Dakar Heroes visit Eastbourne for H4H Fundraising Talk

Members of the Dakar Rally team, Race2Recovery will be visiting Eastbourne College Theatre on 21st June to talk about their incredible mission. The highs and lows, the challenges faced in raising a complete rally-raid team in under two years from zero to taking on the world’s toughest race.

Find out how 3,500 litres of water, 40 tubes of insect repellent and 16 prosthetic limbs helped amputee servicemen make history in becoming the first disability group to complete the gruelling 8000km Dakar Rally. A unique chance to meet some of the team, get a signed book and see one of the Wildcat vehicles used on the world’s toughest motor rally.

For more information and how to book tickets, please click here

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Injured Service Personnel Inspiring Story to be Told

We are proud to be associated with the amazing Race2Recovery Team.

This team comprised of injured service personnel, expert civilians and veterans aim to become the first team of its type to complete the world’s hardest motor sport race – The Dakar Rally Raid in January 2013. The team will also raise much needed funds for their friends, colleagues and their families whose injuries will require care and support now and for the rest of their lives by raising money for Help for Heroes and the Tedworth House Personnel Recovery Centre.

FireStep Publishing is following the team’s progress and will publish the story behind the team, their families, the training, the trials and stories that have inspired others throughout this unique project.

For every book sold £2 will go towards Help for Heroes and the Race2Recovery Foundation to be invested in Tedworth House.

Land Rover has come on board as the Team’s major sponsor and will greatly assist in realising their dream to compete in the Dakar. For the full story you can visit the Land Rover website here.

For more information on the inspiring Race2Recovery mission please visit www.race2recovery.com

 

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Mother’s Tribute to Son Killed in Battle


Chin Up Head Down book jacket

Available from 2nd June 012

The mother of teenage soldier killed in Afghanistan three years ago has published a book charting the journey she and her family have made since learning of his death.

“Chin Up, Head Down” takes its title from the upbeat advice in the last letter from Rifleman Cyrus Thatcher, who served with 2nd Battalion The Rifles.

Cyrus’s mother Helena Tym is the first to have her story published. Her son was just 19 when he died in an IED explosion. Now she hopes her story will help other parents get through the hardest times any parent can ever face.

£1 from every book sold will go to the SSAFA support group for bereaved families. Helena also hopes it will ensure the sacrifice of her son will never be forgotten.

Click here to watch the BFBS TV News interview

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A Mother’s Story of Loss

The story of how a woman coped with the loss of one of her sons in action in Afghanistan is the latest offering from Firestep Publishing, a division of Tommies Guides.

Chin up, Head Down by Helena Tym has the sub title A mother’s journey of madness and grief. Helena explains, “On June 2 2009 two men knocked on the door bringing with them the news that our 19-year-old son Cyrus had been killed that morning by an IED whilst serving with 2 Rifles in Afghanistan, instantly destroying our family as we knew it. I had three sons, a job as a manager in a day centre for people with acquired brain injuries and in an instant that changed forever.

Rob, Helena and Zac in Hyde Park after the launch of "Chin Up, Head Down".

“People ask me how I’ve coped. My answer is that I wrote it all down for fear of losing that too and also to try and make sense of what had happened. The process of madness continues to be part of my new normal.

“I now have a new life which I’m trying desperately to come to terms with and follow Cyrus’s words in his last letter to us, ‘chin up, head down’.”

Ryan Gearing, Managing Director of Tommies Guides and Fire Step Publishing commented, “We are honoured to have the opportunity to publish Helena’s moving account of her reaction to the terrible event which overtook her.”

The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help ensures that military families touched by tragedy are supported in their grief. Public Relations Manager Michael Ivatt added, “Helena’s story offers a very personal insight into the wide ranging epercussions of such a loss. SSAFA are honoured to be receiving a donation from the sale of each book which will be used to help other service families coping with bereavement or serious disability.”

For every book sold, FireStep will make a £1 donation to the UK’s oldest military charity, SSAFA. Chin Up, Head Down is to be launched in London on 25th May with a reception at the Victory Services Club.

