Rothwell soldier writes book about time on the frontline

A former soldier from Rothwell has published his memoirs from the 12 years he spent serving his country.

Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 6:00 am
Mark Eagle with his new book.

Mark Eagle was in the 3rd Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment and was posted around the world between 1975 and 1986 as he reached the rank of Lance Corporal.

He's now published tales from his tours that he recalled after meeting up with fellow veterans at a reunion. The book, called A Royal Anglian: The memoirs of a squaddie, 1975-86, is being sold on Amazon.

Mark, formerly known as Mark Smith, said: "I had a little black book and when I got back in touch with the guys and heard all of the stories I just had to get them all down."

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Mark was posted around the world.

Chapters in the book cover life in Rothwell, tours across the globe and his passing out parade.

He said: "Some of the stories are funny, some are not so funny."

Mark, whose 17-year-old son Ethan is joining the army, was an apprentice welder before deciding to 'give it a go' in the army because his brother also served.

His tours included time in Cyprus, Belize, Kenya, USA, Malta, Germany and Colchester as well as spending 18 months in 1978 and 1979 patrolling west Belfast during The Troubles.

Mark was in the army until 1986.

Another member of his battalion was blown up by a bomb two streets away from where he was.

Mark, 60, said: "You were scared for your life every day, it was frightening.

"We were stuck in there to police it and we couldn't fight back, we had to take all of the abuse and the bombs.

"We were scared to death every time we left the gates."

He was later posted to Belize where one of his bigger frights was coming face-to-face with a 10ft boa constrictor in the jungle.

Mark left the army in 1986 and has since worked in the transport sector.

This is the first book he's written and he urged people to have a read.

He said: "It will give you a real insight into what life was like for a squaddie back then."