British Forces Resettlement Services

Recent Blog Posts

Date Posted: Yesterday, 12:55pm

Another week, another embarrassing cyber attack. This time it’s payday lenders Wonga who are the latest high profile business to fall victim to hackers with reports suggesting 270,000 customers’ details have been stolen (of which 245,000 are in the UK) – including the last four digits of bank cards.  

For a business named after the slang for money, it’s ironic that, when the dust settles – the attack may cost them a tidy sum of their own wonga – just as it did for TalkTalk.

The 2015 hack at TalkTalk resulted in a £400,000 fine from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) after it found the attack “could have been prevented if TalkTalk had taken basic steps to protect customers’ information”. But that was nothing compared to the overall cost to the business in terms of loss of custom and compensation – estimated to have reached £60 million.

One of the biggest breaches to hit a UK company

According to the Daily Telegraph, the Wonga breach is believed to be one of the biggest involving financial information to have hit a UK company. Although still working to establish the full details of the attack, Wonga have conceded that the data breached “may have included one or more of the following: name, email address, home address, phone number, the last four digits of your card number (but not the whole number) and/or your bank account number and sort code.”

Not so ‘sophisticated’

A statement from Wonga says that “Cyber attacks are, unfortunately, on the rise, While Wonga operates to the highest security standards, these illegal attacks are unfortunately increasingly sophisticated.” They are of course correct and although the full details of how the attack happened are still to be determined, it is interesting to note that TalkTalk offered a similar defence describing their attack as “sophisticated and co-ordinated”.  

In their case it later emerged that the ‘sophisticated’ cyber mastermind behind the hack was a 17-year-old too young to even be named. It cost TalkTalk millions, all the judge could do was confiscate his iPhone. The reason for the TalkTalk fine was that they failed to take the ‘basic steps’ to protect their customers’ data. As an approach to data security there’s nothing sophisticated about that either. These ‘basics’ identify security vulnerabilities that are easily fixed and only cost a fraction of the potential damage to implement.  

It’s too late after the event so, if you feel in any way concerned about the security measures in place in your organisation, the next section is for you.  

So, what are the basic cyber security steps?

We’ve covered this extensively in articles on the Ascentor blog. There is no shortage of readily available information you can follow.

As your doctor will tell you, prevention is better than cure – and the same applies to your cyber security. In ‘An ounce of prevention’ we explain how cyber security controls don’t need to be complex or cutting edge to be effective. We cover controls including GCHQ’s Ten Steps to Cyber Security, Ascentor’s guide to Cyber Essentials and the SANS CIS Critical Security Controls.

We’ve also written a series of posts on ransomware covering backup strategies for individual/home users, SMEs and larger enterprises – who often have more sophisticated IT environments and, potentially, a lot more data at risk. You can read our ransomware strategy for the larger organisation in ‘Ransomware and Large Enterprises – a defence-in-depth strategy.’

In ‘5 ways to spring clean your cyber security‘ we give a number of relatively simple to achieve suggestions that would provide a good level of assurance that security controls are working effectively.

If correctly implemented, the steps covered in the above articles will give your organisation a substantially better chance of avoiding the damage caused by a cyber attack, not to mention the wonga involved.

For further information


Office:  01452 881712


Date Posted: Thursday, 20 April 2017 @ 08:04


Bryson William Verdun Hayes shows of his war medals 

A D-Day hero is aiming to become the world's oldest tandem skydiver - at the age of 101.

Bryson William Verdun Hayes, known as Verdun, will take on the 10,000ft skydive with three generations of his family.

The veteran, from Croyde, north Devon, will be aged 101 and 37 days when he attempts the feat for charity on May 13.

Currently, the world record is held by Armand Gendreau who skydived in June 2013 aged 101 and three days.

Mr Hayes, who served as a lance corporal in the Royal Signals during the Second World War, is raising money for the Royal British Legion.

"The current world record is held by a Canadian called Armand Gendreau," Mr Hayes said.

"No offence to him, but I want to bring that record back to the UK where it belongs. I want to bring the record home."

