I gave them details of the people I was interested in meeting and they responded that they had lost contact with John, Gordon O'Leary and Vic Williams. This prompted me to talk to the RAPC Regimental Association who informed me that they had also lost contact with them and that according to their records John had died in 2001 and Gordon had committed suicide in 1995. Rumours of John's death though was premature and I was able to track him down through his brother who passed on a message to him. When I told him of the reunion he signed up we got to meet again for the first time in a very long time (20 years). It was great to know he had done well for himself and catch up on his news :)
It turned out that the only person missing from the pay team of 1982 was Vic Williams (right) who is now living in the USA running an Aikido dojo. We exchanged a couple of emails and it turned out that the USA immigration had been so slow to renew visas that he couldn't leave the states even if he wanted to. He sent his best wishes and a few photographs that I hadn't seen before taken down South.
Lastly I got to meet and say a huge thankyou to my paymaster at the time Denis O'Keefe (chap on the right). At the time he was a Captain but was to retire as a Colonel which is no mean achievement for someone who had come up through the ranks. The chap on the left is CSGT Allender who was my immediate superior on Tumbledown. As ex G squadron SAS he had seen combat along with our CSM Ian Amos (who sadly wasn't there) and he was the one that had told me to crawl back and tell Left Flank to stop firing at us :) He thought he had sent me to my death that night and put my name down for a mention in dispatches for my bravery, though I think stupidity at not realising what I was doing would have been a more apt description. He was very happy to see me and likewise I would have loved to have been able to spend more time talking to him.
It was Denis who has had the biggest impact on my life. When I left the guards I was posted to the Queens Own Highlanders and I had a terrible time adjusting to them. In fact I rebelled and had a huge falling out with my paymaster who, not knowing any different, threw the book at me. My reports went from O for outstanding to F for totally usless and it was Denis who stepped in and stood up for me that resulted in me being posted back to the UK and for me getting my training in computers that have stood me in such good stead since.
Scots Guards are from right to left back row me, John, Gordon, Vic and front row Kieth and Denis. Paul isn't in this photo as he had been posted away from the battalion before this was taken but Meridith Butt is back row far left. Meridith was my room Corporal during my training.