Rugby engineer Peter becomes a soldier

Peter Clifford (right) at the ceremony. Image by Sgt Brian Gamble
Peter Clifford (right) at the ceremony. Image by Sgt Brian Gamble

Peter Clifford left home in Rugby two weeks ago as a civilian and returned as a soldier in the British Army.

Trooper Peter Clifford, as he is now known in the Army, marched off the parade square in front of his family having completed his basic training.

He is now one of 400 part-time soldiers that together form The Royal Yeomanry Regiment. Peter is part of the Regiment’s B (Leicestershire and Derbyshire Yeomanry) Squadron based in South Wigston. It is one of five squadrons and meets every Wednesday night.

The two-week residential course completed by Peter will form the foundations of his military career. It has taught him everything he needs to know to fulfil his role within the Army Reserve including military terminology, drill, marksmanship, physical fitness, weapon handling, first aid, field craft and map reading.

In civilian life Peter, 31, is a maintenance engineer for Rugby based Lisi Aerospace. He said: “I’m looking forward to working in the squadron. I think it will be really interesting. I chose the Royal Yeomanry over other local Reserve Units because I think the Yeomanry has one of the more interesting roles.”

The Yeomen, based at Tigers Road, Leicester, are equipped with an armed light reconnaissance vehicle, which has been used in combat in Afghanistan. Many of the squadron’s soldiers have served on operations in these vehicles.

Peter added: “I was very nervous being on parade in front of everyone but at the same time it was a very proud moment.

“The best bit of the training was the exercise. I’m a keen camper and like being outdoors, so I enjoyed learning about living in the field as a soldier.”

There to watch Peter pass off the parade square were his mum and dad Barry and Cherry and daughter Seren, five. Peter said: “It was great to have my parents and daughter there to share the moment with me.”

Peter will now return to B (Leicestershire and Derbyshire Yeomanry) Squadron to complete his trade training.