Military invisibility suit, somewhere…

286CD3FF00000578-0-image-a-10_1431027665952US Army is developing ‘invisibility suit’ for soldiers to make them DISAPPEAR on the battlefield – and says it will begin trials in just 18 months.   The US army’s call for proposals from companies calls for wearable camouflage with a chameleon-like ability to change according to the background. ‘A chameleon-like or adaptive camouflage system would continuously update the colour and pattern, concealing the Soldier in the current environment.’

The gypsy’s whisper is; the reason for the delay is due to the manufacturer placing two rolls of the material down somewhere – and now they can’t find it! Seriously, cross my heart and hope to di-urgh!      Yours Aye.

Gurkhas: fierce, loyal and brave.

220px-Gurkha_Soldier_Monument,_London_-_April_2008200th anniversary of the Gurkhas: fierce, loyal and brave. Britain must thank them for their service. General Sir Peter Wall pays tribute to the Nepalese soldiers who are a valued and distinguished part of the Army, still making up three per cent of our fighting force.G200-150 

This year marks 200 years of Gurkha service to the British Crown. These remarkable soldiers, in their hundreds of thousands, have made a dignified and distinguished contribution to the British Army. In doing so, many have given their lives.

“Bravest of the brave, most generous of the generous, never had a country more faithful friends than you.” Sir Ralph Turner MC, 3rd Queen Alexandra’s Own Gurkha Rifles, 1931. 

It was during the Anglo-Nepal War in 1814 that the Honourable East India Company first encountered enemy soldiers from the Kingdom of Gorkha, in the Himalayan foothills. In the stalemate that ensued there was an abiding sense of mutual respect and admiration. The British sought a truce that enabled these “Gorkhas”, with their charm and indomitable fighting spirit, to be recruited into militias to serve the “John Company”.article-0-0A7FC373000005DC-47_468x393

I’ve worked with ‘Johnny Gurkha’ several times or more – they are worth their salt, as well as their weight in gold.  Their motto, ‘Kaphar hunnu bhanda marnu ramro’ – translated ‘It is better to die than to live like a coward.’

What better way to portray such than through the action of Bishnu Shrestha; “Fighting the enemy in battle is my duty as a soldier, taking on the dacoits on the train was my duty as a human being.” 

Their famous war cry, “Ayo Gorkhali” translates as “The Gurkhas are here” I am proud to have brushed shoulders with them on so many occasions…      Yours Aye.

‘For Valour’ – BZ Red Devil…


278F5BA600000578-0-image-m-92_1429016147856‘I don’t give this one out very often’: HM The Queen presents the Victoria Cross for gallantry to paratrooper Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey – who risked his life three times during intense Taliban firefight to save his comrades.

Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey – the second member of his family to receive the medal – played down his actions and praised his regiment after receiving the honour. The 27-year-old paratrooper from Hampshire is the third serviceman to receive the Victoria Cross (VC) for service in Afghanistan and the only one not to receive it posthumously.


His bravery during the attack on the Taliban base in Bar Now Zad, Helmand province, in August 2013 earned him the British armed forces’ highest gallantry medal. It is just the sixth time the Queen has given a VC to a living, British recipient during her reign.

Very Well Done Red Devil –  Thankfully you received it personally, and not posthumously – wear it with pride.   Yours Aye.

Of Interest Perhaps: The traditional explanation of the source of the gunmetal from which the medals are struck – is that it derives from Russian cannon captured at the Siege of Sevastopol. Recent research has thrown doubt on this story, suggesting a variety of origins for the material actually making up the medals themselves. It has since been established that the gunmetal for many of the medals came from Chinese cannons that were captured from the Russians in 1855. Today, there is only sufficient metal left for 80 more medals. The London jewellers Hancocks, based in the Burlington Arcade in London, make the medals. The bronze has always been unstable to work with as it has already been worked on when the cannon was made.

