the coming weeks the Western Telegraph will regularly feature
photographs from the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre’s archive, reflecting
the community’s unique and long-lasting connections with all three
armed services and its remarkable social story.
In the first of the series the RAF’s arrival is remembered.
years ago today (April 1) the Royal Air Force officially took over
parts of the former Pembroke Royal Dockyard – neglected and forgotten
since the Dockyard closure in 1926. It was a ray of hope for a
beleaguered community. This opened a chapter which lasted nearly 30
years and the RAF made many changes inside the imposing dockyard walls
for its flying boat operations.
aerial photograph, taken in the very early 1930s, shows the dockyard as
inherited by the RAF – before so many of the original structures were
cleared and replaced by two huge hangars and other buildings.
In the early days the RAF presence was small and the first CO was a Flight Lieutenant engineering officer, Bill Liniker.
He is pictured with the first airmen, Air Ministry ‘works and bricks’ officials and the RAF Police contingent.
names of the police are known and include surnames still familiar in
Pembroke Dock today – Jim Dooley, Dick Johns, Jack Baskerville, Jack
Perkins, Bert Greenaway and Charlie Morris. Bill Liniker became a Group
Captain during the war.
RAF has successfully completed the strategically important NATO
Capability Evaluation (CAPEVAL) at RAF Leeming. Due to how heavily the
RAF has been committed to global operations (predominantly in Iraq,
Afghanistan and Syria), this is the first evaluation of this type since
2004. As such, the personnel who have deployed on CAPEVAL have been
required to re-familiarise themselves with NATO doctrine and how to
deploy in a fully NATO compliant manner. NATO operations require the
deployed force to deploy under three distinct pillars: Air Operations,
Logistics (including air engineers) and Force Protection (FP) with an
Headquarters (135 Expeditionary Air Wing) that seamlessly commands
and controls the deployed force. The Air Operations Pillar was provided
by number One (Fighter) Squadron and II (Army Cooperation) Squadron of
the Typhoon Force from RAF Lossiemouth who deployed with 10
Typhoon jets. The FP Force elements that deployed on the
evaluation were commanded by number 7 FP Wing from RAF Coningsby who had
Number 1 Squadron RAF Regiment, Number 1 (Tactical) Police
Squadron from RAF Honington, a role one deployed medical facility, two
fully operationally capable Fire crews (providing CAT 5 Response) and a
deployable combat administrative Team. Having all of these capabilities
under a single FP Wing Headquarters is novel for the FP Force. The wider
FP Force and FP Training Flights from across the RAF also supported the
evaluation by providing instructors and sector commanders which were
critical to the success of the evaluation.
deployed force was evaluated by 120 NATO evaluators who came from
across the 29 NATO member states. The scenario tested the force against
a near peer fictional enemy with over 350 realistic scenarios over a
three day period. This was highly challenging for the deployed force who
were required to operate in a demanding, realistic and complex
environment. The outstanding achievements of the men and women deployed
as part of 135 EAW should not be underestimated – NATO CAPEVAL 2020 has
been a strategically important success for the RAF.
Wing Commander Paul Hamilton, OC 7 Force Protection (FP) Wing and the FP Commander for CAPEVAL stated:
CAPEVAL journey has required 18 months of hard work from across the FP
Force, the RAF Medical and Fire Services to ensure we achieved such a
successful outcome during this challenging evaluation. The level of
integration required from across RAF specialisms should not be
underestimated and I am immensely proud of how all the personnel under
my command and the specialist wider FP instructors, who trained the
deployed force to such a high standard, made this challenging evaluation
so successful. I was humbled when the senior NATO evaluators stated
that it was the best performance they have seen for some years. I would
like to personally thank all those involved for their outstanding
Corporal Alex Bew from Number 1 (Tactical) Police Wing stated that:
myself, CAPEVAL provided a unique opportunity to work alongside many
other trades, offering me the opportunity to develop an insight into
what each specialisation does to contribute towards Air Operations in a
war fighting environment. In the space of four weeks it was clear that
from what I saw that the confidence and interoperability within 135 EAW
grew tenfold, culminating in a successful NATO assessment.
The RAFFP Force HQ recently deployed a team to conduct a Train the Trainer
package to Pakistan Air Force officers at Nur Khan Airbase.
will provide the skills required to self-sustain their own delivery of an Air FP
Command & Control training course.
Join me is wishing RAF Police Cpl Isabelle ‘Jazz’ Dixon RAFP from
RAF Akrotiri ‘GOOD LUCK’ at the semi finals of the Lord Wakefield Boxing on
Sun 15 Mar. Jazz is boxing in the 54-57kg category
Attending the UK Armed Forces Sports Award ceremony today RAF Police FS Claire
Bullen proudly accepted the Sports Team Award for UK Armed Forces Netball.
Claire Said: ‘As a player and the Team Manager of the UKAF Netball Squad I
couldn’t be prouder of what we have achieved as a squad. I feel incredibly
grateful to be a part of such an incredible group of women and to also call
those women my friends is an honour. Sport is such a fantastic outlet which
offers amazing opportunities and I would recommend anyone to give a sport a go.
You never know where it might take you.
The dark secret this man was hiding for years and how he's now helping men open up about depression
Nick has come a long way on his mental health journey after nearly taking his own life
A formerRAFpolice officer who has battled depression for nearly six years has set up a group to help men talk about mental health issues.
Nick Marshall knows how desperate you can feel when battling the all-consuming illness.
For years the 35-year-old tried to mask the fact that he was struggling.
June 2016 he first thought about taking his own life. It was in June
2018 that Nick, from Hunts Grove in Hardwicke, really began seriously to
plan his own death.
all came to a head when his wife was pregnant, he was working away with
his job in the RAF in Lincolnshire and he had just been diagnosed with
came to realise that he had been ‘papering up the cracks’ and doing the
bare minimum to get help in a bid to just keep people happy.
Nick has now come to terms with knowing that he will have depression for the rest of his life.
now he has tools to help him get through some of the bad days and he
wants to be able to provide a group for other men to come and talk to
each other about what is troubling them.
Marshalling Men's Minds meet at Hardwicke village hall at 7.30pm every Wednesday.
said: “I was in the RAF for 11 years as a police officer. The work-life
balance did not help with my mental health and I deteriorated.
did not accept that I had depression and just masked it. I got a little
bit of treatment from a military counsellor but I left the RAF in 2018.
“I had a really low mood, lack of motivation and no energy.
“I was not engaging with a support network and I deteriorated yet again.
“I nearly took my own life and that is when I left the forces.”
Nick says that people claim their own lives when they feel that there is no other option.
However, there was one thing that kept him from doing the unthinkable.
Nick said: “My son was only a few months old when I reached that point. He was the one thing that kept me from doing it.
“I did not want anyone else bringing him up and that is what stopped me.”
In the summer of 2018 it became too much for Nick and by October that year he had left the RAF.
He said: “Depression means for me that I can be very much up and down. I have been able to identify my triggers.
“With stress and depression everything is difficult.
“I identify when starting to feel down. I try to do something before it reaches depression.
know that I start feeling bad but it is about getting ten minutes to be
able to feel good about yourself and building that up.
“It is about trying to have good days as well as bad.
“The group is about helping find the right tools for the right people.
“For some it is fitness. That releases endorphins for some and others might find that meditation is good for them.
part of the group sessions we identify safe place our mind. It is a
visual representation of somewhere that you are able go in your mind to
feel totally safe and in control.
“Others in the group physically remove themselves from a situation and walk their dogs.
“Others write things down and others record videos of how they are feeling.
biggest advocate of the group is to share and talk and share the wealth
of information about how we are feeling and what we do to help
“The group is safe and an environment for any man to off load issues and stresses in a controlled place.”
Men that attend are quite diverse.
range from 19 years old to 70 years old. All different backgrounds and
classes are welcomed and Nick says that all arrive to the hall on an
Nick would like to provide a place to help men get back on track with support.
Cokayne interview: From her brief football career with Aston
learning rugby on All Black soil
England hooker will win her 50th cap this weekend against
Amy Cokayne is
tackled by Claire Molloy and Lauren Delany of Ireland
during the 2019
Cokayne has no regrets about the brevity of her football career,
consisted of a season-long spell in goal for the mighty Aston Villa
under-10s. The England hooker insists she was never destined for a
career between the sticks and when her family emigrated to the
rugby-mad nation of New Zealand, football was unsurprisingly
“I was only nine when we moved out there and I didn’t really stick
football much after that,” said Cokayne. “It probably wasn’t a bad
thing considering I’m only five foot five. I can’t imagine I’d have
been very good in goal.”
Her father, Ian, even made sure his daughter’s initials spelt out
Villa Football Club. “When my dad wanted to name me, he couldn’t
of a name beginning with ‘F’ that he actually liked,” the Harlequins
player explained. “It was just going to be Amy Victoria F. Cokayne,
in the end he found one - Fiona.”
will run out for her 50th Test cap whenEngland
take on Wales at Twickenham Stoop
this weekend, despite being only 23. It is an impressive
milestone for someone who up until last year was balancing
international rugby with a military career in the RAF Police, thus
forfeiting one of the groundbreaking contracts offered by the Rugby
Football Union. Having a plan B is a well-trodden path in women’s
rugby, with former
England flanker Maggie Alphonsi and Danielle Waterman carving
successful careers in the media spotlight since hanging up their
“I think I’ll stick to the RAF and let those lot carry on with
joked Cokayne. “I’m sure there’s a few girls within the team who
love to go into that side of things. You’ve Mo [Natasha Hunt] and
[Emily Scarratt] who are already dipping their toe in the media
while being England players. I can’t imagine myself doing anything
Talk of keeping a low profile is reflective of her time at Feilding
High School in New Zealand's Manawatu District, where she flew under
the English radar while honing her rugby skills in an environment
her peers lived and breathed rugby. “My school coach got us all a
ball and we had to carry it around with us at school,” said Cokayne.
“If there was any opportunity to practice handling skills, you
Rugby is just so integrated into their way of life. Not that it
over here, but it’s just on a whole other level over there.”
Cokayne with England head coach Simon MiddletonCREDIT:
was over a spontaneous Starbucks coffee in 2013 where Cokayne, who
previously flirted with the possibility of a Black Ferns career,
Gary Street, who would steer England to World Cup glory the
year. Having been impressed after watching a highlights reel of
persuaded the teenager to make the trip back across the world. A
later, a then 17-year-old Cokayne was invited to one of England’s
Cup training camps.
“It was quite cool to watch the World Cup and see them win it,”
Cokayne. “It was almost a realisation to how close I was to making
to that level as well. It was quite cool to be involved in a tiny
of their journey.”
She still counts many of the Black Ferns among her friends and it
why next year’s World Cup in New Zealand will be tinged with extra
poignancy. “The World Cup is the pinnacle of any player’s career,”
Cokayne. “I’ll definitely be working hard to put my hand up for
selection to go out there.”
It’s the ‘White Hat’ parade which
means one thing.... Graduation week!
16 motivated, well trained and enthusiastic Acting Corporals
join their units next week - the end is in sight.....
International Women’s Day is 8th March and this week we are
you to the amazing women who contribute every day to the RAF, at
RAF_Wittering and Defence. This is RAF Police Cpl Burdell
Ex INDRADHANUSH is part of
an ongoing bi-lateral UK/Indian Air Force exercise programme
commenced in 2013 with previous iterations involving fast jet,
transport and force protection personnel both in
India and the UK.
Wing Commander Lee Wales, Officer
Commanding No. 8 RAF Force Protection Wing said:
"The FP Force are looking
forward to training alongside the Garud Regiment and the IAF
Security; the training will strengthen relationships between
forces whilst exchanging Tactics, Techniques and Procedures
demonstrate FP Armoured Vehicle capability."
The RAFP are deploying on
Exercise INDRADHANUSH to demonstrate the crucial role they
securing and enabling the delivery of Air Power through
Protective Security and Counter Intelligence.
the Complex Air Ground Environment (CAGE) - the environment
in and around an operational airfield and how a specialistForce
Service's capabilities and personnel are PROTECTED whilst
5 SQUADRON RAF POLICE WIN THE 2019 DE PUTRON TROPHY
Congratulations to Number
5 RAF Police Squadron who are the winners of the 2019 De
The De Putron Trophy is
awarded annually to the regular or reserve RAF Police
has shown the greatest achievement, leadership, exceptional
and endeavours, and is awarded following the assessment of a
by the RAF Police Sqns
Provost Marshal Group
Captain David Wilkinson said:
“The video demonstrates the
attributes of the Sqn in an innovative production designed
and inform our community. My congratulations to all
involved with this
production and to the teams involved with the Sqn
standard of which has truly surpassed expectation.”
The De Putron trophy was
commissioned in 1948 by the former Provost Marshal, Air
Putron CB, CBE, RAF.