Bryson William Verdun Hayes

"Last year was the first time I had skydived and I loved it. I must have got a bit of a taste for it because it just made me want to do it again

"I wanted to skydive for many years but I was always talked out of it by my family - I wanted to do it when I turned 90, but I was talked out of it by my late wife.

"When I hit 100 I just thought 'I said that once I got to 100 I would make up my own mind'. Last year's skydive was an amazing experience."

Mr Hayes holds the British record for being the oldest tandem skydiver from a height of 10,000ft after his jump last year.

He will be joined by 10 people, including three generations of his family and his doctor, when he attempts to gain the world record at Skydive Buzz in Dunkeswell near Honiton, Devon.

His daughter, Lin Tattersall, said: "He's made up his own mind that he wants to do it again, and I am extremely proud of the reasoning behind it."

Mr Hayes was named Verdun following the wishes of his father, Joseph Hayes, who served in the First World War as a Sapper with the Royal Engineers.

Bryson - also known as Verdun - will jump out the plane with three generations of his family

The soldier, who fought during the Battle of the Somme, wrote home to his pregnant wife Mary from the front line suggesting they call their child Verdun after the 1916 battle.

Mr Hayes himself served in the Army during the Second World War, notably in D-Day, and was a signaller and wireless operator for the Royal Signals.

He returned to Normandy in 2016 as a beneficiary of the Royal British Legion's Remembrance Travel arm.

During the war, Mr Hayes sustained shrapnel injuries to his ribs and hands after being involved in an explosion that killed his friend, Sgt Edgar Robertson.

Bryson William Verdun Hayes holding his father Joseph Hayes' WW1 medal

Bryson William Verdun Hayes

The pair had been digging trenches together in Choux, France, when a German shell exploded close to them, killing Sgt Robertson.

"How I came home from World War Two I do not know," Mr Hayes added.

"I was so near to the edge of everything. I lost any amount of friends in no time at all really. I just didn't think I would ever return home."

Mr Hayes, who was attached to 7th Seaforth Highlanders, 15th (Scottish) Division, landed on Gold Beach a few days after D-Day.

Verdun Hayes as a baby with his mother, Mary Anne Hawker, and father, Joseph Hayes

The great-grandfather was later awarded the Legion d'Honneur. After the war, Mr Hayes worked in his family's building business.

Claudia Kelly, community fundraiser for the Royal British Legion for north Devon, said: "The fearless spirit of the special Second World War generation lives on through people like Verdun.

"His fundraising efforts will help to ensure that we keep alive the memory of the fallen, and support the future of the living."


To see the story in full follow the link...

Date Posted: Monday, 10 April 2017 @ 14:11


Continuing our support for the Armed Forces, cHRysos HR had a great day recently at a careers event at Catterick hosted by British Forces Resettlement Services. BFRS help the Armed Forces community to transition into civilian life, supporting not just Regular Service leavers but also reserve forces, civilian MOD employees, Veterans, partners and families.

The event at Catterick was really well attended by a whole range of Armed Forces personnel and their families. We had the chance to talk to those interested in a civilian career in Management and Leadership, Coaching and Mentoring, Human Resources or Learning and Development about our Chartered Management Institute and Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development qualifications.

Exhibitors included employers offering career opportunities and training providers such as cHRysos HR, able to offer information and advice on appropriate qualifications that will help with civilian career pathways.

cHRysos HR has supported a large number of Service leavers in acquiring a qualification and are proud of the success of many of these who have studied with us and gone on to secure exciting civilian roles and careers in HR, Management and Learning and Development. Our experience means we understand and support you in the challenges of transitioning to a civilian career.

Our fast-track CIPD Intermediate Certificate/Diploma in Human Resource Management gives you the opportunity to have a qualification in HR on your CV in a short space of time. Later this year we are hoping to launch a fast-track CIPD Foundation Certificate in Learning and Development suitable for Service leavers wanting to develop and transfer their skills in learning needs analysis, design, delivery and evaluation of training into a civilian role such as Trainer, Learning and Development Co-ordinator or Learning and Development Advisor.

We are approved by ELCAS, enabling you to make use of any entitlement to funding. If you would like to talk to us about our qualifications please get in touch at or Tel. 01302 802128  

Date Posted: Tuesday, 14 March 2017 @ 10:17

Amputee soldier vows not to let injury end army career and joins troops training in Kenya

A soldier who lost a leg in Afghanistan and vowed to rebuild his army career has joined troops on a training exercise in Kenya.

