The Sandbag Times Issue No: 47


The Veterans Magazine

The Veterans’ Magazine Issue 47 | September 2018



Soldier On, Jonathan

Lewis' theatrical band of

brothers and sisters is on

parade this autumn

SBT News Update

Plus all The Latest National &

International News from the

Armed Forces & Veterans’ World

Proud Sponsors of

The Veterans Awards

Supporting #OP-WAMITS


SBT News

4 Waterboarding Claims

Investigation underway at

RMA Sandhurst

5 Ex RAF Officer Dies

Accident in Italy claims life

of climber

5 US Pilot Killed in Crash

Helicopter crash in Iraq

claims life and injurs others

6 Grandfather builds F35

Simulator in shed

Man builds very first

simulator for iconic jet


9 Ask Kerry

Brand new advice on CV

and Careers

15 Rewind Technique

Dr David Muss Takes Us

Through His PTSD

Recovery Treatment

22 Soldier On

Hit show hits London


The Invictus Games 2018

All The Latest From Down Under In The Run Up

To This Years Games. Page 30


12 Historic Tommy Atkins

Shackleton Barracks

27 Have Faith


38 SBT Information

A page dedicated to back

issues, information, book

reviews etc0

40 Mrs Fox Goes To War

All the latest gossip and

letters from Little Hope

The Veterans’ Magazine Issue 47 | September 2018



Soldier On, Jonathan

Lewis' theatrical band of

brothers and sisters is on

parade this autumn

SBT News Update

Plus all The Latest National &

International News from the

Armed Forces & Veterans’ World

Proud Sponsors of

The Veterans Awards

Supporting #OP-WAMITS

Issue 47

Editor: Pablo Snow

Magazine Manager: Matt Jarvis

Patron: Matt Neal

Honourary Patron:

Jacqueline Hurley

Additional editors:

Albert ‘Robbie’ McRobb

Jane Shields

Peter Macey

Mike Woods

News Media Manager

Jim Wilde

Recording Engineer and PR


Vince Ballard




SBT NEWS September Edition

Investigation over 'waterboarding' at

Sandhurst Military Academy Claims

By Bracknell News

MILITARY police are investigating claims

two officer cadets "waterboarded" a fellow

recruit at Sandhurst academy.

Brigadier Bill Wright, commander of the

Berkshire military college, ordered the

probe into the alleged incident on August

7. A cadet was allegedly pinned down

before water was poured over a cloth covering

his face, according to The Sun. Both

Prince William and Prince Harry attended

Sandhurst, where all officers in the British

Army are trained. Brig Wright said: "I am

aware of allegations about an incident at

the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on

August 7 involving some of our officer

cadets. "I have ordered an investigation by

the Royal Military Police. "The Army and I

expect the highest standards of behaviour

at Sandhurst; anyone found to have fallen

short is dealt with robustly.

GET HELP NOW: Rewind @ Tommy Atkins Centre

| 4



SBT NEWS September Edition

By BBC News

Ex-RAF officer killed descending mountain in Italy

A former RAF officer has

died in a fall while

descending a mountain in

Italy. Ian Atkins, who was

known as Ted, is thought

to have slipped on Civetta,

in the Dolomites, on

Monday. Mr Atkins, who

grew up in

Nottinghamshire, had

climbed the peak with his

friend Nev Taylor. His

friend David Whalley said

the 59-year-old was an

experienced climber who

had scaled mountains

around the world, including

Everest and the north face

of the Eiger. Mr Whalley

said: "He was an incredible

guy. He was eccentric,

funny and a pioneer. We

have lost a good man." He

added Mr Atkins had

invented a "revolutionary"

breathing system for oxygen

masks at altitude.

"They used to put a mask

on the face when using

oxygen but it can block

vision. He made it easier

by making a nasal entry.

"He did an awful lot of

good all over the world and

we are thinking of his family.

"To be a free spirit in

the military is quite amazing.

Ted was a free spirit -

that is why he achieved so

much." Mr Whalley said

Mr Atkins, who was born in

Newcastle, had left the military

but had recently been

working half the year in the

Himalayas, running his

own business Topout

Oxygen Ltd. He had been

living in Alleghe, Italy, with

his wife Shona and son

Lewis. The funeral will be

private and held in Italy.

US Pilot Killed in Crash in Iraq

The fallen service member’s

details are being withheld,

with further details

regarding the incident the

responsibility of “pertinent

national authorities,”

according to OIR.A

coalition service member

fighting as part of the U.S.-

led campaign against ISIS in

Iraq and Syria was killed

and several others injured

when their aircraft crashed

in Iraq, Operation Inherent

Resolve announced on


The crash, which occurred

around 10 p.m. on Sunday,

occurred during a “partnered

counterterrorism mission” in

support of OIR, the coalition

announced. There were no

indications of enemy fire, per

OIR, suggesting that the crash

was likely an aviation mishap

resulting from a mechanical

malfunction rather than a

combat engagement.

Newsweek reports that the

aircraft involved was an MH-

60 Black Hawk, with 10 U.S.

military personnel from the

160th Special Operations

Aviation Regiment on board.

Business Insider

Express & Star

Mercian Regiment to Train Afghan Security Forces

More than 100 soldiers from

the Mercian Regiment are to

be deployed to Afghanistan

to join an operation training

local security forces.

Troops from the 2nd Battalion

will be sent out to the capital

Kabul later this year in a noncombat

capacity and have been

training in Cyprus ahead of the

mission. The 110 soldiers

from Dragon Company will

play a crucial role supporting

the 1st Battalion The Welsh

Guards protecting Nato

advisors and members who are

assisting the Afghan National

Defence and security forces.

They will spend 10 weeks

supporting Operation Toral,

the British contribution to

Nato's Resolute Support

mission in Afghanistan, in the

autumn. It will be the first time

in five years the regiment has

had a collective presence in

Afghanistan, the scene of so

much bloodshed in the decade

following 9/11. The soldiers

will work with the Welsh

Guards to form part of the

Kabul Security Force,

providing protection and

secure transport for UK and

coalition mentors. More here 5 |



SBT NEWS September Edition


Gurkha who

was reduced

to sleeping on

a mattress on

a bedroom

floor has

been helped

out by a





Gajurman Rai,

74, joined the

British Army

in 1961 and

fought for the

country for

nine years.

Thanks to the




the plight of

the Gurkhas,

headed and

supported by

actor Joanna

Lumley, Mr

Rai won the

right to live in

the UK, but

he is not

entitled to an


pension. Mr

Rai and his

wife, Dhan

Kumari, have

lived in rented

A NEW Memorial has been

unveiled during an emotive

30th anniversary service for

eight soldiers murdered in the

Ballygawley bus bombing.

Relatives of the dead and

survivors of the bombing laid

wreaths and poppy crosses while

the British Legion provided

standard bearers and a lone piper

played. Another 28 were injured

after the IRA detonated a roadside

200-pound Semtex bomb as the

bus travelled between

Ballygawley and Omagh after

midnight on 20th August 1988.

The unmarked bus, which was

full of soldiers when the attack

happened, was thrown along the

road by the explosion. Members

of the Light Infantry had been

returning from the airport to their

base near Omagh when the bomb

was detonated, killing eight

soldiers, all aged between 18-21.


n in Catterick

Garrison since

1997. The

couple’s story


highlighted by




Yorkshire who




Swale home


agency who

rehomed the

pair in



Memorial unveiled to mark 30th

anniversary Ballygawley bus bomb

Housing provider swoops in to help Gurkha veteran

By Northern Echo

At the memorial service on

Sunday, Reverend Alan Irwin led

the congregation in prayer and a

new memorial was unveiled,

which includes interpretative

panels explaining what happened

that night. Hundreds of veterans,

as well as relatives of those killed

and the civilians and some of the

first responders and medical staff

who treated the wounded attended

the service. During Sunday's

service Susan Greener, whose

brother Richard Greener was

among those killed, laid a poppy

wreath on behalf of the Regiment.

