SBT Issue 43


The Veterans’ Magazine Issue 42 | May 2018


We Take A Look At The Hardware

Gracing Our Skies This Year

Utilising Veterans In The Construction Industry

Supporting #abraveface


SBT News

4 Shoreham Airshow Crash

Pilot Denies Manslaughter

5 Royal Navy Escorts

Russian Waeship

Warship escorted through

English Channel

5 UK Reaction To North

Korea as testing halts

Cautious welcome as N

Korea halts Nuclear tests

5 US Navy Fleet in Europe

A US Carrier Fleet has

entered European Waters in

routine Ops.

SBT News

All of the latest National

& International Armed

Forces and Veterans




6 Kerry Dedman

Pro CV Writer helping


14 Airshows 2018

What to look out for at this

years displays.

16 Subby Jobs

Utilising Veterans in the

Construction Industry


9 Historic Tommy Atkins


19 Have Faith

Try, Try Again......

28 SBT Information

A page dedicated to back

issues, information, book

reviews etc

30 Mrs Fox Goes To War

All the latest gossip and

letters from Little Hope

May 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

# "


Email: 3 |



SBT newS May Edition



A former RAF pilot

accused of killing 11

men when his vintage

jet crashed on a dual

carriageway during the

Shoreham Airshow

today indicated he

would deny manslaughter

charges at trial.

Andrew Hill, 54, was performing

a loop when his

1955 Hawker Hunter

came down on the A27 in

August 2015. Eleven

men, including motorists

and air show fans, died

and 13 people were

injured. Hill, who was

badly injured when he

was thrown free, has

been charged with 11

counts of gross negligence

manslaughter and

endangering an aircraft.

He indicated not guilty

pleas to all charges at

Westminster magistrates’

court. Prosecutor Simon

Ringrose said: “The aircraft

failed to achieve sufficient

height and speed

to complete the downward

part of the loop, and the

aircraft impacted on the

dual carriageway, causing

11 fatalities.”Chief magistrate

Emma Arbuthnot

freed Hill of Buntingford,

Hertfordshire, on unconditional

bail until a plea

hearing at the Old Bailey

on May 17 when a date

for the trial will be set.

| 4



SBT newS May Edition

UK Cautious Reaction To North Korean

Vow To Halt Nuclear Missile Testing

Britain has given a cautionary

response to North Korea’s

historic announcement to halt

its nuclear and missile tests.

The government said in a

statement: “A long term

commitment from Kim Jung Un to

The Harry S. Truman Carrier

Strike Group (HSTCSG)

entered the US 6th Fleet area of

operations yesterday as part of

what the US Navy call a

‘routine deployment in support

of NATO allies, European and

African partner nations,

coalition partners, and US

national security interests in

Europe and Africa.’ The

presence of the HSTCSG, they

halt all nuclear tests and ICBM

launches would be a positive step.

“We hope this indicates an effort

to negotiate in good faith. "We

remain committed to working

with our international partners to

bring about our goal of a

complete, verifiable and

US Naval Fleet Enters European Waters

RN Frigate Escorts Russian Warship Through Channel

A Royal Navy frigate from

Portsmouth escorted a

Russian warship through

the English Channel and

Dover Strait. The Type 23

frigate HMS St Albans

escorted the Yaroslav

Mudry (named after

Yaroslav the Wise from

Ukraine) round the UK

coastline. HMS St Albans

is the current Fleet Ready

Escort – and is therefore

charged with protecting

UK waters. The navy was

reacting to the Russian

warship sailing close to

the UK coastline.

Commander John Cromie,

Commanding Officer of

HMS St Albans, said: ‘As

the Royal Navy’s high

readiness unit in UK

waters, we are the first

responders to any potential

incursion into UK

irreversible denuclearisation of

the Korean peninsula, and to do so

through peaceful means.” The

reaction comes after the country’s

state news agency stunned the

world when it said: "From 21

April, North Korea will stop

nuclear tests and launches of

intercontinental ballistic

missiles.” The North Korean

leader said the country didn’t need

to continue testing its nuclear

capabilities because they have

been “verified”. In response, the

European Union's foreign affairs

chief said North Korea's

announcement to stop nuclear

tests was a positive step and called

for an "irreversible

denuclearisation" of the Asian

country. Read More Here

say, demonstrates the multimission

capability of the US

Navy’s globally deployed force

and is part of an ongoing

rotation of forward-deployed

forces to support maritime

security operations in the US

6th Fleet area of operations.

The HSTCSG includes the

Nimitz-class aircraft carrier

USS Harry S. Truman,

Ticonderoga-class guidedmissile

cruiser USS Normandy;

Arleigh Burke-class guidedmissile

destroyers USS

Farragut. Read more here.

waters and are highly

trained in this role. ‘Our

activation today in

response to the passage

of a Russian warship close

to the UK resulted in a

cordial interaction between

professional sailors based

on the recognised conventions

at sea. ‘We are

always standing ready, as

is the rest of the fleet, to

defend UK waters.