RAFP Cpl Natalie Fields came 1st in
parallel giant slalom, 1st in Snowboarder Cross and overall 1st
female Snowboarder of the Championships at the Ski and Snowboard
Championship 2020 in Saalbach-Hinterglemm.
Bereaved mum to hold
charity ball in memory of military husband
Mandy Small, who is organising a charity ball, pictured with her
Jamie Picture: SSAFA
A Suffolk mum is hosting a charity ball, after her military
Chris, took his own life in 2016.
Mandy Small, who works at Ipswich Hospital as a rehabilitation
assistant, will host the event on Saturday, March 14, at Hungarian
in Woodbridge. The event will raise money for SSAFA, the Armed
charity, after they supported her and her son.
Chris, who served in the
Royal Logistics Corps, had served 21 years as a chef in the Royal
Logistics Corp, including gruelling tours of Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo,
Northern Ireland and two of Afghanistan. But after he took
redundancy in 2014, he found it difficult to adjust to civilian
Mandy who served 12
years in the RAF Police, and her son, Jamie, were supported by
SSAFA caseworker, who provided vital practical assistance and
support, as well as bereavement counselling for Jamie.
The mum said: "SSAFA
quite literally saved my life. The charity ball is a great way for
to say thank you for what they did for both me and my son."
The charity ball will
feature entertainment including a live band, DJ and magician, as
as a raffle and silent auction.
Tickets are £65 per
head, with tables for 10 available at £650. Ticket details are
of man released after reports of serious sex assault at RAF
event The alleged offence
occurred at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire following a boxing
E-FIT released by The
RAF Police Special Investigations Branch (SIB) (Image: Evening
An E-fit has been
released of a man police would like to speak to following a
sexual assault at a RAF base. The RAF Police Special
Investigations Branch (SIB) are currently investigating a sexual
offence which occurred at RAF Leeming.
It took place at the
RAF station in North Yorkshire following a boxing event on Friday,
Officers said that the
man in the E-FIT may be able to assist them with their inquiries
have encouraged him to get in touch. He was believed to be
wearing a denim shirt, dark skinny jeans and converse trainers.
RAF Police SIB have
asked anyone who saw anything unusual or suspicious in the early
of the 27 September 2019 or has any information about the incident
contact them on 01400 266402 or 01400 266408.
They can also contact
the RAF Police Confidential Crime line on 0800 432 0771.
Bizarre moment herd of cows captured by military police after going
missing near RAF base
This is the bizarre moment a herd of runaway cows were rounded up by
The cows were captured by military police after they went AWOL near
Around 20 of the animals were spotted blocking roads.
The creatures were seen stomping over a play park outside RAF
The RAF base is situated near Birmingham, in nearby Shropshire.
The incident unfolded on Tuesday morning (January 7).
A spokesperson tweeted: “Residents near RAF Shawbury woke up to an
unusual alarm this morning – a herd of cows! Having been alerted,
RAF Police and MPGS rounded up the suspects with @WMerciaPolice
stopping traffic to assist the farmer in safely getting them back to
“Happy Moo Year!”
to all the RAFP personnel who have been named in the New Years
Ldr A P Kerslake, Flt Lt G Bryant and Cpl K L Ractliffe AOC
1 Gp Commendation FS
G D B Simpson , Cpl S C Cluney and Cpl A J Poynton AOC
2 Gp Commendation FS
A P Myers, Sgt P Taylor, Sgt S J Hill, Cpl A P Purnell and Cpl C
College Cranwell Police and Security Flight
mural of epaulettes and rank slides to honour PC
Andrew Harper, who was killed in the line of duty.
Protection complete Short Term Training Team in Nigeria
RAF Force Protection
deployed a short term training team in Nigeria for a few weeks.
Force Protection consists of the Royal Air Force Police and the
Air Force Regiment who provided expert training to the Nigerian
Force, teaching them various specialist skills and how to deal
Week One In the first
week No. 5 Force Protection Wing completed week one of the Air
Protection in the Complex Air Ground Environment (CAGE) package to
Nigerian Air Force Regiment and Police.
Teaching the students
the vulnerability and criticality of Air Power; the complexity of
environment; the external and internal threats to an airbase; and
to mitigate those threats through a range of Active Defence, and
Tactical Policing and Security measures. Week one has focused on
principles of those activities and developing the range of skills
can be employed, from conflict management and stop and search for
Police, and counter threats for the Regiment.
Week Two Week two
enabled the Nigerian Air Force Police with learning about the
protection of their critical assets and the role of Air Transport
Security, both aspects being key to enabling successful and
For the Nigerian Air
Force Regiment this has started with learning about the Ground
Area, and how they can dominate the area around their Air Bases to
protect their assets and deny their adversaries the freedom of
to conduct attacks
No. 51 Squadron RAF
Regiment Gunners, currently deployed in Nigeria delivering
the Nigerian Air Force Regiment, ran a ½ Marathon to raise money
the RAF Benevolent Fund and Child Bereavement. Finishing on the
peak on Nigerian Air Force Base Kaduna, known to the team as Lions
Rock, it was a fitting end to good few weeks of training.
Complex Air Ground
The Nigerian Air Force
Regiment have started understanding the Complex Air Ground
(CAGE), the threats they may face and how to operate within this
critical environment to enable the delivery of airpower. All
is being delivered by the Nigerian Regiment Training Centre
Instructors, with members of No. 51 Squadron RAF Regiment
oversight and mentorship
No 4 RAF Police and
Security Squadron completed the foundation package with the
Air Force Police, concentrating on General Police duties and
Safety Training No. 5 RAF Force Protection Wing also completed the
Final Training Exercise with the Nigerian Air Force Regiment and
Police. Conducted at Nigerian Air Force Kaduna, the exercise
Nigerian Regiment and Police across the fundamental areas of
Defence and Security; preparing the students for the challenges
will face on current operations. The exercise draws to a close of
training, graduating another 700 personnel, and arming them with
skills required to protect their airfields and critical
to enable the delivery of Nigerian airpower
The graduation ceremony
took place, delivering Force Protection in the Complex Air Ground
Environment training to the Nigerian Air Force Regiment and
reviewing officer for the graduation was the Nigerian Chief of the
Staff, Air Marshal S Abubakar. The graduation was also attended by
of the British Defence Staff (West Africa), Air Commodore P
Last week the RAFP Special Investigations Branch attended a D-Day
veterans party at the Aylesbury Branch of the RBL. Everyone got into
the Christmas spirit when guests were presented with Christmas boxes
full of festive treats
Slaidburn twin brothers celebrate 90 years of fun and
laughter as they mark milestone birthday
It's a huge milestone to celebrate your 90th birthday, but to have
twin brother by your side, is an incredible achievement.
Generations of family will gather this weekend as lifetime Ribble
Valley brothers Peter and Brian Walker turn 90 on Friday.
Peter and Brian Walker when babies
Born on November 29th, 1929, in the village of Slaidburn, Peter
born first, but his shocked parents Murray and Margaret, plus
siblings Gerald and Freda had no idea another baby was set to
A family spokesman said: "Our great-grandmother (Peter's mum) had
idea she was expecting twins. Once the doctor delivered Peter, he
dropped the bombshell that he thought another baby was yet to
Brian arrived an hour later."
The brothers attended Slaidburn School, leaving at the age of 14.
went to work on a farm outside Slaidburn, while Peter worked at
Co-Op shop in the village as a delivery boy. They both completed
National Service together in the RAF Police after training for six
months. They were then involved in working to build the main water
that passed through Slaidburn.
Brian went onto work at various other places as a garage
person, including Dutton Transport and Keith Clement’s
Brian married Marie Cliff on December 9th, 1950, in Slaidburn.
moved to Clitheroe for a while and then moved back to Slaidburn,
they still live today. They have five children, 13 grandchildren,
great grand-children and three great great-grandchildren. Brian
Marie also fostered 39 children over a period of time.
Peter married Hazel Turner on March 31st, 1956, in Clitheroe. They
lived in Clitheroe all their lives. Hazel has since passed way.
working on the water pipe in Slaidburn, Peter had his own building
construction business. The couple have two children, two
great-grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
The two brothers have a history of sharing important moments
their nine decades. They love to play snooker and spend lots of
playing for fun or competitions.
The families are grateful for the brothers' long lives and there
be double celebrations over the weekend as they mark their 90th
The young men Peter and Brian Walker
training Nigerian Air Force Police in the protection of their
assets and the role of Air Transport Security, both aspects being
to enabling successful and effective Air Operations
5 Force Protection Wing have completed week 1 of the 3-week Air
Protection in the Complex Air Ground Environment (CAGE) package to
Nigerian Air Force Regiment and Police
Police teaching Tactical Policing and Security measures.
Week 1 has focused on the principles of those activities and
the range of skills that can be employed, from conflict management
stop and search
RAF veteran's powerful film about how he went from hero to living in
A war hero left with PTSD after serving in Afghanistan has made a
moving and powerful film about his illness.
Luke Dallison, a 12-year RAF veteran, aims to highlight mental
in the military and tell how the MoD turned its back on him.
The film reveals how Luke went from being a fit RAF Police corporal
a traumatised war veteran within four years.
The hour-long documentary, Aftershock: A Love Story, follows Luke,
wife Nikita and four kids over two years.
It shows the family’s struggles in dealing with Luke’s PTSD as well
injuries caused by a back condition.
A 15-minute trailer for the film, by director Julia Stovell, got
180,000 views when it was posted on Facebook .
Harrowing last letter of Iraq war hero before he took his life in
In the film Luke criticises the military for a lack of help, saying:
“They teach you to give everything – when you need something it’s
Luke’s hell began when he had to check phones taken off Afghan
civilians entering huge UK base Camp Bastion. To his horror, many
mobiles had been used to film child sexual abuse.
Luke, now 35, left the RAF in 2017 but still sees the images in his
mind. He said: “The videos were sickening.
“They made me very angry and I wanted to take it out on the
Luke, from Telford, Shrops, fell into a spiral of mental and
pain which began with him punching a wall and led to a suicide bid.
to Cpl Poynton who received The Worshipful Company of Security
Professionals Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of his
& determination; leadership and command performance &
his direct contribution to the security of
This week the Royal
Legion launched it's #TributeInk
campaign. Provost Officer Flight Lieutenant Tash Kenny was
be part of this amazing tribute and shares why she chose her
‘My tattoo of a Spitfire symbolises the reasons why I joined the
learning about the importance of air power during WWII sparked
passion for the military. I also had the Latin phrase, “per ardva
ad astra” inked on my arm, which translates as “through
the stars”. She added: It’s the Royal Air Force’s official
relates to me on so many personal levels. Like other forms of
tattoos have the ability to give you hope even when things
turning out like you planned – and having a Spitfire and
incorporated into a quarter sleeve represents the past and
me. They’re iconic images that make me feel proud to serve my
See their Tribute Ink exhibition at the
online to discover the compelling stories of comradeship,
sacrifice and Remembrance behind tattoos in our Armed Forces
reached a junction in life - and decided to turn an old railway
box in Devon into a luxury holiday let (which can shunt their
up by £1,000 a week)
Richard and Nikki Curzons
bought Loddiswell Station in Devon and converted it
The two-bedroom Signal Box
can earn the couple up to £1,000 a week
Letting The Signal Box is
now a full-time job after 'disruptive' life of the RAF
couple who gave up their careers in the RAF to buy a former
station are now making a lucrative living after turning its old
box into a holiday let.
and Nikki Curzon moved into the converted station
at Loddiswell, Devon, five years ago with their two
and set about transforming the small railway building into a
now let the quirky two-bedroom cottage out for up to £1,000 a
Nikki Curzon bought the old Loddiswell railway station in
2014 for £700,000 and refurbished it to a stunning standard
self-catering accommodation has an occupancy rate of 90 per
allows the couple to run it as their full time job.
The Curzons live in the main four-bedroom house, which used to be
ticket office, waiting room and toilets at the old countryside
station was on the so-called Primrose Line, a picturesque route
South Brent to Kingsbridge that spurred off the main Exeter to
many rural railways, it was closed in 1963 as part of the
'Beeching cuts' - a reduction in route network and
restructuring of the railways in Great Britain, as proposed by
Richard Beeching, the former Chairman of British Railways.
couple, who both used to be in the RAF, said they spent
refurbishing the property and now rent out The Signal House
while they live in the main building that used to be the old
office and waiting rooms
quirky two-bedroom property can fetch up to £1,000 a week and
popular because visitors are now seeking more
lettings', according to Cottages.com
old platform and track bed has long since been grassed over and
forms part of the 4.5 acres of gardens to the property.
Curzons bought the converted house for £700,000 in 2014 and now
the Signal House out through cottages.com.
regional sales director at cottages.com, said: 'These days,
holidaymakers are more interested in booking experiences.
have found the annual income is around 45 per cent higher for
who let such interesting properties.'
