The Sandbag Times Issue No: 30


The Veterans Magazine

The Veterans’ Magazine

Issue 30 | May 2017

Jet Art Aviation

Jet Fighters For Sale?

We Investigate

Cosford Airshow

What will 2017 bring to the great

West Midlands Show

Latest News

All the latest news

from the world of Veterans

and Armed Forces

Cover picture courtesy of Jet Art Aviation


Ken Brooks



SBT News

3 Man held over stabbing

A man has been remanded

for trial following murder

charge of veteran

3 Nato intercepting more

Russian aircraft

Major increase in the

amount of Russian aircraft

being intercepted by NAT


4 Ex-Navy Officer ran over

by own car in front of wife

An ex-navy officer has been

run over and killed by theifs

who stole his car

5 North Korea threatens to

sink US Carrier.

North Korea has threatened

the US with military action

following deployment


8 Veterans in Custody

We take a look at veterans

within the custody system

16 Jet Art Aviation

The SBT looks at Fighter

Jets for sale in the UK

RAF Cosford Air Show Page 29


13 The Historical Tommy


The Horsa. The unsung

hero of D Day

15 Have Faith

This week: Answer the Call

22 SBT Information

A page dedicated to back

issues, information, book

reviews etc

24 Sandbag Times Radio

What’s happening on your

favourite radio station

30 Competition Time

Win a pair of tickets to this

years RAF Cosford Air Show

in our competition. Go on,

give it a go.

Veterans Breakfast Clubs Page 21


Editor: Pablo Snow

Magazine Manager: Matt Jarvis

Chief Sponsor: Ken Brooks

Additional editors:

Jacqueline Brooks

Albert ‘Robbie’ McRobb

Jane Shields

Radio & Media Manager

Jim Wilde

Tel: 01905 570590


| 2


General Election to end all Petitions

As Parliament is dissolved

on 3rd May, all petitions

will end prematurely. It also

means that the Government

will not be able to respond

to those petitions that have

reached over 10,000

signatures leaving many in

frustration knowing their

petitions will now be

ignored. This comes as a

huge blow to those

petitioning for the release of

the ‘Chennai 6. According

to an official source, all

petitions will have to start

again once the new

government has been

elected. Government

officials have apologised for

the short notice due to the

coming general election.

Man held over fatal Veteran stabbing at Catterick

A MAN has appeared in

court charged with murder

following the death of a 34-

year-old man at a North

Yorkshire centre for army

veterans. Ian McLaughlin,

51, of Marne Road, Catterick

Garrison was at York Crown

Court for a brief hearing.

He is charged with the

murder of Craig Guy at The

Beacon, which provides

veterans with support in

independent living. Mr Guy

was found with fatal wounds

at the housing

accommodation in Catterick

Garrison at 11.30pm on

Thursday, April 13. In the

dock, Mr McLaughlin spoke

only to confirm his age and

address. Mr Guy, 34, is

believed to be a former

soldier from Washington,

Tyne and Wear. One of his

friends has now launched a

crowdfunding appeal to

attempt to raise £2,000

towards his funeral costs.

Colin Smith has set up a

JustGiving page where

people can donate to the

appeal. Read more here.

Isil attack British special forces base

Islamic State jihadists launched a wave of suicide

attacks on a British special forces training base in

Syria, in one of the fiercest assaults on anti-Isil

coalition forces there to date. Fighters from

Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (Isil) used a

vehicle bomb to try to blow their way into the al-

Tanf garrison, which has been used by SAS and

US special forces to train moderate Syrian rebels.

The blast early Sunday morning was followed up

with a ground attack by up to 30 Isil fighters and

suicide bombers, but they were beaten back with

coalition air strikes and help from Western troops.

Nato intercepting

Russia aircraft at

all time high.

More Nato fighter jets are

being scrambled to monitor

and intercept Russian planes

than at any time since the

end of the Cold War as

tensions continue to rise.

Around 780 deployments

were made from European

military bases last year in

response to Russian aircraft,

compared to just 410 in

2015. British planes have

been scrambled in numerous

operations involving the

RAF, which has pilots in the

Quick Reaction Alert force

ready to launch 24-hours a

Incidents have seen Russian

bomber planes approach the

UK several times, including

when Blackjack bombers

spent more than five hours

skirting British airspace in

February. Russian planes

are not known to have

violated international

regulations or entered any

EU nation’s sovereign

airspace, flying instead into

“identification zones” in

international airspace that

are monitored for security.

A typical response sees

fighter jets launched by the

nearest country to visually

identify the foreign aircraft

and ascertain whether it is a

threat, frequently flying

alongside until the Russian

plane breaks away and turns A further 90 alerts

were sparked by non-

Russian planes in 2016, such

as commercial flights that

lost contact with air traffic

control, according to

officials at Ramstein Air

Base in Germany, where the

US Air Forces in Europe are

headquartered. It brings the

total number of deployments

to 870 in the year, which

saw Nato increase its air

policing missions after

noting a “steady increase in

Russian military air

activity”. Read more here. 3 |


Jeremy Corbyn condemned by military chiefs

Labour's credibility on defence is in

tatters after Jeremy Corbyn ruled out

ever using Britain’s nuclear deterrent,

refused to back a drone strike to kill

Isil’s leader and said he would suspend

air strikes on Syria.

Mr Corbyn’s comments were widely

condemned by senior military figures

and Labour MPs amid warnings that

the nation will not be safe in his hands.

Within hours of his interview, the

Labour Party was forced to issue an

embarrassing statement clarifying that

it still supports the Trident nuclear


Law firm Leigh Day appear in court

over terror group allegations.

A law firm, that accused British troops of torturing Iraqis, allegedly

knew their clients were members of a murderous militia group and

not civilians. Law firm Leigh Day and solicitors Martyn Day, Sapna

Malik and Anna Crowther are facing misconduct charges over legal

claims they brought of torture and murder by British troops during

the Iraq War, along with prohibited payments to a person called

Mazin Younis. Mr Day, Ms Malik and the law firm face 19 charges,

while Ms Crowther faces one allegation of destroying a handwritten

English translation of the detainee list. Colonel James Coote, who

commanded UK forces in Iraq, will give evidence and will speak on

behalf of soldiers. Colonel Coote of the Princess of Wales's Royal

Regiment will describe how soldiers had their lives ruined by

baseless allegations of torture, mutilation and murder in 2004. Legal

representation say the accusations are false and should never have

made it to the public domain. Read more here.

Murder arrest after ex-Royal Navy officer run

down and killed by his own car in front of wife.

urder squad detectives

have arrested a 21-yearold

man after an ex-

Royal Navy officer was

run over by his own car

by burglars, as a

neighbour said the

victim's wife screamed

his name and called for

help as he lay dying in

the street. Mike

Samwell, 35, confronted

intruders who broke into

his home as he slept

upstairs with his wife,

Jessica, at about 3am on

Sunday. He was found

badly injured in a

parking area at the rear

of the house in the


area of south

Manchester and died

little more than an hour

later in hospital after

being run over by his

black Audi S3. Reports

on Monday said his

wife, an accountant, had

witnessed the incident

in which her husband

was killed. Greater

Manchester Police

(GMP) on Monday said

they had arrested a

suspect on suspicion of

murder. Detective

Superintendent Jon

Chadwick from GMP's

Serious Crime Division

said: "We have arrested

a 21-year-old man in

connection with Mike

Samwell's senseless

murder. "Our

investigation is still in

its early stages and we

are still appealing for

the public to help us.

My thoughts continue to

be with Mike's family

and friends at this

devastating time."

