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Kingshurst shopworker has tour of duty in Cyprus

A Borough shop worker has left the sales floor behind to help keep the peace in Cyprus

A Borough shop worker has left the sales floor behind to help keep the peace in Cyprus.

Territorial Army reservist Simon Corcoran is on a six-month tour with the United Nations based at the 111-mile buffer zone dividing Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

The fusilier, from Kingshurst, is a member of the Sheldon-based F Company, The Rifles, which is attached to the 4th Battalion the Mercian Regiment.

The mission, rarely performed by a TA unit, saw Simon and his comrades undergo gruelling riot training outside the long-deserted Nicosia International Airport.

The 19-year-old said armoured riot tanks could not be further removed from his day job working at HomeSense at The Fort Shopping Park.

“I plan to join the regular Army and want to become an officer in the Fusiliers,” he said.

“The TA and regular Army give you the chance to do extraordinary things. You gain life experiences and incredible friends.

“This tour is invaluable for us, as reserves, as it allows us to practice being commanders and officers, whereas usually we would be attached to a commanding regular Army unit.”

Almost 180 soldiers applied to take part in the tour.

Major Paul Walkley, second in command of HQ Company, said: “The competition for selection was intense over a period of 12 months.

“We have our best soldiers who all really want to be here. Our primary role is to provide the public order capability.

“Although disorder is unlikely, we need to train for that eventuality. This involves practising baton and shield drills and using riot vehicles.”

 

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