When manhole covers fight back

SWNS_GUARD_SLIP_05.jpgThe Queen’s Guard being posted on sentry duty slipped on a manhole cover during the popular Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace last week. Unfortunately for him, the entire incident was caught on camera… 

The Guardsman lost traction through the hob nails on the soles of his boots contacting the worn manhole cover, which over corrected his balance knocking him sideways

They are obviously Welsh Guards, as their tunic buttons are laid in two groups of five, as well as a set on each sleeve. Judging the ones above they are straight out of the box, as none of them appear to have any ‘brag rags’ (medal ribbons.) We all had to start our military career somewhere – but tripping the light fantastic in full view of the general public is just showing off 😉  He’s not the first to fall foul of the manhole cover, and he won’t be the last.       Yours Aye

Treasonous scum – Ready, Aim, Fire!

national+guard+16x9Illinois National Guard – Specialist Hasan Edmonds and his cousin Jonas Edmonds arrested after ‘attempting to travel to join ISIS’ and planning a terrorist attack on home soil.2704EE1300000578-3013281-image-m-35_1427406687674 “Disturbingly, one of the defendants currently wears the same uniform of those they allegedly planned to attack” John Carlin, Assistant Attorney General for National Security

Jonas (left) and Hasan Edmonds (right)

Treasonous scum – a granite wall and a squad of riflemen are required…      Yours Aye.

A day in the life of a ‘donkey walloper’

Trumpeter thrown during Household Cavalry’s annual ‘pre-inspection’ to make sure they’re ready to Troop the Colour in front of HM The Queen.2702ED5C00000578-0-image-a-89_1427371370225In one of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment’s most important days of the year, it is inspected ahead of the ceremonial season. So spare a thought for this trumpeter who dramatically fell off his horse as the Regiment paraded in London’s Hyde Park today. They were undergoing an annual inspection in the capital to confirm their ability to conduct state ceremonial duties for the year. Some 160 mounted horses were paraded, accompanied by the mounted Band of the Life Guards and the Band of the Blues and Royals.2702F14300000578-0-image-a-90_1427371377010They were inspected by the Major General – following rehearsals in recent days that saw the Regiment practise traditional formations. The highlight of the ceremonial season is the Queen’s Birthday Parade – also known as Trooping the Colour – held on a Saturday in June. The regiment has existed since 1660 and been based at Hyde Park Barracks in Knightsbridge for two centuries after moving there in 1795. It carries out reconnaissance duties in Afghanistan – and, as the Queen’s Life Guard, mounts a daily guard on Horse Guards Parade.

Good skills from the Trooper in question as he pulled his nag down to avoid it taking flight. As for the rest of the mounted ‘donkey wallopers’ – their discipline shone through, no doubt aided by a Sergeant Major growling; “Standfast! – Head and eyes to the front! – Ignore him showing off!”      Yours Aye.

Paratrooper L/Cpl J. Leakey. Victoria Cross

261C9D1800000578-0-image-a-13_1424942146704Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey, is the first living British soldier to be awarded the VC, the highest military decoration for valour, in ten years and only the second since 1969. Three times he sprinted across an open field in a hail of Taliban bullets in Afghanistan to save an injured USMC Captain and grab a machine gun to fire on the enemy, turning a crucial battle in 2013. In an extraordinary moment at the ceremony where he received his VC yesterday, General Sir Nick Carter, the head of the Army, congratulated him with a handshake only to pull him in for an emotional hug. The 27-year-old also became the second person in his family to be awarded the medal – his second cousin Sergeant Nigel Gray Leakey, bottom right, was given the honour 70 years ago during the Second World War.


Well done bonnie lad, and richly deserved…      Yours Aye.