Read more on this story.

ww2 veteran awarded medal on 99th birthday

A war veteran has been

awarded a French military

honour on his 99th birthday for

his part in the D-Day landings.

A former gunner with the 73rd

Anti-tank Regiment, Leonard

Wells was awarded the

Chevalier de la Legion

d'Honneur at his care home in

Sunderland on Saturday.

Mr Wells was joined by family

and members of the 256 City

of London Field Hospital to

receive his medal. His great

niece, Rebecca Smith, said she

felt a "great sense of pride" to

see him honoured after so

many years. It was announced

on the 70th anniversary of D-

Day that the Legion d'honneur

would be awarded to all

veterans who took part in the

invasion. Ms Smith said it was

a "great surprise" to hear her

great uncle would be getting

the award.She added it was

significant for the family to

realise that "after all this time

it is still important to people

and the service that he gave to

his country".

| 4


North Korea Threatens To Sink

U.S. Carrier: China urges restraint

North Korea could reduce a U.S. strike force to a sea wreck if it's provoked, the country's propaganda

outlets said Monday, adding to tensions on the Korean Peninsula. With the threat of a nuclear test in

North Korea looming and another U.S. citizen reportedly detained there, China's President Xi Jinping is

urging President Trump to avoid escalating the situation.The two leaders spoke by phone Monday,

according to Chinese state media CCTV, which reports that Xi told Trump he "hopes all parties remain

restrained instead of intensifying the situation." The phone call comes amid threats from North Korea

that it will sink a U.S. Navy strike group that's led by the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier; it also follows

reports from a North Korean university that one of its lecturers, who holds U.S. and South Korean

citizenship, has been detained. There is wide speculation that North Korea could be planning to carry

out a nuclear test on Tuesday, timed to coincide with a celebration of its military's founding anniversary.

On Monday, North Korea issued new threats against the U.S., which it accuses of plotting an invasion.

From South Korea's Korea Herald comes this description of the regime's reaction to American warships

sailing closer to the peninsula:

Canada could be called on in event of war with North Korea

Should the tense standoff on the Korean

Peninsula escalate into war, the United

Nations could come calling on Canada for a

military commitment. But Defence

Minister Harjit Sajjan said Friday the

Trudeau government would prefer to focus

its attention on diplomacy. There are reports

that China has put its air force units along

the North Korean border on heightened

alert, and South Korea has moved its

military to a heightened state of readiness

over the possibility that the regime in

Pyongyang will conduct another missile test,

following a failed attempt last week. China

quickly denied the reports on Friday, but the

buildup, which multiple media reports say

could also include Russian forces, comes as

a U.S. aircraft carrier strike force now

moves towards Korean waters. Read more.

Canadian woman

fights ISIS near Raqqa

A video released by Kurdish

forces and featuring a young

woman from Alberta, suggests

she's part of an offensive near

the Islamic State's de facto

capital of Raqqa. In the 1

minute and 18 second video,

Shaelynn Jabs, 20, aims her

rifle, then takes cover behind a

brick wall as gunfire explodes

in the distance. "Last night we

[fought] with ISIS," says Jabs,

dressed in camouflage and

crouching beside a machine

gun. "There is an

improvement." Speaking in the

local language, Kurmanji, as a

rough translation flashes on the

screen below, she explains it

was the fight for women's rights

that drew her to the battlefield.

"I came to (Tabqa) for

independence and (the struggle)

of women," says Jabs, who left

Drayton Valley, 130 kilometres

southwest of Edmonton, last

September for her second tour

with the YPJ — an all-female

faction of the Kurdish People's

Protection Unit (YPG). She

refers to herself as "Dilon"

which means "dance" — the

Kurdish name Jabs picked up

during her first six-month tour

that began in October 2015, not

long after graduating high

school. The YPJ Media Centre

released the video on their

YouTube channel earlier this

week. CBC cannot

independently verify the

information in the video.

Guillaume Corneau, a Quebecbased

graduate student from

Laval University and expert on

western volunteers who join

Kurdish groups, said the

recording is likely recent. He

explained the Tabqa operation,

involving U.S. special forces

and the Syrian Democratic

Forces, a Kurdish-led coalition,

began at the end of March.

Read more here. 5 |

News Special

Shoeboxes for our Heroes. By Tina Dobson. (Or as the SBT calls her ‘The Forces Angel’)

A few years ago I sent out a shoe box via

someone I worked with. I got such a sense of

pride that I could do something so small that

could mean so much to someone serving.

Years later when contacted via one of the

Military pages I belong to, Chris Webster, who

started the organisation up just over five years

ago in Derby, England, asked if I would like to

become a member and start to collect and send

to our Armed Forces. I was thrilled! I lost my

beloved husband Mick nearly three years ago

and was floundering not knowing what to do

with myself. Due to my own disabilities I am

unable to work full or part timeand receive

help with my bills. I have never been a lazy

person and was going stir crazy staying at

home, so I bit Chris's hand off and joined the

team and am now one over over 100

volunteers across the UK and Northern Ireland

Would you

like to get



who send out Morale boxes to our deployed

forces. We even have someone in Cyprus that

does it too!! I was raised to respect our

Military by my Father Edward (Ted) Jones

who is a Korean Veteran, My Grandfather

Joseph (Joe) Croney fought in Burma and was

a Burma Star Veteran and my Father in law

George Dobson who served with the Desert

Rats. His father William (Bill) Dobson was

honourably discharged during WW1 due to

injuries sustained in battle. So I do this for

them as much for me. I am forever out with

my virtual begging bowl telling anyone that

will listen about SB4OH what we are and what

they can do to help us and what they can

donate to help me fill the boxes and also what

is not allowed to be sent. Even when I get

things that I know are not suitable I try my

luck and take it back to my supermarket and

because they know what I do and what it is for

they will change it for me if it is something

they sell! I think I was doing a good job as I

was asked to join the admin team which gives

me a better opportunity to promote any and all

posts about the organisation and any events

that may be coming up to raise funds/goods for

us. i.e. We have just held the 5th Shoebox Bike

Ride and managed to send out nearly 700

boxes from everything the bikers raised! I

gave a talk at the local scout and cubs group

and now have them collecting and packing

boxes for me and as a volunteer for Southend

SSAFA I spoke to all my veterans at the lunch

club last week and was overwhelmed by the

response I received and am looking forward to

seeing what donations I will be picking up at

this weeks club on Thursday. The very best

reward for us as senders is the Thank you

emails and Bluey's we receive from the

recipients of the boxes and the pictures they

send us of them opening the boxes to show we

put a smile on their faces makes it so worth

while and humbling for us and I wouldn't

change what I do for the world.

Nightmares can be very frightening and have a significant impact

on sleep quality and overall functioning. They can also be

repetitive and linked to traumatic or adverse life events from the

past. The good news is that there is a very effective technique

that you can learn that will permanently stop your old nightmares,

and provide you with the tools to deal with any future ones. This

can be taught by watching my video. The skill is explained fully

and safely and is extremely effective.

