, something that has

not yet been done, but with the increase in

veterans issues, controversial news stories

are never too far away.

Forces Online Radio are also currently

looking for presenters. If you have

experience with online radio and would like

to host a radio show then get hold of Jim on

his Facebook page.

Forces Online and Forces Online Radio

will be working to bring a new and dynamic

service to the veterans community to ensure

veterans have a voice and also a great place

to meet.

| 6

A brand new TV series is soon to be aired on Channel 4

called ‘Spies’. From the team that brought you ‘SAS –

who Dares wins’ comes an exciting new series testing

20 hopefuls through the gruelling recruitment and

training of the UK’s Intelligence Service to be shown

later this year on Channel 4.

The Sandbag Times is proud to be assisting Minnow Films

in the search for 20 potential candidates. So if you think

you have what it takes to be a British Spy then why not

click on the link below and fill out the application, you

never know. The course will be as close to the real thing

as possible, immersing the candidates in a world of

psychological pressure, risk and intrigue.

A Brand New TV Series

Coming soon on Channel 4 7 |


The Pride behind the Kukri

The Brigade of

Gurkhas – Fierce and

unforgiving in battle

yet compassionate,

friendly and courteous

in times of peace.

Probably the proudest

and most loyal soldiers

you will ever come

across in the world.

They are steeped in

mystery, tradition and

history and are

probably the most

feared soldiers on the


Sergeant Dipprasad Pun

But what makes a Gurkha soldier? Gurkhas

are recruited from Nepal into the British

Army. Raised in the foothills of the

Himalayas, they are taught discipline, obedience and

respect from a very early age. These are essential

qualities for potential recruits. In the British Army

recruit selection is quite a straight forward and

mostly painless process, with a series of basic

aptitude tests, interviews and a basic standard of

fitness. Quite an acceptable way of doing things.

Then I read about Gurkha selection. The following

is an excerpt from the British Army website:

The Gurkha recruiting process is one of the

toughest of any Army in the world, and soldiers are

selected from the many thousands of hopeful

applicants. The process begins in the hills of Nepal

where retired Gurkha soldiers tour around remote

villages conducting initial screening tests.

Selection process

All applicants must meet certain basic standards of

education, fitness and health. If successful, they

will be given a pass to attend the next stage.

Retired Gurkha Officers will then hold a number of

selection days across the country. They will set up

a camp in the fields outside a village, and the

candidates will come forward.

Each and every hopeful recruit will give his all,

be it in heaves, sit ups or maths exams. The

criteria is strict, and no weakness goes unnoticed.

All who make it through this stage are good

enough to be soldiers in the British Army, but not

all will make it, as the final hurdle still remains.

Only some 700 make it to the last stage in the

process, known as Central Selection. The

candidates report to the recruiting depot in Pokhara

in Western Nepal and spend 2 weeks being put

through their paces. The most gruelling assessment

test is known as the doko race.

Candidates complete a 2 mile race up a near

vertical hill carrying 35kg of rocks in a basket, the

weight borne by the traditional Nepalese carrying

strap across the forehead. It is not for the faint

hearted, but the potential recruits will hurtle round

the course in only 20 minutes.”

After reading this and allowing a few expletives

to come out of my mouth, it brought to mind the

guys I knew in Brecon some 20 years ago. It made

me chuckle to think that if this selection process

was operational in the UK the MoD would have a

serious recruiting problem at the moment. In

fact, my bet is that the British Army would be a

very different place. I am lucky enough to have

worked alongside the Gurkhas on several

occasions, not least when I was posted to Brecon

for 2 years in the mid 90’s. A couple of them

became very good friends, one in particular, Cpl

Prakash Raut. One of the most polite and kindest

men that I have ever met.

The Brigade of Gurkhas has two operational

battalions. The 1st Battalion is stationed in Brunei

securing a British presence in SE Asia, and the 2nd

Battalion is based in Shorncliffe, Kent in the light

role ready to deploy to any operational theatre in

the world.

In 2015 questions over the need for the

Regiment was raised and thankfully quashed just as

quick. The recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan

have brought the Gurkhas firmly back in to the

public eye. Two stories spring to mind, both have

previously been reported on by the Sandbag Times.

In July of 2010 Gurkha soldiers conducted a raid

in Helmand province to kill or capture a high value

individual. The troops killed their man, but the

mission had very specific instructions to bring back

proof that they had dispatched the correct target.

Initially, the Gurkhas attempted to retrieve the

entire body for identification, but soon found

themselves engaged in an intense Taliban counter

attack. The Gurkhas needed to break contact, but

they also needed to complete their mission. One

soldier made a heat-of-the-moment decision to pull

out his traditional Kukri knife and take only the

Taliban commander’s head, allowing his men to

remain mobile and complete their objective.

The Nepalese soldier from 1st Battalion, Royal

Gurkha Rifles was removed from Afghanistan

after the incident but was cleared for duty after a

four year investigation and finally commended for

his actions.

