I was born in Northern Ireland during the “war” between Irish republicans and United Kingdom. I was born into a military family who were there trying to provide peace and stability to a part of the UK who did not want to be a part of the UK. I was born in a town called Downpatrick. My dad was part of the Scottish infantry regiments as a dog handler whose job was to expose explosives and safeguard his fellow comrades. This was a difficult time for everyone. Soldiers would walk the streets but come under fire or were targets for explosives on a daily basis. The people of Northern Ireland didn’t have it any easier, they would have road blocks and questions coming from people who they didn’t consider friends and this made them hate the occupying force and there family. My dad was a very busy man which made family life very strained. We didn’t know each other for many years which is very difficult for children.
We would soon be posted to East Germany as regiments would rotate from one war zone to another protecting British interests abroad and in East Germany, we would be part of a quick response regiment to the current cold war between the Soviet Union and her enemies. My first real memory here was the Chernobyl disaster on the 26th April 1986. I was five years old and can still remember being a measly 1300km from ground zero. This was scary and everyone at that time was glued to the weather channel. People were watching the wind directions, ready to evacuate if the weather started blowing west. Gas masks were at every house, school and hospital.
My next interesting memory of this era was the end of the cold war and the eventual collapse of the Berlin Wall. We had been around Berlin not long before the wall fell. It was an epic time and I can still remember watching the last world cup that West Germany played before the reunification of Germany in that same year 1990.
Thanks for listening.
Lee W – Triovest