Young RAF Stewardess

Dies of Cancer, aged 25

A Royal Air Force worker who

lived long enough to fulfil her

bucket list dream of going to New

York City has succumbed to ovarian

cancer aged just 25. Emily

Kendrick, who served as a stewardess

for the RAF and spent time

in Afghanistan, was surrounded

by her family and friends when

she died on Friday. The young

woman, from Ystrad Mynach,

Wales, was just 23 when she

found a lump in her belly button

and surgery revealed it was ovarian

cancer. Due to generosity of

friends, family and strangers,

Emily was able to take her dream

trip to New York City with her

mother, sister and grandmother.

Now Emily's mother Sonia has

spoken of her pride at the way her

daughter lived her life since her

terminal diagnosis. Her family

were desperate to help her achieve

her dreams and strangers from

around the world donated more

than £7,000 to help them do just

that. Read More Here 5 |


work in coalition but it is important to see

them as separate areas of expertise.

CV Writer:

CV Writer, Coach and Mentor

Opening the door for serving and ex-military


Personal Background

I come from a military background; my father

and brother were both Naval Officers. I have

worked as a civilian instructor for the Army

and the RAF. My work with the military

began in earnest two years ago when I was

contacted on Linkedin and asked for support.

Since late 2016, my personalised

coaching and mentoring support for the military

has achieved remarkable results. They

I have reviewed over 300,000 CVs in my professional

life. My first job after University

required me to review in peak periods over

1,000 CVs a day. This was a steep learning

curve experience that has stayed with me. I

explain to my clients that you have to make

a positive impression in under 8 seconds.

Every employment sector have problems

that need to be resolved. The person looking

at your CV must see immediately that

you understand their problems and will

resolve them. You are the ‘aspirin that will

take away their headache’. I explain to my

clients that their CV has to be clear and concise.

I am delighted that since January

2017 my mil/ex mil CV clients have had job

interviews every week – without fail. Over

95% of my military clients have progressed.

Every week I post updates on Linkedin.

These include reporting the number of job

interviews, job offers and so on. For example

in April 2018, 40 1st and 2nd round interviews

took place which led to 12 job offers

and to date 7 job starts.

Coach first, everything else second:

What does that mean? Quite simply it is the

premise of how I do my work. The ‘second’

covers the gambit of education, training and

management. I have over 30 years’ professional

experience. This knowledge of working

in a variety of training sectors has given

me a wide skill set. My motivational ‘Self

Discovery’ workshops have been delivered

across different parts of England and Wales.

I am qualified to MBA level and have taught

my degree subject of English across the

academic spectrum. I love being a ‘wordsmith’

and using language that educates and

entertains in equal measure. My coaching

support includes assisting clients with the

correct use of formal English. [I have taught

English at an Army Education Centre].


My clients know they have support from me

beyond the crafting of a new CV. I provide a

range of advice and guidance which helps

support their individual journey.

Finally, many years ago a client referred to

the support he achieved: ‘For the first time in

my life I am a person, not a number.’ Coach

first, everything else second.

How to contact me



| 6 7 |

The Historical Tommy Atkins

Seven Pillars of Wisdom

Written By

Peter Macey

On 13th May 1935 a 1000cc Borough Superior

motorcycle whilst being ridden at speed along

a back road near Bovington Camp in Dorset

had an altercation with two school boys on

bicycles who had been out looking for birds

eggs. One was knocked off his bike during the

collision but not injured. The rider, a Colonel

in the British Army, as well as being an

archaeologist, author and diplomat died at the

scene of the crash. The Colonel’s body along

with the motorcycle were hurriedly removed

from the crash scene and taken to a secret

location. The whole area was sealed off by

local police and within hours men from a

mysterious and little known-about organisation

at the time called MI5 appeared and took

control. In the lead up to the first Gulf War

following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq forces

a number of high level military meetings took

place in Washington as plans were put in place

with a view to the liberation of the Gulf State

by coalition forces. At one such meeting one

of the senior US General’s mentioned a book

he had been studying which despite having

been written in 1922 discussed tactics for

fighting in the Arab States and went into detail

of how a method of guerrilla warfare had been

developed and used to great effect during the

First World War between the Arab Nation and

Ottoman Empire (now known as Turkey). The

book was an autobiographical account by a

British Army Colonel who had been involved

in the Arab conflict and was called the Seven

Pillars of Wisdom. The man who died in the

crash in 1935 was one of the greatest military

strategists of his time and although he had been

withdrawn from public life since 1922, he was

well known in that part of the world by the

name Lawrence. The author of the book that

would be referred to in great detail over fifty

years later was Thomas Edward Lawrence CB

DSO. Better known by most as the almost

legendary Lawrence of Arabia.

