The Sandbag Times Issue No: 22

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The Veterans Magazine

The Veterans’ Magazine

Issue 22 | 16 June 2016


What it means to the Armed Forces & Veterans

The Armed Forces Covenant

Does it really work?

Music 4 Heroes

The launch of a musical dream

Could you be a Spy?

Take on the challenge with a

brand new Channel 4 series


Ken Brooks


We are now looking for motivated & hardworking

individuals to join as business consultants

nationwide for one of the fastest growing insurance

brokerages in the country

If you think you would be a suitable candidate,

please contact Ravinder Singh

07850 134236

Eunisure Ltd is a nationwide brokerage & intermediary. It is regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)

CoNTENTS 16 June 2016

SBT News

4 Royal Navy to protect

English Channel

Border agency asks R Navy

for assistance

5 UK Peacekeepers arrive

in Souther Sudan

Michael Fallon confirms

military team deployment

6 Marine gives life to save

drowning teens

A US Marine has died after

2 teens get into difficulty

7 Board game helps

Cananda military

A board game based on the

war against ISIS used to

develop military strategy


12 The EU Referendum

How will it affect Armed

Forces and Veterans

22 American Veterans


A look at veterans issues

across the pond


16 Have Faith

This week: Love

19 The Historical Tommy


The Battle of Waterloo: How

the Iron Duke won the most

decisivebattle of the

Napoleonic War.

27 Veterans Radio Stations

What’s happening on your

favourite radio stations

33 SBT Information

A page dedicated to back

issues, information, book

reviews etc

37 Time for a NAAFI Break

Fun & Games on the final

pages. We are always

looking for new ideas and

competitions from you

The Armed Forces Covenant Page 14

American Veterans Today Page 22


Editor: Pablo Snow

Tel: 01905 570590

Email: 3 |

Royal Navy called to protect Channel

The UK Border Agency has

asked the Royal Navy about

help to defend the English

Channel from people

smugglers. Border officials

contacted military planners

to ask what vessels would

be available in a move that

could see naval ships

patrolling the coastline,

Housing: Are local councils failing veterans?

Veterans are being failed

across the country by local

councils refusing to house

veterans unless they are

directly connected to the

area. Under the Armed

Forces Covenant it is written

that “Members of the Armed

Forces Community should

have the same access to

social housing and other

housing schemes as any

other citizen.” The SBT has

already reported on issues in

the health care system where

veterans are not being

recognised under the AFC.

We have also learned of a

veteran, who remains

anonymous, who is living in

West Oxfordshire in a 2 bed

flat with a son and a

daughter. Soldier X has

approached the council many

times for help but this falls

on deaf ears. Many local

councils state that priority is

given to applicants with

direct connections to the

according to reports. The

Ministry of Defence said no

formal request had yet been

made for military support.

But sources said MoD staff

are proposing to offer

several offshore raiding

craft manned by Royal

Marines to beef up

protection. Read more.

area. Sadly, the local

councils are not obliged to

sign up to the covenant

which means cases like

Soldier X are widespread.

Despite promises to address

the issue the problem

continues to grow.

Veteran driver banned from wearing badge

A FORMER serviceman is outraged he has been banned from

wearing his veteran's badge while working as a bus driver in

Derby. The ex-squaddie, who has served in Afghanistan, Iraq

and Northern Ireland, has proudly worn the badge on his

uniform for several years but has now been told by bus firm

Trent Barton it breaks the rules. He said: "I wear it in tribute

to all of my friends as well as those who died or were seriously

injured in conflict. Unfortunately, the company I work for

does not feel the same." Tom Morgan, director of service

delivery at the bus firm, said: “The uniform policy requires

drivers to only wear company issued and union badges.”

Read more on this story by following this link.


apologizes to

Britain’s Armed


The Public Accounts

Committee held an inquiry

into Service Family

Accommodation at the

House of Commons on

Wednesday 8th June. The

Committee focused on three

areas: the state of Service

Family Accommodation, the

introduction of the new

Combined Accommodation

Assessment System (CAAS)

and the introduction of the

Next Generation Estates

Contracts (NGEC) and how

the Department is managing


performance against them.

The Director RAF Families

Federation was invited to

appear as a witness. As

reported in The Daily

Telegraph and other national

newspapers, Richard Lumby,

the Managing Director of

Carillion Defence and

Security apologised for

'horrendous' maintenance

standards for Service Family

Accommodation and for

'failing' the families of

Britain's Armed Forces. He

admitted his company had

"dropped a big clanger" and

put a large number of service

personnel and their families

through "significant

discomfort" over the last 18

months. Mr Lumby agreed

that CarillionAmey had

"absolutely let ourselves

down". On the converse

there is no doubt that (in the

last couple of months) things

are getting better. Since the

added resource has been

bought in and since Mr

Carillion and Mr Amey went

to see the Secretary of State,

we have noticed an

improvement in

performance. I think the

challenge now is to make

sure that the improved

performance from

CarillionAmey is sustained

for the rest of the contract.A

decision by the MOD is

expected soon as to whether

or not CarillionAmey should

now retain the contract or a

new supplier found. The

Public Accounts Committee

may also review progress in

the autumn.

| 4


UK peacekeepers arrive in South Sudan

Michael Fallon today confirmed

a small military team has been

deployed to South Sudan as the

UK starts to increase support to

the UN Mission. UK personnel

will provide vital engineering

work to strengthen

infrastructure, as well as further

advisory support, underlining

the UK’s continued commitment

to peace and security for the

people of South Sudan. The

deployed UK team form the first

group ahead of further

deployments across 2016.

Defence Secretary Michael

Fallon said: The arrival of

British personnel clearly

demonstrates our commitment to

supporting UN efforts to

improve conditions in some of

PSNI Federation sets up mental health fund

The Police Federation of

Northern Ireland has

become the first policing

“union” in the UK to

create a fighting fund to

help officers suffering

from post-traumatic stress

disorder (PTSD). The

federation has set aside

£1m for rank and file

officers who are suffering

from PTSD and other

psychological illnesses. It

includes help for those

who are being targeted for

terrorist attack. The

current threat level against

members of the Police

Service of Northern

Ireland (PSNI) from

the world’s most destabilising

conflicts. The arrival follows the

Prime Minister’s announcement

last year that the UK would

double its contribution to active

peacekeeping in 2016 -

including sending up to 300

troops to South Sudan, and

around 70 to Somalia. Read

more here.

Euro 2016 Squad refused memorial trip

Families of the nation’s war dead reacted

with anger yesterday after England

players were banned from a trip to the

battlegrounds of the Somme. The Euro

2016 squad was planning a three-hour

excursion to pay homage to those who

fell in the bloody Great War clash of

1916. But the FA has scuppered the

outing because medics said it could have

been too draining. Read more

dissident republican

paramilitaries has been

classified as “severe”.

The fund was announced

on Wednesday at the

federation’s annual

conference in Belfast.

The federation said PTSD,

anxiety and depression

were leading to an

increase in the number of

their members taking sick

leave. Mark Lindsay, the

federation’s chairman in

the region, said 37,674

days were lost to mental

health problems last year –

a jump of 60% since 2013.

Lindsay said: “The

intention behind this

funding is to significantly

reduce the number of days

lost through psychological

illness and improve the

overall wellbeing of our

members. “This problem

is getting progressively

worse. It needs this urgent

intervention. Whole

families are suffering

because those hurting are

falling through the

cracks.” He said the

federation’s new

“psychological wellbeing

fund” would provide

additional therapists and

psychologists to help

police officers suffering

from PTSD. Read more.

Musicians unite to raise funds for veterans

MUSICIANS from across

Wales will band together to

support armed forces service

veterans in a weekend of rock.

The Patriot’s Motorcycle Club

will host six bands on 26 &

27th February, raising money

for charity Change Step. The

charity offers services

"delivered by veterans for

veterans," supporting exsoldiers

who find it difficult to

reintegrate into civilian life.

Promoter "Brummie” Lees, 57,

left the military in 2005 and

hopes the event will help raise

awareness of the “lack of

support” for ex-serviceman.

Change Step has supported

more than 800 families

throughout Wales, aids

veterans aged between 20 and

93 and 95 percent of its users

are male. Falklands veteran

and campaigner Denzil

Connick will also attend the

event and several charity

collections will be taken on the

night. For more info contact

the venue at 01495 247178. 5 |

Ex-Marine Corps Master Sergeant gives

his life saving drowning teens

A man credited with saving the lives of two teens, at the cost of his own, was reportedly a Marine Corps

veteran and a two-time Purple Heart recipient. Retired Marine Master Sgt. Rodney Buentello was

spending Wednesday afternoon with his family at Bandera City Park, about an hour northwest of San

Antonio, when he witnessed the two teens in peril. The Bandera Marshal's office said that one of the

teens was trying to walk across a park dam illegally when she was swept away by rushing water. The

other teen went into the water to help her, but he got stuck as well. Buentello then dove in and managed

to save both teens. However, he was dragged under the water and drowned before rescuers could reach

him. Buentello had served as a recruiter in San Antonio and the training chief and class instructor for

Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron in Iwakuni, Japan, according to Marine Corps news releases.

