The Sandbag Times Issue No: 42


The Veterans Magazine

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 02/04/2018 14:56 Page 1

The Veterans’ Magazine

Issue 42 | April 2018


New Home, New Car, New Season

SBT Patron Matt, Dan

& Team Dynamics on

BTCC 2018

Jakob Ebrey Photography

Supporting #abraveface

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SBT News

4 Red Arrows Crash

Tributes to Circus Engineer

5 Corrie McKeague

Investigation to be

downgraded to Cold Case

5 Meet the New Military


Gen. Nick Carter assumes

command of Armed Forces

6 Spitfire Pilot to Fly Again

Battle of Britain Pilot to take

to the skies at age of 96


Inspiration on Wheels



12 Team BRIT

Martyn Compton & Mark

Allen, Veteran Racers.

14 Forces Resettlement


A look in to utilising the best

work force in the country.

16 BTCC 2018

Matt Neal & Team

Dynamics talk to the SBT on

the new season


7 Historic Tommy Atkins

RAF 100

23 Have Faith

Try, Try Again......

28 SBT Information

A page dedicated to back

issues, information, book

reviews etc

35 Poetry Corner

Poetry and written art from

our readers

April 2018

Editor: Pablo Snow

Magazine Manager: Matt Jarvis

Marketing Manager

Lisa Whittaker

Patron: Matt Neal

Honourary Patron:

Jacqueline Hurley

Additional editors:

Albert ‘Robbie’ McRobb

Jane Shields

Peter Macey

Radio & Media Manager

Jim Wilde

Recording Engineer and PR


Vince Ballard


 3 |

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 02/04/2018 15:09 Page 4



SBT NEWS April Edition

Cpl Jonathan Baliss, 41 who

died in the Red Arrows Crash



Friends and collegues pay tribute to Cpl Jonathan Bayliss as a

“generous, kind and caring man who could always be relied upon”

Tributes have flooded in for

Red Arrows Engineer,

Jonathan Bayliss, 41 who was

killed when the Hawk aircraft

he was travelling in crashed at

RAF Valley, Anglesey last

week. The Pilot, Flight Lt

David Stark ejected and

sustained non­life threatening

injuries and spent a week in

hospital. The crash occurred

after a simulated training

session when the Hawk

display aircraft took off. Two

minutes into the flight the

aircraft crashed into the

airfield. Investigations are still

going on however, early

suspisions are pointed towards

a bird strike shortly after take

off. Witnesses reported seeing

a single parachute which

landed just a short distance

from the burning wreckage.

Paying tribute, his colleague

Sgt Will Allen said: "Jon had

the ability to motivate and

inspire a team and those

around him ­ no matter the

rank, role or person. "He had

a big presence in the squadron

and with his wide beaming

smile, and dry humour, could

lighten up any dull moments or

lift spirits."

The Red Arrows said the

squadron had received an

overwhelming number of

condolences and supportive

messages from thousands of

people around the world since

the crash. TAF crew have

been killed in accidents in

recent years involving the

world famous aerobatic display

team. In 2011 Flight Lt John

Eggings died after his jet

crashed into a river at

Bournemouth Airshow, Three

months later Flight Lt Sean

Cunningham was killed after

an ejector seat fault.

| 4

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SBT NEWS April Edition

Gen. Nick Carter Named As New Military Chief

Britain's new military chief has

been announced as outspoken

General Sir Nick Carter who

made a strong case for more

money for the Army. Gen Carter,

the head of the Army since 2014,

will succeed Air Chief Marshal

Sir Stuart Peach when he stands

down in June to become chairman

Defence chiefs have been

forced to pay out £5.5 million

compensation to 34 troops

suffering acute post­traumatic

stress disorder (PTSD). The

squaddies received an average

of £161,764 each after top

brass conceded that mental

illness brought about by their

service will affect their

personal and professional lives

for years to come. According

of Nato's military committee. His

appointment is seen as a boost for

the Ministry of Defence after he

was given the green­light in

January to issue a stark warning

about the Russian threat as he bid

for more cash. In a speech at the

Royal United Services Institute

(Rusi), he laid bare the scale of

MOD Pays Compensation for ‘Shell Shock’

Investigation of Missing RAF Airman Called Off

The search for the missing

RAF gunner Corrie

McKeague will be handed

over to a cold­case squad,

police have confirmed. No

trace of McKeague, then

23, has been found since

he was last seen in Bury

St Edmunds, Suffolk, after

a night out with friends on

24 September 2016. It is

thought he may have

climbed into a waste bin

to a Freedom of Information

(FoI) request, a further 53 cases

r e m a i n


against the

Ministry of



taxpayers face

footing the bill

for further

huge pay­outs

that was then taken away

by a lorry. Det Supt Katie

Elliott said: “It is extremely

disappointing that we have

not been able to find

Corrie. I can only imagine

the strain Corrie’s family

have been under over the

past 18 months and I

thank them for their

patience and

understanding. “Whilst the

investigation has drawn to

the threat and said Vladimir Putin

could start hostilities against the

West ‘sooner that we expect’. He

also warned of Russia’s ‘eyewatering’

military capabilities and

said Britain’s ability to response

to the threat would be ‘eroded if

we don’t match up to them now’.

Army sources feared the speech

could have impacted on his

chances of becoming the new

Chief of the Defence Staff. But

Downing Street today announced

Gen Carter – who served in

Germany during the Cold War ­ as

the new CDS after approval from

the Queen. The Prime Minister

had interviewed – Gen Carter,

General Sir James Everard who is

currently the UK's most senior

officer at NATO, and General Sir

Gordon Messenger.

as a result of PTSD cases

which, according to some

health experts, could have been


a natural conclusion, we

will continue to work with

the family to provide

answers to their questions

and help them understand

what may have happened.

“Since Corrie disappeared,

police have been exploring

all proportionate and

relevant lines of inquiry,”

she added

Calls For Walter Tull To

Be Given Military Cross

A cross­party group of MPs is

calling for the first black British

Army officer to be awarded a

posthumous Military Cross. The

campaign to honour Walter Tull

has been backed by 127 MPs who

have written to Prime Minister

Theresa May seeking the recognition.

The move comes at the hundredth

anniversary of the death of

Mr Tull, who was also one of the

first black professional footballers.

