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Simon Baynham

BA and MA degrees in Politics from Exeter University, and then a PhD from the London School of Economics for a thesis on 'The Military and Politics in Nkrumah's Ghana'. Spent time in the mid-70s in Ghana doing the field research. Several of the senior officers I got to know were executed when Jerry Rawlings seized power several years later.

1977-89: Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer, Department of Defence & International Affairs, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. During that time spent 3 years in the Territorial Army in the 21st Special Air Service. You wouldn't guess that now looking at my waistline!

Lived in South Africa for almost 10 years. Two years lecturing at the University of Cape Town, and later 7 years (1989-96) as Director of Research at the Africa Institute of South Africa in Pretoria. Very interesting times given the transition from the apartheid era to the first democratic elections. From South Africa, did a lot of travelling around Africa (work, plus holidays with my family) and attending international conferences.

Back to England in 1996, working for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Travelled extensively in Africa, the Middle East and the Far East. Later joined the Security Department as a Vetting Officer. It was fascinating work. Am now involved with the FCO Training Section for new recruits.

I've had half a dozen books published over the years - all of them on Africa ranging from the military and security issues, to single country studies (e.g. my PhD thesis published in the USA). Dodgiest field trip by far? Somalia with the U.S. 10th Mountain Division in the early 1990s!!

In 1981, married Nina (Lochen), ex-St.Maur's and SGC. Nina worked for 12 years in marketing in the wine and spirit industry, mainly for Hedges & Butler (part of the Bass Charrington Group) and travelled frequently to Italy for 12-course meals and plenty of vino! For the last few years, she's been a Samaritan volunteer and is also part of a team that goes into Feltham Young Offenders' Institute.

We've got 2 daughters. Anja (26) read History at York University and now works in Marketing for SABMiller, the world's second largest brewer. Camilla was born in Cape Town in 1985. She trained as a chef at Tante Marie and later with Mossimann's in Belgravia. She's now branched into food styling as well, for magazines/books/TV and cinema. She recently did a 60th birthday do for John Illsley, the Dire Straits bass guitar player and vocalist.

Nina and I are still in touch with various SGC guys including Greg Flower, Romey Clayton, Nicola Tuson, Bertie Roberts, Geoff D'Eon and Barbie Gollop.

It's been a great 40 years and very good to be back in touch with the Rebels of 69!

Exeter University 1970


Sovereign's Parade, Sandhurst 1979

Wedding at Sandhurst 1981

SAS exercise in the Welsh mountains 1982

Celebrating my doctorate

With Chris Hani

Our daughters, Anja and Camilla