Justin Havens

Psychological Therapist


Approved by the Help for Heroes Research Approvals Committee and

Anglia Ruskin University’s Ethics Committee

For more information please contact me

on 07976 724181

or email:

| 6







Veterans In Custody

As the Ministry of

Justice releases the

shocking news that

more than 2,500

veterans entered the

Criminal Justice

Sytstem in 2016, the

SBT asks what are the

reasons behind this

growing number

In the year 2016, 2,565 Veterans were sent to

prison. The vast majority of these were veterans

of conflicts. Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern

Ireland, the Falklands conflict, Bosnia,

Kosovo, the list goes on. Many of the crimes

include violent and sexual offences mostly

brought on by drink, drugs and almost

always Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Unfortunately, the crimes committed are

almost never victimless and justice does

need to be done. There has to be help and

support for the victims in all cases and we

need to bear in mind that a faliure to punish

appropriately causes many issues for the victim

and indeed the public. That being said,

there is still a huge lack of understanding why

men who defended the country, put their lives

on the line for those they love and were willing

to sacrifice all to protect people they didn’t

know suddenly turn to crime.

The Ministry of Justice and those involved

with cases involving veterans need to be taking

more notice in the history of service and

looking in to the reasons what caused the

individual to offend. Why was he/she drinking

so much? Why is his anger at such a

point that they lashed out? What made them

strike out in their sleep? Why have they done

things completely out of character? The simple

fact is that theyir whole psycological

make-up has completely changed due to

their experiences. In some cases, the question

has to be asked “Is prison the correct


Ok, we know that prison is unavoidable in

many of these cases and is necessary but

what happens next? To a veteran suffering

from PTSD, this is the equivelent of hell on

earth. The regime and discipline is hardly

ever a problem and ex-forces personnel will

very quickly adapt to a regimented system.

After all, this is second nature. The problem

comes at night when he suffers nightmares

and he finds himself in an isolated world with

absolutely no support. In these cases, it is

quite possible for the condition to worsen

and, in extreme cases, push the veteran to

suicidal tendencies

A recent survey on prisons found that there

was very little care or support for veterans.

In one case, the mental health department of

one prison actually stated that “We don’t

deal with PTSD in veterans as it is too easy

to bluff”. The only thing that is usually

offered is anti-depressants and sleeping pills.

Despite the lack of mental health support,

charities such as SSAFA, RBL and Care After

Combat regularly visit prisons to offer support.

Care After Combat actually do help

veterans in prison but they are unfortunately,

not big enough to cover all prison establishments.

Although we have said that mental health

support is very scarce for veterans in custody,

it strikes one as surprising that charities

such as Combat Stress do not take the

opportunity to begin treatment while they

are in a secure enviroment. Surely, this

would be more beneficial to the veteran

rather than the offender courses they have to

take. It seems obvious that unless you

remove the problem, in this case PTSD, then

there is every chance of repeat offending.

Something for the MoJ to consider, maybe.

Despite this grim picture there are support

peer groups that gather together to bring

support to each other. These are normally

facilitated by Prison Officers who have previously

served themselves.

In summary, there are many questions that

have to be asked and these questions desperately

need to be answered. Hopefully,

this insight will stir a few thoughts in nthe

right places. Finally, I would like to thank the

veterans that spoke to us in order to report

on this subject. You know who you guys

are, a big thank you.

| 8

Combat stress 9 |

our sponsors

Back to the Grindstone of Worcester

It was nice while it lasted, well at least the clinic is still standing

Hi all, we’re home!!

Well, we are back in the clinic finally, allowing

our hard earned suntans to fade away but the

memories will remain. What a great holiday

that was. Our journey home was a little

eventful but we made it. Pablo hadn’t burnt

the place down, everything was where it

should be, all of our patients were still alive,

no damage done, breathe easy...

Seriously though, it was incredible to see the

steps Pablo had taken with the magazine

since we had been gone. We saw an

immediate increase in readership beyond

anything we could have expected, he’s

practically taken over the website (That is a

little dangerous though, he means well but

the last we heard he completely deleted Jim’s

brand new, shiny radio page and had to

rebuild it.)

He was ever so nice to us when we got back,

he was helping us with all sorts, speaking to

us nicely, even bought us a drink. We started

to get worried about him until we found out

that he was just buttering us up to get some

prints done of the magazine. He quickly told

us how much it would cost us and then

disappeared like a rat up a drainpipe.

Hmmm! We’ll watch out for that one next

time. Mind you, it is exciting to know that the

Sandbag Times has finally turned into a

physical publication. Now the work really

begins. With the magazine taking on a real

form, we will be looking to attract advertising

clients as well as looking for outlets to sell the


We certainly haven’t been short of news

stories over the past month, the wekly

newsletters and updates have proved that

and with the fragile stability of the world I

don’t think it is going to be difficult in the

future to find more.

Syria, North Korea, Russia, Estonia, America,

Donald Trump, Putin just a few of the

headlines which are causing us all a little

concern these days but we don’t have to go

nearly that far to see where most of our

stories are coming from Pablo and the team

will be all over the stories though, that we can

be rest assured.

Speaking of Pablo’s articles, we are a little

concerned about his interest in these fighter

jets for sale. He has been eyeing up an ex-

RAF Tornado and Harrier Jump Jet to play

with, I don’t think our sponsorship could

stretch that far. You might have to wait until

next Christmas Pabs!! Take care everyone.

Jax and Ken xx

| 10

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The Historical Tommy Atkins

The Horsa: WW2’s Forgotten Hero

The Airspeed AS.51 Mk I and AS.58 Mk II Horsa

gliders were British World War II troop-carrying

gliders built by Airspeed Limited and subcontractors

and used for air assault by British and Allied armed

forces. The Mk I and the Mk II were virtually

identical in outward appearance and performance

but, naturally, some design improvements were seen

in the Mk II. They were named after Horsa, the

legendary 5th century conqueror of Southern Britain.

The Horsa first flew on 12 September 1941. It was a

high-wing cantilever monoplane with wooden wings

and a wooden semi-monocoque fuselage. The

fuselage was built in three sections and bolted

together. The front section was the pilot's

compartment and main freight loading door, the main

section was accommodation for troops or freight, and

the rear section supported the tail unit. It had a fixed

tricycle landing gear and it was one of the first

gliders equipped with a tricycle undercarriage for

take off. On operational flights this could be

jettisoned and landing was then on a sprung skid

under the fuselage. The wing carried large "barn

door" flaps which, when lowered, made a steep, high

rate-of-descent landing possible - allowing the pilots

to land in constricted spaces. The pilot's

compartment had two side-by-side seats and dual

controls. Aft of the pilot's compartment was the

freight loading door on the port side. The hinged

door could also be used as a loading ramp. The main

compartment could accommodate 15 troops on

benches along the sides with another access door on

the starboard side. Supply containers could also be

fitted under the centre-section of the wing, three on

each side. The later AS.58 Horsa II had a hinged

nose section, reinforced floor and double nose

wheels to support the extra weight of vehicles. The

tow was attached to the nose-wheel strut, rather than

the dual wing points of the Horsa I. To assist in

rapid unloading of troops and equipment on landing,

the fuselage joint to the rear of the Horsa's main

section could be broken after landing, releasing the

empennage (tail section). After the Normandy

invasion, explosive bolts were installed to make this

process even more rapid. On at least one occasion

(Market Garden, Sept 1944), the bolts exploded in

flight as the craft was being towed to the target area

with a full load of combat troops aboard. The

empennage was released and fell away, destroying

all capabilities for independent flight. While the

Horsa continued to trail behind its tug, it is not

known what became of this glider after it released its

tow line. The use of assault gliders by the British

was prompted by the use by Germany of the DFS

230, which was first used in May 1940 to

successfully assault the Eben Emael fort in Belgium.

Their advantage compared to parachute assault was

that the troops were landed together in one place,

rather than being dispersed. With around 28 troop

seats, the Horsa was much bigger than the 13-troop

US Waco CG-4A Haig (known as the Hadrian by the

British), and the 8-troop General Aircraft Hotspur

glider which was intended for training duties only.