Curzon, 45, served in the RAF police while his wife was an
self-catering accommodation has an occupancy rate of 90 per
allows the couple to run it as their full time job
Curzons decided to leave the RAF as it was quite disruptive
young family and then saw that Loddiswell Station was
said they became fed up with having to disrupt their family
moving around with the service.
said: 'My wife and I reached the stage a few years ago where
think service life and being away on tour was right for our
family. There was a lot of disruption with schooling.
a while we discussed running a business from home and then saw
Loddiswell Station for sale online.
have no real connection to Devon but we were both taken with
the time there was no planning permission in place for the
to be used as a self-catering business.
not sure what we would have done if it wasn't granted but
station was on the Primrose Line, a pretty route from South
Kingsbridge that spurred off the main Exeter to Plymouth
many rural railways, it was closed in 1963 as part of the
cost the Curzons about £20,000 to refurbish and the Signal Box
two bedrooms, a shower room on the ground floor and an
area and kitchen upstairs.
Curzon said: 'Being self-employed has some great perks. The
wonderful, the walks on our doorstep and woodland and river
fantastic for the kids and our guests alike.'
Signal Box costs from £565 a week to rent and can be booked
war veteran who battled severe post-traumatic stress for years
hailing a £499 device being used by the NHS as a miracle cure.
Dallison’s life has been transformed by a mobile phone-sized
Alpha Stim attaches to his earlobe and passes a small electrical
current through his brain.
using it, dad-of-four Luke, 33, was a broken man. Scarred by
Afghanistan, he would duck for cover if a balloon burst.
device is for patients with anxiety disorders in a handful of
it may be rolled out further if it is officially approved by
Institute for Health and Care Excellence – Nice.
Sunday People’s Save Our Soldier campaign is fighting to get
with PTSD the care they deserve.
pictured here with wife Nikita at Buckingham Palace, says
no drug nor
treatment helped his PTSD(Image:
who sought help from 13 psychiatrists in three years, said: “I
suicidal. I couldn’t leave the house.
drugs or other treatments worked but my entire life changed
trying this little device. I truly believe it could save lives.”
wife, Nikita, 28, said: “PTSD broke him into pieces. I lost my
and our children lost their father.
and conventional treatment made him aggressive and suicidal.
the first time he used the Alpha Stim he was so calm and
slept properly for the first time since he finished his tour in
Afghanistan in 2013. I’d been dubious but it was a miracle.”
he says the Alpha-Stim
has transformed his life
February 2017 he met former Army Major Cormac Doyle, who set up
Bridge Charity for veterans with mental health issues, and
months later he was discharged from the RAF Police after 13
attributes his PTSD to the atrocities he saw while based at Camp
Bastion in Afghanistan in 2012. He also injured his back from
carrying heavy kit.
PTSD was instantly diagnosed but he said he received minimal
and was “passed around like a broken toy.”
here with wife Nikita and his children, believes the
device that is
being rolled out on the NHS could save more lives(Image:
of Telford, Shropshire, said: “I’d stopped taking the meds.
turned me into a zombie.”
mum to Elijah, six, Austin, three, Leyland two, and
said: “If he ever heard a balloon pop he’d crouch down and grab
kids to protect them.
couldn’t go into shopping malls, and he had constant night
back injury confined him to a wheelchair but since using the
he has found work as a risk consultant on major infrastructure
still uses it up to four times a day for 30-minute stints
Stims could be rented to NHS patients for £70 – compared with
a course of cognitive behavioural therapy.
A POO-dunnit has gripped an air base where a pooper has caused
The hunt is on for the culprit who turned a common room into a
A stealth pooper has caused £3,500 of damage at RAF Brize Norton.
He fouled sofas, tables and the floor when he was caught short at
Brize Norton, Oxon. Carpets will need replacing and some furniture
had to be dumped.
One insider said: “It doesn’t get much lower than this and nobody
understand who would do such a thing. It is the talk of the base.”
The mess was discovered by military personnel and RAF Police are
They are hunting a male seen near the common room before the grim
He was wearing a T-shirt and light-coloured trousers.
The insider added: “It was pretty disgusting. Whoever did this
be ashamed of themselves. It was a terrible job for the cleaners
“Everyone wants to know who the mystery poo merchant is. They
have to have been very ill — or very drunk.”
In a letter seen by The Sun, the RAF Police appealed for “anyone
may be able to assist with our inquiries”.
A spokeswoman for RAF Brize Norton said last night: “As this is a
investigation we cannot comment any further on the matter.”
RAF take crime prevention course
08TH APRIL 2019
The Royal Air Force (RAF) have become the first part of the
military to have personnel take accredited crime prevention
Some 18 RAF Police from bases within the UK and abroad attended
classroom phase of the Level 4 Certificate in Crime Prevention for
Practitioners at RAF Honington in March. The qualifications were
delivered by the Police Crime Prevention Academy, who worked with
RAF Police Training Delivery to deliver the first accredited crime
prevention qualification taken by a military police service.
Academy Head of Learning and Development Guy Collyer said, “It is
always a pleasure to support the work of our armed forces. We
forget that they have their own communities to look after as well
the nation. Preventing crime is viewed as a priority and we are
to be able to provide these qualifications to those who find them
The Level 4 Certificate is for those working in a specialist crime
prevention role. The course covers the context of crime; the
application of a problem solving process; correct and effective
security products; site security surveys and environmental visual
audits; working in partnerships and related legislation; and
crime prevention initiative. The Level 4 Certificate provides a
stepping stone to the Level 5 Diploma in Crime Prevention –
The certificate is among accredited, regulated and portable
qualifications in crime prevention and designing out crime which
in September 2018. They’re for police and others that have a
duty to work on crime, in local government, fire and rescue,
probation. The qualifications are also available to private sector
businesses, such as security managers, architects and planners.
As well as scheduled national delivery, the qualifications can be
delivered locally depending on numbers. To find out more contact:
Britain commemorates WWII "Great Escape" heroes
Members of Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) on Sunday marked
75 years since the so-called "Great Escape" at two remembrance
ceremonies in Poland, where the legendary event took place.
Details of the moving ceremony were released in London on Monday
British Ministry of Defense (MoD).
The Great Escape saw 76 prisoners of war from the RAF and its
break out of Stalag Luft III on the night of March 24, 1944
tunnel they dug underground.
More than 600 prisoners had taken part in the tunnel-building
which lasted over 15 months and was led by RAF officer Squadron
Incarcerated in the heavily guarded camp, the prisoners were
to prove to their German captors that they could escape.
At the ceremony on Sunday, one of the participants was Corporal
Flint, an RAF police officer and a relative of Bushell.
Flint, who held a photo of Bushell as he marched in the guard of
said, "I am related to one of the escapers, Squadron Leader Roger
Bushell. It means a lot to me to be here today as it's the first
I've ever seen his grave. Seeing the names of all the escapers on
gravestones, especially Roger's, was very emotional and really hit
Standing alongside Polish armed forces personnel, RAF personnel
the guard of honor first at Poznan Cemetery, where 48 of the Great
Escapers are buried, and later at the site of Stalag Luft III, the
German-run prisoner of war camp where the escape took place during
World War II.
An RAF C-130 Hercules from RAF Brize Norton performed a flypast
four Polish Air Force F-16s over the ceremony at the Stalag Luft
"All but three of the escapers were re-captured and 50 of them
executed under (Adolf) Hitler's orders, which subsequently
largest British military police investigation in history. This was
conducted by the RAF Police which identified that 72 Nazis
in the executions. Of these, 38 were tried and sentenced while the
of the rest varied," the MoD said.
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier,
a wreath alongside the grave of Air Commodore (Retd) Charles
prisoner of war at the camp when the Great Escape took place.
"Today we honor the courage and sacrifice of those who were
here and lost their lives trying to escape. But today is also a
celebration of the intrepid adventurers who sought to regain their
freedom from here: their ingenuity, their daring and their spirit.
continue to celebrate that spirit in today's Royal Air Force,"
personnel marked 75 years since the Great Escape today at
remembrance ceremonies in Poland, where RAF & allied
escaped from a prisoner of warcamp during
the Second World War.
armed forces personnel, RAF personnel formed the Guard of
first at Poznan Cemetery, where 48 of the Great Escapers
and later at Stalag Luft III, the German-run camp where
the escape took
mark the start of the remembrance service at Stalag Luft
III, an RAF
C130 Hercules performed a flypast with four Polish Air
police quiz instructors and recruits over a spate of rape and
assault claims at their own training school
A spate of alleged sex
crimes is being investigated at a military training
They 'took place at the
Defence School of Policing and Guarding in Portsmouth'
Defence chiefs launched a
separate internal inquiry into the facility's culture
spate of alleged sex crimes, including two rapes and an
assault, is being investigated by military police – at their
are questioning instructors and recruits at the Defence
School of Policing and Guarding (DSP G) near Portsmouth, where
incidents are said to have taken place.
have also been drafted in and defence chiefs have launched a
separate internal inquiry into the ‘culture’ at the DSP G
DSP G provides an introduction to police training for up to
Royal Navy and Royal Air Force recruits each year. Pictured
Southwick House in Portsmouth [File photo]
number of recruits have been arrested and questioned over two
allegations of rape and one of sexual assault.
source said: ‘There is a lot of shock at the base. You get an
occasional isolated allegation of this nature at a training
establishment, but this is much more serious.’
Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary, talks to nominees for The
Military Awards, known as the Millies, at a reception in No
Judges' Special Recognition Award
Wing Commander Kevin Gatland organised many of the year-long RAF
festivities to mark the 100 year anniversary.
THESE breath-taking celebrations to mark 100 years since the
of the RAF captured the nation’s hearts and inspired a new
to take to the skies. As part of the year-long festivities, more
75,000 people crowded into The Mall in London to enjoy a momentous
including a parade and stunning fly-by of 103 RAF aircraft.
Wing Commander Kevin Gatland, 37, who planned the fly-past, said
afterwards: “It genuinely brought a lump to my throat, hearing the
reaction of the crowd”.
Another 165,000 people visited the RAF 100 Aircraft Tour which
travelled the country, and 1.6million children took part in
school activities and challenges.
personnel joined their French allies to hone their skills in
airfields from attack.
Global Eagle saw over 200 RAF Police and RAF Regiment personnel
FP Wg based at RAF Leeming join a similar number from Commando
Parachutistes de l’Air 20 of the French Air Force at Caylus
area near Toulouse.
trained together for two weeks to prove the interoperability of
Force in a multinational environment. Air FP scenarios included
controlling air support, dealing with chemical and biological
detection of explosives and evacuation of captured persons.
Protection (FP) Force Commander, Group Captain Steve Horne
Global Eagle has been extremely valuable for ourselves and our
partners, both in terms of interoperability and sharing best
proved that we can work together across a range of scenarios and
shows the very close co-operation we have with our French
we progress along a force protection road-map that has been in
for a number of years.
addition, Exercise Global Eagle has given 2 FP Wing the
prove a new concept, that of a Force Protection Contingency
where RAF Regiment and RAF Police, including military working
trained to operate together in a contested environment and are
very proud that the RAF is the main contributor to FP doctrine
and our enduring relationship with partners ensures that Air FP
provision is fit for the next generation of Air power.”
Commander Morgan Williams, the commander of No 2 RAF FP Wing
Global Eagle has given us an excellent opportunity to test our
early-entry capabilities alongside our French colleagues.
defence of the Caylus Tactical Landing Zone, 2 FP Wg has
RAF Regiment Gunners, RAF Police men and women, Military Working
and Tactical Air Control Party alongside Paratroopers, CBRN
and Heli-Snipers of Commando Parachutist de l’Air 20 under the
command of the 2 FP Wg HQ. In a contested scenario against a
force, the exercise has demonstrated the value of interoperable
Protection specialists in securing and defending Air Force
we be called upon, I have full confidence in our ability to work
seamlessly alongside our French allies in securing the global
our respective Air Forces”.
RAF has worked closely with the French Air Force in many areas
world recently, including Mali in North Africa and in hurricane
efforts in the Caribbean in 2017.
Happy 100th birthday: Civic leaders join celebrations for Shifnal
veteran Les Cherrington
Civic and community leaders turned out in force to wish the oldest
veteran in Shifnal a very happy 100th birthday.
Les Cherrington celebrates his 100th birthday. With Les at the
friend Peggy Cross, Robert Harrop, the Mayor of Shifnal; Graham
Cherrington, his son; Sheena Cherrington, his daughter, and family
member Jan Rowe, with other friends and Shifnal Carnival Committee
members in the background.
Les Cherrington celebrated in style on Saturday surrounded by
councillors, the town's carnival committee and his family.
The day started with a presentation to Mr Cherrington, who was
in the Second World War, at his Orchard Road home.
This was followed by a family dinner at nearby Haughton Hall
As a longstanding member of Shifnal Carnival Committee, Mr
has been its carnival king for many years.