Stories of the Gurkhas are legendary. My

favourite is the tale of the Gurkha sergeant being

told his men would be jumping into enemy

territory. He returned next day to say the men

would rather jump from below 500ft on to marshy

ground. 'But your parachutes won't open,' said the

Colonel. 'Ah,' said the sergeant. 'No one

mentioned parachutes.’ That one did draw a smile

to my face.

The second major story was when Sergeant

Dipprasad Pun got through more than 400 rounds

of ammunition and an assortment of grenades

during his extraordinary one-man stand on the roof

of an isolated sentry-post.

| 8


At one point, when his gun could no longer fire,

he resorted to battering one Taliban fighter, who

was trying to scale the wall to attack him, over the

head with the tripod of his machine gun.

Sgt Pun told how he was on guard duty at the

base, near Rahim Kalay in Helmand Province on

10th September 2010, when he heard a digging

sound in the darkness in front of him.

Grabbing two radios, a GPMG (general purpose

machine gun), his SA80 rifle, a grenade launcher

and an arsenal of hand-held grenades he climbed

onto the rooftop and opened fire.

With rocket propelled grenades and gun fire

flying over his head from all directions he

defended the position for more than 15 minutes,

killing three Taliban and forcing the others to flee.

At one point the diminutive soldier turned

around to see a “huge” Taliban fighter approaching

him on the rooftop a few feet away, having silently

scaled the wall, so he shot him.

While the mass of Taliban fired from an area of

open ground, another crept into the compound and

tried to climb the wall, but he spotted him.

“I tried to fire my SA80 but it wouldn’t work,”

he said. “I don’t know if there was an obstruction

or the magazine was finished. I threw my SA80

down and grabbed a sandbag but it wasn’t tied and

all the sand dropped out. As I tried to jump into

the sentry post I found a metal rod from the GPMG

tripod and pulled it round and hit him.”

As he ran towards the Taliban fighter he gave a

shout of “Marchu Talai” Nepalese for “I’m going

to kill you”.

When the firing eventually stopped he received

a tap on the shoulder and turned around fearing he

was under attack again but saw his company

commander Major Shaun Chandler behind him.

His brave action earned him the Conspicuous

Gallantry Cross which was presented by the Queen

at Buckingham Palace.

However, despite their proud history and

exemplary service to the crown, there has been a

bitterness over the rights of Gurkhas to reside in

the UK. Up until 2004, despite their loyal service,

they were not allowed a right of abode in the UK.

This basically meant as soon as their military

careers finished they were sent back to Nepal. A

lengthy campaign ensued, which was headed up in

2008 by actress Joanna Lumley who’s father had

served in 6th Bn Gurkha Rifles.

On 20th November 2008, Joanna Lumley led a

large all party group including Gurkhas, marching

from Parliament Square to 10 Downing Street with

a petition signed by 250,000 people.

In the following days, weeks and months many

changes were made to the way Gurkhas were

treated by the country they served so proudly.

Does this country need the Brigade of Gurkhas?

I think I speak for the vast majority when I say

“YES”. If nothing else, I am so glad they fight for

us and not against us.

I am proud that I served alongside them at one time and called them my friends,

eventhough at their Dasain celebrations their curry almost killed me (so incredibly

hot!!!). We need to ensure their future as soldiers of the British Army. Most of all we

need to honour the sacrifices they have made for the UK over 200 years of loyal

service. Long may they continue to serve the crown.

for more information on the brigade of Gurkhas click on this link 9 |

The Invisible Veterans

A system blind to it’s duty to our country’s heroes

Ref 1: Armed Forces


Ref 2: Armed Forces

Community Fact Sheet:

We are not invisible.

We are Veterans.

Ever since I’ve been writing the Sandbag Times

I have seen how veterans have been left on the

shelf when it comes to healthcare. I’ve

reported on long delays getting the correct help and

I’ve listened to MP’s demand better care for

veterans. All of this took on a whole new meaning

last week when a member of the Veterans Breakfast

Clubs posted about the NHS coding system.

Spurred on by the increasing posts about these

codes I decided to check the system out. I have

been part of the system looking for help with PTSD

for the past three years, being told how the system is

so clogged up with countless veterans, I resigned

myself to being just one in a very long queue of

waiting veterans.

Before I go any further with this article, I am

going to stress from the off, that I am not going to

finger point, lay blame, ‘name and shame’ or look for

any scapegoat in the system to blame. I will leave

that to others. That isn’t me.

That being said, I was firstly horrified, and then

later devastated, to learn that my local practice had

no record of me being a veteran despite asking for

help several times and being put on medication that

didn’t really help.