As well as troops, the AS.51 could carry a jeep or a 6

pounder anti tank gun. The Horsa was first used

operationally on the night of 19/20 November 1942

in the unsuccessful attack on the German Heavy

Water Plant at Rjukan in Norway (Operation

Freshman). The two Horsa gliders, and one of the

Halifax tug aircraft, crashed in Norway due to bad

weather. All 23 survivors from the glider crashes

were executed on the orders of Hitler, in direct

breach of the Geneva Convention which protects

POWs from summary execution. After this Hitler

called the airborne soldiers "Red Devils" due to their

maroon berets. The name stuck with them. On

operations they were towed variously by Stirling,

Halifax, Albemarle, Whitley and Dakota tugs. The

pilots were usually from the Glider Pilot Regiment,

part of the Army Air Corps, although Royal Air

Force pilots were used on occasion. The Horsa was

also used in service by the US Airborne operations.

On 5 June 2004, as part of the 60th anniversary

commemoration of D-Day, Prince Charles unveiled a

replica Horsa on the site of the first landing at

Pegasus Bridge in Benouville, France, and talked

with the original pilot of the aircraft, Jim Wallwork. 13 |

Canada Calling




Greetings fellow Veterans, as well as all other

readers of this fine E Magazine.

This past week Canada and Canadian Veterans celebrated the battles of

VIMY Ridge and Arras on 9 April 2017. 100 years since the original

whistle blew and our men went over the top. This Link will give you a

view of the Centenary Remembrances.

Meanwhile in Scotland I was proud to join with other members of our

Ravenswood Banchory Legion branch, to attend the Church Service in

honour of the Battle of Arras. My grandfather participated in that

horrendous battle and fortunately he returned as many of his brothers in

arms did not.

Vimy trying to find parking area. We asked police, no English spoken.

Finally said to hell with it and parked on the street of Vimy village.

Walked about 2.5 ks, through 2 check points. Arrived about 11:30 Busses

people were arriving for another hour. Not much happening and there

were no speakers on grounds. The area around monument was fenced long

ways back from it. Very hot day…20+ I think, very little shade. We went

inside for hour and a half, a large feeding area with many tables/chairs.

There was entertainment at noon, music etc but as mentioned, no speakers

so unless you were very close, could not hear. Had to use toilet, very upset

crowd. 16 toilets, Port--a-potys, for thousands. Line, from noon till after

5pm, at least 5-600 metres long. Took us over 30 minutes to access. Hanh

and I eventually wandered to a limited shady area. Chatted with couple

from Sask. They, along with us, were not impressed. Unless you were in

front of barrier, nothing was visible. Except for the many gun salute,

nothing was heard from the speakers.

My suggestions for the French/Canadian organizers: You cannot have

too many toilets. Speakers are a must for those that cannot see.

Bleachers would have been very good, all could see the programme.

They had one large screen but could not see, unless in front row. They

should have had a couple large screens so all could be viewed. We left at

5:30 prior to 6pm ending. We saw the VIPS arrive but left before they

did. All in All, not well planned even though they had years to do so.

On to Ypres. It is indeed sad that the VAC personnel on duty at Vimy

were more impressed with Royalty than with Canadian Veterans. On the

other side of opinion I add this letter from Fellow Veterans Don

Cappler, Bob Hicks who watched the ceremonies from the best seats in

the house…..their recliners in their TV Room.

What a day for remembering and offering thanks and congratulations to

the people of our nation CANADA. To all civilians involved in any

way with the preparation, organization or participation of the VIMY

tribute I tip my hat to each of you, for your stellar efforts and support,

to those MILITARY members I salute your eloquence, determination

and devotion to our fallen and the part you played in this wonderful

ceremony...every now and then an event will instil an overwhelming

feeling of pride bringing tears to one's eyes the VIMY tribute did that

today....9 April 2017....what a proud day for CANADA.......simply first

class in all respects....congratulations and THANKS....

I have no doubt the CBC put on a great show, but Veterans who

travelled at their own expense to VIMY were not able to see nor hear

any of the events. Meanwhile 100 years on Canadian soldiers are still

fighting somewhere in the world. Will we ever learn?

My Grandfather Pte George Cadger Rae, Gordon Highlanders

France 1917. (Kneeling with plate)

I was sad to see that Veterans Affairs Canada treated Veterans at the

Vimy Remembrances with typical indifference. I myself experienced

their poor service at the Juno beach 70th in 2014. Where WW2 and

specifically Normandy Veterans were treated disrespectfully. This letter

from a brother apprentice and Veteran. George Girling.


Well, a little disappointed after planning on coming to Vimy for 10 yrs.

Positive points: Made it! Unlimited supply of water. Hanh saw

Princes, Justin and spouse .

Negative points: After 2 dry runs, still did not understand the signage

for parking and shuttle. Nothing was mentioned about timing for

shuttles. We left the hotel at 8am and spent an hour after arriving in

I confess to be a dinosaur of sorts to many ideas in our new Military.

Trans Gender military people are a NEW term to myself and I am sure

to many older Veterans, as my daughter Stephanie is prone to telling

me…… Get with the program Dad…

On that note, I leave you with a wee bit of Army Humour, Kiss Me


Recruits got a shock when their Air Force basic-training instructor

turned out to be an attractive female sergeant. Her assistant, however,

was a burly, hawk-nosed veteran whose glare could freeze water. At the

end of training, the attractive instructor congratulated the recruits and

said that if there was anything she could do for us, just ask. From the

back, a voice called out, "How about a kiss from the sergeant?" "Sure,"

she replied, raising her hand to quell the laughter. "But I'll let my

assistant take care of it!"

Stay Safe Folks

Nil Sine Labore


| 14

Have FaitH

Answering the call...

All you need to do is spend five minutes in your local

village, town or city to really see how important our

mobile phones have become in our lives. No matter

where we are or what we are doing, if our phone rings

we get an overwhelming urge to answer it. Thanks to

technology, these days we normally see who is calling

before we answer but still, we have the urge to know

what they want. We have to answer. The thought

occurs how our military hierarchy would react if we

didn't answer our radio messages when they called us.

The results would range from downright annoying to

catastrophically dangerous. It really brings it home just

how important it is to answer your calls.

to come. I remember someone once telling me over

and over "God knows what he is doing". As hard as it

was to believe back then, she was right. Not so long

ago, for me, everything dropped into place and made

sense. The ups and downs, rights and wrongs, pain

and suffering, everything became visible. I do know

there is still a long way to go and an awful lot of works

to do, my own personal battles are far from over but I

do know he called. He has given me my task and

showed me what I need to do. Sometimes I am not

sure that I am strong enough or good enough to

complete the task but hopefully, if I trust in him he will

give me strength and guidance. I can only try and pray.

So if you ever have the heartfelt urge to do something

or ever wonder why events happen in a certain way,

ask yourself if God is trying to call you. Is he trying to

tell you something? The chances are, he is.

Answer The Call!!

Bible reading for this month can be found at

Ephesians 1: 3-14

Have you ever had this feeling in your heart that there

is something you have to do or something you are

meant to say? Have you ever felt that someone needs

your help? The chances are when you get those

feelings you are receiving a call through your spiritual

phone. God is on the other end of the phone 24/7

sending us messages when he wants to use us to

carry out his work. When he sees suffering and knows

you have the tools to help, he will call you. He may

even use others to contact you. Something to bear in

mind the next time you are being asked for help.

