Leslie Thomas – obituary

Leslie Thomas – obituary

Last week it staged a food festival to celebrate its unique cuisine which blends Indian spices with classic English recipes in dishes like Indian Railway Mutton, Dak Bungalow Chicken and Colonel Standhurst’s Beef Curry. Many of its leading figures have thrived in India’s armed forces, where the current Air Chief Marshal N. K Browne is an Anglo-Indian, and in the country’s extensive railways, which they once dominated. The actor Ben Kingsley, entertainers Sir Cliff Richard and Engelburt Humperdink, and the former Olympic athlete Sebastian Coe, are claimed by the community as some of their highest achievers. But since India’s independence in the community in India has gradually dwindled in size and its leaders now believe it is facing a battle for survival unless it can reverse the trend. Dr Charles Dias, the community’s sole member of the Lok Sabha parliament has launched a new campaign to win greater government support to help preserve its culture and to encourage more Anglo-Indians to marry within their own community. He met India’s law and minority affairs minister Salman Khurshid to press for land to be allocated for housing estates, new Anglo-Indian cultural centres and reserved places for Anglo-Indians in Indian universities. The community is currently suffering a housing crisis, he said, because many had lost homes given as part of their jobs in the Indian Railways and could not afford to buy land. We are a distinctive community and we must stay together,” he said.

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It never was worth while, so Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag, And smile, smile, smile! Home to all the squaddies and squadettes. Their main weapon is the L85A2 assault rifle some military people will look at you funny if you call it the SA80 as the SA80 refers to a family of weapons including the standard issue rifle, carbine, light support weapon and cadet rifle , which is rather short and can’t be fired left-handed unless a face full of hot cartridge casings is your idea of fun.

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Yet during the eighteenth century, the only schooling that the sons and daughters of non-commissioned officers would have received was in cursing and fending for themselves and, if they were girls, making themselves useful by washing and sewing for their father’s soldier comrades. Although regimental schools were increasingly being established, with senior non-commissioned officers initially doing the teaching, these were originally intended to teach illiterate recruits how to read, write and calculate.

But then because many of those illiterate recruits were army children, the realisation dawned that the regimental schools might as well start teaching these soldiers-in-the-making, and their future wives for many army daughters later ‘married into’ the regiment while they were still young. And occupying army children with schoolwork and needlework also had the advantage of keeping them out of trouble!

By the nineteenth century, regimental schools catering for army children and teaching a wide range of subjects practical, as well as academic were relatively commonplace, and in this respect, the army was ahead of its time. The regimental schools were replaced by garrison schools in , and administrative changes have continued to be made in response to changing times, with the British Families Education Service BFES being set up to educate army children in Germany in the aftermath of World War II, for instance.

Today, the schooling of army children abroad is provided by Service Children’s Education SCE , and when in Britain, army children attend local schools, that is, unless they are at boarding school. Officers’ children may always have received an education appropriate to their perceived status, but at the price of separation from their parents often for years on end , for they were generally sent to a boarding establishment, be it a public school, a ladies’ academy or a finishing school, in Britain.

In addition, there were military boarding schools: It has now been decades since all army children have been able to enjoy the dubious privilege of a boarding-school education, thanks to a continuity of education allowance CEA , or boarding-school allowance BSA , and subsidised flights to join their parents during the holidays.

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With the squaddies in Iraq War and even the Balkans had been amply covered by Bravo Two Zero and its imitators, while new clamp-downs by the MOD made it harder for serving and even former soldiers to publish such accounts of their exploits. Then came the Royal Navy’s hostages in Iran fiasco and it looked as though the bookshelves would be empty of Iraq and Afghanistan derring-do for a long time to come. Not so, for a few months later comes Sniper One, an unashamedly gung-ho account of the little-known, yet extremely intense, fighting between the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment and Moqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army in Al Amarah in Sergeant Dan Mills and his sniper platoon are men who thrive on danger, love fighting and slotting Mahdi Army fanatics , get huge kicks from firing big guns and take great satisfaction from being tested to the maximum and beyond.

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Five men have been held – including one on a British Army base in Cyprus – on suspicion of being members of National Action which became the first far-right group banned by the Government after they glorified the murder of MP Jo Cox. The oldest and most senior member of the military among the group is understood to be a year-old fitness instructor who sources say trained some of the others, all in their early 20s, at the Wales headquarters of the British Army in Brecon, Powys.

One of the five arrested is a civilian. The 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment, known as the Poachers, use Brecon as one of their main training bases. The experienced soldier – who has not yet been named – was based at the Infantry Battle School, and sources say one of his tasks would be identify private soldiers who have “potential to be future leaders” for promotion.

The details emerged after West Midlands Police revealed that they had swooped at addresses across the country to arrest four men on ” on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism” The men arrested were a year-old from Birmingham, a year-old man from Powys, a year-old from Ipswich and a year-old from Northampton. National Action, described by the Home Office as “virulently racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic”, became the first extreme right-wing group to be banned under terrorism laws in December They have treated it like a version of the BNP that they can put a bit of pressure on, but over the last 18 months they have become a lot more sophisticated and far more determined.

Col Richard Kemp, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, said: It is very important that any kind of extremism is deal with because soldiers have access to material that can be very dangerous – they have access to weapons, ammunition, explosives and it is very important that they are carefully monitored. The proscription means that being a member of or inviting support for the organisation is a criminal offence carrying a sentence of up to 10 years’ imprisonment.