When I questioned the staff as to why I wasn’t

coded as a veteran they didn’t really know. They

seemed to think it was a breakdown in middle

management, a failure of the system and maybe even

something to do with the MOD. So I decided to read

the Armed Forces Covenant yet again, read the

policy set in place in the NHS and ask more

questions of the middle and higher echelons. It

didn’t take long before I started to find out the

problem, and the subsequent issues that this was


It occurred to me that maybe my practice wasn’t

the only one not aware of the system and the Armed

Forces Covenant. So after more digging I had my

answer. I was not alone. More practices around the

UK were failing veterans. Through no fault of their

own, but for a myriad of reasons, the word wasn’t

getting down to GP’s. It appears there is a lot of

confusion as to who should be doing what and who

should or should not be coding veterans. So I

continued to dig a little deeper. Someone passed me

a very good document written by the NHS laying

out the directives for treating veterans. The

document is from Sussex NHS but the content is

very clear. I would like to use this article to

highlight the bits that us veterans down at ground

level should know in order that we receive the

correct treatment. As I stated before, this is not a

witch hunt. I have had a week of people blaming

the government, the MOD and the NHS and all sorts

of other people and organisations, and yet this does

nothing to help the situation.

So, here we go. Let’s highlight the things we

need to know, so that everything is in place and we

all understand what action we must take. Let’s look

at the coding system that is causing so much of a

problem. There are different codes used by the

NHS to flag us up as veterans. These are:

The Invisible Veterans


13Ji: military veteran

13JY: history relating to military service

13q0: history relating to Army service

13q1: history relating to royal navy service

13q2: history relating to royal Air force service

13q3: served in armed forces

The most common of these is 13JY which seems

to give a blanket effect on any veteran. However, my

piece of advice to all veterans is that you personally

ensure your individual practice is not only aware of

these codes but also that they appear on your medical

records. Please stress to your practice how important

this is. That’s it. If you just do that one thing you

WILL be registered as a veteran and will flag up on

the system as a Veteran of HM Armed Forces.

It is important to note that these codes will only

kick in if your issue is related to your military

service. If not, the Armed Forces Covenant does not

apply. Here is a quote from the NHS document:

the covenant states:

Veterans receive their healthcare from the NHS,

and should receive priority treatment where it

relates to a condition which results from their

service in the Armed Forces, subject to clinical

need. Those injured in Service, whether

physically or mentally, should be cared for in a

way which reflects the Nation’s moral obligation

to them whilst respecting the individual’s wishes.

For those with concerns about their health, where

symptoms may not present for some time after

leaving Service, they should be able to access

services with health professionals who have an

understanding of Armed Forces culture.

So we now know what to do to ensure we are

registered, what help we can get and the authority for

this to happen. i.e. The Armed Forces Covenant.

(See page 6 – Healthcare). However for this to be

effective Health/GP Practices have to be aware of

their responsibilities. The following statement has

been taken from the NHS – Armed Forces Covenant

directive from Sussex. Although this is regional to

Sussex, the rules still apply to your own areas.

the 2015-2016 Gp contract states

GP Practices should be using the veteran and

reservist codes. If not, how do they assure

themselves that they are aware of this population

and their responsibility toward them within the

military covenant?

If your practice is in any doubt, please refer them

to the above article. This was part of the confusion

that I stumbled across.

In summary, I was furious, then upset and stunned

at how the system has failed us. I felt like the

Invisible Veteran. Not being seen by those who are

meant to be looking. What worried me even more is

that if this is happening across the UK, then how can

we really know the true number of veterans that are

suffering from mental health issues. National

statistics ARE inaccurate. We can, as veterans, do

something about it. We don’t need to shout at the

system or those who instigate it, we just need to

ensure that we are recorded on the system. I hope

this has helped you all to be seen in the system. We

are not invisible. We are Veterans.

| 10

Canada Calling



The Canuck Connection

GreeTinGS To VeTerAnS on BoTh

SiDeS oF The ATlAnTic

I had the pleasure of attending a NAAFI night organised by

Chris Collins (retired Artillery), head honcho of our Deeside

Breakfast Club.

It was night of Darts, Dominoes and war stories. It never

ceases to amaze me how strikingly similar our Army, Navy

and yes, even the Air force stories and memories are. We

spoke of exercises in Germany, UN Duties in Cyprus and

Egypt. Those were Cold War stories. A couple of much

younger Vets spoke of Iraq, Bosnia and Afghanistan. All in

all a very good night.

Meanwhile in Canada the fires are still raging and I read

that evacuees from Fort McMurray, staying in other

provinces, aren't able to access wildfire assistance funding

from the Alberta government.

The premier's office said it's working on a plan to get

debit cards to those who are temporarily located in other

provinces, but there's currently no timeline, spokesman John

Archer said on Saturday.

Sadly yet another inept mistake in bureaucracy. Hopefully

this will be rectified by the date this article is published.

i saw this ode on a facebook page and thought it was interesting

and oh so true.

i am sure that most of you have seen the e-

mails and Facebook posts about reforming

an Army of Veterans to fight Al-Qaeda, iSiS

etc. A good idea with lots of merit.

I posed last issues question to a group at the NAAFI night

and no one got the correct answer. So here it is.

the question of the week is……. where did the idea for

the nursery rhyme humpty Dumpty come from? (hint

think Army)

There are actually 2 supposed theories of Humpty Dumpty

falling. I must admit this was a tricky question first posed to

me by my amazing cousin Alistair. Mythical possibly, like

the Mythical Animal of Scotland “ The Unicorn”.


