The Veterans’ Magazine
Issue 34 | September 2017
Why is there a problem?
SBT News Update
Plus all The Latest National & International
News from the Armed Forces & Veterans World
Ken Brooks Osteopath
BSc. (Hons) Osteopathic Medicine ND DO
FOR TREATMENT WITH:
• Back and neck pain
• Shoulder, elbow, wrist & hand problems
• Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs)
• Hip, knee & traumatic injuries
• Plus much more...
Call us on 01905 22264
Or email on:
| 2 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk
Conflict warning from Jeremy Corbyn
Lancaster to be recovered from lake
Invictus Torch lit
The SBT Says...
Jeremy Corbyn is 100%
correct in what he has said.
This is a situation we cannot
be part of. The escalating
tensions has to be defussed
and military action must be
avoided at all costs. For all
of our sakes. Please let us
know what you think.
www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 3 |
| 4 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk
www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 5 |
like to get
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.
FDA BA BENG MSC MBACP (ACR)
Approved by the Help for Heroes Research Approvals Committee and
Anglia Ruskin University’s Ethics Committee
For more information please contact me on
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
| 6 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk
www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 7 |
The Science of
By Peter Macey
and has taken me from Portsmouth to Pervijze
and from Ulverston to Ypres by way of many
museums, battlefields, private collections,
libraries and research centres. I have also been
fortunate to have the support of the women’s
families and leading historians.
Louise Jordan is a singer, songwriter, musician
and composer whose interests include history
and the tradition of interpreting stories through
Louise has toured in the UK and Europe since
2010 sharing traditional folk songs, original
material and stories from her native Hampshire,
Wiltshire, the UK and beyond. With a particular
interest in the representation of women Louise
places interaction at the core of her practise,
inspired by the ability of music to generate discussion
No Petticoats Here
No Petticoats Here is a project that tells the stories
of remarkable women of the First World
War through song. The research, songwriting,
composition and delivery took eighteen months
I have been touring with No Petticoats Here
since 2015 and in July 2017 I was awarded
funding by Arts Council England to develop the
performance into a theatre concert show with a
prerecorded soundscape and stage props
learning from audience feedback. I am a
Creative Lab Associate to the New Theatre
Royal Portsmouth who have also supported
me in this project.
In discovering the story of the 18th century
smuggleress Lovey WarneLovey Warne,
Louise stumbled on the inspiration for No
Petticoats Here at Ringwood Brewery. A
Hampshire hero with a beer named in her honour,
Louise set about telling Lovey’s story
through song and was overwhelmed with the
response the song received in the UK, Holland
and Germany. In search of local female heroes,
Louise was introduced by theatre maker Lizzie
Crarer to Dorothy Lawrence and became intent
on researching and sharing the extraordinary
stories of women who lived during the First
At a performance of No Petticoats Here you
can expect to hear songs that span the full
range of human emotion from the triumphant
waltz Pride of the Army about matron Ada
Yorke, to the call to arms of Toil, Women, Toil –
a marching song inspired by the army of
women workers at Priddy’s Hard in Hampshire;
from the urgency of Queen of Spies about
British agent and French national Louise de
Bettignies, to the haunting Endless Days about
Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm who set up a
first aid post on the Front Line in the bombed
out village of Pervijse.
Louise’s research has taken her to Flanders, to
the battlefields of the Somme, through the
doors of many museums and research centres
and brought her into contact with some incredible
historians and authors as well as the relatives
of some of these incredible women.
During live performances of No Petticoats Here
Louise draws on this research to share anecdotes
and photographs which bring these stories
If you would like to know more about Louise or
No Petticoats Here then please visit her websites
at the links below.
You may also like to catch louise at one of her
performances. For full details click here
Louise Jordan’s Website
No Petticoats Here Website
| 8 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk
Harrison Clark Rickerbys signed the Armed Forces Covenant in
November 2014 and last year, Richard Morgan, Partner and Head
of HCR’s Defence, Security and the Forces Sector and Rebecca
Kirk, a Solicitor in HCR’s Employment Department accepted a
prestigious silver award on behalf of the firm as part of the
Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) Employer Recognition Scheme.
But what is it all about? Why would
businesses and employers want to sign
the Covenant? What are the business
benefits or business boo-boos of employing
members of the Armed Forces community?
And, most importantly, what does the Covenant
mean for those who have served?
What is the Covenant?