The dead were Jason Burfitt (19),

Richard Greener (21), Mark

Morsworthy (18), Stephen

Wilkinson (18), Jason Winter

(19), Blair Bishop (19),

Alexander Lewis (18) and Peter

Bullock (21). All had been

returning to Tyrone to complete

six months of a two-year tour.

Story by Tyronne Courier

GET HELP NOW: Text Combat Stress

07537 404719

| 6

A GRANDFATHER has spent more than

£30,000 building a home-made F-35B

lightning fighter jet simulator - in his garden

SHED. Kenneth Mockford, 54, shut

himself away "from dawn until dusk" to

construct the replica aircraft from hundreds

of tiny pieces.

He put it together by googling photos of

the military fighter jet, which are currently

being used for training by Royal Air Force

and Royal Navy pilots. Mr Mockford, who

stems from a line of RAF veterans built the

fascinating machine, said: "I spent many

late nights constructing the F-35 in my

garden shed then loaded it on a truck and

moved it to a warehouse for flying. "I started

the plane with just a fuselage which I

acquired. "All of the other components

like the seats, the main instrument panel,

all the switches and buttons that are in

there I have made because they are not

available to buy. "I am a nutty engineer,

basically. Dimensions were a major issue

for me when building because nobody is

going to let me climb on their F-35. "So

what I do is I research the internet for photographs

and there are thousands of pilots

sitting in cockpits. "From what I do from

that is I scale the mains instrument panel

of the size of the hands of the pilots that

are flying in them or sitting in them. "I

know how big my hand is and I know how

big their hand is therefore, so I know how

big the scales are. Mr Mockford, from

Burwell, Cambidgeshire uses a homemade

laser cutter and a Computer

Numerical Controller (CNC) to cut and

shape all the parts of the simulator.

"Sizewize I think I have it all pretty close


Grandfather Builds world's first F-35 flight simulator

By Daily Express

and the dimensions are about 95% accurate,"

he added. "I began building the F-

35 in April, but luckily I didn't need to build

the fuselage had already been built so all

I had to with that is take it apart and

rebuild it. "I built the main instrument

panel from scratch and all the electrical

switch panels I made as well.

Read the full story here.

Are you:

A Service Veteran?

Aged 65 or over?

A family member or carer

of the above?

If so, you could bene 昀 t from the

support of a DMWS Welfare O cer

We are experts in the provision of Medical Welfare and have supported the

Armed Forces Community during medical treatment since 1943

We are here to help, contact your local Welfare O

cer today:

A Guide to Medical Welfare Services

for Health Care Professionals, Organisations

and Support Workers

Caring For Those Who Serve – Frontline To Recovery

Supported by the Aged Veterans Fund

funded by the Chancellor using LIBOR Funds.

DMWS Registered Charity number:

England: 1087210 | Scotland: SCO45460 7 |



With Jim Wilde

Hi Folks, Another month

has just zipped by. Is it

just me, or is it the older I

get the quicker the days go

by. It definitely seems that

way to me, but then again, I am

old and we'll leave that there. The

last month has been hectic, frantic,

traumatic and many other things. The focus

of many of us is on those that are no longer with

us, and felt the need to depart this mortal coil for

Valhalla. I am sure Pablo will have covered the

plight of our Military and Veterans during this

epidemic of suicides.

We all have our own ideas of what should be

done, and who we think is responsible, and that

is fine. But we also know that there is no quick

fix for this unprecedented rise in the loss of our

brothers. Suggestions that we form up "parade

like" outside Westminster and shout until we are

heard, and write to our MP's are, to be fair, knee

jerk reactions which do not directly address the

issues we face. If a brother has a history of anxiety

and mental anguish (PTSD), then it is documented,

and various steps can be taken to try

and deal with it. BUT, in many cases, there are

no warning signals, and all it takes is a life

event, family issue, financial problems to just tip

you over the edge. We are all embroiled in our

own cocoon of life these days, stuck on the

phone, tablet, Internet, that we just don't see

what is right in front of us. If we just look up

from time to time and look around, the evidence

is there.

Of course, there are areas of the current system

that do need a shake up, starting with those

responsible for the welfare of our serving and

non serving brothers and sisters. Even writing to

individuals, your MP etc has not worked. I have

personally seen 5 communiques to the Defence

Minister, non of which has been answered by

him, but farmed out to the Defence Peoples

Secretariat (who knows what they do) to be

answered. To top it all, when the reply arrived, it

was another "cut and paste job from a similar

response. It wasn't even signed, just pulled off

the printer and mailed. This contempt and complete

disregard for the brothers and sisters that

are this countries first line of defence, is an


Brexit is coming, and to be fair, I really don't care

a hoot about it or what it brings. My concerns

are with the impact and effect this drastic and

unprecedented loss of life will have on the

Military community, not to mention recruiting. If I

was a young guy looking to perhaps enlist into

the Armed Forces, there are two things that

would definitely make me think again. Firstly,

the constant persecution of our troops for doing

their jobs (Northern Ireland), whilst those who

bombed, maimed, and slaughtered were given

amnesty. What a travesty. Secondly, the current

suicide rates. Only yesterday we lost another. I

would have to ask myself why are these people

finding it necessary to choose the final option

and way out when we profess to be a civilised

country who (allegedly) take care of their own.

For what its worth, my opinion is, that when

troops return from an area of combat operations

or conflict, it is at that point these systems

should kick in. I am aware that troops are made

to attend various "debriefs" and "decompression"

courses, but how many are just paying lip service

to that, and going through the motions just

so they can go on leave.....and take all that trauma

and baggage with them.

There is no immediate fix, and the plasters that

we are putting on gaping wounds do nothing to

address the issue, and in some cases make

things worse.

Please feel free to drop us a line here at the

Sandbagtimes. We would love to hear from

you, and get your feed back. Sadly, only one

topic this week, but it's a big topic, and deserves

its own space.

Wherever you are, whoever you are with, take

time out to lift your head and take a look

around. You never know, there might be a

brother looking for help.

Thank you as always for you ongoing support,

and for keeping the magazine alive. Without

you it could not happen.



0800 731 4880

| 8


Ask Kerry...

Let her help you to open doors

Linkedin: Kerry Dedman BA PGCE

Kerry’s CV and coaching support for current

and ex-military is now well known on

Linkedin. She provides a range of support

that is tailored to meet the needs of the individual.

Her reputation as a Coach and

Mentor is outstanding. For several months

we have been discussing how her expertise

could be included in The Sandbag Times. As

we want our readers to have access to her

skills, knowledge and expertise in the education,

recruitment, training and management

employment sectors.

This is why in September 2018 we are

launching a ‘Problem Page’ in The Sandbag

Times. The premise is simple. Kerry will

read every email. A selection will be chosen

to be answered in the ‘Ask Kerry’ section. A

selection will be chosen to be answered in

the Magazine. All published information will

be only be included with the

permission of the person concerned

and they will be

referred to by their initials and

geographical region, ie ‘RT


So ‘Ask Kerry’ if you want

impartial advice and guidance.

You may well still be serving,

just preparing to leave or left

the Armed Forces several

years ago. It doesn’t matter,

everyone gets the same level of service and


The published problems and Kerry’s responses

will be there to provide advice and guidance,

in a general way. Examples could be:

If you have a query about how to prepare for

your first civilian job interview. Or you are not

sure if you have any transferable skills or

even as simple a query about what to wear at

a job interview then help is at hand.

