The Sandbag Times Issue 25

sandbagtimes

The Veterans Magazine

The Veterans’ Magazine

Issue 25 | 07 July 2016

Combat Stress

Understanding the

minds of our veterans

suffering from PTSD

Northern Ireland

The Troubles from those who

walked the streets

The SBT News

The latest news from the world

of Armed Forces & Veterans

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CONTENTS

SBT News

4 Woman on Memorial

indecency charge

A woman has bben arrested

over an act of gross

indecency involving a war

memorial

4 250 Troops Sent to Iraq

250 Troops are being sent

to Iraq to assist with local

security forces.

5 Outrage as Memorial

Tree to be cut down

Residents are outraged at a

decision to cut down a tree

planted as a memorial to

fallen troops

6 US Navy to be disciplined

over capture

9 US Navy personnel to be

disciplined over the capture

of 10 personnel in Iraq

Features

10 Combat Stress

A look at PTSD in our

veterans

20 Our Military Roots

The second part of our look

at the AAC with Ricky

Northern Ireland & the Troubles Page 14

Veterans Breakfast Clubs Page 24

Sponsors

Regular

17 The Historical Tommy

Atkins

HTA takes a look at Op

Granby

22 Have Faith

This week: Faith & Prayer

35 SBT Information

A page dedicated to back

issues, information, book

reviews etc

37 Veterans Radio Stations

What’s happening on your

favourite radio stations

39 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

Email: info@sandbagtimes.com

www.sandbagtimes.com

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 3 |


news

woman charged over urinating on

war memorial day before centenary

A Grays woman has been

charged with outraging

public decency following an

incident in Grays. Police

were made aware of a

photograph circulating on

social media on July 1

which showed the offence

taking place by the war

memorial on Grays High

250 Troops to be sent to Iraq

The UK is sending 250 more

military personnel to Iraq,

almost doubling its presence

in the country.

Most of them will be going

to Al Asad airbase in Anbar

province, western Iraq, 100

miles west of Baghdad.

They include 50 trainers, 90

soldiers to protect the base

and 30 to set up a

headquarters. About 80

engineers will work on

infrastructure for six months.

About 300 British personnel

are already in the country

helping to train Iraqi and

Kurdish forces. British

forces will not be there to

fight and will be confined to

the limits of the base. In a

written statement to

Parliament, Defence

Secretary Michael Fallon

said the deployment would

add to the UK's ‘significant

contribution’ to the

campaign against so-called

Islamic State. About

120,000 members of the

Street. Kelly Martin, 42, of

Lucas Road was arrested

and subsequently charged

yesterday and has been

remanded in custody to

appear before Magistrates in

Basildon on Monday, July 4.

An outcry followed after

photos were posted of the

incident. Read more here

British armed forces and

civilians served in Iraq

following the US-led

invasion in 2003. UK

combat operations officially

ended in April 2009. A total

of 179 UK troops were

killed. Read more at this

link

Men deny murder of Brecon soldier

Two men have appeared in court accused of the murder and

manslaughter of a soldier in Brecon. Jake Vallely, 23, denied

murdering Private Matthew Boyd and Aaeron Evans, 22, has

denied manslaughter. The soldier, from the Royal Gibraltar

Regiment, was found injured and unconscious on Lion Street

in the Welsh market town in the early hours of the morning last

month. He was taken by ambulance to hospital but later died.

The two men were remanded in custody at the hearing at

Cardiff Crown Court. A trial has been set for November 14.

Brecon is home to the British Army's Infantry Battle School,

with the surrounding mountains used throughout the year by

troops, including special forces, for training and exercises.

First F35 Lightning

lands in UK

The RAF's state-of-the art

new fighter jet touched down

in the UK for the first time

tonight. The world’s most

advanced stealth aircraft

landed at RAF Fairford,

Gloucestershire, after flying

from the US with a Briton at

the controls. Its arrival came

two years after it pulled out

of air shows because of an

engine fire. The £100million

British F-35B Lightning II

jet will take part in a series

of air shows across the UK

next month. It will carry out

its first flight over its new

base at RAF Marham,

Norfolk, and over the two

aircraft carriers currently

being built in Scotland. The

Ministry of Defence has so

far bought eight of the jets,

which are set to fly off the

two carriers by 2020. Four

of them are currently in their

test and evaluation stage and

it is one of those that has

arrived in the UK. In total

five of the jets are being

delivered this week.

Equipped with laser-guided

missiles and bombs, when

they go into service they will

fly secret missions blitzing

enemy strongholds. They

have a range of 1,300 miles

so will fly over war zones

after taking off from the

carriers in the middle of the

ocean. Based at RAF

Marham, they will be flown

by Navy and RAF pilots of

the new 617 Squadron. The

squadron was made famous

as the Dambusters during the

war, but it has now been

disbanded and specially reformed

to fly the new

planes. The RAF pilot

flying the British plane was

Squadron Leader Hugh

Nichols 38 from Epsom,

Surrey. He became the first

British pilot to make a

vertical landing in a F35-B

at the Eglin Air Force Base

in the US in March 2014.

Defence Secretary Michael

Fallon said of their arrival:

The F-35Bs are the most

advanced fast jets in the

world. Whether operating

from land or from one of our

two new aircraft carriers,

they will ensure we have a

formidable fighting force.’

Read more here

| 4 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk


newS

Battle of Britain's last surviving Indian

pilot dies

Squadron Leader Mahinder

Singh Pujji was the last

surviving fighter pilot from a

group of 24 Indians who arrived

in Britain in 1940. The

Gravesend man has died aged

92 after a stroke. Sq Ldr Pujji,

who learned to fly as a hobby in

India, sailed to England after

reading an advert in a

newspaper. He warned his

family he might never return.

To read more on this story and

watch the video follow this link

Spitfire falls off trailer on A3

A World War Two Spitfire replica fell off the back of a lorry today,

causing extensive damage, a traffic jam and heartache among plane

spotters. Terry Arlow, who built the aeroplane during 'tens of

thousands of hours' over 28 years, was transporting the replica to the

Isle of Wight for a 1940s weekend when the incident occured on the

A3 in Surrey. The Spitfire was being transported on a trailer, which

detached from the vehicle and veered off the road into a large tree.

Mr Arlow had previously said that he had built the 'perfect' replica

of a Spitfire Mk. IX, the same one flown by his friend Tony Cooper

during World War Two, despite having no engineering skills, after

landing on a plan for the aircraft. He was inspired by the 1969 war

film Battle of Britain when a youngster. But it took eight years

alone to secure the plans from the RAF museum in Hendon. Mr

Cooper flew the Spitfire Mr Arlow based his model on, which had

the registration number MK 805, on 38 operational missions during

WWII. To read more on this story please click here

Hero British amputees to take on ‘Push up’

challenge to combat veterans suicide

An inspiring online

challenge for amputee

British soldiers to film

themselves doing pushups

to raise awareness

about military suicide has

gone viral. Blesma - the

British Limbless Ex-

Service Men's

Association - helps past

and present servicemen

and women who have

suffered life-changing

injuries. Members of the

charity are now joining

forces with veterans from

the US after an American

initiative called ‘The 22

Push Up Challenge’. It

was started in a bid to

raise awareness of

veteran suicide, after

shocking figures revealed

22 US veterans take their

own lives every day.

British servicemen have

been asked to film

themselves performing

22 push-ups every day

for 22 days and upload

the videos to Facebook

with the hashtag 22kill

and £22pushupchallenge.

More than 10,000

servicemen and women,

both disabled and

currently serving, in the

UK have completed the

challenge notching up a

staggering five million

push-ups between them.

About 160 veterans have

suffered above-knee

amputations, including

116 who are also missing

part of their second leg.

Every day a new person

is nominated to take part

in the challenge

themselves. The 22 Kill

campaign is aiming to

reach 22,000,000 push

ups as part of the

challenge. Read more

Outrage as tree memorial to be cut down

The 50-foot high plane sapling

was carefully planted 100

years ago to remember the

death of former pupils from the

local school in Sheffield, South

Yorkshire. The tree is one of

64 which line a street in the

town to commemorate the

school buddies who died in

arms on the battlefield. But

local bosses want to fell the

tree, claiming it is a health and

safety risk. Furious residents

have lashed out at the council,

accusing the tree of the being

the latest victim of a moneysaving

cull across their 'green'

city. Local resident Joyce

Menzies, 87, said: “I’m

appalled by this. Nowadays,

people have no respect for the

old and what we did for the

country. To replace this

beautiful tree with a tiny twig

is small reward for those who

died. It is health and safety

gone bonkers. I have walked

under this tree a thousand

times since I started living here

in 1953 and nothing has fallen

on me. It is a load of rubbish."

Last year the tree in question,

and others, were decorated

with poppies for Remembrance

Day, highlighting its symbolic

status to the war heroes of the

town. To read more on this

story please click here

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 5 |


news

nine Us navy personnel disciplined

over Iranian capture

A string of leadership and procedural failings – coupled with basic navigational and communication

errors – led to Iran’s humiliating capture of 10 American sailors in January, a US navy investigation

released on Thursday found. The investigation into the 12 January incident in the Persian Gulf says the

captains and crews of two riverine patrol boats that veered wildly off course had been derelict in their

duties. In all, nine navy personnel – three of whom were actually on the boats that were meant to head

from Kuwait to Bahrain – have been disciplined or will face disciplinary action. “The investigation

found a lack of leadership, a disregard for risk management processes and proper mission-planning

standards,” V-Adm Chris Aquilino told reporters. “If the guidance provided ... had been followed, this

event could have been prevented.” Iranian media broadcast humiliating images of the US sailors during

their detention, showing them kneeling on their boats at gunpoint with their hands on their heads.

Though the sailors were held for less than 24 hours, the incident was a major embarrassment for the US

navy and Barack Obama. Originally, the two boats were supposed to go from Kuwait on a 259 nautical

mile (480 km) trip to Bahrain, the longest such sailing the crews had ever conducted. But the mission

got off to a late start, so the crews attempted to take a shortcut to make up time, investigators found.

