|Alan Hardy - Life Story "so far"|
Alan had his first foray into the world of charity events with the 1990 Endurance Challenge and has now run the Commando Challenge Team Charity Events (uniterrupted) for 22 years (during which time he has also successfully run many hundreds of other fundraising events - from Piano'thons to Abseils and from Dinners to Dragon Boat Races and two National Round Britain Drives to raise awareness of Cancer).
He joined the Royal Marines at the age of 17 to undertake his initial training and during the next 23 years, saw duty in many parts of the world including Singapore, Malta, Cyprus and other Med countries as well as the USA, Australia, Holland and Norway.
He spent his early military career specialising in Jungle Warfare and worked extensively with the Gurkha Rifles and later with the Australian and New Zealand Forces.
So it was from the age of 17 and half he was to see the world and do a whole lot of 'growing up'.
Singapore was truly exhilerating as the furthest he had travelled before that from his home near Nottingham - was to Skeggy (Skegness for those not from that part of the industrial Midlands). Every holiday for the first 14 years of his life were spent in a caravan at Ingoldmells with his parents - and usually Grandparents (and later with his sister Karen). It was usually in one 'van' - or maybe two neighbouring 'vans' with the basics of facilities. No such things then as inside toilets - usually this aspect of ablutions was a bucket which then needed emptying each morning - guess who go that job?
Alan's family were predominantly coal miners and all were expected to work as long as they were able - this practise applied to both the male and females of the household with mums etc going back to work as soon as children were at school - and sometimes before. It's worthy of note that Alan joined as a recruit in the first Squad to have the option to buy themselves out for £50 after 4 months should they not like it! It was never understand why you had to pay to leave? On enlistment your father had to sign to say you could join this famous Corps, but also that he had the £50 if Alan chose to Opt Out. His family had never seen £50 - let alone had it available to enable Alan to take the 'easy option'. Grandand Hardy came to the rescue - with his timely retirement from the National Coal Board and with his Pension Commutation of £50. That £50 stayed behind the clock on the mantle until Alan had completed basic training - only then to go in the bank as a future nest egg.
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