Lonely death of Private Dave Forshaw

medman82

War Hero
goodkurtz said:
BuckFelize said:
I found civvy street very alienating when I left and was (what I now recognise to be) in the early stages of a nervous breakdown following a serious illness I contracted within a fortnight of leaving. It all happened at once and was too much to take in. So what state this poor lad - and the others of you in a similar position - are in I can only guess at. I can say this though. Don't do it. You don't know what's around the corner. Someone very dear to me killed herself and it is not the way it should be. Don't live in torment and let it worsen by the day. Tell someone. Anyone. Just don't slot yourself.
It's not so easy though is it? War experience must be like a hard drug with a long come down. You may hate it at times when you are in it. But then you come back and civvy life which can be so crushingly fcuking dull anyway must be unbearably meaningless for those who have seen and been near death.

More than anyone I imagine the returning soldier must look harder at life here than most others and what they see is hard and real. Big Brother on the box. Adverts telling you to buy crap, because you are worth it. Running around like a blue arrse fly trying to keep up mortgage payments on a house flogged to you by some slick git in a suit.
Money, money, money, being the be all and end all of life.
The tragedy for the soldier is he joins to get away from the meaningless of life and after so much action will leave to return to civvy life only to find it's fcuking meaninglessness at times amplified and screaming in his ears.
(I wonder how many might very privately think that living a simple life in an Afghan village would sometimes seem more meaningful and soothing than some of the s'hit one has to put up with back here?[/i])

Maybe holding fast to any good quiet moments had in the sand box might help when back here. The returning soldier will at least now know there are other things and other ways of looking at life other than are offered here. And that's a good thing.

Three books that might help a little.
Siegfried Sassoon's 'Memoirs of an Officer'. Jack Kerouac's 'Desolation Angels' and Henry Miller's 'The Air Conditioned Nightmare'.




Many people on this site, myself included, find that time spent in a basha in the back garden or in a quiet area is peaceful enough just to get through the day.

I'm fighting to stay in full time employment, the work focusses my thoughts and keeps me, to a degree, sane.

I wish I could have offered my basha to Dave Forshaw, I never knew him, but by being a soldier, he was my family.
 
Many people on this site, myself included, find that time spent in a basha in the back garden or in a quiet area is peaceful enough just to get through the day.
Sounds good.
Keeping up some sort of fitness regime might also help. But NOT army style. One needs to steadily lose the aggressive edge.

There are a couple of real tough options that might help.
Severely ration the booze in take. I said it was tough. And that b'astard is a slippery snake with the patience of Job. That f'ucker waits till you are at your most vulnerable before slipping its fingers around the throat.

In a way everyone who comes back should view themselves as a potential alcoholic and act accordingly from the off. That way if nothing else it will take longer to get a hold.

And another tough option is one that'll most soldiers will take the p'iss out of right away. Take up Yoga. I'm serious. It would at first be very hard to do something physical who's objective is relaxation. That's an anathema to the soldiers mind.
Nonetheless, if you are now wanting to survive in a civvy environment you HAVE to unwind. There is no other option. So less revs more torque. It's still a survival course.
Train Easy to Live Easy.
 
RIP Private Forshaw.

If anyone reading this in the Reserves needs help like he did, or you know someone who does, contact the Reservist Mental Health team at Chilwell.

http://www.army.mod.uk/rtmc/rmhp.htm

The link above has details. Quote:
The RMHP is a tri-Service initiative, established at Chilwell (co-located with RTMC). The programme is designed to enable Reservists (RNR,RMR,TA,RAuxAF and Regular Reserves) who have mobilised and deployed as Reservists, to access a mental health programme. In partnership with the NHS, the RMHP aims to assess and where appropriate, provide outpatient care. Reservists demobilised from an operational theatre since 01 Jan 03 are eligible for this service. Users or their GP can access the system, concerned relatives or friends can obtain advice by telephoning freephone 0800 0326258. Unquote.

