The Veteran - May Issue

sandbagtimes

The newspaper for veterans produced by the Sandbag Times.

The Veteran

In Support of The Tommy Atkins Centre

18 May 2019 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk

NEWS UPDATE FROM

THE SANDBAG TIMES

Official Magazine to AFVBC’s

NEW DEFENCE SECRETARY CALLS FOR

THE END OF VETERANS INVESTIGATIONS

Penny Mordaunt vows to end historical allegations by implementing

10 years a ‘Statutory Presumption’ against prosecution

Story by SBT

Image: Leon Neal/Getty Images

The

Sandbag

Times

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A Celebration of Women in

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Plus All The Latest Armed

Forces & Veterans News

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7

Mrs Fox Goes To War

The new Defence

Secretary Penny

Mordaunt has

vowed to end the

"chilling" repeated

investigations into

alleged historical

offences by veterans

who served in

Northern Ireland.

The statement comes

just days after

Plymouth MP and exarmy

captain withdrew

his support for the

Conservative party

over the prosecution

of Soldier ‘F’who has

been charged over the

Bloody Sunday

killings.

The new Defence

Secretary has said

she intends to create

and implement a

Statutory Presumption

which means veterans

are protected from

prosecution after 10

years after events.

Ms Mordaunt, who

recently took over the

role of Defence

Secretary from Gavin

Williamson has said

that she intends to

strengthen the legal

protection for veterans

from prosecution from

allegations whilst

serving on operations

which includes the

Northern Ireland

conflict.

The move has been

supported by the

Prime Minister who

said that the move

should end an

"industry of vexatious

claims" which also

included Iraq and

Afghanistan.

However, the move

has come up against

stiff opposition from

Amnesty International

and other political

parties including Sinn

Fein.

The SBT Says...

This certainly is

great news for veterans

although opposition

is very strong.

My mind cannot help

wandering back to

the Good Friday

agreement. One

rule for one... If investigations

for veterans

continue then

so should those of

IRA actions.

17

Agony Aunt, Hilda Ffinch

Answers your Letters

Page 17

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TIMES TODAY

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1


The Veteran 18 May 2019

FIND US ON: FACEBOOK TWITTER LINKEDIN

British Soldier Killed In Malawi Repatriated To UK

Story: Forces.net

Image: British Army

ABritish soldier killed by

an elephant in Malawi

has been repatriated

back to the UK.

Guardsman Mathew Talbot,

22, of 1st Battalion

A 24-year-old household cavalry soldier

was found hanging in his barracks, a

coroner said yesterday (Tuesday).

Lance Corporal Joel Robinson had been

serving with The Household Cavalry

Mounted Regiment, based at Combermere

Barracks in Windsor, when he died.

He was confirmed dead at the scene and

a file was prepared for the Berkshire

Coroner Heidi Connor, who opened an inquest

into Mr Robinson's death in Reading

yesterday.

Mrs Connor said: “The preliminary cause

of death following a postmortem examination

is given as asphyxia due to hanging.

Identification was confirmed by Tim

Puddifoot on March 25.

Coldstream Guards died in

the African country earlier this

month while deployed as part

of the Army's counter

poaching team.

Gdsm Talbot's body was

repatriated to RAF Brize

Norton on a C-17 transport

aircraft.

The ramp ceremony took

place at the RAF base, with

six members of the

Coldstream Guards carrying

his coffin.

The funeral cortege then left

Brize Norton, making its way

to the village.

Malawi was Gdsm Talbot's

first operational deployment

where he was working as a

Counter Poaching Operator.

Last year, the UK expanded

its deployments in the African

country to Nkhotakota and

Majete Wildlife Reserves after

a pilot scheme in Liwonde

National Park.

Prior to serving with 1st

Battalion Coldstream Guards,

Gdsm Talbot was posted to

Number 7 Company

Coldstream Guards in London

conducting ceremonial duties.