Brigadier Rupert T. H. Jones MBE The Rifles

CBE son of Falklands hero Paratrooper Colonel ‘H’ Jones says father would be ‘proud’ Brigadier Rupert Jones pays tribute to his father as he is made a Commander of the British Empire for services in Afghanistan. Original story By Keith Perry The Telegraph_Rupert-Jones_3114253bThe son of Falklands war hero, Colonel H Jones said his father would have been “exceptionally proud” of the achievements of those who served in Afghanistan. Brigadier Rupert Jones paid tribute to his father as he was made a Commander of the British Empire for services in Afghanistan, where he led British troops in 2012. The Prince of Wales bestowed the honour on the serving officer during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Brig Jones said afterwards: “It’s a great privilege, of course. (Prince Charles) said what a good job the British forces have been doing in Afghanistan, and we had a conversation about the prospects of the country for the future. ‘At the end of our combat operations, I think what we can say is we’ve given the Afghans an opportunity. The country is transformed. And I think that’s all we can do: it’s up the Afghans how they use that opportunity. ‘Colonel ‘H’ Jones who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Crossarticle-0-000378B200000258-382_306x423 

Brigadier Jones said he believed his father, Lieutenant Colonel Herbert ‘H’ Jones VC of The Parachute Regiment “would be very proud”. “I think – in many ways much more importantly – his generation, those that served in the Falklands, would just be exceptionally proud of the successes of those who served in Afghanistan,” he said. Brig Jones was just 13-years-old when his father died during a one-man charge on an Argentine trench in the Battle of Goose Green in 1982, for which he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. 

He has spoken previously of the comparison with his father, declaring: “I have always said if I wanted to avoid the connection I should have become a bank manager.” Colonel Jones was 42 when he was cut down by enemy fire while commanding 2 Battalion, The Parachute Regiment. His valour helped inspire his troops to victory in the offensive on the Argentine stronghold. His son joined the Army eight years later but he has insisted he always knew he was going to sign up. “I was shaped by my father while he was alive,” he has said. “I was always going to join the Army and I don’t even remember making the decision to join – it was always going to happen,” he once said. He trained at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst before serving with his father’s former regiment, the ‘Devonshire and Dorset Regiment.’

I lost a few good friends around the same time in different actions, they too were buried in the same communal grave as ‘H’ Jones. One day soon I hope to travel back to the Falkland Islands and pay my respects… “C’est la guerre” – “Ce est la vie”      Yours Aye.

In Flashman’s footsteps

1412966855725_Image_galleryImage_File_picture_of_Major_RobStripped of his Military Cross: The Royal Artillery Major who took credit for others’ bravery becomes first soldier in armed forces history to have medal rescinded.  An officer who was awarded one of Britain’s most coveted gallantry medals for his bravery in Afghanistan has been stripped of it after he exaggerated his heroism.

It is the first time the Queen has rescinded a gallantry medal issued to a serviceman and the case could undermine confidence in the awards system in the armed forces. Major Robert Michael Armstrong had been accused of taking credit for others’ bravery after Taliban gunmen ambushed a convoy in Helmand in 2008. Armstrong was awarded the Military Cross for dodging bullets and inspiring Afghan troops to fire rockets at the enemy. But a five-year investigation by defence chiefs concluded he helped to write the medal citation. 

As a result, the medal will be withdrawn in a decision due to be announced by the London Gazette – the journal which publishes official notices.

Former Major, Robert Michael Armstrong, Royal Artillery. Stripped of his Military Cross gallantry medal by the Queen

The man is a blaggard, scoundrel and a boundah – with the morals of a mongrel. He  need well hang his head in shame… The least he could have done was taken his revolver to the library for a damn good clean!    Yours Aye.  Harrumph… 

Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order & Service Discipline


Pirouetting Buckingham Palace Grenadier Guardsman faces three weeks in grim military prison: British soldier’s superiors left ‘livid’ by the dance stunt. A Grenadier Guardsman who broke strict rules by dancing on parade outside Buckingham Palace is potentially facing a 21-day prison sentence and a £1,000 fine. Footage of the unnamed Guardsman performing a series of ballet-style pirouettes while on guard duty has become an internet sensation, watched by more than 1.7 million people on YouTube. But Army top brass have reacted furiously to the video and are ready to hand down a custodial sentence.    ‘Mind the cell door as it slams shut, and watch yer fingers laddie’ Dancing GrenadierA Grenadier Guard is being investigated after video emerged of him performing pirouettes whilst on duty at Buckingham Palace.