In addition to beyond being a decorated Marine and educator, Buentello was described as a family man.

Buentello is survived by his wife, Lisa; and three sons. Friends and family took to social media

following Buentello's death to express their condolences and admiration for the Marine vet.

200 Attend Funeral of Veteran

With No Known Relatives

Four people were expected to attend the

funeral of Serina Vine, a formerly homeless

veteran of World War II. Instead, about 200

showed up to honor her after veterans' groups

organized a social media campaign, since she

had no known living relatives. Vine, a graduate

of the University of California, served in the

Navy from 1944 to 1946 in radio intelligence

and spoke three languages, according to the

obituary published by A. L. Bennett and Son

Funeral Home. She was laid to rest with full

military honors, including a 21-gun salute, at

the Quantico National Cemetery. Please read

the full story by clicking here.

Police searching

for Navy Seal

advised ‘caution’

Police in Long Beach, NY are

looking for a former Navy

SEAL who has failed to appear

in court after posting bail for

assault, strangulation and other

charges. 33-year-old Nathanael

“Lalo” Roberti is charged with

second-degree bail jumping,

second-degree strangulation,

second- and third-degree

assault, second-degree unlawful

imprisonment, fourth-degree

criminal possession of a weapon

and fourth-degree criminal

mischief. He was arrested on

April 6, 2015 but failed to

appear in Nassau Country

Criminal Court after posting

bail. Long Beach Police advise

anyone who approaches Roberti

to proceed with caution because

of his military training and

previous threats he made to

officers at the time of his arrest.

Two more fighter jets

crash at air displays.

Two fighter jets have crashed in

seperate incidents last Thursday.

A Netherlands F5 Tiger

collided with a team mate at

Leeuwarden air basewhile

practicing for a display. One

aircraft was destroyed although

the pilot was able to eject safely

while the other jet landed

without further incident.

Meanwhile a SU27 Fighter Jet

crashed just outside of Moscow

on the same day killing the

pilot. The plane was returning

to its base at the time and was

not carrying weapons or

ammunition, the ministry was

cited as saying. The crash did

not cause any serious damage

on the ground, it said. A

Defence Ministry commission

was reported to be already

working at the crash site to try

to determine what happened.

Two pilots have been killed in

two weeks involving air display


| 6


Board game helps Canadian military

Canada's military has

been experimenting with

a tabletop game inspired

by the war against ISIS

to help plan what tanks,

planes, ships and people

it needs to fight

effectively in the coming

decades. The ISIS Crisis

uses dice, markers and a

large map of Iraq and

Syria, and is the latest

twist in a governmentwide

effort to use more

games in the workplace

for training and

education. "This

certainly does have

potential to add

additional rigour to our

process," said Col. Ross

Ermel, in charge of a

directorate that plans

how the Canadian Forces

must evolve. "It does

show some promise.…

It's one of the things that

we are certainly

considering." The ISIS

Crisis is known as a

matrix-type game, a

concept dating from the

1980s, with minimal

rules and using debates

and arguments, unlike

traditional war games

with complex rules and

drawing on probabilities.

Matrix games allow

complex, multi-sided

issues to be explored,

often by up to six

players who don't need

particular expertise in

the subject matter. Some

government planners say

gaming may also have

potential for directly

engaging citizens. Ermel

says his militaryplanning

unit, which has

never before played

matrix-type games, is

using the ISIS Crisis to

"stress test" forecasting

methodology rather than

to predict Mideast events

or any long-term

Canadian role in the

regions. Read more.

New Zealand Z War hero mother denied a

say in where his medals go

The family of Rory Malone

say they have been denied

"closure" for their fallen son

after he was blocked from

receiving his New Zealand

Gallantry Medal at

Government House. They have

launched a petition for a full

ceremonial service for the

medal he was posthumously

awarded for his heroic actions

at the Battle of Baghak, in

Afghanistan in August 2012.

Lance Corporal Malone was

killed after pulling his

wounded commanding officer

Major Craig Wilson to safety

during an intense firefight

when their unit was ambushed

in a remote valley in the

Bamiyan province. It emerged

this week that Malone's

girlfriend, Kate Johnston, who

was appointed as Malone's

"primary next of kin" by the

Defence Force, requested that

the medals be posted to her in

Australia. This requests was

denied by Government House.

Click here to read more.

Robbers soldier shock in McDonalds raid

Two wannabe hamburglars were

foiled when they tried to rob a

branch of McDonald’s where 12

soldiers were eating lunch.

The servicemen – from an elite

military unit who are trained in

hostage situations, prevented the

two men carrying out an armed

robbery in France. The suspects

burst into the Ecole-Valentin

branch and as one guy fired a

warning shot, the other began

raiding the tills. When

McDonald’s employees took

cover in the kitchen, the soldiers

set upon the would-be burglars.

The servicemen shouted for

them to stop, and one of the

robbers fell down some steps

and was apprehended.

While his accomplice was shot

in the torso. They held the men

until police arrived soon

afterwards to arrest them. 7 |

Researchers Unlock Secrets of the Nuked Carrier USS Independence

Underwater archaeologists have

determined the role USS Independence

played after World War II. They used

declassified government documents and sonar

images of the shipwrecked vessel to unlock the

secret. The Independence (CVL 22) was one of

90 ships assigned to Operation Crossroads, the

atomic bomb tests conducted at Bikini Atoll in

the Marshall Islands. It was scuttled in 1951.

Little was known about its use after the tests.

The location of the shipwreck was found last

year and researchers began comparing sonar

images of the wreck with the declassified

documents to determine the vessel had been

used as a radiological laboratory and nuclear

waste receptacle from 1946 to 1950. “Now we

not only know what shape she’s in and where

she lies but also exactly what happened to the

Independence,” said lead researcher James

Delgado, a maritime archaeologist at the

National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Administration (NOAA). One of the first

vessels to be converted to a light aircraft

Would you

like to get



carrier following the attack on Pearl Harbor,

the Independence operated in the central and

western Pacific from November 1943 through

to August 1945. After the war, it was assigned

to Operation Crossroads as part of a fleet

positioned within about 1700 feet of the

“ground zero” blast from the bomb tests

carried out to examine the effects of shock

News Special

waves, heat, and radiation. Twenty-one ships

sunk during the tests, but the Independence

survived, although it was heavily damaged

when it returned to the U.S. This remains one

of the most compelling frontiers in science,

given not only the size of the oceans but what

rests within them.

Read more on this story here.

Learn a skill that could stop sleep disturbances, improving

sleep and daily functioning.

We're looking for ex-servicemen/ women of any age from any

service (regular or reserve) who are currently experiencing at

least one traumatic nightmare per week, to volunteer to take

part in a 2hr group session as part of a research study.

The approach is non-invasive, doesn't involve drugs or therapy

and you won't be asked to share any information or talk about

your past experiences.

Approved by the Help for Heroes Research Approvals Committee and

Anglia Ruskin University’s Ethics Committee

Spaces are limited and group sessions are

being held at your local Help for Heroes

Recovery Centre in 2016.

The next sessions are:

Colchester 8 June

Tidworth 14 June

Catterick 21 June

Plymouth 28 June

Scotland/Wales TBA

Contact Justin Havens now to register or ask

any questions:

07976 724181

| 8

Properties To Let For Veterans

01427 238 100

2 bedroom terraced house to rent

Britannia Terrace, Gainsborough

2 bedroom terraced house to rent

Cleveland Street, Gainsborough

1 bedroom flat to rent

Ropery Road, Gainsborough

We are delighted to offer to the market this

two bedroom mid terrace house within a

popular location of Gainsborough. The

property benefits from Upvc double glazing

and gas central heating. The accommodation

comprises entrance hall, lounge, fitted kitchen,

landing, two bedrooms and bathroom.


£325 PCM

Click here for more details

We are delighted to offer to the market this

two bedroom mid terrace house within a

popular location of Gainsborough. The

property benefits from gas central heating and

double glazing. The accommodation

comprises of entrance hall, lounge, dining

room, fitted kitchen, first floor, two bedrooms

and bathroom. Enclosed rear yard with gated


£350 PCM

Click here for more details

Rent includes Electricity and Water Charges

** A Ground Floor Flat with garden which

benefits from Upvc double glazing and gas

central heating. The accommodation

comprises lounge, fitted kitchen, bathroom,

bedroom. The property is located in a popular

area of Gainsborough. VIEWING HIGHLY


£395 PCM

Click here for more details 9 |


Only those who are willing to abide

by the Official Secrets Act and are

willing to enter a world of intrigue,

fear and espionage need apply.

Minnow Films, the creators of the very successful

series SAS-Who Dares Wins, are currently

looking for a group of 20 ordinary men and

women to attempt a course based on the authentic

Recruitment and Training phases of Britain’s

Intelligence Services.

