Flowers photo created by freepic.diller -

Our Remembrance Day stories

Our Remembrance Day stories

BMT pauses to remember at their offices around the world. To mark the date, here are some reflections from a few of our UK employees who served in the Armed Forces.

Mark JordanMark Jordan, Principal Mission Systems Engineer – Royal Navy

I served in the Royal Navy as a Weapon Engineer from 1996 until 2012.

I worked with the Iraqi security services in Basra in 2006 - I was seconded to the Army Divisional HQ in the middle of the desert, which as a Junior Naval Officer was as far out of my comfort zone as I could be.

Nonetheless, I felt incredibly privileged to be able to represent my country and work alongside our allies to rebuild a failing country. This mission was the primary objective of the UK military and political machine, which when operating at full force is both incredibly impressive and very humbling.

The photo is me in the back of a Saxon vehicle with a colleague, Maj Alan Crawford (note Desert Rat) and our Iraqi Interpreters (‘Turps’), having just returned from a meeting with the local police. Alan also served during the Falkland’s War as an 18-year-old Infantryman, but that is another story.

We were fortunate to return home to our families, sadly some of our colleagues did not, please take the opportunity this week to think about them and the millions like them.


Andy Howell, Principal Cyber Security Consultant - Royal Navy

I served for 19 years in the Royal Navy and my most poignant memory of Remembrance during my career is taking part in the national Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in London in 2014. 

After three weeks of training from the State Ceremonial Training team, myself and 120 members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines marched from Wellington Barracks to the Cenotaph, led by the Royal Marines Band. We formed the Royal Guard for the Queen, senior members of the Royal Family and past and present politicians as they led the nation in the Service of Remembrance. 

There was a march past of around 10,000 veterans after the Service, taking approximately two hours to make their way past the Cenotaph.  It is always good to stop and reflect on the sacrifices of those who have gone before us, and to do so in the presence of The Queen was an experience I'll never forget. 

Interesting facts: as well as practicing marching, rifle and sword drill, and standing still for hours on end (yes, it does take practice to stand still with a rifle or sword!) the Royal Navy drill instructors also teach the Royal Guard to sing all five verses of 'O God, Our Help in Ages Past' off by heart.  Apparently, the Duke of Edinburgh always comments on the Royal Navy's singing when this hymn is sung during the Service. 

Also, as of 2014 the Royal Navy hadn't had a single person faint on parade in 25 years (due to the training at HMS Excellent), while we witnessed several Army and RAF personnel fainting or being removed from the parade... some before the Service had started!


Chantal Hopper, Senior Navigation and Seamanship Engineer - Royal Navy

Chantal HopperI have so many fabulous memories but my highlight was commanding HMS EXAMPLE and deploying for 12 weeks around the UK and the Baltic, including Sweden, Finland and Russia.  Other incredible experiences include escorting the Queen whilst she was cruising around the Scottish isles, and hand delivering her mail, protecting vital oil platforms in the Middle East to ensure the maintenance of the global supply of oil, as well as joining Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield on This Morning to talk about my role in the £3.7 billion project building the Navy’s newest class of 8 brand new warships!  

My least favourite memory is finally admitting that even after 17 years in the Navy I still suffered from sea sickness!



Martin Palmer – Leading Consultant – Royal Navy

I served in the Royal Navy from 1990 to 2014 as a Weapon Engineer that saw me travel the world and not quite the seven seas, but lucky enough to see many wonderful parts of this remarkable planet – and many not so wonderful.

I have served with many remarkable men and women and look back with pride over my 24 years of service.

Remembrance is a time for reflection for me to remember those that I served with and those that never made it home or are no longer with us.


Nigel Whitaker, Aircraft Groundcrew – Royal Air Force

I served in the Royal Air Force as an Aircraft Engineer (Groundcrew) from 1991 until 2015.

I spent roughly half of my RAF career on the C130 Hercules, and the other half on the Tornado F3 Fighter. Both aircraft platforms provided opportunities for service at UK bases and deployed overseas.

Nigel Whitaker Royal Airforce shown in naval uniform on the flight deck of the Hercules C130JI was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 and 2013 as part of the RAF contribution to Op Herrick. My role was as the Senior NCO in charge of aircraft maintenance documentation, also liaison with UK supply chain for the C130 Hercules detachment at Kandahar Airbase.

From the early days of my RAF career, I have experienced friends and colleagues killed, more often in flying or training accidents rather than combat, but training for war is not without risk. The old motto – Si vis pacem, para bellum - Translates “If you desire peace, prepare for war”.


Christopher Bramhall, Senior Project Manager - British Army

Christopher Bramhall British Army, photographed in uniform operational tour in Helmand Province, AfghanistanI recently retired after 22 years in the British Army. I spent most of my career deployed in an Operational Role in multiple environments worldwide. I was privileged to have served in the 1st Battalion, The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment. I undertook many roles within the Infantry from communications to combat roles and lastly, at Infantry Headquarters where I directed multiple teams in recruitment engagement activities for London and the Southeast of England.  

Being from an Infantry background, I was always throughout my career serving at the front line of combat operations. Remembrance day plays an incredible part in my life due having lost many friends whilst deployed on operations worldwide. I will be proudly for the first time as a Veteran, wearing my medals at my local town’s Remembrance service where I will commemorate every single one of my friends who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Share this

Related articles