Mr Tull was commissioned

as an officer in 1917

despite military regulations forbidding

"any negro or person of

colour" from serving in such a

role. But parliamentarians say

racism meant he was never awarded

the Military Cross he was recommended

for. The drive to

recognise Mr Tull's bravery is

being led by Labour MP David

Lammy, and has the backing of

Jeremy Corbyn, and prominent

Tories and DUP members. 5 |

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 02/04/2018 15:16 Page 6



SBT NEWS April Edition

North-east veteran forced to wait more

than a year for routine operation

A former sergeant in the

Black Watch regiment says

he has “no real quality of

life” after being forced to

wait more than a year for a

routine operation. John

Brown, 79, was told in

March last year he would

require surgery for an

enlarged prostate, which

makes him need to use the

toilet frequently. NHS

Grampian’s target waiting

time for such procedures is

18 weeks. But Mr Brown,

who served in Cyprus,

Germany, and Northern

Ireland in a 22­year Army

career, has been told he will

now need to endure his

condition until at least May.

The 79­year­old veteran,

who lives in Potterton, said:

“If I’m going out with my

wife, I have to make sure

I’m near a toilet because

when I’ve got to go, I’ve

got to go. There’s been a

few times that I’ve wet

myself, and it’s

embarrassing. I’m up at

least every two hours a

night to go to the toilet, and

it takes a long time to get

back to sleep. I’ve got no

real quality of life.” A

spokesman for NHS

Grampian said: “We’re

sorry to hear about this

patient’s experience and

regret he is having to wait

longer than we would like

“We cannot comment on

individual cases due to

patient confidentiality.

“Our services are

experiencing higher

demand than ever before”

Spitfire Pilot To Fly Again At Age Of 96

As one of only a handful of

surviving fighter pilots from the

war, Scott and his fellow airmen

across the UK are preparing to

mark the centenary of the Royal

Air Force. Scott’s own journey

to the skies began at the age of

10 when his father paid for him

to have a pleasure flight in a Fox

Moth biplane with aviation

pioneer Sir Alan Cobham’s

flying circus. Read more: Royal

Air Force wants Amazon­style

robots to manage its missiles He

later ditched plans to become an

architect after “becoming fed up

with books” and when war

broke out he joined 124

squadron at London’s Biggin

Hill airfield. Today Scott is an

ambassador for the Royal Air

Force Benevolent Fund, the

RAF’s leading welfare charity,

and works to raise awareness of

the support it offers to veterans,

from financial assistance and

housing adaptions to welfare

breaks and mobility aids. Last

year, the charity spent £17.6m

supporting more than 55,000

members of the RAF family. On

1 April, he will mark the

anniversary of the birth of the

RAF by returning to Biggin Hill

and flying in a formation of

Spitfires and Hurricanes. “I

can’t wait to get up there flying

again in my beloved Spitfire. It’s

a beautiful aircraft. It fits you

like an overcoat.”

RN hero reunited with soldier she saved

A hero navy medic has been in the Armed Forces to

reunited with the soldier she receive the Military Cross,

saved while they were under was 21 at the time of her lifesaving

run, having finished

enemy fire in Afghanistan.

Chief Petty Officer Kate her training at HMS Raleigh,

Nesbitt won the Military the naval training base where

Cross, Britain's second the unveiling took place.

highest military medal, for She dressed L/Cpl John

her dash to save L/Cpl John List's neck wound and kept

List's life in 2009. L/Cpl List him from losing blood in

was shot in the neck during a Marjah district in Helmand.

patrol and CPO Nesbitt, then She said: "I can't remember

a medical assistant, ignored what was going on at the

bullets and rockets to reach time. My job was to get to

him. The pair met again at John and be his medic and

the unveiling in Cornwall of a get to his side as quick as I

painting of the rescue. CPO could. "I don't see myself as

Nesbitt, the second woman brave, just doing my job."

| 6

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The Historical Tommy Atkins

Royal Air Force

100 Years On

Written By

Peter Macey

On 1st April 2018 the Royal Air Force (RAF)

celebrates it’s 100th anniversary since it came

into being as part of the British military

system. Formed from an amalgamation of the

pre­existing Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the

Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS), all military

flight operations came under one service as the

new service was born.

Whilst the British were not the first to use what

were known as heavier­than­air aircraft for

military use the RAF is the oldest independent

air force in existence, meaning it was and still

is totally controlled by the air service itself

with no external interference from the Army or


But RAF flight was not the first in British

military history. The RNAS was set up in 1914

to support the Royal Navy’s operations during

the war, whereas the RFC came into being in

1912, formed from the Air Battalion of the

Royal Engineers. Whereas the RE Air Battalion

was formed in 1911. Originally operating as

the Ballooning School experimenting with air

flight the School which went on to become the

Balloon Section of the Royal Engineers and

had been around since its formation at

Chatham in 1888.

The decision to merge the RFC and RNAS into

one service was in response to the events of

World War I with an end to the war in sight.

Both the Army and Navy flight services had

seen action during the war with significant

impact but to emphasise where the service

originated it was decided to keep many of the

officer titles in place showing their originality,

particularly the Navy.

The newly formed RAF was at the time the

most powerful of all the world’s air forces with

over twenty thousand aircraft with over three

hundred and thirty thousand men and women

in service to the RAF and WRAF. But at the

end of WWI, due to dramatic cuts to the British

defences the RAF waited nearly a year to see if

it would be taken out of the Service by the

Government of the day. In 1919 the Cabinet

sanctioned the service to continue but with a

reduced number of just over one thousand

officers and a total of thirty five thousand


The RAF took up the task of policing the

British Empire in the 1920s and 30s from the

air. It had been argued that the use of air

power would prove more cost effective in

controlling large areas then land forces. The

same idea had been used both before and

during the War with the Balloon Section and

latterly aircraft and airships being used in the

same way for reconnaissance missions,

searches, targeting enemy positions and

intelligence data collection.

The RAF really came into being during World

War II. There was a rapid expansion of the

service and the building of aircraft prior to and

during the War due to intelligence showing that

the reality of any successful attack against

Britain would have to come from the air. And

what was predicted came to pass when in July

1940 what would become known as the Battle

of Britain started with bombing raids over

many of the major cities and strategic targets

across Britain. Germany’s plan at the

time was to gain air superiority through

sheer volume of the numbers of aircraft

that the Luftwaffe possessed. This

ongoing battle of the skies would

continue until the end of October 1940,

after which Britain, through the valour

and bravery of the RAF would prove a

turning point in the War, at least the war

of the air, and determined that the skies

over Europe would never be controlled

by one Country alone. Britain in turn,

following Germany’s failure to bomb

Britain into submission, turned the tables

on the Axis powers. Under the

command of Air Chief Marshall Harris,

Britain set about doing what Germany had

done by targeting major cities and other

strategic targets with an unprecedented might.