He said: "I've had an absolutely wonderful day. The councillors
carnival committee came to see me at home and I've had lots of
taken in the garden.
"I've had a lovely meal with the family.
"I'm rounding off the day with tea at the Premier Inn with my
grandchildren and my great grandchildren."
His son Graham, 63, daughter-in-law Sheena, granddaughters Katie,
and Laura, 33, and their families travelled from Swindon,
mark the grand milestone.
Mayor of Shifnal Councillor Robert Harrop said: "Shifnal is very
to celebrate the 100th birthday of a remarkable citizen of the
are very proud of Les.
"He wasn't feeling very well the day before, but he seemed very
on his birthday and was able to celebrate with his family and
"Les has been the carnival king for many years and in addition to
he is still a member of Shifnal Male Voice Choir. He is active in
community which is a remarkable achievement considering his age
that is the point of the civic celebration.
"He has given the community great pleasure over the years and we
Mr Cherrington also received a birthday card from the Queen
gifts from wellwishers.
Shifnal Town Council also installed two birthday banners in his
next to the town clock.
Originally from Albrighton, Mr Cherrington was a soldier in the
Staffordshire Yeomanry Queen’s Own Royal Regiment. He was injured
during a battle in North Africa in 1943 when his Sherman tank was
wrecked by a German field gun, but he managed to clamber free
being badly burned and shrapnel nearly severing his left arm.
After he recovered he continued to serve his country for a further
years in the RAF police.
Other celebrations for the popular community volunteer included a
social night at Shifnal Royal British Legion last week.
RAF police officers foiled a burglary in Cosford, recovering a
'significant quantity' of stolen power tools.
A member of the public confronted two would-be burglars in the
and he alerted the officers who confronted and detained both men.
were then arrested by West Mercia Police officers.
With both men in custody, police searched the vehicle the pair had
travelled in and found a number of stolen goods. They then
houses they were linked with and found more garden and household
PCSO Mal Goddard said: "There have been a number of burglaries in
surrounding area and the police have been able to identify the
of some of the property recovered, this will be returned as soon
The arrests happened late on Wednesday and police are now
trace the owners of the tools.
Arrests made in Cosford incident
At 11:30pm on Wednesday the 22nd of August 2018, Police were
Cosford to assist the RAF Police from RAF Cosford.
An alert member of the public had witnessed some suspicious
and challenged a pair of men. As a result of his actions a
prevented and two men were detained by the RAF Police and then
by West Mercia Police Officers.
Following the arrests of the two men, searches were conducted of
vehicle that they were with and a number of stolen items
Two further searches were carried out at addresses linked to the
arrested men and further stolen items recovered. Much of the
recovered was garden and household power tools from various
manufacturers, this was all seized by Officers and will be checked
the Police property store.
There have been a number of burglaries in the surrounding areas
Police have been able to identify the owners of some of the
recovered, this will be returned as soon as possible.
This will still leave a significant number of power tools and
While checks will be conducted to see if the rightful owners can
identified, this is unlikely to be successful in all cases. If you
recently been a victim of a burglary in the area and will be able
positively identify your property, please ring 101 and refer to
incident 0847S 220818.
Flight Lieutenant Rosie Callery, of the Royal Air
Force Police, is currently deployed on Exercise Long Look, a
four-month exchange programme on which she will conduct various
integrated tasks, exercises and training packages with the Royal
Australian Air Force .
The RAF Officer from No. 3 Force Protection Wing, RAF Marham
the end of April 18 and embedded in No. 1 Security Forces Squadron
(1SECFOR) at RAAF Base Williamtown.
FLT LT Callery is the first of the UK Force Protection (FP)
to deploy on Ex Long Look with a FP specific focus.
Exchange Programme Long Look has been a military exchange event,
conducted annually since 1976.
It epitomises the close working relationship that the UK Armed
has with both the New Zealand and Australian Defence Forces.
The RAAF is a Tier 2 partner in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
and offers opportunities for the sharing of practices and policies
both countries prepare to receive the platform.
FLT LT Callery is embedded into Security Flight at RAAF Base
Williamtown and will assist with the development of Security
operating concepts in support of the arrival of Australia’s first
F-35As later of this year.
“It’s been an incredible development opportunity working with
forces in preparation for the arrival of JSF at RAAF Base
As a reciprocal exchange, Flying Officer Josh Hablethwaite, RAAF
Defence Officer will deployed to RAF Marham in June, just in time
the first arrival of the RAF’s F-35 to the UK.
Both exchange officers will have the opportunity to gain a
understanding of how partner nations provide security for
FLG OFF Hablethwaite will also have the opportunity to view and
training activities with the RAF Regiment at both RAF Marham and
As part of her exchange, FLT LT Callery also deployed with No. 2
Security Forces Squadron on Exercise Pitch Black, a multi-national
large force exercise, at RAAF Base Darwin.
It featured a range of realistic, simulated threats which can be
in a modern battle-space environment and provided an opportunity
the exchange officer to observe large scale force integration and
interoperability serials within Australia, and the training and
integration of security operations directly supporting the ability
sustain air power.
Man retraces historic journey to Belgium exactly 90 years later
It was to commemorate those who died in World War One
A man has helped to commemorate those who died in World War One by
retracing the steps of a historic journey to Belgium.
In 1928 the Royal British Legion arranged for war veterans and
to visit the Somme and Ypres battlegrounds, followed by a march to
Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Belgium.
And now exactly 90 years later, Legion members have recreated the
Lincolnshire Co-op Funeral Services trainer Richard Kent, who
volunteers as a standard bearer for the Legion's Washingborough
District branch went along to represent local people and pay
He said: "I think that commemorating the huge sacrifice that was
is as important today as it has been for the last 100 years.
"To have such a high-profile event is great as it puts to mind the
efforts and hardship they went through to leave us with the
The group travelled to Belgium to take part in the GP90 parade on
August 8 and attended a ceremony at Menin Gate to commemorate the
final 100 days.
Mr Kent said: "When I was a little boy my grandfather, who had
gunner in the Royal Artillery in World War One, had been a
the Royal British Legion."
Before his career with Lincolnshire Co-op, Mr Kent worked for 22
in the RAF police advising on security.
He also spent nine years as the Royal British Legion's
County standard bearer, going on to compete for the regional and
The Royal British Legion and the RAF Benevolent Fund are being
supported by Lincolnshire Co-op’s Community Champions scheme
summer, with more than £79,000 fundraised so far.
Over 151,000 Lincolnshire Co-op members have helped raise the
shopping with their dividend card, and proceeds from the carrier
levy are added to the pot.
“To support two charities that are dear to me is just wonderful,”
Fitz breaks young hero's silence after 100 years
On a pilgrimage to the battlefield where his great uncle died 100
ago, John Fitzpatrick got into a long chat with the 17-year-old
soldier who had unhesitatingly answered the nation's call to arms.
Fitz during his forces days, with Jimmy.
A professional dog trainer, he runs Cosford Dog Training
Private Ben Leeman, who was only 17 when he was killed in action
A Century of Silence
During a career in the forces spanning 36 years Fitz served in
Ireland, The Falkland Islands, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
It was a story Private Ben Leeman had not been able to tell for a
"Does anyone remember us?" he asked John. John - known as Fitz -
able to reassure him on that point.
Fitz's pilgrimage earlier this year was real, and now that
chat, used as a literary device, has been turned into a historical
novel telling the story of the young soldier's life and
called A Century of Silence, and available through Amazon.
"It is written in an original way, which sets it apart from any
book of its kind," he said.
Fitz has retraced Ben's footsteps, and as a former serviceman who
danger in the hotspots of Northern Ireland, Iraq, and Afghanistan,
was able to draw on a special insight into the feelings the
would have experienced in battle.
Ben, from Grimsby, lied about his age to join up at the age of 15,
serving in the 15th (Bantam) Battalion, Notts and Derby Regiment,
He was killed in action during the opening days of the great
spring offensive of 1918.
But in 2013 Ben Leeman was just a name to Fitz, who runs Cosford
Training and lives at County Lane, Codsall Wood.
"I knew my Mam had an Uncle Ben, who her dad - my granddad - spoke
about very rarely as he was invariably overcome with grief
talked about his younger brother and his bitterness about how his
mother never fully recovered from Ben's death," he said.
Nor did he know much about the Great War, but everything was to
in 2014 when he and his father went on a 70th anniversary trip to
At the end of their visit his mother asked if he "fancied taking a
up to the north of France" to find her Uncle Ben's name on a
wall of a cemetery.
A leisurely detour to Pozieres on the Somme took them around 10
but was to have a profound effect on Fitz, and was to be the first
many visits to the area.
Their "chat," as described in the book, was during a visit to the
memorial to mark the centenary of Ben's death, which was on March
1918, at a place called Curlu Wood.
Ben was both a young veteran and a war hero, having fought on the
and in Flanders, and being awarded the Military Medal during the
fighting at Houthulst Forest in October 1917.
Fitz is a former RAF Police Warrant Officer, who was head of the
Special Investigations Branch major crime team and then the senior
instructor at the Joint Service Dog School before retiring in
Since retiring he has been a full time dog trainer and
"The book was compiled using family records, public and military
records, particularly the battalion diary of the 15th Battalion
war diary of the 35th Division, and information supplied by
historians, who are real experts on just about everything to do
the Great War. The Regimental Museum of the Mercian Regiment was
very helpful," said Fitz.
"Being a former SIB investigator I never rely on documentary
alone. I have visited all the locations where Ben served and
possible walked exactly the same route taken as described in the
"I have a fairly accurate idea of how long it takes to tab from
Maricourt to Curlu Wood, at 8.30am on March 24, because I did it
100 years after the event. I don't do things by halves.
"Some of the feelings experienced in battle, attributed to Ben,
personal. Service in Northern Ireland, a long time before any
was given to a peace process, a tour in Iraq, and three tours in
Afghanistan, gave me a bit of insight."
Congratulations to Cpl Mollie Shurmer who has been formally
as the winner of the 2017 Securing the Skies Trophy. Mollie was
selected by the Master of Worshipful Company of Security
and Provost Marshal (RAF) as the RAF Police Protective Security
made the most significant contribution to the protection of RAF
critical assets during 2017. Mollie’s achievement was formally
recognised by the Master at the Annual Military Affiliates
the RAF Club
Corporal Mollie Shurmer has been employed on a Protective Security
Section as the Air Transport Security specialist. Without formal
training, she planned and delivered a comprehensive review of all
security practices within the air terminal building. She
areas where new technology would enhance building security and
introduced modern scanning equipment, an Explosive Trace Detector
Responder Bottle Scanning Unit, while ensuring full compliance
and CAA regulations. This exceptional display of initiative was
instrumental in ensuring a vital, operational section was able to
with risks to critical assets, Royalty, VVIPs and MPs, and
her skills in identifying major risk management issues.
As a newcomer to Protective Security, Cpl Shurmer’s exceptional
ingenuity and dedication is all the more impressive and has made a
difference to the security of RAF mission critical assets and
deployment across the globe.
Norfolk veterans conquer Warrior Games
David Rose, from Downham Market, taking part in the Warrior
Games where he represented Team UK. Picture: Cyrus McCrimmon/DOD
David Rose, from Downham Market, taking part in the Warrior Games
he represented Team UK. Picture: Cyrus McCrimmon/DOD Warrior Games
Two wounded Norfolk veterans amassed an impressive haul of medals
sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.
Simon Chapman, from Watton, took part in the Warrior Games where
represented Team UK. Picture: DOD Warrior GamesSimon Chapman, from
Watton, took part in the Warrior Games where he represented Team
Picture: DOD Warrior Games
David Rose, from Downham Market, and Simon Chapman, from Watton,
two of 40 veteran and service personnel who were selected by Help
Heroes to represent the UK at the Warrior Games.
Organised by the United States Department of Defence, the
event - which includes personnel from the USA, UK, Canada and
- was held earlier this month in Colorado.
Mr Rose, who has been an aircraft engineer with the RAF since
brought home a silver medal in the 50m breaststroke, a bronze
the 4x50m relay and bronze medals in both the recumbent cycling
trial and road race events.
Due to nerve damage to his right arm, shoulder and hand caused by
cycling accident in 2009, the 48-year-old is in constant pain. His
has a limited function with fingers often ‘clawed’ and the injury
causes frequent muscle spasms.
David Rose, from Downham Market, taking part in the Warrior Games
he represented Team UK. Picture: John Leyba/DOD Warrior Games
“I was always into sport and outdoor activities but with injury I
thought, wrongly, this was over - this took me to a very bad
said Mr Rose.
“Being shown and encouraged that I can still do sport has been a
He added: “I feel so much taller having returned from the Warrior
Captain of the swimming team, Mr Chapman took a silver medal in
the 50m backstroke, 100m freestyle and bronze in the 200m
Simon Chapman, from Watton, took part in the Warrior Games where
represented Team UK.