“March the guilty barsteward in Sgt Major.” – “Quick march, HALT, off cap, do not salute!” – “The charge against you is ‘Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order and Service Discipline’ in that on the day-month-year you were seen to be derelict in your place of duty, by dancing and pirouetting for the general public” – “How do you plead?”  – “Guilty as charged sir.” “On your submission I find you guilty, and sentence you to 28 days detention at the Military Corrective Training Centre, with full loss of pay and entitlement, after which your status will be ‘Service No Longer Required’ by the Crown!”

Big gulp, and teary eyes from the dancing Grenadier. The ‘guilty barsteward‘ will be escorted direct to the local cells for further escort onto 28 horrendous days in the MCTC, where a senior Guards Drill Instructor will gleefully greet him; and make his life hell! After-which he will be spat out onto civvie street. His name will be forever infamous within the Grenadier Guards Regiment – who are now the laughing-stock of the Guards Division. I guarantee you this, the Grenadier Guards ‘Regimental Sergeant Major’ would like to see him dance; at the end of a rope…    Yours Aye. Roll-Call-by-Elizabeth-ThompsonGrenadier Guards ‘Roll Call’ after the Battle of Inkerman 5th November 1854. When the Grenadiers were far too tired for dancing…

US Army Reservist saves British Colonel

US Army Reservist took assassin’s bullets for British Colonel. US casualty report reveals how a US Army reservist, whose day job is with the technology company Apple, was shot protecting a British Army colonel during a bloody attack in Afghanistan.

A British Army colonel’s life was saved by a US soldier who jumped in front of an assassin’s hail of bullets, it has been reported. The US Army reservist, who normally works for Apple, the Silicon Valley-based electronics company, was shot six times as an Afghan assailant opened fire on a group of high-ranking officers. The attack took place earlier this month at the ‘Marshal Fahim National Defence University,’ a training complex that includes a British-run army officer academy which is currently training 1,500 cadets known as “Sandhurst in the Sand”. The reservist, who has not been named, used his body as a shield to literally “take a bullet” for the senior British officer, and was hit twice in the leg and once in the shoulder, with a further three rounds stopped by his bulletproof vest. Details of the act of heroism were revealed in an American casualty report, the newspaper said. It describes how the reservist returned fire with both his rifle and sidearm.

The attack by Mohammad Rafiqullah killed Major General Harold Greene, the deputy commanding general, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan.
Maj Gen Greene was the highest ranking US officer to be killed in hostilities since Lt Gen Timothy Joseph Maude was killed by a hijacked airliner that crashed into the Pentagon, on September 11, 2001. A similar ranking officer has not been killed overseas since the Vietnam War. The attack took place during an outdoor briefing at the Marshal Fahim National Defence University, in Kabul. The Afghan Ministry of Defence described the attacker as “a terrorist wearing Afghan National Army uniform”.

‘According to one report, Rafiqullah opened fire about 10 minutes into the delegation’s third briefing in an open area near a military policing unit. He emptied one magazine before changing to a second in a three-minute attack. According to witnesses, he fired indiscriminately at the group and did not appear to be targeting any specific person. At first, it was unclear where the firing was coming from – but then a Nato soldier saw the gunman and killed him with two shots.’ Several other senior officers, including a German Brigadier General and the Afghan Commander of the training base, were among the 14 injured, which also included two Britons. Their injuries were said to be not life threatening. The Ministry of Defence declined to comment due to an ongoing investigation.

Additional Comment: The US reservist’s amazing act of heroism is believed to have saved the life of the senior British officer, as it is understood he was wearing no body armour. The unnamed Reservist soldier has already been on three overseas tours with the US military, including one to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

I sincerely hope that the whole incident is also being investigated by the Royal Military Police ‘red caps’ and that credit is eventually given where it is due to the US Army Reservist, who appears to have conducted himself impeccably. If proven that the British Colonel was not correctly dressed in accordance with British Forces Standing Orders; it is hoped he carries the can accordingly.      Yours Aye.