Put simply, the Covenant is a promise from the
nation ensuring that those who serve or have
served in the Armed Forces and their families
(known generally as the Armed Forces
community), are treated fairly. By signing the
Covenant it means that a business is committed
to supporting the Armed Forces community by
recognising the value that serving personnel,
veterans and military families contribute to our
businesses and our communities.
What can businesses and
What a business actually does to demonstrate
its commitment under the Covenant is a
commercial decision but what is important is to
actually do something! It is not just about
signing! The Covenant is not a signature in a
shiny frame to display proudly by Reception. It
is a commitment. From a business perspective,
it is commitment to ensuring that no member of
the Armed Forces community suffers a
commercial disadvantage because of their
service. Be proud, of course, but proud of the
action you take as a business in order to
ensure that members of the Armed Forces
community are treated fairly and of the support
that your business offers to Veterans.
What might that commitment to be proud of
look like? Well, to suggest just a few examples,
• Commit to ignoring pre-conceptions about
members of the Armed Forces community.
• Offer guaranteed interviews to Veterans and
other members of the Armed Forces community
who meet the minimum selection criteria.
• Recognise equivalent military skills and
qualifications when interviewing for new
• Focus recruitment efforts on the Armed Forces
community, such as advertising through
‘service-friendly’ recruitment agencies, military
charities and publications such as the Sandbag
• Commit to finding alternative employment within
the business in another location, if an employee
is forced to relocate owing to a partner or family
member’s military service.
• Look sympathetically on requests for holidays
before, during or after a partner or family
member’s overseas deployment.
• Accommodate reservist training commitments.
• Accommodate mobilisation of reservists, if they
are required to deploy.
• Act sympathetically and with understanding
towards members of the Armed Forces
community who have been bereaved, whose
loved ones have been injured or who might
have caring commitments owing to their loved
ones injuries and consider practical assistance
such as unpaid leave or additional flexibility in
an employee’s role.
• Make services easily accessible to members of
the Armed Forces community by holding
briefing days, showcasing at resettlement
events, attending garrison welfare offices and
liaising with military charities about the needs of
Veterans in their community.
• Offer discounts on good and services to
members of the Armed Forces community –
particularly in relation to services that are
particularly relevant, such as legal services.
Why would businesses do it?
The business benefits of supporting and, in
particular, employing members of the Armed
Forces Community are numerous.
Former service personnel have a raft of
transferable skills acquired as a result of their
military service. The Armed Forces expect high
standards of professionalism, behaviour, selfdiscipline
and selfless commitment of all
serving personnel, together with expert ability in
their chosen field. The standard of training
given to military personnel across all services is
second to none, whether that be trade training
for specific disciplines or leadership and
management training which is required of all
but the most junior ranks.
Military families are, by their very nature often
adaptable, resourceful and resilient. They have
to forge relationships in the most unlikely
circumstances, often in fast changing
environments and that can result in great
people skills and self confidence.
And, let’s not forget, a great many Veterans and
service spouses are highly qualified to boot.
| 10 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk
The legal bit.
The Armed Forces community does not have a
legal definition, nor does being a member of the
Armed Forces community confer any legal
rights – except, that is, for reservists. As such,
the obligations on employers towards most
members of the Armed Forces community and
Veterans in particular, are the same as those
which are owed to any other employee. It is for
that reason that additional commitments under
the Covenant, of the kind outlined above, are in
our view required.
With regard to reservists, in the absence of a
contractual obligation to do so, reservists are
not under any obligation to tell their employer
that they are a member of the Reserve Forces.
Employers are under no obligation to allow an
employee time off (paid or otherwise) for
reservist training or mobilisation. However,
under the Reserve Forces (Safeguard of
Employment) Act 1985, employers are under an
obligation to re-instate any employee who was
employed in the 4 weeks prior to their
mobilisation on terms that are no less
favourable than those which would have
applied had the employee not been mobilised,
where it is reasonable and practicable to do so.
If not, employers must offer the most favourable
terms practicable. Either way, reinstatement is a
must, for a minimum protected period, at least.
The period of mobilisation does not count for
the purpose of calculating the employee’s
continuous service under the Employment
Rights Act 1996. However, the mobilisation
period does not break continuous service but
instead simply “stops the clock”.
Finally, Section 48 of the Defence Reform Act
2014 removed the 2 year qualifying period for
unfair dismissal claims where the reason (or, if
more than one, the principal reason) for the
dismissal is, or is connected with, the
employee's membership of a reserve force.
