The Junior Officer's Reading Club

Patrick Hennessey reads his soldier's tale for the 21st century - an account of his experiences at Sandhurst and then on deployment in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan's Helmand Province.


01Bandanas, Shades And Penguin Classics20090622

Hennessey is at a tea party, on a dam, in the middle of a war.

Helmand Province is where the British Army has allied with the Afghan National Army to find the Afghan solution to an Afghan problem, but that is easier said than done.

02Marking Time And Making Friends20090623

With war raging around him, Hennessey wonders how he arrived in Afghanistan.

An English graduate at Oxford, the transition to Sandhurst was a difficult one.

03Tower, Windsor, Buck And Jimmys20090624

Hennessey is commissioned into the Grenadier Guards and is straining at the leash to get to the Middle East.

But the British army has other plans for him - parading and primary school teaching.

04Cleaning Your Room20090625

The Guards are ecstatic - rumour becomes reality and they head to Iraq.

The surge is ongoing, but it is not their surge.

Instead they are listening to Elvis and Johnny Cash, as they throw anything but parties at the Iraqi jail.

05 LASTThe Road To Sangin20090626

From Iraq to Helmand Province and the road to Sangin.

Battle contact, so long anticipated, proves satisfying for Hennessey and Operation Silicon is a success.

But they must now fight their way up to Sangin, as the casualties mount.