The Sandbag Times Issue No: 34


The Veterans Magazine

The Veterans’ Magazine

Issue 34 | September 2017


care in


Why is there a problem?

Clare Viller

Military Artist

SBT News Update

Plus all The Latest National & International

News from the Armed Forces & Veterans World


Supporting #Chennai6

Ken Brooks Osteopath

BSc. (Hons) Osteopathic Medicine ND DO


• Sciatica

• 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

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.

 3 |

| 4 5 |

Would you

like to get



Nightmares can be very frightening and have a significant impact on sleep quality

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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.

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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 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

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

and debate.

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

World War.

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

to life.

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

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

employers do?

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,

businesses can:

• 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

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

be created.

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

Employment Team

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: 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

Drivers’ Standings

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

Manufacturers’ Standings

1. BMW, 589 points

2. Honda, 513

3. Subaru, 511

4. Vauxhall, 389

5. MG, 243

Teams’ Standings

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

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

Christmas soon.

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 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

needed help.

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

£750,000 despite

referrals going up by

28% during that

year. Remember

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

our leadership.

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

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

Celtic sense.

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 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

absolutely stunning.

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

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

Prince Edward.

"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

link below. 17 |

| 18

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.. 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

the page:

“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

TO ORDER PLEASE CALL: 01226 734222




Scunthorpe VBC

Busy morning at

Scunthorpe Brackfast

Club 33 veterans and

Sheba( Epilepsy

Assistance Dog)

enjoying the banter and

camaraderie, with new

faces, and the old and

the bold!

Rotherham MCVC

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

the event.

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.

Tameside VBC

48 today at tameside,many

regulars on hols

| 22

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:-

to 23 |

| 24 25|

The Pilgrim

Colin Maclachlan

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.

Jim Wilde

| 26

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

The War Poppy Collection

By Jacqueline Hurley 29 |

| 30

All Poetry this month kindly

supplied by Terry

Buchanan. Terry is the

winner of this months Poetry


All poetry is subject to


 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




Ken Brooks




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