The Battle For Mount Longdon | A Falklands War Special | #186

The battle for Mount Longdon features James O’Connell, formerly of 3 Para, speaking about his experience during The Falklands War in 1982.

The Battle For Mount Longdon | A Falklands War Special | #186

Under cover of darkness 3 Para began their assault on Mount Longdon in June 1982. The three platoons of B Company each approached the mountain silently, treading carefully through a series of defensive minefields. Following on from an explosion, fighting quickly escalated with shocking speed and severity. The ensuing battle resulted in some of the harshest close-hand fighting experienced by British troops, since the Korean war.

Transcript from ‘The Battle For Mount Longdon’ podcast.

Chris – James, was it disappointing that you were being inserted by boat as opposed to coming from the sky?

James – With the distance you knew it wasn’t going to happen. We sailed down on the Camberra with all our parachute kit. We were ready to go any way we could. It would have been legendary wouldn’t it?

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Royal Marines Commandos Cockleshell Endeavour | #169

Royal Marines Commandos Cockleshell Endeavour, was four marines who rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, honouring the Cockleshell Heroes. This mammoth task was done in support of the Royal Marines Charity, raising almost £50,000

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Royal Marines Commandos Cockleshell Endeavour

Serving Royal Marines Commandos David Bruce and Sam Edwards together with former Royal Marines and recovering veterans Junior Mcilhiney and Will Schweppes rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, honouring the Cockleshell Heroes, to support of the Royal Marines Charity and raising almost £50,000

Transcript from ‘Royal Marines Commandos Cockleshell Endeavour’

W – We were always clipped onto the boat at all times whenever we were on deck, so when we were changing over, we’d always make sure we we’re clipping on to the the safety line. We’d obviously be wearing a life jacket or we had little climbing up harnesses which we took the leg loops out, so we’re just using the belt.

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The ‘MAD’ Paratrooper Graeme Bint | #62

The ‘mad’ paratrooper featuring Graeme Bint, sees Graeme chatting with Chris Thrall. Braving snipers and IED’s to get food to starving orphans in Sarajevo, don’t miss Graeme’s remarkable story.

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The ‘MAD’ Paratrooper Graeme Bint

Former paratrooper Graeme Bint is the hardest man alive. He and the equally as courageous Simone van Kan braved snipers and IEDs to get food to starving orphans in Sarajevo – in return for beer and diesel. This is a story you DON’T want to miss!

Transcript snippet from ‘The ‘MAD’ Paratrooper Graeme Bint’ podcast

Chris and Graeme and Simone

C – Simone, Graeme how are you my friends?

S – Excellent, lovely to be here

C – Where are you?

S – I’m in New Zealand, Taronga

G – And I’m in Cairns, Australia still

C – You know I love New Zealand, I’ve had the pleasure of spending six weeks there. I’ve had the pleasure of spending six weeks with my brothers and sisters in Australia, and I could talk to you guys about those wonderful countries for hours, but we’re not here to talk about that. What we are here to talk about is the serious road trip.

S – The Serious Road Trip!!

C – That is serious! Ok let me give our friends at home a little bit of background. First I just want to say I do a lot of military podcasts and people know I’m all for peace, and I’m not even going to say anymore about that. What I do want to say is your story, I’ve been so looking forward to hearing it. It is one of the most mental things I’ve ever heard of in my life…

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Sunk In The Falklands | John Mew | HMS Coventry | #95

Sunk In The Falklands, features John Mew who served on HMS Coventry, one of the British ships sunk during The Falklands war.

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Sunk In The Falklands | John Mew | HMS Coventry

John Mew was the PTI on HMS Coventry when the ship was sunk in the Falklands Conflict. John was also a Royal Navy field gunner and commercial diver, but his toughest battle came after being diagnosed with PTSD in 2015.

Transcript snippet from ‘Sunk In The Falklands | John Mew | HMS Coventry’ podcast

Chris and John

C – John, how are you shipmate?

J – Fine, how are you?

C – Yes all good here mate, I’m just delighted really that through a mutual acquaintance Frank King. I’ve already done a podcast with Frank which will be premiering soon. Frank put us in contact, he said I’ve got a guy that I’m working with who was sank on a ship in the Falklands and my radar went up immediately. As you know I was on an aircraft carrier for a year and you have to do all the training obviously in case you have to abandon ship. It’s kind of the thing that every sailor does not want to happen, especially the poor old skipper. So it’s absolutely delightful to speak to you John, thank you  very much…

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The Untold Story Of 45 Commando | #96

The Untold Story Of 45 Commando, features Major Andy Shaw who served in The Royal Marines. He won The King’s Badgeman in 98 troop, as the best young officer and was awarded a General Officer Commanding’s Commendation for his field work in Northern Ireland.