History will show that both the actions of the

Luftwaffe and those under ‘Bomber’ Harris’s

command killed many more civilians than

service personnel, but sometimes that is just

considered collateral damage which is

impossible to avoid with these operations! The

actions on both sides did prove the point that

you cannot bomb a country into submission.

Although it could be argued that the United

States did exactly that to Japan in August 1945.

Either way, the Battle of, and for Britain was a

defining moment for the RAF and will always

be seen as their greatest victory and certainly

marks their place in the history of British

military service.

The Royal Air Force’s last known surviving

founder member from 1st April 1918 was

Henry Allingham. Henry survived the Battle of

Jutland whilst serving with the RNAS before

moving over to the RAF at inception. He died

in 2009 aged 113!

On a personal note my Grandfather Tal served

with the RFC until 1918 and I had an Uncle

Frank and Auntie Meg who both served with the

RAF during WWII. Frank was ground crew for

fighters and Meg was part of Bomber Command

working as a plotter on the bird tables.

Were your relatives part of the RAF or other

flying services or were you? If so we would

like to hear from you, share your memories

here at SBT or visit us at Forgotten Veterans

UK (FVUK). 7 |

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The Tommy Atkins Centre...

Tommy Atkins Centre March

Today, 27th March we held our first open day. Attendance was

pretty good. We had Defence Medical Welfare Services,

Combat Stress, SSAFA, Royal British Legion, Blind Veterans,

Age Concern for Veterans, and several Worcester City Council

representatives including our local Armed Forces Covenant

representative all on site interacting with each other and the

community. It was amazing to witness the new connections that

were formed, and regular meetings between all the

organisations was deemed as a new way forwards here in

Worcester in terms of veterans care.

All attending veterans found a renewed awareness of the range

of services on offer to them and how to access them if needed,

and the highlight of the day had to be Jacqueline Hurley and

partner Steve with their amazing display of War Poppy Art,

which everyone was bowled over with.

Marie and I would like to extend a huge thank you to all who

attended and made the day a huge success, especially the

veterans who took time out to call in and find out all about us.

We very much look forwards to seeing you all again sometime

soon for a chat and a cuppa.

Wishing you all an excellent Easter.

Jane & Marie. x 9 |

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 02/04/2018 15:27 Page 10

A Guide to Medical Welfare Services

for Health Care Professionals, Organisations

and Support Workers

Caring For Those Who Serve – Frontline ne To


| 10

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Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 02/04/2018 15:40 Page 12


Inspiration on Wheels

In 2006 Martyn Compton suffered

horrific injuries during his first

tour in Afghanistan when his

vehicle was blown up by an IED.

12 years on, Martyn has just

resigned for Team Brit, a motor

racing team designed to allow

injured veterans to race on an

even keel with able bodied

drivers with the goal of driving in

the Le Mans 24 Hour Race...

The SBT was thrilled to feature Martyn

Compton, Mark Allen and Team Brit in the April

edition. When we decided to celebrate the

start of the new BTCC season with our Patron,

Matt Neal, we had the idea that this would be a

real petrolhead issue featuring veterans and

armed forces who strive for the coveted

chequered flag.

We were so delighted to come across two very

inspirational and very successful drivers who

are part of a Veterans driven (excuse the pun)

racing team., Team BRIT.

Martyn Compton:

I joined the Army in 2000 and have served in

the Household Cavalry for 14 years. In June

2006 I went on my first tour of Afghanistan.

Proud to have served, RIP to the guys that

didn't make it home. On 1st August the Patrol

of small tanks I was in was ambushed. My

vehicle was blown up by an improvised

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 02/04/2018 15:40 Page 13


explosive device, which killed the remaining 3

crew. I was shot at with rocket propelled

grenades which blew the engine up and

engulfed me in flames. I managed to crawl

out, on fire and as I put myself out I was shot

twice. I have undergone in the region of 500

hours of operations and years of rehabilitation,

and my life is now getting back on track. In

2010 my life changed as I was introduced to

KartForce and discovered a new talent. After

being at such a low point in my life for such a

long time, having something new and

exhilarating to focus on gave me a massive

new lease on life. I was “Alive to Drive”! Two

years later 4 of us set a world record for the

furthest driven in 24hrs in a kart with hand

controls. We started competing at higher and

higher levels, and since then have taken part in

several 24hr races, including the Le Mans

24hr, British 24hr and Daytona 24hr. It was a

proud moment when I was appointed the first

KartForce Ambassador.

Team endurance racing has shown me that I

can excel at something new. I’m highly

competitive and enormously driven, and these

levels of determination combined with my

driving skills has meant that I’ve become a

competent, reliable and consistent racing

driver. In 2015 I was selected to be 1 of 4

founding members of Team BRIT, a new

division of KartForce aimed at team endurance

car racing.

Mark Allen:

In January 2010 Mark became the youngest

British soldier to lose both legs. He was just

19.. Mark was using a metal detector to sweep

for mines on his first tour of Helmand Province

in Afghanistan when an IED blast knocked him

unconscious. His 20 serious injuries included

losing both legs high above the knee, losing a

thumb and part of two fingers. Mark is now a

British double­amputee racing driver and one

of the first injured soldiers to enter the

motorsport world by racing with hand controls.

Mark began his racing career with Kartforce in

2012; the same year he and his team became

Guinness world record holders for racing the

greatest distance over a 24­hour period. By

2013 his career in racing had flourished as he

went on to race in local, national and

international races. Most notably the renowned

Le Mans 24 hour race where he was one of the

first injured soldiers to compete in the

European championships. In 2014 the Harley

Street Skin Clinic where he is treated for his

injuries, offered Mark his first sponsorship deal.

This has enabled him to move forward with

motorsports and make a successful transition

into racing cars.

Team BRIT:

British Racing Injured Troops was formed from

the Kartforce project as a means for injured

troops to be able to take part in competitive

motor racing events. TEAM BRIT enables

injured soldiers the opportunity to progress

from endurance Kart racing, to racing cars.