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Retrieved Nov 11 from https: They stormed a block housing the elite Prince of Wales’ Company who were asleep after a gruelling hour battle march. It followed an earlier drunken brawl between two soldiers, a court martial heard.

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The Wrench — December Hi Squaddies, We hope you all had great and amazing holidays and spent some time with friends, family, scotch, or your pets. Whichever you may enjoy most. The Modding community was also hard at work on some new content which we’re happy to present to you. We love what everyone has been doing so far and with Alpha 10 around the corner we are sure that a great is waiting for us! We are glad that you are with us on this journey.

Join us on the Community Modding Discord where you can join discussions and meet the modding community. It’s a great place to share your ideas and passions with like-minded people that will happily help you create something awesome. It plans to combine elements from both conventional and unconventional forces in a way that reflects the traits of the FDF such as infantry focus and defensive maneuvers. They are also planning on including new maps as well as a defensive game mode.

Currently we can see great progress on their character models as well as various gear. Finkarus by LoRDHitMan It always fills us with a sense of pride when we see things that grow in our community get bigger and end up in the Steam Workshop to be downloaded by everyone.

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‘I know quite a few gay squaddies, and most of them aren’t out because they’re worried about being bullied and also the backs-against-the-wall-lads! mentality. It’s definitely different for gay men in the Army, especially in front-line units like the ones based in Catterick. The macho thing kicks in’.

She was launched at Weeks Yachtyard late on a Monday afternoon, a quick check of the bilge seemed normal and we all went home. On Tuesday morning she was resting on the bottom of the travel lift slip with water inside the boat about a foot above the engine. A panic call from the yard when they started work got me rushing down, Kevin had already got pumps in the boat but they would do no good until the leak was stopped. I splashed my way forward with water up to my thighs.

Now the pumps would be effective and by lunchtime Fiona was floating again. They maneuvered the lifting straps back under the boat and by mid-afternoon she was back on the cradle where she had been the day before, considerably the worse for wear. I never put my finger on why the hose detached, it was one-inch diameter manifold that fed water to the head and wash-down pump.

I had done no work in the forward head plumbing the previous winter. Water in the main cabin after Fiona sank on launching. It is crucial after a drowning in salt water to thoroughly wash down everything in fresh water before the sea water has a chance to dry. Fortunately my son Colin was staying with me, the two of us rushed through the boat emptying lockers and washing the interior with a hose.

The deck was soon littered with gear from the interior drying in the hot sun.

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Could not subscribe, try again laterInvalid Email Prince Harry has ruled out becoming involved in the fight to retain a residential centre for service personnel suffering from post traumatic stress disorder despite a direct appeal by campaigners. Last month the Examiner reported on the case of Colin Rudkin, a former soldier in the Royal Green Jackets, who received counselling, therapy and nursing from the charity Combat Stress for post traumatic stress disorder PTSD caused by bad memories, flashbacks and nightmares stemming from multiple tours of Northern Ireland during the Troubles of the s.

Colin with his wife Linda looking over old pictures from their Army days.

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At his elementary school in Newport, Leslie was an undistinguished pupil, although he did show some flair for English. In , when Leslie was 12, his father drowned after his ship was torpedoed by a U-boat, and six months later his mother died. His first job, in , was as a reporter on a local newspaper at Woodford in Essex. Even now I am not good at the administration of money matters I was basically a desk-bound soldier, and Singapore was an exciting place to be, particularly for an 18 year-old like me.

In my off-duty moments I was even a singer at the famous Raffles Hotel. I remember we were sent up country again, this time on trains. This was particularly dangerous as the terrorists had a habit of jumping on to the roofs of the moving trains and firing down on to the squaddies below. Thomas succeeded, courtesy of an year-old Chinese girl he met in a dance hall, and for a time they continued to see one another: He then decided to try his hand at fiction.

He was particularly fascinated by islands, and his non-fiction works included Some Lovely Islands and A World of Islands For many years he lived in a magnificent canonry — once the home of the artist Rex Whistler — in Salisbury Cathedral Close, with a garden backing on to the river Avon; and in he published Almost Heaven: Tales from a Cathedral. He had adopted a sort of round-the-city timetable, visiting pubs clockwise, over a period.

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Ambulance workers are complaining that PTSD sufferers are simply not being given enough support Image: Your whole body seizes up and you start shaking. The father-of-two, who joined the Army at 16, said: It was just this vicious circle of hell. I was angry all the time.

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When those fellows have something to promote, no expense is spared. But there’s another very different part of the BBC, an often overlooked traditional part, that’s absolutely a poor relation when it comes to funds and fanfare. It’s the radio drama department, and, though the people there never get much attention or publicity, many of the writers and actors they attract would get top billing in equivalent television productions.

Lenny Henry, for instance, is currently starring in a radio serial on Fridays, while the ubiquitous David Tennant will soon be heard in a David Hare play. Not a bad line-up for a broadcasting poor relation. But then there’s nothing modest about the numbers who will be tuning in for those plays – up to , listen to the Afternoon Play on Radio 4.

That’s nearly three times the number of viewers who watch the terrific, though expensively made, Mad Men cult series on television. There isn’t much that’s cultish about Radio 4’s drama.

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