Lawrence started his career with the

Government in January 1914 when as an

archaeologist who had trained at Oxford he

was co-opted by the British Army. Under the

guise of archaeology he was sent to the Negev

Desert to carry out a secret survey on behalf of

and funded by the Palestinian Exploration

Fund. The plan was that he and another would

map the desert area in terms of strategic

importance. Following the outbreak of war in

August 1914 Lawrence held back from

enlisting until October when he took a

commission and was summoned later that year

to discuss his thoughts on the issues affecting

the Arab Nations. There was an uprising in the

Arab nationalist movement within the Arab

speaking Ottoman nation. During 1915

Lawrence prepared maps and strategic data for

the British Government and continued to tour

the Arab nation as part of his intelligence work.

Then in June 1916 he was sent to meet three

possible leaders for the Palestinian revolt, all

sons of the head of the nation and selected one,

Faisal as the best to lead any revolt. In

November and December of the same year due

to there being no one more qualified to

properly support any uprising Lawrence was

sent directly to liaise with Faisal. He

immediately repositioned the Arab forces, who

were heavily outnumbered by the Ottomans.

Strategic target areas such as the Syrian railway

had to be protected and as well as that, there

was a long borderline between the opposing

forces with the Arabs having fewer men.

Faisal insisted when Lawrence was going to be

replaced by a more senior officer that he would

only work with Lawrence who remained by his

side until August 1918. Lawrence saw that the

only way to create issues with a small force

against a larger one would be to create small

teams who would attack small pockets along a

line, create havoc and quickly withdraw, thus

creating what would appear to be a major

attack. And these were carried out on specific

highly strategic targets, such as bridges,

railway lines and logistical targets. Designed

to be short, sharp and coordinated. This was

not a new tactic, the likes of which had been

developed in part by the Romans, centuries

earlier, but this was new to modern warfare,

thus creating a guerrilla style offensive that was

to prove to be highly effective. Lawrence took

part in a number of major battles alongside

Faisal and led some including Tafileh, a region

south east of the Dead Sea early in 1918. The

battle was a defensive engagement but due to

the effective fighting and strategies used it

developed into an offensive rout. In official

history records this battle was described as a

brilliant feat of arms under the direct leadership

of Lawrence. Despite being outnumbered the

Arabs took around 400 lives and 200 Turkish

prisoners. Lawrence was awarded the DSO

and promoted to Lt Col. Lawrence, who now

wore the typical Arab clothing instead of the

British military uniform, continued to liaise

between Faisal and the British intelligence.

The Arab nations finally captured Damascus,

their main objective, just prior to the end of the

War. There were many in Britain who did not

like Lawrence, due to the Arabic leanings. And

he was said to be hated in France due to his

involvement of allegedly trying to stir a revolt

of Syrian forces against the French occupying

nation. Following his departure from the Arab

States at the end of the war he was troubled

man. In 1922, having written his

autobiography of the Arab conflict, Lawrence

joined the RAF as an aircraftsmen, under a

false name, John Ross. But within months his

true identity was exposed and he left. He

changed his name this time to T E Shaw and

joined as a Private into the Tank Corps before

moving back to the RAF years later. He was

posted in 1926 to India with the RAF but due

to alleged espionage activities he was supposed

to have been involved with returned to Britain.

He finally left the Service in March 1935 and

died two months later.

David Lean’s 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia

starring Peter O’Toole which brought the story

of this remarkable man to life for most people

was nominated for ten Oscars and won seven

including Best Picture.

The reason Seven Pillars of Wisdom was called

into question in the lead up to the Gulf War

was because the same tactics that had been

developed and used during the First World War

and Arab Uprising, were, and are still being

used by Arab forces in the middle east and by

terrorists around the world even to this day.

And the world has Lawrence, in part, to thank

for that.

Were any of your relatives involved in the Arab

uprising in 1916 – 1918? Or do you have

thoughts about this remarkable man? If so we

would like to hear from you. Contact us at

SBT or let us know at Forgotten Veterans UK. 9 |

Round Two: Donnington Park

Matt & Dan Both in The Points As The FK8

Has It’s First Chance To Stretch Its Legs

tricky out there, and it didn’t play out in my favour. We were

quick in races one and three and the car felt really good.

There was plenty of chaos kicking off, but we managed to

avoid it all to come through the field for a couple of solid

points-scoring results. In race two, I made a good start but

got a bit hung out to dry around the opening laps as I tried to

steer clear of the carnage, and on the hard-compound tyres, it

was always going to be difficult to fight back from that. Still, it

was a much more positive outcome than at Brands Hatch and

we remain light going next to Thruxton, which has traditionally

been a happy hunting ground for us and will be an important

weekend as both Honda and Yuasa’s home circuit.”

Well, we improved from Brands Hatch! Dan did fantastically

well to qualify P4 – which he turned into a race 1 second

place finish after jumping up the inside at the old chicane on

lap 1 and holding out for the rest of the race.

Matt couldn’t quite hook it up in qualifying and lined up in P17

for Race 1, the pace in the car showed though as a typical

Matt Neal surge saw him in P6 at the chequered flag.

Burdened with 66KG ballast in Race 2, Dan did incredibly well

to take the lead and hold out until mid-race – at which point

his tyres started to drop off. Dan bravely held on for the second

half of the race and was P4 at the flag, his hard-tyre

struggles were not as evident as Matt’s though as he crossed

the line in P16.