Fusilier Sean Wiseman had his leg amputated in 2010 after being blown up twice in one week.

Fusilier Sean Wiseman lost his leg in 2010 aged 18

The then 18-year-old was on a foot patrol and was hit by a blast from an improvised explosive device (IED), which came just six days after had survived another explosion with cuts and bruises.

Now, the 24-year-old's determination to continue in active service has taken him all the way to east Africa for his first overseas posting with his battalion since his injury.

They are currently taking part in six-week training programme Exercise Askari Storm in the Kenyan bush.

The 24-year-old is determined to continue his army career 

Fus. Wiseman has been working alongside the quartermaster at the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK)'s base in Nanyuki town.

He said: "It's my first time in Kenya because I've always had problems with my leg. This is the only time that I've been 100% clear, leg and health wise.

"I've stayed behind quite a lot of the time and it makes a big difference eventually getting out here.

"It doesn't matter if you're sitting in an office or out on the ground, it's just another thing that I can say, 'well, I've done this, being an amputee is nothing to be ashamed of'. You're more proud of it because you're achieving more each day."

Fus. Wiseman, from Bonnyrigg, Midlothian, joined the battalion as an infantry soldier on the week of his 18th birthday and had been in Afghanistan with 2 SCOTS for around three and a half months when he was hit.

Fus. Wiseman getting ready in Kenya

He was in a vehicle when the first IED, hidden in a speed bump, exploded on December 22, 2010.

"I got a few cuts and bruises from that one. Then, six days later, on the 28th, I was on a foot patrol.

"We were en-route back to our location to rest up and walking along a dirt track, and I was hit again with another IED.

"When it went off it damaged both my legs, I had a massive hole in my right leg below my knee, my left leg was ripped open."

The soldier was flown to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where he was given an ultimatum - doctors could either spend two years rebuilding his damaged legs or amputate one.

"At 18 it was quite a big decision to make but I would happily make that decision again, definitely the best decision I've ever made was to have it off. I've moved on so quickly," he said.

He said he fought to return to work with his battalion

While many injured soldiers end up being medically discharged, Fus. Wiseman was determined to return to work with the help of the battalion.

He said: "I had my medical board and I just fought for it. I just told them ... 'I want to be back with the guys, I want to be back with the battalion, I want to keep my job and I want to fight for it', and luckily enough the medical board said aye."

Since then his recovery has come on in leaps and bounds.

"As soon as you learn one thing you just continue, you just keep pushing it and pushing it," he said.

"It's that military ethos that you've got, you just want to drive, continuously drive, to be better."


For the full story go to...


Date Posted: Monday, 13 March 2017 @ 14:52


Stacey has seen a lot in her 20-year career. She’s been deployed to Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. She describes the Army as a good career, but only if you’re prepared for changes.

It’s a fantastic opportunity for life experiences,” says Stacey, “It takes you to places that you’d never expect to see apart from on a TV screen.”

Stacey joined the British Army at 18. “I was training to be a hairdresser and I just thought that there has to be more than this.“I went to the job centre with a friend who was signing on and saw a poster saying ‘Be the best’.

I thought, why not, let’s give it a go.”The Army was always there as a possibility for Stacey as she came from a military family.“My Dad was also in the army. He was in the Royal Green Jackets for thirteen years.”

Stacey holds an image of her father during his time in Service (left) and a picture of herself from when she first joined the Army (right). Credit: Alison Baskerville/Royal British Legion.



Whilst at Frimley Park in 2009 Stacey met her partner, Gareth, through one of her friends.They made the relationship work despite Stacey having to go on deployment regularly.

“I wanted to be with my unit. It’s what I trained for,” says Stacey. “I volunteered to go on tour and Gareth was very supportive.” “I knew I had to let her go, it’s her job,” says Gareth.

After her first tour of Iraq in 2003, Stacey gave birth to her eldest daughter, Evelyn.

