Welcome to Swanage Army Link.

The Swanage Army Link is a dynamic association that has evolved over nearly 30 years between the Swanage Railway, the British Army, the People of Swanage and the Royal British Legion.

Regular ongoing visits by the Royal Corps of Signals soldiers are core to this Link, as is Team Herston, formed in 2007, bringing together local residents and ex soldiers who work regularly on our core project – the upkeep of Herston Halt.

More recently we have been proud to welcome Heroes Haven into the fold.

Want to know more? See About the Army Link .

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Heroes Haven Donations

If you would like to make a donation to the Heroes Haven, please visit their site http://www.heroes-haven.org.uk (opens in a new window) and click on the 'Donate' link in the top right of the page.

Please enter SWCP as the reference.

Frank E Roberts

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Frank was born in Leeds, and is proud of his Yorkshire heritage. Having attended school in Headingly he moved with his father and two brothers to Worksop in Nottinghamshire where he attended Worksop College, and then gained two A levels at Valley Comprehensive School.

 

He moved to Harlow in Essex in 1979, and worked for Standard Telephones and Cables in support of the military Rapier missile project, at the same time he joined the Territorial Army (Essex Yeomanry) and commenced training as a Radio Technician. Following three years at 71(Yeomanry) Signal Regiment (Volunteers) he commenced a 12 month ‘S’ Type engagement at 30 Signal Regiment in Blandford. In July 1983 he transferred into the Regular Army, doing so in Jamaica, and being promoted to Corporal three days later.

During his service he spent six months in Belize (Central America), completed arctic warfare training in Norway with the Royal Marines, served with the Intelligence Corps for two years in Germany before the Berlin wall was breached, and as a Sergeant he ran the Helicopter Television system in Northern Ireland for two years at the height of the terrorist troubles.

Moving to Germany again in 1993 he served twice in Bosnia, one tour being cut short when he fell 33’ from the top of a Christmas tree, broke his arm and ended up on R&R in Gibraltar; missing his mates badly, he supported a British Forces Broadcasting Service radio show on Sundays broadcasting to the Balkans every week! This encounter with Christmas trees was not the first, or indeed the last, as he was caught steeling Christmas trees in Irish bandit country on 4th December 1990, and was nearly court marshalled.

In 1996 he was promoted to Warrant Officer was posted to Southampton University Officer Training Corps. From there he served as a Sergeant Major at 3 (UK) Division (222). In 1999 he became the Regimental Sergeant Major at 39th (Skinners) Signal Regiment (Volunteers) His final role was at the Ulster Troop Commander, 3 (Harrogate) Squadron. As part of his resettlement he completed a Certificate in Project Management course at Lancaster University.

In parallel with his Colour Service, Frank was the Head of Telecom on the Swanage Railway, successfully engaging the use of soldiers since March 1984 under the guise of Exercise Topham Hatt, a UK LAND authorised exercise since November 1998. He has served twice on the Company Board of Directors, and three times on the elected management body of the registered charity (now the Trust Board of Directors). In 1999 he joined the Institute of Directors.

Since leaving the Army he has further developed the Swanage Army Link whilst working for the Stagecoach Group and South West Trains where he is now the Station Manager Staines & Windsor, managing 12 stations. His most recent achievements have been leading the project to rebuild the Herston Halt Platform, graduating with a BSc in railway operational management in 2009, and raising £3,200 for charity by cycling to Paris. He is now a Member of the Institution of Railway Operators.

 

 

Frank E Roberts at Earley

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Swanage Army Link is supported and supports the following organisations and people: