Garstang rugby ace’s Afghan Christmas

A GARSTANG rugby player will be serving in Afghanistan over Christmas this year.

Monday, 20th December 2010, 12:28 pm

Lance Corporal Philip Brighouse is currently deployed with his unit, 669 Squadron, normally based at Dishforth in Yorkshire, in Gereshk, Helmand Province.

The 28-year-old Army Air Corps soldier is a member of the ground crew working at what is termed ‘Buzzard Ops’, the contingent of specialist soldiers who are responsible for the flight administration and maintaining all helicopter operations. Philip’s role is as one of the ground crew in charge of the smooth running of its helicopter landing site.

This will be the first time that Philip, who is from Lancaster, has been away for Christmas and admitted that there are going to be one or two things he’ll miss: “Of course, most of all I’ll miss being with my wife, Catherine. Usually at Christmas we all go to her sister’s for a traditional celebration and, again, I’ll miss the good old home-cooked Christmas dinner.”

Philip has however received plenty of parcels while he has been away, he explained: “I had an early Christmas present sent from my Mum. It was a laptop and I’ve been spending the last few days trying to get my head around it. So far I’ve managed to watch a few films on it and contacted my wife on the internet. And friends and family have sent super noodles, toiletries and my favourite sweets, Werthers’ Originals, and fudge.”

Philip added: “Merry Christmas to Catherine and the family and I look forward to seeing everyone back at Garstang Rugby Club in the New Year and I hope you all have great time.”

Philip, who joined the Army in 2004 having previously attended Ripley St Thomas School in Lancaster, will finish his present tour of duty in Afghanistan at the end of January.