Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Falklands 25 - London June 16/17 2007 - IWM

As part of our trip to London to attend the Falklands 25 parade Susie, Fredrik and myself flew into London on the Saturday before the parade. We were met by Steve Fordham, my ex pay sergeant, and John Samson who was with HQ company both who were with the Scots Guards during the Falklands. John was working so it was a quick hello after which Steve drove us to our B&B in Paddington (the Balmoral, right next to the one Susie's mother owned in the 1970's). After dumping our bags we headed over to the Imperial War Museum to meet up with the rest of the gang who had come from all over the UK to spend some time with me.

This was to be the first time Paul Ackerman and I were to meet in 26 years since Paul was my Apprentice Sergeant for Bednall House during my first 2 years in training. (See blog entries below). We all went to the exhibition (which was a bit small and dissapointing to be honest) before retiring for something to eat and a beer.

Left to right (Fedrik, Steve Fordham, Paul Ackerman and myself) standing in front of a huge photograph of the surface of the moon, or is it the mountains surrounding Stanley, they look so similiar.

I even found an old photograph taken in 1982 in the Pay Office of the Scots Guards. I can't believe how young I look (I am the one on the left) and how naff Steve Fordham looks with his moustache (he only got rid of it recently as well, man what were you thinking!!). Still we have aged quite well I think though I guess I should leave that to others to judge :)

As well as meeting Paul and Steve it was also great to see James (left) and Andrew (next to James). Both of these guys used to work with me on a variety of projects in Kuwait, Ghana, Libya, Germany and of course with me in Sweden. We have been through a lot to together and to see them make the effort to come especially to London to spend a few hours with me was extremely touching. It was a fantastic start to a great day.

Afterwards we headed back to the B&B and bid farewell to Steve who went off to visit his sister. Susie and Fredrik went to meet with Keiko (Susie's best friend) while I went to a reunion dinner arranged by the Scots Guards at the London Scottish Drill Hall. This was to be a memorable evening as not only was I going to meet up with people that I had not met in 24 years many of them I was going to get to talk to as it was an informal get together. However I was extremely nervous as I had no idea if I was going to remember anybody. My fears though were to be groundless as I wasnt the only one who couldnt put a name to a face :)

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