Let’s use ‘Our Kerry’ – she is very good at

opening doors!

GET HELP NOW: Combat Stress

0800 138 1619 9 |

Bouyed by his victory in the special ‘Diamond

Double’ race last time out at Snetterton, Neal

found himself on the back foot going into

race day after a difficult Saturday that saw the

team forced to change the engine on his car

ahead of qualifying.

Round Seven: Rockingham

Following Snetterton Success, Rockingham proves to

be a round to forget

Halfords Yuasa Racing pair Matt Neal and

Dan Cammish battled hard on track to secure

vital championship points on a challenging

weekend of racing in the Dunlop MSA British

Touring Car Championship at Rockingham.

Both drivers showed strong pace on track at

the wheel of their Honda Civic Type Rs, but

found themselves unable to push for a place

on the podium due to the forceful nature of

racing in the midfield.

Having got the triple champion out on track,

Neal qualified just a second away from pole

position, although the close nature of the grid

meant he found himself 29th on the grid for

race one.

Delayed by an incident at the start, Neal

fought hard in race one to finish in 18th spot,

and showed top six pace in both races two

and three, although plenty of contact in the

midfield meant he had to settle for 14th and

15th place finishes.

Series rookie Cammish came close to securing

a maiden pole position in qualifying for

race one, where he picked up a fifth place finish

despite carrying damage as a legacy of

contact on the opening lap.

Rain ahead of the second race created challenging

conditions on track, with Cammish

one of those drivers caught out by a damp

Photo: Jakob Ebrey

| 10


patch on the circuit as he ran wide at Deene whilst fighting for

tenth place; an incident that left him instead outside the points

in 21st spot.

However, the Yorkshireman fought back well in race three

despite being on the less favourable hard tyre to end his

weekend with a second top ten finish.

The points scored in the final race allowed the Honda teams'

to top score amongst the manufacturer entries to maintain

second in the Manufacturers’ Championship whilst Halfords

Yuasa Racing ends the weekend just two points away from

the lead of the Teams Championship.

Neal sits in fifth place in the Drivers' Championship, just

twelve points off the top three, with Cammish just a point

away from the top ten.

Cammish also retains the lead of the Jack Sears Trophy


Matt Neal On Rockingham

“You can’t hide from the fact that it’s been a tough weekend

for us and luck hasn’t been on our side. We were really on the

back foot after qualifying because the margins have been so

close that we found ourselves towards the rear of the field

and it was always going to be tough from there. Some of the

racing in the mid-pack is brutal and I found myself trying to

look after the car as best I could but have still come away with

quite a bit of damage. The lap times showed that the Civic

Type R was a quick car this weekend and to end it with a

Manufacturers win in race three is a positive. However, it’s

onwards and upwards from here and we have to focus on the

next round at Knockhill.”

Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Dan Cammish on Rockingham

“I think character building is a good way to sum the weekend

up for me. It’s clear to see that we had good pace in the car

on Saturday and on another day we could have had pole and

then would have avoided the incident at the start of race one,

which just unfortunate. The field bunched up and I made contact

with Sam [Tordoff], which was completely unintentional

and the last thing I wanted to do. We carried some damage

after that but managed to bring home some points in fifth

place but the mixed conditions in race two didn’t favour us

and I found myself on a damp part of the circuit fighting for

position and it cost me. I feel I got the best I could from the

car in race three and P21 to P10 was a good way to end what

has been a tough meeting where we haven’t been able to

pick up the results that our pace deserved.”

Standings: Matt Neal 5th - 176pts Dan Cammish 11th - 129 pts Halfords Yuasa Racing 2nd - 298 pts Honda 2nd - 553pts

Pabs On Rockingham: Hard Times Come &

Go, But At Least The Bacon Was Nice...

If ever I have felt for a team, it was last Sunday watching our

buddies struggling at Rockingham. It was funny, I kind of

had a feeling it was going to be a tough weekend after

watching the qualifying on telly the day before. There was

very little time between the front and back and although,

Matt didn’t have the best of it, his time was not shabby at

all. Such is the fierce competition in this years BTCC.

But, damn, that boy is quick! Yes, Dan managed to put his

car on third in Qualies and came home a very respectable

5th in race 1. Unfortunately Matt was on the back foot from

the word go with 29th in Qualies. But as I said, his time

was only a second behind pole. He did improve as the day

progressed and managed to bring the Honda Civic R - FK8

to 14th in Race 2 and 15th in Race 3. Not the best of days

but not the end of the world. The title hunt is still there, Matt

currently lies in 5th going to Scotland. So, Re-org, as we

say in the army, look forward and fight on.

attention on young Ash Suton, who is absolutely flying in

the Suburu all of a suddon. Hmmm....

As for the team, we polished off much bacon rolls and coffee

from the Breakfast bar which I have to say was very reasonable

too. Very strange, as I normally have to finance

trackside burgers with a mortgage but we scoffed up, sat in

the media centre keeping dry all except Vince who was like

a kid with a new toy walking around the track taking photos.

I have to say, you looked very dashing in your green media

bib mate lol. Ah well, on to Scotland and more victories.

Photo: Jokob Ebrey

Knockhill promises to be a great weekend, well suited to

the Honda. Mind you, I think the pack has now got it’s 11 |


Shackleton Bks

The History of the N. Ireland

RAF & Army Base

The East-West runway was extended to cross

the railway line to Londonderry during 1943,

so the the airfield could employ the Liberator

to its maximum effect (with as much fuel and

weapons as possible to provide max range and

endurance). In September 1943 Liberators

returned, this time with 86Sqn. They were

replaced by 120 Sqn in September 1943.

Along with 120 Sqn more Liberators arrived

with 59Sqn. 120 Sqn disbanded at Ballykelly

on 4 June 1945. In late August 281 Sqn

arrived at the airfield. 59 Sqn moved off the

airfield in September and 281 Sqn disbanded

on 24 October. Left without units and a

mission, Ballykelly was then put on care and


In 1947 Ballykelly reopened and became the

home of the Joint Anti-Submarine School

(JASS), operating Shackleton MR1 and MR2.

Five years later it became an operational

airfield again when 269 Sqn reformed on 10

March with Shacketons. In June 240 Sqn

followed. On 1 January 1954 204 Sqn was

formed at Ballykelly. 240 was renumbered to

203 Sqn on 1 november 1958, and a month

later 269 was renumbered 210 Sqn. There was

also a station flight with two Lockheed

Hudsons, two Douglas Dakotas and an

Auster.Ballykelly airfield (also known as RAF

Ballykelly and Shackleton Barracks, ICAO:

EGQB)) was an airfield in the north of

Northern Ireland.

Work on the airfield began in 1940 and it was

opened on 1 June 1941 as an RAF station. No

units were based at the airfield until December

1941. That month the Coastal Command

Development Unit arrived at the airfield, but

they left in June 1942. It remained a Coastal

Command base however, although now with

an operational mission. Long range maritime

patrol Fortress bombers (RAF B-17 bombers)

of 220 Sqn began using the airfield. On 21

July 1942 they were followed by 120 Sqn with

Liberators. Both squadrons (and their

detachments on Iceland) began their long

range missions deep into the Atlantic hunting

for U-boats. Both units moved to RAF

Aldergrove in February 1943. For a while the

airfield was used only by visiting Fleet Air

Arm aircraft while disembarked from carriers.