This “deviation” caused them to unknowingly enter Saudi Arabian waters, and then stray into Iranian

territorial seas off the coast of Farsi Island. The sailors saw “land masses” but did not realize where they

were. The navy has already relieved three officers of their commands, one of whom was on one of the

boats. Six other people in the case face non-judicial punishments. Read more on this story here.

Two Canadian Officers killed

in plane crash on Canada Day

Two members of the Canadian Forces have

been identified as the people who died in a

plane crash on Canada Day just outside of

Winnipeg. Capt. Bradley Ashcroft and Capt.

Zachary Cloutier-Gill were inside the Piper

PA-28, a small passenger plane, which went

down around 9:30 a.m. on Friday near

Deacon's Corner, south of Dugald Road, along the eastern outskirts of the city. Both men

were posted to the 1 Canadian Air Division and the Canadian NORAD Region headquarters

in Winnipeg, military spokesman David Lavallee said. "We want their families to know that

the entire RCAF’s thoughts and prayers are with them, and we are working hard to support

them in their time of need." The men were flying in a private aircraft and were not on duty

at the time of the crash. The Transportation Safety Board is investigating, but no cause has

been released. Read more on the accident here

Dozens of U.s.

Military working

Dogs Dead in

Alleged ‘Revenge

Killing’ in Kuwait

An American securities

company operating in Kuwait is

under investigation after photos

leaked to social media, along

with allegations of a “revenge

killing,” showing dozens of

German Shepherd and Belgian

Malinois dogs, dead and piled

up like trash along a corridor of

rusty cages. When KNPC

cancelled the contract, Eastern

Securities were left with more

than 140 highly trained military

working dogs that no longer had

a job, and instead of earning

approximately $9,000 per

month, per dog, were costing

the securities company money

to feed and house them. Instead

of finding homes for the dogs,

Eastern Securities chose to

euthanize at least 24-40 of them

at once. Rumors and

allegations that the dogs were

killed as revenge over the lost

contract and unpaid employee

wages quickly spread. Kuwaiti

lawyer Esmail Al Misri lodged

a formal complaint with local

authorities calling for a criminal

investigation into the dogs’

deaths. While it is unknown

how the dogs were killed, or

what will happen to the

remaining 100 dogs in their

care, Eastern Securities

maintains that the dogs were all

humanely euthanized due to

either aggression that made

them unsuitable for adoption or

due to health issues. The

person, who provided

information anonymously,

declared that ‘falsehoods were

being spread online.’ The

individual claims that the dogs

who are seen in the photos were

actually humanely euthanized

because of various medical

conditions and were old and

retired from service. To read

more on this story click here

| 6 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk


new Zealand Battle of Britain Pilot dies, aged 96

Squadron Leader Keith Lawrence, who

has died aged 96, was one of only two

surviving New Zealand-born Battle of

Britain fighter pilots; he later flew in the fierce

air battles of the Battle of Malta. Lawrence

was flying a Spitfire of No 234 Squadron

when he damaged a German bomber on July 8

1940, the squadron’s first success. He went on

to damage three more enemy aircraft including

a Messerschmitt Bf 110, which ditched in the

English Channel. On September 7 the

Luftwaffe made its first heavy daylight raid on

London. Lawrence was scrambled and, after

attacking a bomber, he chased a Messerschmitt

Bf 109 to the coast and shot it down south of

Folkestone. When his squadron moved to

Cornwall for a rest, he transferred to No 603

Squadron and during the fierce fighting on

September 15, Battle of Britain Day, he shot

down another Bf 109 and saw his gunfire hit

two others. In October Lawrence joined a new

unit at Gravesend in Kent. On November 23

he damaged a Bf 110 fighter during a weather

reconnaissance flight but four days later was

attacked by a Bf 109.

One wing of his Spitfire

was blown off and

Lawrence found himself

falling with a useless

right arm. He managed

to deploy his parachute

and landed in the sea.

He was picked up by a

minesweeper and taken

to Ramsgate, where he

was admitted to hospital

with a broken leg and

dislocated arm. The

eldest son of a New

Zealand Regiment

sergeant severely wounded at Passchendaele,

Keith Ashley Lawrence was born at Waitara,

New Zealand, on November 25 1919 and

attended Southland Boys’ High School at

Invercargill. He joined the Civil Reserve of

Pilots in February 1938 before being accepted

by the RAF. He left for the UK in January

1939 and was commissioned in November

news

1939, when he joined No 234 in Yorkshire.

After almost a year recovering from his

injuries, Lawrence returned to his old unit, but

in February 1942 he left for Malta where he

joined No 185 Squadron as a flight

commander to fly Hurricanes.

To read more on Squadron Leader

Lawrence click here

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www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 7 |


Canada Calling

Canada

Calling

TheCanuckConnection

Greetings all from a Sunny Banchory Scotland,

As I have mentioned in earlier articles both in the UK and Canada. I am

a firm believer in the Cadet Programs. Whether they be Sea Cadets,

Army Cadets or yes indeed Air Cadets. All of these Cadet programs

teach our youth a vast assortment of life skills. Yes there is dress and

deportment, history of their country and Military. Obedience, respect

and how to assess situations. The stats say that perhaps %5 go on to

join the regular force. However the remaining %95 will benefit from

the things they learned as cadets. Thus bringing themselves into the

civilian world. Never forgetting their roots in Cadets.

I know many men who shared their lives with Cadets as instructors, and

probably some women as well. Two that come to mind are Bob Baxter

and Fred Rodgers. Both fine men who retired from the regular forces

and carried on with Cadets. As of late Cadet forces seem to have been

dwindling this in it’s self is sad. Rob Brownfield of the Aberdeenshire

Cadet program told me about the problems with getting instructors and

assistants. The primary reason is the be aurocracy. They raise all types

of obstacles which undermine Volunteers.

In Canada it is not much better with headlines being written in the

media. One who can explain it is Fred Rodgers on his Blog.

https://irishroversbooks.wordpress.com/?s=Cadets

All of that aside I am POUD to tell everyone about my eldest Grandson

Caleb McRobb who has been carrying on a Tradition of a uniformed

man in the McRobb Family.

Since the Battle of the Somme his Great Great Great Grandfather

George Fought and lived as a Gordon Highlander His GreatGreat Great

Grandad Tommy was with the Royal Artillery as was His Great

Grandad Albert, then onto my self his Granddad RCASC his cousin

Kevin RCR His Dad Michael a Fire Fighter in the Airforce. Here is an e

mail from Caleb.

I am F/sgt McRobb. I have been in air cadets for 7 years now. I have

attended general training at CFB Greenwood, basic pipes and drums at

Argo, intermediate military band for percussion in Greenwood and will

be going down to HMCS Acadia for glockenspiel staff for percussion

band for my summers over those years. Cadets has been a major part of

my life sinceI joined and what I do with the majority of my free time.

Whether it’s being at a squadron drill practice or staffing a band

seminar. It is always an incredibly fun time. I mostly took part in bands

and musical activities in the cadet program and they are the reason I am

where I am today with music. The cadet music program is one of the

greatest music programs I have seen. It perfectly encourages practice,

fun and little bit of friendly competition by giving out music levels.

And their camps are some of the most fun places you will ever go that

you will learn that much. Cadets has gotten me where i am today and

have no idea where i would be without it.

Now I am off to University to study music

To all Cadets UK, USA and of course Canada Have a great summer at

camp. Proud of you Caleb.

Well Veterans the Royal Canadian Legion has done it again. As we all

know they are against the wearing of a deceased relatives’ medals, as a

sign of respect on Remembrance day. Quote “one interesting memo

from Dominion Command, in a nutshell; it stated that only the winner

of a medal should wear it. To allow family members, sons daughters to

wear their late loved ones medals on the right breast only diluted the

value of the medals.

Well what worse way of diluting a medal, than selling it to one and all

to wear on the right breast??? Shades of the Franklin mint. This from a

Legion Member;

I visited my local branch just before Canada Day to see if the legion

was involved in the celebrations. I didn't find anything listed on the

notice board to that effect. However, there was one interesting memo

from Dominion Command, in a nutshell; it stated that only the winner

of a medal should wear it. To allow family members ,sons daughters to

wear their late loved ones medals on the right breast only diluted the

value of the medals. So nothing has changed at Dominion, or has

it???A recent on-line ad from the legion, and there has been many such

commercial ads lately, offered the following. For the sum of $25.00 we

can now purchase a fancy legion 150 medal to be worn on the right

breast! (but not until 2017). Since when have we started buying our

medals whether they be worn on the right or left breast. Does the

purchase of a medal not The legion have for some time been offering

for sale items such as wrist watch, umbrella and other trinkets all

embossed with the Red Poppy symbol. Is the poppy not the single most

sacred emblem entrusted to the care of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Using it for commercial profit was never the intended purpose, surely if

we are talking dilution this is a far worse example than a widow

wearing her late husband’s medals. Time for the Legion to change

direction if they are to survive in the 21st century. So sad to see the

Royal Canadian Legion lose sight of Veterans and their needs as

opposed to making $ $ $ $ $ $ $ and £££ £ ££ ;

In closing this issue I wish to tell you a story I heard this morning at

Deeside Legion Breakfast club. The

Highland Regiment was sent to Kenya for

training. As the gentleman who related the

sory said a Bunch of Loons fae the North

East. They were worried about wild beasties.

The NCO’s carried live ammo in case they

encountered a lion or something as

dangerous. Well on a patrol a L/Cpl was

following the contours of the land when he

came face to face with a beast that had horns

and a long Black Tongue. Frightened he was

to be eaten, he loaded his weapon to fire.

When he was jumped by section

members……it was a docile Giraffe not a

man eater. Stories like this will last several

| 8 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk


Canada Calling

lifetimes and will certainly be

embellished with further narrations..

This is one reason I loved my time in

the army. If anyone wished to share a

story or two please send it to SBT.

