I was born on a cold and foggy March morning in 1952 at the London Hospital, Whitechapel, in the heart of London’s East End. At the time life in the East End of London was hard. Most of the area still lay in ruins following the Blitz. Rationing was in operation, and work was hard to find even for those with a skill.
My childhood was short and extremely brutal. My dad left us when I was just five years old. I learned how to fight and could hold my own on the streets long before I started school, and it seems like I’ve been fighting ever since. I was abandoned to a mental institution at the tender age of six where I stayed until I was ten. From there I was then sent to a state-run boarding school where I stayed until I was sixteen.
By the time I left secondary school, I had developed into a strong, independent, single-minded and very angry loner. On reflection, it was probably the perfect preparation for a life in the military, and ultimately Special Forces.
During my time I have served with, and met people from all walks of life. Everybody from world leaders to subsistence farmers. Some you wouldn’t follow in a bus queue or leave in charge of an empty pram. But there were others I would have willingly died for, and nearly did on more than one occasion.
After facing death on a number of occasions and winning through the one thing that life has taught me is that every new day is an adventure. A gift to be enjoyed and cherished and that, no matter how bad it gets, it’s always worth living and there is an upside to everything.