Lae, Papua New Guinea
I was born and brought up in St Andrews, Scotland, the Home of Golf. My two great grandfathers James Braid and Jamie Anderson won the British Open 8 times between them. Great Uncle Willie Anderson won the US Open 4 times. I gave up golf on my seventeenth birthday!
I always wanted to be a fighter pilot in the Navy, and passed all selection tests. A few weeks before I was due to start training it was suddenly cancelled. The stupidest Defence White Paper ever produced - and that's saying something - cancelled all fighter pilot training, most of the jet aircraft under construction, and me. The Russians could not have hoped to sabotage the British Aerospace industry as effectively as the good old British politicians.
I believe the Apollo project manager was British - we called it the Brain Drain.
I ran off to the Merchant navy as navigating cadet on an ocean-going tanker for a year. That was followed by three years in the British Army, where I became an Artillery Surveyor, Sound Ranger, radar operator, radio operator, gun number on 25 pound field gun and artillery mortar. Won my marksman's badge, and completed courses in civil defence and demolition.
After that lot I still had to start at the bottom in civilian life to become a civil engineer. I was employed as a chainman/labourer in the north of Scotland, and rose to area projects engineer, collecting diplomas in Highway engineering and business admin along the way.
Since then I have been project manager on major construction projects in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. I now run my own small construction management company in PNG. I have been writing books for more than three decades.
Interests: railways, military, cricket, rugby
Published writer: No