Club Patron is General the Lord Ramsbotham GCB CBE who was Director of Public Relations (Army) during the Falklands War. He saw service In Borneo during the Confrontation and commanded a battalion of the Royal Green Jackets in Northern Ireland. He rose to become Adjutant General and ADC General to the Queen.
Following retirement, he was appointed Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons. Elevated to a Life Peerage in 2005, General David now sits on the cross benches of the House of Lords.
Club President is Hugh Colver CBE, formerly Honorary Colonel to the Media Operations Group (V.) Hugh has advised and was spokesman for two Prime Ministers, four Secretaries of State for Defence, two Secretaries of State for Employment and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner. He led the Ministry of Defence Corporate Communications organisation for five years including
during Gulf War 1. He later became Director of Public Affairs for British Aerospace Defence Ltd and served as Group Communications Director for BAE SYSTEMS for five years.
Executive Vice Presidents
Executive Vice President Mike Peters TD is an award-winning journalist who also managed media relations for UK blue chip companies. After service with RMP and Light Infantry he was the first CO of the TA Pool of Information Officers (TAPIOs). He formed Media Operations Group (V) while Colonel Media Operations and operated in BAOR, Northern Ireland and MoD Press Office with deployments to Sinai, the Falklands and Beirut. He was latterly Corporate Communications Executive at British Aerospace for eight years and currently leads on media
and crisis communications at MD Associates and is an Associate of CMS Strategic.
Colonel Bob Purvis, TD, NDA, FInstC, served 36 years in the Reserves and was an RAF National Serviceman. He transferred to the TA Light Infantry from RAFVR and later became a TAPIO as TA PRO in West Midlands District. He attended the TA Higher Command and Staff course at Camberley as a guest of the Commandant and granted the rare accolade of Staff Qualified (Volunteer). He was the first SOI (TA) (PR) at HQ UKLF and ended his military career as Colonel Commandant of Herefordshire and Worcestershire ACF. Currently he is CEO of Robert Purvis Consultants and Chair of Innovations for Farming and Food Limited.
Lieutenant Colonel Graham Barnett TD served as a Regular officer in Malaya, Northern Ireland, Berlin and Bahrain before becoming a squadron commander in the Trucial Oman Scouts. He completed two tours in Army PR while serving in British Army of the Rhine. He was the Founding Chairman of The Pen & Sword Club and is a former Commanding Officer of the TA Pool of Information Officers. His civilian experience includes public affairs appointments in UK local government and for land agents Strutt & Parker.
National Chairman, Major John Boyes TD, qualified as a chartered accountant in 1972 and thereafter enjoyed a career in the motor industry. At the suggestion of HQ Scotland, he joined the TAPIO Pool in 1986 working in conjunction with HQ predominantly on matters of Scottish interest. He was part of the Pool’s major deployment to the 1994 D-Day commemorations as well as representing MOG(V) in Cyprus and on Ex Saif Sareer II in Oman. His final duties were as part of the Group’s recruitment staff. Retirement has allowed him time to write on his lifelong interest in early British guided missiles.
Club Secretary & Treasurer
Major Doreen Cadwallader MBE TD manages the recruitment, administration and
finances of the club as Secretary and Treasurer. After service in the Women’s Royal
Army Corps, QARANC, and The Royal Army Medical Corps where she served with 304 General Hospital, she transferred to the TAPIO Pool to utilise the public relations experience gained as part of the BAOR based 3rd Armoured Division information team at Soest. She worked on the editorial staff of Soldier Magazine after retiring from the army and now runs her own personnel management consultancy.
Father Kevin Bell served with the Royal Army Chaplain’s Department for over 26 years and is known throughout the Armed Forces. He began his working life as a bobby-on-the-beat with West Midlands Police before finding his calling and becoming ordained into the Church of England. During a posting to the Balkans and Kosovo in 1999 he was Commended for his “exceptional and valued “service. On retirement he became the Vicar at All Hallows Church in Twickenham but retains his interest in Veteran affairs and works with two national groups.
Webmaster: Major Peter Griffiths
Events Co-ordinator: Squadron Leader Malcolm Davidge
Honorary Vice Presidents
Rear Admiral Antony Rix, CB, is a former Director of Corporate Communications at the MoD. He was responsible to the Royal Navy Executive Board for internal and external RN communications and for relations with national and international media. During his naval career he commanded several major warships and was Captain of a Frigate squadron. As Commodore Operations he deployed twice to the Middle East to direct operations of up to 2000 people and ten major ships. Currently he is Director of Sirius Insight, London.