Following this she completed a number of further tours. “Evie has seen me go on tour twice now. The first time, when she was one, I left her with my mum, and the second I left Evie with Gareth and her younger sister Frankie. She’s incredibly grown up and she does so much to help Gareth look after the girls.

Stacey’s medals from her Service. Credit: Alison Baskerville/Royal British Legion


Whilst back from Afghanistan on R&R in 2012, Gareth and Stacey decided to get married.“That’s when we thought it was a good time to get married, as we knew it would be hard to get support outside of marriage with the army. We went wedding dress shopping on the back of Gareth’s motorbike.”

When she got back to Afghanistan Stacey found out that she was pregnant with her third daughter, Teddy-Rose.

“We went wedding dress shopping on the back of Gareth’s motorbike.”

“I was excited when I found out as I was newly married, but I didn't want to leave Afghanistan. I wanted to stay and finish the tour. I only had about five or six weeks left.

”Working as a Health Assistant for the QARANC, Stacey cared for all the patients coming into the main ward of the hospital. “My job was to be a nurse to everyone,” says Stacey. “Regardless of what side they were fighting on.”

Stacey (centre) on tour in Afghanistan.

The local Afghan children that Stacey treated made a particular impact on her.“The hardest thing for me was seeing the children who were the same age as my own and far less physically developed. My kids seemed somewhat fuller and bigger.”

Stacey had just given birth to her daughter Teddy Rose when she was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.“I knew something was wrong when I was getting angry at patients… That’s when I knew it was time to get some help.”

“I think I really started experiencing symptoms in 2003 on my first tour of Iraq,” she explains. “When I spoke to my doctor in 2014 he said you’ve been carrying this around for at least ten years.”

In her final couple of years of military service Stacey chose to move to a hospital in Middleborough that cared for a mixture of NHS and military patients.

“I knew something was wrong. I was getting angry at patients thinking ‘why are you complaining, you have your arms and legs!’ That’s when I knew it was time to get some help.

”After her diagnosis Stacey was medically discharged from the Army. “There is still some stigma around this. People would say to me ‘How can you have PTSD? You were never on the front line?’

People don’t understand that it’s not to do with being on the front line. When you work in a hospital you get exhausted from the casualties coming through.“It’s just heartbreaking; I used to rearrange the ward so that guys who were in an incident were together and not spread across the ward.”

Stacey still has her regimental belt and armband from her first tour of Iraq in 2003, seen above with a photo of her during the same tour. Credit: Alison Baskerville/Royal British Legion

After leaving the army Stacey and Gareth moved near to Folkestone. Gareth works as a local bus driver and Stacey often spends her time at home with their youngest,Teddy.

With the pressures of family life they’ve developed an amazing level of teamwork. “He gives me daily tasks and we try to do as much as we can as a family. All through the summer we’ll be away camping and travelling round with the kids.”

As a woman in the Army Stacey often felt it was important for people to be able to express themselves in whatever way you felt feminine.

I think all women should be able to express their femininity in whichever way they choose. I used to dress in clothes which may been described as manly, but I know plenty of women in the army boxing team who love heels.” A common misconception that people make is assuming that Stacey isn’t a veteran.

Last year Evie wore Stacey’s medals to the anniversary service at the Battle of Britain memorial. Whilst there ranking military officials assumed that the medals belonged to Evie’s father - an assumption that many have made.

To read the rest of the story follow the link...

Date Posted: Friday, 10 March 2017 @ 08:43

Over the past several years, companies have developed different approaches to evaluating candidates using a range of different assessment techniques such as data analytics, psychometric tests, personality questionnaires, role plays, assessments centres, case studies, skype and video interviewing and more.

The primary objective of the recruiting process remains the same – to assess the strength of a candidate against the criteria for the role. Interviews are an integral part of making that determination. Over the course of my career, I’ve conducted thousands of interviews and seen some great candidates, so I’d now like to share 5 tips to help you ace your next interview.

1.   Preparation, preparation, preparation

‘Winging it’ won’t land you your next job! 

Make sure you know the requirements of the role. You’d be surprised how many people don’t! Read and re-read the job spec. Know how you have demonstrated the skills they are looking for in past roles and think of clear examples to show what you did, how you did it and what you achieved.