Answering his calls may mean discomfort, pain,

heartache or persecution but his plans will mean that

suffering will be temporary and there are greater things 15 |

Jet Art Aviation

While browsing through the

internet looking for good

juicy stories to write, I

stumbled across a website

selling Fighter Jets. Now,

these aren’t vintage aircraft

like spitfires, hurricanes, that

kind of thing, these were

Harriers, Tornados and even

a F104 Starfighter. My first

thought was, “I want one”.

When I recovered from the

shock of realising my

ultimate man-dream and

realising that if I was to buy

one of these (not that I could

afford it) but I would be dead

within an hour of writing the

cheque. But, alas, reality

kicks in and these are pieces

for museums, static displays

etc. Ah well!! Nevertheless,

I wanted to learn more about

these amazing pieces so, after

hounding Jet Art Aviation for

long enough, they finally

gave us permission to write

about them. Sit back and

enjoy the ride.

Harrier GR3 XZ130

Based in Yorkshire, Jet Art Aviation

specialise in the supply of ex-military

aircraft, museum aircraft, aircraft engines,

cockpit sections, ejector seats, aircraft spares,

movie props and collectables.

They are also a specialist disposal contractor for

aircraft/aircraft parts; undertake

aircraft/component restoration work, aircraft

engineering, aircraft transportation and logistical

work to individual customer requirements. They

aim to provide a unique service by offering a

combination of items and services which you just

can't get anywhere else.

When we spoke to Jet Art Aviation they kindly

gave us some information about a few of their

aircraft that have been restored. We thought the

best way to show you what they do is to show case

their aircraft and stories written from their own

words so, here goes.

To begin with we shall look at the pictured Harrier

GR3 XZ130 and then we shall take a look at the

Tornado F2A ZD902 before finishing off with my

favourite, the F104 Starfighter. I must stress that

all information has been taken from Jet Art

Aviation Website and through communication with

their staff.

Harrier GR3 XZ130

1980. After months of deteriorating relationships

between NATO and the Soviet Union and

escalating skirmishes on the border between East

and West Germany the USSR began amassing tank

and mechanised infantry divisions at strategic

locations all along the border. Eventually the

unthinkable happened and the Cold War became

hot. On the 8th May thousands of tanks and APCs

punched through the lightly defended border

positions and began a breakout across the

Northern German Plain. The horde of T72s, T64s

and T62s formed the seemingly unstoppable

armoured fist that the Western powers had feared

ever since the closing days of WW2.

On the run up to the beginning of the war RAF

Germany had dispersed its Harrier squadrons from

Gutersloh and Wildenrath to forward locations and

now they found themselves at the very tip of

NATO’s attempts to halt the Soviet armoured

thrust. Whilst fighters fought desperate air battles

high above them the GR3s carried out wave after

wave of sorties to destroy AFVs with rockets and

bombs. The missions are brief but intense and

casualty rates are high. Crews are flying multiple

missions per day, their V/STOL capabilities are

critical because it allows them to fly three

missions for every one by ground attack aircraft

based further away from the front line. Time and

time again front line troops are saved from being

overrun by prompt intervention by the RAF GR3s.

Thankfully this scenario never played out but

although the GR3 didn’t go up against Warsaw

Pact forces it did go to war in the Falklands, as

well as deployments to other locations such as

Germany, Norway and Belize. Our example saw

service with 4 squadron in Germany, as well as 1

sqn, 3 sqn, 233 OCU and 1453 Flight in the

Falklands. After leaving service the aircraft ended

up in spending 15 years at RAF Number 1 school

of Technical Training being manhandled by young

recruits such as our very own Managing Director

Chris before finally ending up sitting outside

London Air Cadet Squadron. When we took

ownership XZ130 was in surprisingly good

condition considering all that time sat out in the

elements but has nevertheless been the subject of

an 18 month, 2000 hour restoration by Jet Art

Aviation. We have carried out a full repaint in a

beautiful gloss finish and applied the same

markings she had when last in service with 4

squadron, complete with yellow lightning flash,

red and black fin and ex USAF exchange pilot

Captain L Y Ching’s name down the side of the

cockpit. But the result is not just cosmetically

pristine, this machine is alive. Just as much effort

has gone into sourcing all the missing components

and making her mechanically complete as went

into that stunning external finish.

In March 2016 we carried out a successful ground

run and systems check which included starting up

the Rolls Royce Pegasus for the first time in 25

years! The engine and APU had been coated in

preservative oils and once this burnt off the engine

ran perfectly and was taken up to 35% thrust for

several minutes – we even operated the variable

incidence nozzles. We shared this moment of glory

on various social media sites and the response was

incredible (30k hits within 24 hours and now well

over 100k) which once again proves just how

popular the Harrier is around the world.

| 16

Jet Art Aviation

XZ130 is now available for sale and we believe

this is the first time anyone has put a Harrier GR3

of this calibre on the open market. As you may

have seen in our recent social media updates this

is Jet Art Aviation’s 10 year anniversary and

XZ130, our most in depth and ambitious project,

is a fitting milestone achievement for a company

that has developed a long standing association

with the Harrier. This is the latest in a long line of

restorations that Jet Art has carried out and we are

proud of every single aircraft project we’ve

completed but XZ130 really is a once in a lifetime

opportunity to own an incredible piece of British

aviation history in ground running condition.

Tornado F2A ZD902

December saw an exciting new addition to the Jet

Art stable. Our mission was to dismantle, load,

extract and transport 250 miles by road our latest

acquisition; the pristine Tornado F2A ZD902 also

known as ‘TIARA’ (Tornado Integrated Avionics

Research Aircraft). I don’t know about you but for

starters the name Tiara is certainly doing it for me!

TIARA is a very special and rare variant Tornado,

the trials work she conducted contributed hugely

to avionics evaluation and development for a host

of aircraft such as the Sea Harrier, Eurofighter and

Tornado as well as testing exciting new technology

in experimental trials such as airborne control of

UAVs. More about her history later but it’s safe to

say she did great things!

RB199 Afterburning Turbofan engines installed.

The best and most unusual thing about our new

arrival is that she is basically complete, in superb

condition with ridiculously low airframe hours.

Yes that’s engines installed, APU, Gearboxes,

Avionics, Hydraulics etc. The Cockpit is also in

superb order kitted out with state of the art

avionics having been modified with 3x multifunction

displays and a holographic head up

display. No other Tornado has a cockpit like it, this

is one of a kind – unique.

First flown in 1984 and delivered to the Royal Air

Force -as a F2 specification Tornado ADV (Air

Defence Variant) she was one of only 18 F2s built.

Rare then you might say but it does not stop there.

These 18 F2 Tornados were scheduled for upgrade

to F2A standard which was in essence the F3 but

with the older RB.199 103 engines (same as the

ones used in the original GR1 ground attack

version) but in the end only ZD902 airframe was

converted making this the only F2A variant in the

world. With the majority of ADV Tornado aircraft

being ‘reduced to produced’ spare parts and in

essence corporately scrapped this jet is now an

endangered species as far as aircraft preservation

goes and a real rare beastie bound to have serious

investment value for the future. What you are

looking at in all seriousness is basically the last

virtually complete RAF Tornado ADV in

existence. The end of an era it may be but this

beautiful aircraft is now out of captivity, in private

hands and available for sale.

Ummmm I hear you say…..cancel the Bugatti

Veyron order.

Please check their website out to learn more about

this aircraft.

