The 'What did they die for' thread

Why would you have died for the army?

  • To get away from an abusive family

    Votes: 4 4.9%
  • To get away from a place with no job prospects

    Votes: 20 24.4%
  • To avoid ending up in prison through bad life choices

    Votes: 4 4.9%
  • Because they had no education to speak of

    Votes: 4 4.9%
  • Because life had just shat them out and they had no other option available to them

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Because they were in a rut and couldn't find another way out

    Votes: 10 12.2%
  • For shits and giggles

    Votes: 40 48.8%

  • Total voters
Were you in the Wessex Regiment and RMP(V) when you were in the Old Bill?
I had to leave 2 Wessex until my 2yrs probationary service was completed in the Met. London to Maidenhead for drill nights was a bit far after that and I would be working late turn, nights, early turn next day for three of those drill nights in a calendar month so tried 10 Para, who were a mile from my house but got knocked back due to the skills-to-arms rule by the Met and TA service at that time so joined 253 RMP at Tulse Hill, not expecting to like it but they let me draw the ACC chefs SLR on training weekends and camp so I was happy as a lark.


Book Reviewer
If I had died over there, it goes without saying I'd have died for the perilous journey of taking my laundry forward as I was so far behind the front line...

Mrs phantom wasn't happy when she found out that I'd been ecenonical with the truth about my laundry going forward.
Thank **** she has only discovered a very small portion of what I did.
I couldn't even tell Ang B what I was up to as she'd grass me up.
There is no 'haven't had chance yet' option. If I die in service, Mrs Morsk will be minted.

The more important question for all these indecisive, hand-wringing, wheezy, narrow-chested, unattractive, weedy, unmotivated, greedy, jack bastard filthy fcukin civvies (I hate civvies - I can just about stand my wife) is why would anyone not want to join and potentially although unlikely these days, buy the proverbial farm.

Swansea Jacks ?


Choices in the poll are all pretty negative but hey ho. Like a few on here, for me it was almost a family tradition going back well over a century to the Crimea. It was also something i'd wanted to do since a nipper listening to my uncles & my dad & their dits, so there was a strong element of duty & loyalty. That disappeared when i felt let down after being wounded but has returned in the last decade & a half. Saying that I wouldn't have been eager to deploy on Telic as my opinion of those in charge at the time & the subsequent revelations about cause make that place/job a poisoned chalice. But then I went to Iraq twice in 05 as a civvie contractor on the protection circuit - that was down to old mates & connections & wanting to earn a bit more than normal at the time.


It sounds like a glib answer but ever since I got my first Action Man, many many many years ago.

My careers guidance teacher had an easy time in my case.

The Army was doing a guaranteed vacancy scheme at the time so as far as I was concerned that’s me in a job, who needed school qualifications? So I was kinda stuck with it as I couldn’t really do anything else

That was in 1979 and I’m still in, albeit ARes and now FTRS until 07 September then as an SSI for a CCF…the scary thing is I still enjoy it for the most part
The Military did quite well out of my school year. 2 Navy, 1 Raf, 6 Amy.
Lucky Amy. Obliging girl, I take it?

I joined because I didn't really know what else to do; I'd been in the Air Cadets and my eyesight wasn't quite there to be a pilot. If I'd done badly in my A-Levels, I was going to apply to be a Sapper however I did OK and went to uni, so commissioned instead.

I deployed on Herrick 9, 13 and then 19-20 (offset due to being part of JFSp(A)). I really thought (hoped?) we were trying to make some kind of lasting positive difference.

The events of the past few weeks have really hit me quite hard. I'm still friends with my former interpreter, and he is in bits (though luckily he / family are in Canada). I just feel so badly for all the Afghans who just want to educate their kids, feed their family, and live a quiet happy life.
Last edited:
I got my 50p (Queens Shilling) as soon as I was able and never regreted it.
You old codger! ;)

I got £1.00 - it was enough for a pork pie and pint in my local on the way home from being attested and signed up...
@MrBane - this is bang on.

I lost two mates - one of whom had to be chiselled off the inside of a CVRT, and the other took weeks to die while negative two and a half limbs. I'd known the first guy well for 6 years, and been a friend of the latter - and his twin brother - since the age of 11.

Both of them joined up knowing the risks and were all too aware that Iraq & Afghanistan were a shit show. Not that it bothered them too much. They happily served in the knowledge that there was a pretty good chance they'd come back in one piece with some shit dits for the chicks.

They also enjoyed their tours, had taken life themselves and were prepared to play by Big Boys Rules doing the job they'd willingly chosen. No regrets on their part, nor mine.

For them, the alternative was a deskbound managerial civilian job which would pay the mortgage but bore them, or an active outdoors job that wouldn't.

Their families' lives were torn apart, but their sons choice to join up & stay in wasn't & couldn't be theirs.

