Book lifts the lid on story of TA medics
ARETIRED nurse who served in the Territorial Army for almost 30 years has written a book about the medical unit he served.
Eric Hunter, 60, volunteered for the 207 (Manchester) Field Hospital, known as the Manchester Medics, one of the British Army’s 10 Reserve Field Hospitals.
He provided medical support to UK forces on operations overseas in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Now, having retired from his job as a specialist nurse at Macclesfield Hospital and his role in the TA, Eric has written a history book about the unit, which had a Macclesfield branch between 1977 and 1992.
Eric, of Buxton Road, Macclesfield, said: “I’m proud of this first effort. It’s packed full of history and interesting anecdotes from the front line. And there are lots of pictures from over the last 100 years.
“While the history of the unit originates in Manchester, many of the medics were recruited from the towns and villages of Cheshire, so there is a strong local link.”
The unit was founded in 1885, when a Volunteer Medical Staff Corps was formed from professors and lecturers at Owen’s College, which later became the University of Manchester.
Eric said: “At that time the Army was depleted and needed help. These were true volunteers. There was a sense of altruism, of defending the empire.
“Many then went to the Boer War, then later the Great War, where lives were lost alongside regular soldiers. The same happened in the Second World War, with many killed during battles.”
Eric followed in the footsteps of medical colleagues joining in 1987 during the Cold War. Much of his training was centred on surviving nuclear and biological warfare, World War Three scenarios.
Eric’s first operation was in Bosnia in 2000, where he was seconded to military intelligence and tasked with chasing down war criminals. Those experiences are likely to be told in his next book.
Eric has started giving talks on the book and will next appear at The Silk Trader pub on Brook Street on November 19 at 8pm. Donations will be given to the Royal British Legion.
The book is available via Amazon or Waterstones online. To book Eric, contact him on 01625 429743 or email 1955emhunter@ gmail.com.
Eric with his book and volunteers from the 207 General Hospital, Macclesfield branch, in 1985