In our experience, employers and businesses
more generally would be well advised to sign
the Armed Forces Covenant and, more
importantly, to follow through and deliver on
the commitments they make when signing the
Covenant! It is only by taking action under the
Covenant, not simply signing it, that we can
ensure that members of the Armed Forces
community are treated fairly and how a
mutually beneficial relationship between the
Armed Forces community and commerce can
With Veterans, serving personnel and military
spouses amongst our ranks and our client
base, we can honestly say that delivering on
your commitments under the Covenant has the
potential to be truly mutually beneficial!
For further information on
this article please contact
Rebecca Kirk in the
Tel: 01432 349709
Tell us #HCRlaw
Our defence, security and the forces team has been selected for their
skills and passion in providing legal advice to the sector we also draw
on the expertise of consultants who have many years of involvement
with the military and related industries.
Richard Morgan, Partner, Head of Defence Security and the Forces
Talk to us: 01432 349670 | Visit us online: www.hcrlaw.com Join the discussion:
Harrison Clark Rickerbys inc Gordon Lutton is a trading name of Harrison Clark Rickerbys Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the SRA
1. Colin Turkington 265 points
2. Ashley Sutton, 261
3, Gordon Sheddon, 253
4. Rob Collard, 248
5. Tom Ingram, 204
6. Matt Neal, 172
1. BMW, 589 points
2. Honda, 513
3. Subaru, 511
4. Vauxhall, 389
5. MG, 243
1. Team BMW, 501 points
2. Halfords Yuasa Racing, 420
3. Adrian Flux Subaru Racing, 363
4. Speedworks Motorsport, 202
5. Eurotech Racing, 161
Dear, oh dear. Matt just cannot get a break.
I really felt for him on Saturday whilst
watching the qualifying for the Knockhill
round of this years BTCC. I think the only
thing that actually got worn out on the car
was his headlights and the flashing lever. No
matter how hard he tried he could not get a
clear lap to get a decent time down and in
the end ended up 21st on the grid.
Race 1 was something to behold, from 21st
on the grid, he carved his way through the
traffic to finish 9th. Memories from the last
race with Gordon Sheddon doing something
Race 2 started off with complete mayhem
with a nasty little pile up taking many of the
drivers out on the first lap, Matt took a nasty
shunt in the rear which didn’t do his car too
much good for the restart after the red flag.
However, a fight for 7th position with rookie
Josh Price saw Matt spinning off into the
gravel. This meant he was demoted to 23rd
place for the start of the final race of the day.
Race 3 really proved the determination and
competitive spirit of Matt Neal. .From 23rd
on the grid, Matt carved through the traffic
like the proverbial knife through butter. The
Halfords Yuasa Honda Civic R was truly on
fire and made light work of a great number of
very talented drivers. The result was an 8th
place finish. So well driven Matt, no podiums
but be proud of the way you drove Luck will
change in time and wins will happen. They
Matt’s team mate Gordon Sheddon also had
a bit of a mixed weekend with an 11th, 6th
and then finally a 2nd place podium.
The low point of the weekend, I have to
admit was watching Louise Goodman
interviewing Jason Plato. That guy seriously
needs to learn how to talk on TV without
swearing and coming out with insultive hand
gestures. Day time TV Mr Plato!!, Kids are
watching. Act like a man and not a spoilt
brat. Most of all, learn some respect.
Anyway, here’s Matt:
"We were pleased to salvage a few good
results at Snetterton last time out as it was
a really tricky weekend. It always felt like a
bit of damage limitation there but we’re very
much in the hunt at this stage of the season
– it’s extremely close. Personally, I just
need a bit of luck on my side, but at least
we go into the event at Knockhill with a
lighter car than some of our rivals. I’m
extremely hungry and despite there being a
bit of a points deficit, it is far from over!
Knockhill is completely different from
anything else on the calendar and it’s quite
a crazy challenge for all of us. It’s extremely
close out there and every fraction of a
second counts, particularly with it being
such a tight and twisty track." Looking
forward to Rockingham in 2 weeks.
| 12 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk
Jax’s bit. It’ll soon be Christmas!
Well now, not much to report from your everso-interesting-sponsors
– just problems,
issues, bills, stress, disappointment, did I
mention bills, blah, blah and all that – I’m
sure you all know what I mean!