The JASS disbanded in March 1957. In 1957

and again in 1958, 240 Sqn was among the

units involved in Operation Grapple, nuclear

weapon testing on Christmas Island in the

Pacific Ocean. The three squadrons worked

side by side as part of the ASW (Anti-

Submarine Warfare) force and covered search

and rescue (SAR) standby duties. Some Fleet

Air Arm units (such as 819 Sqn) moved onto

the station in 1962, with the Royal Navy

referring to it as HMS Sealion.

In 1963 the E-W runway was extended a

second time to enable the V-bomber force to

use the airfield as a dispersal site. On the

eastern end's north side of the runway bomber

dispersals were built immediately to the


During a trans-atlantic yacht race in 1967/8 a

French competitor was lost. By adopting

search positions well before the expected

search location, a Ballykelly Shackleton found

him. They dropped some life preserving

equipment and marked his position so he

could be picked up by surface vessels. A few

days later President De Gaulle visited

Ballykelly to personally award medals to

members of the crew.

In February 1969 203 Sqn moved to Malta.

210 Sqn left the base in November 1970 for

the Persian Gulf. That left 204 Sqn alone at

the base until its disbandment in March 1971.

Left without units and a mission again, RAF

Ballykelly was to be closed and handed over

to the British Army on 2 June 1972. For a

while it was used for trails with the then-new

Nimrods later in 1971, though.

The handover to the Army did not mean the

end of flying operations at the station

however. It did mean a change in name, as the

Army decided to rename it Shackleton

Barracks, in honour of the Shackleton units

that had operated at the airfield for 20 years.

When the RAF left Ballykelly in 1971 there

was no further use for the full length of the E-

W runway. A much shorter runway was

eventually laid out at about the middle of that

runway to accommodate visiting Army

Islander aircraft based at Aldergrove. The

occasional visiting Hercules used the

secondary runway (02/20), which had an

approach over Lough Foyle. Army helicopters

and Police helicopter also used the airfield

from time to time.

On March 29, 2006, an Airbus A320 aircraft

operated by Eirjet on behalf of Ryanair landed

at Ballykelly after the pilot mistook the

runway for that of nearby City of Derry


The Army pulled out of the airfield in 2008.

For a while it was still occasionally used by

visiting army helicopters during exercises.

In 2010 the former base was sold by the MoD

to Merrion Property Development, of Dublin,

which renamed the place as Longview and

refurbished it as a housing development.

Most of the base was still intact in 2011

though, as only the homes in the housing area

had been sold to private persons.

| 12


Patron to The Tommy Atkins Centre

The Tommy Atkins Centre

Tommy Atkins Centre September

Happy to say we’re still

enjoying some beautiful

weather here in Worcester. I

don’t remember a summer

quite this warm in many a

year. And It’s quite a

welcome relief when we

see the rain occasionally to

cool it down a little, at least I

think so.

We’ve had a fairly busy month

here, seen many new faces

coming through the doors.

Combat Stress have been here most

weeks holding courses or meetings with

our veteran community, and it’s wonderful to

see some happy smiling faces, and hear the

banter as people come and go.

It’s also fantastic to have Dr Muss here

amongst us with his Rewind Technique. I’ve

already witnessed some remarkable results

from people using the technique with him, and

am really hopeful it is the breakthrough it

appears to be in helping people to cope with

their own PTSD. I have nothing but praise for

this approach, and can honestly say from

first-hand experience that it works. If you’re

interested in finding out more about it, please

take a look at the article over the next few


I would like to say to all our veteran

community, please look out for each other. If

you haven’t seen or heard from a buddy for a

few days give them a call, or pop round. If

you notice they are a bit down then keep a

close eye on them, let them know you’re there

for them and don’t give up on them. Tell them

about places like The Tommy Atkins Centre

where they can go to for help and advice.

We’re open every Tuesday and Thursday

from 0930. Bring them along for a chat ,

we’re here for you all.

Take care, please call in if you’re passing.

You’re always most welcome. x

Dr David Muss Establishes

Groundbreaking Treatment at

the Tommy Atkins Centre

The Tommy Atkins has prided itself, since it’s opening in

November 2017, that it has the ability to assist veterans in various

ways in a rapid but effective way. Psychotherapists have

volunteered along with people that have just wanted to make a

difference to our veterans.

launched by the Tommy Atkins Centre over the next few weeks

explaining the treatment but any veteran who is in need of

help is encouraged to give the Tommy Atkins Centre a call,

book an appointment and get treated. To find out more or to

book an appointment call 01905 27825 Tuesdays or Thursdays

Now, the centres has added a jewel in the crown as far as veterans

treatment is concerned, Dr David Muss is the founder of

the Rewind Trauma Therapy. A system which has been successfully

treating PTSD sufferers for years. David’s treatment

programme is now being introduced to the centre in order to

ensure veterans can be treated quickly, effectively and for free.

In short, veterans will no longer have to wait months to be

seen, nor will they be required to speak about the traumas that

affect them. Indeed, David prides his thereapy as ‘Closure

without Disclosure’. Rewind can be effective in only two sessions

and has a success rate of around 90%. In addition to

providing free treatment to veterans, David also trains therapists

around the country in the Rewind technique stating that

veterans who are treated, are treated for free.

The following pages include the leaflet which is about to be

GET HELP NOW: Tommy Atkins Centre

01905 27825

| 14

The Tommy Atkins Centre

Veterans Support



International Association

For Rewind Trauma Therapy

Rewind Trauma Therapy

For All Veterans

Closure without Disclosure



It is applicable to survivors trans culturally and

usually requires no more than two sessions to

bring about closure for single traumas. The

results are enduring** - a follow up of two years

showed no relapses in that period of time. (RT)

was first introduced into the literature of Post

Traumatic Stress Disorder by Dr.David Muss

(founder of this association) back in 1991; ** "A

new technique for treating Posttraumatic Stress


Rewind was founded by Dr

David Muss, : Licentiate

Memeber of the Society of

Apothecaries (LMSSA) UK;

Laurea Medicina e Chirugia

(University of Rome. Italy).

David is now bringing

Rewind to The Tommy

Atkins Centre, Worcester to

help veterans with service

related trauma injuries,

ensuring they receive effective

and rapid treatment in

a comfortable, stress free


"I am so much better since I s

am surprised at how well the

Now that you are a veteran do you have PTSD?

Are you admitting it to yourself? Is your family suffering.

Drinking to survive? Can’t get back to work?

Why do you continue like this?

Is it because you have lost faith in the help (or lack of

help) provided to date?

If you haven’t found any real help to give you peace of

mind it is because treatments so far approved in the

NHS aim only to help you cope rather than file the traumatic

recall of events which you have no control over.

Rewind Trauma Therapy has been in clinical use for 25

years. 90% of veterans gain sufficient control of their

mind to return to being loved by their family, return to

work and become once again a valuable social member


We are privileged to have working for us pro bono

Dr. Muss originator of the Rewind Trauma Therapy.



Disorder". British Journal of Clinical Psychology,

1991, 30,91-92. 19 policeman with PTSD were

treated with the Rewind and followed for two

years. All reported being well, returned to work

and there wasn't a single relapse. The Rewind is

different from other imaginal exposure therapies

because no details are disclosed to the therapist

hence the treatment is known as "closure without


aw you a few weeks ago, and

rewind therapy has worked. “


Visit our





26 Sansome Walk



Tel: 01905 27825

Don’t give in, give us a call, book your appointment,

no waiting list, no exclusions.

