The soldier wants a wife

Before all you singletons out there get too excited, Country Life would like to stress that not every soldier who appears in this feature is looking for a husband or wife (in fact one is happily married). However, both those in a
stable relationship and footloose share a passion for sweets, mints and nuts, as well as friendly letters. There is no limit on the number of parcels and letters that can be sent, so please get writing.

If you’re young, a long way from home, and battling the two demons of fear and boredom, what would be foremost in your mind? For most of us, it’s difficult to imagine what life must be like for the soldiers representing our country in some of the most inhospitable conditions in the world, so we have asked young officers from some of the British Army’s finest regiments to tell us about their experiences in Iraq and a bit about themselves. They’re all unmarried, and, although some may have an ‘other half ‘, like anyone on tough operations, they do welcome post and contact with the outside world.

‘Blueys’, the special airmail letters, are a good start, and postage is free if you quote Op Telic 10 and BFPO 641 on the front. If you want to upgrade your missive, magazines, sweets, dried fruit, nuts and biscuits go down articularly well. If you really want to spoil them, mints (such as the tinned ones in Marks & Spencer) are considered a delicacy among military palates. You can send anything up to a maximum weight of 2kg and simply pack it as you would any parcel. Please send letters and parcels to your chosen soldier using the following address: their name and regiment, followed by Operation TELIC 10, BFPO 641.












Captain Peter Perowne

Rank: Captain

Age: 27

Regiment: The King’s Royal Hussars

From: Norfolk

Favourite film:Old School

Favourite pastime: Shooting, stalking and rugby

Hero: Harry Flashman

Favourite building: I’ve just bought a flat in Barons Court

Favourite place in UK: North Norfolk coast

Click here to send Peter an email

Experience of Iraq:

Since 2006, the biggest change is in the nature of the people. Then, we were in Land Rovers and were far more relaxed. We were able to meet and talk to the local people as we drove around. Due to the terrorist threat in Basra now, we use armoured vehicles and can’t chat as we used to. It’s distanced us from the locals, which is a shame.

Philip Kaye

Rank: Lieutenant

Age: 25

Regiment: The King’s Royal Hussars

From: Newmarket, Suffolk

Favourite film:Last of the Mohicans

Favourite pastime: Stalking, polo

Hero: Richard Meinertzaggen (soldier, explorer and big-game
hunter from the early 20th century)

Favourite building: The Carts Bog Inn

Favourite place in UK: The Cornish coast and the west coast of Scotland

Click here to send Philip an email

Experience of Iraq:

It?s an incredible experience to be living in the Desert of Maysaan Province. Temperatures
of 50 degrees and more often distract from the insurgent threat, but we are all too frequently reminded of its presence

James Bullock Webster

Rank: Captain

Age: 26

Regiment: Irish Guards

From: Stanhope Gardens, South Kensington, London

Favourite film: A Bridge Too Far

Favourite pastime: Stalking

Hero: Sir Harry Flashman VC, the infamous rogue

Favourite building: St James’ Palace

Favourite place in UK: The eerie landscape of Dartmoor, perfect for picnics, yomping and romping

Click here to send James an email

Experience of Iraq:

The fragility of life

George Peter Hay Aitken

Rank: Lieutenant

Age: 24

Regiment: Irish Guards

From: Berkshire

Favourite film: Top Gun

Favourite pastime: Shooting and surfing

Hero: Mohammed Ali and Ranulph Fiennes

Favourite building: Guards Chapel

Favourite place in UK: Trebetherick Beach, Daymer Bay

Click here to send George an email

Experience of Iraq:

Having trained some of the Iraqi Army, it is clear that, as a nation, there is genuine potential. It’s our responsibility as to help them realise this potential

Matt Vere Nicoll

Rank: Captain

Age: 28

Regiment: Life Guards

From: Hougham, near Grantham, Lincolnshire

Favourite film: Old School

Favourite pastime: Surfing, tennis and golf

Hero: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Favourite place in UK:The south Devon coast in high English summer, preferably with a glass of Pimm’s

Click here to send Matt an email

Experience of Iraq:

Hot and hostile

Will Gadsby

Rank: Captain

Age: 28

Regiment: Royal Tank Regiment

From: Dorset

Favourite film: The Sting

Favourite pastime: Skiing

Hero: Joe Simpson (Touching the Void)

Favourite Building: The Louvre
Favourite place in UK:Currently, the arrivals lounge at RAF Brize Norton

Click here to send Will an email

Experience of Iraq:

As I’m sure most people can imagine it’s hot, dusty, frustrating and exciting; rarely dull, although often I wish it were. The smell is at times quite indescribable and the flies are always present and always annoying. Not in my top 10 places to revisit.


Henry Tuggey

Rank: 2nd Lieutenant

Age: 24

Regiment: 2 Rifles

From: Monmouthshire

Favourite film: Goldfinger

Favourite pastime: Playing in the sea, either attempting to surf or attempting to kite surf

Favourite Building: Craig-y-Dorth House, Monmouthshire, or my home
Favourite place in UK:Pembrokeshire

Click here to send Henry an email

Experience of Iraq:

There have been some scary moments, but I have learnt so much here. I’m attached to 4 Rifles in the
CIMIC cell, which helps the local population build schools and roads, using money from the Coalition. Also, I go out on patrol as a rifleman gaining invaluable experience that will hopefully benefit my own platoon when I take over in August

Timothy Moore
Rank: Lieutenant

Age: 30

Regiment: Royal Wessex Yeomanry

From: Rolveden, Kent

Favourite film: Dr Strangelove

Favourite pastime: Shooting

Hero: Johnny Scott

Favourite Building: Salisbury Cathedral
Favourite place in UK:The Weald of Suxxex and Kent

Click here to send Timothy an email

Experience of Iraq:

This is my second tour of Iraq, the first being in 2004 with the Royal Dragoon Guards. I have seen
progress with the Iraqi Army, but also lots of poverty. I’ve experienced the noblest of hospitality and I’ve seen extreme hatred. Iraq is complex and difficult, but I’m very proud of what we’re doing here, and I believe that, in the end, we’ll have done the right thing by supporting the Iraqi people

Or a husband!

Ellie Hytch
Rank: Captain

Age: 31

Regiment: Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corp

From: Hampshire

Favourite film: Out of Africa

Favourite pastime: Alpine skiing and shopping

Hero: Delia Smith

Favourite Building: Selfridges
Favourite place in UK:Home

Click here to send Ellie an email

Experience of Iraq:

The work is not too different from
that on a ward in the UK, just hotter, dustier and sweatier

Nicola Rush
Rank: Captain

Age: 24

Regiment: Royal Army Medical Corps, Physiotherapist

From: Wokingham, Berkshire

Favourite film: Dirty Dancing

Favourite pastime: Horse riding

Hero: My mum and dad and Jonny Wilkinson

Favourite Building: Ascot Racecourse, the new building
Favourite place in UK:Riding in the fields overlooking the Thames and Windsor is a beautiful town

Click here to send Nicola an email

Experience of Iraq:

Amazing. Mentally and emotionally challenging, as you see first hand the number of injuries sustained and what the soldiers have to endure. The work is rewarding, with highly motivated people. Everyone is supportive and encouraging, making the most of a difficult situation. It’s a demanding environment, hot and sandy, made worse by the threats to our location, which can be unnerving.