After a year of training with the Scots Guards in Surrey, Bill was still too young to join his Battalion in Germany. Initially he spent five months recruiting at Edinburgh Castle.  Over the next three years, Bill completed tours of duty in Germany and Northern Ireland, before being deployed as part of the Queen’s Guard on ceremonial duties at Buckingham Palace. 

In 1982, the Scots and Welsh Guards together with The Gurkhas, as part of the 5 Infantry Brigade, were sent to the Falkland Islands.  On 18th May they sailed from Southampton on The Queen Elizabeth II, a cruise liner kitted out with machine guns and helipads. After a long arduous journey around 5th June they reached the Falkland Islands in pitch black horrendous conditions. The days that followed are forever etched on Bill’s mind. On 13th June 1982, the Battalion was involved in the most notorious assault of the war – the Battle for Mount Tumbledown. He lost nine comrades that night. Early August 1982 the Battalion returned to the UK.

We heard all the explosions as the Sir Gallahad and the Sir Tristian got bombed. It became apparent that our mates were still on the ship. Some of the sites coming off the boats were horrific.

Four years later, in 1986, Bill was medically discharged from the Army. This was the start of an incredibly challenging time, for not only Bill but his family too.  Suffering from ill health and from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) it was only in 1996 after a visit to the Erskine Hospital that his life started to change. Bill and his family moved into one of the Veterans’ Cottages on the Erskine Estate.  He was encouraged him to undertake light work which eventually lead to him reaching the position he holds today of Erskine IT Manager.

When I came to Erskine I felt a weight had been taken off me. Erskine has not only saved my life, it’s given me back my life.