True to form, Matt battled back in Race 3 with a surge through

the pack to finish sixth, if it wasn’t for Tom Ingram putting up

the most resolute of defences – Matt’s pace was easily

enough to get him on the podium. Dan unfortunately punctured

in Race 3 after contact with Chris Smiley – I’m sure he’s

grown more accustomed to the ups and down of touring cars

after this weekend!

Matt Neal on Donnington

“Unfortunately, my weekend began on the wrong foot in lining

up 17th on the grid, which left me with a lot of work to do in

the races. We are still learning with the new Civic Type R and

it’s not totally dialled-in yet in those conditions, which meant

qualifying was almost akin to a test session for us. It was

Dan Cammish on Donnington

“It’s been a good weekend – almost a very good weekend.

We showed our speed in free practice and qualified well in

what were very difficult, greasy conditions. It was obviously

fantastic for both the team and myself to achieve our first

podium of the season in race one, although I would say as a

performance, race two was arguably even better, with 66kg of

ballast on-board and the harder tyres. I tried to get away as

fast as I could, but it was inevitable that the guys behind

would catch up eventually and we were over-the-moon to lead

for so long and still finish as high as fourth – the car balance

felt really good and the Civic Type R handled extremely well.

What happened in race three was just very unfortunate; it was

only the lightest of touches, but it caused my wheel rim to

shatter and that in-turn punctured the tyre. We were on for at

least another top five result, but we can nonetheless go away

feeling happy. People were asking pre-season if I would get

properly stuck in and get my elbows out in the BTCC, and I

think I’ve proven here that I can do that as well as anybody


| 10


The Tommy Atkins Centre...

Tommy Atkins Centre May

We’ve had a busy month here at The Tommy Atkins Centre.

Combat Stress have been running a 7 week course on

Thursdays, and it’s been a pleasure to meet all those enrolled

on it. Hopefully they will all come back and meet up after their

course finishes, and maybe have a day out together. It’s so

wonderful to see the new friendships struck up on these


The Royal British Legion have also been to see us with a view

to running a new drop in centre from our building on Tuesdays

from 1000 – 1500. This will be starting within the next few

weeks, and we are very much looking forwards to having them

here with us all, and we’ve also had a visit from The Poppy

Factory with a view to something similar for them also here with


Marie and I have been busy updating contact lists and chatting

with veterans who call in for a cuppa and a natter. And we’re

also currently working on putting together a presentation for

some of our local Councilor’s and hopefully our Forces

Covenant representative too to give them a good insight to our

aims for the future of the centre and our veteran community,

and to hopefully secure some future funding to help us along

the way.

Here’s looking forwards to a bit of sunshine over the coming

few weeks, it’ll be lovely to be able to sit outside for a while

instead of watching the raindrops on the window panes. Until

next time, enjoy the sun if finally get any, and stay safe and


Jane & Marie. x 11 |

A Guide to Medical Welfare Services

for Health Care Professionals, Organisations

and Support Workers

Caring For Those Who Serve – Frontline To Recovery

| 12



It’s That Time Of The year

Again. Let’s See What’s

Flying And Where

Oh, I love this time of the year. Of course, for

the Sandbag Times it is more of a work day

than a swan. Yeah, really! I love heading

towards the shows, picnic in the boot. Camera

ready, Maybe even a beer or two if I can convince

someone else to drive. All I need then is

blue skies and nice sunshine and my

day is complete.

pay tribute to Jonathan.

Other usual suspects will be there too, BBMF,

the Wingwalkers (totally bonkers), the Chinnok

etc. This year we also see the welcome return

of an RAF Tornado GR4, always a crowd pleaser

and a good one for setting off all of the car

alarms. We have a Typhoon showing off as

well as one of my old WW2 favs the Blenheim

Bomber. What a graceful bird that is.

I must put out a public warning though. You

will get sick to the sight of the Jaguar jets.

They are absolutely everywhere. Don’t get me

wrong, I love them when they fly but Cosford is

a bit of a Jaguar dumping ground. Mark my

words, you will have

had enough of

them by


time the

displays finish.

So, to start

this year we head to RAF Cosford. This, by far,

is my favourite show. Not only because of the

great flying displays but also the museum. On

any other day, the RAF Cosford Museum if

open free of charge to enjoy and, I must

say it is up there in my top ten of

places to go in the UK. Four hangers

of aircraft to dream over, with just

about every British aircraft you can

think of. But the

real head turner

is the Cold War


ONG, a real


Anyway, to

get back on

subject, lets

talk about

the airshow

there for this

year. Much to my

delight, we will be

seeing the Mig 29 Fulcrum.

Never seen one before and

feeling very excited. Also

on display are the Reds.