Apologies for a Typo in last issue. It

missed the proof reader and myself.

Canada’s Maple Leaf Flag is 51 years

old not 551.

Thanks Stay Safe until the next issue.

Nil Sine Labore

Robby

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www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 9 |


Combat StreSS

The Enemy Within, the

Silent Killer, Shell

Shock, Combat Stress,

the Unseen Wound, it

has many names but

what is the truth

behind PTSD

It’s amazing to think that during the first world war

‘Shell Shock’, as it was known then, was seen as

cowardice and was punishable by death at the

hands of a firing squad. 306 soldiers perished this

way. Many of whom were found wandering

around dazed in a state of shock after battle. At the

time it was decreed that no man suffering from

shell shock would be executed however a great

number of these never had the chance of seeing

there MO. After the war, 1919 the Ex-

Servicemen's Welfare Society was formed to help

soldiers suffering from ‘Shell Shock’. This

eventually turned in to the organisation we now

know as ‘Combat Stress’. Through the last century

shell shock or as we will call it now, PTSD was

still looked on as a weakness in military circles,

although not to the same degree as in WW1. It

manifested itself in the many conflicts always with

the same results in its victims, but with differing

degrees of severity. In Viet Nam, the American

forces recognised it as someone with the 1000 yard

stare. But it wasn’t until the end of the first Gulf

war where it was becoming apparant that PTSD

was actually a psychological injury. During the

Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts more and more cases

were being recognised. Combat Stress was

suddenly in huge demand. The sad truth is these

cases were always there going undiagnosed and

untreated. The effect this has had on the veterans

and their families has been devastating, in a great

many cases, due to not knowing why this was

happening. It is a very sad fact that more Falkland

veterans have commited suicide than were actually

killed in action. Over in the United States, a 2012

survey found that 22 Veterans a day were

committing suicide, many of these as a direct result

of PTSD. So, we have to ask ourselves what

causes these brave men and women to get to the

point where they have no way out. Lets firstly look

at clinical terms and explanations and then we will

look at what really goes on in a veterans head.

What the Experts Say

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental

health condition that's triggered by a terrifying

event — either experiencing it, or witnessing it.

Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and

severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts

about the event.

Symptoms

Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms may start

within three months of a traumatic event, but

sometimes symptoms may not appear until years

after the event. These symptoms cause significant

problems in social or work situations, and in

relationships. PTSD symptoms are generally

grouped into four types: Intrusive memories,

avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood,

or changes in emotional reactions.

Intrusive memories

Symptoms of intrusive memories may include:

Recurrent, unwanted, distressing memories of the

traumatic event; reliving the traumatic event as if it

were happening again (flashbacks); upsetting

dreams about the traumatic event; severe emotional

distress or physical reactions to something that

reminds you of the event

Avoidance

Symptoms of avoidance may include:

Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the

traumatic event; avoiding places, activities or

people that remind you of the traumatic event

Negative changes in thinking and mood

Symptoms of negative changes in thinking and

mood may include:

Negative feelings about yourself or other people;

inability to experience positive emotions; feeling

emotionally numb; lack of interest in activities you

once enjoyed; hopelessness about the future;

memory problems, including not remembering

important aspects of the traumatic event; difficulty

maintaining close relationships

Changes in emotional reactions

Symptoms of changes in emotional reactions (also

called arousal symptoms) may include: Irritability,

angry outbursts or aggressive behavior; always

being on guard for danger; overwhelming guilt or

| 10 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk


Combat StreSS

shame; self-destructive behavior, such as drinking

too much or driving too fast; trouble concentrating;

trouble sleeping; being easily startled or frightened

Intensity of symptoms

PTSD symptoms can vary in intensity over time.

You may have more PTSD symptoms when you're

stressed in general, or when you run into reminders

of what you went through. For example, you may

hear a car backfire and relive combat experiences.

These are the clinical terms for PTSD. It’s very

hard to put the diagnosis to the events. As a

veteran that has been to the very depths of this, the

diagnosis and clinical discriptions do not quite hit

the mark with the reality. Flashbacks in some

cases have not just been an unwanted memory.

The whole perception of the reality of the world

the sufferer is in, completely changes. It feels as if

they are actually back in the event, feeling the

panic and fear, hearing noises, but in this world, the

sufferer is unable to do anything about it. He

simply has to experience it again and again, unable

to change the outcome. This results in huge

behaviour problems, emotional difficulties and an

intense feeling of desperation. The more

flashbacks happen the more the situation feels

hopeless. The never ending torment, guilt, shame,

to name but a few emotions, gets far too much to

cope with. At this point the sufferer very often

contemplates suicide to stop it all. Some actually

going through with it. But flashback through the

day is only one side. Nightmares can plague the

sufferer, again reliving events, sometimes very

distorted, and adding to the trauma. The sufferer

will almost always be plagued by broken sleep

patterns and in extreme cases the sufferer will force

themselves to stay awake in fear of entering the

nightmare again. The results of this again are

devastating. Unable to concentrate through

tiredness, extreme emotions, anger and frustration,

one sees a recurrence of the feelings of desperation

and suicidal thoughts. Couple this with the

daytime flashbacks, anxiety, depression and the

normal daily stresses of life, and what you end up

with is a highly volatile, broken person; unable to

control themselves in life. Cognitive boundaries

disappear and the sufferer may turn to excessive

drinking, drug misuse, or in fact anything, to hide

from the sysmptoms of PTSD. People reading this

may think that this is all exaggerated, but it is not.

This is how it really is.

Is there really any hope?

In short, yes. there are plenty of treatments out

there that can help ease the symptoms and make

life more manageable. Organisations such as

Combat Stress, SSAFA, Help for Heroes etc. can

really help. The first port of call should always be

the local GP. They will get the ball rolling and

refer you to the right people. Yes, it can take a

while, but do make sure that the clinic has

the correct code on your documents

(13JY). That way you will be fast

tracked due to injury recieved

during military service as per

the Armed Forces Covenant

and NHS code of practice.

How can I control the

symptoms while I wait for

treatment?

Again there are many

different methods of getting

your symptoms under control.

For nightmares and sleep issues I

would highly recommend speaking to Justin

Havens. He uses a method called Planned

Dream Intervention. This has an amazing success

rate. I have tried this myself and it really does

work. Not only does it help you to sleep, but the

resulting energy gained from PDI means daytime

flashbacks may also be greatly reduced.

You can also try my own method, the First Field

Dressing. This is a simple method of putting safety

measures in place and using relaxation exercises to

help reduce the symptoms of anxiety. You can

check out the First Field Dressing here.

There are a few methods of controlling PTSD that

may be worth checking out in your local area.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy helps to normalise

memories of the trauma; this can be very effective

in dealing with flashbacks. Eye movement

desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) can also

be very effective. While it isn't possible to erase

memories, the process can alter the way these

traumatic memories are stored within the brain,

making them easier to manage and causing you

less distress. These are just two methods worth

considering.

The first major step in the battle against PTSD is

recognition and making people aware that you may

be suffering with it. PTSD is not just a military

condition, it can affect anyone. It is common in car

crash victims, victims of domestic and sexual

abuse, in fact any form of traumatic incident can

result in PTSD. It can take many years to

manifest, it can be triggered off by many things,

sights, sounds, smells, and almost when you least

expect it.

Below is a helpline to Combat Stress which can be

called anytime night or day if you are having

difficulties. Also check out the links on the

classified page for further helplines, charities and

organisations that can offer help. If all else fails

email us here and we will put you in touch with

your nearest agency.

Email: info@sandbagtimes.com

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 11 |


| 12 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk




















































































































































































































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13 TH -14 TH AUGUST 2016

• Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

• Red Arrows Flyover

• Military Vehicle Displays

• Vintage Military & Classic Aircraft

• Air Display • Arena Action • Tanks

• Pleasure flights in a Devon

• Living History Displays

• Tank Rides

• Militaria Stalls • Food Stalls • Beer Tent

• Main Marquee Entertainment

A GREAT FAMILY

WEEKEND!

GATES OPEN 10AM

BOTH DAYS


The Troubles

A Soldier’s Story

Northern Ireland will

remain etched in the

memory of so many

soldiers who walked

the streets. The SBT

looks at their stories

* A ‘dicker’ was a member of a

terrorist organisation who would

gather information of Security

Forces movements normally

appearing as an innocent civilian

April 1998 saw the end of a 30 year conflict in

the six counties of Ulster. Although British

troops didn’t appear on the streets until 1969

the conflict was beginning to take form. The Good

Friday Agreement finally brought a ceasefire

between the waring communities, but tension has

never really left. Since the ceasefire there have been

a number of terrorist incidents involving splinter

groups from the Provisional IRA, now calling

themselves the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA, as

well as factions from the loyalist terror groups

determined to get their way no matter what the cost.

For more than three decades British soldiers stood

between the battling communities, and very often on

the front line, trying and hoping to bring about peace

to an urban battleground. I have heard many people,

most of whom never experienced the troubles, saying

it wasn’t a real war; it was just civil unrest brought

about by politics. The soldiers who walked the

streets disagree with this so strongly. It was a war.

A war that claimed the lives of well over 3,000

people. For the British Soldier it was brutal, full of

fear and very deadly. Everytime a soldier left the

comfort of his security base he was in danger.

‘Dickers’* were everywhere, watching patrol

movements, taking down the registration of civilian

cars leaving the bases, picking up on patterns they

would unknowingly set, in fact anything that could

help the terrorist plan and execute an attack.

The real stories however come from the troops

that did the job. It is only by hearing their words

that we can fully appreciate what it was like. The

following stories are from soldiers that do just that.

The first is from Peter, a Senior NCO during the first

few months in 1969.

