Airborne Veteran.

Days in 1991 were fantastic but hard the laughs and life were the best i had. Men i met that influenced me were Major Fred Bancroft and Wo2 Steve Clark. They looked after me from day one and promoted me in the best set up ever. When the army were making soldiers redundant it was a worrying time and i was in my 15th year so well eligible for redundancy. So one day when i was working in my office Fred walked in and said the boss wants to see you. Fred came with me, knocked on the door and marched in and Saluted him.

He handed me a letter saying the Army have decided that my service was at an end and i was to leave with my family in 4 weeks time. I was gob smacked i said i was young and fit and still had loads to offer, i turned and looked at Fred and he said nothing he could do. i looked down at the floor in shock, a laugh came from behind me and Fred burst out laughing. I looked back at the Boss and said Only Joking you have been promoted to Staff Sergeant. Congratulations. They both ran out of the office with me cursing them at the top of my voice.

The Parachute course was hard and in one of the tests you were stood outside and paired off with another bloke Nose to Nose. We were left standing there for 10 mins looking directly into the eyes of the lad on your course.

After dinner we went to the Gym were there was a Boxing ring made up on the floor and benches all round it. We sat down and looked up at the Officer in charge of the course and his second in command. The physical training Instructor came out and shouted let the fight begin. You were selected at random but first they put 16OZ boxing gloves on and you walked into the centre of the ring. faced each other and the word FIGHT was shouted. You had 2 mins of hitting your fellow student in the head as many times as possible not giving up or dropping your head as that was the fight lost. The blood flew everywhere 2 recruits running on between fights mopping up the blood and teeth that had been knocked out.

The ref held your hands like in a boxing match and you looked up at the commanding Officer and he pointed to who he though was the bravest and who kept fighting till the end, then your hand was raised.

When a person addresses you from above or higher than you it is a sign that there better than you and to make you Infereria. My turn came and i went into the ring looking at my mate from my Squadron standing in front of me fight started and i just remember getting up off the mat. Smelling salts hit me, and i turned i faced him again and that was it i hit him for 2 mins with every blow my arms hanging towards the end but i knew if i dropped them i would loose. My arm got raised i had 10 points towards my Pass.

Milling 2 mins in the ring

i ended up doing 18 months at Aldershot meeting some great men and enjoying the special moments and proud moments. My family watched with my grandad as we marched through Aldeshot town centre with me at the front of the Parade.

This Image is Rare as it has the Hercules that we jumped out of overhead on the fly past

I don’t have many images of the time spent there at Aldershot but the few image’s I do have really mean a lot.

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I am 63 years old and and since a boy have had an interest in wildlife and in particular birds. I help my Dad with the rearing of young finches and other birds. I had many small birds as pets and as i got older and joined the Military i purchsed my first Camera, and fold out Kodak. Over a 22 year period i enjoyed many countries outside the uk and observed many species of birds. When i left the military in 2000, i bought my first digital camera a Canon 450D with a Tamron 70-300 and started my journey on capturing images of birds and animals. I quickly learned that there was a lot more to getting a good image of a bird, so i started to research the best settings for my camera in order to capture a better image. Over a 12 month period i realised that needed to invest in a better camera and lens and after research bought a Canon 50D and a 100-400 Lens. It was 2013 when i really got to grips with the setup and came across a lovely Short Eared Owl. From that meeting i started to concentrate on Owls as they fasinated me. From Canon to Olympus i recently jumped ship again to Sony. The variety of birds i have captured over a 10 year period is vast and at present i have a wildlife hide in lancashire where most of my images are captured.

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