Even though they experienced

a tragedy just a short

while ago with the death of

one of their ‘Circus’ engineers,

Cpl Jonathan Bayliss,

the show must go on. And what a way to

So, what else have

we got? I suppose we

need to talk about the big

one. The Royal International Air

Tattoo. (RIAT) promises to

be yet another awesome

event. There are a serios

amount of fighter jets flying including the

F35B, F/A 18 Hornet, F16 Falcon, GR4 Tornado

SU22, to name but a few. I have no idea how

they get so many displays in there. Pop over

to their website and take a look at the full

round up. I think the only besier airspace in

the country will be Heathrow Airport.

If you are going to be unable to afford

the delights of these airfields, worry not

as there are a few free airshows

around that are just as good. To start

with, one of my old


Airbourne. Set on Eastbourne beach

front, the whole airshow package

rocks up to the public

arena. For those who

do not live in

the South east there is also

Bournemouth, Blackpool and

Weston Super-Mare. Where ever you

are in the UK, you can be sure there will be

an Airshow close to you. Grab the kids, dog

and picnic and go enjoy those magnificent

men in their flying machines.

| 14



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I supported a mutual friend; Royal Marine

Commando Garry Curtis is bringing is life

story to fruition and getting it published. This

project was a real eye opener, with no military

background the lack of understanding of what

these men and women sacrifice, sometimes

the ultimate sacrifice. I really wanted to bring

something to life through Subby that is special:

James Gilbert Taps Into A Very Effective And Resourceful

Workforce For The Construction Sector. The Veteran

One of the great things about our

Veterans world are the amount of companies,

charities, organisation etc that

are willing to go the extra mile to help our

country’s ex-Armed Forces. Over the past few

months we have looked at a few companies

that combine the civilian world of industry to

utilise the best workforce in the world.

The veteran’s initiative simply is a fully funded

program to get veterans into construction:

• Fully funded construction courses

o Plastering

o Painting

o Wall and Floor Tiling

o Bricklaying

o CSCS Card Testing

o Building Maintenance

o Motor Vehicle

It is quickly becoming apparent that Veterans

provide a vast set of skills which can be used

in a huge variety of areas across the board.

When you think of our Armed Forces, one can

imagine a well motivated, hard working, trustworthy

and physically fit individual.

James Gilbert, who readers of The Sandbag

Times may remember, featured an article

about his friend Garry Curtis with his

book’Incoming’ which if you haven’t read yet,

you are missing out. Now James has turned

his own skills into a way of combining our

Veterans into the Construction industry. So

let’s hear all about it from James himself on

his new venture, Subby.

James Gilbert

Where did it all start? I can’t tell you that for

sure but I can give you a little background on

me. I have 10 years’ experience in construction

and carpentry. As for most Veterans, it

can be worrying time when you need to look

for your next job.

We live in a world where just about every

industry has some sort of dedicated job app

apart from construction. Construction comes

second to last for technology being used in

the industry, one place above agriculture and


This is how Subby started, creating a platform

just for construction and the people working

within it, to find work.

Text SBT to

“The Veterans Initiative” – There are a lot of

areas of life that we all take for granted and as

I’ve learnt over the past 3 years. The Armed

Forces is definitely one of them.

| 16

• Subby will not charge employers to hire

veterans whether it is on a temporary or permanent


• The “Subby Approved” and “Subby Pro”

features for trades normally cost £49.99/

£99.99 this will be free to veterans.

• Currently 120,000 veterans unemployed,

the construction industry has a skills shortage

of 240,000.

Subby currently has some fantastic launch

offers such as £100 worth of Screwfix vouchers,

free usage for 6 months for employers. So

sign up today at:

From a local builder to national construction

companies, Subby will give everyone the ability

to find labour when and where they need it!

To Find Out More About Subby:




To Win £100

Screwfix Vouchers

88802 17 |


Canada Calling

The Canuck Connection

Greetings from Scotland. What a month

previous? Tit for Tat between Trump and Kim,

an alleged Chemical attack in SYRIA, retaliation

by the US, UK and France, with the support of

Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many

more countries. The missiles flew the Jets

attacked and what ? ? ?

Threats of Retaliation by the Russians?

I do honestly believe that the Cold War has begun once

again? This is indeed sad times especially as the 2 Koreas,

are in joint talks of PEACE.

Meanwhile Canada is supposed to be providing UN troops in

Mali, however a date has yet to be determined.

Canada is still "several months" away from deploying

peacekeepers to Mali in support of a UN mission, an official

said Thursday, rejecting a UN envoy's call to accelerate its


"Details regarding the final structure and chain of command of

the Canadian mission in Mali are still to be determined," Byrne

Furlong, spokeswoman for Canada's defense minister, told


Questions over who will command or oversee the Canadian

troops and military equipment and other mission details "will

be addressed during upcoming reconnaissance and

negotiations with the United Nations," she said.

"It is important to keep in mind that preparing for a mission

can take several months," she added.

Ottawa said in March that it would send an infantry unit,

military trainers and six tactical and transport helicopters to

Mali in August.

But UN envoy to Mali Mahamat Saleh Annadif said this week

the helicopters are needed in June, when Germany pulls out

of the mission.