Technology makes it easier than ever to do your research. Check out the company website and LinkedIn Company Page, read annual reports, press coverage, social media and blogs. Identify people in your network who work at the company and talk to them. They may be exhibiting at careers events – go and talk to them. They may have some insight into the role and what the company are looking for, or just a few interview tips. Build a clear picture of the company – what’s their business, what does company culture look and feel like, what recent initiatives or contracts have they undertaken. Keep up to date with industry trends, challenges and opportunities. How are competitors performing?

Don’t wait until they ask why you want to work there – take control and tell them up front why you feel you’d fit in, how you see yourself contributing and how you see yourself developing with them in the future.

2.    Ask Questions, and Listen.

Interviews where both the interviewer and interviewee feel comfortable and build rapport go far better than those where lists of questions are fired and answered. The best interviews are 2-way conversations where they can get to know you and you can get to know them. Your CV has probably told them you have great communication skills so now’s your chance to demonstrate them.

Prepare and ask thoughtful questions about the team and the role. By asking questions along the way and helping drive the conversation, you’re more likely to make a connection with the interviewer and leave a positive impression. 

Stay focused and listen to the answers. This may lead to further questions and a really good conversation. I’ve employed a number of candidates who have succeeded in making the interview questions almost redundant because we’ve had such a great conversation where not only their aptitude and capability has shone through, but where their maturity, personality and passion for the role has come across with ease.

3.   Tell Your Story

It’s time to bring your CV to life and tell your story – what you’ve done, how you did it and how you made a real contribution to the team or organisation. 

Craft clear and concise answers to their questions which show you have the skills, judgment and drive to do the job. Interviewers will be looking for evidence of how you added value in past positions as a strong indicator of how you will perform should they employ you.

Support your answers with specific examples from your past. Share an experience that demonstrates how you’ve overcome adversity or a challenge and what you learned from the process. Before the interview, think about your strengths and development areas and understand how they relate to this role. 

4.   Be Authentic.

Be yourself. The objective of the interview is for you to assess if the company aligns with your values and for the interviewer to assess if you can do the job, will do the job and if you’ll fit in. They’ll easily see through anyone who isn’t being themselves and putting on an ‘interview persona’ so relax and be your authentic self.

5.   Don’t Forget the Basics.

In a competitive environment, being well-qualified, highly experienced and having a great CV may not always be enough. So, what else counts? 

Companies won’t waste their time interviewing candidates without the right certificates, skills and background. That’s why they put so much time, effort and money into the short-listing process. Sometimes, it’s the small details that can differentiate you from the other candidates.

An interview is about more than just answering a list of questions – it’s also about the impression that you make. Here are some of the “little things” that matter: 

  • Start building a relationship before the interview by calling to confirm your attendance
  • Arrive in plenty of time – not too early but definitely not late!
  • Be friendly to everyone you meet
  • Know the dress code
  • Relax and be aware of your body language
  • Send a thank you email or note after the interview

While preparation and good presentation are key contributors to your success, an interview is really about determining whether you are a good fit for the job and the company and vice versa. 

Sian Richardson  - Founder of Forces CV Services


Date Posted: Monday, 27 February 2017 @ 11:09

BT Announce New Series of Transition Events for Service Leavers & Veterans

BT have just announced a new series of Transition Force events following a highly successful run over the past 12 months. The BT career workshops are designed to help service leavers of all ranks gain valuable industry insights, extend their networks and show employers how military experience will benefit their business.

BT Transition Force events are free of charge, and the format has been very well received, and has evolved in response to feedback by the service leavers and veterans who have attended....

an excellent workshop by people who clearly believe in the value to be added to civilian companies by service leavers.” – Stephen Tomkins

“I have spoken to a number of recruiters / resettlement advisors since starting my transition. The training & format you provided was by far the best yet. I will positively promote anyone in resettlement to attend one of your workshops ” – Mat Napper

“During all my resettlement so far, today was far more informative - it was nice to actually talk to people who do the job and carry out interviews! I shall be recommending this to everyone in future.” Paul – Portsmouth

“The day was incredibly informative & excellently facilitated - the inclusion of 'BT Buddies' who know how the Armed Forces work is a superb addition. Please pass my thanks on to all involved in Transition Force. It is a superb service.” Shaun - Portsmouth

By attending ‘A Day with BT’ you will get:

  • Advice on demonstrating how your military skills and experience transfer to civilian jobs;
  • Career support based on BT’s own recruitment processes e.g. CV writing and interview techniques;
  • Introductions to ex-service personnel working for BT who have the experience of making a successful transition from military to civilian employment.