Two of the most popular theories link Humpty Dumpty to

two separate historical events. The first is the Fall of

Colchester. During the English Civil War in 1648, the town

of Colchester was under siege. Supposedly, a man named

Jack Thompson was stationed on the walls with a cannon

nicknamed “Humpty Dumpty”. Thompson and the cannon

managed to do a lot of damage to the advancing

Parliamentarian troops, until the cannon eventually tumbled

to the ground. Given the size and weight of the cannon, the

dozens of men who attempted to lift it back to its place on

the wall were unable to do so. Eventually, Colchester was

forced to open its gates and surrender. While the siege of

Colchester did happen, it is unlikely that Humpty Dumpty

refers to anything in the siege as it happened over a century

before Humpty Dumpty was recorded, and there is no

documented connection between the two.

The other popular theory is that Humpty Dumpty

represented King Richard III, called the “humpbacked king”.

(He supposedly was a hunchback, though recent evidence

seems to indicate Shakespeare was wildly exaggerating on

this point, with Richard actually apparently having scoliosis

which made his right shoulder higher than the left, but

otherwise no hunch). In 1485, Richard III fought at the

Battle of Bosworth. In this “humpty dumpty” origin story, it

was said that either his horse was named “Wall” or his men,

who abandoned him, were representative of the “wall”.

Either way, the king fell off his horse and was supposedly

hacked to pieces on the field, thus no one could put him

together again. Several problems exist with this theory, the

least of which being that the term “humpbacked” didn’t exist

in King Richard’s day, nor for several centuries after. (The

term “hunchback” also didn’t first pop up until the 18th

century). Much more importantly was that the king’s

remains were recently found largely intact save for a

bludgeon to the head which probably killed him.

Additionally, other than pure speculation, as in the previous

“siege of Colchester” theory, no solid historical evidence has

been found that shows that King Richard III was the

inspiration for Humpty Dumpty. And, indeed, one of the

reasons it’s so often connected, because of the “all the king’s

continued over 11 |

Canada Calling

horses and all the king’s men” bit, as noted, wasn’t even in the original

version, being the more generic “fourscore men and fourscore more”.

There you have it folks. No matter which version you choose, there are

the medals of a deceased relative or spouse, on the right breast.

semblances of truth in all Fairy Tales and Rhymes.

In the UK, Australia, New Zealand and all other Commonwealth

countries, Before this signing is allowed off this onweek Remembrance I would like day to ceremonies, ask as many to of you as

possible honour the to deceased. let me know your opinion on this matter. Simply send me an e-

mail to

It is archaic, when all WW1 Veterans have passed on and the few

In Canada it is against the law for a spouse, child or parent, to wear the

remaining from WW2, that a relative cannot honour them in this

medals way on that of a one deceased day of the relative year. or spouse, on the right breast. In the UK,

Australia, New Zealand and all other Commonwealth countries, this is

allowed Letters and on Remembrance e-mails to the current day ceremonies, Dominion to President honour of the the deceased.

Royal It is Canadian archaic, Legion when all TomWW1 Eagles, Veterans a man who have has passed never on served and the few

remaining adayinanyuniform,notevenagarbageman,simplyignoresthe

from WW2, that a relative cannot honour them in this way

on letters that and one pleas day of from the Veterans year. that are members of the RCL.

See Letters for yourselves and e-mails in this to the Public current BioDominion of Tom Eagles President NON of the Royal



Legion Tom Eagles, a man who has never served a day in any

uniform, not even a garbage man, simply ignores the letters and pleas from

Veterans that are members of the RCL. See for yourselves in this Public Bio

of Looking Tom Eagles forwardNON to your VETERAN answers. Please consider this a straw


Till next issue stay safe and happy

Looking forward to your answers. Please consider this a straw poll. Till

next Nil Sine issue Labore stay safe and happy

nil sine labore

Robby robby

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Support will be available to assist with Security Bond/Rent through the local SSAFA. Although this is never guaranteed, they are

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the above number for further details or email us at .

| 12

Have Faith

At The Bottom Of The Pit

They took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty,

there was no water in it.’ (Genesis 37:24)

Joseph was at the bottom of the pit. He wasn’t alone, Jesus was

there too. Ok the name Jesus was never mentioned before the New

Testament, but he was there…The Word of God. He was there

when Joseph thought his life was over, when his brothers turned

their back on him. I imagine that Joseph wept, all alone, consumed

by pain, the bitterness of betrayal fresh in his mind, feeling let down

by those he loved. His life was all but over. Then he is

freed…..(ironically) into a life of slavery. He was who he was, God

made him that way for a purpose & even when he was thrown from

one dark place to another he kept his eyes on God, kept trusting.

How? Why?

All I know is what

I have experienced.

I feel so alone in

my fight for my

kids. I just want

help so that I can

be the best parent I

can be. I feel right

now like I’m stuck

at the bottom of

that pit alongside Joseph. Feeling hopeless, alone, shattered, broken.

I don’t understand why I am where I am at this precise moment in

my life. I wonder what great purpose there can be for all this pain

& struggle. Am I alone, forgotten? Is God there?