“When the troubles first began in Belfast in

1969, I was on a drill course in Pirbright. The

consensus amongst my mates in the army was that:

They'll never send a Scottish regiment’. The

Highland Fusiliers were recruited from the Glasgow

and Ayrshire region and had a religious breakdown

of about 60:40 Protestant to Catholic. I don't recall

any sectarian tensions within the regiment (although

there was some friendly ribbing between supporters

of Celtic and Rangers), but it was generally thought

that the regiment was too close to the sectarian

conflict in Ulster to be posted there. However before

1969 was out, I found myself in a small advance

party sent to Gough barracks in Armagh. The

accommodation was luxurious by army standards.

We were told to regard our role as the 'Midas' touch -

Minimum force, Impartiality, Discipline, Alertness

and Security. Duties consisted mainly of manning

vehicle checkpoints, guarding Northern Ireland's

infrastructure, such as water and power installations,

and policing the various political and religious rallies

that occurred in the Armagh countryside. I didn't

take much interest in what was being said at these,

although I do remember once hearing the booming

tones of the Reverend Ian Paisley preaching from the

back of a truck. We had no real bother on that tour.

When we weren't busy with other duties we would

help out the locals, mending bridges for farmers, that

kind of thing. The only thing that I found in any

way shocking on that tour, was how drunk some of

the drivers were when we stopped them at

checkpoints on country roads. You'd open the door

and they would practically fall out. There were no

restricted areas for off-duty soldiers then. We took

part in Church parades and on Sundays we would go

to church, and the Catholic soldiers to chapel,

dressed in full uniform.

| 14 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk


Northern Ireland

The regiment was split between Armagh,

Dungannon and Enniskillen, and we used to go

regularly to dances in Dungannon. We weren't aware

of Protestant and Catholic areas or pubs then, and I

don't really know if these existed. We all thought

that the troubles in Northern Ireland would soon be

over, the place seemed that peaceful. The whole tour

was a bit like a holiday really. By the time of my

second tour, in late 1970 and early 1971, conditions

for British soldiers in Northern Ireland had

deteriorated. We stayed at the Flax Mill in the

Ardoyne, North Belfast. Conditions were rough

there, but not as bad as they had been for the

regiment that had been there before us. The changed

circumstances were brought tragically home to us in

March 1971. Three members of my platoon,

Dougald McCaughey, Joseph McCaig and John

McCaig were found shot dead in Ligoniel. It is

believed that the three off duty soldiers had been

invited to a 'party' by some girls that they had met.

Joseph and John McCaig were brothers and John was

only seventeen; a fact that caused the army to raise

the minimum age for service in Northern Ireland to

eighteen. I was working in reconnaissance at the

time and I know the names of those responsible for

the killings.”

The second account comes from Peter of the

Cheshire Regiment. Peter joined the army in 1973.

His first tour of Northern Ireland (based in

Ballymurphy) was in 1974 as he turned eighteen

years old. His next two tours in 1976 and 1978 were

based in Creggan. Peter's final tour was based in

Ballykelly from 1982 to 1984. In December 1982 he

was at a disco in the Droppin' WellBar in Ballykelly

when an INLA bomb exploded, killing seventeen

people.

“It hadn't been a particularly warm day and so a

chance to keep warm was greatly appreciated. Tea

was much like dinner, a proper dinner; beef, pork

and the trimmings. There was washing, ironing,

writing, showering and watching TV. At 1900hrs

David 'Gump' Stitt, Phil 'McDuff' McDonagh, Steve

'Baggy' Bagshawe and myself were upstairs in the

NAAFI's Corporals Bar having a beer and playing

pool. It was just us and the barmaid. I don't know

how long we had been in there when Corporal D

came in pissed, shouting and swearing. We had put

up with listening to him for months and were fed up

with him. I said to my mates: "Hows about going to

the 'Drop' out of this bastard's way?" They agreed.

The 'Drop' had only just come back 'in bounds' and

the chance to get out and maybe meet some women

was uppermost in our minds. It has been a decision

I've regretted ever since. We got there and went

down a corridor type entrance to the disco. A young

lad was on the door and in we went. There were

quite a few people in, some were celebrating their

promotions, so there were more people in than

normal, especially couples from the pads. The pub

was soon packed with squaddies and local girls, all

intent on having a good time. How long I'd been in

for I don't know, but I was sat against the back wall,

where Shaw had been sat and he had asked me to

swap places so he could be next to his girlfriend. It

was coming up to 2300hrs and Mirror Man was

playing, a few people were dancing. I looked up at

the clock and, as it was nearly on the hour I downed

my pint and motioned to Stitty to sup up before the

bell. As the pint pot touched the table I saw what I

thought was a camera flash, very quickly followed

by a loud crack like a plastic ruler being slapped on a

desk. Then I was hit, I can only describe it as like

being punched by Frank Bruno. I went to sleep. I

never left any beer. When I woke up I could hear

quiet moaning and a small fire, but I couldn't see as

my specs were gone. I felt no pain, there were no

bodies visible, just complete darkness. It only took a

short time for it to register that I'd been blown up

and must escape. I went on autopilot. I knew where

the exit was and made my way to it. My only

thought was, "Get out. Get out". I knew that a

favourite tactic of the IRA was to plant a secondary

device to catch out the security forces. I'm ashamed

to admit it, but I never gave my mates a thought.

Self-survival took over. Whether the door was there,

I don't know, but my first sight was the step up to the

road and people standing there looking at me. There

was no sound, just silence, still no pain. I got up to

the road. My second thought was: "Get to camp pal,

you're hurt". I remember approaching the other bar

on the opposite side. I was bent double, walking

slowly to camp, when two squaddies got hold of me

and helped me into camp. I can't remember walking

to camp after that. It wasn't until I got to the

guardroom that I became aware of the pain in my

back and I remember telling the two soldiers to,

‘Take it steady.’ I was bent double, gasping for

breath and still I couldn't hear anything. I got to the

medical centre (MRS) and sat down. A medic asked

me my name, number and rank and where the pain

was. I was transferred to a bed of the type doctors

have in surgeries. It was then that I really noticed

the chaos going on, with squaddies coming in and

medics and medically trained soldiers picking them

up. There was still no noise. At this stage I started

asking, "Where's my mate Stitty? Where is he?" and

was told not to wony, he was okay. Shortly after, I

was told I was off to hospital and that a chopper was

soon coming. I told them that I was afraid of flying.

A staff sergeant told me to, "Fucking shut up. You're

going". So off I went, walking to a chopper, and was

told to lie down. I know that others were with me

but all that I remember is the squaddie who had been

the first to get to me on the road. That was

comforting..”

We will explore stories of soldiers who served

towards the end of the troubles in part two of this

series in two weeks time. As the terrorist became

more professional in their operations the war became

more rural. South Armagh, Fermanagh and County

Down became a Snipers hunting ground, Mortar

attacks became common place and the quiet roads

around the border areas became ambush sites for

covert patrol vehicles.

“If we want to reap the

harvest of peace and

justice in the future we

will have to sow the

seeds of non-violence,

here and now in the

present”

Mairead Corrigan

McGuire

A great source of information

to these stories plus more can

be found here

In Part 2 - Snipers,

Mortars and

Ambushes.

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk

15 |


Have you served in the Armed Forces?

Katherine NEEDS YOU to help your fellow Veterans.

Care after Combat is looking

to recruit Mentors to

join the team...

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0300 343 0255

sarahc@careaftercombat.org


The Historical Tommy Atkins

Operation Granby

The Gulf War 1990 – 1991

25 years on we remember the first Iraqi war

and look at Operation Granby or as the

Americans called it Operation Desert Storm.

292 of the coalition forces’ gave their lives

with 779 injured during the war that drove

Saddam Hussein back into Iraq

According to the MOD quoted in the London Gazette on Friday

28th June 1991, ‘The initial objective of Operation GRANBY was to

help deter any further aggression by Iraq in the Gulf and particularly

against Saudi Arabia. The objectives were

later expanded to: secure, together with our

Coalition allies, a complete and unconditional

Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait; restore the

legitimate government of that country;

reestablish peace and security in the area;

uphold the authority of the United Nations.’

As with so many of Saddam Hussein's decisions, the invasion of

Iran turned out to be a disasterous miscalculation. The Iranian people

rallied around their regime, and offered stout resistance to the Iraqi

advance. The war dragged on until 1988 with

tremendous loss of life and at huge cost to

both nations. And, when a ceasefire was

eventually agreed between Iraq and Iran, Iraq

found itself saddled with enormous financial

debts incurred as a result of the huge sums

spent on the war.

Operation Granby was the name given to

the British military operations in the Persian

Gulf from 1990 to 1991, that were precipitated

by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August

1990. This includes British participation in the

international Coalition's defence of Saudi Arabia (known to the

Americans as "Operation Desert Shield"), and the liberation of Kuwait

(known to the Americans as "Operation Desert Storm").

The operation was named after John Manners, Marquess of Granby

who had commanded British forces at the Battle of Minden (1759)

during the Seven Years' War.

The British contribution to the

Coalition effort was, by far, the

largest of any European nation, and

included British Army regiments,

Royal Navy and Royal Fleet

Auxiliary ships and Royal Air Force

(RAF) squadrons. In total, the British

forces included about 2,700

armoured vehicles and 45,000 troops.

In 1980, Iraqi dictator, Saddam

Hussein invaded neighbouring Iran.

He believed that he could win a quick

decisive victory because of the

turmoil caused by the recent Iranian

revolution, and because he believed

that many Iranian officers who had

served under the Shah would not fight for Iran's new Islamic regime.

British Challenger tanks

during the Gulf War

In 1989, Iraq requested that Kuwait

forgive its debts, however the Kuwaitis

refused. Additionally, Iraq tried to increase its

income by getting OPEC to agree to increase

the price of oil by cutting production,

however Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates frustrated this plan by

increasing their own petroleum production. Iraq also claimed,

baselessly according to the Kuwaiti government, Kuwait was stealing

Iraq's oil by slant-drilling into the Iraqi part of the shared Rumaila Oil

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 17 |


The Historical Tommy Atkins

Field, and demanded

compensation for this.

