The Veteran - April Issue


The Veterans newspaper by the good people that bring you the Sandbag Times

The Veteran

In Support of The Tommy Atkins Centre

18 April 2019



Official Magazine to AFVBC’s

Soldier who 'glassed'

pal in Magaluf freed

witness recalls seeing Glasgow woman slump to ground

Dragon Den Star

Offers Free Gym

for Veterans

Story: The Daily Record

Story: Cornwall Live

Armed Forces veterans

with PTSD are being

offered free gym

membership by The former

Dragons’ Den star Duncan

Bannatyne - who has

called on the Government

to do more to help military


RAF Take On The


BTCC Latest News


The 70-year-old, who

served in the Royal Navy of

six years after joining aged

16, also put his money

where his mouth is - by

offering free gym

memberships at all 72

Bannatyne Health Clubs to

veterans with posttraumatic

stress disorder.

Duncan told the Sunday

People: "I truly believe our

armed forces are the best

in the world. I think they do

an amazing job and the

bravery that comes with

doing the job they do is


"If I can help in a small way

such as giving a free

membership to help

combat PTSD, then I am

more than happy to do that.

The soldier accused of

glassing her Scots pal

who in Magaluf has been

released from prison.

Sarah Ann Garrity, 22, suffered

serious injuries in the incident

and had emergency surgery

before her pal Sydney Cole, 19,

was arrested on suspicion of

wounding with a dangerous


Yesterday, Sarah, who is in the

Royal Logistic Corps, told court

officials from her hospital bed

that she is not making a formal

complaint against Cole.

She waived her right to claim

compensation or launch a

private prosecution against Cole

if she’s found guilty of any

wrongdoing after a trial.

The alleged attacker told the

court that the brawl at Banana’s

nightclub in Magaluf was an


Read more here...

SBT Reports


Mrs Fox Goes To War


Agony Aunt, Hilda Ffinch

Answers your Letters

Page 11





Read more here...


The Veteran 18 April 2019


Pieces Of Missing Japanese F-35

Fighter Jet Found: Pilot Still Missing

Story: Image: Ross D. Franklin/AP

Japan's military has

confirmed that one of its

F-35A jet fighters has

crashed in the Pacific Ocean

during a training exercise.

National broadcaster NHK

reports that search crews

have recovered part of the

plane's tail.

As of midday Wednesday in

Japan, the plane's pilot,

reportedly in his 40s, was still

missing. It is not clear whether

he ejected before the plane

crashed. NHK quotes Defense

Minister Takeshi Iwaya as

saying that the military is

focusing on rescuing the pilot

and investigating the cause of

the crash. He added that the

U.S. military is assisting with

the search.

The crash has raised

concerns both about the

safety of the F-35, which

Japan plans to adopt as the

mainstay of its air force, and

the possible intelligence

windfall that any foreign

government could score, in

the event that they could beat

Japanese or U.S. search

crews to the missing plane's


The plane took off from

Misawa airbase in northeast

Japan's Aomori prefecture

around 7 p.m. for a combat

training exercise with three

other jets. There were no

signs of any problem until a

half-hour later, when the pilot

communicated that he was

calling off the mission. The

plane then disappeared from

the radar, roughly 80 miles

east of Misawa.

Misawa is home to both U.S.

and Japanese air forces. It is

also reportedly a center for

the allies to collect signals

intelligence. It is home to

Japan's first squadron of F-

35A fighters, which began

operations just last month.

Read more here...

War veteran 'ordered' to take down Union Jack flag

Story: Talk Radio Reporter: Samantha King

A Gulf War veteran who flew a Union

Jack flag in his garden says he has been

ordered to take it down after a neighbour


Andrew Smith installed the 5ft-tall flag in

his garden as a tribute to Great Britain,

after serving six years in the Royal Signals.

The 51-year-old says he has since received

a letter from housing developer

Harron Homes ordering him to take it

down or face legal action.

“I can’t see why a Union Jack flag is offensive.

Why would you be offended by

patriotism?" Mr Smith said.

“We have become soft and don’t want to

upset other people, whereas I have done

my bit for my country and I’m proud to be


“I went to war for my country. It’s something

close to my heart and every morning

I feel like saluting it. We are becoming

weak and spineless. Who are they to tell

me not to fly the flag?”