If you are an ex-Regular struggling with the same demons, try the Medical Assessment Programme at St Thomas's hospital in London. Quote from MOD website:

The Medical Assessment Programme

The Medical Assessment Programme (MAP) was established in July 1993 to examine UK Gulf veterans who were concerned that their health had been adversely affected by service in the 1990/1991 Gulf Conflict. Defence Ministers have extended the role of the MAP in recent years to other groups of veterans so that they may too benefit from the knowledge and skills developed in assessing veterans with physical or mental health concerns.

The service provided by the MAP is as follows:

General Medical Examination for:

1990/1991 Gulf Veterans
Porton Down Veterans
Veterans of the current operation in Iraq (Operation TELIC)
Veterans of the current operation in Afghanistan (Operation HERRICK)
Mental Health Examination for:

All veterans with operational service since 1982 (including veterans of the Falklands Conflict)
The MAP is located at St Thomas' Hospital, London. The MAP is staffed by a doctor who is a qualified General Practitioner and Consultant Psychiatrist with extensive military experience and knowledge of military psychiatry. Veterans with operational service since 1982 (including veterans of the Falklands Conflict) who feel they would benefit from seeing a consultant with a military background should seek a referral via their General Practitioner to the MAP.

Service Medical Officers or General Practitioners wishing to refer a patient should write to the following address:

Head of Medical Assessment Programme
Baird Health Centre
Gassiot House
St Thomas’ Hospital
Lambeth Palace Road
London
SE1 7EH

For those Service Medical Officers or General Practitioners wishing further information about the MAP service they may contact the MAP on Freephone: 0800 169 5401. Unquote.


Or contact the charity "Combat Stress". Don't struggle on alone!
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Ancient_Mariner said:
I bet more service personnel die as a result of mental illness than as a result of hypothermia. In fact, I read elsewhere on ARRSE that the number of Falklands veterans who have committed suicide now exceeds the number who were killed in the war.

If new entrants were taught how to recognise depression and PTSD, I think a lot of lives could be saved.
good point A-M.

The Royal Marines do have a Post Combat Stress routine they call TRiM.

Dit about it on MoDWeb a while back....hang on....here y'go:

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/PeopleInDefence/PadreKeepsSoldiersInTrimInAfghanistan.htm

The Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) scheme – originally developed by two members of the Defence Medical Services and already in use by the Royal Marines and the Grenadier Guards – is delivered by non-medical uniformed members of a person's own unit: trained practitioners who can listen and offer practical advice to anyone who has undergone a traumatic incident.

TRiM practitioners don't assess people face to face until 72 hours after a potentially traumatic incident, although they will be planning what, if anything, should be done in the background. That's the waiting period during which signs of distress may emerge.

Then, individually or in groups, people are taken through a ten-point questionnaire to discover how they are doing using such questions as, Did you think you were in control? Did you think your life was threatened? Did you seriously think you were about to die?

Dr Jamie Hacker Hughes, Head of Defence Clinical Psychology at DMSD said:

"TriM is not a counselling technique – nor should it be described as such – but is a peer-delivered risk-assessment tool which allows trained service personnel to assess their peers after operational or other traumatic incidents to allow the early identification and referral-on of those that require professional assessment and treatment by trained Defence Mental Health professionals."

"We don't want soldiers to become therapists but we want them to recognise stress in others. We want them to become the doctor's right-hand men."


Those operating in an "Alpha-male" environment often find it difficult to seek help. But the way TRiM works, with soldiers and marines speaking to others who have been in the same position, makes it much easier
USFOR use a similar 'buddy on buddy' system. The essence of it is what the Forces have always tried to do - look after your mates.

RIP Pte Forshaw -

and L/Cpl Gary Garside RLC(V) - Dec 2003 post Op Telic 1.

God grant they are both now at rest. Remember them on November 11 with the others.


Don Cabra
--
 

Stephanie

War Hero
What can you say when someone feels the need to take their life?

I really wish more support measures are put in place for people, be it for regulars or TA, returning from these conflicts. This should never of happened in the first time.

I sure hope he is at peace and happier where he is now.

RIP, will not be forgotten.
 
[polemic] This thread is turning into a grief-tourist's day out at a train crash.