Realizing that Iraq could

solve its economic problems by

seizing control of the lucrative

Kuwaiti economy, and

misinterpreting somewhat

ambiguous statements from the

American ambassador April

Glaspie as giving a green-light

to military action, Saddam

Hussein ordered his forces to

invade Kuwait.

In the early hours of August 2nd 1990, Iraqi forces crossed the

border and drove towards Kuwait City. The Kuwaiti military did not

have its forces on alert and was caught by surprise. In any case, despite

offering spirited resistance, Kuwait's small military was

quickly overwhelmed. Some surviving Kuwaiti forces

were able to flee to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Following the invasion, the United Nations and Arab

League quickly passed resolutions demanding Iraqi

withdrawal, and placing economic sanctions on Iraq.

Additionally, fearing that Iraq would now invade Saudi

Arabia, American military forces, began to arrive in the

region, with the objective of preventing any such attack

(Operation Desert Shield). Iraq responded by

announcing its complete annexation of Kuwait, holding

Western hostages as "human shields" (although these

hostages were later released), and offering to withdraw

only if various other conflicts and disagreements around

the Middle East were also resolved.

In addition to US forces, a Coalition of 33 other

countries was assembled to oppose Iraq. Britain

committed some 45,000 personnel to the operation. On

16th January 1991 it is estimated that there were over 40

divisions of personnel, 4500 tanks, 2700 Armoured

personnel carriers and 3250 artillery pieces.

The fighting strength of the 1st (British) Armoured Division

included about 180 Challenger main battle tanks, about 260 Warrior

armoured infantry vehicles, 90 artillery pieces and 18 Lynx

helicopters.

Up to the formal ceasefire on 11th April, the Royal Navy carried out

3,171 challenges and took part in 36 boardings of merchant vessels

while enforcing the embargo.

During the land offensive, the 1st (British) Armoured Division

moved and fought over 290 kilometres. The RAF flew over 4,000

sorties and 2,500 support sorties during hostilities, and dropped over

3,000 tonnes of weapons. An estimated 400,000 tonnes of freight were

moved to the Gulf, including about 80,000 tonnes of ammunition and

some 15,000 vehicles, of which 2,700 were armoured. Half a million

parcels and 21 million letters

were sent to and from the

British forces in the Gulf.

The UK Forces were

supported

through

multinational assistance:

Bahrain - Assistance with

ammunition and utilities

Belgium - Air transport;

logistics stores; medical unit

Canada - 100 bed hospital with

Gulf War Coalition Map

medical staff; offer of artillery

ammunition

Denmark - Aeromedical aircraft and medical unit

France - Offer of artillery ammunition

Germany - Chemical detection vehicles; air transport; electronic

warfare vehicles; loan of ammunition and aircraft engine components

Kuwait - Air transport

Netherlands - Ammunition; surgical team

New Zealand - Air transport; medical unit

Norway - 50 bed hospital and medical staff

Oman - Airfield services and accommodation

Portugal - Naval transport vessel and air transport

Romania - 200 bed hospital and medical staff

Saudi Arabia - Free fuel, food, water, transport and

accommodation

Singapore - Medical unit

Spain - Air transport and supply of logistics items

Sweden - 360 bed hospital with medical staff

United Arab Emirates - Free berthing for RN

vessels

C Company, 1st Battalion

The Staffordshire Regiment,

in a live firing exercise,

during Operation Granby,

6 January 1991

In addition, the nations of Belgium, Denmark,

Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Kuwait,

Luxembourg, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and the

United Arab Emirates, made financial contributions

to the British costs of Operation Granby

Over the next few months, a series of UN

resolutions were passed by the Security Council.

The most crucial of these, was Resolution 678

which was passed on November 29th 1990, setting a deadline of

January 15th 1991 for Iraqi withdrawal, and authorized the Coalition

to use "all necessary means" (i.e. force) to achieve Iraqi withdrawal.

On January 17th 1991, the Coalition began to launch air attacks on

Iraq and Iraqi forces in Kuwait. Over the next six weeks, bombing

greatly reduced Iraq's military capabilities. As a result of the success

of the air campaign, as well as because of superior training, tactics and

equipment, the Coalition was able to drive the much vaunted Iraqi

army out of Kuwait in a ground-war lasting just 100 hours.

HMS Gloucester intercepted an Iraqi Silkworm Missile bound

for the US Battleships Wisconsin and Missouri

| 18 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk


The Historical Tommy Atkins

From the Allied point of view, the Gulf War consisted of two

main phases:

1) An air phase, lasting about six weeks, during which Allied air

forces softening up Iraqi military forces by aerial bombardment.

2) A ground phase, during which Allied ground forces advanced

into Kuwait and Southern Iraq, and evicted the Iraqi military from

Kuwait.

Of course, the situation was more complex than that simple picture.

some ground operations, as well as operations at sea, took place during

the air phase, and air operations continued to take place once major

ground operations had started.

Tornado

During the air phase, Britain's major contribution was made by the

Royal Air Force (RAF). In particular, Tornadoes performed many lowlevel

attacks on Iraqi airbases using the JP233 runway denial weapon

as well as unguided ("dumb") bombs. After the loss of 5 Tornadoes in

low-level missions, and since the Iraqi air force had soon been largely

destroyed or fled to neighbouring Iran, the Tornadoes switched to

medium-level strike using laser-guided bombs, with the help of

designators that had been hastily added to the Tornadoes themselves,

or with the help of Buccaneers serving in the laser-designation role.

The Royal Navy also made a significant contribution to Allied

efforts in the early stages of the war. In particular, Royal Navy Lynx

helicopters were responsible for the destruction of almost the entire

Iraqi Navy. Additionally,

Lynx

Royal Navy minehunters

cleared Iraqi mines near the

Kuwaiti coast, allowing the

US battleships Wisconsin

and Missouri to move in

close enough to launch

devasting bombardments

against Iraqi ground forces.

During the ground phase, the British 1st Armoured Division took

part in the gigantic right-hook which outflanked Iraqi forces. British

Challenger tanks destroyed approximately 300 Iraqi vehicles,

including achieving the longest-range tank-kill in history. Tragically, a

friendly fire incident, when an American A-10A aircraft attacked two

British Warrior vehicles, resulted in the deaths of 9 British service

personnel.

Kuwait, and Allied forces were deep inside Iraq.

On February

27th 1991, after

100 hours of

ground war, US

President Bush

declared a

ceasefire. At this

point, the Iraqi

military had been

driven from

At the time of the ceasefire, Shiites and Kurds within Iraq,

encouraged by American radio broadcasts, rose up against Saddam

Hussein's regime. With the Iraqi military greatly weakened, the

regime's loyalist Republican heavily bombed, and with much of the

population in open revolt, few outside observers expected to Saddam

Hussein to be

able to stay in

power for too

much longer.

Inspite of these

p r e d i c t i o n s ,

Saddam Hussein

was able to

defeat the revolts

and retain power.

In retrospect, the

fact that the

i n t e r n a t i o n a l

A wrecked Iraqi tank overlooks oil fires set

in Kuwait during the Gulf War

Coalition did not go on to capture Baghdad and overthrow the

Ba'athist regime, has sometimes been heavily criticized - but the

reality is that very few countries in the Coalition would have been

willing to do so.

Because Saddam Hussein remained in power, Britain and the

United States had no choice but to continue to maintain significant

military forces in the region for the next few years. Allied forces

attempt to enforce United Nations provisions, particularly those

relating to no-fly-zones for Iraqi military aircraft, the continued

economic embargo on Iraq, and disarmament. During this period,

there were repeated confrontations between Allied and Iraqi forces.

Finally, in 2003, after a changed political situation following the

September 11th attacks on the United States, and yet another crisis

over Iraqi disarmament, Allied forces, led by theUnited States and

Britain, invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam Hussein's regime.

Saddam Hussein himself was eventually tried, convicted and then

executed by his own people on December 30th 2006.

FV510 Warrior

in desert

camouflage,

with applique

armour fitted,

and infantry

section's personal

kit and other

equipment

outside.

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 19 |


WO2 Rick Boys

Lynx D & T Sqn AAC

Middle Wallop

Army Air Corps – Pt2

By Rick ‘Boysie’ Boys

THE NEW CORPS

On the 1st of Sep 1957, an army order authorised

the establishment of the present Army Air Corps.

It was to be responsible for managing its own fleet

of aircraft, for aircrew training and for tactical

development. It was to be initially manned by

1500 officers and men, split into 3 squadrons and

4 independent flights. RAF technicians, RA

Officers from the AOP squadrons and the

surviving members of the GPR, first manned it,

with a permanent cadre of AAC badged personnel.

REME technicians would gradually replace the

RAF element. Members of the RAOC, (now the

RLC), Royal Signals, Pay Corps and the Catering

Corps would fill the other support posts.

Middle Wallop Station was also

renamed – ‘Army Aviation Centre’.

Its first commander was Brig. P

Weston, who was to go on to

become the Director of Land/Air

Warfare (forerunners of today’s

Director of Army Aviation) as a

Maj General from 1960 to 64.

The first RSM of the new

Corps was from the RA in fact the

first 12 Corps RSM’s were all RA

badged, it wasn’t until Aug 1977 that

we got our first AAC badged RSM –

WO1 (RSM) JA Matthews. However he started

his army life with a different cap badge. The AAC

got its first true blue AAC direct entry RSM in Jul

1995.

During the early part of 1957 it was proposed

that the reformed Corps should have a new style

of uniform, this was rejected in favour of a

distinctively coloured beret. Maj. Maurice

Sutcliffe (later to become a Brig (OC of the

remaining Glider Pilots)) suggested the maroon

beret of the original AAC, but this was rejected by

the old AOP members and also by the Paras. The

Cambridge (Light) Blue was adopted as it had

associations with the Airborne colours of the

original AAC. A new badge was also adopted

replacing the current mix of different badges, it

was designed by Maj. Bob Begbie, the design

actually came from a doodle that he had done on a

piece of paper.