Atrocities constantly

recalled after 1990's

Bosnia and Kosovo

conflict "put to bed"

Dear David,

I would like to thank you

for your assistance in

treating me with the

Rewind technique for

post traumatic stress

disorder that I was diagnosed

with in November

2011. This has been a

number of traumatic

experience’s in my life

that I have been living

with for 12 years

because of the atrocities

that I was exposed to in

Bosnia and Kosovo in

the 1990s serving as a

Soldier in the British


You have helped me gain

my life back and get the

ghosts put to bed

Many thanks.

Former Sgt JP McClay

Irish Guards/ Royal Military Police.


International Association

For Rewind Trauma Therapy

The Tommy Atkins Centre

26 Sansome Walk



01905 27825

SBT Remembrance

100 Special Set To

Be A Sell Out

The Sandbag Times is

preparing to release a

Remembrance 100 Special

printed edition. The magazine

will cover the last 100

years since the end of the

First World War. The journey

will follow the Tale of

Remembrance including

many of the conflicts that the

British Forces have been

involved in.

The issue features the incredible

‘Remember and Reflect’

painting on the cover by War

Poppy Artist Jacqueline

Hurley. Jacqueline has also

written an article to commemorate

the occasion

along with other regular writers

such as Mrs Fox, Mike

Woods, our resident poet,

Peter Macey, our historian

plus a special editorial by

your truly.

Only 1000 copies will be produced

and will be on a first

come, first served basis.

Since the first announcement

of the magazine, many have

reserved their issues including

Veterans Breakfast Clubs

and many new subscribers

from the Port Out, Starboard

Home website.

If you would like to reserve

your issue, simply email us at

Each issue will cost £4.00

including P&P. Proceeds will

be donated to military charities

including the Tommy

Atkins Veterans Centre.



Proud Sponsors of

The Sandbag Times

The SBT would like to

welcome Urban Prints,

Worcester as an official sponsor

for our magazine.

Urban Prints

Unit 7 The Gallery,

The Shambles,



GET HELP NOW: NHS England S/West

0300 365 0300

| 20


Transfer of the play Soldier On to The Other

Palace is a fairy tale come true for serving and

veteran personnel by Amanda Faber

extremely funny…Soldier On is very, very

funny, especially in the riotous workshops

when the whole bunch get together to

rehearse under the benevolent but exasperated

tutelage of their director, Harry (David

Solomon). There’s a constant threat of fistfights

breaking out, inter-regimental insults flying,

and reproducing any of the machinegun

dialogue would involve a lot more asterisks —

but f*** me, it’s funny.”


Harry Parker

Front Cover & Main Hand Photos

Harry Burton

Matteo di Cugno

Article Photos

Steve Morgan

Hand in main pictures

It is the sort of thing that happens in a film

script. The kind of ending to a story that just

doesn’t happen in real life. Except it has. The

play Soldier On by the award winning writer,

director and veteran, Jonathan Lewis, will run

from 24th October to 24th November in The

Other Palace, brushing shoulders with theatres

housing Hamilton and Wicked and next door

to Buckingham Palace. Remarkably unique,

the cast and crew of Soldier On includes serving

and veteran military personnel and their

families. Their roles include everything from

acting and dancing to props and makeup.

Soldier On is a heartwarming story about surviving

the forces and PTSD and what happens

when you leave the ‘military family’. It's a play

about a group of veterans putting on a play -

in effect a play within a play. The plot follows

the veterans, many with mental or physical

injuries, as they meet to put together a play

about their own experiences. They begin to

recover and to reconnect, to become a company

of actors – a theatrical band of brother

and sisters. Through the sense of community,

the humour and the support they start to offer

each other, the ‘theatre of war’ starts to bring

them back together. They begin to realise that

there are more similarities between military life

and the theatre than they had first though.

Acting creates a safe space where they can

explore their feelings

Lewis was an army scholar who was invalided

out after a back injury. His play is inspired by

true stories which he has workshopped with

British servicemen and women and their families

over the last five years. The play has won

many standing ovations and much critical

acclaim. It follows Lewis’s multi-award-winning

West End hit, "Our Boys".

Lewis says ‘Soldier On is dedicated to all

those who come home after war, but don’t

really come back. And to all their loved ones

and friends who know what it’s like to live with

the thousand-yard stare.…This November we

will be remembering the end of The Great War

a hundred years ago, and there will be many

poignant and moving tributes to the fallen. It

should then be time to focus on those who


Soldier On tackles heavy subject matter with

military bearing. According to a recent 4-star

review in the Sunday Times, “There is a lot

of… military humor: dark and cynical but also



The play is performed by the theatre company

of The Soldiers Arts Academy (SAA), an organization

that provides a platform for the arts for

serving and veteran members of the armed

forces and their families. SAA enables them to

recover, to train in the arts including performance

skills and to transition back into work

both in the performing arts and elsewhere.


closely with

actors, directors,



writers, poets

and artists,

and alongside

members of

the local community,




that enable

participants to

fulfill their

artistic potential.


Academy was

set up to

bring the

activities in a

number of companies running at that time

under one banner. They included The Charlie

F Project (UK) Ltd, Combat Veteran Players

and Shakespeare’s soldiers.

The exciting call to bring the play into a West

End theatre came from Lord Lloyd Webber’s

theatre The Other Palace. ‘ Veteran and actor

Shaun Johnson commented “After a sell-out

UK tour, it’s an absolute pleasure for me to be

invited to perform the part of Flaps again.

We’re taking this production up a notch to the

superb The Other Place Theatre in the heart of

London. What a privilege and fitting tribute as

a former soldier to acknowledge the sacrifice

and the ending of the Great War by performing

Soldier On around the 100th anniversary of

Armistice Day".

The true value of this play lies in its power to

create conversations about the next steps in

recovery for serving and veteran military personnel.

There is limited evidence about what

actually happens for veterans through theatre


but there is now recognition of the possibilities.

In 2017 an all party inquiry co chaired by

Lord Howarth and Ed Vaisey concluded that

the arts can help recovery from illness and

keep people well. Lord Howarth said “The arts

can help people take responsibility for their

own health and wellbeing in ways that will be

crucial to the health of the nation.”

Playing the role of Woody, Cassidy Little

@Bears_eat_oats, was a dancer before he

joined the Royal Marines, where he lost his left

leg to an IED in Afghanistan on his second

tour of duty. Prior to the initial run of Soldier

On he had gone on to perform in both tours of

the multiple-award nominated The Two Worlds

of Charlie F by Owen Sheers, won the

People’s Strictly for Comic relief, has worked

in film and has his own show ‘Rated’ on BFBS.

He says, ‘Had it not been for acting, dancing

and performing then I have no idea where my

life would be”.

The impact for

those on stage

and behind

the stage is

also mirrored

by the

changes that

take place in



whether serving

and veteran


and their families

or members

of the

wider community.

One audience member

said, ‘ it helps to put you in

touch with emotions that are

sometimes difficult to face’

and another said ‘Acting is

somewhere you can pretend

to be someone else but actually

be yourself without being


The military charities have

done a superb job of making

everyone aware of the issues

faced by veterans and serving

personnel. Events like the

Invictus games have provided

a brilliant focus for sport but

this is not for everyone. It's the

turn of those involved in the

arts now. This is the first time

that veterans have performed

a major run of a play about

their experiences in the West

End. Writer Lewis feels passionate

about the subject matter. ‘Soldier On

celebrates the power of Story in the healing

process. Soldier On is here to say ‘You are not


Tickets are available from the Other Palace


or by phoning their booking line 0207 087

7900. There is £10 off every ticket band for

serving and veteran military personnel and

their families and members of the emergency

services by using the code SOLDIERONFAM.

Find us:






A pair of tickets to ‘Soldier On’ at

the Other Palace Theatre, London

for 30th October 2018

To be in with a chance of winning

simply answer the following question

and email your answer to

Q. Who is the famous West End

lyracist and owner of the Other

Palace Theatre?