Happily people are still pouring through the
door for some torture in the chamber, and as
long as they leave walking and moving better
than when they came in, we’re happy. The
worst thing at the moment is when someone
says I’ll make an appointment for 3 months
and I have to turn the diary all the way to
November, it’s making me feel queasy –
WHERE has this year gone and WHY is it
flying by extra fast? Horrifying - it’ll be
Two nice things have happened, Ken was
presented with a clear-faced beauty of a First
World War trench watch by an aunt.
Amazingly it’s still working well, possibly
because it’s Swiss made - and I’ve not put on
as much weight as I thought because I’ve
discovered our scales are about 10lbs out!
Yay. Small mercy’s! Lol.
Oh, and how (genuinely) shocked was I to
see my poems unexpectedly all over the
poetry page last issue, aww shucks, felt
good, but embarrassing at the same time.
Thank you to Pablo and Jane for that, and
trying to encourage me to keep
writing....anyhoo, another new and innocent
victim just came through the door so must
attend to them before throwing them to old
The SBT would like to publically thank Black Halo
Designs for their kind donations over the recent months
www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 13 |
Speaking to a collegue, not so long ago,
highlighted the problem veterans have in
Wales. Considering the amount of Welsh
Regiments and the strong traditions with the
Armed Forces, one would be forgiven for
thinking that Veterans Care would be a
priority. Not so.
The SBT took a look at the ‘state of play’
with regard to charities and support services
to get an idea of how a veteran stood if he
Of course there is always the Royal British
Legion and SSAFA for many areas of
assistance but when we look particularly at the
subject of mental health, where do they go?
Combat Stress has a big hole in it’s
operation when we look at Wales, I must say
up front, it is not hard to see why. Funding
has been cut so much over the past few
years, it is a wonder how they still operate at
all in the UK. In 2015 The Ministry of
Defence has cut its annual allowance to
Combat Stress from
£2.8million a year to
referrals going up by
28% during that
this is across the
whole of the UK.
So where does that
leave Wales? In short,
with very little. There
are no operational
centres in Wales for
Combat Stress, In fact, I
am informed that
Combat Stress do not
operate at all in Wales..
This is something that
cannot continue. Surely
that is a problem that
needs to be
addressed in the
Ivory Towers of
Let’s take a look
at the NHS and
their input into the
problem. The NHS has a
team set up called ‘Veterans NHS Wales’.
As you would expect it is a complete NHS
run facility with the main stay of referrals
heading into this direction. The fact that
they are trying to help should never be
overlooked, however it is not ideal in the
fact that ithas no emergency facility such as
Combat Stress and it appears that many
will be referred on. Where to? I wonder. It
also clearly staes on their website that
“Each Local Health Board (LHB) has
appointed an experienced clinician as a
Veteran Therapist (VT) with an interest or
experience of military (mental) health
problems.” Again I see this as a
government problem, not an NHS issue but
therapists that deal with veterans need to
be trained in such things not just have
some exprience or interest. This could
potentially be damaging for the veteran and
the therapist. Maybe this is something to
think about in the future.
I also want to take a look at an excellent
charity who had the right idea and were
performing well in Wales called ‘Change
Step.’ Their organisation is very well
structured and have had an awful lot of
succes in their operations. Unfortunately,
the funding they recieved has come to an
endwhich is unfortunate. Thankfully,
partnerships have meant that they can
survive to fight another day but yet again, I
ask myself could the government and MOD
do more to help them?.
All in all, Veterans Care in Wales is very
poor to say the least. The nearest Combat
Stress Centre is Newport, Shropshire. Far
from ideal. They may even have to travel
as far as Leatherhead or Scotland. Again,
far from ideal.
The current situations has seen massive
increases of veterans coming forward for
help with massively decreasing resources.
So what is the answer? To me, the answer
is simple. Funding!
We hear that there is no money available
for this and for that but still we see massive
wage packets for those who don’t need it.
That money could be betterspent in areas
that are struggling such as our Veterans
Charities. Even better, Government and
MOD, get off your arses and get involved.
After all, you may be asking more men and
women of this country to fight in a conflict
very soon and if you cannot show them that
they will be looked after when it’s over...
Well, ask your selves, would you fight?
| 14 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk
Most readers of this magazine will know my
love for music, especially the acoustic guitar.