The new corps would be formed from the 3

existing Air Observation Post squadrons 651, 652

& 656, who were controlled by the RAF but

staffed by the RA and the Light Liaison Flights

operated by the remaining units of the GPR. The

new corps would pick up its traditions and early

impetus from the amalgamation of these 2 bodies.

However due to a massive and incalculable error

by the person who wrote the establishment order

the GPR was to be disbanded, even though its

soldiers were absorbed into the new corps. All the

history and especially the GPR battle honours that

were proudly displayed on its standard were not

allowed to be inherited by the new corps.

However by 1960 the new Corps was in

trouble, acute man power shortages were being

caused because other arms were refusing to allow

its members either to transfer to the AAC or to

allow them to train as pilots. The solution was

to allow the aircraft to be operated

piecemeal by the other arms,

eventually they would be fully

integrated into those units and the

AAC would cease to exist.

General Sir Hugh Stockwell (the

first Colonel Commandant of

the AAC) squashed this idea

almost immediately and in doing

so saved the Corps.

Despite the problems caused

by the man power shortages 653

Squadron was deployed to Aden in

1960 to support the British Army in the

rebel uprising that was going on. It stayed there

until July 1964 earning great respect from all the

units that it had supported. In 1962 Indonesia

backed an uprising against British interests in

Borneo, parts of 656 Sqn were deployed again to

support British troops, by 1964 the whole Sqn was

there. It was to remain in the far east until 1979

when it was brought back to the UK only to be redeployed

to Southern Rhodesia on Operation

Agila. It returned to the UK at the end of the

operation only to then be sent back out on another

one – Op Corporate, The Falklands Campaign. In

1991 4 Regt AAC was deployed to Kuwait on

Operation Granby.

In 1961 the army received into service the

replacement for the ageing Auster – the De

Havilland Beaver. The RAF again tried to upset

the apple cart in 1965 by trying to assume total

responsibility for all flying duties, however they

were unsuccessful. By 1969 the Corps totalled

2,771 officers and men, almost double its original

number. The Corps also had its own aerial display

team, it was started in March 1968 and was

originally called the Red Rissoles (in honour of

the Red arrows!!) it was re-named the Blue Eagles

in 1969.

In 1974 the Gazelle entered service as a

replacement for the Sioux and the Lynx entered

service in 1977, it was originally to be a battlefield

utility helicopter but this role was changed to that

of anti-tank when it was equipped with American

made TOW missiles. Finally in 1979 the Corps

was awarded the coveted place in the Army’s

| 20

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk


Our Military Roots

order of battle as a fighting arm. This was in

because the Corps aircraft had been equipped with

direct fire weapons for its new primary role of

anti-armour; we had become tank killers! The

rank of AirTrooper was introduced to all private

soldiers who enlisted into the AAC.

A resident regiment was established in N.

Ireland in 1979, it comprised of a permanent

squadron, 655 and a rotational squadron from

Germany. In 1986 a second permanent squadron,

665 was added. It also contains an Islander

observation flight.

Re-equipped with both utility and anti-tank

aircraft, the corps has served 4 ½ decades in

Germany & since 1995 has been heavily involved

in Yugoslavia. In 1982 the memorial was built and

King Hussein of Jordan laid the foundation stone

for the new museum.

Traditionally the carrying of a Guidon,

Standard or Colour remained the exclusive

privilege of those who fought face to face with the

enemy, namely the cavalry and the infantry. In

recognition of its armed role on the modern

battlefield Her Majesty the Queen authorised the

granting, to the Army Air Corps, of a Guidon and

the emblazoning of Honours upon it. The Guidon

was presented to the Corps on the 10 May 1994 by

HRH The Prince of Wales in his capacity as the

Colonel in Chief of the AAC. The corps is one of

the only ones in the Army to have its own band

and the Corps quick march is ‘Recce Flight’ with

the slow march being the “Thievish Magpie”.

Since its re-formation the AAC has been

involved in every campaign and operation that the

army has taken part in. The corps has

distinguished itself in Malaya, Borneo, Aden,

Cyprus, Rhodesia, Northern Ireland, The

Falklands, Bosnia, Macedonia, Sierra Leone,

Afghanistan and both Gulf Wars.

The Army Air Corps with its armed aircraft

and now with the AH64D Apache Longbow, has

taken its place in the fighting order of battle of the

British army as a combat arm.

As long as men are vital to fighting a war,

there will be a requirement for reconnaissance,

tactical movement of troops and fighting aircraft.

The Lynx / TOW combination has been replaced

by the Wildcat and Apache (AH) which will allow

the AAC soldiers of the future to operate in the

3rd dimension of the ground battle. Soldiers have

been engaged in flying for more than 100 years as

pilots, observers & gunners in balloons, gliders

and light aircraft, based more often than not

among the fighting men on the ground.

AAC Pilot Brevit

The coveted ‘Wings’ worn by

all Army Air Corp Pilots

Next Week...

The ‘Sappers’

A look in to the world of the Royal Engineers

Agusta Westland

AW159 Wildcat

The newest addition to the

AAC expected to replace the

Lynx Mk 9a by 2018

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 21 |


Have Faith

Faith & Prayer

We walk in faith

everyday but are

oblivious to it. We put

our faith in many

things. When we sit

on a chair we have

faith that the chair is

not going to collapse.

We turn the key in the

ignition and have faith

that the car will start. We put our faith in doctors, nurses, dentists,

banks, manufacturers, the list is endless. Why then is it so difficult

for us to have faith in God?

Faith is a difficult concept, because as we grow up & journey

through life we hit hard times, we get hurt and we hurt others. We are

let down by people or agencies that are there to support us. So our

faith dwindles. We lose faith in people and lose hope during difficult

times. So what’s the difference between putting our faith in people

(who we can see & know exist) or faith in God who is unseen?

‘Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen

me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”’

(John 20:29)

It takes a lot to believe in something that at surface appears to have

no evidence to back it. You can’t convict a person for a crime unless

there is evidence. We like to see the facts.

I was brought up in a Christian home so I

was brought up believing in God. However

as I grew up I questioned things more &

more. I discovered a great book by Josh

McDowell called ‘More Than A

Carpenter’. The blurb on the back says

‘Josh McDowell thought that Christian

claims about Jesus were crazy, and he

didn’t mind telling people so. But then he

discovered for himself the truth about

Jesus’. This guy set out to prove to his

fellow university students that they were wrong, that there was no

evidence, so they challenged him, and as he carried out his research,

he found the truth. (Please contact me if you would like a free copy

of this book to read)

Now even the disciples with the evidence in front of them still

lacked faith. The disciples were there, they watched Jesus perform

miracles. They saw people healed, thousand fed with very little food,

they saw things that would blow your mind. However Jesus got

frustrated at their lack of faith. A well known incident is in Luke

8:22-25

‘One day he got in a boat with His disciples, and he said to them,

“Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, and

as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the

lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. And they

went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”

And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they

ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your

faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one

another, “Who then is this, that He commands even winds and

water, and they obey Him?”’

Jesus slept soundly and the disciples panicked. He slept through

the storm because He knew He was safe, He knew that God was

looking after them. The disciples on the other hand didn’t have this

strength of faith. They feared for their lives. Jesus questions them,

“Where is your faith?” However, eventhough they struggled to have

faith in difficult and scary circumstances, Jesus did not turn His back

on them. Yes, He may have got frustrated with them, but He still

loved them.

I too struggle in my faith. I often pray a verse from the Bible ‘I

believe, help me overcome my unbelief’ (Mark 9:24). Jesus was

there, Jesus knew & knows how difficult we as human beings find it

to not panic, to not fear the worst when we are going through a storm.

That lump has to be cancer, that bill & no money to pay it, an endless

situation that no matter how much we fight is not changing. These are

things we all face. People have asked me many times how can you

put your faith in God when all these bad things are happening?

Having faith in

God is not about your

circumstances. It’s

easy to have faith in

God when life is

good, but when

things go wrong we

seek someone to

blame, we feel like

there is no hope, we

lose faith. I have had an uphill battle over the last few years to get the

right help for my children. I have prayed & prayed, pouring out my

heart to God & begging Him to help, because I know that I need Him

to intervene, as nothing I was doing seemed to be getting things

moving forward. I knew that the only one who could change things

was Him. Jesus says in Luke 18:27: ‘what is impossible with man is

possible with God’. This verse helps me to have faith because I know

that God can make things happen when people can’t.

This brings me on to my next point, prayer. Prayer and faith go

hand in hand, as it says in Matthew 21:22: ‘And whatever you ask

in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.’ So what is the link

between the two? Faith is an act of trust or dependence upon God and

it manifests itself mainly through prayer.

‘What is prayer? Prayer is our direct line with heaven. Prayer is a

communication process that allows us to talk to God! He wants us to

communicate with Him, like a person-to-person phone call. Cell

phones and other devices have become a necessity to some people in

today’s society. We have bluetooth devices, blackberries, and talking

computers! These are means of communication that allow two or

more people to interact, discuss, and respond to one another. To many

people, prayer seems complicated, but it is simply talking to God.’

(Quote from: www.allaboutprayer.org/what-is-prayer.htm)

How do you pray? It’s a conversation with God, you do not need

to overcomplicate it with fancy words or make it lengthy. It is like

| 22 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk


Have Faith

having a chat with your best friend. Remember God is always with

you, so you can talk to Him

whenever you want. Sometimes I

spend ‘quiet’ time, maybe half an

hour, just sitting with Him and

talking, however prayer is not

limited to a specific time, I talk to

God, mostly in my head, throughout the day. Maybe I’ve met with

somebody that day that is struggling with something. I may ask God

to look after them, to comfort them, I may ask Him if He would bless

them with peace. I cannot always fix peoples problems and when you

see someone struggling and you are out of ways to help, and you

don’t know what else to do, PRAY. In fact pray first, don’t leave it as

a last option, because prayer is a powerful weapon.

This brings me to the question, why is prayer so important?