Drivers are selected from KartForce, based on

their driving skills as well as their ability to

generate their own sponsorship and work the

same as any other racing driver. The longterm

aim is to make racing history by entering

a team of injured troops into the world famous

Le mans 24 hour endurance race. This would

be the first time a team of injured troops have

competed in the event.

Martyn, Mark and Team Brit are now striving

for success at a much higher level and want to

show the country what they can do, regardless

of their disabilities. “We aim to step up our

racing with our sights firmly still set on the

world famous Le Mans 24 hr.”

Inspiration and determination flow so strongly

in these two remarkable guys. Good luck lads!

For More Info:

13 |

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 02/04/2018 15:57 Page 14

Championing Veteran Skills

and Employability

What if there was a recruitment

consultancy that truly understood and

appreciated the experience that a

military career provides? What if they were

committed to educating civilian organisations

about the value that Veterans can add to their

businesses? Happily, there’s no need for ‘what

if’ – Forces Recruitment Services have got you


Forces Recruitment Services (FRS) came

into being back in 2001 when ex-army

bandsman Graham Brown decided that it was

time that the corporate world sat up and took

notice of the transferability of military skills.

FRS was the first ever commercial ex-military

recruitment business and over the years has

grown, developed and, crucially, learned how

best to ‘join Forces with business’. What this

means is that by setting the highest

professional standards, investing in the very

latest systems, and having the flexibility to

move and change with the times (after all – no

plan survives first contact!), FRS has helped

thousands of former Army, Navy and RAF

personnel into rewarding civilian careers.

We are regularly told that sectors are

suffering because of the worrying ‘skills gap’

that exists in this country – scare stories about

industries like construction being plunged into

chaos due to a shortage of quality staff are

commonplace. FRS are on a mission to

convince the nation’s employers that there is a

simple yet ideal solution, as Managing Director

Graham Brown explains:

The ethos behind Forces Recruitment

Services as an organisation is to show

companies how to harness the incredible

professionalism and transferable skills of former

military personnel. This remains a relatively

untapped candidate market for most industry

sectors and provides hiring managers with

access to technical and management skills that

are the envy of the world.”

However, it’s not just about trades, jobspecific

expertise and qualifications. What are

frequently referred to as ‘soft skills’ -

personality-driven attributes that are often

deemed key to professional success – are

highly sought after by employers. Ex-Service

folk are incredibly well placed to take

advantage of this situation, as Graham Brown

and his team at FRS observe on a daily basis.

"Employers who hire former Servicemen and

women are getting the complete package,”

Brown enthuses. “They can harness the

amazing range of technical skills that Veterans

are blessed with as well as the soft skills that a

military career provides, such as management,

communications, adaptability, commitment and

much more."

The recent ‘Veterans Work’ report produced

by Deloitte, the Officers’ Association and

Forces in Mind Trust, highlighted the

significant benefits organisations can realise

by recruiting from the veteran talent pool.

Echoing Graham Brown’s point about ‘the

complete package’, organisations surveyed

(by Deloitte and co), who currently employ

veterans, stated that they are particularly

strong in communication, time management,

and team working. As a result, more than half

of veteran employers promote them quicker

than the rest of the workforce. Furthermore, 79

per cent of these organisations also say that

| 14

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 02/04/2018 15:57 Page 15


veteran employees have lower rates of

sickness absence – an issue that currently

loses 130 million days each year in the UK,

costing the economy around £100bn.

As a Veteran or Service Leaver reading this,

you can be sure that FRS are out there

extolling the virtues of employing ex-military

men and women just like you, and ensuring

that the old stereotypical perception of Service

personnel stays where it belongs – in the bin.

Graham Brown sums up: “At FRS we work

with employers who appreciate the true value

of former Service people: their adaptability,

their skillsets, their commitment, and their

professionalism. We see these qualities every

day in our candidates and it is our mission to

ensure that employers across the country see

them too."

You can find out more about FRS and keep up-to-date with all the

latest vacancies via their website

or by following them on social media:

Twitter: @ForcesRecruits



FRS also produce a monthly e-newsletter that you can get delivered, direct to

your inbox, each and every month – and it’s FREE. You can sign up for the

newsletter here – – it takes just 20 seconds, and

FRS promise never to share your data with any third party.

The newsletter itself features the very best jobs from companies looking to

recruit ex-Forces folk, as well as career advice from industry experts and all

the latest news from around the world of work. 15 |

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 02/04/2018 16:00 Page 16

Dragon Whips its Tail...


| 16

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 04/04/2018 16:55 Page 17

“We men dream dreams,

we work magic, we do good,

we do evil. The dragons do not

dream. They are dreams.

They do not work magic: it is

their substance, their being.

They do not do; they are.”

― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Farthest Shore 17 |

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 04/04/2018 17:01 Page 18



“I feel incredibly proud but also humbled to have the honour of being Patron for the Sandbag Times.

Having many friends who’ve served in the armed forces and some who still do - this magazine for veterans

gives some really interesting news plus some great stories. If anyone can help or contribute

and not just financially then this helps many individuals lives who have helped us all sleep safely

over so many years.” Matt Neal, 3 Times BTCC Champion

Matt Neal

Jakob Ebrey Photography

Enter The Dragon

This is the one I’ve been waiting for.

The April edition was all about the

start of rhe MSA Dunlop BTCC

2018. Mainly due to the fact

that our own Patron is none

other than Matt Neal. Matt

agreed to take on the role

as our patron last year and

has been an amazing

ambassador for the

magazine ever since. Despite

his very hectic career, he still

takes time to stay in touch and

keep up to date with the mag.

However, this issue is not about us,

it’s about Matt, his team mate Dan

Cammish and Team Dynamics in the build up

to the new season. During the winter

quietness, Team Dynamics have been

extremely busy. Not only producing a beast of

a car which I have nicknamed ‘The Dragon’ but

the team have also packed up shop from their

old home of Pershore and set up a new base

in Droitwich. The SBT Team had the pleasure

of a tour around the new home earlier this year

courtesy of the teams Marketing Manager, Ben

Durrell, who has also been instrumental in the

creation of this article. (Massive thank you,

Ben. We couldn’t have done it without you.)

Anyway, lets get to the nitty gritty. Matt, Dan

and the Team Manager, James Rodgers all

agreed to answer a few questions for us on the

new season. So lets begin with the man

himself, Mr Matt Neal.

Matt Neal

SBT: Hi Matt, thank you for taking the time to

speak to the Sandbag Times. How busy have

you been over the winter? What do you get up

to fill the space that racing leaves?