Report By David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent: The Telegraph; Also attributed to the original report from The Times.

A Gallant Christian Soldier…

Vicar in the trenches: The story of Reverend Theodore Hardy in the Great War. COMMEMORATIONS of the Great War feature soldiers, painters and poets. But there was one breed of non-combatants that has been rather forgotten: Chaplains. By the end of the war there were 3,500 clergy in khaki, going about their rounds in a dog collar and representing God while all hell broke loose.(c) IWM (Imperial War Museums); Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

They were a mixed bunch and many were frankly worse than useless. Padre’s who got the least respect were the ones who preached patriotism behind the lines and frightened the men going to the front. But some performed quiet miracles on the front line, earning undying admiration. Perhaps the most astonishing of them all was a small, unassuming country vicar and one-time headmaster from near Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria. He joined up as a relatively ‘old man at 51.’ He was to become the most highly decorated non-combatant of the Great War, winning to his considerable embarrassment the Distinguished Service Order, Military Cross and the Victoria Cross. His name was Theodore Bayley Hardy.

He insisted on working in the thick of the fighting, belly crawling to men who were stranded or wounded in no man’s land with his habitual phrase: “It’s only me, boys.” He brought first aid, cigarettes and sweets and saved many lives by retrieving men who had lost hope. Soldiers grew used to his tenacious courage that should have got him killed umpteen times. Hardy arrived at the front in August 1916 as temporary chaplain 4th class, joining the 8th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment. His age was against him but he argued he would be useful on the front line as he was already a widower with grown-up children.

He added that although he was a coward he had no fear of death. That last part was to prove far from being a boast. His meeting with possibly the most famous chaplain of the war set the pattern for his ministry among the shell craters. Father Geoffrey Studdert-Kennedy MC was a jug-eared young padre who thanks to his habit of handing out smokes to the wounded was known affectionately as “Woodbine Willie”. Studdert-Kennedy had this advice: “Live with the men. Go everywhere they go. “The best place for a padre is where there is most danger of death.” Hardy took this to heart.woodbine-willie-cover

He decided that his job would be in the trenches, when necessary under fire and in the slime. He soon showed his mettle. His DSO was earned when he went out to rescue a party of men stuck in the mud in no man’s land. It was the beginning of the so-called “battle of the mud”, an offensive known as Passchendaele, fought from the end of July 1917 in one of the wettest summers on record. The shells tore up the delicate lowland drainage system of Flanders and reduced the ground to a brown porridge that swallowed up men and mules. The casualties on both sides were horrific. Apart from the Lincolns also under Hardy’s care were the 8th Somersets. The men knew they had it when a tot of rum was issued at 3am, July 31 and they went over the top at the start of this immensely bloody campaign, fought mostly in sheeting rain. Hardy was with them.

By night the scene was carnage. The intense shelling drowned out the screaming of the wounded and dying. Hardy went out with the rescue party, bandaged wounds, carried the injured to a dressing station until all the men except one were brought in. He then organised a party for the rescue of this man and remained with him for 36 hours, chatting, encouraging and feeding the lad until finally death intervened. Hardy was eventually found in a shell hole, collapsed from exhaustion. He was awarded the DSO. It is believed that had there been sufficient witnesses a VC would have been assured. Within days Hardy clocked up the MC.24f13pic1-491315Army Chaplain Theodore Bayley Hardy (circled) above. This time the troops were to attack on October 4, an action that earned one young man in the unit, Private Sage, the VC. He threw himself on a German grenade lobbed into a shell hole full of men. Amazingly he survived his wounds. Hardy looked after him. The weather had worsened by October and it took eight men to carry a loaded stretcher across the mud. Hardy went out with almost every team of bearers of whom a 100 were lost in a single week. Without sleep and under murderous shell fire Hardy went about his business with great calm and a kindly grin, a sight which kept the men from hysteria. This time he was awarded the MC for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to the wounded. Word had got around that Hardy was a useful man in a storm.