Simply put: The more you pray (converse with God), the better you

get to know Him, the better you know Him, the more you

trust Him. So, why pray? Because it’s faith building.

You trust and pray, thus taking a step of faith that God is

real and listening. Then you see an answer to that prayer,

so you pray again and he answers again, this in turn

builds your faith so then you pray again, expectantly (in

faith) and so on. Faith enables prayer, in turn prayer

builds faith. The two things are interconnected.

Does God answer all prayers? I firmly cling to the promise that

God answers all of our prayers. Sometimes we pray relentlessly &

things don’t seem to be happening. It’s easy to think ‘Why is God not

answering?’, but He works outside of time. He may answer your

prayer in a way that is best for you, but not the answer you want. He

is our heavenly father, and as a parent you don’t give your kids

everything they request because you know certain things aren’t good

for them so you say no. You have your children’s best interests at

heart, as does God. You may be waiting for an answer, for months or

years, but believe me He always answers. No, waiting is not easy, I

have often had to wait a long time to see answers, I have gone through

doubt myself, is God listening? Does he care? Thankfully my faith

helps me to ignore the doubts and reminds me that God is always

faithful. He has answered prayers before, and each of those answers

has helped build my faith, so thankfully when these doubts come

along, I can remind myself of what God has done in my life before

this time, so even if I can’t see an answer in sight, I can trust that there

will be one.

So let me tell you why I pray. I guess what I’ve learnt over the last

few years, well actually throughout my life, is that people find

themselves in difficult situations, my family, my friends, even people

that I don’t really know that well, I see them struggling and it breaks

my heart. I just want to fix things for them, but realise that I’m

merely a human being and there’s only so much I can do. I guess

that’s why I’m thankful to God for prayer, because I can lift them up

to Him, the creator of the whole world, the one who ‘nothing is

impossible’ for, the one that meets all my needs and meets all their

needs. Even if they don’t know Him, He still loves them and still

wants what’s best for them. I also pray because I need God. He keeps

me going in tough times, and He blesses

me with so many amazing things. When

I pray I tell Him how much I love &

appreciate Him, I thank Him for all that

He does for me and for answering my

prayers, I ask Him to forgive me when I

get things wrong, (because even when

others struggle to forgive me, He is

faithful and always forgives). I then pray

for others and their needs, and for

myself.

So, prayer....prayer is important because it helps me develop and

strengthen my relationship with God. It brings me hope, peace, and

helps me to remember, no matter what is going on, that I am loved.

When my sister was dying, I sobbed and I prayed a lot, and God gave

me comfort. People say that God speaks to them, I never really got

that. He has spoken to me through scripture and through other

people, but then there was this one day, when I was lying on the floor

crying, my heart was breaking because my sister was dying, and I

reached out to God. I immediately felt a calmness/peace wash over

me, and I heard Him audibly say to me, ‘Do not fear, I’m going to

look after her’. I knew then that she would be ok. I didn’t know

whether she would be healed or if the cancer would take her life, but

I just knew that whatever happened, God was looking after her. He

was keeping her safe and He would always keep her safe. That gave

me such comfort and peace, at such a difficult time. Having this

assurance from God helped me to cope with the situation and gave me

much needed strength and peace, so I was able to offer my sister the

support, encouragement and calm that she needed at

that time.

It’s hard when you see people you love struggling,

to be honest, I find it hard seeing people I don’t even

know struggling. You see people in the street and you

can see by their face that they’re burdened with

something, and you don’t know what it is, but you can

still say a little prayer to God because He knows them

and He knows what’s going on in their lives. In fact, He knows

what’s going on in our lives more than anybody does, because He

knows us inside out and we can hide nothing from Him.

How do we approach prayer, because prayer to a lot of people is

this kind of ritualistic, it’s got to be said a certain way with flowery

language etc. But actually it doesn’t, it’s just a conversation with

God. Think about how you would talk to your own Dad. Ok yes we

need to show God respect & revere Him, but He wants a personal

relationship with us as well, and He doesn’t want that standing in awe,

that respect, to cause distance

between us, and keep us at arms

length from Him. I found that when

I was going to church when I was

younger, it was kind of almost like

there was a barrier between me and

God, and only the priest could go

beyond that barrier. We find a

similar description in the Bible. In

the Jewish Temple there was a place

called the the Holy of Holies, a big thick curtain seperated this place

from the rest of the temple. Only the priest could go beyond this

curtain and only once a year, if anyone tried to access it any other time

including the priest, they would be struck down by God. Actually

part of my testimony is that when I realised that I could get up close

and personal with God, that barrier between me & God was

demolished. The curtain was torn in two. Just like after Jesus died

and the big thick curtain in the temple in Jerusalem, which was not a

flimsy fabric curtain as we are accustomed to, it would have been a

really heavy duty thing, it tore from top to bottom. It was like a

physical sign showing that there’s not a barrier there anymore, that

you can come to God because of what Jesus has done. So today I

would urge you to come before God in faith, and pray. God loves you

and earnestly waits for you to chat with Him.

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 havefaith@sandbagtimes.com

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 23 |


South Herts Veterans

Breakfast Club

13 today - second month running that

numbers have dramatically dropped -

I guess due to holidays etc lovely

weather though and we sat out.

East Durham VBC

5 members of East Durham breakfast club

attending the ceremony at Durham Cathedral

yesterday to mark the centenary of the Somme.

The Somme whistle was escorted to the

cathedral by the Royal British Legion Riders after

a 24 hour bike ride around the North East

stopping off at various locations. Excellent to see

so many representatives from the DLI Association

who provided escorts into the Cathedral

supported by bugles and pipes to the lament of

'Abide With Me'. All in all a very poignant and

moving tribute to our fallen brethren

MCVC Rotherham Veterans

Breakfast Club

15 in attendance today including two new

members David Wassell ex RN and Paul

Brown ex Duke of Boots and a surprise

birthday cake for Sharon Lee.com (www)!!

A good time was had by all, plenty of

laughter and banter. Even Marjorie

Ridyard had time to do her crochet.

| 24 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk


Veterans Breakfast Clubs

North Linc Veterans

Breakfast Club

We had 31 at North Lincs

(Scunthorpe) today including some

newcomers, a great breakfast now

we have sorted out the system and

loads of banter and chatter.

Our favourite "monkey" celebrated

his birthday today, but the cake

didn't make it!

Stockport Veterans

Breakfast Club

21 veterans and family members

today at Stockport veterans

breakfast club. 3 new members

attended today, unfortunately one

of our senior members wasn't

here due to illness, so wishing

Alan Kennedy a speedy recovery.

North Ayrshire

Veterans Breakfast Club

A good wee turnout this morning at

the North Ayrshire Veterans

Breakfast Club in Irvine. Upwards

of 15 turned out with apologies

received from a further 5 including

Suzanne Fernando who is in

Edinburgh today to meet HM The

Queen. Personally I think she

should have invited HM to the

Veterans Breakfast, after all she

was an Ambulance Driver when she

was younger.

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 25 |


The VBC Website has now been revamped/redesigned and is now

live. There are several new features including a Post Code search

facility that brings up the five nearest Breakfast Clubs to your Post

Code, and we now have a News feature and links to the current

issues of the Sandbag Times and much more. To make it easier for

people to get to it, funds have been made available to allow the

acquisition of more domain names.

The new address is www.afvbc.co.uk and the old address is pointed

at the new site.

The main alteration is that the email addresses have changed from:-

Support@VeteransBreakfastClubs.co.uk

to

Support@AFVBC.co.uk

Trip to London to meet Parliamentary Under

Secretary of State for Defence Personnel and

Veterans – Dereck Hardman RE

A Momentous day! Wouldn't that be awesome, if all

service leavers were told where their nearest breakfast club

is? Just one of the suggestions made, since there are now

over 130 clubs in the UK & several abroad, with nearing

20,000 members... Veterans all over the country are

attending Breakfast Clubs and 'returning to the tribe'!!

It was a very good meeting. John Terry & I discussed with

the minister and his team how the format cannot be

changed, because it works so very well. We also dicussed

what problems we feel we have with reaching veterans.

The minister has pledged to support breakfast clubs, and has

set his team to work exploring how he can do that!

REALLY positive.

John Terry, Mark Lancaster MP, Dereck Hardman

| 26 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk


Veterans Breakfast Clubs

Retford & District Veterans Summer Ball

13 August 2016

You are cordially invited to join us at our summer ball in support of

veterans. The price includes a three course meal and entertainment

including a popular singer.

For those that have never been to this hotel, it is a premier location with

top class service. Rooms are available if required.

This location is on the main East Coast Railway Line so transport links

are easy. Transport from the station can be arranged if requested.

Cost £28.00 pp

Sapperfest 2016

8/9/10 July 2016

Sapperfest was built from a desire to hold a Royal Engineer reunion for

everyone, and not in a hotel with blazers and Sgts mess rules. (nothing

stopping you wearing your blazer.. might get muddy though)

We also wanted a function free of wives and girlfriends so that you are

free to recount your stories of daring do’s without recriminations from

your Long Haired General.

So we have a Squadron Smoker in a field where you ‘Bring Your Own’

for a weekend.

It is for anyone who wore a Royal Engineer cap badge (or Royal

Monmouthshire) excluding army cadets. No wives/husbands,

girlfriends/boyfriends or dogs.

You will immerse yourself back in the days when you ‘were in’ with

people who you have never met… but you will happily find that you

have a connection somewhere along your past.

You will also be on a high for months after the event.

We created a Community Interest Company (CIC) instead of a Charity

as we make a profit from entrance fees. This profit, as stipulated by the

Company Regulations, belongs to the designated Community.

The ‘Community’ that we submitted to Companies House,

was audited and accepted under the guidance rules for a

CIC, is former Royal Engineers… that’s you. You own

Sapperfest CIC and Sapperfest CIC works for you.

The assets and profit go towards next year’s Sapperfest.

Bigger field, more marquees, better bands and so on.