Picture: DOD Warrior Games Simon Chapman, from Watton, took
part in the Warrior Games where he represented Team UK.
The 49-year-old has served with the RAF for 32 years and is
Warrant Officer for the RAF Police.
He has a deficient muscle in his right leg sustained from a
injury and two prosthetic implants in both hips after a car
off his bicycle.
The injury has significantly impacted on his daily activities with
reduced movement and has left him unable to do any impact or
sport which had a serious effect on both his mental health and
“Being selected was a huge confidence boost for me and is a
turning point in my life,” he said.
“I have gone through a period of uncertainty, becoming a little
despondent and de-motivated, but I have now found a sense of
On 16th May 2018, Air Commodore Peter Squires, the Commandant of
College Cranwell, presented Flight Sergeant Bellingham with the
Meritorious Service Medal, in the 2017 New Years Honours. This
only presented to Senior Non-Commissioned Officers and Warrant
Officers, who have had a long and distinguished Service with
conduct. Almost 28 years ago, she joined the Service as an RAF
NCO and has travelled the world providing protective security to
Our congratulations go to Flight Sergeant Bellingham on her
North-east air force
personnel in Nigeria to help defend bases from terrorists
addresses the Nigerian troops.
Air force personnel
from the north-east are in Africa helping to prepare local
their fight against one of the world’s most notorious terrorist
A team from RAF
Lossiemouth is running a six-week training schedule for the
Air Force and Air Police to aid their efforts against extremist
organisation Boko Haram.
The militant Islamist
group has caused havoc in Africa’s most populous country for
years, through bombings, assassinations and, most prominently,
Now personnel from the
Moray-based 5 Force Protection Wing (5 FP) have organised
training in close quarter battles, force protection,
They are also providing
training for military working dogs.
The Lossiemouth crews
are currently at the Kaduna Airbase, where temperatures are
38 Celsius, before they join the fight in the north-east of the
Aircraftman CJ Iwu,
from the Nigerian Air Force, said: “The training is exhausting
interesting. We have never worked such long days.
“My favourite part of
the day is the flight competition. They boost morale and revise
Senior Aircraftman Sam
Walton, from 5 FP, said: “It’s good to compare their ability at
start of the day with the end of the day. Seeing progress is
The training programme
is the sixth time that 5 FP – which includes gunners, RAF police
officers, chefs, medics and technicians – has been deployed on
Nigeria’s chief of air
staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, requested the assistance
Scots due to intelligence that the country’s air bases will
He said: “All these
reinforce the need to have a robust base defence concept that is
capable of providing guidance for responding to a wide range of
situations that may threaten our bases.”
RAF Leeming celebrate
RAF 100 in Northallerton
sleepy village near Grimsby that stood in the way of a Russian
Britain facing the threat of World War Three and Cold War
Lincolnshire RAF station was chosen as the country’s very first
Britain faced the threat of a Russian nuclear attack, a quiet
near Grimsby stood in the way.
little remains of what was once one of the country’s most
hangar has been converted into a farmer's grain store, while
former military buildings are home to a peaceful Christian
as dawn broke over RAF North Coates on a late October’s Saturday
1962, the staff there could have been forgiven for wondering if
on the very edge of the Lincolnshire coast, rows of
missiles pointed up at the sky and an unseen enemy. Their job:
and destroy enemy bombers that might appear at any moment.
The Bloodhound missile which was the UK's front line defence
Soviet attack from bases like RAF North Coates(Image:
than an hour’s drive inland, the pilots of the nuclear V-bomber
waited on full alert, ready to leave the ground within just 15
and make for targets behind the Iron Curtain.
was on the brink of war and the village of North Cotes was on
the threat of a Russian nuclear attack has been in the news
the Salisbury poisoning case and the stand-off over Syria.
during the Cold War, the menace of Russian bombers was very real
anybody who thought rural Lincolnshire would not be a prime
would have been sadly mistaken.
bomber bases around the county would have come under attack,
a naval communications centre at New Waltham.
Targets across the Humber were targets for Russian nuclear
of the Humber, the city of Hull would have been nuked, as well
radar station at Patrington.
counter the threat, during the 1950s, Britain developed a fleet
supersonic fighter planes alongside, for the first time,
guided missiles designed to seek and destroy enemy aircraft.
1958, North Cotes was at the centre of a media blitz when it was
as the country’s first missile base, “home to the Royal Air
the future”, with the most advanced weapons of their kind
aptly named Bloodhound Missiles, with their ram-jet engines and
snouts pointing towards the sky, looked futuristic enough when
were installed at RAF North Coates in 1958.
was sold to the public as a complete weapons system that would
the country against the most determined of enemies.
Vulcan bombers and RAF Scampton in 1961(Image:
they been fired in anger, Britain would have almost certainly
war and on the brink of a nuclear exchange.
first concern was to protect the V Bomber force, based at
Scampton and Waddington, which carried Britain's nuclear
boffins hoped eventually to design a weapon accurate enough to
down enemy ballistic missiles.
Ward, the Air Minister of the day, said: "Ultimately it is to
development of the surface-to-air guided weapons system that we
for anti-ballistic missile defence.
the introduction of new equipment and better techniques we can
Fighter Command to meet a bomber attack at a greater distance
shores, and with a greater proportion of our fighter force, both
North Coates, on the very edge of the Lincolnshire coast, had a
and proud history as a base during two world wars. An attack
of fighter-bombers flew from here during the Second World War to
German shipping in the North Sea.
1953, it was inundated by the great North Sea flood.
years later it was chosen as the first base for Britain’s newest
RAF North Coates near Grimsby and how the base was laid out(Image:
November 1958, the Duke of Edinburgh visited the base to inspect
264 Air Defence Missile Squadron. He was pictured examining one
missiles, described at the time as the most advanced in the
correspondent, writing in the Birmingham Mail, described
trial of the missiles, which flew at twice the speed of sound.
I watched one of the missiles being quickly placed in position
metal launching frame. an aircraft made a dummy attack on the
Long before I could see or hear it. a missile was turning
towards the direction from which It was corning. Evasive tactics
of no use. Each time the aircraft made an alteration of course
of the missile turned.
this been a real operation. the - aircraft would not have stood
slightest chance of coming anywhere near the station. A complex
swiftacting system of radar detection and guidance briefs the
in a matter of seconds.
The Duke of Edinburgh inspecting a Bloodhound Missile
RAF North Coates in 1958
the claims, the advanced technology was not without its
According to the website Bomber County Aviation Resource, radar
operators were flummoxed when their screens began picking up
objects in the Immingham area. Fortunately, the culprits turned
to be Russian planes, but moving cranes on the docks.
base was, of course, given top-level security, with night
RAF police dogs and their handlers. It was expected to be ready
its missiles on demand.
A layout of a typical Bloodhound missile base like RAF Great
the height of the Cold War(Image:
London Illustrated News / British Newspaper Archive)
Captain James Leathart, the ex-Battle of Britain pilot
station, told journalists: "If the political temperature goes up
go into operational posture at any time."
day almost came in October 1962, during the Cuban Missile
United States had discovered a Russian plan to install nuclear
in Cuba and President John F Kennedy was under intense pressure
or invade the island. With Britain ready to stand by its ally,
bombers were placed on a 15-minute standby.
diplomacy won the day and Britain’s missile bases were never
upon to defend the country during a nuclear war, despite several
close calls over the next three decades. By the late 1980s, with
Cold War winding down, the Bloodhounds were a relic of another
base finally closed in 1990 and its staff quarters were
other uses, including a private housing estate.
the missiles are long gone but a grass airstrip, operated by the
Coates Flying Club, serves as a reminder that this quiet village
for much of the 20th century, at the forefront of Britain’s air
The RAFP Dog Demonstration Team in Swindon sharing their
capabilities and experiences with the public
Royal Air Force Veterans Return
To The Rock For RAF
Two Royal Air Force
veterans, Trevor Adams and Colin Jones, have returned to
the Rock more
than 60 years after they were first stationed in
celebrate 100 years since the RAF's formation on
Forces Radio presenter
Hayley Hammond spoke to the former RAF policemen and
about their memories of Gibraltar and how things have
Trevor & Colin
in Gibraltar 1957
The pair first met 61
years ago as Corporals in the RAF Police. Their friendship
early as they shared room three, Devils Tower Camp
chess together. A tradition they have kept to this day.
Trevor remembered how
exciting it was arriving to do his national service:
men reflected that Gibraltar has changed “phenomenally” with
reclaimed land and buildings they do not recognise at all.
pair also noticed differences in how the military operates and
relationships across ranks. According to Colin:
informality of everything is just staggering and better… you can
have respect but it doesn’t have to be so rigid.”
swastika found in soldier’s home, court told
serving British soldiers and a 23-year-old man are accused of
members of a banned neo-Nazi group.
cardboard swastika was found on a windowsill at the barracks
home of a
serving British soldier accused of being a member of a banned
group, a court has heard.
Mark Barrett also had a photograph on his phone, taken at a
military base in the UK, showing a burning cross in a garden.
25-year-old married father and Royal Anglian Regiment
Corporal Mikko Vehvilainen, 33, are on trial accused of being
of National Action.
23-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is
with membership of the group which was banned by the
barrister told jurors, when the case opened, that they would
decide whether the soldier was “a casual racist or a committed
jury at Birmingham Crown Court on Thursday heard how military
civilian police searched his accommodation at Dhekalia station,
Alexander Barracks, Cyprus, in 2017, and found the hand-sized
also found a spiral-bound notebook with another swastika on the
and written in German on an inside page was the phrase “Do not
blood of a race horse with that of a cart horse”.
Robinson, prosecuting, said: “The page has been signed by Mark
a black diary, also found in Barrett’s house, was the
phrase: “God almighty created man in the image of a
blue-eyed man, with the capability to show rose of cheek
barrister told jurors, when the case opened, that they would
decide whether the soldier was “a casual racist or a committed
jury at Birmingham Crown Court on Thursday heard how military
civilian police searched his accommodation at Dhekalia
Alexander Barracks, Cyprus, in 2017, and found the hand-sized
also found a spiral-bound notebook with another swastika on
and written in German on an inside page was the phrase “Do not
blood of a race horse with that of a cart horse”.
Robinson, prosecuting, said: “The page has been signed by Mark
a black diary, also found in Barrett’s house, was the
phrase: “God almighty created man in the image of a
blue-eyed man, with the capability to show rose of cheek
Robinson described an image which jurors heard was taken at
barracks, Rutland, on April 22 2017, and found on a mobile
at Barrett’s work station.
said: “It shows a male pointing a bow and arrow towards a
target at the
end of the garden, with a burning cross, slightly ahead of
court heard that despite being searched on arrest in Cyprus on
September 5 2017, Barrett was given back his wallet after
evidential” was – at that time – found inside, according to
then took a bank card from his wallet asked for it and car
keys to be
be passed to his wife, who was to remain on the base.
police officer Sergeant Christopher Moss, giving evidence on a
video-link from the island, said: “He handed me a Santander
and car keys so they could be handed to his wife, via a
the wallet was searched by police back in the UK, two National
leaflets were discovered inside, the court heard.
Aylott, Barrett’s barrister, asked Sgt Moss: “Since you made
statement have you been made aware within the wallet there were,
fact, folded up within it, two National Action leaflets
found in a search of his wallet that took place in the UK?”