Project manager Mr Smith says he intermittently

switches the Union Jack with the

England flag, which he puts up during

football and rugby matches.

He added that he had the flag displayed

for 10 years in his previous property without


Harron Homes declined to comment.


18 April 2019

Armed Forces & Veterans News...

Red Arrows call in former

pilot after Red 3 breaks leg

Story: The Telegraph Image: Danny Lawson/PA

The Veteran

RAF Cosford expansion comes

amid major development

Story: Shropshire Star

Currently Shropshire

Council is investigating the

possibility of allowing

developers to create a new

3,000 home town on land

at Tong, near to Cosford,

and next to the M54.

The proposal, which

comes under plans for

what the council calls the

'M54 corridor', also

includes around 50

Image: RAF Cosford

hectares of employment

land. It will go out to

consultation later this year.

In reports outlining the

plan, which has been put

forward by land owner The

Bradford Estates, council

officers said the

development would be

related to RAF Cosford.

Read more here...

The Red Arrows have had to

call a former team member

out of retirement after one

of the pilots broke his leg playing


Making the announcement on

Twitter, Squadron Leader Martin

Pert, the team leader, said the

iconic aerobatic display team has

had to call up recently-retired

Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt) Mike

Bowden to fill the seat vacated by

Flt Lt Dave Simmonds.

Whilst keen to stress that Flt Lt

Simmonds, known by his callsign

of Red 3, “very much remains

part of the Red Arrows family”,

the team leader announced his

injury with a twinkle in his eye.

“His knee injury, which was

sustained as he turned to chase

a football, with no contact with

anyone else in the game, does

involve broken bones,” he said.

Read more here...

Army Veteran Dies Surrounded by DWP


Story: Teeside Live

British Army recruitment slumps by a


Story: INews by Jane Clinton

British frontline army

units have suffered a recruitment

slump of up to

a third, casting doubt

over their capability for

action. The figures

were published in response

to a parliamentary

question by the MP

Mark Francois who is

also a member of the

defence select committee.

The Scots Guards,

1st Battalion, only had

460 personnel in October

last year. This is

34% below its 697

workforce requirement.

Read more here...

Aheartbroken mum

claims her ex-soldier

son was “expendable”

and died

without the support he


Craig Scott was haunted

by the faces of people

he killed while on tour

with the British Army in

Afghanistan, an inquest


Isolated and struggling

to cope with life away

from the forces, he died

in his Thornaby bedroom

surrounded by medication,

empty cans of alcohol

and benefit sanction

letters from the DWP.

Now his mother Denise

has blasted the Government’s

failure to support

her son and called for

action to help others.

“It’s too late for Craig,

but all I want is more

support for army personnel,”

she said.

“When they need it, they

need it. They are trained

not to be weak and ask

for help. But it’s not


They have been in traumatic

situations. They

have seen things we

can’t even imagine.

“He saw atrocities. It

made his mark on him -

and he never got over it,


Read more on this story


SBT News View...

Every time I here

that a veteran has

been let down by

the system, it gets

my temper racing.

Working locally

with our own system

has made me

realised just how

flawed the care

system really is. It

is so tragic that

families are left

with no answers

after losing their

loved ones in this

cold and unfeeling

system where

computers and

legislation dictates

how humans are

treated. It is a very

sad way to live and

should not happen.






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for veteran’s mental health.

Join us for a hot drink, a slice of cake and talks on how we support

veterans and the ways you can help.

Thursday 9 May 2019


RAFA Club,

7 Scarborough Road, Torquay, TQ2 5UJ

To 昀 nd out more please contact Sarah Seddon by calling

01372 587 144 or emailing

This is a fundraising awareness event. If you are a veteran struggling

with your mental health, please contact our free 24-hour Helpline

by calling 0800 138 1619, texting 07537 404 719 or emailing

Company registered in England and Wales No 256353, Charity No 206002, Charity Scotland No SC038828.

The Veteran 18 April 2019

Leading from the front


Matt Neal

Patron and 3 time BTCC Champion.