Commodore Alistair Halliday was Director of Corporate Communications Royal Navy Fleet HQ 2002-3 and Director Defence Public Relations at the Ministry of Defence 2009-10. He commanded three ships during his naval career – the Type 22 frigate HMS Campbeltown, the Type 42 destroyer HMS Manchester and the mine hunter HMS Bridport. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer at The Forces Employment Charity. And was instrumental in the formation of the Forces Media Academy.
Captain Mike Davis-Marks, OBE: a former Director of Communications, Royal Navy. During his extensive sea going career he commanded the nuclear powered, hunter killer submarine HMS Turbulent and served aboard six other submarines. He completed the legendary Submarine Command Course, The Perisher, and twice navigated under the Polar Ice Cap. He is currently Managing Director of Building Pathways.
Commander Christopher Lee, RNR RD and Bar, MA (London) is a British writer, historian and broadcaster, best known for writing the radio documentary series, This Sceptred Isle, for the BBC. He joined BBC as a defence and foreign affairs correspondent and was posted to Moscow and the Middle East. Leaving journalism for academia, he was the first Quatercentenary Fellow in Contemporary History and Gomes Lecturer in Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He went on to research the history of ideas at Birkbeck College in the University of London. He was recruited to the Royal Navy’s Joint Intelligence Reserve Branch and in the 1970s completed a study of the Order of Battle of the Soviet Northern Fleet and its command structure. Promoted to Commander he later commanded HMS Wildfire at Chatham. He led the RNR Public Affairs Branch and later became defence and foreign affairs adviser to British Forces Broadcasting.
Lieutenant General Sir Philip Trousdell KBE CB – a former Colonel Commandant of
Media Operations Group (V) was commissioned into the Royal Irish Rangers. He was
Commanding Officer of 1 Bn Royal Irish Rangers and later commanded 48 Gurkha
Brigade in Hong Kong. From 1993 until 1997 he was Director of Public Relations
(Army). After a posting as Deputy Commander of Operations for the Stabilisation Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina. he became Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. In 2003 he was appointed General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland. On retirement he became Chairman of the Civil Nuclear Police Authority and is now Chair of Help for Heroes.
Lieutenant General Sir Gary Coward, KCB CB, well known as the British spokesperson in Sarajevo, is Chairman at SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity and the Army Flying Museum. He has served on the British Army Staff in Washington, the Directorate of Army Aviation, the UN Protection Force in Sarajevo and the Chiefs of Staff Secretariat in the MOD. He was a Director of Equipment Capability responsible for amphibious shipping and helicopters, served twice in the Joint Helicopter Command and as the Chief of Staff (Joint Warfare Development) at the PJHQ. In his final tour he was both Chief of Materiel (Land) and Quartermaster General.
Major General Sir Sebastian Roberts KCVO, OBE was the last Director of PR (Army) and the first Director of Corporate Communications. General Sebastian commanded 1st Battalion the Irish Guards and became Major General Commanding the Household Division and GOC London District. He retired in 2010 and is well known for his work as a cartoonist. He is the author of Soldiering: The Military Covenant. He is currently Chairman of The Military Mutual.
Major General Greg Smith CB QVRM TD DL was Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Reserves and Cadets) and, at the time, Britain’s Senior Serving Reservist. A Deputy Lieutenant for Buckinghamshire he is a leading expert in market research. He was Managing Director at Ipsos MORI and is currently Chief Executive Officer at the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.
Major General Roddy Porter MBE FCMI MPCT spent 31 years in the Army before retiring to the role of Director-General, The Royal Over-Seas League. With the Royal Welch Fusiliers, he saw active service on tours of Northern Ireland and with the UN in Bosnia. He served in the Gulf War of 1991 and in Bosnia in 1993-94. His final military appointment was Chief of Staff (Joint Warfare Development) at PJHQ, Northwood. Currently he is Chief Executive at Military Ministries International.
Brigadier Nick Orr assumed the appointment of Brigadier Media & Communications for the British Army in 2012. Previously he dealt with media matters at PJHQ, Northwood covering Op Herrick in Afghanistan, the Op Ellamy commitment in Libya and the wider rise in tensions in the Middle East & North Africa arising from the Arab Spring. His media ops responsibilities also included the Permanent Joint Overseas Bases in a period that covered the Falklands War 30th anniversary. He is currently Defence Adviser to Canada at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
Colonel Bob Stewart , DSO, Member of Parliament, served for 26 years and
completed seven operational tours of Northern Ireland during the Troubles with the
Cheshire Regiment. ; in 1992, Bob took the battalion to Bosnia as the first United Nations Commander of British Forces His final appointment was as Chief of Policy at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Mons, Belgium. Elected to Parliament in 2010 as Conservative MP for Beckenham, he was re-elected in 2015, 2017 and 2019. He was a member of the House of Commons Defence Committee from 2010 to 2017and at various times, has been a member of the House of Commons Arms Control Committee. In addition, he has been Vice Chair of the All-Party Group for the Armed Forces representing the Army since he was elected.