Please read the application requirements very

carefully and apply only if you meet the criteria.

And good luck!




It is amazing how many people say “I could do

that, no problem” from the comfort of their own

armchair. How many, I wonder, would be willing

to take advantage of the opportunity to actually

have a go?

Because of the very nature of the programme we

cannot disclose too many details about what is

going to happen, only the fact that it is very close

to the recruitment process and training for the

British Intelligence Service. For me this just fills

me with a huge sense of excitement of what is in

store. I have heard through the grapevine that the

course will be as close to the real thing as possible

and will immerse the candidates in a world of

psychological pressure and uncertainty. Maybe I

have said too much!

Is it appealing to your sense of curiosity? Do you

want to know what goes on behind the closed

doors of our most secret organisations? Could

you cope with the psycological uncertainty of the

unknown? But most of all, can you keep a secret?

If you can answer yes to these questions then open

the envelope to reveal the next part of this

mission. You will need to take on a rigourous

application form to be considered for selection.

Then, and only then will the confidential email be

given to you to send in your application. Should

you choose to accept this mission and if you meet

ALL the criteria listed, making sure that you

attach a recent photograph of yourself, your

application will be considered and if accepted you

will be contacted by the ‘Top Secret’ agency

which is Minnow Films.

Most importantly, and crucially:



| 10

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 11 |

As the EU Referendum

draws near the SBT

asks what it will mean

to the UK’s Armed

Forces and Veterans.

We hear voices from

both sides of the


With only a week left until the UK faces

the biggest decision of modern times,

the Sandbag Times takes a look at the

impact this will have on our Armed Forces and

Veterans community. Personally, I have been sat

on the fence for far too long. Undecided due to the

hype and scaremongering caused by the arguments

of both sides. I was very interested to find the top

brass warning of the risks to defence by staying in

the EU yet some of our more senior veterans

warning of the risks in leaving the EU. Let’s first

look at what the defence cheifs have been saying

and why they feel the UK must leave. Speaking

out in favour of Britain leaving the EU, they said

that Nato, and not the EU, should remain the

cornerstone of Europe's defence. Among the group

is General Sir Michael Rose, whose name was

originally on a letter organised by Downing Street

supporting UK membership of the EU. The

Remain campaign says membership of the EU and

Nato is not contradictory. The former senior

military commanders - including Falklands veteran

Major General Julian Thompson, former deputy

chief of the defence staff Sir Jeremy Blackham and

Lieutenant General Jonathan Riley, who

commanded coalition forces in Afghanistan - have

said the UK's national interest would be best served

outside the EU. General Sir Michael Rose, a

former director of special forces and a commander

in Bosnia, has expressed concerns that the EU is

trying to set up its own army that could undermine

the Nato alliance. Downing Street admitted it had

made a mistake earlier this year when it released a

letter claiming he was among former military top

brass who wanted Britain - which has the fifth

largest defence budget in the world - to remain in

the EU. General Rose said sovereignty and

defence were indivisible and that EU policy had

already seriously undermined Britain's combat

effectiveness. "I believe that the UK's contribution

to European defence can manifestly be better made

solely through Nato than by trying to spread our

limited resources too thinly, in order to include

European defence and security policy initiatives

into the UK's defence programme," he said. "It is

something of an insult to our European partners, in

particular France and Germany, to imply that UK

membership of the European Union is necessary to

secure future peace in Europe." In response,

campaign group Britain Stronger in Europe said

there was an "overwhelming consensus" among

military chiefs, including four former chiefs of the

defence staff, that Britain was "stronger and safer"

in the EU. And Labour MP Dan Jarvis, a former

paratrooper who served in Iraq, has warned EU exit

would be a "gift" to Russian President Vladimir

Putin. A few months ago, the Sandbag Times

wrote about a veteran turned MP. So far he has

proved to be a politician that veterans can trust. A

man with his head in the right place in parliament

to actually see the facts with veterans issues firmly

in his sight. So where does Johnny Merceer MP

stand on the referendum?

“I’m in this because I believe in it. I believe in the

Conservative vision for Plymouth, for the country. I

believe in transforming the lives of some of the most

deprived wards in the city. I’m in it because most

people end up in bad positions because of

circumstances outside their control – perhaps a bit

of bad luck, a couple of bad decisions, and it could

be any one of us. I’m in it because I believe we do

‘bombs and bullets’ reasonably well in this country

but, when it comes to using that force, when it comes

to looking after people and cashing the cheque for

which these guys have sacrificed so much, most

people just don’t ‘get it’. And if people don’t vote for

that I’m disappointed, but that’s democracy and I’m

big enough and ugly enough to take the result. But

I’m not going to start telling them that the other

options available are frauds. It demeans me; it disrespects

them, and it treats people like they are

stupid. Here’s the truth: The world ain’t gonna end,

no matter which way the EU vote goes. It will still

rain most of the summer, England will go out of the

Euros at the first opportunity…and I will still be

droning on about veteran’s care from the back

benches. Should we leave the EU? It’s not perfect –

picking holes in it is like shooting fish in a barrel.

But do we seriously think that the most vulnerable in

our communities; those whose lifelines are their

jobs; those who regularly use the NHS; those who

rely on funding for our public services – do we

really think these people could tolerate the financial

shock of leaving the EU? Of course not. Do we

really think in a world that is only getting more

dangerous and more complex, we are better off

alone, or as part of a team heading in generally the

same direction? Obama, Cameron, Osborne,

Petraeus, Carney, Merkel, Clinton, Rajoy, Hollande,

Trudeau, Lagarde, Branson. Do we really ignore all

these opinions?”

| 12

I’m not too sure whether I agree with him or not

but he does at least have the balls and honesty to

speak from his heart and tell us in simple terms

why he thinks the way he does. Maybe if one or

two others could take this example intead of

drowning us in political mumbo jumbo then our

decisions may be so much easier. But that’s just

me. There are many veterans that agree with

Johnny. Second World War veterans have warned

against the UK leaving the European Union,

saying it would bring instability to the continent.

Four war heroes, including the former head of the

military Field Marshal Lord Bramall, have

recorded messages of support for the Remain

campaign. RAF veteran and NHS campaigner

Harry Leslie Smith said: "Britain is stronger in

Europe because it reflects the values my

generation fought for in Europe during the Second

World War." D-Day veteran and former Royal

Marine Patrick Churchill warned: "If it breaks or

we are not in that union, then countries will fall

apart. "The only solution is to bind together, hold

together, there we find strength." Field Marshal

Lord Bramall, former chief of the defence staff,

said: "We would be going backwards, not

forwards in what we set out to cure after the

terrible tragedies of the Second World War." RAF

veteran David Meylan said: "We sacrificed many,

many men in both world wars and this was to

establish a peaceful and a prosperous union. We

can't sacrifice that now." Justice Secretary

Michael Gove told the Daily Telegraph that voting

Leave on 23 June was the only way to stop the

influence of “rogue” European courts and to

deport terrorists instantly. He said the European

Court of Justice was currently considering the

legality of Britain’s surveillance regime and

attempting to assert “legal control over what our

intelligence agencies can and cannot do”.

Decorated former sergeant George D Cowie said:

“Our forebears fought and made terrible sacrifices

in two World Wars for the freedom of their

families and the sovereignty of our great country.

“It falls upon us yet again to fight for our freedom

and sovereignty.” Ex-RAF sergeant Peter Hall

added: “It’s very important for serving personnel

to register to vote. There is only one way for

them to vote that is in the country’s interests and

that is to vote to leave, to return democratic

control and head off any more plans to merge us

in with their plans.”

Retired Navy petty officer Ian Davies said: “Never

again will we get this chance to ensure WE make

significant changes to our home countries and not

faceless Eurocrats.”

Arguments on both sides. I have to be honest, one

issue has kept me thinking. It is, to the grand scale

of things on the EU agenda, just a small matter but

one that weighs heavily on the heart of many

veterans and soldiers alike. Supposing we remain

in the EU and we become part of a European

Armed Force as Sir Michael Rose has suggested.

This is just a question, what happens to our

Regiments and Squadrons? What happens to the

traditions of our serving forces and the history it

has so proudly preserved? Will we see the repeat

of the 1992 ‘Options for Change’ where we saw so

many of our traditions vanish at the push of a

politicians pen, but on a massive scale? I

remember being told by our CO in Colchester that

the Royal Hampshire Regiment was to become part

of a new regiment. I must admit, it was a very sad

day for me and for most of the guys on parade that

day. Yes, we made the most of it but I did feel our

forebearers had been betrayed. Can we really do

that again on such a huge scale? Somebody please

tell me this is not going to happen and I will be a

very happy man. I could be wrong to think like

that but it doesn’t seem that there are many in

power reassuring us otherwise.

If you are still undecided, this ‘In or Out’ questionnaire may help you.

It is a neutral questionnaire that just highlights the main issues

surrounding the referendum. Give it a try. 13 |

The Armed Forces Covenant

Is it working for veterans?

The subject of the Armed Forces Covenant has

never been in my head so much as it has over

the past few weeks. In fact, I think I am just

about on my way to becoming something of an

expert on it, well, at least in my own head I am. So

what is the covenant, what does it mean to us

veterans and the big question is, does it really work?

So what is the Armed Forces Covenant?

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the

nation that those who serve or have served in the

armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

This means supporting the armed forces community

by working with a range of partners who have signed

the covenant. The covenant is a national

responsibility involving government, businesses,

local authorities, charities and the public.

It is very easy to rip this apart as something that is

nothing more than a promise without any real punch

or substance. To be honest I can see how that could

be the case in some eyes, but I think it also has to be

looked on as a work in progress. I have seen, within

the space of a month, exaples of it’s success and

examples of where it is failing or at least where it is

not being recognised..

The two biggies within the covenant are healthcare

and housing. The NHS has made a commitment to

the covenant with regard to veterans care where it

relates to service-related issues. The NHS states:

The Armed Forces Covenant

issues we have found recently is that of practice

administration staff being unaware of the system and

the covenant. Although we can all say this is not

ideal, we do have the option to help the system and

in turn, you may be helping others.

A good way to help within your community is to let

your personal departments know of the Community

Covenant. This is a set of guidelines to assist

agencies in finding best practice in approaching and

dealing with the veteran community. You can have

a look at this by clicking the picture below.

NHS healthcare

for veterans

The Armed Forces

Covenant is a

covenant between

the Armed Forces

Community, the

Nation and the


All veterans are entitled to priority access to NHS

hospital care for any condition, as long as it's related

to their service and subject to the clinical need of

others. If the NHS service you are dealing with is

unaware of priority treatment, you are actively

encouraged to tell them about it and ensure you have

told them that you have served. Failing that, you can

enlist local health care commissioners, your local

authority community covenant lead, or one of the

national service organisations, such as the Royal

British Legion, to support you. Please remember

that priority treatment does not entitle you to jump

the queue ahead of someone with a higher clinical

need and only relates to a condition associated to

your time within the armed forces. When servicemen

and women leave the armed forces, their healthcare

is the responsibility of the NHS. It is highly

important for continuing healthcare that you register

with an NHS GP and remember to tell them you’ve

served. Telling the GP practice about your veteran

status will trigger the transfer of your full medical

documentation from the Ministry of Defence (MoD)

to your GP and enable you to benefit from veteranspecific

services, like prosthetics and mental health.

Those of you who read my article ‘The Invisible

Veteran’ will remember me talking about the NHS

coding system. This system falls into line with the

above statement. However, it is important that you,

as veterans, ensure that your individual health

practice is aware of this system. One of the main

This brings me quite nicely to my next issue. That

of housing. This is probably the most difficult area

to address. I recently heard a case of a veteran living

in a small two bedroom flat with two children. This

is far from satisfactory and I thought I would look

into it with a view to asking the local council

housing officer about the covenant. Much to my

annoyance, although I did kind of expect it, the

officer said that there was no relevance to the

covenant in the way they conduct housing allocation

unless the veteran in question was actually homeless.

After a little research I discovered the councils are

quite within their rights to do this. There is actually no

law that states any council must abide by the covenant.

I read this in the community covenant best practice

guide which probably explains things a little better.

Housing is the primary concern for a lot

of Service leavers and their families, who,

when they leave Service, lose their military

accommodation and have to look for new

lodgings. Many Service leavers are able to

purchase their own home or rent privately and

experience no problems. However, for those who

wish to live in socially rented housing - which

is often the only affordable option - the process

can be difficult. A great deal of this difficulty

arises because local authority housing allocation

schemes usually reward local connection and

waiting time on the Housing Register.

| 14

The Armed Forces Covenant

In this regard, the mobile nature of an Armed Forces

career can put its members and their families

at a disadvantage. In recent years, both the

Government and local authorities have

become more aware of these issues and measures

have been introduced to try to address them. The

difficulty with this is that although there are a

number of statutory provisions, local authorities

still have the discretion to make their policies

particularly flexible to the Armed Forces community,

and only some are choosing to do so.

At this moment in time I can see no answer to this

dilemma. It is a very sad fact that housing still

remains a problem. However saying that there are

some councils such as Liverpool, Portsmouth,

Wandsworth and Sheffield that have actually put

steps into place to assist veterans with housing

difficulties. Big well done to those!

We as veterans can play a part in changing the way

our local governments can help. The Community

Covenant sets out guidelines and some great ideas on

who you can approach and how you can get things

debated in your area.

Maybe this is a good thing, I see a lot of people on

facebook and other social media asking for change.

Maybe these people would be the ideal candidates

for getting these ideas off the ground. All it really

takes is good meaning people with a passion for

getting things done.

After all, my recent case of bringing the healthcare

issue to light in my own GP surgery, has worked. I

now know that veterans in Worcester will get the

help they need. It is very satisfying to know that

actually this was done with relative ease. The

countrywide problem still exists but at least steps are

now in place to rectify this. During June and July

the NHS is being retrained to understand the Armed

Forces Covenant and the systems for treating

veterans in a more efficient manner.

I would like to bring your attention to a particular

section of the covenant that very often gets

overlooked. This is ‘Support after Service’. There is

a very large organisation in place that can help out

with many veterans issues, not least of these is War

Pensions or as it is now called the ‘Armed Forces

Pension Scheme’.

Section 11 of the Armed Forces Covenant states:

The Covenant involves an obligation for life, and the

commitment and sacrifices made by veterans in the

past, as well as their continuing value to society,

should be properly recognised in the support they

receive. In accessing services, former members of the

Armed Forces should expect the same level of

support as any other citizen in society.

Pension schemes should be fair and appropriate to

the particular circumstances of Service personnel. All

veterans will be able to access advice and in some

cases additional support, from the MOD (Service

Personnel and Veterans Agency), elsewhere in

Government, and the charitable sector, although their

access may be affected if they do not live in the UK.

Those who have been injured in Service, or have a

health condition relating to Service, should receive

additional support which may include a financial

element depending on their circumstances (eg

through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme or

War Pension Scheme). Bereaved families should

receive assistance commensurate with the loss that

they have suffered, including help during the vital,

but difficult, Inquest process.

The MOD’s veterans department, the SPVA is a

wealth of knowledge and information if you find

yourself facing difficulties. They can advise you on

how the covenant works or doesn’t work as the case

may be. In any case don’t be afraid to call them.

So, in summary, my personal feelings are that the

Covenant is better in place than not. It does have

benefits and it very often causes confusion especially

when veterans start looking at their ‘rights’. Yes it

has been enshrined in law but it is also a

Government promise. That means it is not

enforceable. With that in mind do your homework

before you go charging in at the deep end to rip

holes in your local council for something that is

greiving you. My best advice is to make the

covenant work for you by calling on those in local

office for help and assistance., use the community

covenant and get everyone together to discuss the

best ways forward. After all, isn’t it better to

negotiate a peaceful solution?

This obligation involves

the whole of society: it

includes voluntary and

charitable bodies, private

organisations, and the

actions of individuals

in supporting the

Armed Forces. 15 |

Have Faith


When considering what to write this week I spent time with God

and thanked Him for whatever He was going to place on my heart to

write about. I prayed expectantly as I know that if God wants me to

write this then He will provide me with the words. Anyway I sat for

a long time quietly and with anticipation, and then as my mind cleared

these words came into my head:

‘You don’t win hearts by force, you win hearts through love.’

It started me thinking about love, what it means to love & be

loved, what drives us to do things and the power of love. God is love

and in the Bible Paul writes:

‘Follow the way of love’ (1 Corinthians 14:1)

So I started wondering about what drives people to do things?

Why, for example do men & women join the forces? It’s a dangerous

job with many risks. Having chatted to veterans about this, I found

that there are a number of reasons. Some have a love for their country

and the freedoms they enjoy. Some love it because they are able to

protect vulnerable people in other nations. Some have a love for the

job, the action, the security, the camaraderie, community, belonging,

and some because they love their family and want to honour tradition.

Whatever the reason there always seems to be love involved.

Love is a positive driving force. When the love fades, with it

goes the joy and the motivation. I particularly like the way mother

Teresa puts it:

I read a book a while ago by

Phillip Yancey called ‘The Jesus I

Never Knew’. In it He explains

about love and how important it is.

He uses the example of

communism. In communist

countries the ideal is that everyone

is treated the same and that

everything is shared out equally.

Now I know that the heads of these

countries still get a larger share than

the rest, but this is not my point

today. The fact is communism

doesn’t work because it is forced. When people are made to share

they do it begrudingly and out of fear of consequences, but when

people choose to share and show kindness they do it out of

willingness and love. People are not motivated by force, but by love.