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The Untold Story Of 45 Commando

Andy served both in the ranks and as an officer from 1976 to 1996 in the Royal Marines. He passed out of training as the top recruit (King’s Badgeman, 98 Troop) and as the best Young Officer (Royal Marines Sword of Honour Young Officer Batch May 80) and was awarded a General Officer Commanding’s Commendation for his field work in Northern Ireland (40 Commando Royal Marines). At the height of the ground fighting in the 1982 Falklands islands conflict, he was a rifle troop commander in charge of 32 men, and was tasked with operating independently from his unit, 45 Commando Royal Marines, in no man’s land. During this phase, whilst conducting a fighting patrol to destroy some of the enemy’s fire support systems, he ambushed what he thought was an enemy force killing four men. It transpired that it was a friendly patrol from his own unit.

This single event, coupled with five tours in Northern Ireland, changed his perception of himself and gradually life in general, and was the beginning of a long slide towards ultimate despair, and eventually contemplation of suicide. From 1982 until 1996 he managed to continue functioning in various command capacities within the Royal Marines, but at the same time was aware of a growing split between the rational external face and the lurking internal horror that was slowly engulfing his entire persona.

Eventually his marriage collapsed and the loss of his family, two daughters, and all possessions, triggered off the reactions that are now known to be classical symptoms of PTSD. In 1989 the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was unknown to Andy and by 1996 he finally accepted that he had to leave the Corps and country he loved in order to deal with this overwhelming problem. He bought an old classic yacht and with his new wife, Cheralie, sailed off into the North Atlantic to re-discover himself.

In the late summer of 1997 they discovered the beautiful sub-tropical Balearic island of Formentera and dropped anchor. It was here that Andy began the process of self-healing. On the 6th of September 2012, by invitation of the Commanding Officer, who was an old friend, Andy gave a two hour presentation to 45 Commando Royal Marines on his war and its effects. Not only did he manage this with no emotional fall-out, but that night he found himself listening to a number of serving officers who wanted to talk about their experiences and resultant emotional problems. Andy realised that this was the end of his 30-year battle with PTSD; and the beginning of a new career in mentoring those who are suffering today. Thus The Mountain Way was born.

Transcript snippet from ‘The Untold Story Of 45 Commando’ podcast

Chris and Andy

C – Andy, how are you brother?

A – Very pleasantly warm thank you very much!

C – Yes, in Ibiza.

A – Yes my home, I don’t like to say that, but I do say it too often. I suppose it could be called showing off but I’m not a party animal. You know I’ve only ever been in one of these nightclubs once and that was to blow up 5000 balloons. I was working for 10 Euros an hour then!

C – Yeah, they certainly have got some thumping nightclubs over there from what I remember, but from what I remember from my one trip to the Island is they’re blooming expensive.

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Simon Weston CBE Falklands War | #108

Simon Weston CBE is a veteran of the British Army who is known for his charity work and recovery from severe burn injuries suffered during the Falklands War.

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Simon Weston CBE Falklands War

Simon Weston CBE is a veteran of the British Army who is known for his charity work and recovery from severe burn injuries suffered during the Falklands War. On 8 June 1982 he was boarded with other members of his regiment on RFA Sir Galahad in Port Pleasant near Fitzroy, just off the Falkland Islands. The ship was hit and set on fire by the Argentine Skyhawk fighters during the Bluff Cove Air Attacks. His ship was carrying a huge amount of ordinance and thousands of gallons of diesel and petrol. Out of his platoon of 30 men, 22 lost their lives. The Welsh Guards lost a total of 48 men and 97 wounded aboard the Sir Galahad. Simon survived with 46% burns, in which his face was barely recognisable.

Transcript snippet from ‘Simon Weston CBE Falklands War’ podcast

Chris and Simon

C – Simon, how are you brother?

S – I’m ok, a bit stressed with some home improvements we’re having done. Other than that I’m tickety boo. I’ve got a lot of new projects waiting to start, but this damn virus is making everything so slow. It is what it is.

C – Do you have enough time for your family with all your commitments, because you are a very busy man.

S – Well it certainly was before the Covid thing. The thing is when I’m not working I’m spending time with my family and perhaps because people see me do a lot of work they think that’s all I do.

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Forty Nights: My Escape from Crystal Meth Hell

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Empire State Base Jump | 565 RLD Para Sigs | #118

Empire State Base Jump, features Mike McCarthy, formerly with 565 RLD Para Sigs.

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Empire State Base Jump | Mike McCarthy | 565 RLD Para Sigs

In 1986, following active service in the Falklands War, former 565 RLD parachute signaller Mike R.P. McCarthy launched an audacious plan to be the first person to base jump from the Empire State building.

Transcript snippet from ‘Empire State Base Jump | Mike McCarthy | 565 RLD Para Sigs’ podcast

Chris and Mike

C – Mike, how are you brother?

M – Excellent, excellent Chris thank you and thank you for having me on for the chat.

C – Wow, thank you for joining us. I always like a man with a bookcase behind him. Says a lot about you.

M – Lot of cook books!

C – Haha, I thought you were going to say 1984, Brave New World and Wild Swans.

M –  They’re in the other room.

C – More importantly did you come tooled up?  (Chris shows Micheal a primary colour water pistol!)

M – Yes I did, I’ve got my NERF gun. When you’ve got a son in the house you have to be properly prepared. Like a leopard crawling around the house, clearing rooms. He interrogates me from time to time.

 

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Forty Nights: My Escape from Crystal Meth Hell

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