As a young doctor I was constantly looking for new challenges and adventure – there is nowhere better for both than the British Army.
Having passed the physically arduous selection for 144 Parachute Squadron, I spent 10 years in service being deployed to Rwanda (1994), Bosnia (1997) and Kosovo (1999) with the Airborne Brigade. I retired with the rank of Major when I got married!
On 21st October I will be participating in the PARAS 10 event in Colchester – a 10 mile cross country speed march to raise money for the Airborne Forces Charity and the Afghan Trust. Slightly apprehensive about doing this again at the age of 48, but training has been going OK and I should make it round in one piece! Find out more on this event and how to donate to the charity.
P Company 10 mile speed march
‘Tabbing’ or speed marching with a 35lb rucksack – if you want to be a paratrooper, this is what it’s all about.
The more glamorous bit – if jumping at 800 feet with 100 lbs of kit can be called glamorous.
With a young child in Kibeho refugee camp Rwanda 1994 who had been injured by a grenade explosion. To my surprise and relief he survived a major abdominal operation under fairly primitive circumstances!
Operating with 1 Para Surgical Team of the Royal Australian Army in Kigali 1994 on a local man blown up by a landmine explosion. He lost both legs.
Kibeho Refugee camp 1994 – 100,000 displaced people living in the most primitive conditions – we spent 4 months there establishing a medical facility in a disused school building and set about fixing the water supply, vaccinating the children, feeding the malnourished as well as dealing with the general health problems of a displaced refugee population.
23 Para Fld Ambulance Surgical Team hanging off the back of our Chinook. Kosovo 1999
The mortuary – Pristina Hospital 1999. 35 decomposing bodies (most probably murder victims) in 35 degree heat. We cleaned it out and repatriated bodies to families where possible.
With one of our soldiers injured by a landmine on deployment to Rwanda in 1994. He was treated by myself and Lt – Col John Crozier of the Royal Australian Army
Malnourished infant in Rwanda – we treated hundreds of kids like this
Testing vehicles to destruction with blast energy - good fun but we are attempting to protect people from this sort of thing!