Date Posted: Thursday, 23 February 2017 @ 11:55

A POCKET Bible that saved the life of a First World War soldier by taking the impact of a German bullet has come to light.

Leonard Knight was just 17 years-old when he enlisted to fight and his aunt Minnie Yates gave him what was to be the life-saving little book.

Pocket bible saved the life of a teenage First World War fighter after it too the impact of a German bullet

Leonard Knight was just 17 years-old when he enlisted to fight and his aunt gave whim what was to be a life-saving book

 She wrote “To Leonard, with love from Aunt Minnie. July 1915” inside it and the Bible saved his life. It is thought that Leonard was carrying the book in the breast pocket of his uniform when the German bullet struck.

The round penetrated the hardback front cover but was stopped by the thickness of the Bible. Incredibly it was halted around 50 pages from the end of the book – and Leonard escaped without a scratch.

It is not known what happened to the young soldier after the near-miss although he is believed to have survived the war.

His descendants know he was born in 1898 and grew up in Wychbold, Worcs. but he disappeared after the conflict and information about wartime service is scarce. However, his Bible has been passed down through five generations of his aunt’s family and is now in the hands of Paula Ryan, 60, and her daughter Claire.

Claire is the great-great granddaughter of Minnie Yates and first learned of the Bible when her ‘Grannie’, Sheila Cater, brought it out to show the family.

Claire, 30, an activities coordinator at a nursing home in Bristol, said: “My Grannie had been given it, it was passed to her and now it’s been passed on again.


It is thought that Leonard was carrying the book in the breast pocket of his uniform when the German bullet struck

“She was so proud of it and kept it in a special biscuit tin on the top shelf of her wardrobe.

“She used to get it out every now when I was little but I didn’t quite understand. I just knew that it was really precious.

“I imagine it would have been covering Leonard’s heart.

“The bullet gone quite far through – there’s probably about fifty pages before the end of the book, and it’s quite a thick bible.”

Leonard was given the book by his aunt Minni who wrote a message in its front cover

It is believed that Leonard lived into his seventies but suffered with PTSD after seeing the horrors of the war.

She added: “He disappeared after the war so no one knew what happened to him.“I think my Grannie showed the bible to the Imperial War Museum once but she never followed it up and it was hard to keep in touch back then.”

Claire came forward after spotting an online appeal to find Princess Mary gift tin boxes given to soldiers during the First World War. She saw a video of one of the tins with a bullet hole through its cover on social media and Leonard’s Bible sprang to mind.

Claire’s mother, Paula, has tried to track down the family’s history to learn more about Leonard and what happened to him during and after the war, but to no avail. She said: “I’ve tried to get hold of the military records but lots of the MOD records from the First World War were destroyed during the Second World War.

“I managed to trace his name to a pub called the Robin Hood Inn in Rashwood from a 1901 census but that’s it.

“It’s not just about dates and names it’s about memories and the stories of people’s lives and how they are connected to us.”

To read the article and learn more follow the link...

Date Posted: Tuesday, 21 February 2017 @ 11:58

 Bill Millin

Millin was armed only with his bagpipes (which were inexplicably louder than the deafening mortar blasts and bullets), his trusty sgian-dubh knife, sheathed in his sock, and wearing a traditional Cameron tartan kilt his father had worn in Flanders during World War I, which, according to tradition was worn without underwear.

The heartening bagpipes provided the soldiers with a morale boost, but other times, Millin’s worst moments were when he walked among the wounded soldiers:

Wounded men were shocked to see me. They had been expecting to see a doctor or some kind of medical help. Instead, they saw me in my kilt and playing the bagpipes. It was horrifying, as I felt so helpless“.

Personnel of Royal Canadian Navy Beach Commando “W” land on Mike Beach sector of Juno Beach, 6 June 1944. The beach was divided into sectors and points of attack.