Jakob Ebrey Photography

MN: It never stops or slows these days,

autumn and winter always bring the motorsport

trade shows season which I get really involved

with on the wheels side. That and this winter

has seen us developing and building the new

FK8 Type R for BTCC so you don’t get dull

boring days.

SBT: This year’s car looks absolutely

menacing, does it feel much different to last


MN: We have to use a certain amount of

championship common parts in the design but

it’s surprising how different the car does feel,

as a road car it’s a completely new platform

longer and wider in standard trim, but also

lower in overall height which works well for us

for the aero side. After the initial test which was

a week in Spain car feels good so I’m quite


SBT: How’re you feeling going in to the

season ahead? Do you see this as a

development year or are you looking for wins

from the first race weekend?

MN: Good question the level of competition is

very high in BTCC now and there are some

strong established package out there so I’m

under no illusion but the car and engine combo

feels really well. I hope we’ll get a few race

wins as for the championship you just got to

ride the waves and get yourself into the position

where you can roll your sleeves up and have a

crack in the closing stages.

SBT: Thank you Matt and Good luck for the

coming season.

During the winter months, we had the shock

news that ‘Flash’ Gordon Shedden was leaving

the team. It turned out he was heading for the

World Touring Car Championship. Yes, the

team were naturally sad to see him go but

totally backed this incredible move. However

that did leave a hole in the ‘Team Mate Seat’.

Then earlier this year the new team mate was

announced. A new, young addition to the

world of BTCC in the form of twice Porsche

Carrera Cup Champion, Dan Cammish. Keen

to hear his views on this exciting challenge we

decided to interrogate Dan as well.

Dan Cammish

SBT: How does it feel to say you’re now a

driver for a factory team in the British Touring

Car Championship?

| 18

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 04/04/2018 17:02 Page 19

BTCC 2018

DC I am really proud to have being chosen by

Team Dynamics and Honda ahead of the 2018

BTCC Season. This is the culmination of a

journey that started over 15 years ago and after

much hard work and sacrifice to now have one

of the top drives in British Motorsport is a

dream come true. I am really looking forward to

starting a new chapter of my career in the

BTCC with Halfords Yuasa Racing.

SBT: After visiting the new HQ in Droitwich and

spending a week with the team abroad in

Spain, what’re your first impressions of your

new team and environment?

DC: I have raced for a number of great teams

in my career but I have no doubt this is the

pinnacle of teams competing in British

Motorsport. The new HQ in Droitwich blew me

away with its impressive facilities and after a

great week in Spain I feel very much part of the

team. There will be lots of new challenges

ahead of me this season but I am confident

Team Dynamics will be give me the best

possible platform on which to succeed. It is

truly a pleasure to be here and I can't wait to

get started.

SBT: You’ve had immense success in the

Carrera Cup GB, which is a RWD car. How

have you found the transition to FWD and

what’re your aims for your first BTCC season?

DC: Having spent my whole career in RWD

from Karts to Cars it would be easy to feel

intimidated by the switch to FWD. But I have

built a career on my ability to adapt and learn

quicker than those around me and I am

confident this will be no different. My aim is to

do the absolute upmost for my team Halfords

Yuasa Racing, the sponsors and of course

myself. I see no reason at all why we cannot

challenge for podiums, wins, the teams or even

the drivers championship. If I doubted myself I

would not have made it this far.

Finally, we were honoured to be able to throw a

few cheeky questions at the Team Manager,

James Rodgers.

James Radgers

SBT: Hi James, thank you for taking the time

to answer a few questions for the readers of

Sandbag Times. Now you are firmly in

Droitwich, how are you and the team settling

into the new location?

JR: The team have settled really well but then

the Raceshop was designed with the team in

mind so it’s been a relatively easy transition. We

have more space, more equipment, better staff

facilities, better motorway access and the whole

team were eager to get moved and get going in

the new Raceshop. Things haven’t finished

however as we have expansion plans in place

to ensure that we maximise site utilisation and

give ourselves room to grow in the future.

SBT: What does the new site in Droitwich bring

to the team?

JR: Our previous site was small to say the least

and our new site will allow the team to grow

and explore opportunities that, at the previous

site, previously we were unable to explore and

develop. The site is definitely at the pinnacle of

facilities in BTCC and this will help the team

push forwards and keep on improving. From

office space to sub-assembly rooms,

fabrication, workshop, body prep, machine

shop & staff rest areas every area is larger than

at the previous site with every detail considered

from flooring to lighting and everything in


SBT: Does this mark a new direction for Team


JR: Definitely, historically the Team has been

centred on the BTCC and whilst that will always

be at the core of what we do this new facility

allows us to expand our programmes and bring

our expertise to other programmes. This

expansion has already started as at the

beginning of 2015 the team had 2 BTCC Cars

and a 1963 Lotus Cortina whereas for the 2018

season we have 2 x New FK8 BTCC Cars, 3 x

Mini Challenge JCW Races Cars, 2 x 1963 Ford

Cortina Lotus’s as well as other projects in the

pipeline which will expand this further.

SBT: Brand new car, new driver, new

headquaters, how do you think all of the

changes will affect the 2018 Season?

JR: I honestly think that change, in the right

direction, is a good thing and we’ve certainly

got that for 2018!! However when you consider

that since 2012 we have developed and raced

5 different race cars then this aspect isn’t alien

to us so although it makes for long nights and

not a lot of sleep its what drives us forwards.

The new headquarters are bedded in now so

that won’t cause any issues so the only real

change is the driver in Dan Cammish. Dan was

a natural choice for us really as he has been

prolifically fast in every series he has competed

in and we don’t expect this to change in BTCC.

We see this

SBT: Finally, predictions for the season?

JR: Honestly??? We’re only in it to win it and

we truly believe that coming second is the first

of the loosers. It’s never easy and we wouldn’t

ever want it to be but that just pushes us on to

be better and better. The competition gets

better every year so we have to dig deep to

deliver. However one thing we are good at is

looking within and maximising our

performance. It’s all too easy to look at what

others are doing rather than look at what you’re

doing. We truly believe that we are in charge of

our own destiny. We have a little saying on a

race weekend which is for everyone, no matter

what you’re doing, to smash it out of the ball

park. We endeavour to do this every day.

