Clitheroe war hero's tale of loss and devastation in Iraq

Andy Salmon, who was the last British General to serve in Basra during the Iraq War.
Andy Salmon, who was the last British General to serve in Basra during the Iraq War.
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Andy Salmon was the last British General in Basra during the Iraq War.

The Clitheroe Royal Grammar School old boy enjoyed a highly distinguished 36-year career in the British Army.


He served with distinction in Northern Ireland, the Falkland Islands, Africa and the Middle East.


Now the former Major General is returning home to Clitheroe, where he was educated, to reflect on an emotional journey, including three life-changing tours of war-torn Iraq.


“I was 31 when I went to Iraq for the first time, a young man in command of a unit with a lot of responsibility, working towards humanitarian support for the Kurdish people,” he said.


“When I returned, (in 2003), I was ambivalent (about the war), and I talk about that too.


“The final time, I was really seeing the situation through the lens of the people, trying to help the Iraqis.”


The Journey Through Conflict is unflinching, and Andy, who lived in Padiham, does not sway from portraying the brutality of war.


His powerful message, though, is one of redemption and hope.


And the ex-Royal Marines Commandant General admits when he retired from the Army he reconnected with his Christian faith.


He added: “You look into your own abyss before finding a different pathway.


“Today, in the current climate, where it’s easy to blame problems on everyone else, we need to connect and collaborate.


“You can achieve true serenity and joy and love through compromise, by being open and transparent and showing love and trust to each other.


“I’m very much looking forward to coming back to Clitheroe, where I enjoyed some very happy times.”


Andy Salmon: Journey Through Conflict, February 12th, 2020, Grand Theatre.


For more information, please call the box office on 01200 421599 or visit www.thegrandvenue.co.uk


The next event at the Grand is Alice in Wonderland on Friday, August 9th. Doors open at 6pm.