He was by 1918 extremely lucky to be alive. No padre had seen as much action as he. During the great German spring offensive in 1918 Hardy went on a series of patrols and raids between April 5-27, extricating the wounded and marooned. One Somerset lad was stuck in the wire with a mangled leg. He was slowly bleeding to death. Then he heard “it’s only me” as Hardy slithered into view. He tied up his wounded leg while discussing in school cricket in whispers. He left the boy and soon returned as promised with a sergeant who snipped the wire, deadening the sound with a cloth so the German machine gun post wouldn’t hear them. They got the lad back to safety – an incredible feat.

The sergeant got the DCM and Hardy the VC. Interestingly there seems to have been no gung-ho streak in Hardy’s make-up. He was not medal hungry. When told he had won the VC for a series of actions he said: “I really must protest.” It was a medal, which in the opinion of the men, “he should have had served up for breakfast everyday”. Hardy would habitually cover the array of ribbons on his chest with his arm so as not to put off young recruits who might be intimidated. Although appointed chaplain to the King, Hardy refused to leave the front. The best thing he could do was carry on, he reckoned. Inevitably his luck ran out.5211959722_7bec8cca52_z

The small figure of Hardy was last seen crossing the River Selle on October 10 to join his men. A machine gun was then heard and the padre was hit in the thigh. He told those who came to his aid: “I’m sorry to cause you so much trouble boys but I think I’ve been hit.” He was evacuated but a few days later, pneumonia set in and he died just three weeks before the Armistice – to the great sorrow of his men and the army as a whole. One hundred and sixty-three chaplains died in the war. There were other men of the cloth who lived exemplary lives at the front. But the respect and affection earned by Hardy was unique. If any single Briton deserves to be remembered for their unstinting humanity during that savage war the tiny, self-effacing Rev Theodore Hardy must surely be a candidate. Original story by Robert Gore-Langton. ‘Daily Express’.

Yet one more story of comradeship, unselfishness, and incredible heroism, which should never be forgotten…

The Royal Navy Chaplains attached to Commando Forces attend the ‘All Arms Commando Course’, which is a strict pass/fail and not a Gawd given right to a beret of green. In my time ‘under a green lid’ I met some cracking Padre’s; each of whom would attend a Company run-ashore at the drop of a hat, and spin dit’s that would make the devil blush. One particular little Welsh Padre was rumoured to have hollow legs, such was his capacity for real ale. And he could recite/sing every bawdy rugby song, which he quite often did in a hearty voice that put Tom Jones to shame…            Yours Aye.

March the guilty barsteward in Sgt Major

article-2678403-1F07938600000578-396_634x513Bowe Bergdahl is being allowed to wander off Texas base as part of his ‘reintegration’ as it emerges that soldiers who served with him ‘STILL’ haven’t been contacted by investigators

Presumption of Innocence. “A fundamental protection for a person accused of a crime, which requires the prosecution to prove its case against the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt.” In this case I would presume an investigation into Bergdahl’s activities would be paramount , or is that the scent of a White House rat I smell.         Yours Aye. What about freezing his assets; five years back dated Sergeants pay may well have been fraudulently generated?

True Grit…

article-2666342-1F1017DB00000578-958_306x423Staff sergeant who fought off 200 Taliban fighters despite being unable to WALK in deadly battle that killed nine of his comrades to be awarded Medal of Honor

A former Army staff sergeant is set to receive the Medal of Honor for his heroics during one of the deadliest battles of the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan. Staff Sergeant Ryan Pitts from Nashua, New Hampshire, spent an agonizing 90 minutes fighting off enemy fighters despite shrapnel injuries to both legs and an arm that left the young soldier critically wounded and resigned to certain death. 

Read the rest of this inspirational story of true grit; Staff Sergeant Ryan Pitts to be awarded Medal Of Honor

Pure American backbone. B.Z. Staff Sergeant Ryan Pitts, very well deserved. Yours Aye.