He was there through all of Joseph’s dark times, but with Joseph’s

love and trust of God & God’s love for him, he got through. His

life was difficult (the pit, slavery, prison) and he must’ve felt fed up,

at the end of his tether & not able to understand why he was going

through such ordeals. He must’ve questioned God many


What happened? Well, God used him for good. He blessed him.

He had big plans for Joseph & had to get him to the right place

physically & spiritually. He used Joseph so that he could bless His

people. So that he could save His people.

‘God sent me before you to preserve life…So it was not you who

sent me here, but God.’ (Genesis 45:5-8)

David was a young shepherd boy, who no one probably ever took

much notice of. Shepherds weren’t held in high esteem. In others’

eyes (including his brave soldier brothers), he was young & didn’t

know anything, he would always be just the shepherd boy. However

this was not the case. God took him from the field and stood him to

face a fierce enemy in the giant Goliath. His simple child like faith

in God helped him face the giant & defeat him, using the abilities he

had already acquired whilst shepherding. The slingshot was a way

he used to protect himself & his flock from predators, and this is

what he used to defeat the giant. God had equipped him even

before he knew he had been called, because God is at work even

before we see it.

Why God is this happening to me? Why is this happening to my

friend? Why are my kids suffering? Why are things going so

wrong? At that time when we’re in that deepest ‘pit’ we can’t see a

purpose in it. We just see suffering. Foresight would be a great

thing, but we don’t possess it. Why? Because God wants us to trust

Him & know that these ‘pits’ these places/situations we don’t want

to be in are for a greater purpose. These experiences are our

training ground. How can He equip us to do what He has planned if

he doesn’t prepare us through our life experiences. If we knew that

pain was coming we would run away from it. No-one actively

chooses the ‘pit’. But much like the assault course, stamina

training, orienteering & survival skills that are taught to a soldier

long before a battle ensues, God is preparing us for what’s to come.

Any path forward, any decision, needs Gods input. He is, after all,

our heavenly father. He is the creator of each one of us & of

everything. We need to find our way into a relationship with Him

that shows Him the utmost faith & trust, & the most profound love.

He already has that for us & though He gets frustrated at our poor

choices He does not back off or walk away. He is there even when

we feel He is not. A feeling is a feeling, but knowing God is there,

is knowing it! It’s not easy I hear you say. You’re damn right it’s

not! I struggle with it, but what I have learnt recently is that at any

given chance the enemy will try to convince you that God has

‘forsaken you’, given up on you. He even tried that with Jesus on

the cross, ‘my God my God why have You forsaken me’. But God

had not forsaken Jesus, because in 3 days ‘He rose again’.

We need to remind ourselves on a daily basis Gods promise from

the Bible that says ‘He will never leave you nor forsake you’. It is

written in the Old Testament, but it was such an important message

that it was written about again in the New Testament in Hebrews.

God wants us to know…

Remember who you are. Remember…

‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to

prosper you & not to harm you, plans for hope and a future’

(Jeremiah 29:11)

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 13 |



Futurefor Heroes

Enhancing their Prospects

Tranquillity andserenity, an

opportunityto reflectandthink


Trust building!


AnF4H Maxim

| 14

The Historic Tommy Atkins

Raymond Kolbe

was born on 8th

January 1894

near Lodz in Poland.

One day in his youth

when his mother scolded

him, Raymond

experienced a radical

change. “That night I

asked the mother of God

what was to become of

me. Then she came to me holding two crowns: one

white the other red. The white one meant that I

should persevere in purity and the red that I should

become a martyr. I said I would accept both.”

In 1910 Raymond became a conventual

Fransiscan in Luow, border of Russia. Raymond

took the name Maximilian Maria, after the

Blessed Virgin Mary. He studied in Rome and was

ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1910. When

he returned to Rome he

taught Church history in

a seminary, and went on

to build a friary west of

Warsaw. The friary

went on to house 762

Fransiscan monks and

printed eleven

periodicals, one with a

circulation of over a

million, including a

daily newspaper

In 1930 Father Kolbe went to Asia, where he

founded friaries in Nagasaki and in India. In

1936 he was recalled to supervise the original

friary in Warsaw.

On 1st September 1939 Poland was invaded by

Nazi Germany. Father Kolbe knew that the friary

would be seized and so sent most of the friars

home. After the town was captured by the

Germans, he was arrested by them (19th

September), but later released (8th December). He

refused to sign the Deutsche Volksliste, which

would have given him rights similar to those of

German citizens in exchange for recognizing his

German ancestry. Once released he continued

work at his friary, where he and other monks

provided shelter to 3,000 Polish refugees,

including 2,000 Polish Jews whom he hid from

German persecution in their monastery in

Niepokalanów. The friars shared everything with

the refugees. They housed, fed and clothed them.