RAF officer replied: “I was not aware at all, no.”
military police officer, Corporal Thomas Dutton, said Barrett
escorted by himself and a colleague to RAF Akrotiri, and they
with him throughout the five-hour flight to RAF Brize Norton,
Oxfordshire, and on to a police station in Coventry.
how many times Barrett, formerly of Kendrew Barracks, Rutland,
out of his sight, Cpl Dutton replied: “Impossible to say
an Army trainer from Sennybridge Camp, Powys, is also accused of
possession of a terrorist manual – the manifesto of Norwegian
right-wing extremist Anders Breivik – and two counts of stirring
racial hatred connected to forum posts.
barrister Pavlos Panayi QC told the jury on Wednesday it was
dispute that he is a racist”, but that did not make him a
other male is also charged with three counts of possession of
likely to be useful to terrorists and distributing terrorism
three deny wrongdoing, and the trial continues.
veteran from Milton Keynes to march at Cenotaph this Remembrance
Archbold, 89 known as Ned, will be marching at the Cenotaph in
with more than 100 other blind veterans supported by Blind
the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and
says: “I can’t wait to attend this year’s march. For me,
about the pride of serving one’s country. It’s also about
the people who gave up their lives for the very same cause.” Ned
served in both the Royal Artillery 601 Field Battery and the
Service Corps. Ned was later transferred to the Royal Air Force
where he served in Ceylon with the RAF Police (Auxiliaries). “I
very proud to have served, and extremely proud to have been
Lance Bombardier in the Army,” he said. “I also received a
in the RAF Police for tackling and arresting a baton-wielding
in the RAF camp.” It was not until 1985 that Ned’s sight began
deteriorate as a result of age-related macular degeneration. Ned
“It was a horrible process. Gradual, but horrible. “I
found myself in the awful position of being unable to do most of
things that I’d previously enjoyed doing. I was unable to read
write. I couldn’t even see facial features.” Fortunately for
social services put him in touch with Blind Veterans UK after
of his military background. Ned maintains that the support the
has provided him with has been hugely beneficial, particularly
assistance. He explains: “The IT support, specifically the
tablet device the charity has given me, has been fantastic. It’s
me the opportunity to keep in touch with family and friends, and
that I’m enormously grateful.” Ned is set to march with other
vision-impaired ex-Service men and women supported by Blind
as part of the national Remembrance Sunday commemorations in
executive of Blind Veterans UK, Major General (Rtd) Nick Caplin
says: “Remembrance Sunday is always a very poignant time for our
veterans and it is fantastic that Specsavers are able to support
to get to march at the Cenotaph. “Today, Blind Veterans UK
more blind and vision-impaired veterans than ever before in the
charity’s history and we have set an ambitious target to double
number of veterans we support in the next five years.” Blind
UK is the national charity for blind and vision-impaired
and women, providing vital practical and emotional support to
veterans discover life beyond sight loss. The charity estimates
there are currently 59,000 blind veterans that would be eligible
access its specialist support, most of whom are not currently
it. If you, or someone you know, served in the Armed Forces or
National Service and are now battling severe sight loss, find
Blind Veterans UK could help by calling 0800 389 7979 or
congratulations to Amy Cokayne HQ RAF Sport Sportswoman of
Official of year runner up is Michelle Crolla
black belt Amy wins British judo title
belt Amy Atkins will fight for Britain next year after managing
a national title without a training regime. A hectic schedule as
mum-of-two and businesswoman denied Amy the time to prepare
for her trip to the British Masters Judo Championships. But she
through four matches to win the women’s -63kg F2 (age 39-plus)
Cardiff on her debut appearance at a British Masters tournament.
winning this title she is now ranked the British number one for
weight and age category “I wasn’t expecting anything really
hadn’t really done any training,” she said. “I must have just
good day. “With the gym to run and two little kids there just
the time, but I do a lot of exercise classes which helped me to
fit.” Amy (39) took up the martial art at the age of nine and
successful junior judo career which included a British Open
gained a coveted black belt aged 16 and gained her second dan
years later. While
serving in the RAF, she also won national and international
representing the military all over the world, and now represents
air force as a reservist. But Amy, a second dan black belt,
latest win among the best of her career. “I took judo very
when I was a kid,” she added. “But in terms of British Opens it
best result I’ve had for a lot of years,“It’s brilliant and
means I can
give something back to the military who support me to go and
Having joined up in 2000, she quickly received both the RAF and
Combined Service colours and became Armed Forces champion for
weight category, a title she held for most of her career. Amy
several tours of duty, including Iraq, but the birth of her
daughter Caitlin (5) persuaded her to return to civvy street in
But within 18 months she re-joined the RAF Police Reserves,
her to continue with her RAF career and represent the service at
After second daughter Amber (2) came along, Amy came up with a
idea and decided to convert a disused Caistor warehouse into a
Lincs Gym has had more than 600 members through its doors since
a year ago this week. Despite this heavy workload, Amy will have
find time for a training regime after earning a place in the
team thanks to her win in Wales. She said: “The next thing is to
training for the British team, and the next big competition is
Scotland in January. “I will compete in as many (international)
as I can. “My kids have never seen me compete so I hope they
able to come along, too.”
RAF serviceman surprised his long-term girlfriend in the best
Justin Duncan has served three tours of Afghanistan and is
working in close protection
RAF military police officer serving in Afghanistan has delighted
long-term girlfriend with a surprise visit to herTunbridge
Cox, 32, who lives in Snodland, was not expecting Corporal
Duncan home until later this evening (October 5).
said: "I've been based in Kabul for four months and have two
leave. I'm a military police officer with the RAF.
Kabul I work in close protection, we're looking after a VIP for
duration. Where he goes, we go."
morning a phone call to his girlfriend's desk from her office's
reception informed her her 'brother' was waiting downstairs for
Cox, who works in recruitment, said: "He had been messaging me
he was at Dubai and his flight was delayed. i got a call from
this morning saying my brother was here.
him sat there and said 'you have done it again!', it's not the
first time he has surprised me like this. It's a nice
meantime the pair are looking forward to relaxing and in Cpl
Duncan's case "eating some really good food".
added: "We're going down to Cornwall to see my mum, I'm looking
to eating some really nice food! The food in Afghanistan is
have proper dining facilities now and it's all shipped in from
it's better than it was. It used to be ration packs but there
facilities there now!"
Duncan, also 32, has served in the RAF for 10 years and has seen
during three tours of Afghanistan. He currently he works in
protection and provides the security for a top British general.
pair have been dating for six years.
Riders deliver vital supplies
bikers: Former RAF dog handlers Martin Cadogan (left) and Ian
charity that helps ensure urgently needed blood and other vital
supplies are delivered to Nottinghamshire hospitals out of hours
looking for more volunteers.
are about 30 Blood Bike groups that each act as individual
Most also belong to the National Association of Blood Bikes.
Cadogan, of Fernwood, joined the Nottinghamshire group, and his
Ian Firth, the Lincolnshire group.
are former RAF police sergeants and both served as dog handlers.
said after they left the RAF they wanted to get involved with a
are both keen motorcyclists and so the Blood Bike project seemed
perfect one to volunteer with,” he said.
volunteers to be on duty from a Friday evening to Sunday, which
every two months.
picks up one of the liveried motorbikes from the group’s fleet
ready to be used when he is called upon.
are very visible and because we are on a bike we can normally
through the traffic,” said Martin.
gives you a real sense of purpose and you are potentially saving
membership officer for Nottinghamshire, Mr John Devlin, said the
Bike idea started more than 50 years ago when a group of bikers
told how long it would take to get blood needed by a friend
accident — and decided they could do better.
The idea spread and groups have been set up across the country.
offer an additional service to that of NHS Blood And Transplant,
provides transportation through the day.
Devlin said at evenings and weekends the service available to
was more limited so sometimes taxis were used that could prove
aim to replace purely that expensive service and provide free
said Mr Devlin.
year they completed 1,086 jobs and have already done 769 this
They achieve an average call-to-collection time of 34 minutes.
taken include blood samples and blood stocks, platelets,
swabs and donor breast milk.
Devlin said the trusts they worked with may still use taxis
day and some, like Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, were
making part-use of them.
are ready and willing to do much more,” he said.
Nottinghamshire group has almost 100 volunteers but wants
riders to give them more flexibility.
be over the age of 25 and obtain a recognised advanced rider
to 15 volunteers are needed to act as controllers.
operate from home, answering calls from hospitals and passing
details on to the riders.
service survives on donations and corporate sponsorship so is
looking for volunteers to help with fundraising.
information is available at www.nottingham shirebloodbikes.org
security checks for Scampton Airshow visitors
vehicle checks will also be carried out
to the inaugural Scampton Airshow this coming weekend will have
through airport-style security checks on the way in.
terrorist attacks including in Manchester, London, Barcelona,
Nice, the security services and organisers of the show are
nothing to chance during the event on September 9 and 10.
will be several airport-style security scanners that visitors to
show will pass through on entry.
also include armedpolice
patrols, spot checks of vehicles and enhanced CCTV.
current terror threat in the UK is classed as 'severe', which is
second highest of five after 'critical'.
organisers say the precautions aim to ensure that the thousands
visitors expected at the show "feel safe".
air show spokesman said: "Public safety is at the very heart of
air show and we are committed to making sure visitors feel safe
significant number of marshals will be highly visible at this
show with support from RAF personnel and Lincolnshire Police.
will all be engaging with visitors to ensure an enjoyable safe
are delighted to be working in partnership with Lincolnshire
RAF police to deliver you a safe and enjoyable show.
visitors will enter an through an airport style security system;
please arrive in plenty of time to go through these processes.
actively encourage any visitors who see suspicious behaviour to
it to either the police or to speak with other show staff who
on your information.
Scampton site benefits from a dedicated control area which has
extensive CCTV which will be continuously monitored and recorded
wish you all a safe and extremely enjoyable day."
RAF Police Rugby also
doing a sterling job collecting at Paddington this morning!
of the Moray lawmen sees victory for Police Scotland
RAF POLICE TEAM lost out in a penalty decider in their charity
against Police Scotland at Borough Briggs, the home of Elgin
earlier this week.
game ended 1-1 after the regulation time resulting a penalties
decide where the trophy would go – that honour fell to Police
who won 5-2.
small crowd turned up to support the two teams who were raising
for the Lesser Borough Briggs Community Trust (LBBCT). Both
goalkeepers were responsible for some great saves and each team
periods of dominance.
goals came in the last fifteen minutes, with an unfortunate own
the RAF Police team leading to a spirited fightback from them.
five minutes later the RAF Police team had put the ball in the
the other end of the pitch, and despite efforts from both sides
match ended 1-1.
RAF Police team’s penalty kicks let them down and they missed
attempts, whereas Police Scotland scored the full five. Man of
Match was awarded to Flt Lt Nick Hanover of the RAF Police team.
time entertainment was provided by the RAF Lossiemouth Pipes and
After the match the trophy, named the Jewel of Moray, was
Police Scotland’s captain PC Jamie Durkin by RAF Lossiemouth’s
Commander, Group Captain Paul Godfrey. Final donations amounted
under £500 for LBBCT.
behalf of all the organisers Sgt Dave Halil expressed his thanks
everyone who had supported the even, saying: “It’s been a real
effort to get the match set up, but I’d really like to thank
FC and Gordon & McPhail for supporting us, and everyone who
came along and donated some money.
money raised will go towards creating an all-weather pitch that
available for all of the sports players of the future in an
7/8/17 Police forces pledge
support for Moray group’s artificial pitch dream
Officers from the RAF police and Police Scotland will go
to raise funds for the Lesser Borough Briggs Community Trust.
Scores between rival police forces will be settled on the pitch
boost a Moray group’s campaign to take control of a football
The group is preparing a bid to Moray Council to take control of
land next to the River Lossie in Elgin to maintain the pitches.
The grassland is currently held in trust for the people of the
the local common good fund.
Dozens of children at a time have been playing on the park
summer holidays as part of coaching classes.
And if the group’s plans are approved then an artificial surface
be put down on the grassland to allow sessions to take place
Now the two police forces have pledged their support by asking
make donations to the trust as they make their way through the
a charity match between the sides.
Sergeant Dave Halil, from the RAF police, said: “We try to have
football match against our Police Scotland colleagues every
“We work really closely with them to ensure the safety and
not just the RAF base, and RAF families in Lossiemouth and
the whole community in the area.”
The match will kick off at Elgin City FC’s ground, Borough
Monday, August 7 at 7pm. 1/8/17
The Firmin Sword of Peace, previously known as the Wilkinson Sword
Peace, is an award given to units of the British Armed Forces for
activities above and beyond the unit's normal role that improve
relations with the community, either within the United Kingdom, or
The award was established by British sword maker Wilkinson Sword
1966, with the company presenting a ceremonial sword to one unit
of the Royal Navy, including the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, British
and Royal Air Force; each unit having been judged as making the
outstanding contribution to community relations within each
during the calendar year.
20 July 2017 - HRH Prince Harry of Wales presented the Firmin
Peace to the RAF Police at RAF Honington today and it was received
their behalf by Group Captain Steven Horne, Provost Marshal &
Commander RAF Police. The RAF Police had previously been awarded
sword in 2015.
in Afghanistan and the Middle East during a military career
spanning nearly four decades, an RAF veteran has finally
biggest fear on his last day in uniform – riding a horse.
Prentice has stood down as a warrant officer at RAF
following nearly 38 years of service.
military tradition dictates that personnel stepping down from
post are escorted from their station on horseback to mark the
despite having a fear of the animals, Mr Prentice bravely
saddled up on
a large mare called “Red”, measuring 16 hands three, before
paraded around the Moray base.
his first-ever ride, the former warrant officer was led by
from the Lossiemouth Saddle Club and Corporal Kerry Norgate as
farewell to personnel, including station commander Group
straddling the horse on the saddle, the former warrant officer
top of a chair before climbing aboard.
handlers held Red still, so the nervous rider could size up
while settling his nerves.
and friends met Mr Prentice at the entrance gates to the base
last day in uniform.
despite stepping down from the role he has held for nearly
decades, the veteran is eager to continue serving in some
said: “I’m genuinely sorry to be leaving the Royal Air Force,
hope that I can find a reserve role that will allow me the
to continue to support the RAF.
was truly humbled to be led off the unit on what must be one
largest horses that I have come across, and to see so many
present to witness the occasion.
couldn’t believe that, in my last few hours, I had to overcome
biggest fear and mount such a large horse. I had no idea that
had been planned as it was my intention to leave quietly.”
