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  • Writer's pictureIan Lawton

Origins! (How on earth did I get here?!!)

by Ian Lawton

Part 1.

Sadly we’ve all had to grow up at some point!

Recently, as I now step away from a 17 year career as a Prison Officer I’ve been reflecting on how and where I started. A fresh faced, straight out of school 16 year old boy packing a suitcase, leaving his home, his friends, family and catching the train to Aldershot.

I became a ration assassin in the British Army. (A Chef!)

Did you know that the hardest, the most difficult and challenging course in the Army is the catering one? According to most squaddies no one has ever passed!

I ended up serving just under 5 years. I went to a war, did operational tours and exercises in some of the most inhospitable countries in the world but I also got to see and enjoy a fair bit of the world too.

It’s difficult to describe the bond, the camaraderie and feeling that I have (and still do 27 years later) with the friends I made from my initial intake group. As a group we were mentally and physically broken down. But we came back from it. We were built back up, stronger, more resilient and confident in ourselves.

The Army made a man of me.

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