He urged that Canada speed things up or that Germany delay

its departure in order to avoid a vacuum.

The UN envoy also asked Canada to reconsider its objections

to having Canadian soldiers join a rapid response force in the

region, where conflict has claimed the lives of seven UN

peacekeepers this year alone.

However, he said he has not received a reply.

The number of troops and the skill sets to be brought to the

mission "will be determined as a result of the planning

process and engagement with the UN, partners and the host

nation," said Furlong.

In the most recent Commonwealth Games, Canada Placed

4th overall. Well done to ALL Competitors of all Nations.

The BBC neglected to add Canada in their table of Medals,

despite the pact CANUCKS earned a respectable total of 82

Medals ……Just Saying.

This bit of Humour is for a RCEME

pal of mine Dave Davies.

next month stay safe and HAPPY.

Nil Sine Labore


| 18


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.

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

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

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

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.

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 19 |


Local man commemorates sacrifice made by the

people of Worcestershire during World War One

• Local man, David Waite, to

commemorate the Centenary

of the Armistice with a bike

ride across the County.

• David Waite hopes to cycle

to every free-standing war

memorial in the County.

• Follow David’s journey and

find out about the soldiers the

memorials remember via

Local Worcestershire man David Waite is

commemorating the Centenary of the

Armistice (effectively the end of World War

One) with a bike ride taking in most freestanding

War Memorial across the County.

Paying a personal tribute to those who fell.

David will follow 5 distinct routes on 1, 3, 5,

7, 9 May covering an estimated 350 miles

and clocking up an anticipated 30 hours in

the saddle.

Part of the Worcestershire World War One

Hundred programme the Worcestershire War

Memorial Bike Rides are supported by Ikonic

Design and Echelon Cycles. In addition to

sharing the stories of some of the men

whom the war memorials remember, David

also hopes to raise money for two local charities;

The Tommy Atkins Centre and

Remember the Fallen.

David Waite, retired soldier and road cyclist

said: “This year is the centenary of the

Armistice and I want to pay a personal tribute

to all those Worcestershire men and

women who gave their lives during World

War One. I have decided to ride to as many

of the free-standing War Memorials as these

are our last visible link we have between us

living today and those who lost their lives;

but who were born, lived and worked in


“As well as this I plan to photograph each of

these Memorials to create a photographic

legacy for the County and hope that those

choosing to support these rides through the

Just Giving page will in turn support two

local charities who work to support injured

veterans (The Tommy Atkins Centre) and

archive the stories of soldiers (Remember

The Fallen) for future generations.”

Adrian Gregson, Worcestershire World War

One Hundred Project Director said: “What a

way to remember the soldiers from

Worcestershire who gave their lives for the

Great War. We often travel to the battlefields

to visit memorials and remember those who

gave their lives so it seems fitting that David

has chosen to do this on home ground and

visit the 127 memorials right here in

Worcestershire. I look forward to following

David’s journey and hearing more about the

soldiers commemorated on our County War


The routes are as follows, a full breakdown

of each can be found on

1 May 2018 – Tommy Atkins Route, 78.5


Starts Honeybourne, ends Inkberrow.

3 May 2018 – Ikonic Design Route, 51.9


Starts Elmley Castle, ends Great Malvern.

5 May 2018 – Echelon Cycles Route, 61.7


Starts Worcester, ends Hanley Castle.

7 May 2018 – Remember the Fallen Route,

110 miles

Starts Redditch & Bromsgrove, ends


9 May 2018 – Worcestershire World War One

Hundred Route, 51 miles

Starts Stourport-on-Severn, ends Bockleton.

To support the War Memorial Bike Rides

please visit;

The Tommy Atkins Centre Just Giving page:


Remember the Fallen:

Welcome, and thank you for taking time to read this

short introduction.

They say that the "Pen is mightier than the sword"

they also say Radio is "Intimate, it's direct and it's


So what do you think might happen

when you combine the fastest growing

Online British Veterans

Magazines with the Biggest, most

established British Veterans Online

Radio station?

The Sandbag Times (SBT) and

Veterans Radio Net (VRN) are now

working as one, with the staff of the

SBT, most of whom are Veterans,

bringing you the news, stories and facts

that are important to UK Veterans

and their families.

In turn VRN mixes great music, great banter and

the added human touch of presenters, most of

whom are Veterans, reading out the stories, conducting

Interviews, both Live and recorded. They

cover Issues like Combat PTSD, homelessness

amongst Veterans, the community covenant and

lots more. We can also reach those who, for one

reason or another find themselves cut off from the

outside world. This is because we fully understand

what you are going through or have

been through, sometimes with little or

no support.

This Collaboration of both Pen and

Microphone is able not only to

Inform and entertain our Veteran

Family but bring it closer together

via the Live chat boards you can

find on both of our websites.

In short, the SBT and VRN are set to

become the only place Veterans will

have to go to when looking for

help or just looking for some of

the comradeship and great banter

lots of us miss after Service life.