He had also completed

overseas training during an

exercise in Kenya.

Read More at Forces.net

Young Windsor soldier found dead while on duty

Story: Windsor Observer Reporter: Shruti Sheth Trivedi

“I would like to record my most sincere

condolences to his family and friends at

this very say time.”

A spokesman for the Household Cavalry

said: “We can confirm that a soldier has

died on March 25, 2019 while on duty in

Windsor. Our thoughts are with the family

and friends at this difficult time.”

Mr Robinson's guardian, Dee Lockhart, of

Walton, Brampton, north Cumbria, had

organised a full military funeral for the

soldier on Tuesday, April 30 at Windsor

Garrison Church.

The date of the full inquest was to be

confirmed at a later date.

Read More Here...

GET HELP NOW

www.tommyatkins.co.uk

2 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk


18 May 2019

The Veteran

Armed Forces & Veterans News...

Johnny Mercer: Tory MP withdraws support for

government over historical prosecution of servicemen

Story: The Independant - Tom Barnes @thomas_barnes

Conservative MP Johnny

Mercer says he has

withdrawn his support

for the government over the

historical prosecution of

British servicemen.

A former Army officer, Mr

Mercer called on Theresa May

in a letter to end the “macabre

spectacle of elderly veterans

being dragged back to

Northern Ireland” to face

possible prosecution.

In his letter to the prime

minister, the Plymouth Moor

View MP said he found

investigations into historic

allegations surrounding exservices

personnel “personally

offensive”

He said he was not to

prepared to vote for

Government legislation -

except on Brexit - until the

Government took “clear and

concrete steps” to end the

“abhorrent process”.

“As you know, the historical

prosecution of our servicemen

and women is a matter that is

personally offensive to me.

Many are my friends; and I am

from their tribe,” he wrote.

These repeated

investigations with no new

evidence, the macabre

spectacle of elderly veterans

being dragged back to

Northern Ireland to face those

who seek to re-fight that

conflict through other means,

without any protection from

the Government who sent

them almost 50 years ago, is

too much.

“I will not be voting for any of

the government’s legislative

actions outside of Brexit until

legislation is brought forward

to protect veterans from being

repeatedly prosecuted for

historical allegations.”

Mr Mercer has campaigned

against the pursuit of legacy

cases from the conflicts in

Northern Ireland, Afghanistan

and Iraq since he entered

Parliament in 2015.

In March, the Public

Prosecution Service (PPS) of

Northern Ireland announced

one former British solider

would face two murder

charges over the Bloody

Sunday shooting in Derry in

1972.

Read more here...

Arson attacks at RAF Upwood continue

despite fire service warning Story: Hunts Post

RAF Typhoons Scrambled Twice In Two

Days To Intercept Russians Story: Forces.net

RAF Typhoon fighters

have been scrambled

twice in two days to intercept

Russian aircraft flying

along the Baltic

coast. They are the first

Quick Reaction Alert

(QRA) scrambles since

the RAF took over the

NATO Baltic Air Policing

mission in the country

from the German Air

Force last month. On

Tuesday, Typhoons were

scrambled out of Ämari

Air Base in Estonia in response

to two Russian

Flanker fighter aircraft

and one IL-22 aircraft,

that were flying along the

Baltic coast heading towards

Kaliningrad.

A fire that engulfed a

building at RAF Upwood

is believed to have been

started deliberately despite

a fire service warning

that was put out last

week.

Cambridgeshire Fire and

Rescue Service issued a

warning last week, after a

"significant increase in

arson attacks" were

recorded in April.Figures

in this weeks Hunts Post

(Wednesday May 8) revealed

that there were 19

deliberate fires in Huntingdonshire

in April, with

five being at the former

RAF Upwood site. Fire

crews were called to another

fire at the former

site yesterday evening at

5pm, where they found a

heap of rubbish alight.