Dan Cammish

Jakob Ebrey Photography

Dan Cammish

Jakob Ebrey Photography 19 |

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 04/04/2018 17:04 Page 20

BTCC 2018


Qualifying/ Race Calendar

7/8 April Brands Hatch Indy

28/29 April Donington Park

19/20 May Thruxton

9/10 June Oulton Park

23/24 June Croft

28/29 July Snetterton

11/12 August Rockingham

25/26 August Knockhill

15/16 September Silverstone

29/30 September Brands Hatch GP

Win Two Tickets

To The MSA Dunlop British Touring Car

Championship At Rockingham Courtesy of

Team Dynamics Motorsport

For a chance to win, just identify the 15 silhouettes

of the World War Two aircraft on the next page.

Email your answers to

Closing date: 31st April 2018

| 20

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 04/04/2018 17:04 Page 21


How Is Your World War Two

Aircraft Recognition

2) 3)





7) 8)





13) 14) 15) 21 |

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 04/04/2018 17:08 Page 22


Canada Calling

The Canuck Connection

Well the interest in the upcoming talks between the

ORANGE MAN and the ROCKET Man will be very

interesting to say the least.

I recently discovered this fantastic Website of

REMEMBRANCE and information re: Canada’s

contribution to United Nations Missions around

the globe, if the link does not work for you then

by all means Copy and Paste. I feel you will not

be disappointed in this site. Enjoy


With the latest announcement from the Liberal Government of

Canada, reference a new UN Mission, Mali the PM said

Canada would provide 600 troops including a substantial

percentage of female troops. The Government has at least

reduced the numbers of Canucks heading to MALI. As a

former soldier of a UN Mission. I wonder WHY they would risk

women into areas where the Female is subdued. Surely we

have many areas of the GLOBE where women will be

appreciated as UN Soldiers. I pray we lose NO ONE on this

mission of madness.


That’s about for this article folks, Please have a thought and a

prayer for Canada’s Military, their Families and our Veterans.

Here is this issue Military Humour what a pair?


April 1st.

Canada Proud

to be a

member of


Nil Sine Labore


| 22

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 04/04/2018 17:10 Page 23


Try and Try Again..

If courage is grace under pressure, perseverance is its cousin.

Perseverance is the virtue of trying again, and then trying

again, and again, until we achieve our goal.

Nothing great was ever accomplished without perseverance.

Some people have marvelous natural gifts and are capable of

wonderful things. But they lack staying power. When they

meet something that doesn't come easily to them they lack the

patience to master it. They are outdone by people who will

carefully and painfully devote themselves to learning the skill

they need.

very difficult, full of rejections, lots of frustration and our

patience has been stretched to the limit. Finally, we did it.

We finally got our local councils to listen and dip in to their

funds to support the great work the staff at the centre are

doing. But there was many times when we wanted to throw

the towel in and give up. Those moments never lasted too

long but we did truly feel tested.

One thing that kept driving me forward was the thought of

what state I was in a few years ago. The thought that I would

be giving up on people in the same position was too strong. I

couldn’t let people down.

Maybe there is a moral to that story in finding a reason to go

on. Not rocket science but if, when life is getting on top of

you, you can remember how life was like, good or bad and

use that to drive forward.

If life was good, try to reach it again. Try to remember there is

an end to everything, including bad times. Just keep trying.

If times were bad then try to imagine just how experienced in

life you are and how you can use your experiences to help

others. This magazine and the Tommy Atkins Centre have

been created on this premis alone.

People who persevere aren't always the ones who make the

headlines. They don't necessarily shine and glitter. But they

have worth, because they know what's of value in this world

and they're prepared to work for it.

Most of all, just remember however hard life is, or however

hard your challenge is just keep trying and you will succeed.

If you still haven’t succeeded, maybe the time just hasn’t been

right or you haven’t been ready to succeed. But it will come,

Just keep trying and don’t give up.

Perseverance is a Christian virtue. The apostle Paul writes

about it: he was tempted to give up his missionary work

because it was so hard, but he kept going. Without his

perseverance, you would not be reading this.

As veterans, it is quite often the case where we feel like giving

up. We no longer have the strength to continue fighting. But

thankfully, for the very large majority, they find that bit of

soldier/ airman or sailor deep down inside that manages to

bring forward the surivial instinct.

Just recently, I, or should I say we, have been challenged to

find money to keep the Veteran Centre open. It has been 23 |

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 04/04/2018 17:15 Page 24

Hi Folks, and welcome to

Sandbag Times Radio!

Not much to report this month folks. We are still in the

process of setting up our new presenters, and this should

happen in the next week or two, and they will be let loose

on the airwaves. I would like to thank Pablo, and the guys

from Veterans Radio Net for looking after the station in my

absence over the last three weeks. It's always nice to

come home and find that the house is in order!


experience that we can tap into to help you. If you have

the "gift of the gab", then why not drop me a line. If you

fancy giving it a go, then contact me on -, or

and we will get the ball rolling.

I am still on the lookout for new presenters, to fill various

slots throughout the day, and to start some evening

shows. Don't worry too much about experienced at the is

stage. We are looking for enthusiastic individuals who

would like to try their hand at broadcasting. We can

provide all the tools you will need, and there is a wealth of

| 24

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 04/04/2018 17:16 Page 25

TO ORDER PLEASE CALL: 01226 734222




Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 04/04/2018 17:19 Page 26

Armed Forces &

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


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:



As many of you, in the AFVBC world may know,

the Sandbag Times is now available as a printed

edition. Unlike the online edition, we cannot offer

the printed copies for free as we have to pay for

expensive printing costs and obviously, the

postage. However, we have done some number

crunching and we are pleased to say we can

send out packs of 5 magazines for £20.00.

Unfortunately, we regret that we cannot send out

single copies at this time, hopefully that will

change in the near future as the SBT grows. The

prints are of excellent and professional standard

with 250gsm covers and 130gsm pages with

stunning colour and graphics. If you would like

to order monthly magazines for your club or send

in entries, then please email us at This printed copy will

be used to support the Tommy Atkins Veterans

Centre in Worcester.

| 26

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 04/04/2018 18:10 Page 27

Veterans Breakfast Clubs

MCVC Rotherham

A quiet day today, plenty of chin wagging going

on as well as the banter. It was nice to see John

Oliver returning. Also we witnessed Chris Watson

getting attacked by the ninja rabbit lol!!