When I first became a Christian I wanted the world to know the love

that I had found through Jesus. I became a bit unbearable because all

I would do, was go on and on at my friends about God and how great

He is and how they needed Him too. This was because I had found a

‘greater love’ than I had ever known and was excited about this new

relationship. Not much different to when someone meets the love of

their life and wants to tell the world about it. It took a while for me

to realise, that the only way they would share in the love I had found,

was by finding it themselves, not from me going on and on, because

actually this put many of my friends off. Love does not come through

insistance, persuasion or force. It also does not come through fear. It

wasn’t until I watched, disapprovingly, another Christian trying to

argue and frighten people into believing, that I realised that these

methods are all wrong. It’s funny isn’t it, what we see in others and

often miss in ourselves. This was a good lesson for me. God was

teaching me that love is the only way.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear,

because fear involves punishment. The one who fears has not

been perfected in love.’ (1 John 4:18)

In Matthew 22:36-39 Jesus, in response to the pharisees’ question,

tells the people

that the greatest

commandment of

all is to love the

Lord your God

with all your

heart, soul and

mind. He went

on to say that the

second was to

love your

neighbour as


My faith is not built on rules or legalism, as can be found in many

religions. My faith has grown as my relationship with God has

deepened. I spend time talking to Him, sitting quietly with Him,

listening, reading His word (the Bible) and sharing things with Him.

Being thankful to Him for all that I have and involving Him in

everything. Not just the biggest difficulties and decisions, but even in

the small things, like a smile from my son or a beautiful flower. I

know He is with me always and by investing time in this relationship

(just as I do with family and friends), the relationship grows closer

and the love deeper. I love Him because He first loved me (1 John

4:19). Faith was never pushed on me, although some tried. I found

faith when I realised how much I was loved by Him - as I am -

imperfect. You cannot be forced to love, but you choose it, and when

you choose to love, thats when great things happen. Look at Mother

Teresa for example, all that she did in her life she did in love, and she

made such a great

difference in peoples’

lives. She explained that

her love for God and His

love for her was why she

did the things she did. One

quote I particularly like

from her is:

| 16

Have Faith

Her purpose was to reflect God on earth. To show others’ the

love that God has for them. She was his servant. She was such a

great example of love, of God. She reflected the very nature of

God, who is love, and her life was a testimony to Him and His love

letter to us all.

I grew up in church and knew that God loved me, but did not

really understand. I saw the vicar leading, full of wisdom, and

thought he was closer to God than me, one of the chosen ones, and

that I needed to go through Him to get to God. It wasn’t until I was

older that I realised that I could have my own relationship with God,

that in Gods eyes we are all equal. No-one is more or less important.

He has no favourites.

Many people say to me, ‘but what about the commandments if you

don’t get those right, if you don’t follow the rules, then God won’t

love you. If you don’t fit a certain mould God wont accept you.’

That’s conditional love. The

commandments were given by God to help

us to realise that none of us can meet those

demands, and to see that He loved us so

much that He sacrificed His only son to save

us, so that He could have a personal

relationship with each one of us. I struggle

with many things, as we all do, but this is the

greatest thing, God knows my faults and He

still loves me. That’s why Jesus died on the

cross. Through His sacrifice I am forgiven

and loved. We are all forgiven and loved.

So what’s the catch then? There is none. It

says in Romans 10:9 that ‘If you confess

with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and

believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be

saved.’ Faith is built on perfect love, unconditional, no strings

attached, no set criteria, Jesus says in Matthew 21:22 ‘believe and you

will receive’. God loves us whether we love Him back or not, but He

wants us to seek a relationship with Him, so that we can fully receive

His love.

So what is love? When we think of love, we usually think of a

warm fluffy feeling. We all speak of love. It can be translated in many

ways. Love for our partner, our children, our parents or other family

members. Love for our friends, or maybe a pet, a job, our country,

our home, the sea, the sunshine. There are many things that we

‘love’. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Paul describes love:

‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not boast, it is not proud.

It is not rude, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered, it

keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but

rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hope,

always perserveres. Love never fails.’

Now this is a popular passage that many may have heard read at

weddings, but have we really listened? Have we given it any

thought? I know that I find it hard sometimes not to bring things up

from the past when unhappy or hurt by someone I love, and yet love

‘keeps no record of wrongs’. I get angry sometimes, and I think ‘what

about me?’ when feeling neglected by my loved ones. Is love easy to

do, easy to get right? No. From a human perspective it is difficult,

we all have faults and to love means to bear with one another in our

faults. We all make mistakes and we

are to forgive each other. Is that

easy? No. So the idea that love is all

hearts and flowers is not reality. I

think what I have learned over the

years is that love can overcome all

things. I know that ‘God is love’, so

when we get to know Him, we start

to understand true love & in time we

start to show true love to others. God

has taught me acceptance because He

accepts me as I am, warts and all. He

has taught me trust, I can be honest

with Him, get frustrated with Him, get upset with Him and often go

my own way and not the way He would choose for me, but He is still

there and He still loves me. He never gives up on me. That is the

way I try to love others. People let us down, they make mistakes, they

hurt us, sometimes on purpose, sometimes

inadvertently. They can be unreliable, they

can need you only when they need you, and

don’t seem to be there when you need them,

and it can hurt. What I have realised is that

everyone is trying their best (and I have said

this many times in these articles). Their best

may be different from your best, but it is still

their best. When I remember how much God

accepts from me, how much I let Him down

and sometimes don’t make the effort or get

things wrong, and He still loves me, I know

that I owe that same love to others, and want

and choose to show it. As I keep saying, it is

not easy, and I often get it wrong, but I, like

everyone else am trying my best.

We can all make a difference in other people’s lives. We are not

all destined for great things like Mother Teresa or Martin Luther

King, but as Mother Teresa said “Not all of us can do great things.

But we can do small things with great love”. We can’t necesarily

change the whole world but those small things we do in love, make

such an impact. I guess the

point I’m trying to make

through all my wafflings is

that as people, we thrive on

love. No-one can do without

love. Mother Teresa explains

it perfectly: “There is more

hunger for love and

appreciation in this world than

for bread” and “the most

terrible poverty is loneliness

and the feeling of being

unloved”. So in the words of


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 17 |

Canada Calling



The Canuck Connection

“Oh Canada” is to become Gender Neutral. How do I feel about this

news. Befuddled, confused, one cannot think of all the synonyms for

this issue. WHY would our Parliament wish to change our historical

anthem? Although not officially adopted until 1980 as Canada’s

National Anthem, it has received a few rewrites over the years.

However making it Gender Neutral as proposed is a waste of

valuable parliamentary time and expense. I do fully understand, this

private member’s bill, is an MP who is suffering with ALS and I am

sad for him.

"O Canada" (French: Ô Canada) is the national anthem of Canada. The

song was originally commissioned by Lieutenant Governor of Quebec

Théodore Robitaille for the 1880 Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day ceremony.

Calixa Lavallée composed the music, after which words were written

by the poet and judge Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. The lyrics were

originally in French and an English version was created in 1906.

Robert Stanley Weir wrote in 1908 another English version, which is

the official and most popular version, one that is not a literal translation

of the French. Weir's lyrics have been revised twice, taking their

present form in 1980, but the French lyrics remain unaltered. "O

Canada" had served as a de facto national anthem since 1939, officially

becoming Canada's national anthem in 1980 when the Act of Parliament

making it so, received Royal Assent and became effective on July 1 as

part of that year's Dominion Day celebrations. Click here for link

As well as the anthem issue, there’s the Province of New Brunswick

(FYI: Canada’s FIRST official Bi Lingual Province) this headline story

is ludicrous at the least. Decide for yourself after reading this article.

Click for link

We veterans are very opinionated (which is our right) and the previous

stories I am sure will be heavily discussed, dissected and opinions

formed at many Veteran Gatherings.

Sadly most of these social events no longer take place in Royal

Canadian Legion Halls. Many Veterans are very upset with the actions

of Tom Eagles (A NON VETERAN) and Dominion President who

leads by disassociation, with Veteran’s and their concerns.

NATO allies in Eastern European

are requesting that Canada

contribute 1,000 soldiers to

protect against Russian

aggression in the region, the

Ottawa Citizen reports. “We do

honour all of our NATO

commitments when they come

due,” the parliamentary secretary

to the minister of national

defence John McKay said Friday,

during question period. “We have

a considerable number of military

over in that part of the world and this request is being actively reviewed

as we speak.”

Canada currently has 220 soldiers stationed in Poland, the Ottawa

Citizen reports. One hundred and seventy are currently taking part in a

10-day NATO exercise involving 30,000 soldiers from 23 nations.

Any increase in troop levels could put pressure on the Canadian

military, which is dealing with decreased spending levels, prior

commitments overseas and a continuing military mission in Iraq.

McKay’s comment was prompted by a question from Conservative MP

Jacques Gourde, who asked if the defence minister would “show

leadership in response to NATO or ignore reality as he did with the CF-


Last but by no means least, the CF-18 situation has reached a new

COSTLY Level for non-compliance. Click for link

My friend Al Cameron of tells a great story

of a Veteran of WW2. Just spent an hour with Victor M, WW2 Bomber

Command Veteran pilot. He told me he was given three and a half years

to live ,as statistics say that of people diagnosed with Leukemia. He

then laughed saying that was good with him because he'll be 98 in two

weeks and wanted to make it to 100! Yup...the Greatest Generation.