Kolbe received permission to continue

publishing religious works, though significantly

Trading Places – One Man’s

Life For Another

An Auschwitz story of love, sacrifice and hope, in a

place filled with cruelty, fear and death. The amazing

story of Maximilian Kolbe and Franciszek Gajowniczek

reduced in scope. The monastery continued to act

as a publishing house, issuing a number of anti-

Nazi German publications. However the Nazi’s

grew more and more suspicious of what was going

on at the monastery and on 17 February 1941, the

monastery was shut down by the German

authorities. That day Kolbe and four others were

arrested by the German Gestapo and imprisoned in

the Pawiak prison. On 28 May, he was transferred

to Auschwitz I as prisoner #16670.

After the invasion of Poland in 1939, the town

named Osweicim and the surrounding cities

became known as Auschwitz. Auschwitz was

initiated as a work camp and was central to all of

Nazi Germany’s ‘plans’. At the entrance to the

camp was a sign reading ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ –

Work Will Set You Free.

In March 1941 Rudolf Hoss, a captain in the

SS (Schotzstaffel), loyal to Hitler, created

Auschwitz I, one of three Auschwitz camps, for

10,000 prisoners using Polish army barracks. In

his memoirs Hoss explained, “The task wasn’t

easy. In the shortest possible time, I had to create

a camp for 10,000 prisoners using an existing

complex of buildings which were well constructed,

but were completely run down and swarming with

vermin.” Hoss admitted that Auschwitz was cruel

and prisoners were treated brutally. Hitler

developed a euthanasia program which was 15 |

extended to Auschwitz. They carried out what

they deemed mercy deaths for mentally and

physically handicapped children. Hitler thought it

was a better and more efficient way to kill.

On June 15th 1941, Kolbe finally managed to

write to his mother:

‘Dear Mama. At the end of the month of May I

was transferred to the camp of

Auschwitz. Everything is well in

my regard. Be tranquil about me

and my health, because the good

God is everywhere and provides

for everything with love. It would

be well that you do not write to

me until you have received other

news from me, because I do not

know how long I will stay here.

Cordial greetings and kisses,

affectionately. Raymond’

Kolbe, along with the others,

was set to work. The labour involved carrying

blocks of heavy stone for the building of the

crematorium wall. The work party was overseen

by a vicious ex-criminal ‘Bloody Krott’ who came

to single out Kolbe for particularly brutal

treatment. Witnesses say Kolbe accepted his

mistreatment and blows with surprising calm.

On one occasion Krott made Kolbe carry

the heaviest planks and ordered him to run.

When he collapsed, Krott kicked him in the

stomach and face and had men give him fifty

lashes. When the priest lost consciousness they

threw him in the mud and left him for dead.

Thankfully, his companions managed to smuggle

him to the camp infirmary, and he recovered. The

doctor, Rudolph Diem, later recalled, ‘I can say

with certainty that during my four years in

Auschwitz, I never saw such sublime example of

the love of God and one’s neighbour.’

In order to discourage escapes, Auschwitz had

a rule that if a man escaped, ten men would be

killed in retaliation. In July 1941 a man from

Kolbe’s bunker escaped from the camp. The

remaining men of the bunker were led out. The

commandant Karl Fritsch screamed, “The fugitive

has not been found! You will all pay for this.” As

a punishment ten men were randomly selected to

be sent to the starvation chamber in block 13.

(Unbeknown to the prisoners the escapee was later

found drowned in a camp latrine, so the brutal

punishment had been exercised without cause.)

One of the ten men selected, Franciszek

Gajowniczek, pleaded with the German inspector

“Please, no, I have a wife and children.” With the

inspector showing no mercy, Father Kolbe quietly

walked up and offered to take this man’s place.

The inspector laughed, but then agreed to let

Kolbe take his place. Gajowniczek later recalled:

“I could only thank him with my eyes. I was

stunned and could hardly grasp what was going

on. The immensity of it: I, the condemned, am to

live and someone else willingly

and voluntarily offers his life for

me – a stranger. Is this some


I was put back into my place

without having had time to say

anything to Maximilian Kolbe. I

was saved. And I owe to him the

fact that I could tell you all this.

The news quickly spread all

round the camp. It was the first

and the last time that such an

incident happened in the whole

history of Auschwitz.

For a long time I felt remorse when I thought

of Maximilian. By allowing myself to be saved, I

had signed his death warrant. But now, on

reflection, I understood that a man like him could

not have done otherwise. Perhaps he thought that

as a priest his place was beside the condemned

men to help them keep hope. In fact he was with

them to the last.”

While in the bunker Father Kolbe gave hope to

the hopeless and heard many confessions.

Through his strong faith Father Kolbe withstood

the trials and tribulations that he faced. He was

the last prisoner of the ten still alive, and after

several attempts he was finally put to death with a

lethal injection on 14th August 1941 at 12.30pm.

A personal testimony about the way Maximilian

Kolbe met his death is given by Bruno Borgowiec,

one of the few Poles who were assigned to render

service to the starvation bunker. He told it to his

parish priest before he died in 1947.

The ten condemned to death went through

terrible days. From the underground cell in which

they were shut up, there continually arose the echo

of prayers and canticles. The man in-charge of

emptying the buckets of urine found them always

empty. Thirst drove the prisoners to drink the

contents. Since they had grown very weak,

prayers were now only whispered.