Biggleswade AFVBC

20 today at Biggleswade Armed Forces and

Veterans Breakfast Club this morning.Nice

to welcome some new members

Edinburgh AFVBC

41 at Edinburgh this morning

Barnsley AFVBC

Over 40 turned up for breakfast at

Barnsley today including the Mayor

and Mayoress of Barnsley. A good

time was gad by all x 27 |

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 04/04/2018 17:24 Page 28


A word from the Ed

After months of waiting, it’s

finally here. The start of the

MSA Dunlop BTCC 2018. What,

may you ask, has this got to do

with a veterans magazine. Well,

the magazines Patron, Mr Matt

Neal just happens to be the most

prolific driver on the circuit.

Over 600 races to his name

including three championship

titles. And to top it all off, hr is

driving one hell of a machine this

year. The Halfords Yuasa Honda

Civic R. Matt’s team mate is Dan

Cammish, a two times winner of

the Porsche Carrera Cup. But I

expect you already know all of

this due to the article in the centre

of the mag. You may also have

read about the successes of the

Tommy Atkins Centre in

Worcester over the past few

weeks. Jane and the gang had a

cracking Open Day this week.

Playing host to SSAFA, the RBL,

Blind Veterans, DMWS, Combat

Stress, Age Concern but the icing

on the cake was being graced by

the centre Patron and War Poppy

Artist, Jacqueline Hurley and her

partner Steve. The centre was

truly blessed by Jacquelines

incredible artwork which was

very proudly displayed. What a

brilliant sight. Plenty of veterans

and local office dignitaries

attended the day with some great

feedback from everyone. Well,

by the time you all read the May

edition, I will have marched over

the Pen y Fan and Jane would

have been chucked out of an

aeroplane for the Airborne

Challenge. Hopefully our efforts

will bring lots of pennies to the

centre. There is still time to

sponsor one or both of us, aAny

sponsorship or donations will be

gratefully recieved and 100% of

the funds will go directly to the

centre. Well, that’s just about it

for this months Editors blog.

Please get in touch if you need

any assistance or further

information on anything in the

magazine. See you all soon. Px

‘Nuff Said!’

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

| 28

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 04/04/2018 17:28 Page 29



By Michael Woods

Algebra is an

Arabic word

meaning ‘to reunite

sundered parts’.

Omar Khayyám

(1048-131), the

Persian polymath

and author of the

Rubáiyát – made

famous in English

through Edward

Fitzgerald’s version –

was also a virtuoso

mathematician. He

solved various cases

of the cubic equation,

one of the greatest

advances in algebra.

In its symbolic

representation of

numbers and

quantities in formulae and equations,

restoring what is missing, it achieves

its end with poetic elegance. In the

eighteenth century, someone with a

broken bone would seek a doctor

who would perform ‘an algebra’ by

setting it to ensure the fracture

healed, the sundered reunited.

Analogically, this is so often what

poetry tries to do, attempting to

reconcile so many disparate things.

Published by Templar Poetry,

Algebra was launched on Tuesday

28th March at Keats House

Museum, Hampstead in the house

where that great Romantic wrote

his celebrated Odes.



The Allman Brothers

Before you ask, yes this has got Top Gears

‘Jessica’ on it but that aside this is definitely

in my top 10 of albums. The very best of one

of the most incredible Rock and Blues band

ever. Statesboro Blues, Little Martha,

Hoochie Coochie Man, it’s brilliant!

Chris Hemsworth

Daniel Brühl

Olivia Wilde

Ok, yes this is a real petrol head film

but considering the content of this

edition, I feel it was only right. The

story of 1970’s F1, in particular, James Hunt

and Nikki Lauda. It is action packed, brutal,

funny but it will keep you on the edge of

your seat from start to finish. Great film!

Back issues of The Sandbag Times are available to download here


Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 04/04/2018 17:48 Page 30

Mrs Fox Goes

To War...

The Chronicles of Little Hope

1939 – 1945


It’s been a busy old time here in darkest Wales of late

working on both my ‘Mrs Fox Goes To War’ novel and

The Collected letters of Hilda Ffinch, the Bird With All The

Answers’. Thwarted in my attempt to disappear to

Northumberland for a week for a bit of fresh air and a

mince around Hadrian’s Wall by that infernal Beast From

The East, I made it as far as Lincolnshire – my beloved

Bomber County - and settled down to catch up on

Hilda’s correspondence.

There was a goodly pile, as they say, with letters arriving

via the Mrs Fox website from all over the country – many

thanks indeed if you’re one of the letter writers – please

do keep them coming!

With this in mind, I thought that this month we could have

a bit of a FffinchFest for our Sandbag Times article so –

brace yourselves chaps – Heeeeeeres Hilda!

Hilda Ffinch:

The Bird With All The Answers

Hilda Ffinch, Little Hope's very own Agony Aunt (page 5 of

the Little Hope Herald) was easily bored and terribly rich.

She loved nothing better than taking on the problems of

others and either sorting them out or claiming that she'd

never heard of them if it all went tits up and they had to

leave the district under cover of darkness having followed

her sage advice.

Dear Ms Ffinch,

I urgently need advice on account of my

growling pussy whilst at the public air

raid shelter. Some might say it

inappropriate, but I ensure my pussy is

trimmed and hygienic and absent of


Problem is, my pussy doesn’t seem to

like men which seems to cause a

dreadful stir among those at the


What can I do?

Yours sincerely,

Mildred Sparrow (miss)

Dear Miss Sparrow

May I begin by saying that it’s a breath of fresh

air to hear from a young lady who is clearly

conscious of the need to keep her pussy hale

and hearty during these dark days? Time and

time again I hear reports of pussies which have

been neglected, left to run wild and are host to

any one of a number of undesirable parasites.

Now, growling pussies, on the whole, tend to be

irascible either on account of under-employment

or are hungry for fresh meat – is yours getting

enough, dear? I cannot impress upon you

sufficiently the need to pander to puss’s needs in

this department. A yawning pussy is a bored

pussy but a growling one can be really quite

challenging. Why, my own pussy (Kitchener) –

starved of Colonel Ffinch’s attention when he’s

away at the front – has been known to go for the

sofa cushions or counterpane at the drop of a hat

and has twice spat at the postman. Such

occurrences are rare but need to be addressed

lest one ends up in front of a magistrate and it

goes for him too.