The SBT and VRN "Our Time, Our Place, Our Voice"

| 22

TO ORDER PLEASE CALL: 01226 734222




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 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:



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.

| 24

Veterans Breakfast Clubs

Lichfield VBC

Another great turnout at Lichfield this morning,

with 42 breakfast and a lot of newbies this morning,

it is very pleasing to see a lot of old friends

reminiscing, a great atmosphere and great company,

looking forward to next month already........

Ramsgate AFVBC

26 today at Ramsgate Wetherspoons.

Launched today

Norfolk AFVBC

About 38 at the Norfolk breakfast club.

Mansfield & Ashfield AFVBC

32 yesterday at Mansfield and Ashfield veterans

breakfast club tainted by the sad

news we received this morning about the

passing away of 1of our WW2 veterans

Roger Maywood 25 |


A word from the Ed

Plenty going on in the Ivory

Tower this month. Apart from

juggling with magazines and

newspapers, I am also supporting

a mammoth cycle ride by our

good friend David Waite. David

is cycling around Worcestershire

over a period of two weeks

visiting every War Memorial

within the county. Let me tell

you all, there are hundreds of

them. I’m doing a little support

for him , taking pics etc. All

proceeds will be going to two

very worthy causes which you

can read about in this mag. So

what else is going on? Ah yes,

we had a great meeting this month

with Dr Jonathan Leach, the NHS

Veteran Lead England in which

we spoke about the brand new

care system for Veterans. I must

say, I am impressed. He spoke

about the system in great detail

and gave us a hoof load of info to

spread about the masses. That we

will be doing from next month. I

do have to say though, the big

thing that did impress me was the

fact that veterans can now selfrefer

using the direct contacts.

Time from start to treatment is

also greatly improved with a two

week window to be first assessed

and then just two weeks later for

further treatment. I will be

watching with much interest.

Also hot on the SBT front is the

amalgamation of Veterans Radio

Net with SBT. They have now

fully taken over the Radio duties

while Jimbo has now become our

news anchorman. You may have

noticed on the site that there is

now a video news update every

day produced by him. Big move

forward for us. The radio is in

the same place as it always has

been but there is now a full

dedicated team running it. There

is loads more going on but having

the fried brain that I’m using

doesn’t bode well. Suffice to say

we are doing extremely well, we

are very well supported by all of

you. That’s it, take care all, Px

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

| 26



Secrets of the Spitfire

By Lance Cole

This book tells the

tale of the brilliant


Beverley Shenstone

MASc, HonFRAes,



Mitchells chief

aerodynamicist, it was Shenstone who

designed the Spitfires wing the wing that

gave the Spitfire it crucial advantage in the

Battle of Britain and beyond. A quiet man,

Shenstone never sought glory for his

work, yet in recent years he has been

credited as the man who persuaded

Mitchell to adopt the ellipse a modified

ellipse that was unique in its shape and

its combined use of two integrated

aerofoil sections. Shenstones knife-edge

shape reached far back into early

aeronautics for its inspiration. This book

also names the other forgotten Spitfire

design contributors who were Mitchells

men Mr Faddy, Mr Fear, Mr Fenner, Mr

Shirvall, a Prof Howland and others.

Black Coffee

Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa

Here’s one for my old mate Vinny. A pair of

Blues legends performing live in an absolute

belter of an album. If you like Blues, you’ll

love this.

Kelly’s Heroes

Clint Eastwood

Telly Savalas

Donald Sutherland

Yes, we’ve all seen it but what a

way to spend your bank

holiday. Probably one of my

fav war movies and certainly one of the

funniest. Go on, take a trip down TV

memory lane with this classic.

Back issues of The Sandbag Times are available to download here


" ! ! ! !!

# ! ! $ 27|


Mrs Fox Goes

To War...

The Chronicles of Little Hope

1939 - 1945

Villager of the month:

Commander Codrington Shagg-Pyle, RN.

Younger brother to Little Hope’s very own Lord

Horatio Shagg-Pyle, Codrington – as a second son –

decided at an early age that it was to be a life on the

ocean wave for him and shot off to sea at the earliest

opportunity like, as they say in t’north ‘a ferret up

a drainpipe.’ Having exchanged his drainpipe for a

hornpipe, Codrington set to with a will swabbing the

decks and sampling lots of grog until he found 17

that he liked and stuck with them religiously thereafter.

Having been up there with the best of them

under Admiral Salmon and Sir John Fisher,

Codrington went on to positively distinguish himself

under Lord Jellico at Jutland. Returning a hero and

sporting an eye patch (occasionally, he still had a

right eye, it just liked to sleep more than the left one)

Codrington went on to command His Majesty’s ships

Cauldron and Rum-Runner before hopping onto the

poop deck of HMS Nancy in early 1940. There had

been no news of the Nancy for a while, her last position

having been reported as ‘going like buggery

after the blighters’ near the Bay of Biscay, until one


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.