What many don’t know is my love for Celtic
music. There is something in the way that
it’s played that just takes you somewhere
else. Just recently, I have indulged myself in
trying to learn this wonderful style of music
on my own guitar. Unbeknown to me it was
mostly played in a different tuning that we, in
the game, know as DADGAD. So, off to
Youtube i went to investigate and pick up a
few tips. This is where I first heard Stephen
Wake. The first piece I heard was something
I had heard from Michael Flatley’s ‘Lord of
the Dance’. The piece was called Cry of the
Celts. The first thing that struck me was the
effortless way he played, really capturing that
The more I went into his music the more I
wanted to listen. I finally came aross the
track ‘Journey’s End’. As I said previously, I
found this just as I was writing the article for
the RC Sherriff play being performed by
MESH Theatre. I have to say that this was a
wonderful period in my life being involved in
both, allbeit, just listening to Stephen’s
music. Just a thought, while I write this.
MESH Theatre very kindly asked if they
could use the music from A Song For A Hero
for their promo, I of course was very
honoured and very excited that my music
was going to be used but (and I know I’m
sacrificing the honour with this) but I would
ask them to listen to Journey’s End by
Stephen. Seem’s like a marriage made in
heaven, you never know, maybe there’s
room for both.
what happened, and visited Verdun a few
years back. I can remember that he was
very moved by it.
It is amazing how easily we forget how much
we owe those who payed their lives for us”.
What more can I say apart from listen to
Stephen and buy his albums. He has
another album out called ‘Ciùil Amuigh’ also
available and just as fantastic. For more
information please go to his Bandcamp
page. Thank you to Stephen for this
amazing talent and your gift of music.
Anyway, I digress. I emailed Stephen and
asked him if we could feature him in the
mag, what an incredible young man. Very
humble and very kind. He also allowed me
in to the fact that he had a connection with
the first world war. If I may, I will let Stephen
tell it in his own words.
“My great uncle died in the Battle of Verdun,
and my father, Verdun Wake, was named
after the place where he died. My father was
very keen on learning about the history of
www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 15 |
I bumped into Clare Villar quite by
accident on LinkedIn not so long
ago. I saw she was a military
artist so, naturally, I had to know
more. A few emails and a few
chats later my mind was set. I
had to feature this extremely
creative lady in the magazine.
Especially when she had just
commissioned a work of art of my
old mob, which, I must add, is
I must admit, upon first speaking to her, I
did get a little jealous as she told me she
had recently painted an animal portrait of
Nick Mason’s dog. Yes, that’s right, Nick
Mason, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason. I
couldn’t be more jealous if I tried, haha.
Anyway, without further ado let me
introduce you to this months centre page
spread. The amazing work of Clare Villar.
Clare Villar creates painstaking
calligraphy-based artwork and is just
putting the finishing touches to a piece to
mark the 100th anniversary of the battle of
Vimy Ridge, a victory for the Canadian
Corps in World War One that saw Prince
Charles, William and Harry travel to
France for commemorations in recent
It is just the latest in a long line of
commissions for her work which have
taken off since she took voluntary
redundancy from Shropshire Council in
Her recent work has focussed on creating
artworks made up of names, often
hundreds, of either current or fallen
soldiers for military regiments, though she
also specialises in impeccably detailed
studies of animals, and has been
commissioned by non other than Nick
Mason, drummer with the legendary Pink
Floyd, to paint his family dogs in the past.
But she said it was the military art that was
currently getting attention.
"I never imagined in my wildest dreams
that my military artwork would have taken
off as it has and my only regret is that I
didn't give up my day job years ago.
"I have just completed my first Canadian
commission for the Kings Own Calgary
Regiment and I was asked to present it to
the colonel in June in Calgary, which was
filmed by the Calgary television network.
"This was commissioned to honour the
150th anniversary of Canada, the 75th
| 16 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk
anniversary of the Raid on Dieppe and
most importantly to commemorate the
battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917.
"I am now working on the 1st Battalion
Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment who
are based in Germany and also the
Grenadier Guards's roll of honour.
"I have approximately six or seven in the
pipeline with enquiries flooding in.
"Each piece is hand written in calligraphy
and hand painted, the largest commission
to date has been approximately 600
names, each piece so far has included to
date between 400 and 600 names.
"I have another Canadian enquiry which
would include 1,300 names."