A number of "RIP Fella" posts does not a thread make, but when I see "I never knew you but I wish I had"; "RIP Brave Soldier/Brave Lad"; "England's Glory"; "The tears were hard to stop" I can't help thinking that the kind of sick sentimentality that had the pie-scoffing brigade from shoving flowers infront of Kensington Palace when St Di's halo was replaced by a bent steering wheel are back to haunt us again.

Another priceless gem is that line from Stephanie in the above post: "you'll never be forgotton" it strikes me that coming from a bird who has never met the deceased as the ultimate irony. Not least because come tomorrow it'll be "Pte Forshaw" who?

And this:



Just what the fuck was the poster thinking? It's either a 24-post pie-scoffing, sycophantic civvy fat bird with a taste for bad art/poetry and a desire to get spit-roasted in the guardroom or someone who has been lobotomised with the "common sense and perspective" bit of the brain cortorized to fukc. Get a grip people!

But the ultimate "what the Fuck moment was this:

medman82 said:
3 days ago I was prevented from taking my own life by my wife, I have been seeing a NHS psychologist for 2 years.

The original post stated that INSTEAD OF MAKING OTHER PEOPLE HAPPY he wanted to make himself happy. How many other PTSD sufferers think the same thought ??? I know I do....

My condolences to those left picking up the pieces.

A sad loss of another good life but I wish him well on the other side and hope his peace is restful

medders
Discuss the relative merits or otherwise of post-tour support for the TA by all means, but if you really are that close to topping yourself then go and get help. If it's just the attention of 30,000 anonymous posters on the internet you crave then blow your brains out on YouTube, ARRSE isn't the place for that.

[/polemic]
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
I'm with you Woopert. When I posted the original story & the subsequent follow up from the Times my intention was to highlight the problems TA face when they return. Some early posts reflected this. I don't think some people who posted actually read the whole story or saw the dates involved.
 
oldbaldy said:
I'm with you Woopert. When I posted the original story & the subsequent follow up from the Times my intention was to highlight the problems TA face when they return. Some early posts reflected this. I don't think some people who posted actually read the whole story or saw the dates involved.
There was a debate in the BatCave amongst the mods earlier this week about having an Obit forum. I was cautiously in favour of a read-only forum, but my colleagues all said exactly the same thing "it'll just get polluted by 50 "RIP Fella" posts, smaltzy poetry, and the ginsters eating fat civvy bird brigade, none of whom will have actually known the soldier, pouring out insincere emotion that will ultimately serve no purpose but to jump on the grief bandwaggon".

How sad that this thread, which could have actually discussed a real issue, proved that they were right.
 
I can see your point, mostly, woopert, but isn't it your function as a moderator to strip out the more obvious wibble-posts? Looking back over the pages, there's a few contenders, including the one with that picture, but I'd be inclined to think that a lot were well-meant.
 
Whiskybreath said:
I can see your point, mostly, woopert, but isn't it your function as a moderator to strip out the more obvious wibble-posts? Looking back over the pages, there's a few contenders, including the one with that picture, but I'd be inclined to think that a lot were well-meant.
It's only my task to moderate my forums, and the standards od "reporting" of news in the Int Cell isn't as rigerous as those in CA. Either way, there is an issue here to discuss to my mind rather than it becoming a 5 page "RIP Fella" non-entity. No matter how well intentioned the posts may be, I've noticed them becoming more schmaltzy of late, mostly posted by civvy birds as well. one of whom is so notorius for it she is a synonym for said posting style when the matter is discussed between mods.

I loathe the "Diana Syndrome". There is a time and a place for appropriate condolances. Medman's post is the height of "me, me, me" attention seeking. It's not the first (see a thread on poppies in Charities & Welfare", I doubt it will be the last. A combination of the 2 styles of posting at the mere mention of ptsd/soldiers KIA just typifies how lacking a true north in our moral compass this nation has become.
 

red_phos

Old-Salt
RIP Dave

'Dangerous Dave' and I were in the same coy on the first tour of his.

