Waltham Abbey pensioner talks about his experience in the Armed Forces

Graham Sinclair-Pilch, 64.

Journalism student Z Betton went behind the scenes with a retired councillor to hear his thrilling story about serving in the Armed Forces.

A PENSIONER from Waltham Abbey opens up about his experience in the army during his much younger years.

Graham Sinclair-Pilch, 64, served eight years in the Armed Forces, he volunteered to join in 1972 at just 17 years old. During his time in the Military, Graham was on the parachute team and was strictly trained for war. He would travel frequently to Germany and to many other countries to battle, train and to be strictly disciplined. Within the eight years Graham served in the Armed Forces, he learned how to become higly independent, mentally-strong and self-sufficient. Plenty of comradeship was also something Graham managed to have while serving in the Military, he described it as “having my own family, even in a war zone.”

When asked what the most memorable moment of his Military career was, Graham said: “The most memorable time was the actual parachuting part of my career.

“Everybody wanted to be in it and to be a successful parachuter, but not everybody could make it. It was a matter of pride, and I was very proud to have got in.”

Graham feels strongly about the Army, as it played a huge part in his life and made him to be the person that he is today. When asked what advice he would give to anybody considering to join the Army, he said: “I think the Army is a good thing for young people to join, even if it is only for a few years.

“It will give them the skills that they will need to deal with a difficult civillian life.”

In 1980, Graham’s Military career came to end at the age of 25. His decison to leave was based on a romantic choice, he had met his current wife, Beverly, during his career and realised that it was very difficult to leave her alone when he had to constantly travel to foreign countries. Graham mentioned: “I didn’t like having to leave her alone all of the time.

“I wanted to be with her, and the Army wouldn’t allow that at the time. So I left.”

Graham now resides in Waltham Abbey with his wife and two children. He spends the majority of his retirement years doing his favourite hobby, gardening. He mentions that his role in the Army is a memory that resurfaces every day, and is something that he will never forget.

 

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Z Betton

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