Bowe Bergdahl

Was Taliban PoW a deserter before he was captured and held for five years? Soldier ‘sent emails that he was planning to leave his post after becoming disillusioned with the war’article-2645096-1E64A24B00000578-985_636x383From the beginning, Bowe Bergdahl was not your conventional US Army Private. Traveling extensively and trained in ballet, he had sailed across the Atlantic by his late teens, but was home-schooled in a small town in Idaho with a population of about 8,000. His friends say he enlisted in the army to help the Afghan people and provide philanthropic support to the war effort. As the Taliban’s sole American prisoner was freed after five years, a portrait has been painted of an adventurous and idealistic seeker, who was known for his manners and would stop at nothing to test new experiences. But there is controversy, too. Rolling Stone magazine quoted emails Bergdahl is said to have sent to his parents that suggest he was disillusioned with America’s mission in Afghanistan, had lost faith in the U.S. Army’s mission there and was considering desertion. Bergdahl told his parents he was ‘ashamed to even be American’. Did Bergdahl really desert his post as a protest?

The following from ‘STORMBRINGER’  the blog of Sean Linnane (pseudonym of a retired Special Forces career NCO; 1st SFG, 3d SFG, 10th SFG.) ‘Sean’ tells it like it is; in this case he speaks as one who was there at the time of the ‘incident,’ as well as his involvement. I have followed STORMBRINGER for quite a while now and find him to be very genuine and credible. I would urge you to read his post dated SUNDAY, JUNE 1, 2014.            Yours Aye.

Sasha the sniffer dog-a posthumous award

Animal VC for Afghanistan sniffer dog. An Army Labrador sniffer dog credited with saving “many lives” before she was killed in an ambush is posthumously awarded the Dickin Medal.              ‘Sasha’ sasha2_2895069bAn Army sniffer dog killed in an ambush alongside her handler in Afghanistan is to be awarded the animal Victoria Cross next month. Sasha, a four-year-old yellow Labrador was credited with saving many lives by finding hidden weapons caches and booby-trap bombs in Helmand province. On July 24, 2008 Sasha and her handler, L/Cpl Kenneth Rowe were returning from a routine search operation when their patrol was ambushed. They survived the first attack but were both killed by gunfire in a second attack.ken-rowe_781761f

Sasha will now be posthumously awarded the Dickin Medal for her actions by the PDSA veterinary charity. Jan McLoughlin, the charity’s director general, said: “Sasha’s exceptional devotion to duty in Afghanistan saved many lives, both soldiers and civilians. This medal, recognised worldwide as the animals’ Victoria Cross, honours both Sasha’s unwavering service and her ultimate sacrifice. Her story exemplifies the dedication of man’s best friend and reminds us all of the amazing contribution they make to our lives.”

During her time in Afghanistan the Sasha made 15 confirmed operational finds. In one search of a building in Garmsir, she found two mortars and a large quantity of weapons, including explosives and mines. Col Neil Smith, director Army veterinary and remount services, said: “Sadly this award is posthumous as both Sasha and her handler L/Cpl Ken Rowe were killed in enemy action in Afghanistan in 2008. Our thoughts remain with L/Cpl Rowe’s family and this award will give us the opportunity to once more celebrate his and Sasha’s immeasurable contributions to military operations.” British-soldier-and-his-faithful-friend-die-side-by-side-in-AfghanistanHandler_60167cThe Dickin Medal has now been awarded to 29 dogs, 32 Second World War messenger pigeons, three horses and one cat. Recipients-of-the-PDSAs-Dickin-Medal-the-animal-version-of-the-Victoria-Cross. There is more to the story as an inquest into the death of L/Cpl Rowe revealed he postponed his scheduled return to the UK because he did not want to leave his comrades with insufficient cover. A selfless act.           Yours Aye.animals-in-war-memorial-1-052713Animals in War Memorial, London.  Original article by Ben Farmer: The Telegraph