Royal Air Force
Air Chief Marshal Sir Patrick Hine GCB, GBE was joint commander of all British Forces during Gulf War 1. He was Director of Public Relations RAF in 1975. A member of the RAF’s Black Arrows aerobatic display team he also flew the Gloster Meteor and the Hawker Hunter. For eight years he was Chief Military adviser to British Aerospace. Sir Patrick is a former President of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews in Scotland.
Air Marshal Sir David Walker KCVO OBE is a former Director of Corporate Communications (RAF) and is now Master of the Household of the Royal Household of the Sovereign. In 2005 he was an Extra Equerry to the Queen. A liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Bakers, Sir David also served as Air Officer Commanding Training Group and as the Chief Executive Training Group Defence Agency. He is currently a Director of Alexander Mann Solutions.
Air Vice Marshal Michael Jackson CB is an Alumnus of Wolfson College, Cambridge.
After successive roles in the RAF as a navigator and commander in several countries he became Defence & Air Attaché in Warsaw during the Cold War, subsequently being appointed Director of the Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre and then Director General, Defence Intelligence Staff. After leaving the RAF he became Executive Director for two U.S. Corporations responsible for business in the defence & intelligence sectors. He has been a governor of the Duke of York’s Royal Military School and recently directed the renovation and conservation of the ancient Guildhall in Bury St Edmunds.
Air Commodore Rick Peacock- CBE AFC FRAeS FCIM spent over 30 years in the RAF and retired as an Air Commodore in 1999. RAF appointments included Station
Commander RAF Leeming, Deputy Commander RAF Staff Washington, Inspector of Flight Safety and Director of Eurofighter. The son of a Battle of Britain pilot, his flying career has been spent mainly on fighters and he has over 1000 hours on each of the Lightning, Phantom and Tornado. He also has over 1000 hours on the Gnat and has flown many other types including the Hawk, Hunter and C130 Hercules. He introduced the Tornado F2/3 into RAF service and commanded the first squadron.. He is a founder member and chairman of the Aviation Focus Group. He is a past Master of the 2,000 membership of the City of London Livery Company, Guild of Pilots and Air Navigators (GAPAN). He is currently the Chief Operating Officer of INCOMMAND Ltd.
Air Commodore Richard (Harry) Atkinson, CBE, ADC served as Director PR/Media & Communications for the Royal Air Force. Previously he was ADC to The Queen, Air Officer for Scotland and Station Commander at RAF Leuchars, a base for Typhoon and Tornado fighter squadrons. As head of the RAF in Scotland he was responsible for delivering the highest level of national readiness and security response to any airborne threat. He also acted as Director of PR in Scotland
Neville Taylor CB is a former Director General of the Central Office of Information and was Head of the Government Information Service. He twice served as the Chief of Public Relations at The Ministry of Defence notably being called forward early in 1982, at the insistence of No, 10 Downing Street, to lead the Ministry ‘s communications during the Falklands War
Simon Wren CBE, the Hon Air Commodore of RAF Media Reserves and 7644 Squadron, RAuxAF, is currently Director of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs at the West Midland Combined Authority. Previously he was the interim Director of Communication at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. He is a graduate of the Royal College of Defence Studies and also held the posts of Director of Communications and Head of News in both the UK Home Office and the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD).
Mark Laity, holder of the NATO Meritorious Service Medal, has been involved with media, information and latterly strategic communications for three decades, both as a journalist, mostly with the BBC where he defence correspondent, and then as a spokesman and senior manager for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. He is currently Chief Strategic Communications (StratCom) at Strategic Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.
Michael Evans is a former Defence Editor of The Times. He began his journalistic career working for an East London Newspaper before making it to Fleet Street in 1970. He was with the Daily Express for 16 years where he became the defence and diplomatic correspondent. He joined The Times in 1986 as Whitehall Correspondent before becoming defence correspondent and latterly Defence Editor – a post he held for 12 years. He was The Times Pentagon Correspondent in Washington from 2010 to 2013 and he continues to write on defence and intelligence issues. His autobiography, First With The News, tells of his adventures covering six wars in the field.