Clare, who lives in Yarpole near
Leominster with her husband John and
daughters Katie and Amelia worked for
Shropshire Council's environment
protection department in Ludlow for
fourteen years took voluntary redundancy
to pursue her dream of being a full-time
At that time she had already produced a
roll of honour for a friend, a colonel with
the Royal Mercian Lancastrian Yeomanry,
to give to his regiment as his leaving
present in 2002, which took about nine
months to produce.
She said: "It sat in Dawley Bank barracks,
Telford, for 12 years whereupon in 2014 it
got spotted by the Colonel of the Wessex
Yeomanry who asked me to produce one
for his regiment – which was presented to
"On the back of that, Sir General Richard
Shirreff commissioned me to produce one
for his regiment the King Royal Hussars
which was presented to Princess Anne in
Since then she has also done work for
The 1st Battalion Scots Guards and 2nd
Battalion the Princess of Wales's Royal
Regiment – an A1 framed print of the latter
now sits in the palace of Queen
Margarethe 11 of Denmark, who is the
battalion's Colonel in Chief upon her
"Each piece of artwork to date has been
appoximately A1 in size and they depict
the current serving soldiers and officers
names handwritten in calligraphy along
with hand painted cap badges," she said.
She said the Canadian commission had
come via making connections on
professional social media site LinkedIn
and she hoped more international work
might come through the same channels –
particularly from the hard to crack US
"My ultimate goal is to take my very
unique military artwork to the US and with
my sheer determination and hard work I
really hope to fulfil my dream soon," she
She added that she also hoped to do
artwork for the Navy and RAF.
Finally, I would like to say thank you to
Clare for allowing us the opportunity to
share her work with the SBT community.
Of course there is so much more to see
and enjoy. Just visit her website at the
www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 17 |
| 18 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk
Sing Your Song...
I love to listen to the words of songs. Some people can hit the
nail on the head through lyrics in ways we can never say to each
other in conversations. I have to confess of being a bit of a
soppy thing when it comes to music, I am very easily moved.
But so many songs carry so many meanings.
Very soon we have to say goodbye to an old friend who passed
away last week. He was another music lover. In fact he used to
present the Wooster Country Show on VIP Radio, the old venture
we used to play around with. I cannot tell you how proud I
was when his wife asked me to play a guitar piece at his funeral.
I’m practicing very hard and I pray that God will help me play
well and pay tribute to a very fine man.
It’s funny, when we heard the news, after the initial shock of his
passing, we celebrated his life through music. Having a glass of
beer and playing and singing the songs he loved. I have to say
it helped enourmously. Yes, it was a very sad occasion, but it’s
as if we played him out. I could just imagine him looking down
and joining in. I’m sure he would have loved that.
During the afternoon, while we were celebrating his life, a song
crossed my mind which kind of brought things home to me. It’s
a Neil Diamond song that he wrote around 10 years ago called
‘Hell Yeah’. If you can find it on youtube and listen to the lyrics.
There is one section that really stood out for me when I thought
about our friend, Dave..
So if they ask you when I'm gone
Was it everything he wanted?
When he had to travel on
Did he know he'd be missed?
You can tell them this
Hell yeah he did!, He saw it all
He walked the line, Never had to crawl
He cried a bit, But not for long
Hell yeah, He found the life that he was after
Filled it up with love and laughter
Finally got it right, And made it fit
Hell yeah he did!
One of those lyrics that really hits home, eh. But it’s not this
particular song or this particular situation which is the main point
of this reflection. It is a way of saying things we cannot normally
say. If you wanted to talk to God because of something on your
mind, or something you needed to ask, how would you do it?
Those who are regular church goers would pray as they have
been taught but there are many of us out there who find it difficult
to speak to God in that way. Some feel they are not worthy
to go to church, they may not feel they ‘fit’. I know from experience
that is a common feeling in veterans. So here is a good
idea, just think of that song that really speaks to you and see if it
fits what you wat to ask. Music is a wonderful way of speaking
to God. He truly loves music:
2 Chronicles 5:13
The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and
thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and
other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the
LORD and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever.” Then the
temple of the LORD was filled with the cloud,
The bible is full of instances where music is used to praise the
Lord. It is nothing new. So if there is anything you need to say
to God or anyone else come to think about it, use a song. You
can even just sing it in your head, God will hear it.
On a final note, this week will be a sad but also a joyous occasion.
We will mourn the passing of a friend but also celebrate a
man who loved music. We can be sure that he has been welcomed
in to God’s house with open arms and that truly is a reason
to celebrate and feel good that he is being taken care of..
www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 19 |
Another month goes past without the
appeal decision being heard.