(Well said sir, we look forward to your Centenary.) Today’s column

ends with another one from the funny side of Military Life: Once a

PADRE always a Padre;

A FRIEND of mine who is a Canadian Forces chaplain tells this story:

A military aircraft had just reached its assigned 38,000 feet when

suddenly and dramatically it dropped steeply to about half that altitude.

A frightened soldier among the passengers turned to his seat mate, a

chaplain. "Do something, padre!" he pleaded. "Relax, my boy," said the

chaplain. "I'm sure we'll be all right." The soldier was not reassured.

"Please, padre," he persisted. "Do something religious!" The chaplain

smiled, then asked: "Would you like me to take up an offering?"

Meanwhile in the UK Forces TV is a fine source of all things military.

This link will explain who may wear a traditional beard in the ARMY,

Navy and even the Air Force.. Forces TV

Canada may step up to the plate

yet again. A formal request for

1,000 Canadian troops in Eastern

Europe being ‘actively reviewed’

A request for more Canadian

troops to be stationed in Eastern

Europe is being “actively

reviewed,” says the parliamentary

secretary to the national defence


Have a great week

Nil Sine Labore


Is this K-9 Bi Lingual?

| 18

The Historical Tommy Atkins

The Battle of Waterloo

18th June 1815

This year marks 201 years since the

Battle of Waterloo; one of the most

famous battles in English history

This week I decided to go back even further into history. The 18th

June marks the 201st anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. I

remember learning about this at school, but it interested me to

note that the anniversary was this month so I thought I’d have a read and

learn a few more facts about this great battle, and share them with you.

On a battlefield in Belgium, the British army and a coalition of

nations, including Belgian, Dutch and

German troops led by Arthur Wellesley,

Duke of Wellington (1769-1852), and the

Prussians led by Gebhard Leberecht von

Blucher (1742-1819), defeated the

French forces led by Napoleon Bonaparte

(1769-1821), in what the Duke would

later call “a damned close-run thing.”

The Duke of Wellington

The Battle of Waterloo was the final

and decisive action of the Napoleonic Wars, the wars that effectively

ended French domination of the European continent and brought about

drastic changes in the political boundaries and the power balance of

Europe. Fought on 18th June 1815, near Waterloo, in modern

Belgium, the battle ranks as a great turning point in European history.

After raising France to a position of preeminence in Europe,

Napoleon met defeat in 1814 by a coalition of major powers, notably

Prussia, Russia, Britain, and

Napoleon Bonaparte Austria. Napoleon was then

deposed and exiled to the island of

Elba1, and Louis XVIII was made

ruler of France. In September

1814, the Congress of Vienna

convened to discuss problems

arising from the defeat of France,

and whilst congress was in session

on 26th February 1815, Napoleon

escaped from Elba and returned to

France. Many veterans of his

former campaigns flocked to his side, and on 20th March 1815, he

again took the throne. The Congress of Vienna, alarmed by

Napoleon's return to power, reacted quickly to the crisis. On 17th

March Austria, Great Britain, Prussia, and Russia each agreed to

contribute 150,000 troops to an invasion force to be assembled in

Belgium near the French border. A majority of other nations present

at the congress also pledged troops for the invasion of France, which

was to be launched on 1st July 1815.

Napoleon, learning of the invasion plan, was determined to attack

the allies on their own ground before their army could form. He

mobilized an army of 360,000 trained soldiers within two months, and

deployed half of these troops within France as a security force,

sending the remainder into attack units. On 14th June 1815, Napoleon,

moving with speed and secrecy, reached the Franco-Belgian border

with 124,000 of his troops. Another 56,000 men were left behind in

supporting positions.

On June 15th 1815, Napoleon moved across the border of Belgium,

and his sudden arrival caught the allied command unprepared.

Napoleon ordered his left wing, under Marshal Michel Ney, to attack

a brigade of Wellington's cavalry at Quatre-Bras, north of Charleroi.

Wellington’s army was undefeated. He next ordered the right wing, to

move eastward against the Prussians who were stationed in the town

of Gilly. At the Battle of Ligny, on June 16th, Napoleon defeated the

Prussians under the command of Blucher. However, the French were

unable to totally destroy the Prussian army, and General Blucher

retreated. This set the scene for the final, decisive battle. 19 |

The Historical Tommy Atkins

Napoleon's headquarters

on the eve of the Battle

(now the Musée du


Before the battle, Wellington

stayed at a Waterloo inn while

Napoleon was three miles south.

Their men slept out as rain fell

throughout the night.

Wellington knew success the

next day rested heavily on the

arrival of General Blucher and his

Prussian reinforcements. They were recuperating in Wavre, 18 miles

east of Waterloo. With the Prussians and Allied armies separated,

Napoleon was confident he could defeat Wellington and

make his way to Brussels.

On the morning of June 19th, Wellington had

established a strong defensive position, blocking the road

to Brussels in order to stop Napoleon’s advance towards

the capital.

had two brigades of cavalry over the ridge. With Napoleon's men

advancing towards the British line, now was their moment. The

cavalry charged and hit the French infantry, slicing through the soldiers

on the ground. Napoleon’s line had been brutally weakened but

Wellington’s left flank was also damaged, and he couldn’t afford to

launch another attack without reinforcements.

Napoleon's cavalry, sent to investigate movement in the east,

discovered Blucher's troops near Plancenoit, a village 5 miles from the

main battlefield. The Prussians captured the high ground and attacked

the French hard. Napoleon was forced to send more troops to

Plancenoit during the course of the afternoon as the

territory changed hands several times. Although Blucher

was unable to reach Wellington at the main battle, his

efforts put the French under pressure, forcing them to split

their resources. Wellington, hearing the cannon fire in the

distance, knew that Blucher had formed his own

formidable front line, as promised.

Wellington knew he was outnumbered with

approximately 68,000 Allied troops versus Napoleon's

72,000, so he positioned his men behind a ridge and three

garrisoned farms. The farm of Papelotte was on his left, Le

Haye Sainte in front and Hougoumont to his right. The combination of

the incline, fields of high corn and well-placed garrisons meant

Wellington had both a good vantage point and cover to shield his troops.

From here he could try to hold the ground until the Prussians arrived.

Napoleon's mind was also on the terrain. It was waterlogged after

the night's rainfall, making it difficult to move his men and guns into

position, so he decided to delay his first major attack until noon to give

the ground time to dry out. This strategy was a critical blunder,

because although it would save tiring out his men in the early stages of

the battle (as they would have to wade through the mud), it gave

Bluchers remaining 30,000 troops time to march to Waterloo to

provide much needed backup for Wellington’s men.

Napoleon decided to

The Battle at Hougoumont Farm

launch a diversionary

attack on Hougoumont

farm, starting the battle

with an assault of largescale

cannon fire. Led

by Napoleon's brother,

5,000 troops advanced

on Hougoumont. They

outnumbered the 1,500 British holed up inside, but its walls made it a

strong fortress . Wellington's guards were able to fire through holes in

the walls at the French who were sitting targets. Napoleon’s men

managed to break open the gates, but the British quickly closed them

again, trapping 40 French soldiers inside. They slaughtered all but one

of them, an 11-year-old drummer boy.

With Wellington's right flank busy defending Hougoumont,

Napoleon seized the opportunity to do some damage to the centre of

the British line. He sent 18,000 infantry along the road to Brussels to

strike a decisive blow. They captured the farm of Papelpotte and the

area surrounding La Haye Sainte. It looked like victory was now

within Napoleon’s grasp. If he took La Haye Sainte, he could attack

the remaining British troops at close range. However he became

concerned by movements he had spotted in fields to the east, and

promptly ordered a troop of cavalry to go and investigate. It was the

Prussian troops, but they were still far off.

Wellington, desperate to drive back the French, sent reinforcements

to La Haye Sainte. Lord Uxbridge, Wellington's cavalry commander,

Gebhard Leberecht

von Blücher

Napoleon ordered Marshal Ney to capture La Haye

Sainte, Wellington’s central stronghold, and for the next

few hours, wave after wave of heavily armoured French

soldiers on horseback charged at the Allied line. The

Allied line responded with a change in formation. They fended off the

4,000-strong French cavalry, but their new square formation made

them vulnerable to Napoleon's heavy artillery fire, causing one

battalion, the 27th

Regiment, a loss of nearly

500 of its 747 men. La

Haye Sainte finally fell.

Wellington had lost his

prize garrison.

crushing blow.

It was a

Napoleon was now

able to bring the French

artillery forward and

The storming of La Haye Sainte

by Knötel

attack the Allied centre with devastating results. All Wellington could

do was defend from behind the ridge and hope for the Prussian's swift

arrival with reinforcements.

Knowing that he needed to take swift action against the weakened

Allied force, Napoleon sent 6,000 French soldiers across the field up

towards Wellington on the ridge, marching between Hougoumont and

La Haye Sainte. Those on the right made it over the ridge with the

protection of the French-held garrison, but those on the left suffered

fire from the British-held garrison.