I therefore entreat you to handle your pussy firmly

but gently, Miss Sparrow, do not let it get the

upper hand or it will not come good in the end.

| 30

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 04/04/2018 17:48 Page 31


In respect of your pussy’s dislike of men, there are very

few of us my dear who would take kindly to being

petted in the dark by a complete stranger (Mrs Edith

Muff-Hawker from The Cat and Cabbage being a

notable exception) and so it’s little wonder that yours is

getting uptight. Perhaps assuage its hunger with a bit of

sausage before the sirens go off of an evening, and

make sure that you have another banger to hand

should the need arise.

I do hope this helps. Keep that pussy well trimmed and

flea-free now!


Hilda Ffinch,

The Bird With All The Answers

p.s. A friend of mine had a similar problem with her cat.

Dear Mrs Ffinch,

I have a problem which may well be a police

matter rather than ‘one for you’ but I’ll run it

past you anyway.

I was out a night or two ago taking my evening

walk down by me ‘Dig For Victory’ patch. In the

evening half light and black out I thought I

spied a vandal wheeling my barrow across my

patch and so went to have a gander. On

drawing closer and my eyes becoming more

accustomed to the light, I was horrified to see

a courting couple in an act of...well modesty

forbids me...

I didn’t recognise the couple as they made a

very quick exit. Is this a police matter? I’ve

been taking my fowling piece with me over the

past few nights, prepared to let them have it

should they return - 8 square feet of damaged

spring onions - its not on!


Reg ‘Dicky’ Rutter

Dear Dicky,

Thank you for your latest communiqué, I trust that you

are no longer experiencing problems with your

drooping marrow and that you are now in possession

of a prize specimen which stands a good chance of

having someone’s eye out at the forthcoming Little

Hope village fete. This being the case, a word of advice

– keep it under wraps until the last possible moment in

order to avoid the green-eyed spectre of jealousy

which is rampant amongst men with withered gourds at

such an event - I should hate to see Mr Percy Filch take

a rubber mallet to it in a fit of pique similar to the one

which he demonstrated in 1936 when he mistook Mr

Trotter’s ‘thrice stuffed porky banger’ for a new variety

of aubergine and made a complete fool of himself in

front of the Duke of Kent.

With regard to your nocturnal visitors – have you

considered filling your wheelbarrow with three pints of

gum Arabic and a pound or two of chicken feathers

and leaving it in the middle of your onion patch? The

lure of a comfortable bunk (as it were) will surely be too

great a temptation for your mysterious lothario and his

doxy and they’ll be tarred and feathered in next to no

time, making identification an absolute piece of cake!

I will have a word with Constable Clink this evening (he

generally calls in for a quick one with my cook during

the course of his beat, tea being a great stimulant) and

will tell him to be on the lookout for two extraordinarily

large (and exceedingly game) birds in the vicinity of

your allotment. He has a keen eye and knows

precisely what to do with his truncheon.

I do hope this helps.


Hilda Ffinch

The Bird With All The Answers

p.s. Should you have any spare onions please do drop

them round, my cook has plenty of sage and does

rather like a good stuffing. 31 |

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 04/04/2018 17:49 Page 32

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 04/04/2018 17:52 Page 33



Find as many words as you can of 4 letters or more.

There is at least one word with all 9 letters. Good luck



Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 04/04/2018 17:53 Page 34

| 34

Issue 42_riskuk_jan16 04/04/2018 17:56 Page 35

Poetry Corner


This was when to catch him in good spirits

before the mid-evening rush and jostle,

before the calling for another bottle,

another pint, with hardly time to fill it.

Now he had the time to pass the time of day.

While the unwatched clock cut him some slack

he smoked, talked and joked as he topped up black

patient porter. Liffey water, some would say.

Don knew better, ignored their ignorance

of the Wicklow mountain source. What is true

doesn’t always go down well. Circumstance

dictates that knowledge benefits the few.

He set his clock – ten minutes ahead. Dead

on eleven he’d call time. Enough said.

Introducing Michael Woods

Michael Woods has two

poetry collections

published by Templar

Poetry: Absence Notes

and Algebra. His next,

Opening Time, will be

launched in September

2018 at The Lamb and

Flag in Worcester and

uses the sonnet form

throughout. Three of

these appear here.


Books available here:

Instagram: michaelwoods_poet


All is ordered, ship-shape and clinical

down here – smacks something of Guernsey’s German

underground hospital. We’re learning an

unexpected lesson. Rabbinical,

Garry shows us how to reach the pinnacle

of cellar care, knows when to turn on taps

that mix the gas, can tell with just a slap

how much is in a barrel: finical.

Draymen drop depth-charge beer kegs through the hatch;

they hit the crash mat with a dead-weight thud

but don’t explode. Imagination’s match

is lit - this vault blows up and starts to flood,

becomes the Kursk with no-one left alive;

all this stricken sub can do is dive, dive, dive.


Ollie Roche is in his early seat,

session leader every Monday night.

Settled on the green bench-end he sips a pint

of bitter, anticipates the craic - the beat

and banter of the lads, who now he greets

as they arrive, tune up, sit in, on song:

Mark, Ally, Helen, Rupert, Beth and John.

Suddenly, the unspoken makes complete

sense as conversation turns to music -

magically, magisterially

in the alembic of charged air. The ludic

night plays on, out – immaterially

able through what’s transmuted and past change

to sing its own condition, find its range.


On my left, Adrian, salmon bandit

and bookies’ favourite. On my right, Steve -

red-braced (Bunter), belted FTSE pundit:

both about to do what no one would believe.

In those days Don sold Packet Ploughman’s Lunch,

a snack of crackers, silverskins and cheese.

Well, Adrian often bought a stack of these

to share with Steve, and that day said to him mid-munch:

Will you have a Powers with me? Gravitation

was defied by optics. Two bottles later, unbroken,

in words that signalled faith in levitation,

Newton’s laws reduced there to mere token,

straight-faced, drunk, Adrian turned to drink Steve’s


Would you like to join me? The top shelf?

Win This Fantastic Title

This unusual and beautiful book collects

together twenty five of the often read, wellloved

poets. Each poet is illustrated with an

original watercolor portrait by the talented

young artist, Charlotte Zeepvat, who

reproduces in pleasing script one of their

works, giving a biographical summary that

placed the poet firmly in the battlefield

context in which their work was conceived.

To have a chance at winning this

fabulous book, simply email your

poetry to: 35 |

SBT Issue 38Matt_riskuk_jan16 04/04/2018 18:03 Page 28

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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