At every inspection, when almost all the others

were now lying on the floor, Father Kolbe was

seen kneeling or standing in the centre as he

looked cheerfully in the face of the SS men. He

never asked for anything and did not complain,

rather he encouraged the others, saying that the

fugitive might be found and then they would all be

freed. One of the SS guards remarked, ‘this priest

is really a great man. We have never seen anyone

like him.’

Two weeks passed in this way. Meanwhile one

after another they died, until only Father Kolbe

was left. This the authorities felt was too long. The

cell was needed for new victims. So one day they

brought in the head of the sick-quarters, a German

named Bock, who gave Father Kolbe an injection

of carbolic acid in the vein of his left arm. Father

| 16

The Historic Tommy Atkins

Kolbe, with a prayer on his lips, himself gave his

arm to the executioner. Unable to watch this I left

under the pretext of work to be done.

Immediately after the SS men had left I

returned to the cell, where I found Father Kolbe

leaning in a sitting position against the back wall

with his eyes open and his head drooping

sideways. His face was calm and radiant.”

After he died Father Kolbe’s body was

disposed of, as many thousands of others had,

without dignity or ceremony. It was recorded that

his remains were cremated on 15 August, the feast

day of the Assumption of Mary.

The heroism of Father Kolbe went echoing

through Auschwitz. In that place filled with

hatred he had sown love.

A survivor Jozef

Stemler later

recalled, “In the

midst of a

brutalization of

thought, feeling and

words such as had

never before been

known, man indeed

became a ravening

wolf in his relations

with other men.

And into this state

of affairs came the

heroic self-sacrifice

of Father Kolbe.”

Another survivor

Jerzy Bielecki

declared that Father Kolbe's death was “a shock

filled with hope, bringing new life and strength.

It was like a powerful shaft of light in the

darkness of the camp.”

So who was the stranger that Kolbe saved?

Franciszek Gajowniczek, a Roman Catholic, was

born in Strachomin near Mińsk Mazowiecki. He

lived in Warsaw since 1921, and had a wife and

two sons. He was a professional soldier who took

part in the defence of Wieluń as well as Warsaw

in September 1939. He was captured by the

Gestapo in Zakopane. He arrived at Auschwitz on

8th September 1940, prisoner #26273. He found

himself among the ten randomly chosen men to

be starved to death due to a fellow prisoner

escaping camp. It was then that he was saved, by

the Franciscan priest, Kolbe. He heard

Gajowniczek cry out in agony over the fate of his

family and offered himself instead (for which he

was later canonized).

What became of Gajowniczek?

Gajowniczek was sent from Auschwitz to

Sachsenhausen concentration camp on October

25, 1944. He was liberated there by the Allies,

after spending five years, five months, and nine

days in German concentration camps in total. He

was reunited with his wife, Helena, half-a-year

later in Rawa Mazowiecka. Although she

survived the war, his sons were killed in a Soviet

bombardment of German occupied Poland in

1945, just before his release.

On 17th October 1971, Gajowniczek found

himself as a guest of Pope Paul VI in the Vatican,

when Maximilian Kolbe was beatified (blessed)

for his martyrdom. The cell where Father Kolbe

had died became a shrine and in 1972, Time

magazine reported that over 150,000 people made

a pilgrimage to Auschwitz to honour the

anniversary of Maximilian’s beatification. One

of the first to speak was Gajowniczek, who

declared “I want to express my thanks, for the

gift of life.” Gajowniczek’s wife, Helena, died in

1977, and on October 10th 1982 Gajowniczek

was back in the Vatican again as a guest of Pope

John Paul II when Maximilian Kolbe was

canonized (‘Sainted’).

In 1994, Gajowniczek visited the St.

Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church of Houston,

where he told his translator Chaplain Thaddeus

Horbowy that “so long as he … has breath in his

lungs, he would consider it

his duty to tell people about

the heroic act of love by

Maximilian Kolbe.”

Gajowniczek died in the city

of Brzeg on March 13, 1995

at the age of 95. He was

buried at a convent cemetery

in Niepokalanów, 53 years

after having his life spared

by Kolbe.

“A single act of

love makes the soul

return to life.”

Saint Maximilian

Kolbe 17 |

MCVC Breakfast Club

A steady 20 on parade for the 1st

anniversary of the MCVC breakfast

club lunch. Also a big thank you to the

staff of the Bluecoats who laid on an

excellent meal and for their service.

Here is a photo of the day.

Deeside Veterans

Breakfast Club

Fantastic Deeside BC Naafi & Curry

night in Banchory Legion. Debate

going on if it’s the weinberg or snake

pit when the bar closes.

