Lt Mark Dormon, former Deputy House Captain of East House (2005) and now an officer in The Rifles, returned to Cranleigh in May to deliver the first of the “War Studies Society” talks in the Merriman Music School.  Mark gave a fascinating insight into life on the front line in Afghanistan as an infaWar Studies.NEWSntry platoon commander.  The audience were enthralled by an engaging and surprisingly open and heart-felt delivery which gave us a glimpse into how it feels to be operating in such a tough environment.

The talk covered aspects of daily life on operations including relations with the enemy, the Afghan Army, other “friendly” units and, most interestingly, his interaction with the locals whom he found to be welcoming and hospitable. The talk took us through his recent tour of duty and covered areas that many in the audience had not considered such as how much the climate played a role whilst in the region.

His matter-of-fact delivery hid the fact that he was awarded a Mentioned in Dispatches honour for his work in a particular action when his base was attacked by the Taliban. In typically humble fashion, he made no reference to himself but talked about the courage and bravery of his soldiers; the abiding lesson was one of the “brotherhood” that forms between soldiers when in conflict situations. His honesty and unassuming nature made for an extremely memorable talk.

Angus McConnell-Wood (LVI, Cubitt)