Very sad to see that he felt no other option but to take his life,

he was defo one of the characters of the coy. made infamous by the fact he couldn't drive for f*cking toffee!haha

He was my driver once on a convoy down to Kuwait. Tell you what, i'll never forget that one!


Stand down Dave
 

dropshortRE

Old-Salt
Very sad.

RIP mate.

I can relate to some of what I've read here. I returned from Afghanistan last year, got back to Chilwell at 0700 and was home by 1900 that evening. Subsequently I was diagnosed with depression in January this year.
To echo some of the sentiments, I'd happily go back on Ops tomorrow.
A friend once said to me, he'd not long left the army at this point' "there's no cameraderie in civi street". At the time I didnt believe him, now I do.
 

veritas

Old-Salt
Interesting to learn what happens at my nearest base. Never knew Chilwell was involved with anything like this. Such a pity Dave Forshaw didnt take the options open to him, its always sad when any one fails to live out their natural term.
 
dropshortRE said:
Very sad.

RIP mate.

I can relate to some of what I've read here. I returned from Afghanistan last year, got back to Chilwell at 0700 and was home by 1900 that evening. Subsequently I was diagnosed with depression in January this year.
To echo some of the sentiments, I'd happily go back on Ops tomorrow.
A friend once said to me, he'd not long left the army at this point' "there's no cameraderie in civi street". At the time I didnt believe him, now I do.
I think demobilisation for the TA needs to be looked at. I know that employers pressurise those who have been on OPs to return ASAP and I can understand that returning TA want to hang to their jobs, however for the sake of one's mental health and as a duty of care HM forces should not be pushing people from war zone to UK streets in 24 hrs. It is not right, I coped but looking back I did some pretty strange things on my return and emotionally I was all over the place.

I agree with a previous post, however unpopular it may be, for the sake of long term mental health TA soldiers should remain in regular service for a good few months before being demobilised - AND kept with the regular muccas that they were on tour with. In my view this would allow a much healthier post war view of the world to develop, and make civvy street seem more approachable.

I've said this before on other related threads, watch all the guys that have been on tour. Chat, if they are not coming down to the unit, fine, get them out for a drink, go and see a film, whatever. Stay in touch. Watch out for the ones who appear to be "handling things well" too because in my experience they are sometimes the ones who are suffering the most.

What I cannot understand is why Chilwell allowed Private Forshaw to do back to back tours with not even the full POTL inbetween?

My thoughts are with Private Forshaws family, we must learn for this and watch our mates. The TA needs to get a grip and find a way of addressing post tour mental health in a way which doesn't force people to enter the mental health system and therefore become a soldier with "issues." I'm very keen to hear more about TrIM, it sounds like an excellent way of tackling "The elephant in the room" so to speak.

We must take responsibilty for each others welfare.
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
dropshortRE said:
Very sad.

RIP mate.

I can relate to some of what I've read here. I returned from Afghanistan last year, got back to Chilwell at 0700 and was home by 1900 that evening. Subsequently I was diagnosed with depression in January this year.
To echo some of the sentiments, I'd happily go back on Ops tomorrow.
A friend once said to me, he'd not long left the army at this point' "there's no cameraderie in civi street". At the time I didnt believe him, now I do.
I think it is worth reading what the RN have to say about this:
Demobilisation
Some Reservists found the demobilisation process very hard. This was mainly due to being asked to stay in De-mob centres for up to four days after landing back in the UK following release from Theatre (either by air or sea). All that any of these people wanted to do was go home! However, the very best medical advice was that going home right away, without any discussion, group reflection or de-briefing, could cause a level of trauma. A short period of readjustment to peacetime UK was needed before going home to minimise the risk of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
http://www.rncom.mod.uk/templates/Reserves.cfm?id=457
 
Then he returned home,
Had his mother Changed?
Had his friends Changed?
Why was his Home was not his Own?
Had He died that day, yet somehow lived on?
And all he ever wanted was some one to say,
"Tommy Boy, Are you OK?"

B Skipper
Tommy Boy

Sums it all up.

Rest now Brother.
 

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