According to Indian law, the appeal
should have been heard within 3
months. At the end of this month, it will
be 9 months.Despite the families putting
in a petition to the Chief Justice, it
seems that deaf ears are the ordeer of
the day. Just to add insult to injury, the
Government is now shut down for the
Summer holidays. It seems that human
life and suffering does not have very
much meaning in India, just the importance
of lifestyle for the privilleged. It is
now four years since this all came
about. For the families and friends of
the men, this has probably seemed like
an eternity, but one must keep hope
and keep trying. Not only for the lads
but also for themselves. As we do keep
saying time and time again, this will
end. The lads will come home. A few
weeks ago, Yvonne Machugh posted
on the petition page and we would just
light to highlight her sentiments here.
This is an extract from here entry on to
“35 men are languishing in a prison in
the most filthy conditions. The treatment
is barbaric, human rights are being vio
lated and they are a thousand miles
from home, friends and family. Can this
really continue for another 3 years?
For 4 whole years our lives have been
turned upside down, living day to day
not knowing if the men who went to
work in 2013 will return. Despite all of
this the friendships, support and love
we have had from so many people all
over the world. Family, friends and
strangers has filled our hearts with love
and given us the strength we so desperately
need throughout this testing
and unbelievable ordeal. Again we
have no idea how long this ordeal will
go on for or how many more court battles
we will need to fight. Unfortunately
it comes at a cost and our fund raising
is as vital now as it was in 2014.
If you haven't already done so and can
spare £1 please visit our fund page and
pledge £1 if we got even just £1 from all
the signers we would have the funds we
need to carry on this fight, without the
worry of where we are going to find
money to pay for a lawyer and appeals.
you can find the fund page at
and also through our website
On a final note, I’m sure that everybody
would like to wish Nick Simpson a very
happy belated birthday for the 13th
We all keep our fingers crossed that this
is the last birthday you will spend in
India. I’m sure the rest of the lads
would have made the best of the situation.
Just gazingaround on the internet,
there have been so many well wishers
and messages wishing you a happy
Please keep the support going.
| 20 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk
TO ORDER PLEASE CALL: 01226 734222
ORDER ONLINE: www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
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47 CHURCH STREET BARNSLEY SOUTH YORKSHIRE S70 2AS
Busy morning at
Club 33 veterans and
enjoying the banter and
camaraderie, with new
faces, and the old and
A busy day with a total of 32 on show this
included our very special guests the Mayor
of Rotherham Eve Rose Keenan and
consort Pat Keenan, who joined the MCVC
Breakfast Club for the morning, along with
the Rotherham Advertiser to photograph
We also had Charlie the MCVC Mascot
meeting the Mayor for the first time.
Plus a warm friendly welcome to our
newest member Duncan Millar ex RAF of
25 years service.
48 today at tameside,many
regulars on hols
| 22 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk
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 www.afvbc.co.uk and the old
address is pointed at the new site.
The main alteration is that the email addresses have
www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 23 |
| 24 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk
Hi Folks, and welcome to Sandbag Times Radio update!