Their loss was gut-wrenching to watch let alone endure, but slowing the collapse of the government we supported from a couple of years to a decade wouldn't have made much difference.
Last edited:
I never lost the boyhood dream of being a soldier, I applied as soon as I could, I don’t regret a moment of it, sure there were shit times, on the bus, off the bus moments, scary moments, lots of funny/fun moments and it never disappointed. Sometimes I regret not following my ultimate dream of joining the Paras (yes I know), but joining REME gave me the opportunity of both worlds, I WAS a soldier first and I gained a trade. Every soldier I ever knew always expected, wanted or lived His war, I did, was I scared, you ******* bet, was I proud, you ******* bet, did I go and put myself in harms way for my Country, my Queen or my Government, nah, I did it because I didn’t want to loose face, because I wanted and courted excitement, but mostly I did it for my mates, my muckers and my team.
I won’t look back at Iraq with fond memories of a job well done, helping the Iraqi people or saving my Country from terror, but I will look back on it as adrenaline filled high spots, where I was tested to the maximum, tested on my training, ability and knowledge, and came through the other side, alive, unbroken and a better person. No regrets, but some sadness and some melancholy at what we lost and what we couldn’t do, and of those that didn’t make the flight home sitting up. Let’s face it, we ******* loved it!


Didn't have an abusive family. Had an education of sorts. Plenty job prospects where we lived at the time. I made some bad life choices, but none that put me in cuffs or owt. Wasn't really stuck in a rut.

Just fancied something different to what all the other school leavers were doing. Dad was serving at the time which sort of helped make my mind up I suppose. 23 years done this year, now entered my last two.

But the OP has reminded me of one of the best lines of script ever:

'why is it us? why us??'

'Because we're here, lad. No one else. Just us.'


War Hero
Timely thread.

By the time I volunteered for TELIC / HERRICK, the nature of the beast was abundantly clear; in both cases they were being severely mismanaged, there was not a gnat's chance of realising any of our original lofty goals (even if we'd been able to consistently articulate what they actually were), and we were pelting for the exit quicker than that episode of Father Ted when the priests get trapped in Ireland's biggest lingerie department.

Not that I gave the tiniest sh*t about any of that, of course; as far as I was concerned, as long as we weren't committing active war crimes, I was down with it. Tours meant the chance to welly a WMIK across Maysan towards a perfect desert sunset, lean out of the back door of an Mi-17 with nothing between me and the Hindu Kush but 3,000 feet of clean mountain air, or indeed just fire my gun up in the air going aaaah; when the testosterone is pumping through your 23 year old body at 20,000 psi, the PWC grad scheme just isn't going to cut it.

I (and I suspect a lot of my commissioned brethren), with my comfortable little Home Countries upbringing, where a bad day meant dipping out on sherbert dib dabs at the tuck shop, fell firmly in that 'sh*ts and giggles' bracket. My replacement was killed about 6 weeks after getting into theatre, and I know for a fact he felt the same.


Book Reviewer
I would like to think we all knew the risks we took on. None of these lads were stupid (well....) and there wasn't one of us who wasn't afraid at some point, but we cracked on, did our job to the best of our abilities and maybe, just maybe, made a wee difference for someone, somewhere out there, however temporary.

The press and families making a big grieving show about all of this now the inevitable has happened and they should realise how much they're disrespecting their lost loved one, and realise that if that soldier could speak to them from the grave, it would probably be to say, "Get a ******* grip mum. The rest of the lads up here are laughing at me.".

So, if you had been deployed and killed, what would it have been for?

The poll is up. If it's not there, let's hear it. 'Got a lass pregnant, dad was a monster, had to flee for my life', 'Whistled on a Tuesday', etc.
For me, I was in a rut of work and nothing else, and needed to get out of it.

P.S - Worth keeping an eye on Snapchat. Go to the world map, tap on Kabul. Some very interesting videos there of chaos, panic and suddenly lots of guns.

EDIT: The options are mainly negative (as pointed out) because it's aimed at the people wailing and grieving (or attention whoring, as it's known) who maybe were to blame or could've fixed those reasons. Plenty of people joined for solid, strong and sensible reasons - career, Queen & Country, getting your hole etc, but my anger is aimed at those people who could really have helped young Johnny onto a different path if, as a parent, they'd actually given a ****.
Well said Mister Bane.

I deployed as a vile STAB to Iraq , mobilised in Jan 2003.

I also visited sunny AFG in 2011 as part of my day-job in the MoD.

To answer your question - because I was being called upon to do the job I was paid for.
A bit of a ramble but I hope I make the point that what these did over the last twenty years was certainly worth it!

I wanted to be a soldier from a relatively young age. As a child born in the middle of the fifties when there were so many veterans including my father from WW2 and the Royal British Legion clubs were everywhere full of people who had actually served, military service seemed like a worthwhile thing to do and it offered the possibility of travel and the kind of work that was different to anything you would ever find ever find in civvy street.

Hence at the age of 15 years, I became a boy soldier starting my two years at Shornecliffe.

Everybody talked about getting a trade and the advantage that would give you when you returned to civilian life. I wasn’t interested. I wanted to be in the infantry. A point that I didn’t realise until many years later was something my mother was rather annoyed about.

If her oldest son had to go and join the bloody army, he could at least join something where he might avoid being a target for someone who didn’t like the British army being in their backyard. A view that she informed me about at a family get together a few years after I left the army after she’d enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine.