Prentice’s career in the RAF began in November 1979. During
period of service in the forces, he has been posted to myriad
across the UK as well as in Germany, Belgium and as far afield
Ascension Islands in the southern Atlantic Ocean.
said: “I have enjoyed every minute of my time serving in the
personal highlights have been representing the UK within the
Counter Intelligence World, being appointed WO (warrant
Counter Intelligence Squadron, fulfilling the role of
security adviser to the UK Maritime Component Command in
three operational tours and being WO to No. 4 RAF Police and
Squadron based at RAF Lossiemouth.”
man tells all about being a reservist ahead of Armed Forces Day
Police Inspector with Bedfordshire Police joined the Royal Air
Police just under two years ago and hasn’t looked back since.
current role with Bedfordshire Police is the management of the
Crime Team across the county but in recent months he’s been
further afield in the USA and Canada as part of his role as an
reservist. In January he spent five days travelling on a C17
Aircraft to provide security as required for crew, cargo and
He was part of a four person team where the other members were
regulars. In July he will be supporting the security operation
Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford and providing
the Police Flight at RAF Wittering, completing duties with the
RAF Police personnel. “The reservist experience is an incredibly
rewarding one,” he said. “It can be a challenge at times, but
in that my employer, squadron and family are very flexible and
proportion of my duties have similarities to my day job as a
police officer. However the focus on protective security is an
dimension which supports my day job.” Bedfordshire Police
employ fourteen reservists and in 2014 received a Silver Award
of the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme. The
celebrates and recognises the support given to Defence personnel
employers that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to the
Forces Community. Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said: “Volunteers
reservists are a hugely important part of policing and
armed forces and Mark is a shining example of skill sharing
much the same way that volunteers enhance our front line through
Special Constabulary and through watch schemes, it is tremendous
Mark is able to use his skills to help the RAF while also
unique experience to bring back to Bedfordshire Police. “I look
to continuing the great relationship we have with our armed
through schemes such as these.” So what is the secret to
reservist? Married, with four children and a black Labrador,
Mark Farrant knows all too well that it boils down to forward
and good communication. “Make sure you have the support and
understanding of your family. There will be times that it can
additional stresses and pressures. “Make your decision jointly.
you’re free to enjoy the experience of a lifetime,” he adds.
This image shows an RAF PoliceCorporal and
PoliceDog Eron, from
RAF Northolt (West London), on security duties outside the
station set up at the South Ruislip Christian Fellowship Hall
during the UK general elections.
public events this weekend including the FA Cup final are having
of troops on standby to guard them.
closed to the public and the changing of the guard at Buckingham
Palace was postponed on Wednesday, as the UK’s terrorist threat
was raised to its highest state in a decade. Armed Police will
deployed to the Chelsea Flower Show.
Army said no date had been set to pull troops back to barracks
around 1,000 soldiers on Wednesday took on guarding duties at
high-profile buildings including Parliament, embassies and
armed with SA80 rifles, from the Parachute Regiment, Royal
and foot guards regiments could be seen in London. Small numbers
Royal Marines and RAF police are also deployed.
the troops in the Military Village at Suffolk Show 2017
year’s show sees the return of one of the Military Village, run
Regiment Army Air Corps. As one of the most popular areas for
interactive fun, the area will provide a window in to military
a platform for the forces to display their capabilities. The
also enables show visitors to get hands-on with the hardware and
provides an opportunity for service charities to work alongside
personnel that they support.
Jamie Milnes explains: “This year will see a broad spectrum of
personnel, their kit and equipment. The Apache Attack Helicopter
be at the centre of the display with Lynx and Gazelle
available to sit in, to have a feel for what pilots and aircrew
Squadron RAF Regiment, 2623 R(Aux)AF Regiment and 3 Tactical
Squadron will be on hand to let you look at the suite of combat
vehicles and weapon systems, including snipers, mortars and
weapons, while The RAF Regiment and RAF Police will be on the
displaying the Force Protection element of the Royal Air Force.”
of cops who saved ‘bomber’
who had coloured wires protruding from his jacket ‘could have
shot’ during incident near the Emirates Stadium
POLICE officers who tackled a suspected
bomber near the Emirates Stadium have been commended for some
most outstanding bravery ever seen”.
The team of constables were awarded the
commissioner’s prestigious Excellence Award on Friday for
in subduing the man, who had wires and mobile phones strapped
chest in Avenell Road, Highbury.
The bomb turned out to be a fake, but
said that the terrorist threat was so believable that the
have “undoubtedly” been shot by armed officers had the
PCs Jason Hodgson and Alex Field were
reports of a man walking the streets armed with a machete in
As they approached the suspect, he dropped
weapon and they were able to detain him after a violent
Sam Homer and Marc Woolmer joined the others at the scene and
Tasers at the man.
Superintendent Nick Davies, who presented
officers with the award at Camden Town Hall, said: “At this
noticed coloured wires protruding from his jacket and what
be a trigger device. They noticed he appeared to be wearing
of improvised explosive vest, aware there was possible
to themselves and everybody else.”
They used two pairs of handcuffs to detain
and “had the presence of mind to restrict his movements to
triggers being used”, he said.
PC Wayne Pullen, a former RAF police
experience of improvised explosive devices, then “bravely
task of searching the man”, SI Davies said.
He added: “The suspect looked every inch a
terrorist, he was clearly causing large fear within our
was in the vicinity of Arsenal football club, which would be a
PC Pullen described the moment he began to
the suspect, finding several mobile phones, bits of circuit
board and a
web of wires wrapped around his torso.
“The key thing was to find out if it was a
device. If it was, then we’d have to change our approach and
evacuating the area,” he said.
There was a trigger on his chest with
liked a viable positive and negative lead” coming from it and
wrapped in black electrical tape, he said.
He was eventually able to establish that
it was not
a viable explosive device.
“There was a white wire leading from the
and I was able to follow it round to his back, where it came
to a dead
end,” he said.
The man was sent to a mental health
receive the “appropriate” treatment, PC Pullen said, adding:
he was dressed and the way he behaved, I have no doubt it
have ended a lot worse for him.”
PC Field said he spoke to bomb disposal
who later arrived on the scene, who confirmed that their
had saved a life that day.
“They said he would have had a bullet in
forehead if it wasn’t for us,” he said.
SI Davies said: “It’s quite difficult for
effectively convey to you how we feel about these officers and
proud we are. The suspect could have been met by an armed
would have undoubtedly ended in a shooting, but for these
Heartwarming moment Harrogate girl is re-united with military
magical moment a little girl from Harrogate was re-united with
daddy returning from deployment in Qatar has gone viral. A video
by Hannah Caffrey of her four year old daughter, Emily, and
Jon, seeing each other for the first time in months has been
thousands of times over on Facebook. Jon,
a Sergeant currently on six months detachment in Qatar, had just
at RAF Brize Norton for 10 days rest and recuperation when Emily
towards him for a much-deserved cuddle. But the short time
perhaps even more special, as little Emily was diagnosed with a
malformation just last year. Hannah
Caffrey said: "Because of the problems she has, she's not very
had explained to her in the car that we were going to see daddy
wasn't until she saw him that I think she fully realised. "My
is the strongest little girl to go through what she's gone
with dad Jon as she rides her pony. Picture: Hannah Caffrey "Emily
was born at 28 weeks and we have travelled around the country
was born, moving with Jon's postings but we have bought a house
Harrogate so we have a base. "Sadly she's one of those children
has a malformation of no name. Long term, no-one has any idea
might mean, we don't know what she'll do, it's very much take
as it comes and see what happens." Although
the family can Whatsapp and video-call while Jon is away, Hannah
explains that it is difficult to get Emily to properly talk to
over webcam. She said: "He sees massive changes in her
just in herself, she's turned into a proper little girl. He's
overwhelmed by her, she is out and out a proper daddy's girl
and Jon enjoying quality time together. Picture: Hannah Caffrey
"Seeing her for the last 10 days has been really good for him to
how much she's changed in that time." The couple also have
seven-month-old daughter called Molly and while Jon was home,
family celebrated Emily's fourth birthday. Jon
Caffrey said: The greeting I got from Emily when I arrived back
UK was more than I could ever of hoped for, I have often seen
fathers being greeted by their kids but never knew how special
really was until Emily came running up to me like she did.
video hides it, but I was closer to tears than I like to admit.
a very bright and happy little girl and also very much a daddy's
which makes it all the more difficult to leave her as she
enough to know daddy is leaving but can't comprehend how long
why he isn't coming home everyday. "Although I have done several
deployments in the past, this is the first time I have been away
any significant period of time since having children which makes
much harder for both me and Hannah. Jon who usually works at RAF
College Cranwell within the RAF Police Special Investigations
not due back from his detachment until August. On Tuesday (May
flew back to Qatar and said goodbye to his family who he will
when he finally returns home in the summer. He
said: "Hannah, who is an amazing Mum and wife, has her hands
I'm away, and I don't think people appreciate just how tough it
military wives/husbands when their partners are deployed,
when children are involved. "The 11 days I had back in the UK
amazing, especially as it was over Emily's fourth birthday, so
we had a
couple of parties for her as well as some good quality family
"Sadly though that is all over now and I won't be back home to
1 May 17
claims husband left to 'suffer PTSD in silence' after serving in
mum-of-three says her husband has been 'continuously let down'
Ministry of Defence after developing Post-Traumatic Stress
Dallison, who works for the RAF Police, spent seven months in
Afghanistan in 2012 and now suffers from PTSD.
wife, Nikita Dallison, is accusing the MoD of 'sweeping [us]
carpet' after discharging the 32-year-old from their treatment
despite attempts to take his own life.
Dallison has served with the RAF Police for 12 years.Credit:
who lives at the RAF Shawbury base in Shropshire, has shared a
discussing her husband's PTSD online, which has so far been
a million times and shared by 30,000 people.
first noticed his PTSD in early 2013. By 2014 he was a
is no longer just about my husband, but it's about thousands
who are being or have been neglected by the system too.
like the MoD to address the issues faced by servicemen and
families. I want them to improve the 'Duty of Care' they
loved ones in accordance with the armed forces covenant.
men and women, these families, my husband are not just
numbers. I want
them to be treated with the dignity, compassion and respect
deserve, that they are owed.
mental health of our people is of the utmost importance,
which is why
we provide a variety of support including education and
encourage those that need help to come forward and get the
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE SPOKESPERSON
A veteran whose career was ended by a devastating injury has
life around – by creating his own vodka brand.
And Chris Gillan’s Heroes Vodka is already challenging the big
the booze industry after supermarkets agreed to stock it.
Chris served with the RAF police in Iraq and Afghanistan and was
selected for special operations alongside the SAS.
But he suffered a severe leg injury in training, which forced him
of the military and put paid to his future plans to join the
He then found himself unemployed and temporarily homeless, but has
managed to turn his life around after starting the vodka business
he planned from the spare room of his council flat.
Chris, 37, said: “I was in quite a dire situation financially. It
dark part of my life.
“I had to turn to the armed forces charities to get some
Using funding he received from the British Legion, Chris launched
The vodka is bottled at Broxburn Bottlers in West Lothian and is
being stocked in 350 Asda stores across the UK.
Chris, who employs forces veterans at the firm, added: “A minimum
per cent of all profits go to our charities – the Royal Navy &
Royal Marine charity , the Army Benevolent Fund and the Royal Air
In the wake of the tragic death of PC Keith Palmer a charity
now been produced with the lyrics penned by the children of a
Two boys aged 11 and 13 have written a song about what police do
how officers across the country work together.
Their aim was to have a member of every police force in England,
Scotland and Northern Ireland represented on the song to raise
for the charity Care of Police Survivors (COPS).
The profits of the all sales of the track will go to COPS. This is
charity that looks after families of police officers who have died
the line of duty.
The track features singers from 20 police forces around the UK
includes RAF Police.
After a lot of hard work the track is now available for download
iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and Amazon as We Stand Together by
Thin Blue Line.
female pensioner who was filmed having sex with dogs has been
jail by a judge.
Bowditch, 64, had sex with a St Bernard, a black labrador and an
Alsatian claiming later she did not realise that it was illegal.
activities were exposed as a result of an RAF Police
which centred on a man identified as organising a bizarre sex
watched their dogs having sex with women, who then had sex with
Details of the event were later posted on an internet forum
specialising in bestiality.
investigation led police to visit Bowditch and when her home was
searched officers found a DVD and a USB stick which both
of her with dogs.
Victoria Rose, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court "When the
analysed it was found to contain extreme images.
"Those images portrayed persons committing penetrative sexual
"Also included were images of this defendant herself carrying
"Included was an eight minute and 59 seconds video of Mrs
engaging in vaginal and oral sex with a St Bernard dog named
"When the defendant was interviewed she admitted she had
sex with dogs.