Having been absent "on duty" when the last issue went to press,
it seems like an age since I put pen to paper and upate you
guys. Thanks to Pablo and Jane for holding the mic in my
absence, and doing a sterling job on providing input for the
Radio page. One of our DJ family lost a family member very
recently, and we would all like to pass our condolences to DJ
Gremlin at this time. What a trooper Gremlin (John) is, and he
was soon back behind the mic and decks doing what he loves,
that is entertaining the masses. We continue to build the station,
and add shows when and where we can, and listen to the
feedback from our listeners as to what sort of content they
would like to hear, and the subjects they would like to see covered
in future broadcasts. This work is ongoing. Plans are still
being drawn up to facilitate a mobile aspect to the station, and
the intention is still to take Sandbag Times Radio out on the
road, and visit the various Breakfast Clubs to get up close and
personal with our readers/listeners. We have sounded this out
via the various Social Media Sites, and the concensus is, it is a
good thing, and should be well received. It is hoped that I can
drag Pablo away from Sandbag Towers long enough to attend
some of these broadcasts, and get him to dig out his guitar and
do some "live" sets whilst on the road. Work is still ongoing
developing the video platform, and after a few "Live Tests", it
would appear that the system works fine, and some of the listeners
savory comments bear testament to that..... thanks for
that folks! The plan is to do at least one "Live" video blog per
week, incorporating apsects from both the magazine, and the
radio. The system should afford the capability to bring guests
into the show via Skype, Facebook, You Tube and other Social
Media platforms. By doing this, we should be able to have
guests show up live in video to the shows, and be able to take
questions, and discuss topics of interest. Thank you to those of
you that have taken part in the various guinea pig tests, I appreciate
your help and support in developing this further to the
point that it is both stable, and of suitable quality and content
for broadcast. I would like to take this opportunity to thank
both Adam Barlow, and Phil Short (Shorty) of "British Troops
Remembered" for their constant suport to both the magazine
and radio. They work tirelessly to keep the images and
thoughts of those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice fresh in
our minds. British Troops Remembered constantly updates us
on those that have gone before us, and produces very moving
Video Memorial Tributes to celebrate their lives. Sensitivity is
always the priority when addressing something like this, and
both Adam and Phil always ensure the respective families are
happy with whatever content they produce. BTR support both
the magazine and radio station, and we thank you for that. Well
done to you guys and the small team you have. You DO make
a difference. The opening of the new Veterans Centre (Tommy
Atkins Trust) in Worcester, is a new aspect to the magazine, and
we hope to bring aspects of the trust into the radio world, and
talk to some of those veterans that are using the facility, and
give them the opportunity to express their feelings and findings
at using it. Thanks to Pablo and Jane and all those involved in
getting this worthwhile venture off the ground.
Well guys, that's it from me for this month. Than you for your
continued support for both the Sandbag Times Magazine and
the Radio Station. We really could not do this without you.
Until next month, keep tuning in, and stay safe.
| 26 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk
Private Richard Hunt
2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh
15th August 2009
On this day in 2009, Private Richard Hunt,
2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh, died at the
Royal Centre for Defence Medicine in Selly
Oak from wounds sustained in Helmand
province two days previously.
Read More Here
Captain Mark Hale and Rifleman Daniel
Wild, 2nd Battalion The Rifles
Lance Bombardier Matthew Hatton
40th Regiment Royal Artillery
13th August 2009
On this day in 2009, Captain Mark Hale and
Rifleman Daniel Wild of 2nd Battalion The
Rifles and Lance Bombardier Matthew
Hatton of 40th Regiment Royal Artillery (The
Lowland Gunners) were killed in Afghanistan.
Read more here
Lieutenant John Charles Sanderson
1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment
11 August 2010
on this day in 2010 Lieutenant John Charles
Sanderson of 1st Battalion The Mercian
Regiment (Cheshire), attached to 1st
Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles Battle
Group, died of wounds sustained in
Read More Here
Lieutenant Andrew Robert Chesterman
3rd Battalion The Rifles
9th August 2009
Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2012
Lieutenant Andrew Robert Chesterman from
3rd Battalion The Rifles was killed in
Read more here
Private Jason Williams,
2nd Battalion The Mercian Rgiment
8th August 2009
on this day in 2009 Private Jason Williams,
from 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment,
was killed in Afghanistan.
Read More Here
Leading Aircraftman Martin Beard,
No 1 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment
7th August 2007
On this day in 2007, Leading Aircraftman
Martin Beard of No 1 Squadron Royal Air
Force Regiment, died in Basra, southern
Read More Here
Private Andrew Cutts,
13 Air Assault Support Regiment,
Royal Logistic Corps
6th August 2006
On this day in 2006, Private Andrew Cutts of
13 Air Assault Support Regiment, Royal
Logistic Corps, died in Afghanistan.
Read More Here
Marine James Robert Wright,
42 Commando Royal Marines
5th August 2011
on this day in 2011 Marine James Robert
Wright of 42 Commando Royal Marines was
killed in Afghanistan.
Read More Here
| 28 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk
The War Poppy Collection
By Jacqueline Hurley
www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 29 |
| 30 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk
All Poetry this month kindly
supplied by Terry
Buchanan. Terry is the
winner of this months Poetry
All poetry is subject to
www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 31 |
The Veterans’ Magazine
The War Poppy Collection
Jacqueline Hurley talks to the SBT
about her stunning works of art
100 Years of Vera
As Dame Vera Lynn celebrates
her 100th Birthday we look back
at her incredible story
The SBT News
This week’s latest national
and international news
from the world of Veterans
and Armed Forces
Issue 29 | March 2017
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