Starfighter F104G

Finally, I’d like to take a quick look at a project

undertaken by Jet Art Aviation in July 2011. As

far as SBT are aware, this was a bit of a ‘buy on

impulse’ aircraft as they had very little experience

in this type of aircraft. They eventually sold the

aircraft to a buyer in Taiwan late that year.

The aircraft you see in the photo has the Luftwaffe

markings. The German Luftwaffe used the

Starfighter in many roles during the 1970’s from

attack, interceptor and neclear fighter/ bomber

wings. In fact the Luftwaffe actually operated

around 35% of F104 starfighters built.

The F104G project taken on by Jet Art Aviation

was the aircraft that really caught my eye. It’s

beautiful, sleek, missile look really captures the

developing Jets of the Cold War.

In summary, what can we say about Jet Art

Aviation. Only that I am extremely jealous of

these guys playing around with incredible aircraft

everyday. Seriously, they do an awesome job of

restoring these iconic aircraft to their true glory.

Their website is definately worth checking out to

find out more about their work.

Finally, we would like to thank Jet Art Aviation in

allowing us to feature them in the magazine. In

particular, I would personally like to thank

Cameron Wingate for his kindness and

communication at a particularly busy period.

If any one wants to know what to buy me for my

birthday, looking below could give you some ideas!

Tornado F2A ZD902 17 |

invested time and effort in preparing for the

launch. This shows the Councils support for

the Armed Forces Covenant and we are

ready to support the veterans in North


The North Lincs Veterans Community Hub

launched in Scunthorpe on Tuesday 18th

April as part of North Lincs Council's support

for veterans and their dependants under the

Armed Forces Covenant. North Lincs

Council made a property available rent free

for five years and provided furnishings,

tables, cabinets, laptops and a printer so the

Hub could provide a signposting and drop-in

centre near the centre of Scunthorpe. With

three meeting rooms and a lounge and

reception area and a kitchen, the Hub is open

as a drop-in centre on Tuesdays, Thursdays

and Fridays from 1000-1230 and 1330-1530

and is available on Mondays and

Wednesdays for veteran focused support

organisations to use the facility for a nominal


John Terry, Chairman of North Lincs Veterans

Community Hub CIC said, "this has all been

made possible by the support and generosity

of North Lincs Council and the hard work of

the willing band of volunteers who have

Councillor Julie Reed, the Armed Forces

Champion of North Lincolnshire said “I am

delighted that we are able to support our

armed forces with The Veterans’ hub, It is

one part of our commitment to the Armed

Forces Covenant. As an authority we are

grateful for those who serve across all sectors

and wish to ensure easy access to services

and support that may be needed as

families return to civilian life.

If you are a veteran or serving member of

H.M. Forces in the North Lincs area drop in

and see what we have to offer, you will be

made most welcome.

For further information contact us at:

North Lincs Veterans Community Hub CIC

31 Frances Street,


DN15 6NS

Tel: 01724 855333



Facebook @NLVCHCIC

All Photos courtesy of Scunthorpe Times

| 18

Veterans Breakfast Clubs

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 and the old address is pointed at the new site.

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


Sponsored Ladies Parachute


There are 75 days until 75 ladies of the

RAF Family complete a parachute jump

in aid of the RAF Association celebrating

the 75th anniversary of the RAF


How about sponsoring one of us...who do

you know?

Check us out here 19 |

Scotter VBC

10 veterans today

in the Scotter VBC,

the sandbags

came out again.

Good breakfast

Tks the white


Minneapolis AFV&PABC The

inaugural meeting of Minneapolis

Armed Forces, Veterans & Purple

Army Breakfast Club....A funky five in

attendance in Hell's Kitchen,

Minneapolis....complete with cocktails

Norfolk VBC

33 including a couple of

baby s at the Norfolk

breakfast club

| 20

Veterans Breakfast Clubs

Grimsby VBC

Another great morning at the

GVBC, the quiz was brilliant and

lots if laughs and banter, a big

thank you to John kitchen for

supplying the questions xx

Bristol VBC

Lovely breakfast

this morning 5

with support from

Save Our Soldier

MCVC Rotherham

17 in for breakfast today, including Cllr Ian Jones

the Armed Forces Champion popping in for his

regular breakfast and chat with everyone. The

numbers were a little lower than normal, this was

due to a few of the regulars setting up the

outreach trailer at the New York Yankee stadium

for Rotherham United's last home match of the

season. However this did not stop Keith having a

"little" snack or two to keep his energy levels up,

prior to helping out on the outreach trailer !! 21 |

A word from the Ed

Yet another month has passed and

the SbT yet again goes from

strength to strength. The big

news is the news that the Sandbag

Times now has it’s own

independant radio station

incorporated within the website.

The station is ran by Jim Wilde

who is now the multimedia

manager for the SBT Radio

Station. Within a very short time

we have attracted a great audience

and even been able to build a

brand new community

membership system within the

platform. Please pop along and

check the pages out and give Jim

as much support as possible.

Over the past few weeks we have

enjoyed a huge boost in

readership with our statistics

breaking records left, right and

centre. Don’t worry, there’s no

boasting here, just a huge thank

you to all that support us each

edition. We are obviously doing

something right. But pplease

continue to spread the word. By

telling your family and friends is

the best way to ensure that we

will continue to be able to support

our veterans. I would like to say

congratulations to our two poetry

winners, Chris Boyce and Jacob

Gibbin. Please check out their

awesome work in Poetry corner.

Both recieved a copy of ‘Before

Action’ courtesy of Pen & Sword

Books. I’d also like to

congratulate the winner of the

‘Raid of Remembrance’ signed

print. She has asked to remain

annonymous but well done

anyway. Talking about

competitions, apart from the

books in the Poetry corner, we are

also giving away two pair of adult

tickets to the Cosford Airshow

2017. Check out the pages at the

back for details. Finally, keep

checking back each week for

updates on the website, it’s

changing at a rapid rate with new

news and features. That’s it, see

you all next month, P x

The Government weren’t joking when they said

they were raising the age limit for joining up

Ways to find us

The Sandbag Times



A Song For A Hero

The Brand New Rock Opera which tells the truth of what

happens to our heroes when the killing ends. Packed with

incredible songs, breathtaking graphics and an emotional

rollercoaster of a story that will leave you asking

questions for a long time to come.”

Where Do They Go...

...When the Killing Ends

| 22


Coming Down In The Drink

Sean Feast

Coming Down in the Drink is

the story of Flight Lieutenant

John Brennan DFC.

John is an Irishman who need

not have fought in the war at all.

A sense of adventure took him to

London where he trained as a

chef before joining the RAF and

qualifying as a wireless

operator/air gunner.

Posted to 148 Squadron in the

Middle East in 1941, John was

soon in the fray as the front

gunner of a Wellington, flying

daily sorties to Benghazi in what

was known as the mail run,

bombing enemy ships that were

offloading vital supplies to Rommel and the Afrika Korps. As much at

risk from faulty engines as enemy action, John completed a tour of

almost 300 hours of operational flying, including an operation in March

1942 in which his Wellington suffered an engine failure and came down

in the sea. He thus became a member of the Goldfish Club.

Posted home and commissioned, he spent time instructing in Scotland,

surviving yet another accident in which his pilot crashed into a

mountainside. Volunteering for a second tour,

John joined 78 Squadron in the summer of

1944, being crewed with one of the flight

commanders. He completed his tour, this time

as a wireless operator, in March 1945, by

which time they were operating in daylight in

support of the Allied advance. He was awarded

the DFC.