At one point, he witnessed a horrible sight, where wounded men were trampled by a tank which didn’t see Millin’s signals:

“There was a small entrance road leading off the beach and ten or twelve were lying wounded at its entrance. Some of them said, ‘Are the medics here, Jock?’ I told them not to worry; the doctors would be coming. I took shelter behind a low wall and watched as a flail tank made its way towards the road and the wounded men.

I quickly got up and waved my hands frantically over my head, hoping to get the attention of the commander whose steel hat was just visible out of the top of the tank. He seemed not to notice and went straight ahead over the top of the wounded soldiers. It was very traumatic watching those men die”.

After the brigade moved further to the town, accompanied by Millin’s invigorating tunes, the men attacked Ouistreham and captured the town. Unfortunately, Lovat’s group were ultimately exposed and under attack by snipers across the Canal de Caen.

Omaha Beach, 67 years after landing. Harbor remains and “Les Braves” monument can be seen on the top edge of the beach.

Millin’s bagpipes stopped and everyone in the squadron, except of course for Lovat, got down and went for cover. They spotted the sniper retreating through a cornfield, where Lovat nonchalantly stalked and killed him off and promptly ordered Millin to continue playing.

 Wandering shrapnel parts found their way into Millin’s bagpipes when the group crossed the famous Pegasus Bridge, a key location which was also watched over by enemy snipers.The bagpipes were somehow still playable, “It seemed like a very long bridge”, with Millin wondering how he managed to pull through the line of sight without sprinting.

British troops take cover after landing on Sword Beach.

The lively war tunes came to an end four days after the pipe’s chanter took a direct hit, rendering the drones nonfunctional. The last song Millin played on D-Day was “The Nut-Brown Maiden”. It was a courteous request from a little red-haired French girl, who curiously asked him to play music, with the panicking folks cowering behind her:

Later, when we had fought our way off the beach and were heading inland, I was able to talk to the French people. I will never forget a little French girl who came up to me. She had a white freckly face. She looked dirty and was barefooted. She was jumping around saying, ‘Music, music.’ I asked lord Lovat for his permission to play a tune and he agreed. I played ‘Nut Brown Maiden’ for her”.

After the long and gruesome battles, the piper managed to talk to some of the captured German soldiers, inquiring to know why they hadn’t shot him. The German soldiers explained that they hadn’t targeted him simply because they thought that he had “gone off his head”.

He was seen only with bagpipes, walking directly into the line of sight. They thought that they would do more damage if they shot at the armed soldiers instead of wasting bullets on the crazed piper.

Millin honored his commander and friend, Lord Lovat, by playing a lament at his funeral in 1995, and he donated the same pipes he played on the beach to the National War Museum in Edinburgh, on the 60th Anniversary of D-Day.

Bill Millin’s bagpipes on display at Dawlish Museum along with his bonnet, 100-year-old kilt, and dirk. Allegedly, there has been a mix-up and misunderstanding between Millin and the Pegasus Memorial Museum at Ranville, France, as Millin apparently used two sets of bagpipes during the war.

Bill Millin’s bravery and legacy continue to live on through various mediums and war stories. The Celtic punk-rock band Real McKenzies, recorded a song about Bill Millin, called “My Head Is Filled with Music”. The film “The Longest Day” also has scenes of Bill Millin playing the bagpipes during the Pegasus Bridge crossing.

To read the full article, follow the link below... 

Date Posted: Wednesday, 15 February 2017 @ 12:50

Most weeks we hear reports of people having their data hacked, individuals losing a device or experiencing a hardware failure and increasing examples of identity theft.

The data, including customer information, that we hold digitally is perhaps one of our most valuable possessions that we take for granted.

How do you store your data? There are different storage options available including the PC hard drive, a USB stick, a portable disk drive or storage in the ‘cloud’. How reliable is your storage location and how safe is the data? Do you back up your data to another location, just in case?

How would you operate if you lost your data? Data loss as a business or as an individual can hurt as well as take up your valuable time to repair or to recover.

Your data is at risk with many factors, such as fire, flood, theft, corruption, malicious activity etc.