Winner of the 60th ‘Double Diamond’ BTCC Anniversary Race

“Life is short and we need to live that life to the maximum, the freedom we enjoy in the UK is in no uncertain part down

to our armed forces, whether active, retired or recuperating and that is why I am so proud to be a Patron of the Sandbag

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18 April 2019

The Veteran

Off The Grid

Drivers fired up as Honda BTCC team heads to Donington Park

scored his first BTCC podium at the 2018 Donington meeting, in

only the second weekend in the championship for both him and

the Honda Civic Type R FK8 race car.

Honda BTCC drivers Matt Neal and Dan Cammish are fired up

and optimistic as the British Touring Car Championship heads to

its second meeting of the season at Donington Park. The team

emerged from the opening rounds of the championship with the

lead in the manufacturers title chase, despite challenging and

frustrating races for both drivers in which constantly changing

weather wrecked carefully honed race strategy. The Halfords

Yuasa Racing team considers Donington, where rounds 4, 5

and 6 of the BTCC will take place on Sunday 28th April, as its

home circuit, and has enjoyed much success around the fast

curves of the two-mile Leicestershire venue over the years. In

nine seasons as the official Honda manufacturer entry, the team

has won nine races at Donington. The circuit also holds fond

memories for Matt Neal, who took his first BTCC race win at

Donington in 1999 and the first overall win for an independent,

earning him a cheque for £250,000. Dan Cammish, meanwhile,

Matt Neal - Halfords Yuasa Racing driver and Team Dynamics


"Brands Hatch really was a case of what could have been! We

had a strong car under us all weekend and in Race 1 I was

pleased, with the changing conditions, to finish the highest of

the wet tyre runners. Race 3 I felt, even with the option tyre, that

we could have had our first race win of the season, but

unfortunately with the contact with Tom Chilton and then later

with Stephen Jelley I was driving a wounded car and was lucky

to finish where I did! Donington we class as our 'local' circuit

for the team and I'm confident that we can hit the ground

running. It is a proper driver's circuit and one that suits the

Honda Civic FK8 with its high-speed corners. It's also a circuit

that holds special memories for me after winning my first race

here in 1999."

Dan Cammish - Halfords Yuasa Racing driver

"Brands was another character-building weekend for me! The

times are so tight now across the board and particularly on the

Brands Indy circuit, it was difficult to make progress through the

field. But I go to Donington hoping that I can replicate my first

podium of the year as I did last year.

Donington is a fast-flowing circuit that suits both my driving

style and the car, so I'm hopeful for a good points haul to carry

me back up the drivers table and to help our Team and

Manufacturer positions. Bring on the weekend!"


The SBT’s Team Dynamics

2019 Season Guide. All of

the circuits, the drivers, the

car and so much more...

Don’t miss it!

BTCC 2019

Your Guide to the 2019 BTCC Season. The

Team, the Drivers, the Car and the Circuits



The Veteran

Round 1: Brands Hatch

Bumps, Bruises and Bags of Drama...

Could we have seriously hoped for a

more exciting and fitting start to

the Kwikfit BTCC 2019? Personally,

I very much doubt it.

The weather, tyres and track conditions

threw the teams battle plans completely out

of the window right from the qualifying

to the end of the third race on Sunday.

The great thing for me was the complete

unpredictability of the entire event. All of

my pre-race predictions disappeared in a

cloud of dust as the Race Gods intervened.

Saturday proved to be a struggle for all of

the teams with conditions meaning once

a fast lap or two had been done, the tyres

were incapable of any more. It did have a

little leveling effect for all of the teams as

they struggled to improve times. In the

end, a fabulous lap by Ash Sutton proved

enoiugh for pole.

So on to Sunday, we woke to a fog bound

Brands, casting doubts on the timings for

the day but thankfully, the cars set off on

their warm up lap just five minutes later

than scheduled. The front of the field

starting on wets on a damp track with

many of the slower teams chancing slicks.

Hold on, am I experiencing Deja Vu? This

is what happened last year, isn’t it. And, lo

and behold, history repeated itself as the

wets dropped off in the drying conditions

leaving those on dry tyres to cruise past. I

do have to say at this point, the drive of the

day, in my opinion, happened in this race

as Matt Neal finished in eighth, the front

runner on wets. Cracking bit of racecraft

Mr Neal.