When the French reached the ridge, Wellington gave the order to

stand and fire. At almost point blank range, muskets tore through the

French soldiers, forcing them back. With Blucher's troops now

arriving on Wellington's left, the Allied army advanced, pursuing the

Imperial Guard. Wellington, presented with an opportunity to kill

Napoleon, ordered his men to hold fire, and the Emperor fled, shielded

by his men. It was reported that he rode away from the battle in tears.

Wellington on the ridge, with

a view over the battlefield

| 20

The Historical Tommy Atkins

Blucher and Wellington celebrate

their victory over Napoleon

After the final

Prussian assault, the

field was strewn

with tens of

thousands of bodies.

By some estimates,

the French suffered

more than 33,000

casualties (including

dead, wounded or

taken prisoner),

while British and Prussian casualties numbered more than 22,000. On

this bloody battlefield in Belgium, Wellington had halted Napoleon’s

relentless march towards European

domination and secured Britain's role as a key

player in Europe.

Wellington went on to secure a peace deal

with France and in 1828 became British

prime minister. Blucher, in his 70s at the time

of the Waterloo battle, died a few years later.

What happened to Napoleon? On June 22,

1815, Napoleon once again abdicated. That

October, he was exiled to the remote, Britishheld

island of Saint Helena, in the South

Atlantic Ocean. He died there 6 years later on May 5th 1821, aged 51,

most likely from stomach cancer. Napoleon was buried on the island;

however, in 1840, his remains were returned to France and entombed

in a crypt at Les Invalides in Paris, where other French military leaders

are interred.

The morning after the battle of Waterloo

by John Heaviside Clark 1816

5. 200,000 men, 60,000 horses and 537 guns were in action on a piece

of land measuring only five square miles. This meant that although the

killing was greater in other battles, it was seldom as concentrated as at

Waterloo. The average number of casualties per square mile suffered

by Wellington's army during that single day was 2,291 as compared

with 234 British casualties per square mile over the 120 days of the

battle of the Somme in 1916.

6. When the Prussians captured Napoleon's campaign carriage on June

19th, they found printed proclamations announcing his victory,

addressed to the people of Belgium and post-dated 17th June 1815. He

also promised his troops unlimited plunder when they occupied the

Belgian capital.

7. Three days after the battle Napoleon

consumed a vial of poison that he carried in

case of capture. A physician was called

when he was found writhing in agony, and

he was given emetic to induce vomiting.

Whether the residual poison contributed to

his subsequent suspected stomach cancer,

we'll never know.

8.The British Army received a 'gratuity' of

25 million francs from the French crown

after winning. Converted into Sterling,

£978,850.15s.4d was divided into 16 equal shares for distribution to

every survivor. Four shares were split between the rank-and-file,

giving each man £2.11s.4d. (About £142 in today's money). Two of

the 16 shares were distributed among the non-commissioned officers,

and so on up through the ranks of subaltern, captain, field officer and

general officer. Wellington, as Commander in Chief, received a single

share: £61,178.3s.5½d, equivalent to over £3.25 million today.

The tomb of Napoleon

Bonaparte in the central

crypt at Dôme des


9. In the warfare of the day it was common for the bodies of the fallen

to be pillaged for anything of value, particularly teeth. They would be

set in ivory and used as dentures for the rich.

10. Incredibly, sightseers arrived the morning after the battle and a

buoyant trade in mementoes ensued. Everything from cap badges and

tricolor cockades to sabres and pistols could be bought from local



1. A gaffe from a French officer probably swung the battle in the

favour of British and Prussian troops. Napoleon sent word that the

battle had begun (engagée) but the officer read it as gagné, which

means won.

2. The Prussians called the battle 'La Belle Alliance', after the inn of

the same name at the centre of Napoleon's line. The French called it

'Mont St Jean' after the ridge that marked Wellington's line.

Wellington insisted on calling it 'Waterloo', the location of his

headquarters, even though that town was more than two miles away

from the fighting. He had a thing for naming battles after the place

he'd stayed at the previous night.

3. A few months later Napoleon was under British arrest on a ship

docked at Plymouth. The site was continually packed with people

hoping to catch a glimpse of the most famous, or infamous, man of that

period of history.

4. There is a memorial to Lord Uxbridge's leg at Waterloo, shattered

in the battle and amputated. When he died 39 years after the battle,

Lord Uxbridge's leg was exhumed and buried with his body.


Images from Getty Images & Wikipedia

Waterloo, The History of Four Days Three Armies and Three Battles - Bernard

cornwell 21 |

American Veterans Today

American Veterans Today covers the

top issues and latest features in the

veterans world from the United

States. This week we look at the

interview by Military Veterans

Radio with Presidential

Candidate Chris Keniston and

Vice Presidential Candidate

Deacon Taylor of The Veterans

Party of America

One of the most inspirational

interviews I have heard on a veterans

radio station in a long time took place on

Saturday 11th June 2016. I have to be honest,

until this interview I had not heard of The

Veterans Party of America, Chris Keniston or

Deacon Taylor. The interview changed all of

that within the space of an hour.

So who are the Veterans Party of America and

what are they about? I took a look into their

website to find out.

The Veterans Party of America was formed

when Congress chose to balance the budget by

reducing the cost of living allowance for

military retirees, including those medically

retired after sustaining injuries during combat

with the enemy. The founders started the

National Party and their respective states of

California and Florida. It was expected that a

couple hundred people would be interested at

the end of the first month.

Less than two years later, with over 42,000

people on our National Party Facebook page,

we have passed the Facebook following of all

other American political parties, only trailing

the Green Party, the Libertarian party, the

Democrats, and the Republicans. All of the

parties ahead of us have been in existence for

no less than 30 years. We recognize that

Facebook is only an indicator, not an accurate

reflection of any accomplishments, but it is a

valid indicator of potential growth and the

need for a Constitutional political party.

We currently have activated a state party in all

50 states, which is a leadership indicator.

There are parties in existence for over 23 years

which have still not activated a party in every

state. Perhaps that leadership is due to none of

our party leadership being career politicos, but

rather everyday citizens.

Team VPA is currently registering voters in

Alaska, California, and Delaware to gain full

recognized party status. We are on the verge

of reaching recognized status in those states.

To be fully recognized, as an equal political

party in those states, we only require

approximately 7,000 more voters to register in

Alaska, 600 more in Delaware, and only

around 50,000 more in California. We have

achieved full recognized party status, and

registering voters in Mississippi. The Veterans

Party of America is now authorized to run

candidates in Indiana and Montana.

In our very first year, 2014, we ran a dozen

candidates in 5 states, winning one seat and

our strategy is to run a thousand candidates

across the nation in 2016, focusing on

unopposed races. The Veterans Party of

America nominated Chris Keniston as our

Presidential candidate, who then asked the

runner up to be his running mate, Deacon

Taylor. Deacon is conducting the first known

Presidential Team campaign by motorcycle.

Our Party Platform has been developed from

input by our team members, based on the

belief that there is not a problem without a

Constitutional, viable, fiscally responsible

solution. There is not a requirement to have

served in the military, or have any affiliation

with the military or any facilities, to become a

member of the Veterans' Party of America..

We could sit for hours and discuss the political

agenda the VPA has. I think a good idea is for

you to listen to the recording of the interview

for yourselves. However listening to the two

candidates talking about the Military, tackling

terrorism, the economy plus so much more

kind of reminded me of a certain MP in the

UK. There was no finger-pointing or putting

other parties down, no flash or bull, just

honest, straight forward policies. Both openly

state that mistakes can and will be made but

it‘s learning from the mistakes and working

together that makes the difference.

Personally, I wish them all the best for the

coming year. I would also like to congratulate

Military Veterans Radio for a very well

executed interview. It was made just a little

sweeter that the interview falls on the second

birthday of MVR. Kat and the team stand by

their motto: Hands Across The Pond.

| 22

American Veterans Today

Music For Veterans Launch

Kickstarter Project to record

the brand new album: ‘Back

Home - The Veterans Album’

Tuesday 14th June 2016 saw the launch of a brand new

project to raise funds with the aim to record an album

of veterans music. The Kickstarter project will bring

together Veterans across the globe who professionally

write and play music through a compilation album

called "Back Home: A Veterans Album". This album

will showcase these Veterans, some incredible

musicians, who are contributing their music to our

project to help us to expand the great work that the

Music For Veterans program does. This album will also

feature a song by our local Music for Veterans group in

Erie, Pennsylvania.

The Music for Veterans program was formed 5 years

ago to offer Veterans a creative means of addressing the

transition from military to civilian life. Playing a

musical instrument improves healing & long-term

happiness. Why? Because it totally engages a person

physically, mentally, and emotionally!

We've found a wealth of musical talent with Veterans

across the country and around the world. This program

creates a strong sense of camaraderie among these

Veterans that dramatically improves their quality of life.