Of course you could end up in unfriendly places but at the point of joining at that time in 1971, you never knew what the future might hold for young infantry soldiers.

Being injured or even being killed were possibilities but at that time they were vague possibilities that were unlikely to happen. If the odds changed, we were soldiers, we would deal with it.

Far too many soldiers have paid the ultimate price for their service and many families will never forget their loved one’s who had their lives cut short so suddenly. There’s been an awful lot of pain and suffering by so many.

Was it worth it? In a sense, the loss of lives is never worth it. How do you measure the being of young men and women and say that was a good sacrifice. What yardstick exists that you can show to people and say, look, if you look at this, their deaths were an ok thing?

It’s not possible to make such a comparison because you can’t say or measure in any way the loss of a single life whatever the circumstances and offer reassurances to their families, their friends and even the public and say, this was an ok thing to happen. That would be an unbelievably crass and cruel thing to attempt to do.

We all know though that the world is a complex place and most things aren’t that simple to deal with. That‘s why we need organisations like the military to deal with problems and to represent our interests when we need to call on the armed forces to do the things they are trained to do for us.

It’s always a wonderful thing to celebrate a victory and congratulate our young servicemen and women on a job well done when the occasion happens. And when the young people have been and done their jobs and they have returned safely to us, they deserve every single accolade that’s offered to them all. That includes honouring and never forgetting those servicemen and women who were unable to return home safely to their families because of some tragic event taking place that has tragically taken them away from their families and their friends.

We aren’t celebrating a victory here. But we have much to thank the young servicemen and women for who have over the last twenty years joined our armed forces and have willingly gone to serve in Afghanistan to protect our interests and to fight terrorism and stop those who would cause us immense harm if they were able to do so.

Their work carried out under often extremely dangerous conditions suffering immense hardship because of the nature of the place where they are based has shown the country that we do have young men and women who are in the service of their country still prepared to risk much including life and limb to carry out their service to us.

It doesn’t matter that we aren’t celebrating a victory against the Taliban. Our victory is that our young servicemen and women once again have shown the world that they are willing to stand up and oppose evil when they are asked by their country to do so and they do it willingly, even eagerly, because it is the right thing to do and they do it despite the risks that the work they do brings to them in the form of potential serious injury or even being forced to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Those who suffered life changing injuries. That’s why they risked it happening. Those that didn’t come home to their families. That’s why they made the ultimate sacrifice.

We now as a nation need to thank them and make sure they are safe and well looked after on their return and for those who can’t return to their families, we need to ensure their families are properly provided for and their ultimate sacrifice is remember regularly and often.
Last edited:
What was this, if you don't mind me asking?
RMP(V) RAF Reserve Police, RNR Regulators etc. NHS had similar. Curiously, the AA would only allow its members to join RMP but then again the wartime emergency military telephone exchange would be supplemented by the AA's own telephone network, which makes sense as the TPs , Traffic Points, would be along major roads and motorways for convoys.
*straying off topic* (Germany and Belgium had their own 'Secret' wartime telephone system along main routes for which we would be given an 8 fig grid to dig up and plug into. Bu**ered if I could ever find it from those and would end up knocking on a door "Guten Morgen frau, wo ist das uber sekret telephone (wink wink) " in best Basil Fawlty German (even if I was asking the question in Belgium)

The fire fighter's skill-at-arms was a puzzle but perhaps it was their skill at climbing high ladders that made 10 Para the armed wing of the London Fire Brigade in the 80s because there were so many in it.*

*Despite this the LFB parachute display team was not the best. At Bermondsey Carnival one drifted over to the river but fortunately the tide was out, one landed in a garden, and another landed upside down in a tall tree and lost half his jumpsuit. The reaction of their colleagues was initially inspiring , the engines blueing it to the tree, the crews piling out, and then falling about laughing, videoing the guy with his arse hanging out and a stillshot being that years xmas card.


Lucky Amy. Obliging girl, I take it?

I joined because I didn't really know what else to do; I'd been in the Air Cadets and my eyesight wasn't quite there to be a pilot. If I'd done badly in my A-Levels, I was going to apply to be a Sapper however I did OK and went to uni, so commissioned instead.

I deployed on Herrick 9, 13 and then 19-20 (offset due to being part of JFSp(A)). I really thought (hoped?) we were trying to make some kind of lasting positive difference.

The events of the past few weeks have really hit me quite hard. I'm still friends with my former interpreter, and he is in bits (though luckily he / family are in Canada). I just feel so badly for all the Afghans who just want to educate their kids, feed their family, and life a quiet happy life.
If you commissioned, you can tell a typo :)

The police did quite well out of my intake, there are quite a few who did whatever time they wanted and then joined the police. One rising to Superintendant (sadly no longer with us)

I always remember watching the news one evening and seeing an old mate leading a murder investigation, In West Sussex.
I was toying with joining the police but couldn't get in at the time as my late dad had been a naughty boy and got a criminal record. He, my grandad and great grandad were all ex army, so foolishly I thought I'd combine the two and joined RMP. The rest is history. ;)

Latest Threads