Southampton Veterans

Breakfast Club

19 in at Southampton today, I need

to apply for an entertainments

license as for some reason

unbeknown to me they all started

singing ( in the loosest sense of the

word and no alcohol ) everything

from ‘Stingray’ to ‘which way you

going Billy’. Madness pure

madness I tell you. Great times

lead to great memories.

| 18

Veterans Breakfast Clubs

Nuneaton Veterans

Breakfast Club

Well there were only six of us this

morning in Nuneaton, but the

breakfast was good and the banter

and company were better. We had 1

first timer, Chris Rogan. It was great

to see you and hope it will be the first

of many visits. To those there,

thanks for your company and the


Oswestry Veterans

Breakfast Club

11 today in Oswestry, nice

to catch up with everyone,

plus Keith and Tony

getting there meat prizes

from last week. Glen won

the raffle and Keith won

the breakfast.

North Linc (Scunthorpe)

Veterans Breakfast Club

We had 31 at North Lincs

(Scunthorpe) today, with a visit

from Andrew Percy MP, who seems

to have enjoyed chatting to us all. 19 |

Veterans Radio

Veterans Radio Net

Forces Online Radio

Keeping Veterans Stronger together since 2012 May 23rd sees the launch of a new military focused radio station

"Forces Online Radio". We are operating in direct support of the

After another good week on ‘Your Radio Station’

"Forces Online" page/site, that is growing rapidly, and needs another

This is what's coming up on VRN.

string to its bow. We hope to



a diverse selection of both

We have all our usual programs, but over the next few weeks

we are hoping to have a few interesting interviews.

Do you know what ‘Armed Forces Champion's are’?

Well they exist in the NHS and the DWP and we’re hoping

to get some of them “On Air”, so that you can learn more

about what they do for veterans.

music, and topics that either directly or indirectly affect the lives of

our Military personnel, and of course the Veterans. Basically,

anyone that is serving, or has served. We value your input and hope

that this is the beginning of a two way communication via the

airwaves. It will always be a "work in progress", as we adjust and

adapt to the requirements of our listeners. After all, without you, we

have no purpose. To get connected, please use the link below:

Plus, I will be doing another "PTSD Lets Talk" Special.

Veterans Radio Net

The place to be for good music (you pick it we’ll play it) &

quick wit and banter on our "Live Chat Board“

We talk about the ‘Harder’ side of veterans life.


Because if we don't who will?

Sapper Ken

Veterans Radio Net

Other links that can be used for external connection are:


Real Audio:

Windows Media:

Jim Wilde

Director – Forces Online Radio

| 20








Email. 21 |


| 22




O ur

Links 23 |

A word from the Ed

Ways to find us

Well, the day of reckoning

has arrived. Our new

website has been launched

today, the magazine has a

new and improved look and

we are now a registered

publication. That means

I’ve got to start doing things

properly from now on.

I have to say a big thank

you to Matt ‘Jarv’ Jarvis for all

of the hard work he’s done to

create all of this magic. By the

way he is now the Magazine

Publishing Editor. I think that

sounds posh enough.

The big story in the

Sandbag Times this week is

the issue of the coding system

in the NHS, or should I say

the failure of the system. I was

on the receiving end of this

last week when I popped to

my local GP to take a look at

my records.

Much to my horror I

was informed that it had never

been logged, coded or even

entered on my records that I

was a veteran. Well, read the

story to see how things very

quickly developed.

Big thank you to Vickie as

well, who is getting stuck right

in to the magazine. She is

now writing the Historical

Tommy Atkins on a full-time

basis and, with that in mind, I

have to congratulate her on a

fantastic article this week.

Anyone who has ever been

interested in the Holocaust

will be very moved by this

article. Well worth the read.

Another week passes and

the SBT readership figures are

steadily increasing day by day.

A big thank you to you all for

reading and supporting the

magazine. Px

The Sandbag Times



The Tommy Atkins Trust



A Song For A Hero

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

| 24


Ken Wharton – Author & Veteran

For the book worms among you I thought I would plug

the fine works by our friend Ken Wharton.

Ken has written some fantastic books covering the

troubles in Northern Ireland.

Please click on the titles to read more and

to make a purchase or two.

Flesh & Blood

Gareth Malone & The Choir

for the Invictus Games

The iconic single for this year’s

Invictus Games available to buy at Amazon.

USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage


Nicolas Cage

Tom Sizemore

Thomas Jane

The harrowing true story of the crew of

the USS Indianapolis, who were stranded

in the Philippine Sea for five days after

delivering the atomic weapons that would

eventually end WWII. As they awaited

rescue, they endured extreme thirst,

hunger, and relentless shark attacks.

Back issues of The Sandbag Times are available to download here 25 |

NAAFI break



Come up wi



a capti

ion fo

or Sgt



nd wi

in a prize

Word Wheel

How many words can you find in the above Word Wheel.

There is at least one 9 letter word

Send in your answers, future puzzles, brainteasers,

jokes, etc into

| 26

next week

Next week in the

Sandbag Times

A Guide to the UK Air Shows 2016

The Creative Arts:

The Ultimate Stress Killer

How to beat stress and anxiety

using your own creativity.

Can it help defeat PTSD?

The SBT Newsdesk

The Sandbag Times launches

lunchtime news bulletins with

anchor Bob Jones 27 |

More magazines by this user