What we are proposing is a fun, yet powerful

demonstration of the musical talents and camaraderie of

the Veteran community. The album will be made

available to the public and the proceeds from the album

will help to grow the Music

for Veterans program.

What’s more perfect than

offering a group of men and women who served in the

military the opportunity to come together in PEACE

through music?

The roots of music therapy in the military span over 70

years of service in the United States, and there is

promising research that playing music, whether it be

singing, playing an instrument, songwriting, or even

listening, offers benefits to service members "useful in

recovery, growth, and development"

I have come to know Veterans for Music pretty well

over the last few weeks and I have spoken to one or

two of the team. I have come to understand the

importance of the project. This is not just a case of

raising money to record an album but about giving

veterans hope and a way to help the recovery process

through music.

I had a sneaky peak at a couple of the artists on the

album today. I was blown away by one track in

particular, Chuck Hawthornes “Welding Son of a Gun”.

Totally loved it and I am so looking forward to hearing

the professionally recorded version of this.

You can get involved in the project by clicking this link

or visiting their website

You can also visit their facebook page at

We wish you luck guys, from the SBT Team. 23 |

Bedford VBC

Bedford Breakfast Club 8 turned up

today including 5 new members so

excellent. Our next one is 10 July


Doncaster VBC

We had thirteen visit Doncaster

Breakfast Club today for a great

breakfast and a tour of the Ashworth

Barracks museum, which everyone

enjoyed, photos to follow.

Leigh Veterans

Breakfast Club

16 today at Leigh BC including

Andy Burnham MP and local

councillors Keith Cunliffe and

Jo Platt.

| 24

Veterans Breakfast Clubs

Tameside Veterans

Breakfast Club

35 veterans plus a few family members,

brilliant turnout and good to see a few new

faces. We had an introduction from Ashton

Armoury trust, and the work their doing to help

veterans, who need assistance. Brilliant work

lads. Also in attendance were the

representatives from the Royal British Legion,

who also do amazing work with veterans in the

community. The club is taking off and the

word is getting out there but more importantly

we had a very anxious Ulster veteran turn up

for the first time and left shortly after but he's

taken the first step and thats a good start.

East Cyprus

Veterans Breakfast Club

15 at East Cyprus today + 8 Wags 25 |



Futurefor Heroes

Enhancing their Prospects

Tranquillity andserenity, an

opportunityto reflectandthink


Trust building!


AnF4H Maxim

| 26

Veterans Radio

Veterans Radio Net


“OUR” radio station “Yours and Mine”

By tuning in and commenting on our Live Chat Page

you take control of the station, you make it “Yours”

Come on in and make some new friends, have a laugh, pick

the music and tell us what you want to talk about

VRN, the NAFFI of the Airwaves

Keeping Veterans Stronger Together since 2012

With new presenters joining the team soon, VRN is going

from strength to strength

"Make yourself part of it"

Forces Online Radio

May 23rd saw the launch of a new military focused radio station

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

The Centre of the Universe,

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

ok so that's pushing it, but VRN is

string to its bow. Our aim is to bring you a diverse selection of both

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:

Other links that can be used for external connection are:


Real Audio:

Windows Media:

Jim Wilde

Director – Forces Online Radio

Military Veterans Radio

“Hands Across The Pond”

MVR is the place to be for great music, great company and

a deep love and respect for our troops and veterans.

We thank them for their service by providing a safe and

welcoming enviroment to meet and chat.


MVR also provides a support platform where you can find

links to get help and support for many veterans issues

So what are you waiting for?

Just click on the link and join us in the chatroom 27 |










| 28 29 |





O ur


| 30

Veterans jobs

Store Manager

AVIS UK, Southend-on-sea - East of England

Salary Range: £24,000,

Veiw Job Details

Rental Sales Agent

AVIS UK, Greater London

Salary Range: £19,000 + Commission

View Job Details

Team Leader

AVIS UK, Greater London

Salary Range: £21,000 + Commission

View Job Details

Field Service Technician

Green Recruitment Solutions

Salary Range: £28,000 - £32,000 + Overtime + Package,

View Job Details

Security Officer (48 hour shift)


Salary Range: £31,587 per annum,

View Job Details

Prison Security Officer - 8621

SERCO, - West Midlands

Salary Range: £15k - £20k,

View Job Details

Workshop Chargehand

FSR SOLUTIONS, - Greater London

Salary Range: £30k - £34k depending on experience,

View Job Details

Trainee Manager

AVIS UK, Cambridge - East of England

Salary Range: £20,500

View Job Details

Guest Services Mall Manager

VSG, Stirling - Mid Scotland and Fife

Salary Range: £9.40 p/h

View Job Details

Communications Manager


Salary Range: £22k - £25k

View Job Details

HGV Driver

H WICKS (LINDAL) LTD, Barrow-in-Furness - North West

Salary Range: £9 - £11 p/h

View Job Details

Cash in Transit Driver

MOBIUS RESOURCING, Hemel Hempstead - South East

Salary Range: £21848 - 23580

View Job Details

Casual Technical Assistant - 14341

SERCO - North East

Salary Range: £10 - 15k

View Job Details


EUROPCAR, Stevenage - South East

Salary Range: £7.50 p/h

View Job Details 31 |

A word from the Ed

“I don’t believe it, John Terry isn’t in

the VBC pages!! Hold on, yes he is...”

So we strive together to

make probably the biggest

decision of modern times

with regard to the UK. Do we get

the sun tan lotion out or what?!!

I’m only joking although the

weather this week has put an end

to any ideas of being a bronzed

Sun God. Ah well. Yes, the

Referendum is upon us and in a

week’s time we will decide in or

out. Reading Johnny Mercer’s

view on the referendum he made

a very valid point. Regardless of

the outcome, the world isn’t going

to end. This time in a fortnight

we will still be carrying on with

our lives in the normal fashion

making a few small adjustments

where necessary to adapt to our

new status. Having said all that,

there is a great link this week on

the main article that can help

make the decision if you are still

sat on the fence. Give it a try. I

must admit I did it because I had

arguments for both sides but my

decision has now been made. I’m

happy with it and I’m sticking to

it. No, I’m not going to tell you.

This week has been very busy in

the pages. As the magazine

grows so does the content. I am

literally being bombarded on a

daily basis from people sending

stories, features, news etc. Please

don’t stop.

Remember to pop across to the

website and take a look what’s

going on. We (or should I say,

Matt) updates the pages very

regularly. We had a meeting last

week over a glass of ale and

discussed many new changes.

Please keep an eye on us as we

grow. Take care folks, chat again

next week.

Ways to find us

The Sandbag Times



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

| 32


Prince Harry has pledged to devote the rest of his life to supporting veterans

with psychological injuries. A month ago, he opened the Invictus Games in

Orlando, Florida, for wounded personnel from 14 nations. The games featured

many inspiring examples of veterans who have managed to redefine their

relationship to mental and physical scars and discover a new appetite for the

future. Among them was Kelly Layden-Farrer, a former Sergeant in the British

Army, who was medically discharged last year due to post-traumatic stress

disorder (PTSD) sustained in Iraq. As Layden-Farrer's experience on returning

home to Wiltshire showed, Prince Harry will have to pursue much bolder

reforms if he wants to keep his promise. Here's an opinion piece I wrote for

Newsweek which documents Layden-Farrer's experience and sets out what

Prince Harry must do.


Many thanks to Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes for his

excellent hosting of the Aftershock event at the Hay Festival

on June 2. Hay has made our hour-long conversation and Q+A

with the audience available for download here for the bargain

price of £1.


I am delighted when people forward these blog posts to

others who may be interested. If anybody wants to sign up to

ensure they receive the Aftershock Blog regularly they can

email me via or use

the sign up box at the bottom on this page on my website.

Back Home: A Veterans Album

Watch for this one

Follow Music 4 Veterans as they embark on the project

to record and produce this great album in support of

veterans in the US. Follow their progress here

Too Late The Hero (1970)

Michael Caine

Cliff Robertson

Henry Fonda

My recommendation for this week

is a classic set during WW2 in the

Phillipines.. A reluctant hero,

American Lt. Sam Lawson, is secunded to a

motley British unit tasked with destroying a

Japanese radio on a Philippine island.


The next Aftershock event will be at the Edinburgh Literary

Festival: August 14, 2:15pm, Garden Theatre

Back issues of The Sandbag Times are available to download here


Osteopath 33 |

Combat Veterans Players

| 34

Combat Veterans Players 35 |

| 36

NAAFI break



Come up with

a caption 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 37 |

Next week

Next week in the

Sandbag Times

Regiments, Corps, Squadrons & Ships

A look at our military roots

Justin Havens -

Pyschological Therapist

Justin tells the SBT of how his methods

of helping veterans with sleeping

problems can actually help to defeat

the symptoms of Combat PTSD

Life After War

Veteran and film maker Wayne

Shorrocks and his plan to travel the

country to make a documentary film

highlighting the struggles of veterans

and showing where they can find help.

| 38 27 |

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