John is one of the only surviving wartime

members of the Goldfish Club, and has a

fascinating record of 63 operations that

covers both the forgotten bombing war in the

Middle East in 1941/42, operating from

strips of sand in the barren desert, to a main

force heavy bomber squadron in the snow of

Yorkshire at the end of the war.



Anyone who listens to the Worcester Blues Scene

will be no stranger to the music of Babajack. Their

laidback style with haunting folk lyrics is a perfect

combination. Their album ‘Rooster’ captures the

soul of Babajack so well. It has been around for a

while but it has never lost its magic.


Arnie Hammer

Annabelle Wallis

Tom Cullen

AMarine Sergeant finds himself in a

fight for survival as he must stay

standing in the same spot after

treading on an active mine.

He becomes reliant on his instict as a soldier to

survive the elements and threats of a hostile

enviroment for 52 hours as he waits for the

rescue team to end his ordeal.

Back issues of The Sandbag Times are available to download here 23|

Sandbag Times Radio

Hi folks, doesn't time fly when you are enjoying yourself, and

that is definately what we are doing here at Sandbag Times

Radio! It seems like only yesterday that I penned a few words of

introduction, and here I am again, but so much has happened.

The final transition into the folds of the Sandbag Times has now

been made, and there are a few tweaks, nips and tucks to be

made, but on the whole, the transition has been a smooth and

successful one. Much of this has to be attributed to the drive

and ambition of the Editor, Pablo, who works tirelessly to make

sure we cover all the new angles and issues that affect our

Armed Services and Veterans.

to so many of you from around the world, and hear your

messages of support.

In closing I would like to say there are exciting and interesting

times ahead, with a few innovative projects up our sleeves that, if

we pull them off, will definately be a first in this competitive

arena. Until next month, take care, and be sure to tell your

friends and family about us! Yours in bandwidth heaven.......

Jim Wilde

On the Radio front, the schedule will start to grow very shortly as

new DJ's are added, to offer a much wider variety of music and


DJ Andy Keyes now has his own Country Show which airs on

Tuesday and Thursday at 1pm, and is a great mix of some of the

old classics, and features new artists and bands that have

recently entered the scene. Include with this Dj's Graham

Barnes (live interviews), Karen Jary, "Ally Bongo", and Martin

Favell (Mr Northen Soul) and we have an eclectic mix of both

music and personalities.

We still need your input though, as we strive to be the best of

the web, and your "go to" for internet radio supporting our

troops. We are always on the lookout for new DJ's, stories and

poetry, that can be showcased here in the magazine, and

broadcast to the masses!

In an upcoming show, we will be featuring some unsigned

artists, that have either written or performed their own songs,

music, or both, and will give them an exclusive first play on SBT

Radio. This has probably been covered by Pablo or Jane in

another part of this publication, but keep your eyes and ears

tuned in to the station and your favourite monthly mag for further


Thank you for the warm welcome you have given me, and the

ongoing support you give to both the Magazine, and the Radio

Station. Without you guys on the receiving end of what we do,

we would not be here at all. The reach of the Magazine and

Airwaves is far and wide, and we are humbled each day to talk

| 24

April Winner No: 2


April Winner No:1


by Christopher Boyce, Ex RAF Gulf War

1990/91 Veteran

WHENEVER you feel down and depressed,

whether you were Army, Royal Air Force,

Royal Navy or Royal Marines,

no matter who, what, where, when or how ,

we lived as one, we fought as one and we feel as


Every time a fellow brother or sister dies or is

injured no matter what,


Think back to the news or the Facebook pages

or Twitter feeds that you have read,






How many of you wish you could be there ?

How many do go and show their respect?

I bet if you could every single veteran would be

at every single fellow veterans funeral till the

day it is their funeral !!

Why? Because WE ALL FEEL IT.

The next time you turn on the TV or look at the

Facebook page or Twitter feed you see that 100,

500 a 1000 people turned up, the local Royal

British Legion Standard Bearer went along,

How many of you smile then thinking "we gave

that brother or sister a good send off"? Because


Whether we are Old or Young,

whether we are bedridden, in a Wheelchair,

Limbless, Blind, Deaf, Suffer Mental Illness,


Have been poisoned by cocktails of drugs that

supposed to save us, keep us safe and well ,

what ever our conditions,


So when you receive that letter from the

Veterans Agency, SPVA, ATOS, DWP, ESA or

whoever and it say No, Never give in,

No Retreat, No Surrender, you fight and fight,

you write and write, you ring and you talk, but

remember this,

Never let them grind you down,

Why Because WE ALL FEEL IT.

So whether we served a day, a month, a year, a

decade or a lifetime we are members of thee

greatest band of brothers and sisters we will

always answer the call,

And Why? Because WE ALL FEEL IT.


Win This

Fantastic Title

Great War centenary books fell like shells but Before Action,

Charlotte Zeepvats meticulous biography of young war poet

Noel Hodgson, hit hardest...Usually Zeepvat writes about royalty;

here she describes true nobility.

Tip-tap whisper steps

On limed splint

Boarded oak,

Sang stained apron

Of blade creased starch.

Cauled birth sheet

Set square

Unto the dimming living light,

Sigh and moan

For mother dear

Beneath angel bedded arch.

The cut and thrust

Of hero battle

Is dead, undone.

No man here

Will sabre swing

This sallowed night,

They are but flesh,

Blinded in eyes

Seeking heaven’s light.

Only bonnet maid

Is witness

To their final earthly plight.

In this haven of healing

A moving shadow is clear,

It’s halo lit

‘Neath glowing golden lamp.

Beneath humble acropolis

Athena seeks her wisdom

As the owl scours

The burnished fields of battle.

Devotion in hair twined armlet

Girths a wrist

Extends the hand of mercy.

For on this Crimean dawn

The nightingale has risen

And awakened the winged nurse

Upon which healing history

Will be forever borne.

Terry Buchanan

To have a chance at winning this fabulous book, simply email

your poetry to:

| 26

Poetry Corner

Outpost Sentinel

As our pennon snaps in the blustery mistral

Atop the parapets, I warily survey

Through the visor of my sallet

Sylvan environs enveloped in dense fog

Concealing the sub rosa approach

Of hordes rabid and aching

To pillage village and town alike,

Famed for sparing none in their urge

To collect skulls from which to guzzle

After saluting their cruel and vulgar god.

Behind me benighted fortress dwellers

Carry on their routines, coppering wares

And forging falcate instruments to trade

With serfs from neighboring fiefs for victuals;

When abruptly the alarm resounds,

Hapless peasants prone to panic

Shriek their outcry then scurry for shelter

Posthaste as survival instincts take hold.

Surmounting remoras, our assailants

Batter the palisade with thunderous rams

And charge up the acclivity, hurrying

To escalade the walls of our pregnable citadel

At the border's bleeding edge, a remote bastion

Of civilization facing barbarian lands

Whose frothing savages now breach

Our midst and wreak havoc and spill blood

With neither scruple nor remorse until at last

Troop sorties burst through sally ports

And counter with steady hands in a mêlée

Of thrust and parry, steel, flesh, and gore,

Culminating in triumph as a crimson sun plunges

Beneath the distant horizon, flames are doused,

And the dead are numbered by moonlight.

Comes the morn and I dispatch by swift rider

A terse report meant to outlast the ages:

Mist portends peril, smoke ensues it,

But guardians vigilant and valiant herald the morrow.