Entries close Friday 14th September 2018

| 24

Fortune knocks twice for lucky Worthing couple

A lucky couple have each won a prize in the new Veterans Raffle, promoted by YES Society. It supports the specialist

UK Armed Forces and Emergency Services charities desperately in need of additional funding, and it’s the

only UK raffle or lottery to apportion 95% of your donations to charity & prizes.

Mark, a self-confessed petrol head and lover of military aviation, said “I had already pre-registered for the Veterans

Raffle launch in May this year and when I won a £100 prize in my very first draw, I encouraged my wife Catherine to

enter too. We were both absolutely amazed when she also won a £100 prize in her first draw, which was just 2

months after my win!”

Why did you choose to support the Veterans Raffle?

NHS nurse, Catherine said “We saw the Veterans Raffle advertised locally and upon visiting their website we

instantly became aware of just how little we knew about lotteries in general, including those we had been supporting

for years. With such compelling facts right before my eyes it became a ‘No-Brainer’ to switch my support to the

Veterans Raffle.”

A beneficiary of the Veterans Raffle, Tony Hayes, CEO & Founder of the Veterans Association UK said: “We’re

extremely grateful for the Veterans Raffle support. The Veterans Raffle provides crucial funds for the valuable work

that we do. I’m particularly impressed with the percentage that is given to charities like us and also ‘Gobsmacked’

how generous the prizes are too. I don’t know of any other lottery that comes even close to being so transparent

about what goes where and who gets what. They’ve really put a lot of thought and planning into the Veterans Raffle

and I can see it really taking-off once word gets around. We’re doing all we can to help them to help us.”

The Veterans Raffle– Enter today to support our ex-servicemen & women

Every month there are guaranteed Winners for every prize drawn, from no less than £100 right up to a potential

£25,000 25|


Canada Calling

The Canuck Connection

In just over 3 months

we will once again

form up on Npvember

11th. This year it will

be extraordinary in

that it is the 100th

Anniversary of WW1.

11-11-11 yes the 11th

day of the 11th month

at 11 hundred hours.

Heads will be bowed

in prayer, the last post

and Reveille will sound

after 2 minutes of


World leaders of both sides of the war will be attending

services in their Nations Capital. That is except for the

Commander in Chief of the USA. He has invited himself

to Paris to watch the military parade as he cannot afford

one. This in its self is a slap in the face from the Orange

President to Veterans and serving soldiers.

I hope that some one in the White House sees this issue

and this Video in particular.

Created by a Canadian Veteran a dozen or more years


On that note thus endeth the lesson of a C in C who

disrespects his military. As a DRAFT DODGER would.

Till next month stay safe.

Nil Sine Labore


Have You Walked A Mile Yet?


GET HELP NOW: NHS England South East

020 3317 6818

| 26



I remember, as a child, scrambling over the prehistoric cliffs of

Highcliffe-on-sea on the south coast. The cliffs were forever crumbling

that would unearth thousands of fossils of tiny shell fish and

animals. My friend and I would spend hours searching through the

clay and mud in the hope of finding something that nobody had

ever seen before. What an adventure that was. I also remember,

scattered all over the beach were rocks and stones with amazing

crystal formations. These formations had been formed by thousands

of years of exposure to the sand and salty seawater leaving

a multitude of sparkling colours. I used to wonder what if I could

break one of these rocks open? Would it look like the precious

stones in the gem shops? Could I get rich from them? The problem

"The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone".

The more I think about this, the more impact it has on me. The

more imperfect we are, the more God wants to use us. Wow, how

powerful is that? I find it really reassuring that no matter I much I

feel rejected from those around me, the more God wants to use

me. No matter how damaged or rough I may be, God has a purpose

for me. Sometimes, it is only by getting damaged and taking

the knocks can we be truly ready to be used. As I write this,

I have another passage in the bible fighting to come out. It is at

Mark 2:17 "When Jesus heard this, he told them, "Healthy people

don't need a doctor--sick people do. I have come to call not those

who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners."

These two passages, for me, have become so important in my life.

Take some time, if you can, to just mull over these thoughts today.

I do hope they give you the peace that I found in them.

Oh yes, I never did break that rock!!

was how to break these stones open. Hmm. A child's mind is a wonderful

place. Full of dreams and wonder... Its funny, because years

later, whenever I hear the phrase "He/she is my rock" my mind

wanders back to those rocks on the beach and their sheer strength.

No matter how I smashed at them with my dad's hammer, I wasn't

strong enough to break them.

Until next time, take care and God bless. Px

There was one lesson for life. A good rock can be relied upon to

stand strong for you. How many rocks do you have in your life?

Stones and rocks appear all over the place in the Bible. From the

stones that bore the Ten Commandments, the stone that David

killed Goliath with, the rock that Moses struck in the desert with his

staff to quench the thirst of the Israelite's, there are so many. But

the most impacting passage, for me bar none, can be found in 1

Peter 2, Psalm 118: 22, Matthew 21: 42, Acts 4: 11, Luke 20: 17-

18, Mark 12: 10, to name just a few. It is simple,

GET HELP NOW: NHS England North

0191 441 5974 27 |






Forces Recruitment Services

Tel: +44 (0)1353 645004

Prince Harry teams up with

Hamish Blake for special project

Invictus News

David Beckham Announced As

2018 Invictus Games Ambassador

Former England football captain David

Beckham has announced that he will be taking

on a role as Invictus Games Ambassador.

In a post on his personal Instagram page, he


"I’ve been lucky enough to meet and work

with many serving, veteran and wounded

British armed forces personnel over the years

and I’ve been humbled by the courage,

resilience and spirit shown by each and every

one of them.

Read More Here...

Former digger Craig McGrath to

compete in yacht race

COMMANDO Craig McGrath’s life changed

when he walked into an abandoned building

in Afghanistan in 2012.

The wall next to him was about to explode

and riddle his body with shrapnel.

The force of the debris that burst from the

hidden improvised explosive device tore

through one of Mr McGrath’s knuckles, broke

his right leg and tore a femoral vein.

Read More Here

The countdown is on with just over

two months to go until Prince Harry

and Meghan Markle arrive in

Sydney for the Invictus Games.

And now there's another reason to

get excited for the October event,

not that we really needed it.

Hamish Blake has been announced

as ambassador for the Invictus

Games and it turns out he has a lot

in common with its creator.

"I was profoundly changed by a trip

we took to Afghanistan in 2008,"

Blake says on the Games' official


"It was my first real experience

properly interacting with defence

personnel and saw first-hand the

incredible work they do."

In 2008, Blake and comedy partner

Andy Lee broadcast their radio

show from the Australian base at

Tarin Kowt as during their mission

to entertain the troops.

Prince Harry established the

Invictus Games in 2014 after seeing

the positive impact sport could

have on the recovery of wounded,

injured and ill servicemen and


The event has been held in

London, Florida and Toronto with

Sydney next in line. It'll involve 500

competitors from 18 nations.

The 33-year-old has a deep connection

to those who have served.

Harry was in the army for 10 years

and undertook two tours of


He was known as Captain Wales

and piloted an Apache helicopter.

Blake, too, says the Invictus Games

can be a force for change.

"I think it’s an awesome movement

that not only provides a great experience

for defence personnel and

veterans but allows the public to

show tangible support for veterans

which I think there is a real want to

do, we just often don’t know how,"

the 36-year-old comedian says.

"It’s an awesome chance to show

our appreciation and support to

people who, quite frankly, have

risked their lives to support our


As for which sport he's most looking

forward to watching during the

Games Blake says, "I’m secretly an

indoor rowing nerd.