The first race concluded with Josh Cook in

the BTC Honda taking the chequred flag

with Jake Hill and Tom Chilton completing

the podium.

Race two began with all teams on the dry

tyres despite the conditions still playing

mind games. You’ve just got to love the


that get



watch in

Ash Sut



over the

Ash stil

of perfo

epic bat


of other


| 09


ed and unpredictable obstacles

in the way of our boys, Character

I say.

, on to the action. The boy to

this race, for me, was yet again,

ton. The Suburu is not the fastest

e on the circuit at the moment, a

that they have tried to conquer

winter but despite the handicap,

l finds a way to squeeze every ounce

rmance out of it, There were some

tles between Sutton, Jordan and

on in the early stages with plenty

drama unfolding behind the front

. An emotional Andrew Jordan

crossed the finishing line to take his first

victory of 2019 with Ash Sutton second

and Adam Morgan, just a hairs breadth

behind him in third.

The Reverse Grid draw put Matt Neal on

pole for race three with Matt having to

start on the soft option tyre which was not

performing at the short Brands circuit.

This race was packed with action from start

to finish with most of the action being at

the sharp end, However mid pack drama

unfolded when Ash Sutton was spun off

into the barrier by Jake Hill. The Battle

up front between Matt Neal, Tom Chilton,

Stephen Jelley and Rory Butcher was just

class until Mat took a rear end smack firstly

by Tom Chilton who gained an unfair

advantage in the move, and then later by

Stephen Jelley. The fight continued for

third between Neal and Jelley right up to

the third lap when the suspension finally

gave way on the Honda due to the earlier

battle damage. Despite this, sparks flying,

Neal still managed to drag the stricken

FK8 home in 8th. Although Chilton took

the flag, the victory was handed to Rory

Butcher due to the contact with Neal,

giving Rory his first ever BTCC win.

So time now to catch our breath before the

next round at Donnington. See you there.

Images: Jakob Ebrey Photography

10 |

The Veteran 18 April 2019

If At First You Don’t Succeed...

Just for this edition, I am returning to the ‘Have Faith’ spot to

give our Andy a little break but he will be back for the Veteran


I wanted to reflect this month on something that I feel is close to

every veterans heart, the will to go on. I think that it’s fair to say

that all of us that have served in the Armed Forces, have at

some point had to find that extra-something else to get us

through difficult circumstances. We all have that pig-headed

stubbornness to succeed which usually started coming out during

our basic training. But it’s not just us old vets that possess

this trait. Every human that is born has it, without exception.

never to be beat. But believe it or not, there is very little difference

in the two, just choices. We all have the same tools to

succeed and to fail.

For all that are struggling, about to undertake a struggle or

hardship, I would like to share a passage with you which I believe

can give each and everyone of us strength to succeed.

Hebrews 12: 1-3

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of

witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin

that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the

race marked out for us,

The reason why I am speaking about this come from our SAS

competitors about to walk in to the Lion’s Den, Yes, they are all

volunteers about to be thrust in front of the TV cameras which

will have very positive impacts on their careers (we hope) but

the driving factor is to actually help many suffering people. To

do this, they will have to undergo an awful lot of hardship in

which they will question themselves over and over again. But

we do know that at the end, one or two will have pushed on

through to conquer the course. Of course, no matter how hard

this will seem, it will be little in comparison to those they are trying

to help. Maybe people reading this article, are going

through this very thing. I do hope not.

2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its

shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so

that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

As for our competitors, yes their race has been run and what we

will watch is merely a recording but when you watch, take

strength in how they overcome their demons. After all, a good

place to start having faith is to have faith in ourselves.

I think we can all recall times where we have wanted to give up

but have stuck with it so I suppose this reflection is just that.

Don’t give up.

Our strength, as humans, is exceptional. Our choices of how to

use that strength is what defines us. Some of us give up

sooner than others but most of the time it is just because we

lose sight of our goal or forget what we are fighting for.