One crew from Huntingdon

and two crews from

Ramsey were called to a

fire in the open at RAF

Upwood, Huntingdonshire.

The crews arrived to find

a heap of rubbish well

alight at a scrapyard between

derelict buildings

and the hangars. Using a

water carrier and two

hose reels, they managed

to extinguish the

fire, before returning to

the station by 8.35pm.

The cause of the fire was

deliberate. Anyone with

information should contact

police by visiting

www.cambs.police.uk to

submit an online report or

call Crimestoppers on

0800 555111.

Read More here...

Soldiers

Rottweiler Gives

Birth to 16 Pups

A soldier expecting

his pregnant pet

Rottweiler to have

six puppies

watched on in

amazement as she

gave birth to 16 -

the largest litter

born in the UK.

The pups have

joined infantryman

Mark Marshall, 32,

wife Laura, and

their five children,

including one newborn,

at their fourbedroom

house on

an army barracks.

Read full story

here

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk

3


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The Veteran 18 May 2019

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www.sandbagtimes.co.uk


18 May 2019

The Veteran

All Eyes on Matt Neal as BTCC Moves to Thruxton

Team Dynamics with Honda Halfords Yuasa are geared up

for the next assault on this years Kwikfit BTCC at

Thruxton, Hampshire this weekend.

Hopes are high following last years successful meeting where

Matt Neal hit pole after breaking the lap record and then went

on to win the first race and score a 3rd in race 2. Dan

Cammish, in only his third race also scored a podium under the

hot Hampshire sun.

Earlier, this season, Dan impressed the field at Thruxton during

a testing session by being the overall fastest.

Off The Grid

Thruxton is the fastest track on the BTCC championship and is

one of the most favoured track for Team Dynamics. They have

a high success rate here and the long straights and sweeping

bends are ideal for the Honda Civic Type R FK8. With Matt

Neal currently lying in 7th in the championship and honda

topping the charts, this is the ideal platform to mount an assault

for the title.

Thruxton is one of my favourite circuits with great viewing and

Photo: Jakob Ebrey

high action areas. (Big tip: Go to the chicane just before the

start/finish while the Formula 4’s are running). A word of caution

though, Salibury Plain is renowned for it’s openness and being

unprotected from the weather. (Any squaddie who has served

there will vouch for that) so weather planning is a very good

move. Good wind breaks and waterproofs if the weather isn’t

good and loads of sunscreen and hats if the sun is out. Ask

Jane about that one last year! Hopefully see you all there.

www.teamdynamicsracing.co.uk

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7


The Veteran 18 May 2019

Thruxton primed and ready for BTCC

Article: BTCC.net Image: Jakob Ebrey

T

he Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship

arrives at Thruxton this weekend

(18/19 May) for the first of its 2019 appearances

at the high-speed Hampshire track,

with the series returning in the summer (17/18

August) for another bite of the cherry.

Thirty top-tier drivers have battled it out in the

opening six rounds, producing five different

winners from the Brands Hatch Indy and Donington

Park race weekends. Reigning champion

Colin Turkington is the only driver to win

more than a single race so far in 2019, and his

victories last time out were enough to propel

him to third in the overall Drivers’ standings

behind BTC Racing’s Josh Cook and Subaru’s

Ashley Sutton. The latter currently leads the

championship having not yet taken to the top

step, though he has notched three podium finishes.

Closer than ever

The 2019 BTCC is as close as ever with the

top eight drivers in the standings separated by

fewer than 25 points, while a total of 13 different

drivers have already visited the podium.

The first two meetings have been full of surprises,

with Cook taking the honours in the

season opener, followed by victory for BMW

Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan in the second

encounter of the year – just days after the new

3 Series’ build had been completed by West

Surrey Racing. Donington Park wasn’t so kind

to Jordan, though, with his participation in the

weekend curtailed following a spectacular collision.