"I’m pumped that it’s an actual


Prince Harry chose the Toronto

Games to introduce Meghan Markle

to the world, stepping out for the

first time together at the tennis.

Now the couple are married, excitement

is expected to reach fever

pitch in Sydney with thousands of

fans no doubt hanging out to catch

a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess

of Sussex.

Read More Here...

GET HELP NOW: NHS England Midlands

0300 323 0137

| 30


The Archers Targeting Success At Invictus Games 2018 -

With the Invictus Games 2018 drawing

ever closer, Forces News went to see

how the archers at Team UK are preparing.

10 archers have been selected to represent

the UK at the games which kicks off

on 20 October in Sydney, Australia.

The group have been upping their training

programme recently and have been

to Bath for an intense training camp.

This year the UK Invictus team are made

up of more than 60 per cent new athletes.

One new athlete is Daniel Phillips, he

said: "I don't know what words to

describe [being selected].

"Such an amazing feeling...yeah me, little

old me - how can they pick little old

me?! It was incredible!"

Joe Dillnutt will also be competing for

the first time and is itching to get started

down under.

"If I could go out there tomorrow and do

it, I would - I suppose that's a little bit of

nerves as well where I just want to get it

done but at the same time, I want to be

in the best shape I can before going out

there," he explained.

Two Team GB coaches were leading the

training camp, hoping to guide the athletes

to a potential podium place.

Coach Andy Rikukenko said it's about

getting the best out of each athlete

regardless of any disabilities: "If somebody

can't use one of their arms then

we have to start thinking about shooting

with a mouth tab like one of the guys

here today, then yeah that brings in a

few interesting challenges.

Read Full Story... 31 |

Russell Perks Martial Arts Academy in

Kidderminster has been helping ex-servicemen

and women to resolve the pain of PTSD

through martial arts training.

Everyone needs some form of discipline in

their life, some people need it more than others.

This is often the case for ex-military personnel

in particular. They are very much used

to the day-to-day routine of a military life, and

once out of the forces they are left at a loose

end, missing the sense of belonging, discipline

and structure of that way of life.


Veterans Find a New Focus Through Martial Arts

Focusing The Mind, Body & Spirit Through Dedication & Self Discipline Aids

Veterans in Tackling Mental Health Issues and Assits in Resettlement

back, “Martial arts have given me discipline,

new friends who support me in what I do and

a social circle outside of the Academy. I now

have a complete new focus and something to

look forward to, plus a way of getting fit. It

has given me a new lease of life!!”.

Martin goes on to say” It really has given me

a new way to look at life, although I still have

down days from time to time, I know that my

martial arts instructor team and members are

there to support and encourage me. The only

bad moment for me is when they close on a

bank holiday as I miss it that much”.

For those individuals who have been on the

front line and now suffer with PTSD, there is

medication plus many clinics and groups set

up to support them, however some people

just need something more!

At Russell Perks Martial Arts Academy, we

have found that martial arts training with the

right teaching methods, really can be a successful

therapy for those suffering. Owner

and chief instructor Russell Perks was first

approached by his first military veteran,

Martin Woodnutt, about starting martial arts. It

took him over 3 weeks just to come through

the front door. Once he took that first step

Martin says that there really was no turning

Chief instructor Russell Perks says “Martin is

a pleasure to teach, people always take a

while to adapt to new situation. When Martin

first came to me, he was lacking confidence

and was so unsure of everything. However,

we worked hard with him, as we do with all of

our students to make them feel comfortable,

by having fun, challenging and supporting

each other along the way. I can’t recommend

martial arts enough” If you are that person

struggling with PTSD and feel that there is

nothing left for you then I urge you to give

martial arts a try, choose the right club and

you won’t look back. For anyone seeking

advice regarding martial arts then please contact

Russell Perks on

| 32


WRAF Sailing With Turn To Starboard

The WRAF Branch of RAFA were delighted

to be offered the use of a Beneteau

40’ yacht by Turn to Starboard, The

Forces’ Sailing Charity (T2S was established

retired Sqn Ldr Shaun Pascoe) together with

an amazing skipper Sir Dusty Millar, former

President of RAFA and a Patron of T2S, for

the first week of July.

Sir Dusty and his six Ex WRAF crew, only

three of whom had sailed before, met up in

Falmouth where T2S are based and took over

the boat that would be ours for the week.

Following safety briefings and familiarity (military

ethos never far away) and stocking up

with rations, we slipped for Carrick Roads

and man overboard drills. The ladies

deemed the skipper essential so paid due


Days followed of learning the drills for putting

up, taking down and flaking of sails and

helming the boat; we were fortunate to have

amazing weather for all bar one day - which

taught us the vagaries of weather forecasting

and being prepared. An 8-knot wind that

rapidly turned into 32 knots and 10’ waves

was an experience none of us will forget,

exhilarating and very mind focusing at the

same time! An abiding memory for all being

Sir Dusty making us all lunch one day, sandwiches

and drinks as we sailed – WE DID IT!

A passage to, and overnight moored off

Fowey with a trip ashore to the Legion and

for dinner was another highlight.

In typical military fashion a largely unfamiliar

group of veterans came together as individuals

and left as a team. Sharing close quarters,

meals, laughs and some hard moments,

creating memories that will never fade. The

end of our week was rounded

off by a move to the T2S

tall ship Spirit of Falmouth, a

91’ wooden gaff rig replica!

One of our group had sailed

the boat many years prior

so it was a lovely home

coming. Our final 2 days

was spent on Spirit exploring

the coast around

Falmouth and up the River

Fal with amazing weather

but sadly not enough wind

to put up sail.

Turn to Starboard and Sir

Dusty gave us all an amazing

week for which we are

very grateful, recognized by

a donation from the ladies.

For more information on the

charity and all they offer to

those serving and retired 33 |

Veterans Breakfast Clubs

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.

GET HELP NOW: Return To The Tribe


Armed Forces &

Veterans Breakfast Clubs


Uxbridge AFVBC Raises Awareness For Veterans Suicide

Do you tweet?

Iain Henderson of the Uxbridge Armed Forces

& Veterans Breakfast Club is trying to boost

awareness of Veterans’ suicide.

The proposal is to have a #TwitterStorm next

Charity Tuesday 21 August 2018 from 8am.

Iain says “I am trying to boost the message

about #VeteranSuicide #VeteransSuicides “

All you have to do is include those hashtags

as above in posts on Twitter and all social


There is also a petition you can find on Iain’s

Twitter @VCTrustee

It asks that in all deaths the coroners have to

consider if the victim was a veteran and if it

was a case of suicide. So we can establish

better the scale of the problem.

Please share far and wide

You can also of course contact your MP and

get them motivated.

First Oakham AFVBC Club A Great Success

Local residents Mark & Tracey Taylor hosted

the first Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast

Club on Saturday 11th August 2018 at the

Grainstore Brewery in Oakham.

Mark an Armed Forces Veteran himself has

only been out of the Army less than 3 years

having completed 26 years’ service and

decided on settling down with Tracey and

his family in Oakham on completion of his

full service. Tracey who currently works in

Adult Services within the local area remarked

that It is evident that there really is a large

service and veteran community within

Oakham and it was too good an opportunity

to miss to try and acquaint likeminded folk

together in a formal meet within the community.

There are no subs or joining fees. All

veteran or service personnel will ever have to

pay for is their own breakfast.