About the Victory Services Club
The Victory Services Club (VSC), is an All Ranks Members’ Club for retired and serving members of the Armed Forces. In 1907, it was created by Major Arthur Haggard who formed the Club and charity to look after those who were demobilised from the Army after the Boer War in which he took part. Since then the Club continues to be a thriving tri-service Club for the benefit of military families both serving and retired. As well as providing affordable accommodation it also provides and funds “respite and welfare breaks” for the needy and infirm. www.vsc.co.uk

About SSAFA Forces Help
SSAFA is the UK’s oldest Armed Forces charity. It provides financial, practical and emotional assistance to anyone who is currently serving in the Army, Navy or RAF or has ever served, even if it was only for a single day. Each year, SSAFA supports more than 50,000 people in the Armed Forces community. www.ssafa.org.uk

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Modern War Poetry features on ITV News

ITV News logoNovember 1st saw ITV West broadcast an article on modern war poetry and how Enduring Freedom is marking a decade in Afghanistan whilst supporting Combat Stress.

With poems from Swindon resident Jodie Henderson (Lone Chimes) and Captain James Milton (Coming Home) the piece is very powerful and you can see it online by clicking here.

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Wootton Bassett Honour for Enduring Freedom

Enduring Freedom: an Afghan Anthology book coverWe are both delighted and honoured that Enduring Freedom: an Afghan Anthology will be launched with a poetry recital on Sunday 16th October 2011 at Wootton Bassett.

The event will be held 11.00am – 12.00noon at the Conservative Club (Royal British Legion Club) 53, High Street, Wootton Bassett.

Enduring Freedom an Afghan Anthology is published to commemorate the tenth anniversary of UK forces deployed in Afghanistan and in support of the Enemy Within Appeal from Combat Stress, the leading UK veterans’ mental health charity.

Members of the public are welcome to attend. Contributors from the book, both military and civilian will be in attendance to talk about their poems.

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Shell Shock Launch

Shell Shock book coverOn Saturday October 1st Shell Shock author, Neil Blower will be available to talk about his book and sign copies at Imperial War Museum North from 12.00 noon to 4.00pm in the entrance by the museum shop.

This event is open to all with representatives of Combat Stress in attendance, and hopes to further raise awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

You may also order copies of Shell Shock: the diary of Tommy Atkins here.

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Last Call for Poetry Entries for Enduring Freedom

Our last day of entry for suggestions or contributions for Enduring Freedom is 31st July.

Enduring Freedom and Afghan Anthology

This year sees the tenth anniversary of UK forces deployed in Afghanistan and many thousands of us have been affected by events over the last decade and saddened by the casualties suffered by our forces serving there. Whilst our thoughts go out to their relations and friends who have shown immense dignity in the face of great personal loss we can be proud of the positive contribution that our servicemen and women are making, in conjunction with our allies.

This new poetry anthology entitled Enduring Freedom takes the name from the UN authorised, NATO led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission as part of the US-led Operation ‘Enduring Freedom’ launched in 2001. Since operations began over 80,000 personnel have been deployed to Afghanistan from the United Kingdom, and the Commonwealth. The debt of gratitude owed to our young men and women, and to their predecessors, is indeed profound.

The charity Combat Stress has seen an increase in referrals, over 70% since 2005. With our personnel involved in operations across the globe under immense strain, we have perhaps only reached the tip of the iceberg in cases relating to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In this year marking a decade in Afghanistan, this book aims to help increase awareness of these problems whilst raising vital funds for Combat Stress.

Have you been inspired or motivated by reading poetry old or new?
Have you written something yourself whilst on operations?
Does poetry help you or anyone you know during difficult times?

Calling all serving or ex-serving HM Armed Forces personnel, friends, family or colleagues!
We need your help to complete this exciting new publication.

Please send your contributions, recommendations or suggestions to:
enduringfreedom@tommiesguides.co.uk by 31st July 2011.

Read about the book here

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FireStep partners with National Army Museum

National Army Museum logoFireStep Publsihing is proud to announce it has partnered with the National Army Museum to publish a range of facsimile products based on original WW1 material in the museum’s vaults. Much of the source was previously the property of the War Office Library and has not seen the light of day since being archived.

The first range of titles will be published in the autumn and we shall be making a further announcement on the range in due course.

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FireStep appoints Casemate

Casemate logoFireStep Publishing have appointed Casemate for trade sales. Casemate Publishers are one of the largest independent military sales groups with UK and US offices.

Casemate UK is fast becoming the leading military history publisher and distributor in the UK and was set up by military enthusiasts in 2007. Building on from the success of their sister company Casemate Publishing in the United States, they are now able to take the Casemate ethos worldwide. For more information please visit www.casematepublishing.co.uk.

For more information on how to order our titles see Orders or for retail please then visit our Trade Sales section.

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