Rory Butcher and Tom Ingram took popular

victories in the final races at Brands Hatch and

Donington Park respectively, the latter in front

of 4,500 Toyota employees and their families

all there to cheer on Ingram in the new Corolla

with the Japanese marque making its BTCC

manufacturer return this season. This fantastic

result for the Cheshire-based team, coupled

with consistent top-ten results in the previous

8

five races, catapulted the reigning Independents’

champion to sixth in the overall standings,

just 12 points shy of the summit.

A whole host of other drivers have shown the

pace and potential to win so far this season,

and as is the norm in BTCC, they are queueing

up to take to the top step at Thruxton. The

most noteworthy has been championship

leader Ash Sutton, who is yet to win a race despite

his pole position at Brands Hatch and a

flurry of podium finishes. Another driver to

have reached the rostrum already this year is

Hampshire’s own Rob Collard. Tom Oliphant is

also one to watch after his third place at Donington

Park, while a win-double for Turkington

highlighted the BMW’s prowess throughout

that weekend.

Testing, testing

A host of Honda Civic Type Rs showed their

intent at Thruxton’s official BTCC Test Day

back in April. As the grid looked to prepare for

two 2019 visits to Hampshire, the top three positions

were locked out by Hondas. Dan Cammish

– who is yet to find himself at the sharp

end so far this season – led the way for the

Halfords Yuasa Racing works team, two tenths

clear of anyone else. Chris Smiley (second)

and Rory Butcher (third) joined Cammish at

the top of timesheets closely followed by Sutton’s

Subaru Levorg.

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class runners seemed

to be there or thereabouts with Aiden Moffat in

fifth and Adam Morgan in eighth. Turkington

and Jordan in the BMWs also showed strong

pace after posting the sixth and 11th fastest

times respectively.

The top 11 drivers were less than a second

apart, giving high hopes of some close racing

and plenty of opportunities to capitalise at the

Hampshire speedbowl for Rounds 7, 8 and 9.

“It’s a huge deal that we have two BTCC meetings

at Thruxton this year,” enthused Thruxton

Group Director, Bill Coombs. “It’s the biggest

event of the year for us and to be able to have

two of those over the course of the year is just

fantastic.

“It’s a stunning weekend out, a real family

event. There are plenty of trade shows and

children’s activities to keep everyone entertained

throughout the weekend. Due to the

high-speed nature of Thruxton, the racing is

probably the closest you will see in the UK,

there’s always plenty of slipstreaming and

overtaking so it’s very hard to pick a winner.”

“Thruxton is a very unique circuit, it’s not like

any other on the calendar,” said Bath-based

racer Josh Cook, who regards the Hampshire

track as his home circuit. “We are coming here

twice this season so that means it’s even more

important to get the right setup during testing

and practice, anything we can learn will benefit

us at two race meetings.

There’s really only two braking points on the

whole circuit and then around the back section

you’re at full power for the majority of the time.

It is tricky – Church Corner is famed for its

high-speed nature. It’s certainly a circuit that I

love coming to.”

Tickets for the BTCC’s visit on 18/19 May can

be purchased on the gate, starting at £17 for

Saturday (qualifying) and £34 for Sunday (race

day). Children aged 13-15 get in for £5 on Saturday

and £10 on Sunday; accompanied children

aged 12 and under will be admitted free

of charge.

For further information, see https://thruxtonracing.co.uk/racing/btcc

or call 01264 882222.

For more information on Thruxton’s race meetings

and driving experiences,

visit: www.thruxtonracing.co.uk/

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk


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The Veteran 18 May 2019

for one’s friends’ John 15:13. It almost feels like that one

passage was actually written for service men and women.

It is the most memorable passage in my own bible,

But courage is still a virtue which is we all need to find during

our lives. Even to the point where personal sacrifice is

required. Maybe not to the point of giving our lives but

sacrifices nevertheless.

Never in the Field of human conflict...

