"Fare Thee Well" An Extract
I was born in the North East of England, before moving overseas with my parents, my father was a member of the British Army.
After leaving school at 16, I followed my father into the military. I spent my first three months at the Royal Engineers, Junior Apprentices College at Cheptstow. In a short period of time I realised this was not the right career path. It was at this point I transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps, and was badged to the same Regiment as my father.
During my 22 years service, of what could be described as a 'colourful career', I spent most of it overseas. Like everything in life you never appreciate things until they are gone.
After leaving the Forces in March 2003, I began work in the Information Technology Industry. I served my first 2 years at a Secondary School in Durham, as an IT Technician.
I have always been one for striving to better myself, I think this was my military upbringing. With no opportunities for advancement, I left the Education system and moved into the Healthcare arena.
For the next 8 years I worked for a Foundation Trust within the NHS in the North East of England. For the first few years it was all exciting and new. It wasn't long before I realised, due to funding of the NHS, things were beginning to become strained. Resources were short, and staff both medical and administrative, were under intense pressure.
With the death of my father in April 2010, I began to question why are we here? He had been a big influence on my life, and I wanted to recount the memories I had of him.
This led me into the world of publishing, as a vehicle to not only honour my father, but to try and show some of the hardships that faces the modern soldier. The bond of friendship and brotherhood that binds these modern day knights, cannot be underestimated. It was this very point that was my beginning to my journey into authorship.
The story of 'From Denim to Khaki' started as a one off book. I quickly found out that it would lend itself to a Trilogy. It is fiction, but based on facts that I have experienced, or indeed others who I have served with. It details the life of a young man, from joining the army straight from school at 16. It follows his career from the 'Cold War' of the 1980's, up until the Afghanistan conflict.
Soldiers are required to close with the enemy, possibly in
the midst of innocent bystanders, and fight; and to continue operating in the face of mortal danger. This is a group activity,at all scales of effort and intensities. Soldiers are part of a team,and the effectiveness of that team depends on each individual playing his or her part to the full. Success depends above all else on good morale, which is the spirit that enables soldiers to triumph over adversity: morale linked to, and reinforced by,discipline.
General Sir Richard Dannatt
Chief of the General Staff