Armed Forces Group launch

When Kirsti approached me at a recent OWBA London Dinner to head up the Armed Forces project, I thought it would be a fantastic way to encourage West Buckland Alumni who are currently serving, or have previously served in the Armed Forces, the opportunity to give a little back to WB. Primarily, the main aim of the ‘OWBA Forces Group’ will be for members to give up a little time to enhance the military presence at both CCF events and Remembrance Day Services, as well as take some time to talk to current pupils who may be interested in choosing the Forces as a future career choice. Therefore, this first piece is a call-out to all current members and ex-serving members of the Armed Forces who would be interested in volunteering to support this project. If you feel you could give up a little time please contact Al (Franky) Humes (83-89) using the contact us page with your contact details and how you would like to be involved. It can be as little or as much as you want and when events are coming up, I will send out a calling notice for anyone who can spare a little time and give some support. As the project grows, I foresee projects that are more ambitious, but for now it would be great just to hear from anyone who want to give some support, and if you have any ideas, I would love to hear about them. Click here to send us a message and get involved. Al (Franky) Humes
WB 83-89

Profiled below are the founder members of the Armed Forces Group – (Captain) Al Humes and (Lieutenant) Joe Robinson. Captain Alan Humes In attending West Buckland School, Alan followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Dudley Swinney (20-28F) and uncle, Neil Swinney (63-71F). He left WB at 17 to join the Army, spending six years with the Army Air Corps, before transferring into the Royal Army Physical Training Corp (RAPTC) in 1996. He served with the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment – completing a six-month tour of Northern Ireland – before being selected for Exercise Rehabilitation Instructor Training at the Joint Service School for Exercise Rehabilitation Instructors, Headley Court. He further served at the Royal School of Military Engineers, the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court, 22 Special Air Service (SAS) and the Directorate of Defence Rehabilitation at Headley Court, completing a combined honours degree in Sports Science and Rehabilitation at Surrey University. Al has deployed to Kosovo and Afghanistan on two occasions. It was here that he and the Assistant Director of Defence Rehabilitation set up the Role One Rehabilitation Teams currently seen in theatre. He was commissioned into the Royal Army Physical Training Corps in 2008 and was posted to Headquarters Royal Army Physical Training Corps in 2009, and subsequently to his current post at the Army School of Physical Training in 2010. Alongside his busy work commitments he is currently studying for an MSc in Strength and Conditioning at Middlesex University, and heavily involved in the research and development for optimizing soldier performance. Alan has played representative sport at Regimental, Corps and Army level, including Cross Country Skiing, Boxing, Basketball, Taekwondo, Bobsleigh, Swimming and Athletics. Since becoming involved with the OWBA Committee, it has reinvigorated what his grandfather used to refer to as the “magnetic attraction back to where it all started” and hopes to encourage others to get involved with both OWBA and WB activities. Lieutenant Joe Robinson At School from 98-03 in Fortescue House, Joe spent 4 years in the CCF Army Section and finished as the CCF’s Cadet Sgt Major in 2003. Whilst at School he played two seasons of County rugby as a back row forward, shot, ran, swam and played cricket, hockey and basketball for the School – being awarded a School Crest.  Following WBS, Joe attended Cardiff University and read Criminology and Psychology (BSc Joint Hons). Whilst at University he became a member of Wales University Officer Training Corps (UOTC) and was awarded a Bursary by the Army. Whilst at Wales UOTC he commanded a Section of soldiers on the Cambrian Patrol Competition (Bronze Medal) and was awarded the Royal Welsh Cup for Infantry Skills. After working a winter season in Switzerland, he attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, finishing top of his Company and Commissioning into the Royal Engineers. Whilst at Sandhurst he was selected for Commando Training and upon Commissioning attended the All Arms Commando Course at Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM). He passed the course earning the coveted Green Beret and having been awarded the Commandant’s Certificate of Merit. He then went on to attended the Royal Engineers Troop Commander’s Course studying both Combat and Civil Engineering for 7 months. He passed out of the Royal School of Military Engineering as top of his class and in doing so was awarded a silver medal by the Institute of Royal Engineers. Joe took up his first post at 24 Commando Engineer Regiment based at RMB Chivenor in March 2010 as the Troop Commander of Condor Troop, 59 Commando Squadron RE. He will deploy in this role to Afghanistan on OP HERRICK 14 in March 2011.