Probably the most memorable words of the second world

war was that by Winston Churchill “Never in the field of

human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so

few”. We all owe our very freedom today by the courage of

those who defended our skies all those years ago. It is sad

to know that there are only a couple of those brave survivors

still alive today.

We have been told the stories of those brave individuals so

many times, how they were on the very brink of defeat yet

somehow found the courage to keep fighting knowing that

everytime you take to the air could be your last,

I see the battle that many veterans face within themselves

almost every day which can be every bit as devastating as

the battlefield. Indeed it is a battlefield in the mind. Thankfully

there is help out there and this battle is becoming

more and more recognised but overwhelming fear is often

the sword that will strike at the heart making recovery such

a difficult task. I often wonder to myself would the bible

provide a way to shield from the sword.

I am a big believer in respecting an individuals own beliefs

and would never dream of ramming my own thought, beliefs

and faith on to others but I also like to share the things

that helped me back from my own brink of defeat some

years ago. The bible was only one way but it is one that

still guides me to this day withreally good advice and inspiration.

Looking at our Armed Forces over the past 18 years, that

same fear and sacrifice has been played out again and

again with so many losing their lives in the name of peace.

Coming to the RAF Cosford Air Show this year will be a reminder

of those words by Churchill and by St John not

only by those past but also those serving and those yet to

serve,

So I would like to finish with a small pieceof the bible which

could somehow give a little strength in where ever our

forces go in the hope that they all come home together and

in peace. It also goes out to anyone who is experiencing

any hardship in their lives no matter what.

‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.’

Psalms 46:1

If you would like to read more of my reflections then please

do contact me at info@sandbagtimes.com for a free digital

copy of ‘Have Faith’

Take care and God Bless

Pablo

This is a type of courage I can’t image despite my own military

career, yet this is something that lives in us all, the difference

being we will never be in that position where it is

required.

When I think of the courage, I always think of the meaning

in a very simple way. The presence of fear yet the will to go

on. To me that is it in a nut shell.

But I also cant help thinking of that one passage in the

bible that becomes what every serviceman is all about.

‘Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life

10 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk


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The Veteran 18 May 2019

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The Veteran 18 May 2019

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18 May 2019

The Veteran

jêë=cçñ=dçÉë

qç=t~êKKK

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

ought to upset. In a man, it’s often supported / held in place

/ petrified with the help of a waxed moustache (Colonel

Ffinch sports a marvellously stiff example at all times) which

adds a bit of class and derring-do to a fellow’s general appearance,

but in a woman it really is really most unfortunate.

I note, my dear, that you are also ginger, which can only

queer the pitch further, as it were, as your sort are prone to

sport a slightly more wiry, and pubic-looking mane if cropped

too close. I speak from personal experience, having once

been familiar with a young Lieutenant in the Royal Flying

Corps, who was cursed with two ginger wire wool rugs and

would never consent to being naked with one in the dark lest

one end accidentally be mistaken for the other and – having

seen him in ‘a state of nature’ by the light of an oil lamp, I

could certainly see where he was coming from.

9th April 1942

Dear Miss Ffinch,

Miss Edna Privet

Badger’s Nook

Bushy Gap

Little Hope

I seem to have misplaced my tweezers and am unable to source

a replacement in the shops since the war began. As a result, I

have an unruly growth of hair above my top lip and am now

looking more and more like my grandfather by the day.

I have tried tugging on the short and curlies with my fingers but

to no avail and have even resorted to a bit of sticky tape hoping

that it would un-root my ginger bush. I have very probably not

helped the situation by trimming my new moustache with a

pair of scissors - when all it has done is encouraged further

growth.

I fear that if this should continue, I may be in danger of being

kidnapped by a traveling circus as a thing of curiosity. Please

could you advise me on how I can sort this rather embarrassing

issue of growth?

