Leeds brothers in arms carry on armed forces tradition

MILITARY FAMILY: Andy and Pamela Phillips with their sons Luke and Daniel.
MILITARY FAMILY: Andy and Pamela Phillips with their sons Luke and Daniel.
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Most parents would worry if they had one son in the armed forces but for the Phillips’ it’s a family affair.

Both of Pamela and Andy Phillips’ children joined the forces within months of each other last year and are preparing to leave home after careers in football and mechanics failed to materialise.

Royal Marine commando Daniel, 22, and Second Battalion Yorkshire Regiment private Luke, 20, are now set to follow in their father’s and grandfathers’ footsteps by serving Queen and country.

And although neither of the Leeds men are being posted directly to a war zone, it hasn’t stopped their parents worrying.

Civil servant Andy, who served in the army for 27 years, said: “Initially my reaction was that I was very proud but I also regularly think about the day they go out on operations like Afghanistan.

“You have to be optimistic, it is a soldier’s trait – you always look on the upside of everything.”

Family links with the services for both Pamela and Andy, who joined the First Battalion Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire in 1978, have proved as inspiration for their children.

Pamela’s father served in the Royal Navy, while Andy’s father served in the Second World War.

Care assistant Pamela, 47, said: “I’m very apprehensive about what’s going to happen next year. I don’t think about it, I can’t think about it, I know for about a year they’re both going to be alright.”

Daniel, who aimed to be a professional footballer after playing for York City, passed out of the Royal Marines in October after training at Lympstone, in Devon.

He is now set to be posted in Faslane, Scotland, but could be called into conflict at any time.

Daniel said: “Dad’s had a great life in the armed forces and I wanted to emulate something similar.

“Mum’s proud and always taking photos like this.

“She will be pretty upset, you don’t think about it, but she even gets nervous when we go out on a night out.”

Daniel’s brother Luke trained at Catterick and passed out earlier this month.

Luke said: “I know she (Pamela) will miss us but she has to let go one time doesn’t she.”

He’s preparing for an 18-month posting in Cyprus, but before leaving he proposed to his girlfriend, Rebecca Hay, on Valentine’s Day.

He added: “She said yes.”


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