2014
27.06

LETTER TO AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER is a new kind of war memorial that invites the public to write a letter to a soldier.

Not just any soldier, but the soldier who inspired the famous Charles Jagger war memorial on Platform One of Paddington Station in London.

So far more than 3,000 letters have been submitted from schools, groups and individuals, by writers including Stephen Fry, Andrew Motion, Sheila Hancock, Andy McNab, Lee Child, Lesley Pearce and Malorie Blackman, and by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Sajid Javid.

The project was created by Bath Spa University Professor of Creative Writing and Digital Media, Kate Pullinger and Novelist and Theatre Director, Neil Bartlett.

It was commissioned by 14-18 NOW, as part of the official cultural programme for the First World War centenary commemorations.

Kate and Neil are working with a group of editors at Bath Spa University to present a daily selection of featured letters. All letters will be searchable by name, theme and geographical origin.

Letters are being published on the website now and until the anniversary of the declaration of war on 4th August.  

Everyone can contribute their letter by submitting it to the website www.1418NOW.org.uk/letter or posting it to LETTER TO AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER, PO Box 73102, London EC1P 1TY.

Source: Now Bath News

FOR ANDY’S LETTER TO AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER GO HERE

Letter to an Unknown Soldier

Letter to an Unknown Soldier

 

 

 

2014
21.06

Andy McNab interview: “The advance of ISIS could see Baghdad fall”
The Big Issue 20 June 2014

As the fate of Iraq hangs in the balance, former SAS man McNab fears the nation’s capital could be overthrown by ISIS extremists

As the crisis in Iraq rages on, SAS hero turned best-selling author Andy McNab has warned that the advance of ISIS could see Baghdad fall.

McNab, who was captured behind enemy lines in Iraq during the first Gulf War, said that a lack of Allied groundtroops could allow insurgents to take the Iraqi capital.

“The only country that will do something, if anything really needs to be done, because they’ve got the capability, are the United States,” McNab, pictured, told The Big Issue. “But [for the UK] to actually put boots on the ground – we’re coming up to an election year… both countries are being very wary of putting boots on the ground. So there is a possibility that Baghdad would fall.”

He slammed political moves to downscale army numbers and sees this a problem for the future, and the key thing that will stop a move back to Iraq.

“Politicians just want to get out of Afghanistan before the election – they don’t want to commit troops [to Iraq]. We don’t want to commit troops, because it will show a weakness of policy at the moment – downscaling our army.

“We’re apparently about six years behind in recruiting and training reserves for the forces. There’s just isn’t what’s called the force projection capability to go and do it [British intervention]. All nations are scaling down. But the fact is that at the moment, we really don’t have the force projection to first of all get our troops from A to B, and more importantly sustain them while they’re there.”

David Cameron warned this week of the threat to the UK if an “extreme Islamist regime” is created in central Iraq. McNab, meanwhile, claims Britain was “supporting some of those groups” recently in Syria.

“Certainly what’s going on at the moment with Isis, it is really interesting because unfortunately we’re back to square one,” he said. “And it’s really, really crazy, because some of those groups, certainly when they were in Syria, we were supporting them. But it’s just history repeating itself. We’ve done it for centuries.”

Source: The Big Issue

2014
07.06

Royal Mail workers rewarded by war hero

Swindon Advertiser – 7 June 2014

SAS-trained novelist Andy McNab undertook an operation of the highest importance in Swindon yesterday – handing over certificates to acknowledge a push for more reading among Royal Mail workers.

The Gulf War serviceman is on a nationwide tour backing The Reading Agency’s Six Book Challenge, which gives people six months to complete six books for a certificate.

It is designed to encourage people to improve them through reading, which Andy is more than happy to support.

“It’s almost imperative for employees and employers,” said Andy. “If you look at it from the employer’s point of view, if they are working in an industry with highly technical machines, they want the most literate, numerate staff available.

“That’s why firms are backing this challenge. They really wanted to get their standards up within their existing workforce. In the longer term, if the parents are getting into it, the kids will follow that habit and latch on.

“Literacy comes from reading and numeracy follows on from that. It improves through reading.”

Go to the Swindon Advertiser website to read the full article

AM Swindon Royal Mail jun'14

2014
07.06

Andy was on the Graham Norton radio show today. We love Graham and.. sure we like Andy too. So this one was a no miss!

For 7 days you can listen to the show (again) HERE on the BBC Radio 2 website.

You can hear Andy from 1h32, right after Kate Bush singing ‘Army dreamers’.

2014
06.06

Andy was on the Simeon Courtie show on BBC Wiltshire this morning, talking about his passion to reduce illiteracy.

You can LISTEN TO IT HERE, the talk with Andy starts at 1h30.

From now only 6 days left to ‘listen again’ so don’t wait too long!

2014
06.06

Former SAS soldier Andy McNab, who spent six weeks as an Iraqi captive in the Gulf War, warns that Sgt Bowe Berghdal – whether hero or villain – now faces a nightmare

The Telegraph – 5 June 2014
By Andy McNab

Heroes don’t exist like they do in the films. Real-life events are totally different to what we expect. All the grainy footage of the Taliban handover of Sergeant Bowe Berghdal to US forces in Afghanistan shows is a deeply traumatised young man, struggling to hold on to reality.

He would have just been telling himself, is this really happening? Am I really being released? That is why, once airborne, he scribbled “SF” on a paper plate, asking the soldiers around him, over the drone of the helicopter engine, if they really were special forces. After so long as an enemy captive, it is impossible to grasp you are free.

I spent six weeks as an enemy captive after I was captured by the Iraqis in the Gulf War in 1991. This young man is 28, and has spent the past five years of his life in enemy hands. There will have been some horrendous times.

The first three weeks of my own incarceration were spent under physical interrogation, being whipped and burnt, and having my back teeth pulled out. I was kept in a purpose-built interrogation centre in Baghdad used by the secret police, but at the time I had no idea where I was.

After that, I was moved to Abu Ghraib jail. There, the torture wasn’t official, but Baghdad was getting bombed every night from dusk until dawn, and the guards would come and get their retribution.

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GO HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE TELEGRAPH