Some of dig in and refuse to give up and drive on, determined




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The Veteran 18 April 2019




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The Veteran 18 April 2019


18 April 2019

The Veteran



The Chronicles of Little Hope

1939 - 1945

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.

Letter Of The Month

ment in time) and been shot at by the Home Guard for

snipping your way through their acres of expertly coiled

barbed wire in order to paddle in the brutal North Sea,

might I suggest that you perhaps look inland for your Summer

holiday this year, given that we are at war and the

chances of you being surprised by a random periscope

whilst taking a dip are greater than ever before?

In my opinion, there is nothing quite so unbecomes a man

as the moment when he decides it is acceptable to casually

remove his boots and socks, roll both trouser legs up to his

pale, cadaverous knees and set about causing old maids

to blush, dogs to bark and seagulls to swoop in with beaks

full of nesting materials. I wonder, do you perchance remove

your shirt and don a knotted handkerchief (preferably

clean) when engaging in your particularly uninviting

Summer ritual? If you’re after impressing the fairer sex with

such a display then you’re most certainly barking up the

wrong tree, my good man, they’ll turn their affections to the

aforementioned yapping dog first and you’ll not be able to

shoo the thing off, no matter how big your bone.

In short, Mr Sandy Balls, the seaside look is not an attractive

look. You may well succeed in getting your paraphernalia

up, as you put it, but you’ll be fiddling with it on your

own – presupposing that you haven’t had it grabbed by the

long arm of the law for endangering national security first.

Our prisons are full of felons so desperate for the sight of a

bare leg or an anaemic knee that yours may well set them

off and spark a riot, why risk unsettling them?

Dear Mrs Ffinch,

Bit concerned about the annual holiday. Usually go to

Cleethorpes but the beach is jam packed with crocodile

teeth. No chance of getting anything up, deckchair’s out

of the question, never mind the rest of my paraphernalia

to impress the ladies.

Aberystwyth any better?

Yours faithfully

Mr Sandy Balls

Take to the open roads, dear man and breathe in the country

air instead! Why not get yourself togged up in some sensible

plus-fours and a golfing cap and try swinging with a

party of friends? It’s so much more pleasurable than catching

crabs at the beach.


Hilda Ffinch,

The Bird With All The Answers

P.S. Avoid Aberystwyth at all costs, Wales is terribly cold at

this time of year and periscope chaffing is rife in the Irish

Sea at the moment.

Dear Mr Balls,

I do so hope that you mean ‘Dragon’s Teeth’ my dear man,

otherwise one of us had best telephone the RSPCA and have

the entire east coast of England evacuated.

You can catch more of Mrs Fox and Friends at or on Twitter


Assuming that you haven’t already cracked open your holiday

gin (I’m speculating 50/50 on that at this precise mo-


The Veteran 18 April 2019

Charity Challenge: RAF Personnel

Take On Lofty London Landmark

The four are scaling the stairs of the Gherkin to raise

money for the RAF Benevolent Fund

Story: Forces.Net

Four RAF personnel are taking

on a daring challenge this year

- to climb the 38 floors, 180

metres and more than 1,000

steps of the Gherkin in


It is arguably the most

instantly-recognised tower in

the city.

The aim of those taking part is

to scale the building 50 times,

raising money for the RAF

Benevolent Fund.

The challenge, which started

10 years ago, and has seen

more than 6,000 people take


Some have termed it "the

stairway to hell."

Senior Aircraftman Anna

Duckett, RAF Northolt, said:

"They've been supporting the

RAF, service personnel,

veterans, their families for 100

years so it's a nice marker for

us to say thank you."

Regional organiser, from the

RAF Benevolent Fund,

Charlotte Barmby was full of

praise for the participants:

"It's a really tough challenge.

"You've got no windows,

you've got no air-conditioning,

and you're constantly spiralling

up the building, so good on

them for giving it a go."

"We have all sorts of people

doing all sorts of different

things to raise money for the

RAF benevolent fund, but this

is one of those events that

really stood out.

"It was completely unique, at a

really famous London

landmark to celebrate the 100

years of the Royal Air Force - it

was just the perfect

combination to do something

different and raise money for a

good cause so I was really

excited to work with them on


Read the article here...

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