Book lifts the lid on story of TA medics

Macclesfield Express - - CHILDREN IN NEED - STU­ART GREER

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

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