Yours faithfully

Edna Privet

Do not – whatever you do - resort to trimming your lip bush

with a pair of scissors, my young Lieutenant attempted that

and ended up looking (and feeling) like a ginger tom that had

been caught on an electric fence. Nor is plucking the answer,

by now you would probably need to use a stout pair of pliers

rather than tweezers anyway, and a broken pair of those may

well cost us a spitfire and indeed the war.

No, the answer, dear girl, comes in the shape of a dainty little

tube of hair removal cream which – when applied as per instructions

- will melt away your facial fleece and leave your

top lip smooth and starkers. I am enclosing a newspaper cutting

for you to have a look at and perhaps take to the

chemist (yes, they will have it!) with you to ensure that you get

the right thing and don’t inadvertently come away with a jar

of mustard poultice which, with your colouring, would really

put the tin hat on you ever daring to venture out of the house

again.

Price 2/6, from a chemist near you.

Happy withering!

Yours,

Hilda Ffinch,

The Bird With All The Answers

Dear Miss Privet,

Mrs Hilda Ffinch

Ffinch Hall

Little Hope

Yorkshire

10th April 1942

A stiff upper lip, dear girl, is a sure sign that one is British and

made of sterling stuff, and absolutely not the sort that jerry

P.S. Please do not take the poses of the models in the enclosed

newspaper cutting too literally. Stick to your moustache.

My young Lieutenant had me do the other for him and

was quite unfit to fly for some time afterwards and consequently

missed his chance at potting The Red Baron from behind.

You can catch more of Mrs Fox and Friends at

www.mrsfoxgoestowar.co.uk or on Twitter

@mrslaviniafox

www.sandbagtimes.co.uk

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The Veteran 18 May 2019

NEW LEAFLET CAMPAIGN ENCOURAGES POWERED PILOTS TO DISCOVER GLIDING

Article & Image: British Gliding Association

LEADING figures in the world

of aviation are backing a national

campaign to encourage

powered pilots to discover gliding.

Airline pilots, recreational flyers

and young people pursuing a

career in aviation and

aerospace are among the high

flyers encouraging more of us

to glide in Britain.

Pete Stratten, Chief Executive

Officer of the BGA, said: “The

choice of flying powered or

non-powered within General

Aviation depends on what you

hope to get out of your flying,

and to a certain extent what

you are willing to put into it.

Gliding offers different challenges

and opportunities from

flying with power.

“Gliding is a great way of

broadening handling skills and

airmanship, and discovering

the thrill and passion of pure

flying and soaring flight. It’s incredibly

satisfying to use the

freely available energy in the

sky to fly cross-country or to

simply climb in a

thermal after launching.”

Andrew Perkins, Chairman of

the British Gliding Association

and a B777 pilot, said:

“Gliding is like a big family; you

work together in all the activities

that get you

airborne. It hones all your flying

skills and is a great way to

learn about engineering,

safety, lookout and airmanship.”

As part of the literature and social

media campaign, pilots

share their love of gliding

and the reasons why they enjoy

it.

Former Royal Navy fighter jet

pilot, Andrew Neofytou, now

flies the B787 Dreamliner

for a living but when he isn’t

working for a major airline he

can be seen flying his

glider from Lasham Gliding Society

in Hampshire where he

uses invisible currents of rising

air known as ‘lift’ to soar vast

distances of hundreds of kilometres

and at

average speeds of around

100mph – all without an engine!

Andrew explained: “Once

you’re hooked on gliding you

will never have another day in

your life where you don’t look

up and try to predict what the

sky and environment around

you is doing!”

Even commercial pilots with

thousands of hours find that

time in a glider improves their

existing skills, knowledge and

airmanship, as A380 pilot and

Lakes Gliding Club member,

Graham Sturgeon, added: “I’m

an experienced pilot with

around 15,000 hours and I’ve

been flying for 35 years, but I

learn something new about

gliding every time I fly. It’s also

fun and rewarding!”

For more information, a copy of

the latest gliding leaflets or to

find a club near you,

visit www.gliding.co.uk.

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