Brandon Marlon


Sound of gunfire boomed all around

Amid the ruins of dilapidated buildings

Men in combat uniforms lurked in anticipation

Resembled zombies which gave eerie feelings

Two snipers in ghillie suits

Face smeared in camouflage paints

Wait on their bellies with telescopic guns

Attention focused like praying saints

Their target was an ammunition store

About hundred meters down the road

Their orders were to kill the guards

And cause the bombs to explode

The guards saw them and fired

Hitting one of them in the chest

The other came to his rescue

To save his life he tried his best

Blood splattered across his face

His clothes became crimson red

His vision began to get blurred

Due to the amount of blood he bled

He recalled their meeting the night before

He grew emotional about daughter six years old

He wanted to return home after the war

And spend time with her, that’s what he told

He looked up and said in a melancholy voice

“Time’s is running out, I can’t see her again

Please meet her after I’m gone and tell her

I tried to preserve my life for her, but in vain”

As the last words escaped his trembling lips

His body became still as he dropped his head

His bloodied body lay on his friend’s lap

With eyes open, but he was dead

His friend emptied the gun on the ammunition


As a sign of solidarity with his departed soul

It exploded with a loud boom into a ball of fire

And looked like a huge chunk of burning coal

He lay there for sometime ruminating

Trying to come to terms with reality

The other members of his unit arrived

And removed them from the debris

Subroto Sinha

The Scarred, Wounded Man

They said it was wrong to fight in the war,

“We must stop it now, with killing no more.

Give peace a chance, let God us adore,

Man is not bad, let love be the cure.”

So a truce was agreed by the powerful men,

Which let them rearm, while the world said Amen,

‘Til a maniac’s bomb exploded and then

The fighting and dying started over again.

And the world shook its head and said we deplore

The hatred and violence that we all abhor.

If the powerful men can’t bring in a law,

What on earth can be done to finish the war?

Then the General said, “You must give me the


Who are ready to fight anywhere, any when,

And support them you must, it’s the sword not the


That will finish the war and bring peace again.”

It’s boots on the ground that will finish the war.

It’s the man with the gun who will even the score.

It’s the scarred wounded man, just his family


Who will end all the killing and justice restore.

Clive Sanders

The Ammo Dump Guard

Even at nineteen I could read

the pain of exile etched

down in their eyes.

Where rank insignia should have gleamed

on their lapels,

smooth silver disks glistened

to signify

their rank, lost long ago,

these worn-out Polish exiles

lucky enough to have landed

in POW camps when the Russians came.

Too dangerous to go back,

too great a chance of Katyn Forest

once again. They stayed

and wore their chocolate-colored uniforms,

found work as unarmed guards

for the US and the German armies.

At ammo dumps, supply depots,

they guarded in the dawn, in

morning fog, at Kassel,

Schweinfurt and at Graffenwoehr.

My officers saluted the old guard.

Their dignity had not deserted them.

David W. Landrum

Send your Poems into us at 27 |

RAF Cosford Air show


LAUNCH - 19.04.17

Visitors to this year’s RAF Cosford Air Show can once again be

transported back in time as the popular Vintage Village returns on

the showground, bigger and better than ever before!

This year’s Village will showcase the 1960s; one of the most

defining eras of the 20th century. Marilyn Summers, Air Show

Deputy Director, said, “We are very pleased to welcome the

University of Wolverhampton back as sponsor of the Vintage

Village. Staff and students will be bringing along some exciting

displays including a 1960s hospital ward and a fashion show. The

Vintage Village always gives our visitors the chance to learn about

the history of the time in a fun atmosphere and we have some

really exciting things planned!” This year’s live stage pays tribute

to the stars of the 1960s with a great mix of performers. Themed

food and drink outlets including Lily’s Secret Vintage Tea Room

will help set the atmosphere. There will be a chance to reminisce

in the Kids Fun Zone, try a spot of retail therapy with a host of

Vintage trade stalls and test your skills at the 1966 World Cup

penalty shoot-out!

RAF Cosford Air Show is a fantastic family day out with something

for everyone to enjoy. Tickets are on sale now and organisers are

encouraging attendees to purchase their tickets soon as the Air

Show is, once again, an Advance Ticket Only event. Adult tickets

cost £25.00 and accompanied under-16s enter for free



The flying displays planned for the RAF Cosford Air Show 2017

were today boosted by the exciting news that the popular

Chinook & Apache helicopters would be performing in the skies

over Shropshire on Sunday 11th June.

The Royal Air Force has one of the largest fleet of CH-47 Chinook

helicopters in the world, primarily used for trooping, resupply, and

battlefield Casualty Evacuation, the aircraft can carry up to 55

troops. However, despite its size, the Chinook is an extremely

agile aircraft and the flying display will showcase its surprising

manoeuvrability to Air Show visitors.

The Army Air Corps will also be bringing their impressive WAH-64

Apache to the Air Show, with the Attack Helicopter Display Team

set to wow the crowds, with their flying display complimented by

stunning ground based pyrotechnics. The Apache attack

helicopter carries a mix of weapons including rockets, Hellfire

missiles and a 30mm chain gun, making it one of the Army’s most

capable pieces of equipment. As well as performing in the flying

display, there will also be an Apache parked in the static displays

to allow visitors to get a closer look at the impressive helicopter.

Both helicopter types are attending the Air Show as part of the

‘Battlefield Support’ theme, showcasing aircraft which have

proved vital in recent conflicts. The Royal Air Force’s newest

support helicopter, the Puma HC2, will also be at the Air Show on

static display, as part of the Battlefield Support ground displays.

Air Show Chairman, Wing Commander Chris Jones said, “We’re

really excited to have so many combat helicopters from the UK

armed forces on show this year, both in the air and on the ground.

With Merlin, Wildcat, Griffin & Squirrel helicopters already

confirmed to attend, visitors will be able to see a great selection of

helicopters from across the UK Armed Forces on Sunday 11th

June. As well as the array of military helicopters we are pleased to

welcome a selection of civilian helicopters including the last

airworthy Westland Whirlwind alongside its current counterpart,

the AW189 used by HM Coastguard for Search and Rescue


With the Air Show rapidly approaching, those wishing to attend are

encouraged to purchase their tickets soon, as they will not be

available to purchase at the gate. Air Show Tickets, priced £25.00,

are currently available from the Air Show website and selected retail

outlets including the RAF Museum. Accompanied under-16s enter

the Air Show for free, making the event a superb family day out.’

Traders interested in booking a pitch for the Vintage Fair should

email for further details.

A host of motor enthusiasts will be in attendance with some

fantastic vehicles including the RAF Mini Club bringing along

some wonderful examples of the iconic 1960s brand.

Aircraft enthusiasts will not be disappointed with the static line-up

planned for the Vintage Village including a number of iconic

aircraft from the period including an O-2 Skymaster and Jet

Provost. New for this year will be a cockpit sections display, with

exhibits to include a cockpit from an English Electric Lightning. 29 |


Yes, the SBT is giving away 2 pairs of Adult tickets (Children under 16 go free) for this years

incredible Cosford Airshow. With flying displays from the Typhoon Eurofighter, the Red Arrows,

plus a whole host of aircraft, old and new, static displays, funfair and an incredible trade area.

To have a chance at winning a pair of tickets, simply identify the aircraft sillouettes on these two

pages and send your answers into Don’t miss out on a great show.

1 2

3 4

5 6

| 30


7 8

9 10

11 12

13 14

Closing Date for competition

Friday 12th May 2017

Winners will be announced in

June’s Sandbag Times.

All decisions of the judges are final

GooD LuCk!! 31|

Coming Up In Next Months Issue...

From Army Air Corps to International Space


The SBT takes a look at the career of Tim Peake

The Braking Strategy

How to slow your life down from anxiety and PTSD

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