So, do you Back Up your data regularly and how?

In terms of backing up your data, again you have options such as taking a manual copy (using tapes, a portable harddrive, USB) or you may automatically map your data drives or schedule online back ups to a remote server or cloud provider.

Ideally the storage of your back up should be in a separate location. This is not saying that a cloud back up is the right solution for you, but what would happen if your premises suffered a fire or flood and this is where you stored the original data and your back up?

It is also good practice to check your back up data, so regularly restore and check the data to ensure it actually works, nothing is corrupted in the process and of course, it would be available if you really needed it.

Do you protect your data from an attack?

Every day someone is trying to get hold of someone else’s data. In reality, Spyware and Ransomware are today commonplace.

Spyware is software that finds its way onto your computer with the aim to gather information about you or your organisation without your knowledge. It may also then send such information to another entity without your consent, or assert control over your computer without your knowledge.

Often referred to as tracking software, it is most commonly associated with software that displays advertisements (called adware) or software that tracks personal or sensitive information and web movements.

There are a number of ways spyware or other unwanted software can get on your computer. For example, Spyware may try to deceive users by bundling itself with desirable software. It is recommended that whenever you install something on your computer, make sure you carefully read all disclosures, as the inclusion of unwanted software may be covered here. It may also be installed from when you visit a Web page controlled by a spyware author and the page contains code which attacks the browser and forces the download and installation of Spyware.

Ransomware stops you from using your PC. It holds your PC or files for “ransom”.

It has just been reported that criminals are holding British hoteliers to ransom by hacking into their booking systems, blocking all access and then demanding payment. More

There are different types of ransomware. However, all of them will prevent you from using your PC normally, and they will all ask you to do something before you can use your PC. You could be a target at work or at home.

Many people think it will never happen to them, but if it did and you could not access your data; What would you do? How would you resolve the issue? How much time would it take up? At what cost?

How about being hacked?

During December, we heard the news that more online accounts had been hacked, this time at Yahoo.

Online data security is critical, however too many business owners and home users just think it won’t happen to them. It is not only the potential loss of data or actions taken by the hackers with the data or information obtained, but also your downtime whilst fixing the problem.

Here are some thoughts to reduce the chance of it happening to you.

  • Use a passphrase instead of a password and change it regularly whilst carefully considering how you store reminders securely
  • Don’t use just one password for everything
  • Install reliable Virus and Firewall software that is kept up to date.
  • Consider installing an anti-spyware / malware tool.
  • Make sure that your operating system is set up to receive automatic updates and Protect your computer by downloading the latest patches or security updates, which should cover vulnerabilities.
  • Ensure your network is secure
  • Avoid opening emails that look suspicious or you are not expecting
  • Have a good data back-up system in case you lose data or need to restore
  • Securely remove all personal information before disposing of old computers
  • Encrypt any personal information held electronically that would cause damage or distress if it were lost or stolen.

How secure is the cloud?

Good question! With the movement to the cloud and industry guidelines, then the security is generally accepted to be very good. However, there are always exceptions to such. It will perhaps feel insecure as your data is stored on servers and systems you don’t own, can’t see or don’t control. Here are a few considerations you may make when evaluating a cloud service provider:

  • What do others say about the cloud service provider you are considering?
  • Is there a data back up facility, preferably automated and which you can test now and again?
  • What is the balance between ease and speed of access versus still being secure?
  • Is the password recommendation to a level that feels secure?
  • Perhaps two factor authentication?
  • Do you want the data to be held in encrypted files?
  • How easy is collaborative working with access to the files by colleagues in a secure way?
  • What is the virus protection level?
  • Do you prefer a server for your own data or are you happy to share this with others?
  • Will your software run on the providers platform ok or do you need customisation?
  • What is the support like?
  • Can you speak to someone easily?
  • How do the costs compare?
  • Not just the initial investment, but also the ongoing costs and indirect costs such as time.

We recommend seeking expert advice when considering the security of your data, especially your business data.

As a business, you should also be aware that The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect on 25th May 2018.

BFRS Head Office

Peppercorn House, 5 Upper King Street, Leicester, LE1 6XF.

Tel: 0116 254 5477