Dearest Hilda,

I am of the family Swallocks of Swaledale,

recently moved into Little Hope due to unforeseen

family circumstances. My late husband

passed on active service but due to his penchant

for gambling, well, suffice to say, one had to

downsize to pay his debts.

It seemed that village rumour was correct and that

Codrington hadn't gone down with the Nancy after

all. Lord Shagg-Pyle was as surprised as anyone to

see his younger brother appear outside the ancestral

home that evening, accompanied by a fine sea

mist and the faint aroma of ships biscuits. Lady

Shagg-Pyle just hoped he'd remembered to bring the

banana he'd promised her...

My daughter Belinda recently started working in

“the factory”, doing her bit for the war effort,

and has become rather friendly with a Miss Muff

Hawker who apparently hails from nearby and

lives on licensed premises.

Now I have nothing against people in that trade,

being partial to a small libation myself, but I do

fear Belinda’s innocence may be becoming compromised.

I just happened to be walking past a

certain licenced premises one evening, having

| 28


been taking tea with a friend who lives nearby, when I

overheard a partial conversation between two girls, I

recognised my daughter’s voice and young Miss Muff

Hawker, emanating from a darkened alleyway adjacent

to said premises. I have to say, I was rather

shocked when I heard Miss Muff Hawker say to my

daughter “Take it from me Bel, policemen have bigger

balls than firemen”, well I was even more shocked

when my daughter asked her about the difference

between policemen’s balls and firemen’s balls, so

shocked I didn’t stay to hear the answer.

So, in a nutshell, what am I to say to my daughter on

the subject of policemans balls, let alone firemen’s


Yours in shock,

Betty Swallocks

Dear Mrs Swallocks (late of Swaledale),

First of all, might I take the opportunity to welcome

you to Little Hope and to offer my deepest condolences

on the death of your husband? In these troubled

times I fear that the fate of all of us is determined

by the roll of a heavenly dice, a thought which

– given your late spouse’s penchant for gambling –

may give you some comfort.

Now that we’ve got the obligatory commiserations /

pleasantries out of the way, on to the subject in hand

– balls.

Now, as I’m sure that you’re aware, aside from one or

two slight indiscretions in my youth (six, to be precise)

I have to say that I’ve generally only ever come across

officers’ balls, and quite a few of those occasions

have been under duress if I’m to be entirely honest. I

have lost count of the times Colonel Ffinch has asked

me if I fancy holding a ball of an evening, but frankly

if I am unprepared and already engrossed in a game

of backgammon then it’s not going to happen.

In my comparative experience however – leaving

policemen and firemen aside - cavalrymen’s balls tend

to be the biggest (given that so many members of the

aristocracy are fond of a bit of horseplay, as it were)

but not the best, as there is obviously a downside to

spending twelve hours a day in the saddle, a drawback

which no amount of Ascot After-Shave lotion

can take the edge off. Infantrymen’s balls tend to be

slightly smaller but do have ‘a lot of go’ in them given

that those fine fellows are used to physical exercise in

the field and can keep it up for hours at a time. The

Gordon Highlanders’ balls are a little too gay for my

liking, I’ve never been one for fannying about and

can’t abide all that leaping up and down above

unsheathed weapons, far too dangerous given that

even a small prick can ladder one’s stockings or even

sever an artery if delivered at high speed. The

Intelligence Corps’ balls tend to be the smallest of the

lot (positively miniscule by comparison) and they like

to keep everything under wraps lest one opens one’s

mouth and inadvertently lets it all out. I won’t even

mention the Royal Lancers.

Now I am familiar with the Muff-Hawkers and should

warn you that the hostelry to which you allude is not

the most salubrious of establishments. That said, I

believe that Mrs Edith Muff-Hawker, the mother of

your daughter’s friend, has held a couple of policemans

balls there which, obviously, are going to be

quite a bit smaller than the ones I’ve occasionally held

for Colonel Ffinch and his regiment.

Firemens balls are a mystery to me, I have to admit,

never having held one, but I would imagine that they

might be deemed rather dangerous given the extreme

length of the average fireman’s hose, at least one of

which is bound to crop up and be waved about for all

and sundry to see during the course of the evening.

My advice to you, therefore, would be to take your

daughter to one side and gently explain that although

all balls are similar, the better bred the giver the bigger

the balls are likely to be and the experience is likely

to last for an infinitely longer period of time for the

receiver (of the invitation).

I do hope that this information is helpful.


Hilda Ffinch

The Bird With All The Answers

P.S. Although new to the village, you will undoubtedly

receive an invite to the joint Police / Firemen’s dance

on Friday week at the village hall. Unfortunately I

won’t be there as Colonel Ffinch will be home on leave

and I’ve finally agreed to hold a ball for him. Have a

nice evening anyway.

H Ff.

If you’d like Hilda Ffinch, The Bird With All The Answers

to address your own wartime problem, then pop

along to

to subject your personal crisis to her

(reasonably) sober scrutiny. Remember to give yourself

a suitable wartime alias! Letters will be answered

online and a selection of them published in next

month’s Sandbag Times. 29 |

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


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: 31 |

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