The Army v Navy is great but doesn’t last long enough.

Sapperfest lasts 3 days!

See you all there.

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 27 |


Stoll on Stage

Veterans’ charity Stoll hosts a

gala dinner to remember

Stoll marks 100 years of supporting ex-Servicemen and women with

celebrations at the Savoy

In The News...

Stoll chairman to cycle 100 miles and

abseil 540 feet to mark centenary

The Chairman of Stoll, the Fulham based Veterans’ charity and

Housing Association, is taking on two daring feats in a bid to raise

vital funds to provide much needed housing for ex-Servicemen and

women. Air Commodore Andy Fryer will be completing the Ride

London 100 mile bike ride and abseiling 540 feet down the

Broadgate Tower.

2016 marks 100 years of the charity delivering its mission to provide

a home and support for vulnerable ex-Servicemen and women. Stoll

provides safe accommodation and support that promotes independent

living, with Veterans of recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan

living alongside residents who have served in WWII, Northern

Ireland and the Falklands.

There is a considerable waiting list for accommodation at Stoll

Mansions in Fulham and at its three other London sites. More

Veterans are in significant need of safe, affordable accommodation.

Stoll is raising money to help address this growing need and ensure

that all Veterans receive the housing support they need when entering

civilian life.

Stoll Chairman, Air Commodore Andy Fryer, a former Nimrod

navigator who has seen action in the Falklands, Balkans and

Afghanistan, is excited to be kicking off the fundraising drive that he

hopes will raise £25m over the next five years. He said:

“I can’t wait to take on this double challenge, though I admit I’m a

little nervous about dangling 500ft above the City! I never fail to be

inspired by the amazing impact Stoll has on the lives of vulnerable

Veterans. At present we are struggling to find space for all the people

who need our help, so we’ve launched our Centenary Appeal to raise

money so we can help more of the ex-Servicemen and women who

have given so much to our country.”

To take part in the Broadgate Tower abseil please contact Dorothy

Jones on dorothy.jones@stoll.org.uk or text: “540” with your full

name and address to: 07469 353 405.

You can support Andy’s challenge here:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AndyFryer

To donate to Stoll please visit www.stoll.org.uk.

Stoll, the leading provider of support and housing for the Veterans’

community, will hold a one off gala dinner to mark 100 years of vital

support to those who have served our country.

The Stoll Centenary Gala Dinner, taking place at the Savoy Hotel in

Central London on 14 November 2016, will include a champagne

reception, fine dining, a silent auction with a range of impressive prizes

and a live 22 piece band.

Stoll’s President, Field Marshall Lord Walker of Aldringham, said: “It’s

time to celebrate 100 years of Stoll’s fantastic work providing housing

and support to Veterans. What better way of showing one’s support for

Stoll to carry on its vital work for the next 100 years than to buy a table

and enjoy an evening of entertainment in the splendid setting of

London’s Savoy Hotel.”

Table packages start at £2,500 and all funds raised on the evening will

go towards housing and support services for Veterans in England.

Stoll provides safe, high quality housing and access to services that

enable vulnerable and disabled Veterans in need of support to live

fulfilling, independent lives. The charity and Housing Association

provides services to Veterans who have served in conflicts from Iraq

and Afghanistan, to WW2 and the Falklands. Yet many more Veterans

are in significant need of safe, affordable accommodation. Stoll is

raising funds to help address this growing need and ensure that ex-

Servicemen and women receive the support they need when entering

civilian life. The money raised at the Gala Dinner will help Stoll to

achieve this.

For any press enquiries please contact James Ford on 07974565425 or

Sarah Skinner on 07802658145

The Stoll Centenary Gala Dinner will be held at The Savoy Hotel,

Strand, London WC2R 0EU on 14 November 2016.

To book your table or for more information about the Gala Dinner

please contact Beverley Russell on 07469353402 /

Beverley.russell@stoll.org.uk

The Sandbag Arms

Iain George, our Support Services

Manager has a nice link to the

Sandbag Times. During his time in

service he and his colleagues made

a bar from sandbags, affectionately

called the ‘Sandbag Arms’ and he

has some great photos of him at the

bar. Iain will be telling us of his

work with Stoll very soon plus his

adventures in his bar!! Look out

for more updates and news from

Stoll in the SBT.

| 28

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk


Contact

Nicole Dopson

Telephone 01604 647770

Email

Website

nicole@atlanticonlinemedia.com

www.rewardsforforces.co.uk

June 28, 2016

REWARDS FOR FORCES – REWARDING THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED OUR COUNTRY

When we heard that a member of the Armed Forces, who had recently returned from military

operations, was denied a discount in a major high street store, but a student in front of him was

given one, we knew we had to act.

Reward for Forces is a national discount scheme that offers serving members of the forces, veterans

and their families’ premium discounts and benefits - Rewarding those that have served

our country.

Armed Forces servicemen and women, past and present, can sign up for 1000’s of fantastic

discounts including: Restaurants, Theme Parks and Attractions, Theatre Breaks, Health and

Fitness, Sport & Outdoors, Motoring & Car Hire, Holidays and Travel, Short Breaks, Special

Occasions, Phones & Computers, and Insurance.

You can sign up for FREE at www.rewardsforforces.co.uk to access all our online discounts.

****************

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Nicole Dopson at 01604

647770 or email at nicole@atlanticonlinemedia.com.

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 29 |


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ContactUs

Pleasefeelfreetocontactus

regardinganyofourservicesusing

thefollowingdetails:

Address:

2MelvilleStreet,Falkirk,FK11HZ

Telephone.07909908056

Email.

info@wizzpropertiesltd.co.uk

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Veterans jobs

Store Manager

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

Salary Range: £24,000,

View 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

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Field Service Technician

Green Recruitment Solutions

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Security Officer (48 hour shift)

IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON, Greater London

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Prison Security Officer - 8621

SERCO, - West Midlands

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FSR SOLUTIONS, - Greater London

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Trainee Manager

AVIS UK, Cambridge - East of England

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Guest Services Mall Manager

VSG, Stirling - Mid Scotland and Fife

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MISSION MOTORSPORT, - East Midlands

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www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 33 |


A word from the Ed

As far as the Sandbag Times goes

I couldn’t be more excited. I

decided last week that I would

produce a ‘Sharpe Special’. I

have been a huge fan of ‘Sharpe’

ever since one weekend in South

Armagh where one of my room

mates said “I’ve got the box set of

Sharpe here, do you want to

watch it?” One weekend later we

had watched the entire series back

to back and I was hooked. Since

that weekend I have watched the

series more times than I can count

and have read every book in the

series. As a musician, I have

come to love the folk music of

John Tams who plays Hagman in

the series, indeed much of the

songs I write are influenced by

him. Anyway, I digress. In the

forthcoming special I am

delighted to say two of the cast

have very kindly agreed to write a

few lines for us. These are

Daragh O’Malley who plays the

big Irish Sergeant Harper and

Jason Salkey who plays Rifleman

Harris. Not only that but the

creator and author Bernard

Cornwell has also kindly agreed

to write for us. I couldn’t be

more excited. Needless to say I

will be promoting the books,

music and DVDs also the works

of Rifleman Harris and his DVDs

which are making appearances

around the country.

In other news please check out the

Veterans Breakfast Club page this

week as we are featuring the new

website plus the journey to

Downing Street for Dereck and

John last week.

Finally, we have launched a

subscription page where you can

get the mag delivered to your

email address each week plus any

news and features. CLICK

HERE to make sure you don’t

miss out.

Have a great week all. P

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.”

“Umm, this isn’t Portsmouth”

Ways to find us

The Sandbag Times

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk

thesandbagtimes

@thesandbagtimes

info@sandbagtimes.com

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk/subscribe

Where Do They Go...

...When the Killing Ends

| 34 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk


Information

The Last Kingdom

Bernard Cornwell

The first book in Bernard Cornwell’s epic and bestselling series on the

making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg.

BBC2’s major Autumn 2015 TV show THE LAST KINGDOM is based

on the first two books in the series.

Please click on the picture above to read more about

the book plus other great novels by Bernard

Cornwell. Plus watch out for reviews on the

‘Sharpe Series’ next week.

The Reckoning

John Tams

A masterpiece of an album from the man behind the

music of Sharpe. This is a definite must for any Folk

music fan. I also personally recommend this as one of

my favourite all time albums

The Video Diaries of Rifleman Harris

Jason Salkey

Cast of TV’s Sharpe

This is a definite must for any fan of

the Sharpe Series. Chosen man

Rifleman Harris tells of his journey

through the making of Sharpe with a

fantastic personal insight of the Characters

and actors that played them. Click on the

picture to check out the full collection.

Back issues of The Sandbag Times are available to download here




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www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 35 |


Combat Veterans Players

| 36 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk


Veterans Radio

Veterans Radio Net

VeteransRadioNet

“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"

www.veteransradionet.co.uk

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:

http://www.forcesonline.net/

Other links that can be used for external connection are:

Winamp:

http://dallas.audio-stream.com/tunein.php/jimwilde.pls

Real Audio:

http://dallas.audio-stream.com/tunein.php/jimwilde.ram

Windows Media:

http://dallas.audiostream.com/tunein.php/jimwilde.asx

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

www.militaryveteransradio.com

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 37 |


| 38 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk


NAAFI break





gawpin

READ IT AGAIN!!!

Come up with

a caption fo

or Sgt

Sandba

an

nd wi

in a prize

Word Wheel

ag

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 info@sandbagtimes.com

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 39 |


next week

Next week in the

Sandbag Times

Sharpe Special

The SBT looks at everything

Sharpe with input from some

very special guests.

NoT To Be miSSed!

The Veterans’ Breakfast

clubs

A look at how the UK’s fastest and

largest veterans organisation has

progressed so far this year including

this year’s Sapperfest

The Sappers

Dereck Hardman looks at his roots in

the Royal Engineers as a young Sapper

and talks about the history of one of the

British Army’s most famous units.

| 40

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 27 |

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