Mark & Tracey decided that this would be a

good opportunity and spoke to the

Grainstore Brewery who kindly agreed to

host the Breakfast and the rest was then

simply down to word of mouth via various

social media platforms and Rutland Radio

which then gathered real interest from then

on in. Read more here...

| 38

| 36

Veterans Breakfast Clubs

Tickets to Award winning Ballet “Lest We Forget”

The network of the Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Clubs are delighted

to receive an allocation of tickets (in pairs) to this award winning Ballet

‘Lest We Forget’. If you would like to apply for a pair of tickets, please

contact Elaine Forman at

New veterans breakfast in New Mills brings community together

Veterans and armed service personnel

can now come together and support

each other with bacon butties, brews

and banter.

On Saturday, the newest Armed Forces

and Veterans Breakfast Club opened in

New Mills and more than 50 people

came out to support the event. The

meeting was held at The Pride of the

Peaks, on Market Street. Landlady

Shelley Hagen said: “It was busier than I

thought it would be which means it must

be needed around here. “It was a lovely

morning and everyone was chatting

about where they had served. There was

a great mix of young and old all together,

and a real sense of community.” To

celebrate the launch, all the breakfasts

were served-up free of charge with support

from Booker’s. Shelley said: “They

heard about what we were doing and

contacted us. They said they wanted to

help make a difference and offered to

foot the bill, which was just lovely.” The

breakfast meetings are now popping up

all over the country, with the first being

launched in Hull by Dereck Hardman.

Speaking about the New Mills launch, he

said: “When you leave the Armed Forces

you lose not just a job, your income,

your home, your work clothes; usually

around 1,500 friends and you lose your

identity in many respects. In short, your

entire way of life has to change. 39 | 37 |


A word from the Ed

Ways to find us

It’s something of a tradition for

me to start these blogs with the

line ‘Wow, what a Month’. As

much as I want to use it this

month it just doesn’t feel

appropriate. Six veterans

confirmed dead within a week

from suicide (a seventh is being

investigated). It is absolutely

heartbreaking. Unfortunately the

big question still remains, Why?

But you know what, I’m sick of

asking the question and sitting by

while more veterans die

needlessly. I’ve said on numerous

occasions recently that we all

have to get involved to help.

Well, over here at the Tommy

Atkins Centre we are launching

our treatment service through our

own GP and Trauma specialist Dr

David Muss and the Rewind

Therapy. This is simple. You

don’t need to wait, just call us.

You do not need to go through

GP’s, jump through hoops or wait

for months on end. Call the

centre and you will be seen within

a week. Regardless of age,

severity, condition, or weather

you still have substance misuse as

an issue, the centre can and will

help. Please let us know.

In other news, we are very thrilled

to be associated with Team

Dynamics Motorsport in

becoming an offial sponsor for the

Veterans Awards. We are all very

excited at this and are looking

forward to our Patron Matt, taking

a big part in this. Talking of

Matt, we are looking forward to

watching the action at Knockhill

in Scotland this weekend when

Matt and Dan will be fighting

back from not their best weekend

at Rockingham. You can watch it

this Sunday on ITV 4 from midmorning.

Have a great month until Issue 48

and remember to get your orders

in for the Remembrance Special

out in October.. They’re going

quick. Take care for now, Pabs x

The Sandbag Times



Caption Competition

Come up with a funny caption for the picture

above and win an autographed card from our

two Team Dynamics drivers, Matt Neal and

Dan Cammish. Just email us your funnies on

| 38


The Trauma Trap

By Dr David Muss


stress disorder is

a little-recognized

but debilitating



It affects thousands

of people across the

world, from

servicemen and

women returning from

war, to victims of rape,

assault or industrial


Common symptoms,

such as hallucinations,

nightmares, flashbacks

and chronic anxiety, can

recur for years after the


Treatment, if available at all, has

tended to be slow and often

distressing, and the results

frequently disappointing.

This book outlines a programme

which aims to be straightforward

and comprehensible in restoring

normality and tranquillity to the

lives of people suffering from the

effects of both natural and manmade


All or Nothing

Chalky Martin

If your music tastes lie with Mods, Ska and

Soul then this album from Chalky Martin is

the album to buy. Available soon, watch this


Talladega Nights

Here’s a little bit of light-hearted

madness for your quiet

evenings viewing. I only

include this because we watched it on

Netflix this month and I found it very

funny. Don’t take this seriously as it

really goes a little far in places but I will

say that Will Ferrell is hilarious. Worth a

watch and as I said, available on Netflix.

Back issues of The Sandbag Times are available to download here 39 |


Mrs Fox Goes

To War...

The Chronicles of Little Hope

1939 - 1945

Villager of the month:

Little Fanny Fuller

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


“Whatever had gone on in that potting shed, little

Fanny Fuller was certainly living up to her


You can catch up with the adventures of Fanny

Fuller at

This month’s letter comes from Ethel, and

she’s after borrowing Hilda’s lame gamekeeper...

Little Fanny Fuller was the vicar's housemaid,

an honest, decent sort with the world - and the

vicar's nephew, young Percy Fishwick - at her

feet. The Reverend Fishwick had voiced his

concerns to Mrs Fox however about the meagre

amount of pigeon in his pies of late and was a

bit suspicious of Fanny's increasing girth.

Mrs Fox was pretty certain that pies had nothing

whatsoever to do with it...

| 40


Letter of the Month

Dear Hilda

I was wondering if you would take it upon

yourself to manage your Dick?

With most of the men in the village being

away fighting Jerry it is left to us women to

tend our own patches and it’s all well and

good being asked to dig for victory, but I for

one struggle with a dibber. Now I know that

Dick Scratcher helps out with your patch and I

was thinking that a woman of your formidable

talents would be just the person to manage

Dick and arrange for all the ladies on the village

to have him for a bit on a rota? After all

there is a war on and I think that with our

men away it’s only fair that all us ladies get

our fair share of Dick to ease the frustration

of having to manage our own patches.

Thank you in advance dear Mrs Finch .

bean amongst the lettuce, as it were? Heaven

knows, Dick’s a dab hand at it but he can’t be


Might you consider perhaps banding together

with another lady (or two) in the village and going

at it en masse, as it were? They do say that many

hands make light work, and I’m sure that Fanny

Cox and Dotty Fishburn from the WI would jump

at the chance to help out, Lord knows they

spend enough time fiddling about in one another’s

foliage and one imagines that a change of

frondescence might be just the ticket for all three

of you.

In short then, Ethel, you really don’t need a Dick to

keep on top of things in your lonely patch, a

Fanny’s just as good and she’ll bring her own kippers.


Hilda Ffinch,

The Bird With All The Answers

Yours expectantly,


Dear Ethel,

Managing the Dick in question, my dear, isn’t

as easy as it sounds. For one thing, my

undergrowth is extensive and requires constant

attention if Colonel Ffinch’s rhubarb is to

come up at all this year, and for another Dick

needs to be constantly on hand here to

encourage the Colonel’s gourds to come

good, if they are to come at all. I’ve tried

everything, but clearly I don’t have the special

touch that Dick Scratcher does. The Colonel

swears by him, even going so far as to invite

him round for the occasional stiff one on the

terrace (providing that we don’t have any

house guests of note, obviously) and maintains

that he’s a far better sower of seed than

any he’s come across this side of Kew

Gardens, and to be entirely fair, he’s come

across a few.

I do appreciate that the shortage of men in

Little Hope and the surrounding villages has

led to a surge in the growth rate of ladies’ gardens

and that obviously it’s nigh on impossible

(not to mention terribly tiresome) having

to go at it constantly on one’s own, but perhaps

a raised bed might help your endeavours

and make it easier to find the odd broad

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 (hopefully) 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. 41 |

TO ORDER PLEASE CALL: 01226 734222




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