"She accepted it had taken place over several years. She was
Miss Rose said that at least eight photographs were found of
having sex with dogs and 30 moving images.
Bowditch, 64, of Evedon, Lincs, admitted a charge of having
intercourse with an animal between 13 November 2011 and 25
She also admitted possession of 37 extreme pornographic images
Daniel Galloway, 65, of the same address, admitted aiding and
Bowditch to have intercourse with an animal.
He also admitted charges of making indecent images of children,
possession of a prohibited image of a child, distributing 1,861
indecent images of children and possession of extreme
His sentence was adjourned to a later date.
James Gray, in mitigation, said "She is 64 and has no previous
"Both she and Mr Galloway have suffered considerable public
"They have been ostracised by their friends and family.
"They have suffered that added element of punishment which in
salacious cases would not be present."
Bowditch was given a community order with 12 months supervision
16 week night-time curfew.
RAF Wittering policeman and dad of twins to take on huge cycle
challenge to say thanks to medical staff
Nathan Curtis, who is based at RAF Wittering, will ride between
Peterborough City Hospital and Leicester Royal Infirmary on April
His twin daughters were born in October 2016 and are healthy now
their mum, Steffanie, needed an emergency caesarean if the smaller
the twins was to survive. The lifesaving operation was performed
Leicester Royal Infirmary. Nathan and Steffanie were unable to see
girls, Millie and Charlotte, for the first few hours of their
Born ten weeks prematurely, the tiny babies were just bigger than
size of an adult hand. Two weeks afterwards, Millie was
Peterborough City Hospital. Nathan said: “The quality of care was
second to none and everybody was just amazing. The neonatal
care staff are the real heroes. I knew the girls were in the best
capable hands.” It’s very busy in the Curtis household. Steffanie
full time mum to Mille and Charlotte and their brother, Noah, who
three years old. Nathan is balancing a very busy job as an RAF
policeman with helping his wife at home and training for the bike
In preparation for the 82 mile ride, Nathan trains every day;
in the gym and on a turbo-trainer at home. The turbo-trainer is a
device which is mounted under the rear wheel of a bicycle and
realistic (but static) training indoors.
reservist ‘looked up colleague’s skirt’ at Oktoberfest
McIlraith was photographed sneaking a look up a fellow police
reservist's dress at an Oktoberfest party night at the No 603
headquarters in Edinburgh.
Royal Navy submariner Keith McIlraith was photographed looking
fellow police reservist’s dress at an Oktoberfest party night at
603 Squadron headquarters in Edinburgh.
who is also a TV extra - and the woman had been enjoying the
drunken affair” along with around 50 other military personnel
a training day at the RAF HQ.
woman was dressed as a “German beer wench” and after spotting a
in the same outfit she asked for a picture of them to be taken.
said at the time but the woman admitted she was left “shocked
embarrassed” when she saw the picture of her and her friend with
McIlraith on the floor looking up her short dress a few days
ex-Navy submariner, 43, denied he had looked up the woman’s
claiming instead he and a female friend had been larking about
floor of the function suite during the party on October 25,
McIlraith - who has appeared as a support actor in River City,
Green Place and Bargain Hunt - was found guilty of a breach of
peace by looking up the woman’s skirt at the RAF HQ, Learmonth
Edinburgh, following a trial at the capital’s sheriff court
48-year-old victim told the court she attended the RAF training
the afternoon before changing into a “traditional Oktoberfest
wench” fancy dress outfit consisting of white off the shoulder
short black skirt and black boots.
said: “People were drinking quite a lot - it was a party type
was a good evening and the majority of it was spent in the bar
we went through to a bigger room for party games.
saw a friend wearing the same outfit and wanted a picture taken
as I thought it would be quite funny. I looked at the picture a
of days later and I was shocked.
didn’t know he was on the floor looking up my skirt - I was
I’d known about it In would have dealt with it then and there.
I’d [known what he was doing] I would have stamped on his face.”
woman then said she confronted McIlraith about the image a few
later but that he had ‘just laughed it off’ and said ‘it was a
bit of a
was no apology and he felt as if he didn’t do anything wrong.”
woman then reported the matter to the Provost Marshall, the head
RAF police, before going on to inform the civilian police around
months after the incident.
woman said she made a statement to the police as she felt the
command “were not taking it [the complaint] seriously enough”.
evidence, McIlraith, from East Kilbride, told the court he had
around a dozen bottles of beer and as a result had “no
the picture being taken.
said he had been engaging in “tomfoolery” with a female
whereby both of them were rolling around the floor on several
denied the allegation he had looked up the woman’s skirt
would have been “obscene”.
added: “I know at no point did I look up anyone’s skirt. I
paralytic but I was drunk.
[the picture] might look like that but I wasn’t looking up her
evidence, Sheriff Fiona Tait told McIlraith she was rejecting
version of events as “unsatisfactory” but found the woman’s
be “credible and reliable”.
found the former Royal Navy submariner guilty of the breach of
Pearce charge but did not place McIlraith on the Sex Offenders
following yesterday’s trial.
sheriff said she will consider that sanction as part of the
sentence which was deferred to next month.
of the RAF Police by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of
statement - HCWS440
of the RAF Police by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of
wish to inform the House that I am laying today,
the first report from
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC)
Inspection of the
Royal Air Force Police (RAFP).
Armed Forces Act 2011 places a duty on HMIC to
inspect and report to
the Ministry of Defence on the independence and
investigations carried out by each Service police
force, and this is
HMIC’s first statutory inspection report on the
consider this report to be a positive endorsement
of the RAFP providing
assurance from an independent civilian authority
that the RAFP is well
led overall. Six recommendations have been made
and five areas for
improvement have been identified. The Royal Air
Force accepts the
report’s findings and work is already under way to
recommendations and areas for improvement.
police give boost to Diss Rugby Club fundraising event
Corporal Chris Chaplin,
Sergeant Leon Jokat, Gordon Johnson, Sergeant James Thomas,
Allan Gardner at Diss Rugby Club. Picture: RAF
RAF policemen have
travelled up the road from Suffolk to Norfolk to support a
event held at Diss Rugby Club that raised £350 to help former
and their families.
1(Tactical) Police Squadron supported the Royal Air Forces
Association’s Diss branch Wings Appeal at the Diss v Norwich
This is the first event
supported by the squadron, which has been aligned to the Diss
part of RAF Honington’s overall effort to support the
Fl Lt Anthony Xavier,
from the squadron, said: “Squadron personnel were keen to
the event and saw the benefit of supporting the work of RAFA in
“Further support is
planned for 2017 with the aim of developing a strong
the branch and also allowing branch members to visit the
Gordon Johnson, RAFA
Diss branch membership secretary, praised the positive impact of
uniformed and serving personnel available to support the
work and added that previous events without squadron personnel
raised around £100.
RAF Police campaign aims to significantly reduce alcohol related
offences: Target Zero
This RAF Police campaign aims to significantly reduce
offences: Target Zero.
A mixture of briefings, surge operations, messaging and, in some
places, free soft drinks for drivers, Target Zero is designed to
keep personnel safe this festive season.
Project Officer, Flt Lt Mark Wareing, said: "This is so much
a Christmas drink drive campaign, this is about keeping everyone
and enjoying the festive period."
Bus firm on board with armed forces
From left, Simon Webb, Manuel Church, Daniel Smith, George
Mark Hayward, Stephen Peters, Gareth Jones, and Steve Parry.
NEWPORT Transport has been made an official bronze award member of
UK Government’s Defence Employer Recognition Scheme for its work
supporting former and current members of the armed forces.
The scheme encourages employers to help the armed forces by
ex-defence personnel and support those who are already enlisted
To be recognised by the government for the award, an employer must
a commitment to employing current or former members.
Newport Transport currently employs 16 people who have served or
are serving in the armed forces, 12 of who are bus drivers.
They include Gareth Jones, a former member of the RAF police
and veteran of the Northern Ireland conflict, who is projects
at the bus company.
He said: “The company is hugely proactive in providing
and support for those who have served in the army and those who
“It’s great therefore that this commitment has been recognised by
organisers of the ERS. It is not always easy to find career
when leaving the armed forces, but Newport Transport is providing
Scott Pearson, Managing Director of Newport Transport, said: “We
very honoured to have been recognised by the Defence Employer
Recognition Scheme in this way.
“As a company which prides itself on the diversity of its
appreciate hugely the dedication and experience of the men and
who work for Newport Transport from an armed forces background.
the rest of our staff, their work is exemplary and their
our customers is second to none.
“We are also very proud of our support of the Royal British
have dedicated buses in our fleet in memory of those who have
this country. This includes former employees of Newport Transport
sadly lost their lives in the Great War. In memory of these fallen
heroes, five of our buses have their names bestowed upon them.
“The poppies that accompany their names will remain there until
100th anniversary of the end of the war in 2018. We are grateful
of those who have put the lives of the many before their own and
continue to support former and current armed forces members in the
years to come.”
Neatebox inventor wants to help make journeys easier
Gavin Neate of Neatebox. Picture: Greg Macvean/TSPL
Crossing a road is the kind of everyday activity few people stop
think about. But to those with a disability, the need to navigate
streets can often be a stressful and frustrating experience.
It was through working with visually impaired people that Gavin
came to realise pedestrian crossings could be a hindrance to their
The device allows users to activate crossings with their phones.
His solution, the Neatebox, allows users to activate a crossing
application in their mobile phone, eliminating the need to locate
then press a button.
First unveiled in 2014, the invention has since been installed at
several locations across Edinburgh, including outside the Scottish
Parliament and opposite the NHS building in Lauriston Place.
Neate, who is based in the capital, is in talks with one local
authority to install Neateboxes at every pedestrian crossing in a
“We’re not just talking about internet of things - we’re actually
the process of doing it,” Neate told The Scotsman.
“Changing an entire village or town is much easier than tackling
entire city and its 900 crossings. There might only be ten
a small town.”
Neate’s firm belief is that technology can be used to allow more
disabled people to travel independently. The entrepreneur spent 18
years training guide dog users after serving as an RAF police dog
He learned first hand the barriers many people face when outdoors.
“Practitioners see problems and find work-arounds,” he said. “I
experience of clients struggling to reach crossing buttons and
struggling to cross. Even in the best case scenario, they’re off
side or awkward to reach.
“If you see that on a daily basis, you either accept it as the way
things are, or you think of ways the problem can be solved.
“Nicola Sturgeon has spoken of her desire to see more people with
disabilities being able to find work,” Neate continued.
“But first, employers must understand the needs of persons with
disabilities. Unless that person can get to work, under their own
steam, it’s kind of pointless.
“We want to help people to get to work independently - without
support worker with them, or having to ask members of the public
you, or changing their route to avoid a certain crossing.
“Neatebox helps someone who cannot reach the button on a
crossing, But then it will also help those carrying shopping, for
“Ultimately, what we’re talking about is something that is totally
inclusive. It can be used by lots of different people - but there
some whose lives could be improved dramatically.”
Neate came up with his initial idea in 2006 and then spent several
years developing it “during lunch breaks and after work”.
Support from Business Gateway and Scottish Enterprise allowed
form a company and go full-time with the project in 2014.
He has since hired two members of staff after winning further
as well as undertaking several paid trials of the Neatebox
The product is now currently going through its certification
before it is sold on the open market.
“The country has woken up to the need for people with disabilities
be not just included in society, but to enter the workforce as
“There’s no reason, if they can reach an office, they can’t be as
productive as anyone else.”
RAF Policewoman was one of the winners at the 'Women
Defence UK' inaugural awards at a ceremony
held at the
Honourable Artillery Company’s Headquarters.
Lt Harriet Tadikonda was one of 200 nominees across five
categories that were whittled down via a stringent
carried out by a variety of leaders from business,
in Defence UK exists to promote the value of women
across defence and
three finalists from each category attended the
ceremony, but it was
Flt Lt Tadikonda’s efforts that saw her win the ‘Most
award as founder and director of the ‘One Voice
every faith society across Defence together to form a
multi-faith and humanist choir in the name of
August 2015, tri-service singers, four civilian choirs
musicians of the Band of the RAF Regiment all came
together at RAF
Northolt to record the final movement of the five part
composed by Flt Lt Harriet Tadikonda.
Path to Peace’, the One Voice Initiative’s single was
at an event held at The International Anoopam Mission
December 2015, with the hard copies of the single
selling out within
minutes of the launch and all proceeds donated to SSAFA
– The Armed
receiving her award, Flt Lt Tadikonda said: “I have been
fortunate to work alongside some extraordinary and
visionary people on
the One Voice project. This award is devoted them and
inspiring servicewomen who were also nominated or won
awards. There are
now an increasing number of women in high profile roles
within the MOD
- it is an exciting time to be a woman working in